As taught by Zach Thompson.
In this, the third lesson in our series on Discipleship and the Church, we cover the difference between the mission of God, the mission of the church, and missions along with the Bible's emphasis on the gospel as the message of the Kingdom of God.
Last week, we looked at the book of Acts and saw really clearly that the church is
God’s chief means for making the gospel go into all of the world. Over and over,
when God might have made something happen by his own power, he has his
people accomplish it at his direction.
This week, we are going to take a wider lens approach to some of this same
reality. My goal this week is that you would have a more full understanding of
how we should think about preaching the gospel in the context of this local
As we start this week, we are going to look at a framework that can help us
understand how to rightly think about the Christian life and how it fits into the
Mission of God.
First, let’s glance at where we are going.
SLIDE: All of the circles
You don’t need to draw all of this right now, but I wanted you to see where we
are going with this graphic so you can account for that in your notes.
Let’s talk about that first big circle.
SLIDE: Missio Dei and definition
This is the Missio Dei. Missio Dei is a latin term that means “Mission of God.”
For clarity this is how we are defining it today. Missio Dei is the mission of God to
work for his own glory and name
We are going to spend a bit of time meditating on this, but I want to take a
minute to demonstrate from Scripture that this is a reality.
We are about to go through several texts, and in all of them, we need to ask this
question: “Why is the Lord doing what he is doing?
First, one of the texts that I think best illustrates this is in Isaiah 48.
SLIDE: Isaiah 48
- Isaiah 48:9-11, “For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my
praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. 10 Behold, I have
refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be
profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”
SLIDE: 1 Samuel and Malachi
o 1 Samuel 12:20-22, “And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be
afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from
following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 And do
not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for
they are empty. 22 For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his
great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a
people for himself.”
o Malachi 1:10-11, “Oh that there were one among you who would
shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I
have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept
an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its
setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place
incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my
name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.”
SLIDE: John 14 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12
o John 14:13, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the
Father may be glorified in the Son.”
o 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal
destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory
of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints,
and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our
testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every
resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the
name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him,
according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
SLIDE: Missio Dei Circle and application
- This really is just a sampling. This is the clear motivation of God all
throughout Scripture. He is working for his own glory. His own name. His
- You might hear this and think, “Isn’t that selfish? Is God an egomaniac?”
How could God rightly pursue his own glory? Isn’t that categorically wrong?
o NO! It is categorically wrong for us, but God isn’t a man. Ask yourself
this question. Whom would you have him worship? Whose glory
should he be pursuing? Yours? Ha.
o God is pursuing his own glory, and as the sovereign, self-existent,
highest, most glorious, being in all of the universe, it is right for him
to pursue his own glory.
- What does this mean for us? This means that God is ALWAYS working for
o If our God is really sovereign, that means that his mission will never
fail. What he sets out to accomplish will never be thwarted. He is
ALWAYS working for his glory, and as his people, this should bring us
great comfort. Because in his grace, he ties up his mission with the
good of his people.
o Why did God relent from disaster? Or listen to the prayers of his
people? Why does he empower his people to live in holiness?
Because he manifests his glory in his people.
o This is why we have the promise of Romans 8:28, “And we know that
for those who love God all things work together for good, for those
who are called according to his purpose.”
o In that same text, just a few verses down, Paul says that “neither
death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to
come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all
creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ
Jesus our Lord.”
o The mission of God to pursue the glory of his own name should bring us great comfort.
SLIDE: Mission Circle
Mission—The mission of the God’s people to pursue the glory of his name by
- Questions to ask in each section
o WHAT is the mission?
o TO WHOM is the mission given?
- Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in
heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have
commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
o Take a minute to talk through this one.
▪ WHAT? to make disciples
▪ TO WHOM? the eleven disciples. They represent the church.
▪ baptizing in the name of the trinitarian God (Missio Dei)
▪ teaching to observe
▪ He is behind this effort! He is with us!
- Acts 1:6-8 “So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will
you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not
for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own
authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
o To whom? The The Holy Spirit will come upon you
o And you will be my witnesses
o Acts 1:8 or you will be Acts 8:1’nd
o After 1:6-8, We don’t see the word “kingdom” in Acts until after the
persecution of 8:1.
- Ephesians 3:9-10, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this
grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden
for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the
manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”
o The manifold wisdom of God is manifested in the church!
SLIDE: Missions—Specific endeavors undertaken by the church to fulfill its
- SLIDE: Acts 13:1-3, “Acts 13:1–3 (ESV): Now there were in the church at
Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,
Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set
apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3
Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them
o Paul and Barnabas are sent by a local church!
Some Discussion Questions:
- What does it mean for us to be kingdom minded as we live in the context of
the local church? How is it not a contradiction that we live in the
community of one local church, but that we preach the kingdom of God?
- How do we balance individual initiative with the calling placed on the local
SLIDE: II. PREACH THE KINGDOM
- I want to transition here to something different. I want to take this
framework that we have laid out here and think through a specific theme in
Scripture in light of the mission of the Church–It’s the theme of kingdom.
- So what I want us to think through is how do we live in this middle circle in
light of what the Bible says about kingdom?
- What does it mean that God is King? Jesus is King? What is the kingdom of
God? What does it mean to preach the kingdom?
- We 100% do not have time to exhaust the theme of God’s kingdom today.
