Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011 | Go Into All The World: Mandates of Kingdom Citizenship - Part 1 (Matthew 5:13-43)

There are statements in the scriptures that state established, unchangeable, indicative facts. For example, Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." The truth of the phrase is not ongoing, nor contingent upon further actions – it is an indicative statement. There are many of these types of statements in the scriptures, and many of them have to do with the finished work of Jesus Christ at the cross. Others have to do with God's view of us and our status: "You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus." These are complete, finished realities – they are indicative statements.

On the other hand, once the reality of these indicative statements is embraced, we also discover that from them come statements of command. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." This statement requires something of the person to which it is spoken. The idea is not seek the kingdom of God if you want to or if you have the time. The force of the statement is that the hearer has a direct mandate to respond to the command – these are imperative statements.

The key for us, as we will discover today, is to understand that all of God's imperative commands flow from the established indicative work of the cross of Christ. We live a reflective faith. As Paul stated in Ephesians 5:1,2: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

The mandates of the Gospel are not things we must do, but something that we CAN do. We are to be witnesses, not in order to become acceptable to God. We are to be witnesses because, through the cross of Christ, God has placed us into a redeemed, acceptable position from which we can be witnesses.

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November 20, 2011 | John Bayles | Go Into All The World: Mandates of Kingdom Citizenship - Part 1 (Matthew 5:13-43)

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