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Scripture as a Tool of Gods Mission Michael Goheen, Vancouver.

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Presentation on theme: "Scripture as a Tool of Gods Mission Michael Goheen, Vancouver."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scripture as a Tool of Gods Mission Michael Goheen, Vancouver

2 The Bible is the Word of God, the record and tool of his redeeming work. It is the Word of truth, breath of God, fully reliable in leading us to know God and to walk with Jesus Christ in new life. - Our World Belongs to God, 32

3 Scripture after Enlightenment Conveying true theological or ethical information Divine self-communication Record of Gods revelation Devotional manual

4 Tool of Gods Mission What role does Scripture play in the accomplishment of Gods mission to restore creation and human life? What role does Scripture play in shaping and forming a people to be a channel of blessing to nations? Does not just record Gods work but takes an active part to actualise and bring about Gods purpose.

5 Gods self-revelation is always to be understood within the category of Gods mission to the world, Gods saving sovereignty let loose through Jesus and the Spirit and aimed at the healing and renewal of the creation. - N.T. Wright

6 The apostolic writings... were not simply about the coming of Gods Kingdom into all the world; they were, and were designed to be, part of the means whereby that happened... - N.T. Wright

7 Basic Overview Old Testament Scriptures Work of Jesus Christ Apostolic proclamation New Testament Scriptures

8 The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wards to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture (N.T. Wright): Ch. 2-4

9 Old Testament Scriptures... a full account of the role of scripture within the life of Israel would appear as a function of Israels election by God for the sake of the world. Through scripture, God was equipping his people to serve his purposes. Equipping... is inadequate shorthand for the multiple tasks scripture accomplished. - N.T. Wright

10 Various Old Testament Tools Law ordered national, ethical, liturgical life Wisdom helped shape daily conduct in conformity to Gods creational order

11 Example: Ecclesiastes I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labour. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun (Eccl. 2.10-11).

12 Conclusion of the matter Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Eccl. 12.13-14).

13 Various Old Testament Tools Law ordered national, ethical, liturgical life Wisdom helped shape daily conduct in conformity to Gods creational order Prophets called them back to vocation with warning and promise Psalms brought all of Israels life into Gods presence in worship and prayer to nourish covenant faithfulness Historical books continued to tell the story of Israel at different points reminding Israel of and calling them to their missional place in the story.

14 Example: Chronicles Discouragement History retold for a new situation Material from Kings cut and new material added Goal: Encourage Israel to faithfulness

15 Structure of Chronicles Genealogies: Israel a link in Gods plan (1 Chr. 1-9) Picture of ideal Israel (1 Chr. 9 - 2 Chr. 10)

16 Picture of Ideal Israel All Israel united Around a faithful king Around temple

17 Purpose of Picture Encourage to present faithfulness Encourage to future hope

18 Structure of Chronicles Genealogies: Israel a link in Gods plan (1 Chr. 1-9) Picture of ideal Israel (1 Chr. 9 - 2 Chr. 10) Gods immediate faithfulness to covenant (2 Chr. 10-36)

19 Major Concerns of Chronicler Israel is part of Gods plan Israels future is tied to covenant- keeping king Temple: God is present with Israel Covenant relation continues: Gods immediate response Call for repentance/whole-hearted commitment

20 Scripture as Tool of Gods Mission Old Testament Scriptures as a tool of Gods mission Jesus fulfills the purpose of the Old Testament Scriptures

21 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in human flesh, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-4).

22 ... nor does his word dwell in you. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me and yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5.38-40)

23 Fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures The work which God had done through scripture in the Old Testament is done by Jesus in his public career, his death and resurrection, and his sending of the Spirit.... Jesus thus does, climactically and decisively, what scripture had in a sense been trying to do: bring Gods fresh Kingdom order to Gods people and thence to the world. - N.T. Wright

24 Scripture as Tool of Gods Mission Old Testament Scriptures as a tool of Gods mission Jesus fulfills the purpose of the Old Testament Scriptures Apostolic gospel as Gods transforming power

25 Apostolic gospel Apostolic teaching, gospel, word of God It was the story of Jesus (particularly his death and resurrection), told as the climax of the story of God and Israel and thus offering itself as both the true story of the world and the foundation and energizing force for the churchs mission (N.T. Wright).

26 Gospel... Calls into existence missional community Shapes them into a faithful and attractive community Is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1.16; 1 Cor.1.18, 2.4-5; 1 Thess. 1.5; cf. Matt. 13.1ff.) Is Christ coming to us clothed in the words of the gospel Is an instrument of Spirit to transform Gods people

27 Summary As it is proclaimed and taught, the apostolic gospel as Gods powerful word calls into existence a missional community, shapes that community to be a faithful people, and worked through them to draw others to faith.

28 Scripture as Tool of Gods Mission Old Testament Scriptures as a tool of Gods mission Jesus fulfills the purpose of the Old Testament Scriptures Apostolic gospel as Gods transforming power New Testament Scriptures: Literary expression of apostolic gospel

29 New Testament books carried the same power, the same authority in action, that had characterized the initial preaching of the word. (N.T. Wright)

30 New Testament authors... were conscious of their divine authority (1 Thess. 2.13) were empowered by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2.10) committed their preaching and teaching to written form wrote books to form, equip, and renew the church for mission in the world

31 Summary The New Testament authors believed themselves to be authorized teachers, who, by the guidance and power of the Spirit, wrote books and letters to sustain, energize, shape, judge, and renew the church.

32 Apostolic preaching in literary expression Apostolic preaching takes literary form Gospels: Tells story of Jesus contextualised for particular audience

33 Gospels Narrate good news of Jesus Different as bring good news to different audiences and situations Select, arrange, interpret, emphasize different events Matthews audience: Jewish Christians Q: Who are we?

34 Structure of Matthew 1:1-4:16: Jesus introduced as Messiah 4:17-9:35: Jesus ministry to Jews 9:36-16:12: Rejection of Jesus claims by Jews 16:13-23:39: Parting of Jesus with Jews 24:1-end: Death, Resurrection, Mission mandate to make known all embracing Lordship of Jesus

35 Five Teaching Sections in Matthew 5-7: How Kingdom citizens should live 10: How to engage in Kingdom mission 13: What the Kingdom is like 18: Life in the Kingdom - obedience, mercy, forgiveness 24, 25: History and coming of Kingdom

36 Matthew shaping community Church is eschatological Israel –Gathered by Jesus as lost sheep –Unbelieving Israel broken off Mission to make known all- embracing authority of Jesus Christ Instructed on how to live as new Israel

37 Apostolic preaching in literary expression Apostolic preaching takes literary form Gospels: Tells story of Jesus contextualised for particular audience Letters: Unfolds missional implications of gospel for churches

38 Imagery and Goal Scriptural books as tools in hands of sculptor Jesus coming to us clothed in the words of Scripture Instruments of Spirits power Goal: Shape Gods people to be a sign and preview of coming kingdom

39 My goal? Confidence in Scriptures as living and powerful Desire to handle various tools aright

40 Mean for us today? Time in Scriptures New attitude toward preaching (cf. Acts 2.42) Pursue growing skill in handling these tools (for self and others) Commitment to obedience as necessary starting point (John 7.17)

41 Caging the power of gospel The gospel is like a caged lion. It doesnt need to be defended, just released. (Martin Luther) Is gospel caged by misunderstanding of nature of Scriptural authority? Is the gospel caged by a mishandling of the Scriptures? Is the gospel caged by neglect?


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