“I want to continually draw us back to a higher purpose; more than what we do, more than how we do it. The greater design that is at the very heart of the mission of God and is biblically the priority within the mission of God (and why we do what we do), is for the eternal worship of Jesus among the nations, among all the peoples of the earth. And the scope of that ‘why’ is beyond comprehension.
From the President: Why We Do What We Do
The ultimate expression and realization of the Kingdom of God is when the redemptive reign and rule of Jesus happens in the lives of people …when the Kingdom breaks in and the highest and most excellent of the created order—human beings—become committed followers of the King of the Kingdom. While there are certainly other essential manifestations of the Kingdom, this remains the ultimate biblical centerpiece of the mission of God.
A phrase that I like to use to describe this priority is that the Kingdom of God is never fully present unless people are becoming followers of the King.
When it’s all said and done, that’s what we are all about.
Word, Deed, Power: The 3 Dimensions of the Gospel
What are the ways the gospel of Jesus is expressed?
I believe there are three critical dimensions of the gospel, clearly seen in the totality of scripture, which are essential if the message we speak and the lives we live are to faithfully reflect our allegiance to Jesus. These three dimensions are like the legs of a three–legged stool; if one leg is missing, the integrity of the stool is inevitably compromised.
How the Kingdom of God Must Influence Our View of Reality
George Eldon Ladd was an outstanding biblical theologian of the latter half of the 20th century. In his landmark work, A Theology of the New Testament, he brilliantly articulated a comprehensive theology of the Kingdom of God.
Simply stated, the Kingdom of God in the Bible is the reign and rule of God over all, which includes both the natural and the supernatural realms. Jesus himself came proclaiming the “gospel of the Kingdom” and demonstrated in every aspect of his life and ministry the in-breaking of that Kingdom particularly as it relates to the universe in which we live. The primary message of Jesus was the Kingdom had come, he was King of the Kingdom, and that his rule had broken afresh and authoritatively into human history. It’s a message that is reaffirmed throughout the New Testament as Hebrews 6:5 describes those who “have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come.”
There have always been degrees of tension within the Christian movement when these two worlds, the natural and the supernatural, meet—particularly regarding the frequency and nature of the overlap. Much of that tension and disagreement is also rooted in one’s view of scripture and the nature of biblical revelation.
Common usage of the term “supernatural” means a manifestation or event attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
We live in a four-dimensional universe commonly referred to as the “natural” realm where the laws of nature and science are known and observable. However, the supernatural involves other dimensions beyond those four. Increasingly, science points to those realities whereby there could be multiple dimensions beyond the four in our universe.
Patty and I received an email from a young professional couple—a doctor and his wife—who were disturbed. Agitated. They said they had an increasing number of friends their age who were walking away from God and deserting their faith. This couple wanted to know if my wife and I were seeing the same trend among our friends and if their experience was unusual.
Pioneers and Settlers: Understanding Sodalic and Modalic Expressions of Church
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ….If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
1 Corinthians 12:12, 17-18
In the family of God, we don’t all have the same job. Does that statement surprise you at all? Yes, we’re all called to be on a mission of following Jesus and making him known in the world, but we all have different parts to play. In his wisdom, God made us different. In this system, we must depend on each other to fulfill our purpose as the Body of Christ.
Beyond the Local Church Is a Finalist!
Sam Metcalf's book Beyond the Local Church has been selected as a finalist for the InterVaristy Press 2016 Readers' Choice Awards! This means it's one of 30 books in the final voting stage to receive the award.
Would you cast your vote for Beyond the Local Church?