Biblical (Old Testament) Perspective on Evangelism, Conversion, and the Gospel “Our participation in God’s mission, God calls his people to share his mission. The Church from all nations stands in continuity through the Messiah Jesus with God’s people in the Old Testament…
With them we have been called through Abraham and commissioned to be a blessing and a light to the nations. With them, we are to be shaped and taught through the law and the prophets to be a community of holiness, compassion and justice in a world of sin and suffering. We have been redeemed through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to bear witness to what God has done in Christ…
The Church exists to worship and glorify God for all eternity and to participate in the transforming mission of God within history. Our mission is wholly derived from God’s mission, addresses the whole of God’s creation, and is grounded at its centre in the redeeming victory of the cross. This is the people to whom we belong, whose faith we confess and whose mission we share. The Third Lausanne Congress, The Cape Town Commitment, October 2010.
Introduction – some definitions • Mission • Evangelism • Conversion • Proselytism Centripetal Centrifugal
Mission • “Fundamentally, our mission (if it is biblically informed and validated) means our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation.” Chris Wright’s definition of mission ( The mission of God, pp.22-23).
The Torahhrwt • Genesis 1 – 11 • Patriarchal – Abraham – Gen.12:3 • Moses and the Exodus
The Prophets Nevi’im <yaybn • Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings • The Prophets: a) Naaman b) Jonah c) Isaiah
The Writings Kethuvim <ybwtk • The Psalms • Ruth • Esther
The Second Temple Period • Post Exilic Era • Apocrypha: a) Judith b) Tobit • Pseudepigrapha: a) Jubilees b) 1 Enoch c) Joseph and Asenath
The Second Temple Period • The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Essenes a) Temple Scroll (11QT) b) Damascus Document (CD) c) Florilegium (4Q174) d) Isaiah Scroll (1QIsa.)
Some Conclusions • Preparing for the New Testament. • Foundations for mission in the early church have been laid. • The coming of the Messiah. • The Great Commission – Matt.28:19-20.
A Final Quote • Chris Wright: “The Scriptures of the Old Testament, then, not only provide the essential vision and themes of Christian mission, but also shape its initial and enduring theological structures.” (Article: Old Testament Theology of Mission in, Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, p.709.)