by Commissioner Brad Bailey, Territorial Commander
As Salvationists we are called to have a razor-focused attention on the comprehensive nature of the gospel. It informs a worldview that touches all of life, including our spiritual and material realities, and certainly blows up the notion of an individualistic gospel.
A comprehensive gospel starts with a good creation. Scripture teaches us everything God created was “very good” and He entrusted it to humans, the crown of His creation. But sin entered the world and corrupted everything. Relationships were ruptured between people, humans and God, and humans and the divinely created that ultimately falls in line with the Almighty’s perfect plan for us all. As we look around, we see things aren’t what they should be. We experience the results of our brokenness as the worst of our humanity is unmasked and we’re confronted with images and realities of the most isolated, vulnerable, mistreated and economically disadvantaged amongst us. At times like these, real life becomes uncomfortably clear as our unbridled inhumanity and separation from the Father’s divine plan comes into full focus.
Jesus came to restore all of those relationships. His redemptive plan is to bring wholeness to all that has been broken and corrupted. The gospel makes sense of beauty and brokenness and frames a mission that seeks to redeem, restore and reestablish the value of human lives and human dignity.
This is a wake-up call to remind ourselves of The Salvation Army’s purpose: to share the all-inclusive good news gospel of Jesus and to serve suffering humanity without discrimination.
Preaching and living out the gospel by meeting human needs in Christ’s name takes on many forms including vibrant, practical, incarnational ministry and activating a holistic, on-fire, redemptive and restorative faith that buttresses our lives and purpose.
If we are to infiltrate this broken world with the uncompromising love of Jesus, we will need to commit ourselves to “tabernacle” with the whosoever in the spirit and phraseology of John 1:14 (NIV): “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
As we face a harsh and broken world, our opportunity is to reach “more people” so together we become “more like Jesus,” exemplifying His redeeming love and advocating for the weak, vulnerable and disenfranchised and ushering them into the presence of Jesus so they can be encouraged by His grace and integrated into the family of God.
May we experience His anointing on our lives and may it be the beginning of a long-awaited spiritual revival across the territory that will result in true and lasting transformation for ALL in the name of Jesus and in the inclusion of “More People…More Like Jesus” in The Salvation Army family.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” I Corinthians 10:31-33 (NIV)