We are continuing to think about the values that should shape God’s people that flow from God’s nature and mission. Yesterday we looked at God’s original intention for creation and humanity and what values that might engender for us. Today we are moving on and thinking about what theologians call the FALL … The reality that humanity rebelled against God and the impact of that sin entered into every sphere of our humanity and creation itself. Linked to this is REDEMPTION …. Faced by human rebellion and its effects God didn’t destroy or abandon the human race but chose to embark on a mission of redemption, reconciliation and restoration.
Human sin has catastrophic effects, humanity feels its destructive impact on every area of existence … PHYSICAL, we experience death and decay. INTELLECTUALLY, we can no longer rely on our reason as we have a tendency to prideful self centred rationality. SOCIALLY… Sin because of its self centred nature fractures relationships, between people, nations, races. SPIRITUALLY … Humanity’s previous dependent and intimate relationship with God is fractured and sin now becomes a barrier between us as sinful humans and our Holy God.
Sin is serious it impacts all of our existence
Image of God is seriously marred but not entirely destroyed
We can’t save ourselves, we have lost the capacity to turn to God of our own violation
Salvation must be holistic
We must rely on God in mission
In the face of the fall and all its consequences God doesn’t abandon his creation or destroy humanity. Instead he embarks on an audacious rescue mission of redemption, reconciliation and restoration, breaking the power of sin, healing our relationship with Himself, each other and creation and restoring his original intention for creation and humanity. God does this by creating a people, through Abram through whom all nations will be blessed. Abram’s family become Israel who are freed in act of grace and redemption are set free from Egypt to be God’s nation. They are called into a relationship with God to demonstrate the reality of God’s character and be his instrument of reaching the nations. Sadly Israel largely is unfaithful to its calling and the prophets foresee a time when God will keep his promise and enable and empower his people to embody and express his nature.
The Prophets look forward to a Messiah who will represent Israel and carry out God’s mission faithfully and so restore God’s people upon whom God will pour out his Spirit to enable them to fulfil their calling and experience his salvation. In the most surprising move in history God himself comes to be the Messiah through being the Suffering Servant. God’s mission of love is accomplished by incarnation, sacrifice and resurrection. Jesus embodies God’s mission perfectly reaching out to the least, the lonely and the left out. He commissions and creates a new expression of God’s people and empowers it by His Spirit to embody, express and extend the Kingdom of God, to be a foretaste of what God intends to do with humanity.
Salvation is wider than personal salvation
God’s people are part of the message not just the messenger
No biblical mission without biblical ethics
Mission includes enduring suffering, making sacrifice and experiencing God’s power and victory
We cannot carry out God’s mission authentically unless we are shaped and inspired by God’s Son mission and empowered by God’s Spirit
Missional …. No mission, no church.
Holiness …. We have to embody the mission before we can express the message
Grace … God always takes the initiative in salvation, he accepts us as we are, grace forgives without demanding payment. Grace should be a keynote in our presentation of the Gospel and the outstanding characteristic of our community and mission
Church There is no mission without the church, God’s people are part of the Gospel, salvation is a communal experience.
Holistic Mission Mission is much wider than simply individuals getting saved and having a place in heaven booked. Its about restoration and reconciliation in every sphere, justice, peace, creation care. No priority between evangelism and social action.
Discipleship Salvation means change, we are changed into the likeness of Christ. We should expect people to be disciples, apprentices of Jesus in learning how to live a Kingdom life.
Love …. sacrificial love is the foundation of all mission. The cross must be central to our mission, to the message we proclaim and the way we carry out our mission.
Incarnation …. God gets involved in our world, He gets his “hands dirty” He enters specific cultures at specific times and communicates in a way that makes sense, cultural relevance is part of biblical mission.
Dependence We need to rely on the Spirit in mission
SO ANY THOUGHTS OR ADDITIONS?