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How Jesus did it vs. How we do it

Everywhere He went, Jesus shifted the spiritual atmosphere. You can too.

In the Old Testament, under the Law, when anyone touched ANYTHING that was unclean, they became unclean themselves. This was true of people, places, and even things. Uncleanness was contagious.

However, under grace, the flow changed.

Under the covenant of grace, the shift moves in a new direction— it’s “cleanness” that’s now contagious! 


Notice the conversion stories in the ministry of Jesus. His encounters seem radically different than what we’ve come to expect.

Our typical conversion pattern follows something like this sequence (the numbers are backwards— you’ll see why in a moment):

#4 = Believe = we want people to first confess to intellectual / doctrinal truths we feel are important.

#3 = Become = when they pray the “sinner’s prayer” (which, consequently, doesn’t actually appear in Scripture), we pronounce they are transformed— that all things have been made new (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

#2 = Behave = we encourage— and expect— them to act in a certain way. Generally, this includes a list of moral obligations that we’ve put together. And, we may shun them if they don’t meet our standards.

#1 = Belong = we, in time, accept them as one of us.

That #2 part is important to us— because we want to make sure they’re truly changed. We don’t want to be tainted. They need to be totally transformed.


The “Jesus Model” works in the exact opposite manner. Notice how the steps work in the opposite direction…

#1 = Belong = Jesus embraced people first, accepting them wherever they were on their journey. Or, to use language from a few pages ago, He met them wherever they were…

# 2 = Become = At this point, they became something different, their behaviors began changing, and they start aligning with the Kingdom.

#3 = Behave = Many made radical changes, even quickly.

#1 = Believe = The entire process was so organic that, many times, it’s difficult to tell when they crossed the line from doubt to belief.

What does this mean for us today?

Well, it means that we can emphatically live IN the world, but not be OF it…

… and, we can carry the presence and power of the Gospel of grace everywhere we go.




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