Understanding the Gospel in Light of the Kingdom Pt. 2

Before I can explain in further detail about the kingdom, I must revisit my statement and clarify. I said basically, “Jesus did not come to teach us moralism.” His life though a reflection of perfection was not his purpose for living. It is often easily mis-understood to suggest that Jesus came to show us how to be Christians solely in the area of moralism. This tendency to lean towards this conclusion is so wrapped up into our churches today (especially in the West), that most just accept it and move on. There is no doubt that Jesus lived a perfectly acceptable moral life, but his pedagogy and medium that he exemplified was not about sacrificial morality, but enforcing that his kingdom was now coming to earth. To finally at last, join the two together as they were once before, traveling all the way back to the original temple, that is the garden of Eden. Where as you look heaven and earth were connected and God walked with mankind. Before we move forward with this kingdom idea though we must clarify this morality piece.

Much of what I state in the following paragraphs is so wrapped up in NT Wright that to say anything in this matter and not give him the credit to my conclusions would be plagiarism. So though I am not quoting him specifically, all of my understanding in this area was guided by him. Returning to moralism…We can see throughout the entire meta-narrative of scripture that there is an over -arching ideology that we should act in a certain way. And though I am not going to suggest that this is not true, this direction and moralism is not the end, but a means to it.

If you were learning a new language, you would have to learn the rules, and also comprehend what ending to use determining what tense you are using (past, present, future and so on). However, these rules and guidelines are there to help you become fluent. So they become a means to an end, eventually though when you have learned the language these structures and rules are no longer needed. Not that there not apparent in your speech, but you no longer need them to speak. This same idea is what NT Wright proposes with the rules and morals that Christianity has. They are there to help us and guide us along the journey, but to lead us to become fluent in the life that we’re to live. They are not there to balance our lives in rights and wrongs, but are there to help shape us to be the people we are suppose to be, ultimately shaping our character. Therefore the rules are there to help us become truly human, which eventually brings us to a place of no longer needing the rules, but being fluent or a native of the language (or in this case a native to the new creation). This character then becomes a reflection of Jesus as his Eikons (gk.) or icons to the world and our promotion/participation of his kingdom coming to earth. Therefore, our lives should reflect a citizen of that kingdom, again not awaiting for it to arrive one day in the future, but living in it presently. And understanding what that kingdom looks like, we have to return to Jesus’ life, so we can know how to live also as people in his kingdom in the here and now, and not just as good moral people. To where we will continue to expound upon as this blog series continues…

To be continued …



About thechad3

A dude following God
This entry was posted in Ecclesiology, Evangelism, Gospel, Jesus, Kingdom, Moralism, NT Wright, Religion, Theology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Understanding the Gospel in Light of the Kingdom Pt. 2

  1. Kevin Daniel says:

    Interesting discussion. Though I know this is barely scratching the surface of a huge issue, I’d have to say I agree with these thoughts.

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