Mission of GOD – 4

In my university years I spent a lot of time playing guitar with a bunch of folk at various Christian events. These were good times with occasionally great music and always great banter.

One of our more regular gigs was a PCI event called Route 66. The banter was good but I specifically recall learning quite simply huge things about the very basics of scriptural understanding.

One of the most memorable series was by Andrew Smith (formerly of Dun Laoghaire Presbyterian) on covenant. I still have the CDs. Cracking stuff.

The repeating motif of the phrase “I will be their GOD, and they will be my people”.

And this is where Chris Wright takes us now.

After a brief mention of the covenant with Noah (and skipping over the sometimes suggested covenant with Adam) he gets to the most well known covenant – that of GOD with Abraham in Gen 15.

The covenant was made with Abraham in order to fulfil the mission of GOD – that is “to bring blessing to the nations.”Again this brings up the point about Israel’s election being something done in the interest of the nations and not as GOD’s rejection of the nations.

The chapter traces the covenant promises in all their forms and developments, through Moses and the law and the horrible depressing inevitability of the coming failures declared in Deutoronomy; onwards through the time of the Kings and into exile with Ezekiel’s concern that perhaps the covenant is now no more.

The covenantal theme is the great story thata underlies all of Israel’s identity and is implicit throughout the NT texts and both Jesus and Paul’s words.

This is most clearly articulated at the last supper (the point of rememberance for Israel that GOD keeps his covenant) when Jesus declares that he is the new covenant.

It is traced all the way through Paul’s writings and into Revelation – the final declaration that the Mission of GOD is now – mission accomplished.

Mission then, as articulated in the Great Commission, is the reflex of the new covenant. Mission is an unavoidable imperative founded on the covenantal obedience to CHRIST among the nations. And it is sustained by the covenantal promise of the perduring presence of CHRIST among his followers.


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