"All Thy works shall give thanks to Thee, O Lord, and Thy godly ones shall bless Thee. They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power. To make known to the sons of men Thy mighty acts, and the glory of the majesty of Thy kingdom."
Jesus' message was good news (gospel) about a new kingdom that He was establishing that would restore what was lost in the Fall.
- Jesus' messages, parables, and teachings all centered around the "kingdom of God" or "kingdom of heaven".
- The gospel is good news because Jesus is saying that God's plan to correct the perversion and twisted state of mankind is about to be realized.
- The poor will no longer be poor. Those who are captive by unjust practices and their own selfishness are going to find liberty. The blind and those suffering from limiting disease or spiritual ignorance will finally be whole. The downtrodden…those under oppressive governmental systems, the cruelly mocked teenager, the neglected child, and the unloved are all going to be set free and know God's favor.
Luke 4:18-21; Matthew 4:23; Luke 6:20-21; Luke 7:22; John 3:17
God originally created man to enjoy life and find happiness in a community of love, kindness, and blessedness.
- God Himself is a community - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- God desired to extend the love and blessedness He had, so He created man to lavish His kindness on him and invite him to be a part of the friendship of the Trinity.
- Real meaning and life only come through relationships.
Gen. 1:26-31; Psalm 149:4; Jer. 29:11; Zeph. 3:17
Man foolishly rejected this idea and instead became self-important, living for himself supremely, hurting others, and ruining the world.
- All sin is really just selfishness and rebellion. It is a high view of self (pride) and a low view of God (unbelief).
- Righteousness and love are really just intelligent ways of living. It is treating everyone the same way you want to be treated.
- Faith is confidence (love and trust) in God, not believing something you can't understand.
Rom. 1:25; Rom. 3:10-18; Judges 17:6; Isa. 53:6; Phil. 2:21
Man's rebellion grieved God because God saw the destruction this rebellion would bring.
- The word used in the Bible to describe the grief God felt by man's rebellion means to have the wind knocked out of you. God had the "wind" knocked out of Him.
- Sin is the most deadly thing in the universe because it can cause pain to God.
- "Man has become the greatest loser, but God the greatest sufferer."
Gen. 6:5-7; Duet. 5:29; Duet. 10:12-13; Ezk. 6:9; Isa. 65:2-3; Ps. 78:37-41
Now instead of love being the theme of life, selfishness prevailed. Instead of community and fellowship, individualism and self-orientation were now the focus. As God predicted, man was now oppressed, alienated, hurt, and lost.
- The Fall sent man down a path so opposite of the blessedness God had in mind for man.
- Physically, emotionally, and spiritually man is broken and alienated from God and his fellow man.
Gen. 6:12; Isa. 57:20-21; Matt. 24:12; Rom. 1:21-32; Eph. 4:17-19; Titus 1:15
Jesus came showing what the kingdom of God was like (justice, kindness, peace, friendship, healing) and inviting all to repent and enter this community of love and reconciliation.
- Jesus showed us what the Father was like and what the values of His kingdom were like.
Repentance isn't primarily a feeling. It includes sorrow for sin and
a hatred of it, but it mainly is a choice to:
- Admit your sin.
- Acknowledge that you are a willful rebel against a loving God.
- Blame yourself and justify God (I am all wrong and God is all right).
- Take sides with God against yourself.
- Renounce all future claims on your life - time, talents, money, possessions, friends, career, and future.
- Accept, without conditions, God's will as the rule of your life.
- Make right all wrongs you've committed to the best of your ability.
- To be saved is to change radically and join the new people of God who live under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 9:11; Acts 10:38; Matt.5-7; Luke 10:25-28
Today the church lives out the values of the kingdom of God and witnesses to the world of God's redeeming power through their commitment and unity with one another.
- What the Church is doing now is a foretaste and shadow of what is to eventually take over the entire universe.
- We have the opportunity in our churches to model God's kingdom values and be witnesses of this coming kingdom.
- It is of utmost importance for us to walk in love and care for each other in our churches because this is the hope we offer the world.
John 13:34-35; John 17:20-21; Matt. 10:7-8; Acts 2:44-47; Acts 4:32; 2 Cor. 5:18-20