How do we respond to the news that God unites us as his family?
The gospel is the good news that God has restored peace to all the peoples of the earth through his anointed ruler (Ephesians 2). So what’s our response to this good news?
What people often do with the gospel today doesn’t match the response in Ephesians 3.
- Evangelicals try to convince individuals they’re sinners and get them saved.
- Justice warriors name and shame the regimes for their sins (systemic oppression).
But Paul doesn’t stand up to condemn individuals or regimes: Continue reading “God and the human family (Ephesians 3:14-19)”
What does this mean to you?
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good (Romans 12:9 NIV).
It says I must resist the temptations that suck me in, so I don’t fall into sin, right? That’s what most of us hear, but that’s not what Paul said at all. It’s actually about loving people, not individual struggle.
Continue reading “Genuine love”
Working with the people who want the best for their community — that’s how Jesus’ kingdom vision works.
Open Matthew 10:9-15.
How did Jesus expect to run a kingdom? They’re expensive! Government in Australia costs us $450 billion dollars a year — $50 for every man, woman, and child, every day.
It’s always been like that. When Israel first asked for a king, Samuel warned them how taxing human rulers would be:
1 Samuel 8:11–17 (ESV)
11 These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons … 13 He will take your daughters … 14 He will take … 15 He will take … 16 He will take … 17 He will take … and you shall be his slaves.
David’s son Solomon charged taxes and required his citizens to work to build the temple in Jerusalem. He built stables and garrisons and public works, and a harem and wealth for himself. After 7 years of temple construction, he required the work teams to build him a palace — for the next 13 years! So heavy was Solomon’s yoke that it split the kingdom when he died (1 Kings 12:4, 11).
If Jesus was restoring the kingdom, how could he fund it? He’s just appointed his first government officials — twelve kingdom emissaries — but how could he fund them? You’re not going to believe what he did: he sent them out with no money, to fend for themselves!
Put yourself in their shoes: Continue reading “A grassroots kingdom (Matthew 10:9-15)”