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The Gospel of the Kingdom in the Old Testament

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Date: 2018-05-16
Run Time: 0:08:48
Host: Dr. Gregory R. Perry
Guest: Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
From the Series: True and Lasting Reform

Program Notes

We hope to cultivate your study of God's Word, inform your intercessions for God's People and equip your co-laboring efforts in God's mission 4 the World. I'm your host, Greg Perry, and our guest again, for week three is Dr. Richard Pratt, the co-founder and President of Third Millennium. Richard, last week we promised our listeners that you'd be unpacking an important biblical theme over the next two sessions. It is the theme that you've been talking about as you have been speaking at celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation--the theme of the kingdom or reign of God over all of life.

  1. To be sure, the Gospels describe this theme as the central focus of Jesus' teaching and preaching. Yet, I don't find the phrase "the kingdom of God" in the Old Testament. Where did Jesus find it in his Bible? Well, Greg, It starts on the very first page of Genesis where God makes human beings in his own image and likeness. The job of image-bearing is a royal role, displaying God's character to our neighbors and fellow creatures in the way we make culture or cultivate the garden.
  2. Genesis 3-11 is a story of human rebellion against God's reign and its devastating effects on all aspects of human civilization. Starting with Noah and also with Abraham, the Creator's covenant-making is based on the treaties that Ancient Near Eastern kings made with other kings, covenants that promise blessing for loyalty and curses for disloyalty. Covenants are the way these kings did business. In the case of Noah, the echoes of Gen 1-2 are clear as the job of image-bearing is repeated and reestablished. Human beings were to multiply the divine image just like kings placed statues of themselves around their kingdom. But, humans were also to cultivate the earth in a way that reflected divine character. This displayed who was in charge or which king's law ruled the land.
  3. Richard, as an Old Testament scholar, who has focused a great deal of your study and writing on Chronicles, Samuel and Kings, what would you say to our listeners about the importance of those books for a Christian understanding of God's kingdom and mission? Well, those books focus on God's covenant with the household of David. Of course, this sets the stage for the New Testament, since Jesus is the Davidic King who still sits on the throne as was promised in 2 Sam 7 and many other passages like Isaiah 9. His is a kingdom that shall know no end. This brings us back to the pervasive reach of the Reformation. The Reformers understood that the Gospel is about God's Reign over all aspects of our lives, that grace restores our role as divine image-bearers.

This covenantal structure of God's Kingdom is explored more fully in our course, Kingdom, Covenants and Canon of the OT. Just follow the link provided below to start studying today. Thank you for joining us and tell your friends about 4theWorld.

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