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The Mission of God Part One


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This is a College Level Class that I taught this past August over three Wednesday Evenings at our Granite Bay Campus.

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The Mission of God Part One

  1. 1. The Mission of God:Understanding the Kingdom of God fromThe Old Testament to the New Testament 400 Level Course Al Soto Page 1
  2. 2. Some Facts About Al Soto • Married to his lovely wife Valerie for 30 years in which he acknowledges he married way above his pay-grade. • Has five son’s: David (23), Matthew (22), Michael (20), Jonathan (18), and Aaron (16). • Two Dogs: Millie a Blue Nose Pit Bull who is afraid of her shadow and thinks she is a lap dog. Cassie a demonic Terrier /Mix who the Soto family wants Monster -Quest to come and verify if she is the elchupacabra. • Planted a church in 1987 and Pastored in San Jose, CA for twenty years. The church planted four other congregations. • District Supervisor for five years acting as an overseer in the South Bay Area for the Foursquare Denomination. • Was a Church Planting Leadership Coach and Trainer for ten years. • Owned an Consulting Company that assisted organizations in creating efficiency in their management systems. • Has coached football for 25 years and is a certified trainer with the CIF. • Enjoys Old School Motown and R&B. • Deeply grateful for 28 years of sobriety in Jesus Christ. • Life Quote: “Real Success is Helping Other’s to Succeed!” Page 2
  3. 3. Class Description:• This class examines in a survey methodology the “Mission of God” from, biblical, theological and historical perspectives. This interdisciplinary study, integrating biblical theology and practice, is designed to move each student toward a holistic understanding of mission in relation to the transformation of individuals, cultures and communities. There will be emphasis and focus on the profile and overall influence of selected biblical characters (great figures of the Old and New Testament). Throughout the class there will be application of the meaning of the Kingdom of God as it relates to spiritual formation of each believer as an empowered citizen of the kingdom of God as well as the relationship of the Church as an agency of the Kingdom of God as a force of Unleashing Compassion both locally and globally. Page 3
  4. 4. Course Objectives• This class provides an excellent opportunity to examine the role of the Bible in formulating a dynamic theological reflection on the Mission of God being developed through the progressive revelation of Scripture (From the Old Testament to the New Testament) and it’s formation of the Church and its Mission within contemporary cultural contexts. In light of this aim, the course objectives are as follows:• • Explore themes of mission within the biblical text;• • Discern the influential cultural forces shaping the world in which• the ministry toward the future;• • Apply biblical concepts to mission practice in specific global• contexts;• • Define mission dei in view of various theoretical perspectives• and explain why it is a contested concept Page 4
  5. 5. Continuation Course Objectives• From the progressive revelation of Scripture develop the understanding of the Kingdom of God from the Hebrew mindset into the New Testament concept of the Kingdom being both a present reality and an eschatological event.• Begin to understand how a Trinitarian Perspective of God becomes the perfect system for developing a balanced mission for the local church.• To present the development of God being one who is the ultimate champion for such matters as social justice.• Discuss the relationship between the Church and the Kingdom of God in light of classic and recent literature with some discussion on the danger of the emergent church’s perspective of reframing the historical Jesus.• Ultimately, for the student to appreciate and bend a knee to authority and veracity of the Scripture being the Word of God! Page 5
  6. 6. Recommended Reading Page 6
  7. 7. Abstract John Brights Book• John Bright’s book arises out of a concern to find a unity between the Old Testament and the New Testament (p. 10) which will save the Bible, especially the Old Testament, from disuse and misuse (p. 9). The aim of his book is to show that such a unity exists. As the title of Bright’s book shows, he believes “that the biblical doctrine of the Kingdom of God … is the unifying theme of the Bible” (p. 244). “The Bible is one book. Had we to give that book a title we might with justice call it The Book of the Coming Kingdom of God. That is indeed its central theme everywhere” (p. 197). “The two Testaments are organically linked to each other. The relationship between them is neither one of upward development nor of contrast; it is one of beginning and completion, of hope and fulfillment. And the bond that binds them together is the dynamic concept of the rule of God” (p. 196ff). Page 7
