God’s intention for Israel as a people was always clear. He told Abraham that he’d be the father of a nation through which all other nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Later, He told Moses that through Israel He’d demonstrate His power to the surrounding nations (Exodus 34:10). They were intended to be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). To demonstrate the incredible blessing of having access to God’s Word (Deut. 4:6,33).
Although Israel failed, God wanted His people to be a light and a witness, to communicate His blessing to others. It was part of who they were as a people, whether they recognized it or not.... read more
We mentioned in Wednesay’s post about identity and purpose being closely linked together. What was true of God’s people under the Old Covenant is also true for those in the New Covenant. The command and commission these New Covenant believers received was directly from Him and they were to pass it on to others, to go out, and to be His witnesses everywhere.
The pattern He described was of His people moving out with Truth from a local base and then out to the nations. From its beginning on the day of Pentecost, God’s Spirit empowered the early Church to move out geographically, but also across boundaries of language, culture, worldview, and ethnicity.
The Narrative of the early Church and in the centuries that followed was one of spreading out, of taking God’s Truth into new areas, both locally and globally.