Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Eternal Basis for Missions

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

In last week's post, dated Tuesday September 24th, I wrote on the topic: "The Eternal Covenant of Redemption".  Today I would like to follow up on that post, demonstrating why it is extremely relevant to Christians today.

The Covenant of Redemption is the Biblical truth of God's eternally agreed upon plan of salvation.  In passages such as 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 13:20, we understand that the members of the Trinity entered into Covenant with another before time began, resulting in the following:

1). The Father planned redemption or salvation
2). The Son agreed to come and purchase salvation
3). The Spirit agreed to come and apply salvation to all whom He calls, convicts and believes

I would invite the reader to refer back to my previous post to gain more detail.  My aim today is to consider that the Covenant of Redemption is valuable to the Christian because it is the basis for missions.

The Covenant of Redemption is the basis for Missions
If we take God's eternal plan or covenant of redemption: (God the Father planned, The Son purchased and the Spirit applies) and consider passages that speak specifically about missions and sharing the Gospel, we immediately see the richness of salvation.

For instance, Jesus told Nicodemas in John 3:8 - “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Unless the Spirit comes, extending the gifting grace of faith and repentance, whereby sinners can believe, repent and be saved, salvation will not occur.  The Spirit comes to apply redemption.  Jesus teaches about this further in John 16:8  “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment."  The Bible reveals that the faith and repentance required to receive the benefits of forgiveness, reconcilation and justification must have the Spirit of God present.  Unless He is present and working in the sinner's heart,  faith and repentance won't occur.  The Spirit of God is the applier of redemption.

John 3:16 quoted above shows us the other elements of the Covenant of redemption.  The Father, the Planner of salvation, sent the Son, to purchase redemption, so that whosoever believes can be saved from the wrath to come.  The Spirit's work of conviction and the newbirth is implied from the context.  God is the great missionary.  He planned, purchased and pursues after sinners.  The Father planned to give a redeemed humanity to the Son who agreed to pay the purchase price.  The Spirit is out searching after and calling the whosoevers, bidding them to believe and repent and be saved.  Without ever negating human responsibility to believe on Jesus Christ, salvation is a work of God from beginning to end. 

The Spirit does all this through Christians who proclaim the scriptures.  Though it is the efforts of other Christians that goes and does the work, yet it is the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in Jesus' name, who brings about the results of the work.  It is God who ordains the means as well as the ends of salvation - hence why salvation is a work of God from beginning to end.  Missions is the first reason why we need to be more familiar with the Covenant of Redemption.  More tomorrow....

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