Biblical Worldview: Restoration. Living at the Crossroads Chapter 4. God’s Response to Sin.
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Living at the Crossroads
While justly angry, God did not turn away from a world bent on destruction but turned to face it in love. With patience and tender care the Lord set out on the long road of redemption to reclaim the lost as his people and the world as his kingdom (Our World Belongs to God, 18).
“The Bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of the whole of God’s creation.” (C. Wright)
Heaven must receive [Jesus] until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:21)
And he made known to us the mystery of his will . . . to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. (Eph. 1:9–10)
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Col. 1:19–20)
. . . the dynamic reassertion of God’s rightful kingly rule over the whole of his creation (J. Chaplin).
Jesus’ kingdom ministry launches an all-out attack on evil in all its manifestations. God’s reign arrives wherever Jesus overcomes the power of evil. Then, as it does now, evil took many forms: pain, sickness, death, demon-possession, personal sin and immorality, the loveless self-righteousness of those who claim to know God, the maintaining of special class privileges, the brokenness of human relationships. Jesus is, however, saying: If human distress takes many forms, the power of God does likewise (David Bosch).
Everything he said and did was directly related to the coming of the kingdom. He reversed all the consequences of evil in the world: disease, possession by inhuman spirits, guilt, ritualistic and empty religion, a caste system of purity and impurity, scarcity of food, a hostile nature, commercial exploitation and death (Andrew Kirk).
The Spirit thrusts God’s people into worldwide mission. He impels young and old, men and women, to go next door and far away into science and art, media and marketplace with the good news of God’s grace. . . .
The rule of Jesus Christ covers the whole world. To follow this Lord is to serve him everywhere, without fitting in, as light in the darkness, as salt in a spoiling world (Our World Belongs to God).
The meaning of this “overlap of the ages” in which we live, the time between the coming of Christ and his coming again, is that it is the time given for the witness of the apostolic Church to the ends of the earth. The end of all things, which has been revealed in Christ, is—so to say—held back until the witness has been borne to the whole world concerning the judgment and salvation revealed in Christ. The implication of a true eschatological perspective will be missionary obedience, and the eschatology which does not issue in such obedience is a false eschatology (Lesslie Newbigin).
‘There is no neutral ground in the universe every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan’ (C.S. Lewis).
‘There is no thumb-width of the entire domain of our human life of which the Christ, the Sovereign over everything, does not proclaim: “It is Mine!” ’ (Abraham Kuyper).
We know that our mission will not usher in God’s reign. Neither did Jesus’ mission. He inaugurated it but did not bring it to its consummation. Like him, we are called to erect signs of God’s ultimate reign—not more, but certainly not less either. . . . As we pray ‘your kingdom come!’ we also commit ourselves to initiate, here and now, approximations and anticipations of God’s reign (David Bosch).
If there is a committed people as the sign and agent and foretaste of what God intends, it can only be insofar as their life is continually renewed through contact with God himself.’ ‘All true vitality in the work of missions depends in the last analysis upon the secret springs of supernatural life which they know who give time to communion with God. All true witness . . . has its source in a life of adoration and intercession . . . (Newbigin).
Like branches of the vine, we receive the life-giving sap of Christ’s life “through a million tiny channels hidden behind the hard bark of the trunk and branches” (Newbigin).
Healthy child the Spirit
Deformed by disease
Process of healing
Struggle between disease and healing power
Deformed by human sin
Struggle between evil and God’s healing powerIllustration of child
Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in his wonderful face;
And the things of earth
take their rightful place
in the light of his glory and grace
The whole Bible leads us to expect a glorious renewal of life on earth, so that the age to come will be an endlessly thrilling adventure of living with God on the new earth. With his presence pervading every act, we shall be more fully human than we have ever been, liberated from sin, death, and all that hurts or harms (David Lawrence).
. . . it is precisely ordinary earthly existence that is redeemed (G.C. Berkouwer).