Salvation for Your World (2)

Who are the people to whom God has sent you?

Such a Great Salvation (20)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised 
isfaithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works… Hebrews 10.23, 24

For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regionsbeyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. 2 Corinthians 10.14-16

Your sphere, your places
Each of us who believes in Jesus for salvation has been sent out for the purpose of bringing His Kingdom and great salvation to the world. Day by day, we draw water from the well of Christ’s salvation, to refresh and renew us, so that the living water of grace and truth may flow from within us, by the power of the Spirit, to bring the dawn of the new Kingdom day to all the places the Lord sends us (Is. 12.3; Jn. 4.13, 14; 7.37-39; 1 Jn. 2.8).

As the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and the leaven of grace and goodness in a world shrouded in sin, we expect to make an impact for righteousness, peace, and joy in all the places of our personal sphere.

The Kingdom we seek so earnestly (Matt. 6.33) comes into being on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6.10) as believers increase in their great salvation, and as that great salvation overflows to their world – all the places they go, week after week.

We are not sent to bring salvation to the world, but to our world, those places we typically visit and habituate, where our great salvation flows by grace and truth to make all things new. Excellence and beauty trail in our wake. Goodness surrounds us. Truth leaves its mark on every sector of the sphere God has appointed to us. Joy lingers even after we have gone. We are the people through whom our great Savior is making all things new. The more of His great salvation we know and enjoy, the more that great salvation will impact our world.

But even more important than the placesthat make up our appointed sphere are the peoplewe encounter in those places. For while all places, even those made more wholesome, beautiful, and welcoming by the effects of our great salvation, must ultimately be destroyed, human souls are forever. And in the places we go, as we are going there, we seek to bring our great salvation to bear on the souls of those who are lost as well as the souls of those who are saved.

For the lost: Hold fast your confession!
For those who do not know the Savior, we bring a consistent, winsome, and personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ. The people to whom the book of Hebrews was addressed were failing in this matter. As a result, not only were they neglecting their great salvation, but they were confirming the lost views and opinions of their lost neighbors, thus misleading them into thinking they were right to reject the Good News of Jesus and His great salvation.

There are lost people in our spheres, in many of the places we go each week. Do we care that they are lost? That they may be lost forever? We are called to be witnesses to Jesus (Acts 1.8), and our primary place of witness-bearing is that sphere appointed to us by God, to the people who occupy it with us.

Do the people you see week after week know that you believe in Jesus? Do they know how much Jesus has done and continues to do for you? Do they experience the hope of glory in your demeanor and speech, so that they feel free to ask a reason for the hope that is within you? Have you sanctified Jesus as Lord in your heart, so that you are ready to confess your faith in Him at every opportunity (1 Pet. 3.15)?

Holding fast our confession before the lost people in our sphere is a most important part both of growing in our great salvation (Philem. 1.4-6) – as our confidence, boldness, and ease of witness increases – and of spreadingthat great salvation to people with whom we long to spend all eternity (Acts 8.1-8).

For the saved: Consider and stir up!
Also in our sphere, in many of the places we go each week, are others who share in this great salvation by virtue of their faith in Jesus Christ. We have a duty to them, to encourage them in this great salvation, to consider where they are in their walk with and work for the Lord, and how we may be able to stir them up to good works of love in their own spheres.

All those “one another” passages in the New Testament make it abundantly clear that believers can help each other grow in Christ and realize more of His great salvation, and we must do so faithfully and in the love of Jesus.

Does this mean that all our conversations have to be about Jesus? That every other word out of our mouth is something “spiritual” or “Gospel”? Of course not. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps. 24.1). The goodness of the Lord is in all the earth (Ps. 33.5). We should take an interest in and learn about many things, especially those things that most directly relate to the places we go and the people we see. The more we learn, and the more we bring our world into the dominion of Jesus’ righteous, peaceable, and joyous rule (Heb. 2.5-9), the more we will be able to talk with people about many things, to encourage and assist them in many ways, to build them up, give them hope, and help them to experience the world through new eyes, Kingdom eyes.

We are citizens and ambassadors of a Kingdom not of this world, which is expanding throughout all the world, and, by our efforts and prayers, throughout all our world. But this doesn’t just happen. And we will be in danger of neglecting our great salvation if we do not receive as our calling to prepare in and work out our great salvation in every situation, with every person, at every moment, for the praise and the glory of God’s grace.

For reflection
1.  Do the lost people in your sphere know that you are a Christian? How do they know?

2.  Why is it so important that believers encourage one another for love and good works?

3.  Summarize the confession you might share with someone in your sphere.

Next steps – Transformation: Write down the names of every person you see in a typical week. Begin praying for them daily, and especially on the day you expect to see them, that God would enlarge your great salvation to reach out to them in some way.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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