Kingdom Triangle Discussion

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kingdom Triangle in Ministry Magazine

In the May issue of Ministry magazine, a publication of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, JP Moreland has an article, titled, "The Power of God's Kingdom and Ministry."

Among the many topics that Moreland addresses, he unpacks what he means by the "gospel of the Kingdom" and its relationship to justification. He also talks about the importance of these matters as they relate to evangelism:

the gospel of the kingdom of God is to justification by faith as the whole is to the part, or as the beginning of a journey is to the rest of the journey. The gospel of the kingdom includes justification as an essential ingredient. And it specifies the purpose of justification, namely, to be the entry into a continuing journey, or, perhaps more appropriately, to be the start of a continuing journey. The point of becoming justified? Justification is the way one begins a life of sanctification. The gospel invites us to an entirely new, rich life lived from the resources of and according to the nature of another realm. I become justified so I can learn this new life, a life that will be mine forever ...

the gospel of the kingdom bids me to start by trusting something Jesus did for me (died and rose), and to continue that trust by enlisting daily as Jesus’ pupil so that He can teach me regarding living my life as He would if He were me, that is, living out the kingdom in my own setting.

My evangelism has been transformed by recovering this broader gospel. When I speak evangelistically, I now spend most of my time painting a picture of what life in the kingdom is like. I contrast it to life outside the kingdom. I offer an invitation for listeners to rethink their life in light of the invitation to live from within the kingdom of God. And, finally, I proclaim the need for justification by faith as the essential first step into kingdom life. By connecting justification by faith with this broader gospel, I have good news to offer people. And I have come to recognize that the gospel of the kingdom and kingdom life, generally, should be accompanied with manifestations of God’s power and presence as we see in His ministry and in the book of Acts. And Jesus’ own ministry is to be understood as an example of how to live in and from God’s kingdom in dependence on God’s Spirit. This is our invitation and what an honor it is.

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