Theology 101

The Big Idea Behind the Kingdom of God

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The big idea behind this series on the kingdom of God is that God’s mission to redeem the world is the main story-line of the Bible. This message is well put in theologian Chris Wright’s intriguing book, The Mission of God, which calls this idea “a major key that unlocks the whole grand narrative of the canon of Scripture.”

Wright speaks of God’s mission in terms of God’s long-term purpose or goal to restore people from all nations and the whole creation:

[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.

This is what we mean when we talk about our work for the kingdom of God. God’s purpose and intention is to restore all nations, all peoples, all cultures, indeed all of creation from the sinful rebellion of humanity and its effects. Our work is to participate with God, helping to achieve his purpose.

The mission of God’s people is our participation in God’s mission. This is what we have been talking about in this discussion regarding the kingdom. To summarize,

Post 1 – Understanding our place in God’s kingdom is critical to understanding our vocational calling.

Post 2 – The coming of the kingdom is the central event of redemptive history, indeed, all history.

Post 3 – The coming of the kingdom is in two parts; the first is a fulfillment within history of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection and the second is the consummation of the kingdom at the end of history with the second coming of Christ.

Post 4 – We live in a very unusual time in redemptive history, a time when the kingdom of God is “already but not yet.”

Post 5 – The kingdom of God is the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ, the purpose of which is the redemption of his people from sin and from demonic powers, and the final establishment of the new heavens and the new earth.

Post 6 – God is building the kingdom, not us.

Post 7 – As Christians we should see all of our work, from the most significant thing we do to the most mundane, as Kingdom work.

Post 8 – Only through Christ are we given the authority to fulfill the cultural mandate and therefore work in the kingdom.

Wright goes on to say,

Fundamentally, our mission (if it is Biblically informed and validated) means our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission, within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation.

If we don’t understand our call to work in God’s kingdom, especially in our vocational calling, we will struggle in understanding the biblical doctrine regarding work.

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