Chapters 11 and 12
One Key Quote
“Put simply, the gospel is the news that through the life, death and resurrection of King Jesus, the kingdom of God and God’s new creation has broken in, and all things are being made new.”p.164
Chapter 11: Jesus, the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. PH shows that the gospel is not just some divine therapy. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is an activating event that potentially changes everything if we believe it. The key passage, 1 Cor.15:1-8, shows that the gospel is news to proclaim, based on the death and resurrection of Jesus. It the news that the king has won, the enemy been overcome and people set free. It is good news that the battle has been won, not good advice on how it might be won. The phrase ‘according to the Scriptures’ indicates that Jesus’s death and resurrection happened to fulfil the Bible’s big story – of God’s mission to make all things new. The ancient New Testament hymn, in Philippians 2:6-11, also shows how his incarnation, death, and resurrection/ascension are how the story gets fulfilled. We have to understand what the cross achieves, and therefore what salvation is all about, by understanding the historical context – Jesus was killed as a revolutionary, one offering a different kingdom that challenged the empire of that time. Resurrection is this kingdom, this new world, breaking in. If we understand that the gospel includes, but is not limited to, justification by faith, and that it is about making all things new, then we can see Jesus is always preaching the gospel of re-creation – with himself as the bridegroom, the good shepherd and the retuning king (Messiah). The evangelistic sermons in the book of Acts also show that the gospel is about the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection fulfilling the story of Israel and of God’s mission to recreate our world, to make all things new.
Chapter 12: Destiny Hidden in History. The prophetic word, ‘your destiny is hidden in your history’ was brought to PH’s church at King’s Cross London. He points out that this is true for us all as the future re-creation is hidden in the story of Eden. But he also recounts how they took this prophetic word and related it to King’s Cross – they started looking into its history, and it helped them to shape what they prayed for, prophesied and put into practice in their church and community. He suggest that where we live and work matters. Jesus entered the real world – in time and place, so we should perhaps take an interest in the story of our town. The story of our town and the Story of God get to intersect.
Reflect and Discuss
- What difference does it make if the gospel is good news that the great battle of life has been won, rather than being good advice on how it might be won?
- How should we understand our salvation if the gospel is about the fulfilment of the story of God’s mission to make all things new?
- Do you know anything about the story of your town that may help you to pray prophetically for it?
- Is there anything in your own personal story where you can see that your destiny is hidden in your history?
- Look for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone this week where you explain it is about the re-creation of a whole new world which they can get to be a part of.
- Find out something about the history of our town.
- Pray through your own story and see what words of destiny are planted there.
Read Chapters 13 and 14 this coming week. They look at what is happening at the cross and at the resurrection of Jesus when understood as the key, pivotal moment in this big story.
There is a PDF version of this discussion guide here.