be ounded and modeled upon his. Weare not authorized to do it any other way”
(Mission In Christ’s Way, 1)
. The question thistext must press upon the modern churchis clear: How did the Father send the Son?What was, and is, his way o doing mission/ evangelism?To answer this question we must go back to the beginning, to “the beginning o thegospel” in Mark’s account.
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gos- pel o God, and saying, “The time is ulflled and the kingdom o God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” And passingalong by the Sea o Galilee, he saw Simonand Andrew . . . And Jesus said to them: “Fol-low me, and I will make you become fsherso men.” And immediately they let their netsand ollowed him
There are six points to be made hereregarding Christ’s way in mission. I believewe miss these to our great peril. In act, Ibelieve the modern church has missedthese in a way that greatly distorts what wedo and how we do it.
It is not the begin-ning o a program. It is not even a newdoctrine or a call to moral change. As New-bigin astutely noted: “It is, strictly speaking,a news-ash.”
(Mission in Christ’s Way, 1)
.Something has happened. A new act mustbe heard and received—the kingdom o God, the reign o Christ, has come near.
This announcement is not a categoryor one part o our lives. It is about God’sreign and thus it is about our whole lie.“One might call it ‘cosmic aairs’”
(Mission inChrist’s Way, 2).
MIssion In Christ
continued rom page 1
Viewpoint • Nobember/December 2009
It is about rightnow, right here. It is a present reality. This iswhat is truly new here. It conronts you andsays, “Do something and do it now!”
You are acing the wrong way. Youmust do a U-turn. This is the meaning o theword repent. The frst word o the gospelo the kingdom is not “peace” but “repent.”I you read this text careully there is nomention here o turning rom your sins. Ido not doubt that we must turn rom sinbut this is not the real point and to miss thereal point here is quite tragic in its conse-quences. The point here is rather straight-orward:
The reign o God has drawn near.
Tosee it and enter into it you must undergo acomplete (ongoing) transormation processthat Newbigin rightly calls “a total mentalrevolution”
(Mission in Christ’s Way, 3)
. I youdo not change your mind, thoroughly andcompletely, the kingdom o God will behidden rom you.
God’s reign is near but you cannot seeit unless you believe the good news. Thegood news is not primarily about yourpersonal sins but about the reign o Christ.When it is reduced to a message about get-ting your sins orgiven then the messageis reduced to a private message or innerstruggles with sin and peace. This missesChrist’s way o mission and the conse-quences, I am convinced, are huge.
It is not some-thing I can do on my own. It is the work o Christ and he accomplishes it in meand you by his Spirit. He called men o hischoice—Andrew, Peter, James and John.John 15:14 says, “You did not choose me;I chose you and appointed you to go andbear ruit.” They are chosen and called tocall others to aith in the present reign o Christ, a reign that is hidden to the eyeso the world but present to all who arecalled by God in his grace. This is the beginning o the gospel. Thisis HOW the Father sent the Son. When thisexciting news was frst announced manywere prooundly drawn to Jesus andbecame his disciples. But in time, as thecross loomed on the near horizon, thingsbegan to change. The reign o God didnot make sense to many o these people.It seemed hidden, not revealed. Their zealor Jesus began to ade, much as the zealo many religious people ades over timein our world. It is precisely here that wemust truly “learn what is mission in Christ’sway”
(Mission in Christ’s Way, 5)
. I we donot we will never learn how to make realdisciples.In the Gospels the message and themessenger were moving toward thecross. It was at Calvary, and on the frstday o the new week, that the kingdomwon its decisive victory. But the worldonly saw deeat. The world always seesdeeat when the gospel o the kingdom isproperly preached and lived. It seems tome that this takes us right to the heart o our modern problem. We have preacheda gospel that is
this gospel. Our goodnews is about private sins, private opin-ions, private joys and private reedom. Thepublic scandal o the cross has been lost.We want to be victors but true victory isalways ound in a message that the worldwill always see as deeat.I you want to understand the missiono ACT 3 it is imperative that you beginwith this question: “How should we un-derstand mission in Christ’s way?” I live tohelp Christians understand this questionso that we might preach the gospel o thekingdom with power.