Mission of GOD – 5

the common opinion that the Bible is a moral code book for Christians falls far short, of course, of the full reality of what the Bible is and does

The Bible is essentially the story of GOD, the earth, and humanity; it is the story of what has gone wrong, what GOD has done to put it right, and what the future holds under the sovereign plan of GOD.

Wright spends a large portion of this chapter addressing the first part of the quote – yes of course the Bible has ethical implications for us, just because it is not it’s sole purpose does not mean that the ethical demands are irrelevant.

There is a big focus on Gen 18:18-19, Wright’s own translation quoted here:

Abraham will indeed become a great and mighty nation, and all nations on earth will find blessing through him. For i have known (chosen) him for the purpose that he will teach his sons and his household after him so they will keep the way of YHWH by doing righteousness and justice, for the purpose that YHWH will bring about for Abraham what he has promised to him.

In this verse Wright finds election, ethics and mission tied together in theological sequence.

And in doing so I find one of the really useful things that this book has reinforced. That the process of GOD’s mission through us did not begin in the great commission at the end of Matthew but that it was always there, right from the beginning. GOD’s plan and mission never changed, it was fulfilled.

The chapter covers a lot more biblical ground in relation to the ethical mandate and commands GOD has given us – with particulat focus on their purpose. That is to declare the character of GOD, for the benefit of the nations.

Again, even through what we see as obscure ritualistic commands we see GOD laying out his purpose of using Israel as a light to the nations (ring any New Testament bells?) for the benefit of the nations. Again and again we see GOD’s mission as being universalistic – GOD’s mission has always been to include the pagan nations.

As usual all the OT background overflows into the writings of the NT with Paul and the apostles, sometimes quoting, often alluding and always referring to how the OT scriptures were understood in their context.

Wright summarises three points about the the ethical life of the people of GOD to close the chapter:

– a people who are a light to the world by their good lives
– a people who are learning obedience and teaching it to the nations
– a people who love one another in order to show who they belong to.

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