Words of Grace – World Christians

Words of Grace – World Christians

This Sunday at Grace, we will consider the Apostle Paul’s statement that he “became all things to all people…for the sake of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

This is what D.A. Carson calls becoming a world Christian. Carson describes a world Christian as someone for whom the following things are true:

Their allegiance to Jesus Christ and his kingdom is above all national, cultural, linguistic, and racial allegiances. Their commitment to the church is to the church everywhere and not only to the church on home turf. They see themselves first and foremost as citizens of the heavenly kingdom. As a result, they are single-minded and sacrificial when it comes to the paramount mandate to evangelize and make disciples (1).

World Christians are concerned with the spread of the gospel and the growth of the church around the world. And, we can be world Christians without leaving Nashville, because the world has come to us.

A people group is a group of people with cultural and linguistic commonalities that make communication and community possible among them without significant barriers. There are 11,503 people groups in the world (2). Seventy of these live in Nashville (3).

For the purposes of evangelism and church planting, we call a people group “unreached” when it has no witness of the gospel or church in its own language and culture. There are thirty unreached people groups in Nashville.

In evangelism and church planting, we focus on people groups. Doing so helps people to encounter the gospel without significant barriers to their understanding and acceptance. It also facilitates churches being planted among them.

What does all this mean for Grace Community Church? We can be world Christians by continuing to support and send people around the world. We can also be world Christians by living right here in our city for the purpose of engaging unreached peoples with the gospel. We can become all things to all people in Nashville by crossing cultural divides and shaping our lives accordingly. By doing so, the gospel can be heard and embraced and the church can be planted among them.

Church, this is our task. This is what we will see in 1 Corinthians on Sunday. This is what I ask you to pray about this weekend.

– Scott

(1) D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry, Baker Books, 1993, p. 117.
(2) public.imb.org
(3) Nashville Baptist Association. The Peoples of Nashville: Exploring the Religions and Cultures of the People Groups of Nashville.