Sunday, September 4, 2011

Glory of the New Testament - Missions

Over the past few days we have been exploring the glory of the New Testament. Let me remind the reader of the main themes we have discovered so far: Incarnation, humiliation, Gospel, exaltation and Pentecost.  As the first five themes centered around the results flowing from the Person and work of God the Son, today's theme - Missions, is made possible by the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. 


The Strategy of Missions
The book of Acts provides information on several fronts when it comes to describing this theme of missions.  First, it details the missionary expansion of the early church as it spread of Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria and then unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).  In fact Acts itself can be divided along this missionary strategy - giving us a Divinely ordained plotline:

Acts 1-8 Jerusalem
Acts 9-12 Judea/Samria
Acts 13-28 Uttermost Parts of the Earth

When we flip that plotline on its side, we see the principle missionaries used by the Holy Spirit:

Acts 1-8 Peter
Acts 9-12 Peter, Paul and Others
Acts 13-28 Paul

The Person and work of the Spirit in Missions
The Book of Acts also reveals the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit Himself.  It shows how He convicted and called people to repentance and faith, as well as filled and lead the early church to walk out the Christian faith in life and witness.

The Missionary Background for the remainder of the New Testament
Acts also provides the historical and missionary background for the remaining New Testament epistles or letters written by the Apostles.  From Acts we discover for instance that Paul had four missionary journeys and imprisonments that was used by the Holy Spirit to prompt Him in the writing of His letters. 

Missions is found in every New Testament book
Undeniably the theme of missions is found in all 27 New Testament book: Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16; Lk 24; John 20; Acts 1:8; Romans 10; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5; Galatians 1; Ephesians 3; Philippians 2:15; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 4-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Timothy 3; Titus 2:11-15; Philemon; Hebrews 13; James 2; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Peter 1; Jude 1-3 and Revelation 4-5. 

May you and I dear reader be so moved by God's great heart for missions as we focus on the glory of the New Testament.

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