Text in focus: 2 Cor. 5:14-21
Introduction: This article is intended to help the growing believer and individuals who wish to have clear understanding as to what is really happening around them, which they might have noticed on several occasions that they are not in control. It will pay off to understand that God is on mission and not us. We should then learn to understand how He works out His ultimate purpose for undertaking His mission which is to reach out to every peoples on earth.
- What is the true mission of God?
- How did God achieve this and still continuing in His mission in this present generation?
- What patterns repeat themselves throughout this mission of God? Where does the power for the mission come from?
- How do we become part of this mission mandate?
- Should we filter this mission mandate to only make it God’s mission towards us?
It is my hopeful prayer that after you have diligently studied this material you shall be able as a believer to comprehend and appreciate biblical texts explicitly in a new form. And also address mission issues biblically and act upon whatever is being discovered as biblical truth to God’s mission. Your faith and believe system is about to be challenged, as such be ready and willing to undertake personal studies of all you shall hear and read and ascertain the underlining truth in line with God’s word.
For many have gone out to deceive others and be deceived as well, but the truth will always set someone free. (Sponsor a missionary with us today)
The problem with our theology in modern times is not about, if God have saved humanity or accomplished His mission mandate for the salvation of humanity through Christ Jesus. This has evidently been attested to in the Scripture to have been accomplished. As such the message then is not about individuals having opportunity for salvation but they need to be told that they have been saved, so that they may enjoy the blessings that are already theirs. This is because whatever separate human from the benefits of God’s grace is subjective in nature; it exists only in human minds ( that implies we are the one limiting ourselves and eliminating ourselves from the blessings by our refusal to fully accept the given love and benefits).
The problem then is our inability to comprehend that God is on a mission to bless all creation plus humanity by restoring them back to His mandate for their creation. The climax of our predicament came with the scattering in Gen.10-11 after the confuse language theory because of all nations arrogance and disobedience to fulfill God’s mandate of dominating and fruitful filling of the earth by intentional desire to build a self unified system – the tower of Babel innovation. As such the shift from nations to individual began with Abraham. “through thee shall all people on earth be blessed Gen.12:3 (note that it does not depict “kinship –group” mispehot rather it points to “all nations” This is mentioned 5 times in God’s deals with Abraham. ( C.J.H. Wright, the mission of God’s people, p. 71.)
Reconciliation is not something that is to be it is a done deal – “accomplished fact.” (M. J Erickson)
The face of God’s Mission mandate:
- Restoration is a Universal mandate in Christ Jesus.
- “One act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
- “All died in Adam so all will be made alive in Christ.”
- “All things reconciled to Himself through Christ’s shed blood on the Cross.”
- “Christ tasted death for everyone.”
(Not one person is given up on by God, as such as believers we are to emulate Christ. We cannot give up on our world rather we should enter into God’s presence interceding for our world because God is in the business of restoring His creation.
Systematic theology suggest critical comparison of texts. As such a closer look would reveal there are biblical verses that points otherwise to the idea of every human must be saved. What lies beneath these verses would show that it is not God, refusing the salvation of all, rather it is human refusing the free offer for restoration by their refusal to believe in Christ Jesus and live through Him. For “the wicked will go away to eternal punishment but the righteous to eternal life.”
Clear records for this truth are contained in:
- John 3:17-18; “those that believe are not condemned neither did God send Christ to condemned the word but those that refuse to believe are already condemned.”
- John 5:28-29; “ A time is coming when all shall hear His voice those in grave that have done good will rise to life and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”
- “what if God is patiently waiting for a time to pour out His wrath – prepared for destruction.?
- Matt. 8:12; 25:41;26:24; Mk. 3:29; Rom. 2:5; 2 Thess.1:9; Rev. 21:8 and Heb. 6:4-6 all points to the consequence of rejecting the offer of salvation/restoration of humanity by God through Christ.
WHAT IS TRULY GOD’S MISSION MANDATE?: This seems to speak of 3 basic concepts
- The Universal atonement and not universal salvation of all: 1 Tim. 4:10; Heb 2:9 Speaking about the salvation of all and the tasting of death for all by Christ Jesus. There is a distinguished statues in Pauline theology of “those who believe” from the rest of humanity.
- The Benefits of God’s restoration mandate are for those who are in Christ Jesus: – Believers. This is true within the context of Roms. 5:17- Many to reign in life through the provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness through Christ Jesus. As a Matter of fact Paul uses the Greek word Polloi ( which implies many not all) 1Cor. 15:22 to be able to reign one is expected to take source from Christ. This is because only Christ Jesus is far above the adamic curse.
- God is on mission to bless again, the cursed with that which will definitely reserve the cruse aftermath of sin effect. Col. 1:13-23 within these verses Paul notes the following:
- 13-14 we have been rescued from curse that has darkened our world, into His Son’s kingdom. To be forgiven and redeemed means to be positioned for restoration.
- 15 “all creation”
- 16 “all things in heaven and on earth” which depicts the whole created universe.
- 17 Paul links Christ to the creation of God as being there before it was created
- 16 “Christ is the source of the creation of the universe.”
- 15 “ Christ is the apparent heir to all creation as the first born right belongs to Him.
- 17 Christ sustain creation in existence.
- 20 Christ have redeemed all creation at the Cross through His bloodshed. As such when God spoke of restoration of all things and order of the universe in Isaiah 65:17-25 He created in Gen.3:15 already a means of attaining His mission. Through the seed who happens to be Christ Jesus – “Immanuel the God with us”
Note: rather than assuming the position for redemption plan of God as to depict salvation of: Individuals,Israelie – Jews, Church, and human race. It should best be considered as:
Creation (created and sustained by God through Christ) a Church (the people of the new creation because they are in Christ). The Cross as the place of reconciliation of all things ( where it all took place) , You (as gentiles), you are called by grace to share in this privilege although you were not part of it from the beginning. You can be among the beneficiaries of God’s mission mandate through faith in Christ Jesus and His teaching. Gal. 3:13-14; Eph. 2:11-13
Haven stated all these, we then turn to introduce the next segment of this topic. The content of the restoration and where do you stand in this promises and its fulfillment.
A preview of the content of the restoration declared in Christ. Joel 2:21 – 29; 1 Peter 2:9 33; Deut. 28:1-14; Isaiah 60:1 -22; 62; 55; 54;
We should bear in mind that obedience is not the means of earning or deserving these blessings but needed for the continued enjoying of these blessings. 1 Kings 8:23, 41-43 Indicates the given promises and hope for restoration is not only to Israel but none Jews as well.
It is obvious that God is so lovely and determined to seek out His creation though rebellious, God is not ready to forsake His creation, or give up, rather God is determined to redeem and restore fallen creation to His original design for it. He is God who breaks through to human beings and creation, discloses Himself to them, and would not leave them unilluminated in their darkness, but takes the initiative in reestablishing broken relationship with us all. (Charles R. Taber, “Missiology and the Bible,” Missiology (1983), 229-45.)
God have actually shown his mercies and love through the provision of atonement for all humanity by extending His salvation to Gentiles as well; of which we are, but there is no place in the Bible where it could be concluded that refusing to accept Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour attracts grace of offered salvation. Rather it denotes that some definitely clearly rejects this salvation. Therefore restoration cannot be to all although it was meant for all. Roms; 10:14-15 encourages us to tell all about this given grace of restoration to all but to be able to tell one have to be restored to Christ. Are you willing to receive this grace today by making Christ your source? to be continued………..
Wright Christopher J. H., The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission (Biblical Theology for Life), Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010.
Charles R. Taber, “Missiology and the Bible,” Missiology (1983), 229-45.)