Paper Pt XI: Implications for Purpose

Kingdom Justice and Ecclesiastical Purpose

The good news of the Kingdom is the proclamation of the Kingship (Messiah or Christ) of Jesus.31 The Kingdom of God is the powerful advancement of God’s agenda, His ‘making all things good again,’ through the victory of Jesus over all other powers on the Cross. The resultant state of this victory is justice; God’s manifest ‘good.’ This victory has power over sin in all of its manifestations, within individuals, between individuals, between ethnos, and even where it is found ensconced within the power structures of our societies. If the Kingdom purpose is justice, then the Church’s purpose is to further that justice, through proclamation and participation in God’s ‘good.’

6) Personal Transformation – If Jesus has conquered sin through the Cross, then by being joined to Him, individual humans are being transformed. We must acknowledge that when the gospel is preached women and men will be “taught to obey everything (Jesus) has commanded”32 as a result. Therefore notional and nominal assent to certain doctrinal statements will be replaced by confidence in, and reliance upon, Jesus’ victory over all powers. Justice (God’s ‘good’) will be manifested within us individually.

7) Deep Community – If Jesus has renewed the covenant people, and reconciled people to each other through the Cross33 then there will be a resulting experience of community within the Church. Mere coexistence will not suffice; attendance at the same events will be replaced by intimacy; participation in the same programs will be replaced by sharing common resources; receiving services from paid church workers will be replaced by laboring together for common goals; we will move to a place of vulnerability and submission before each other. Justice (God’s ‘good’) will be manifested in us communally.

8) Multi-Cultural Expression – If the Cross has “destroyed the dividing wall of hostility”34 between Jew and Gentile, then the Christian community will be marked by extreme diversity. A diversity that goes beyond ethnic diversity, and brings together people who share little except their common commitment to Jesus. The gospel demands true multi-cultural expression, where diverse backgrounds, value-systems, and even languages, must be brought together in common submission to the King.

9) Social Justice – The Church must go beyond individual conversion, and even personal and communal transformation, and work to see justice effected in any and every arena where systemic evil is present. The victory over the powers at work in individuals is also accomplished within the various economic, social, and political systems of the earth. This rebuts our conservative rejection of the social ramifications of the gospel, and the political alliances we have allowed ourselves to be co-opted into in some contexts. Global income inequalities, environmental degradation, human trafficking, urban segregation, minority disenfranchisement, etc. are all issues that speak to the veracity and effectiveness of the gospel. Justice (God’s ‘good’) will be manifested on the earth.

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