Jesus says in Luke 17:3-4, “If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you, and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times you say ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”

Jesus is a friend of sinners. Anyone who has Jesus inside is a friend of sinners. So much so, people can tell it immediately.

When outsiders come in contact with Christians they should immediately feel accepted. They should feel like they belong. People must feel they belong before they will ever believe. They will believe for a long time before they ever behave in ways that Christians behave. It takes time for an immature Christian to grow up and act right.

So the approach is belong believe become behave. This is the relational approach.

Too many churches operate out of an institutional approach: believe behave belong. In other words, if you confess Jesus, then if you behave right, we’ll treat you like you belong. Even though that is practiced by many churches, it is not the way of Jesus.

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