Core Training 2012 (06): Missions
Core Training (6): Missions
Luke 24:44-49 - Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 24:46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Luke 24 shows the down-hearted disciples walking to Emmaus with the undisclosed Resurrected Savior in Luke 24:27ff. This passage is particularly instructive for the ongoing edification of the Church as it is foundational for a) worship and sacraments, b) biblical interpretation and c) the purpose of the Church. We will briefly touch on worship/sacraments and biblical interpretation, focusing on the purpose of the Church.
1) We must understand a Christ-Centered View of the Scripture (vv44-45). Jesus says of the whole Old Testament (Moses, Prophets, Psalms or the Law, Prophets and Wisdom Literature), that “all things must be fulfilled . . . concerning Me.” Therefore, the Word of God is rightly understood as Christocentric, Christ-centered.
2) We must hold a Cross-Centered View of Christ (v46). Many believe that Christ’s moral teaching is the most important aspect of His work, or even His examples kindness, or His power in shown in miracles. But Christ’s own summary is, “that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day.” Out of all the Old Testament genealogies, histories, commandments, prophesies, wisdom literature, and narratives - All of this Jesus is reduced to His work which is the foundation of our salvation and we are “witnesses” (v48) which is the means of world missions.
3) We must live a Missions-Centered View of the Church (vv47-49). The two teachings in all the Bible are Christ’s cross-work (v46) “and” missions (v47). There are many things the Church is not empowered to do, but God sent His Spirit for missions (vv48-49). Missions is taught just as surely as Christ’s death and resurrection. The missions theme of the Old Testament is clear in the Abrahamic covenant which is the spinal column of the Bible (Gen. 12). The theme of missions is clear in the Gospels (Mk. 5:1-20; Mt. 4:24, Lk. 10:30). The theme of missions is clear in the early history of the Church (Acts and the Epistles) (Acts 1:8, Rom. 16:26). Therefore, the Bible is a missionary book.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more