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ThinkTank: Total Church. Total Church = 1 Thessalonians 2:8 “We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God\'s Good News but our own lives, too .” …this is where we are going in tonight’s lesson. The Mission of Israel , a centripetal force.

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Total Church = 1 Thessalonians 2:8

“We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God\'s Good News but our own lives, too.”

…this is where we are going in tonight’s lesson.


The Mission of Israel, a centripetal force.

Centripetal- proceeding or acting in a direction toward acenter or axis


Centrifugal- proceeding or acting in a direction away from a center or axis


Israel’s Mission Statement:

Deuteronomy 4:5-8 NLT

5 "Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. 6 Obey them completely, and you will displayyour wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, \'How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!\' 7 For what great nation has a god as near to them as the LORD our God is near to us whenever we call on him? 8 And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?

israel god s community by living out the law were to be a light to the nations drawing them to god
Israel, God’s community, by living out the law were to be a light to the nations drawing them to God.

Consider these texts:

Isaiah 42:6 NLT

I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations.


Isaiah 51:4

4 "Listen to me, my people. Hear me, Israel, for my law will be proclaimed, and my justice will become a light to the nations.


Isaiah 49:6 NLT

6 He says, "You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

God promises to follow through with his plan for Israel to be a light to the nations by sending Jesus to continue the mission.

On a mountain before a watching world, Jesus makes known the word that will govern his community, just as Moses had done for Israel at Mount Sinai. Jesus describes the new community as salt and light.

Matthew 5:1-2 NLT

1. One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them.


What follows is the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:3-11 NLT

3 "God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 "God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.


Salt and Light:

Leviticus 2:13 NLT

13 Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God\'s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.

Matthew 5:13 NLT

13 "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.


Jesus is teaching that the nation of Israel is being trampled under foot by the Romans because they failed to remember God’s covenant. The Church itself is now to be the salt reminding the world of God’s covenant faithfulness.

God is fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant through Jesus in that Abraham is promised that through his seed all the nations will be blessed.

Matthew 1:1 TNIV

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 28:19-20 NLT

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


The mission for the Church, like Israel, does not cease to be centripetal. What has changed is the center. The center is no longer Jerusalem but the community itself.

Thus, for Israel the mission was centripetal, but for the church it is both centripetal and centrifugal.

(See Diagram on white board.)

How then is the Church to be a light to the nations continuing God’s plan originally given to Israel?
Remember Deuteronomy 4:6-8?

Israel was given 613 commands

The church is given 30 one another commands



1. Be at peace with each other (Mark 9:50)

2. Love one another (John 13:34)

3. Be joined to one another (Romans 12:5)

4. Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)

5. Honor one another (Romans 12:10)

6. Rejoice with one another (Romans 12:15)

7. Weep with one another (Romans 12:15)

8. Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16)

9. Accept one another (Romans 15:7)

10. Counsel one another (Romans 15:14)

11. Greet one another (Romans 16:16)

12. Agree with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10)

13. Wait for one another (1 Corinthians 11:33)

14. Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)

15. Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)

16. Carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)

17. Be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

18. Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)

19. Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)

20. Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)

21. Teach, admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)

22. Encourage one another (1Thessalonians 5:11)

23. Build up one another (1Thessalonians 5:11)

24. Spur one another on (Hebrews 10:24)

25. Offer hospitality to one another (1Peter 4:9)

26. Minister gifts to one another (1Peter 4:10)

27. Be humble toward one another (1Peter 5:5)

28. Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16)

29. Pray for one another (James 5:16)

30. Fellowship with one another (1John 1:7)


The Church living out these 30 one another statements forms the Gospel community of God which is to shine as a light to the community at large.


We often use the word fellowship but a better word is community.

“We got together and had good community.”


Living in community is not optional. Refusal to do so reflects that we are not Christians but are like Israel failing to fulfill God’s purpose.

1 John 1:7

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have community (Κοινωνία) with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

Κοινωνία- close association involving mutual interests and sharing, association, communion, fellowship, close relationship
gospel community in practice love is our apologetic
Gospel Community in Practice:

Love is our Apologetic


1 Thess. 2:8 NLT

We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God\'s Good News but our own lives, too.

John 13:34-35 NLT

34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

1 John 4:12 NLT

12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.


Our commitment to one another despite our differences and our grace toward one another’s failures are more eloquent testimony to the grace of God than any pretense at perfection.


So what do we conclude from these texts?

The Church is to go out into the world centrifugally in order to bring people back into our Gospel community centripetally in order to demonstrate the reality of God’s existence and grace.


What kind of environment would the Church create if we faithfully obeyed the 30 one another statements?

To borrow from Beale’s lesson on paradise, we would be creating a little piece of heaven breaking forth into our world.

Does Church feel like a place where you are deeply loved and where you love back?

If not, how can you help create this kind of environment?

The Three Strands of Evangelism:

Building Relationships

Sharing the Gospel

Introducing People to Community


We are to do ordinary things with Gospel Intentionality.

Whether it is helping a friend, working at the office, or going to the movies, there is a commitment to building relationships, modeling the Christian faith, and talking about the Gospel as a natural part of conversation.

If Church and Mission are redefined in relational terms, then work, leisure, and family time can all be viewed as Gospel activities.
Jesus gives the world the right to judge the sincerity of our profession on the basis of our love for each other (p. 68).

Social Involvement:

The poor need more than handouts, they want to participate in community. The best thing we can do is offer them a place of welcome and community (pp. 80-81).


Church Planting = Inviting People into our Gospel Community.

All too often home groups become inward-looking because they lack a missionary mandate.