The kingdom in the Old Testament

The core of the OT narrative is the story of God’s reign.

There’s a plotline that integrates all the little narratives of the Bible into a purposeful story. With all the twists and turns of a suspense thriller, the Bible’s narrative has a single focus: the unfolding story of the kingdom of God.

Over the last five months we’ve traced the meta-narrative of the kingdom through the first half of Genesis. In the previous two years, I’ve personally pursued that journey through the rest of Genesis and Exodus. The integrated picture of God’s kingship and kingdom is absolutely stunning. Want a taste? Continue reading “The kingdom in the Old Testament”

Your God is too small

How do you understand the gospel? Having a personal Saviour, or being the kingdom of God?

If the kingdom is so central to the Biblical narrative, why do we miss it?

In the last few hundred years, we’ve developed a culture where the spiritual is separate from the natural, where faith is separate from science, where the church is separate from state. I grew up in this world. When I was a child, an elder of our church taught me not to worry about people’s physical needs. “Leave it to the Salvos and the do-gooders to feed their bodies now,” he said. “What really matters is to save their souls so they go to heaven when they die.”

Continue reading “Your God is too small”

The kingdom theme: piecing it together

Missed a few posts in the last five months? Here’s a summary of the kingdom theme in Genesis 1–25 so you can catch up.

The phrase “kingdom of God” is quite rare in the Bible Jesus used (Old Testament), so why did he think it was the main message? Most people today don’t understand the kingdom to be the main message, probably because we don’t really understand what it means. But what if Jesus was right? Shouldn’t it be the primary goal for us as well? Why did he want his followers to seek first the kingdom of God? Continue reading “The kingdom theme: piecing it together”

How can you say God reigns?

How can we talk about the kingdom of God when everything has gone wrong?

God reigns? What does that mean? Does it mean I’m a conqueror who can defeat any enemy and no evil can touch me?

This morning I woke to news that cut deep into my being. Someone I’d met briefly, a servant of King Jesus from our own city here in Perth, had died. Geoff Freind from Morley Salvation Army had gone to Malawi to proclaim “Good News!” He was attacked on the streets, and died in hospital. His wife and four sons are trying to come to terms with the tragedy. Continue reading “How can you say God reigns?”

John 3:16 — a kingdom perspective

Before we resume our series in Genesis, would you like a taste of how a familiar text jumps to life when read from a kingdom perspective?

John 3:16–17 (ESV)
16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

This text expresses God’s love for his world, i.e. the gift of his Son who changes everything. Jesus is indeed the central character of the entire biblical narrative, so let’s situate this familiar text within the story of God’s kingdom. Continue reading “John 3:16 — a kingdom perspective”

Kingdom conspiracy? (Scot McKnight)

What is the relationship between the kingdom of God and the church?McKnight_KingdomConspiracy

If you’re interested in kingdom topics, you will know this one generates considerable debate. We’re in Genesis where there is no direct reference to the church. Nevertheless, if you miss the significance of the early chapters of Genesis, it can undermine how you read the rest of Scripture. Continue reading “Kingdom conspiracy? (Scot McKnight)”

The kingdom story in Genesis 1–11

Would you like a summary of all we’ve discovered?

Let’s pause our Genesis series here. Before we begin the Abraham story, it would be good to review why we are using a kingdom perspective, and how the story sounds so far. We will then provide a taste of how this perspective reshapes the way we hear familiar texts like John 3:16.

Why are we reading Scripture from a kingdom perspective? Continue reading “The kingdom story in Genesis 1–11”

A present or future kingdom?

If there is an aspect of the kingdom that divides opinion, it is the question of when. Some (e.g. dispensationalists) have a strong commitment to a future kingdom (e.g. the millennium). Others perceive the kingdom as already here in the present—realized (or at least partly realized). The “when?” question Continue reading “A present or future kingdom?”