I’m Not Mission Minded
If we are going to be missional, we need a biblical missional perspective.
One of the views of scripture that has done great damage over the years is this idea that God’s work in the Old Testament was sort of a plan A but that didn’t work out so great so along came the New Covenant and that was plan B – and that worked! The effects have been subtle but permeating. This view of scripture is simply not biblical. God has never had a plan B when it comes to His work of redemption. Our God is a completely sovereign God who has always know all things from all eternity. Sounds redundant, but it makes the point. We know from a further study of scripture that Christ was slain before the foundations of the world [1Peter 1]. Since before the creation of the world, God’s plan of redemption in Jesus Christ was in motion – it has been His eternal purpose before time began. There has never been a time when this story was not in motion. That is why it is eternal.
To understand a little more of God’s eternal purpose and mission, we have to go all the way back and understand the promise of God to the father of faith, Abraham. Even before the institution of all Levitical laws, God made a promise – a covenant – to Abraham that included His chosen people from all nations. He told Abraham: “in you all the families [nations] of the earth shall be blessed.” Through Israel – the descendants of Abraham – God would bring His Son who would be the savior of the world. Even Abraham believed and it was “counted to him as righteousness” [Romans 4]. Abraham looked to that which would come as we look to that which has already come. So, salvation has always been appropriated “by faith”. The covenant made with Abraham was further realized in His descendants Israel [God’s chosen people]. The law of God and the sacrificial system was instituted and was a picture that pointed to Christ who would fulfill all that was in the law – a law that we could never keep. Do you see the story that is unfolding?
How about we step back a bit further and look at the first couple in scripture. Yes, I mean Adam and Eve. The story was being told then. If you have spent much time in Sunday School, you know the story of Adam and Eve’s fall. However, think about the part of the story where there was the first death. No, I am not thinking of Cain killing Abel. I am recalling the animal that died so Adam and Eve might cover their nakedness and shame. Blood was spilt for the first time in an attempt to cover that shame. We know that an animal cannot atone for the sins of a people, but the picture of sacrifice and redemption was instituted for all to see in future generations. And then we see the first prophetic picture of the Gospel to Eve: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” [Genesis 3]. This struggle would continue until the coming of Jesus the Messiah; a story of deliverance and redemption that has been unfolding for all eternity.
So you see, we are a part of the grand story that God has been telling since before time began. We have been given the call and responsibility as God’s chosen people to continue telling that story – to proclaim the glorious realities of Jesus Christ! The incomparable promised Messiah has come. The mystery of Jesus Christ has been completely revealed. And we are commanded to GO, proclaim this grand story of redemption, and make disciples of all nations. For the believer, the call is clear. The commission is before us. Let’s GO!
But at last, why?
We have alluded to Ephesians 3 already, but there is one last all important aspect that we cannot afford to miss:
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The reason we proclaim this story of redemption is solely for the purpose of making much of the glorious person of Jesus Christ. It’s not about making people’s life better, we want to – by the working of God’s almighty Spirit – produce worshipers of the matchless Christ. We want to exalt Christ in the minds and hearts of people everywhere! So, whether it is in the hearts of individuals or in the sheer proclamation of Christ, the driving force behind mission is the glory of God. This alone is the reason why we GO! If this is not your focus; if this is not your drive and motivation for telling this story of redemption, then why do you speak of His great name?