The following are my notes/abstract on my intro to a Section on Kingdom Theology in Discipleship 101.
POINT: If we see the goal of the Gospel as an observable Morally Beautiful Community (an earthly expression of the kingdom in this age), then we submit all discipleship and mission to this goal. The root cause is spiritual and the outcome is a new social order called the church.
Key idea: A person must see the observable problem of violence, man’s inhumanity to man, marital strife and poverty as the problem and the kingdom as the answer to this observable problem. Therefore, if the kingdom has come, then the solution to this observable problem is being displayed in the church. Human society in its common state is the problem and the church in it’s glory in this age is the solution.
I will used the simplest of illustrations to explain the main point of this chapter to understand the true extent of the goodness of the good news. The illustration is a simple arrow going from the proverbial point “A” to point “B”. The principle is that we must begin with the end in site, We must know where we are and where God intends to bring us here in life in this age. The proclamation that the kingdom of heaven is within our reach is stating that humanity is at a place of great need and the kingdom of heaven meets this great need. Humanity, all human beings, have a problem and the kingdom of heaven is the solution to this problem.
How we define this problem will determine how good we see the good news. How we define this problem will determine what problem we have faith for the Gospel to solve.
A Description of the Goal.
The biblical description of the end to which we aim to arrive at is most clearly and practically depicted in Acts 2 and Acts 4. I will begin the passage with the conclusion of Peter’s sermon.
Acts2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 4:32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
36 Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), 37 and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Thesis: The Church, the eschatological expression of the in braking of the kingdom, is a community with a radically distinct social order. The church is to be a clear and distinct expression of a new social order. This social order directly and distinctly solves the fundamental human problems of alienation from God and alienation from one another. The church as the community of the Christ vividly presents to the world a clear solution to the problem of wealth inequality and greed as the outcome of the rule and reign of the Christ in the life of the believers.