  8. 8. Howard Snyder’s Premises• The entire premise of the book centers around the question, “does the Church bring the Kingdom?” and if so, how so?• “The church is seen as the community of God’s people — a people called to serve God and called to live together in true Christian community as a witness to the character and virtues of God’s reign (13). “ Page 8
  9. 9. Community of the King Howard Snyder• Must Read! Page 9
  10. 10. Continuation of Premises• Howard Snyder sees the church as the primary agent of God’s mission on the earth. The mission (purpose) of God is to bring “all things and, supremely, all people under the dominion and headship of Jesus Christ” (13). Therefore, the Church, that is, the people of God, is the agent, or the means by which God’s mission is accomplished in this world. Page 10
  11. 11. PresuppositionsPresupposition #1: We begin with a veryhigh view of Scripture.Verbal-Plenary InspirationVerbal Means Every WordVerbal means that every word of Scripture is God-given. The idea is thatevery single word in the Bible is there because God wanted it there.Plenary Means Fully AuthoritativePlenary means that all parts of the Bible are equally authoritative. Thisincludes such things as the genealogies of the Old Testament. All partsof the Bible are of divine origin. Page 11
  12. 12. (Romans 15:4)• Paul wrote.• “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Page 12
  13. 13. What does Inspiration Mean?• Inspiration Means God Guided The Process• The idea behind the word inspiration is that God supernaturally guided the biblical authors to write the exact things that He wanted expressed. The result is Holy Scripture. Page 13
  14. 14. Premise #2• All of us are theologians and must approach this topic theologically.• “Thinking Theologically is thinking about God.” Page 14
  15. 15. Two Areas To Think Theologically• Natural Attributes: Omnipotence Omnipresence• Moral Attributes: All Loving > All Forgiving Page 15
  16. 16. Systematic Theology• In systematic theology one attempts to summarize biblical doctrine, addressing theological topics one by one in order to summarize all biblical teaching on a particular subject. Page 16
  17. 17. Areas of Systematic Theology• Prolegomena: Introduction• Ecclesiology – the study of the Church• Eschatology – the study of last things• Soteriology – the Study of Salvation• Anthropology – the study of humanity. Page 17
  18. 18. Our Approach for this Class is Biblical Theology• “That discipline which sets forth the message of the books of the Bible in their historical setting.”• Donald Hagnar Page 18
  19. 19. Progressive Revelation• Progressive revelation may be defined as the process of Gods own disclosure of Himself and His plan given to man throughout history by means of nature (Rom. 1:18-21; Ps. 19), providential dealings (Rom. 8:28), preservation of the universe (Col. 1:17), miracles (John 2:11), direct communication (Acts 22:17-21), Christ Himself (John 1:14) and through the Bible (1 John 5:39). Page 19
  20. 20. The Progressive Revelation Principle• The Word of God is to be understood from the Old Testament to the New Testament as a flower unfolding its pedals to the morning sun. God initiated revelation, but He did not reveal His truths all at one time. It was a long and progressive process. Therefore, we must take into account the then-current state of revelation to properly understand a particular passage. For example, an interpretation of a passage in Genesis which assumed a fully delineated view of the "new Covenant" would not be sound. As the saying goes, "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed." Page 20
  21. 21. Premise #3• God chooses to reveal Himself and it is our method of Hermeneutic (Interpretation) that defines where we land. Page 21
  22. 22. Protestant Two Pillar• The Word• The Holy Spirit Illuminates• Grammatical/Historical Exegesis Page 22
  23. 23. Three Pillar Approach• The Word• The Spirit• Creeds and Church Fathers• Approach Allegorical• Three Pillars of Inspiration Page 23
  24. 24. Theological Considerations of our Interpretative Praxis• All Truth’s must be held in tension in order to avoid extremes.• God has a redemptive plan that will be consummated in History.• We must always take a humble posture as finite humanity in regards to the interpretation of an infinite God’s redemptive plan. (Our Response – Worship – Infinite Reality – Mystery) Page 24
  25. 25. The Tension between Theological and Philosophical Realities Page 25
