Presentation on theme: "Scripture as a Tool of God’s Mission"— Presentation transcript:
1 Scripture as a Tool of God’s 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 reliablein leading us to know Godand to walk with JesusChrist in new life.- Our World Belongs to God, 32
3 Scripture after Enlightenment Conveying true theological or ethical informationDivine self-communicationRecord of God’s revelationDevotional manual
4 Tool of God’s MissionWhat role does Scripture play in the accomplishment of God’s 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 God’s work but takes an active part to actualise and bring about God’s purpose.
5 God’s “self-revelation is always to be understood within the category of God’s mission to the world, God’s 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 “The apostolic writings were not simply about the coming of God’s 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 proclamationNew 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 Israel’s 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 lifeWisdom helped shape daily conduct in conformity to God’s 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 ).
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 ).
13 Various Old Testament ‘Tools’ Law ordered national, ethical, liturgical lifeWisdom helped shape daily conduct in conformity to God’s creational orderProphets called them back to vocation with warning and promisePsalms brought all of Israel’s life into God’s presence in worship and prayer to nourish covenant faithfulnessHistorical 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 addedGoal: Encourage Israel to faithfulness
15 Structure of Chronicles Genealogies: Israel a link in God’s plan (1 Chr. 1-9)Picture of ideal Israel (1 Chr Chr. 10)
16 Picture of Ideal Israel All Israel unitedAround a faithful kingAround temple
17 Purpose of Picture Encourage to present faithfulness Encourage to future hope
18 Structure of Chronicles Genealogies: Israel a link in God’s plan (1 Chr. 1-9)Picture of ideal Israel (1 Chr Chr. 10)God’s immediate faithfulness to covenant (2 Chr )
19 Major Concerns of Chronicler Israel is part of God’s planIsrael’s future is tied to covenant- keeping kingTemple: God is present with IsraelCovenant relation continues: God’s immediate responseCall for repentance/whole-hearted commitment
20 Scripture as Tool of God’s Mission Old Testament Scriptures as a tool of God’s missionJesus 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 . . . 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 )
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 God’s fresh Kingdom order to God’s people and thence to the world.”- N.T. Wright
24 Scripture as Tool of God’s Mission Old Testament Scriptures as a tool of God’s missionJesus fulfills the purpose of the Old Testament ScripturesApostolic gospel as God’s 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 church’s mission” (N.T. Wright).
26 Gospel . . . Calls into existence missional community Shapes them into a faithful and attractive communityIs 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 gospelIs an instrument of Spirit to transform God’s people
27 Summary“As it is proclaimed and taught, the apostolic gospel as God’s 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 God’s Mission Old Testament Scriptures as a tool of God’s missionJesus fulfills the purpose of the Old Testament ScripturesApostolic gospel as God’s transforming powerNew 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 formwrote 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 formGospels: Tells story of Jesus contextualised for particular audience
33 Gospels Narrate good news of Jesus Different as bring good news to different audiences and situationsSelect, arrange, interpret, emphasize different eventsMatthew’s audience: Jewish ChristiansQ: Who are we?
34 Structure of Matthew 1:1-4:16: Jesus introduced as Messiah 4:17-9:35: Jesus’ ministry to Jews9:36-16:12: Rejection of Jesus’ claims by Jews16:13-23:39: Parting of Jesus with Jews24:1-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 live10: How to engage in Kingdom mission13: What the Kingdom is like18: Life in the Kingdom - obedience, mercy, forgiveness24, 25: History and coming of Kingdom
36 Matthew shaping community Church is eschatological IsraelGathered by Jesus as lost sheepUnbelieving Israel broken offMission to make known all-embracing authority of Jesus ChristInstructed on how to live as new Israel
37 Apostolic preaching in literary expression Apostolic preaching takes literary formGospels: Tells story of Jesus contextualised for particular audienceLetters: 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 ScriptureInstruments of Spirit’s powerGoal: Shape God’s 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 doesn’t 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?