Mission Questions: Mission is About Relationships?
Mission is all about healthy relationships! And who defines healthy? In the previous Mission Questions post, we looked at life outside these markers: […]. Since perfection existed, and will exist, outside those bounds, we need to look there for a good idea of healthy relationships. Our minds grasp more quickly what we can see with our eyes. Wasn’t it Jesus Who said He came to show us the Father? And didn’t Jesus say, If you have seen Me you have seen the Father? Yes, He did. So let’s look at God’s pictures of healthy relationships.
Mission Questions: Past Perfect
Relationships in heaven were perfect until Lucifer decided he wanted to receive glory due only to God. As a created being, it was never his place to receive God’s glory. He wanted something that wasn’t his. He was, and is, a subject of the Creator and never his Creator’s equal. Getting his self-perception out of line caused him to lead other angels in a heavenly revolt. Their relationships got all out of order.
In the Garden of Eden, all was perfect. Review the relationships:
- Adam’s spiritual life was perfect (Daily communion with God)
- Adam’s self-image was healthy (Understood of his place in God’s order)
- Adam’s relationship to his God-assigned work was perfect (Work = God’s idea & model!)
- Adam’s relationship with his wife was perfect (Man/Woman in marriage = God’s idea & model!)
- Adam’s relationship with his environment was perfect (part of his work)
When sin entered the picture, through Satan’s temptation, everything changed! Every one of those aspects in the list above changed drastically. Since they were perfect to start with, the only way they could go was down! All became imperfect.
Mission Questions: Future Perfect
When the Scriptural record closes, we again see a perfect scene. Sin is no more and all those relational issues are restored to God’s divine plan. Now, that brief exercise in thought speaks volumes to us about all God is doing!
Mission Questions: What is Trajectory?
The big picture view of Scripture is equally necessary to the chapter and verse view. On the large scale, Scripture is the record of all God is doing (has done) to restore to Himself (and us!!!) the perfect order He created. God will restore perfection. That is the trajectory, or direction, in which Scripture moves.
The same is true in specific aspects of God’s Word. In the 10 Commandments, we are told not to murder. It just concerns the outward action. But in the New Testament Jesus made it a matter of the heart. He said if you are angry with your brother (say, You fool!), you are guilty of murder. The same is true of adultery. In the Old Testament it was the act. In Jesus’ New Testament application, it became a matter of the heart: don’t look upon another with lust. These are just two examples of trajectory, but they are also all about relationships!
Mission Questions: An Embassy?
An embassy is a sovereign outpost of one nation located within the geographic borders of another nation. With that in mind, think back (or link back) to the Jubilee post. How did God tell His people to live? There was to be no poor among them. Why did God do that?
Above, I reminded you of Jesus’ words in John’s Gospel: If you have seen Me you have seen the Father. That was God’s intent back in the Old Testament. People understand best with pictures; examples. God people were to live in way that showed the world what heaven was like. The people of God were to be Heaven’s embassy here on earth. Did they do a good job? No. The Law only showed them how broken they were in all their relationships. They took advantage of one another in many ways, all in disobedience to God (another relational problem!). They failed to be good movie trailers! What was God’s next step in His trajectory of restoration?
He sent Jesus. Jesus came to start the process over again. His death/resurrection conquered sin and death. The Church was established. What was the purpose? Could it be the Church is Heaven’s new embassy on earth? Are we supposed to be showing the world what heaven is like? Are we supposed to be showing the world what God is like?
Mission Questions: Who is “WE”?
That detective is a great question! We will address that one (and wrap up?) in the next post!
Soli Deo Gloria!