  26. 26. Setting the stage for Imago Dei• He states that for our salvation it is necessary to have knowledge revealed by God, in addition to ordinary knowledge built upon human reason. Even though man is naturally directed to God, he needs revelation because God is beyond the grasp of reason. Although some truths about God can be discovered by reason alone, even here revelation serves a useful purpose. Only a few people have the time or skill to reach knowledge of God by reason. It would take them a very long time, and their conclusions might be mixed with human errors. Hence, sacred doctrine derives its principles not from any human knowledge but from divine truth. Since theology is based upon revelation, whatever is found in other sciences contrary to the truth of this sacred science must be condemned as false. (Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica) Page 26
  27. 27. Genesis First Look at God is Trinity Genesis 1:26-27“Then God said, “Let Us make man inOur image, according to Our likeness;and let them rule over the fish of the seaand over the birds of the sky and overthe cattle and over all the earth, and overevery creeping thing that creeps on theearth.” God created man in His ownimage, in the image of God He createdhim; male and female He created them.” Page 27
  28. 28. Moses Uses a Key Word• Elohim – Only used in the Hebrew Language. (Masculine Plural Ending) Does not translate to mean many God’s• Hebrew language is used to define function not essence. This rendering allows for a Plurality in the Godhead. Denoting that God is Creator and the First Perfect System for all effects.• H Page 28
  29. 29. PerochoresisThe Circle Dance Page 29
  30. 30. The Main Point of the “Image of God” language“The Image of God language in scriptureis not about some ability or trait we sharewith God, its about the mission He hasgiven us.”(Ray Ortberg) Page 30
  31. 31. Imago Dei: Justice Cannot be Separated from the Gospel“Surely I will require your lifeblood; fromevery beast I will require it. And fromevery man, from every man’s brother Iwill require the life of man.Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man hisblood shall be shed,For in the image of God He made man.”(Gen. 9:5-6, NASB) Page 31
  32. 32. N.T. Wright‘So God has placed his own image,human beings, into his world so that theworld can see who its ruler is. Page 32
  33. 33. Our Destiny• Your job, your destiny, is to reflect the holy reign of God down on to the earth-to care for all of creation and particularly human beings the way God would want you to;• The Bibles language for this is: you will be a king; you will be a priest. And this is not a solo act. We are to do this in community. To be a KINGDOM of PRIESTS. Page 33
  34. 34. What Imago Dei is NOT• Man as created beings is at the same deified status as God. (Some refer little god’s – This is Heresy)• Cannot ever redact God as Creator to be at the same status as creation.• Cannot Ignore the fallen state of man and create a false “Perfection.” Page 34
  35. 35. Genesis 3:15, NASB Protoevangelium- The First Gospel“And I will put enmityBetween you and the woman,And between your seed and her seed;He shall bruise you on the head,And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Page 35
  36. 36. Implications to Leadership• If I am to lead in a way that honors the Imago Dei in each person, I must value the formation of their character above the usefulness of their gifts.• I must value the integrity of our community as well as its visible fruitfulness. Page 36
  37. 37. Continuation of Implications to our Personal Leadership• I must fear the rise of sin more than I do the loss of productivity.• I live a life of Honor. (God – Myself – Others) Living this way breaks a victim Mindset.* I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Page 37
  38. 38. As a Citizen of the Kingdom Worship is a Lifestyle- Rev. 22:3-5 NASB“There will no longer be any curse; and thethrone of God and of the Lamb will be in it, andHis bond-servants will serve Him; they will seeHis face, and His name will be on theirforeheads. And there will no longer be anynight; and they will not have need of the lightof a lamp nor the light of the sun, because theLord God will illumine them; and they will reignforever and ever.” Page 38
  39. 39. The Kingdom of God is the Unifying Theme of the Bible“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom ofGod is at hand; repent, and believe thegospel.” (Mk. 1:14-15)•Jesus used the term as if assured itwould be understood. The Kingdom ofGod was embedded in the vocabulary ofevery Jew. Page 39
  40. 40. Old Testament and New Testament View“The Kingdom of God involves the wholenotion of the rule of God over his people,and particularly the vindication of thatrule and people in glory at the end ofhistory.”John Bright Page 40
  41. 41. Comparison of Four Systems• Dispensationalism• Covenant Theology• New Covenant• Epochal - Lasor Page 41
  42. 42. Page 42
  43. 43. Page 43