The mission of God and our involvement

Lesson Materials

In this session, David introduces the topic of Culture and Contextualisation by looking at the Mission of God. By doing this we can see the enormity of the task at hand, but also the lengths God has already gone to, in order to put this into place.


TEACHING ON CULTURE  |  Session 1 -  The Mission of God and Our Involvement


1/ Introduction

    • In this context, the story from Luke 24:13-47 is very important.
    • What is that whole big story?  It is what is written in the law, the prophets and the Psalms (24:44) about Jesus – these are the three parts of the Jews’ Old Testament.  What is written?  It is summarised in verses 46 and 47.  So two aspects – the suffering of the Messiah and the mission to all nations.    


2/ God's desire for His glory to fill the earth

    • Adam and Eve – the temple of Eden – “Fill the Earth”. Gen 1:28.  First missionary command.
    • Instead of earth being filled with the glory of God it was filled with conflict and violence.  Gen 6:11.
    • Noah – same command – Gen 9:1  
    • The nations of Gen 10 (The 70) 
    • The tower of Babel – ‘lest we be scattered’ Gen 11.
    • The promises to Abraham (Gen 12:3) – all ‘clans’.  God’s choice (“election”) is not primarily for ourselves but for the blessing of others.  First missionary promise.
    • The formation of a nation – 12 tribes.
    • God’s rescue of the people from EgyptIt was through a sacrifice and great power – a lamb and the Red Sea. The purpose was for them to be priests to the nations.  Exod. 19:5.  The priests in Israel had 3 functions:-
          • To teach God’s word to the people.
          • To represent the whole people before God.
          • To bless the people.


    • God taught the people about sacrifice.
    • More instruction about “temple” – the tabernacle and the temple in Jerusalem – based on Eden.
    • Also in David a model of Kingship.
    • David was king “after God’s own heart” – 1 Sam 13:14.
    • God made David a promise – 2 Sam. 7:16.
    • The promises of the prophets – e.g. Isa 49:6, Isa 60. To bless the nations  - Anointed One (Messiah) will come but this Messiah would also sufer (Isaiah 53). 
    • Throughout the promise for His glory to fill the earth (Num 14:21, Isa 6:3, 11:9, Hab 2:14) – in the Law, the Psalms e.g. Psalm 67 where the blessing is “celebrated”, the Prophets:-


“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge

of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”  Habakkuk 2:14 


    • Also a promise of a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all God’s people – Joel 2:28-29.


3/ God's fulfilment of His purposes through Christ 

    • Introduced in Matthew’s gospel as the Son of Abraham, the Son of David.  
    • All the promises to Abraham and David would be fulfilled and summed up in the Messiah.    
    • John the Baptist testified of Jesus as being the “lamb of God” and the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit.
    • Jesus chose 12 – a picture of the renewed Israel – and sent them on mission.
    • He also sent out 70 – representing the nations of the world
    • He becomes the Temple. 
    • All will be drawn to Him – John 12:32.
    • His death for the sins of Israel and the whole world. His resurrection demonstrates that new creation has already begun and that we are saved through a Sacrifice and great power.
    • Restatement of the original creation command – Matt 28 (the great commission) – fill the earth.  
    • Sign of Pentecost – curse on language and ‘not understanding’ is lifted
    • Paul sees the gospel going to the Gentiles (nations) as fulfilling the O.T. prophecies Acts 13:47.
    • The temple is now worked out in us individually and corporately.
    • The apostolic call Romans 1:5 


          • Context is a letter to Rome 
          • For His names sake – to bring glory to God everywhere
          • Grace – understanding the origin of both our calling and our ongoing service
          • Apostleship – sent with authority and gifting on our mission
          • Among all the nations (gentiles), a worldwide call.
          • Obedience of faith


    • The necessity to go to the totally unreached Rom. 15:20.


“An unreached people group should be defined as ‘a people group within which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelise this people group without outside (cross-cultural) assistance’.  ‘Unreachedness’ is thus not defined on the basis of whether there are any Christians or not, or whether there are any missionaries working among them or not.  It is defined on the basis of whether or not in that culture there is a viable, culturally relevant, witnessing church movement.”  Ralph D Winter.


    • The eschatological imperative (Matt 24:14, Rev 7:9).
    • The final purpose fulfilled, (Rev 21:3) – there must be a foreshadowing of this everywhere in our day. 


4/ What is our calling as those in Christ?

    • To see the temple of God everywhere – Eph 2:22 
    • To see all the clans/families/people groups of the earth blessed.  
    • To see God’s rule established – the “rule of King David’s greater Son”.  


5/ The challenge of the task

    • 10/40 window (see attached)



        •  71% world’s least evangelised peoples
        •  87% of world’s poor
        •  Majority of world’s illiterate.


    • Young people


        •  43% of world population under 25
        •  1.2 Billion People Aged 10-19


    • About 4500 totally unreached people groups 


6/ Conclusion

    • The bible is all about mission.  
    • We are now involved:


        • We are “in Christ”, the new Adam – living out His new creation.
        • We are Abraham’s seed in Christ – existing for the blessing of all around us.
        • We are to reign with Christ but now bring all nations to the obedience of faith.


    • All new believers need to understand this big picture and their part in it to set them free from a “felt needs” perspective on Christianity.
    • People need to go from our churches to accomplish this.
    • It is why cross-cultural mission is so important.



© David Devenish

Mission of God and Our Involvement - Teaching on Culture - Session 1 - Bournemouth - March 2015