Sunday, March 11, 2007

first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles

There was a statement said in church this morning that provoked me to go back in previous studies and look up the biblical method of mission. I took the class entitled "Biblical Method of Mission" from Tatlock last spring, and the following is just a condensed version of notes on the theology of redemption. Small disclaimer: I am by no means a theological scholar or expert in Biblical studies. The purpose of this is to clear confusion in my own heart and provide opportunity for you to learn alongside me.

In this class I learned the method of chronological teaching of the gospel account from Genesis to Revelation. I briefly wrote about this in a previous post having to do with telling Ryan (4 years old) who Jesus was. Yea verily, I will be addressing the theology of redemption and chronological teaching hand-in-hand.

Creation & Fall: Genesis 1-3
God created everything (angels included) and delegated authority. Lucifer asserted his independence by saying "I will make myself like the Most High." Creation was attempting to be like the Creator. Other angels followed and an alternative kingdom came to order, resulting in competition for the glory of God.
see: Ezekiel 28:12-16; Jude 9; Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 4
When God created man, He allowed man the freedom of choice. This is because true fellowship involves moral choice, and true worship is granted to us because God gave man and woman this choice. Man and woman asserted their own independence. We are familiar with the fall of man--the choice to sin--the choice of seeking to be the ultimate authority. Satan is cursed and we see the first entrance into physical death.
see: 1 Timothy 2:13-14; Genesis 3:1-4; Romans 1:18-25

Reconcillation: Genesis 3
It is God Himself who alwasy initiates the redemption of man. This displays the missionary heart of God. God is a missionary God. He came to seek and save the lost. God initiates, extends, provides, and grants reconcilliation. Verse 15 is the reference to the promise for reconcilliation. The "seed" is the protoevangel, the first of the good news.
See: Luke 19:10; Luke 15, Ephesians 2:8-9

The Flood: Genesis 6-9
God is giving man a second choice to worship Him. There is a promise to not destroy man (totally) through natural disaster, and a future plan is now to redeem man (the time we are currently living in).

Ethnic Peoples: Genesis 10-11
Here we read about the emergence of different ethnic peoples. They are motivated to build the Tower of Babel to keep themselves together. God had instructed them to "go out" and "subdue the earth;" however, they chose to function in direct rebellion. Thus, he confused their languages. They were forced to separate, and we are now pursuing these nations. (Side note: the only time this was counter-acted is in Acts 2 at Pentecost.) After the confusion of the languages the people began to extend the work of the nation of Israel.

5 Covenants
1. Noaic Cov: Gen. 6:18-20 and 9:9-17
No more total destruction by flood, but there will be another dstruction.
2. Abrahamic Cov: Gen. 12:3; 15:18 and 17:3-7
Covenant not to destroy, but actively rescue mankind, to restore a right relationship with God.
3. Mosaic Cov: Deut. 5:1-21 and 29:10-13
Law given to the Israelites who are called His chilren.
4. Divinic Cov: 2 Sam. 7:12-17 and Psalm 132:1-4
The second aspect of the two-fold kingdom restoration plan (man's redemption as well as the redemption of God's kingdom).
5. New Cov: 1 Cor. 11:25-26 and Heb 8:8-13
His children are no longer under the Law, for grace now governs their relationship with Him. A mediator is no longer needed and they are allowed a personal relationship with Him.

Establishing Israel: Ezekiel 38:12
God placed them in the center of the land (earth) geographically (in the middle of valley and trade routes). They were to become lands of commerce, trade, conquest, etc. This allowed for several cross-cultural exchanges. Israel's role is to be the "nation of priests."

Examples of Gentiles in the OT:
- 2 of the 5 women mentioned in Christ's geneaology (Mt. 1) are Gentiles, Rahab and Ruth.
- Samson marries Delilah in 2 Sam. 13:5-14
- in Ruth 1:1 a Jewish woman and her 2 Moabite or Gentile daughters-in-law. Ruth chooses to identify herself with the Jews and worship their God. She chooses to be grafted into the Israelite race.
- The story of the Philistines in 2 Sam. 4:1--5:12 against the Israelites. The P's capture the Ark of the Covenant and add it to their collection of gods. First their main idol fell over prostrate to the Ark and then the idol fell and its head was broken off.
- Psalms 2, 22, 47, 50, 67, 72, 96 tell us that God is exalted above all else and that all the peoples praise Him, "Let the nations be glad."
- Solomon offered a prayer of dedication to the temple (1 Kings 8:22 and 2 Chron. 6), validating that the temple belonged to the Gentiles just as much as it belonged to the Jews.
- a pagan queen came to investigate the person of and faith of King Solomon, eventually coming to faith (1 Kings 1:10).
- Rahab in 2 Kings 17--she was a Gentile! The blessing of salvation is not only for the Jews.
- the beautiful story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18). Elijah demonstrated that Jehovah God is One, true God, and that there is only one God.
- Elisha is a Gentile military officer who represents God (2 Kings 5)
- Hosea is a picture God wanted to illustrate to Israel about their own idolatry. It illustrates that God will always be faithful to His covenant, and this is a reminder of God's covenant plan (the New Cov).

**The whole OT lives in a missionary atmosphere and is brought to life with the love of God of the whole earth for all His children:
Micah 4:1-4; Habakkuk 2:14; Haggai 2:7; Zechariah 2:10; Malachi 1:11

First to the Jews...
Romans 1:16, 2:10
Matthew 10:18-23

then to the Gentiles.
Luke 10:1-17
1. proclamation of gospel to be accompanied by works of compassion
2. leave the people who do not receive the message
3. the gospel is not limited to only the Jews
4. this number actually symbolized the number of the Gentile nations (72). Compare with Gen. 10 ("70 Gentile peoples")
Matthew 10:5-6
1. the need is urgent, time of opportunity short
2. preaching is to the Gentiles, too

Jesus' Earthly Ministry
Luke 2: Simeon had waited his whole life for this moment
Luke 4: Christ's first ministry speech. The chooses 2 OT examples to tell the crowd that the Gentiles will be saved, but his own hometown will reject him. He confronts the Jews on their pride, limited view of the Blessing, etc.
Luke 10:25: singles out the Samaritan to be the example (1/2 breed points to those who are despised)
Luke 11 (Matt. 8): Christ is telling the Jews that the Gentil has greatER faith and that we will be seeing Gentiles sitting in heaven with the Jewish patriarchs
Matt. 12:38- pointing to the Gentile revival
Mark 11:12-19- the actual location of the moneychangers was in the portion of the Temple called the Court of Gentiles. They were violating the cov.

These are only a few thoughts. I was just thrown off by the statement that redemption of the Gentiles, the "mystery," was a surprise to the Ephesians/New Cov believers. Clearly, it was not. I have more references on this if you would like the extended version.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I love you. Thanks for being so educational ;) I enjoyed this one Sorry I didnt update you on my blog.. by I linked yours... does that make up for it? you were even referenced in my first post!
AND thanks for the suprise call from the airport! I miss you lots... talk to you soon!