Thursday, October 05, 2006

john piper on the kog

In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said that "this gospel of the kingdom" will be preached until all the nations of the world have heard it as a testimony. What is this Gospel of the Kingdom?

"And he went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people." (Mt 4:23)

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity." (Mt 9:35)

The term "Gospel of the Kingdom" is a summary phrase of what Jesus preached and did in His ministry. Note also that these passages sandwich the Sermon on the Mount and the 10 Kingdom of God parables. Mark summarizes Jesus' message in a similar way in Mk 1.14-15; "Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the gospel.'"

So is this Kingdom new? Ps 103.19; 145.3; "The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all." and "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations." Obviously, in some sense, the Kingdom of God always existed. Based on Zec 14.9 and Isa 24.23, Piper rightly states;

... the Old Testament hoped for the day when God would not only be the Sovereign King in heaven controlling the affairs of sinful men, but would stand forth in glory and save his people from sin and misery, and defeat their enemies and establish righteousness and peace, and set up a throne on the earth to rule in a more immediate and personal way.
They looked to God to exert His rule in a new way to save His people, to defeat their enemies, and to reveal His glory in the world. John the Baptist prepared the way for this "breaking in" - for "the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Jesus declared the same for Himself (Lk 1.17). Now, the strong-man has been bound and God's Kingdom has now broken into the world in an unprecedented way.

This Gospel of the Kingdom, i.e., the good news that in Jesus God's kingly power and authority is breaking into the world like never before: he is ruling in a new way to save his people from their sins and deliver them from their enemies and reveal his glory and establish peace and righteousness in the earth, was foretold in Isa 52.7, continued to be told and demonstrated in Jesus and through John the Baptist, and then through the Church (Acts 8.12; 19.8; 20.25; 28.30-31; Col 4.11; 1 Cor 4.20; Ro 14.17; etc.).

Piper's summary;

The "gospel of the kingdom" was foretold in the Old Testament, preached by Jesus—brought by Jesus!—preached by the early church, and should be preached by us until all the peoples hear it. This gospel of the kingdom is the good news that, at the coming of Jesus, God moved into this world in an unprecedented way. Since Jesus has come, God is exerting his right to rule in new and powerful ways. He is attacking his enemy the devil in new ways. He has dealt with sin in a new way. He is gathering a people in a new way. He is empowering his representatives in new ways. And in all this he is reigning as king. This is the coming and the advancement of his kingdom.
Good News!

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