This is one of the themes that runs throughout the entire Bible, and we
won’t even attempt to exhaustively cover it. But let’s do a quick run
- The Kingdom overviewed:
o SLIDE:Gen 1:28, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be
fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have
dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens
and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
▪ This is the Missio Dei in action. God is telling them to spread
his image and glory all over the world.
▪ Notice the kingly language. Subdue it. Have dominion over it.
These are things that Kings do. Adam was mean to be a
reigning king that represented God to all of the earth.
▪ But he failed. Didn’t he… He rebelled against God, and was cast
out of God’s presence, but God gave a gracious promise in
o SLIDE:Gen 3:15, Speaking to the serpent, he said, “I will put enmity
between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her
offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
▪ This is the promise of redemption. The defeat of the serpent
and the bruising of the offspring of Eve. And they began to
hope for one who would accomplish redemption.
▪ But over and over, mankind is characterized by failure.
Wickedness reigns to the point of destroying the earth, and
God eventually makes another promise to Abraham that all of
the peoples of the world would be blessed through him and his
offspring. Again, hope. But Isaac and Jacob and their children
continue to fail. And we come to king David, to whom God
makes another promise.
o SLIDE:2 Sam 7:12-13, God promises David that “When your days are
fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your
offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will
establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I
will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
▪ And it looks like this could be Solomon, but Solomon’s heart
turned from God, and the hearts of most of his son’s who took
the throne also turned from God.
▪ But then we have Jesus. Of the people of Israel, in the line of
David, the God-Man comes, and what does preach? In Mark 1,
there is a summary of what Jesus preached.
o SLIDE:Mark 1:14, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into
Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the
▪ The kingdom of God is at hand, so repent and believe.
▪ The kingdom that Adam and Eve hoped would be restored–the
kingdom that would bless all of the nations–the kingdom that
would be established by God himself and would have no
end–THIS kingdom is near, so repent and believe.
▪ This was the message of Jesus. And when we repent and
believe, Colossians 1:13-14 tells us what is true of us.
o SLIDE:Col 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we
have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
▪ So looking at all of this, we can say that in a sense, the
kingdom IS the gospel. The kingdom is what was cast aside by
Adam and Eve. The kingdom is what was promised to Abraham
and to David. The kingdom is what Jesus brought. And for all
who are in Christ, we are welcomed into the kingdom.
o SLIDE:Hebrews 2:8-9, “Now in putting everything in subjection to
him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see
everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little
while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with
glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the
grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
▪ Nothing is outside his authority. But we don’t see everything in
subjection to him. There is still rebellion against Christ. But
how is this possible? Doesn’t Matthew 28 say that all authority
in heaven and on earth has been given to him? How is there
still rebellion against the King?
▪ The presence of authority doesn’t mean there is submission.
He has all authority, but he is working through his church to
bring all peoples under the banner of his authority. This is why
Jesus taught us to pray “your kingdom come, your will be
done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Because his kingdom has not
come in its fullness. Because his will isn’t done because people
are still rebellion against him. This is why we preach the
gospel. Because Christ is King.
- SLIDE: What does the theme of the kingdom accentuate?
o SLIDE:That there is a king with all authority.
▪ Preaching the kingdom means preaching the king. We don’t
just tell people about how awesome our community is. Our
mission is not to have a solid support system for each other.
Our mission is to bring people under the banner of the one
true king. Not whatever thing they call king. There is one king,
and we owe our loyalty to him.
o SLIDE:That all must submit to that authority
▪ We are kingdom citizens inviting others to be kingdom citizens.
We are those who have been transferred out of the domain of
darkness and into the kingdom of his beloved son, and we
beckon others into that kingdom. And not only that, we plead
with those who are already citizens to remain faithful to the
o SLIDE:Those in this kingdom live by the will of the king.
▪ The kingdom of God is made up of people who are doing what
mankind was always meant to do. Submit to God and glorify
his name. That’s the mission. Isn’t it? Isn’t it the same thing
that Adam and Even rebelled against? Isn’t that exactly what
Jesus did on earth?
▪ This brings clarity doesn’t it? Our mission isn’t to be generous.
It’s not to be nice. It’s not social justice or racial reconciliation.
Those are good things that flow from being kingdom-citizens,
but they aren’t the mission. The mission is to live in submission
to the king and make disciples.
o SLIDE:All who rebel against the king’s authority will meet the king’s
SLIDE:I want to end by addressing a question. To whom to we preach the
- SLIDE: To those who have already submitted to his name.
o Acts 14:19-22, “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having
persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the
city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered
about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he
went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the
gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to
Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the
disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that
through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And
when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with
prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they
● The gospel isn’t only for unbelievers.
● preaching the kingdom to believers for the sake of
● Mt 28, teaching to observe is part of making disciples.
● Church covenent: “We will seek, by his grace, to live
carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly
lusts, as is fitting for those who are born again and have
entered into the kingdom of God where we are called to
renew our minds to the truth so that we may lead a new
and holy life glorifying our Father in heaven.”
- SLIDE: To those who haven't submitted to his name.
o Acts 19:8-10, “And he entered the synagogue and for three months
spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of
God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief,
speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from
them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of
Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of
Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”
● preaching to unbelievers
● Both religious and unreligious
● It was when they stopped preaching to some that others
were able to hear.
● All the residents of asia, 5-6 million people.