KDSC – Our Spiritual DNA

KDSC Fall 2016

About every six months we want to revisit our spiritual DNA that fuels the vision of TRC so that we don’t forget the mooring of vision and gospel centric strategy.

Vision:

For the glory of God we will disciple the nations by being and producing radical followers of Jesus Christ.

That vision is a theological statement, a missional statement and a strategic statement.

Theology – The glory of God

Mission – Disciple the nations

Strategy – Being and producing radical followers of Jesus

The glory of God is the theological vision of the Scriptures. God’s glory was shoved to the back of man’s desires at the fall and he will not share his glory.

Isaiah 48:11

“For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”

By my count, 2, 118 times the Scriptures refer to the glory (weight) of God. It’s kind of important.

How would God be glorified?

God is glorified by discipling the nations as Jesus, God in the flesh, left us here and empowered us with the Spirit to do.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him as we obey him (my spin on a “Piperism”).

How in the world are we going to accomplish such a large vision?

We will achieve the vision by being and producing radical followers of Jesus. This is how we will produce the fruit of discipling the nations.

Radical means “of or going to the root or origin; fundamental; forming or basis of foundation.”

John 15 tells us the origin and fundamental source of lasting kingdom fruit is abiding in Jesus. Not more effort. Not better systems. Nothing wrong with effort or systems, but they don’t produce kingdom fruit.

The lasting fruit of discipling the nations for the glory of God will come from our abiding in Jesus.

We go to Jesus.

We rest in Jesus.

We hear Jesus.

We obey Jesus.

We do Jesus’ work with his methods and always evaluate whether we are using his methods or the world’s methods.

We learn to wait.

We celebrate fruit.

We receive pruning from the Good Father so we can be more fruitful.

We abide.

We call this abiding relationship the RADICAL LIFE.

The RADICAL LIFE consists of three relationships: UP-Communion/IN-Community/OUT-Collision

What is the spiritual DNA that informs how this vision gets fleshed out?

KDSC

  1. Kingdom

The gospel is the gospel of the kingdom. It is not the gospel of salvation.

“The kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty and freedom.” – Tim Keller

“Kingdom” shows up 160 times in 151 verses in the New Testament. The “kingdom” in the New Testament is distinct from the kingdom in the Old Testament.

In the NT the kingdom is more than Israel, and the king is not a man. In the NT the kingdom is the people of God from all nations and the king is Jesus.

Everything in the OT is preparing us for the reality of the Kingdom of God that would be inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming, advanced by the church as the people of God and fully consummated at the restoration of all things when Jesus returns.

Let’s review some passages about the kingdom.

Matthew 6:33

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (food, drink, clothing, necessities and some amenities {all good and perfect gifts come down from the Father of lights with whom there is not shadow due to change})

Matthew 6:10

“…Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Mark 1:14-15 (this passages gives the gospel its content and how one enters – kingdom – repent – believe)

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.”

Matthew 13:44

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Matthew 13:31-32

“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Matthew 13:33

“He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’”

Ephesians 1:7-10

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

The good news of the kingdom is more than salvation from sin. It is that, but salvation from sin is just the entry into the larger work of the kingdom!

The culture of rescue from hell as the goal of the gospel has not only short sighted the work of the church, but it has pillaged discipleship for the church.

If the gospel is just a rescue from hell, then once I’m rescued from hell there is not much to do other than help get others rescued from hell, huddle up and wait for rescue. The point of Jesus saving you is his praise in rescuing sinners and then his glory is his people filling the earth, proclaiming the good news and healing the domains of society as salt and light.

Salvation is not just salvation to heaven. Salvation is being made alive to see and know the king and his kingdom but then to participate in bringing the king’s rule to application in your home, your church and your domain of society on a global scale.  

The good news of the kingdom makes salvation possible for all who will believe and gives those who believe a mission to subvert the work of Satan through making disciples and engaging the domains of society in all nations and establishing the church as the outpost[1] and community of the kingdom by the Spirit’s power as we wait for Jesus to return, complete the kingdom’s establishment and completely bring Satan’s work to an end.

  1. Disciple

The gospel of the kingdom is powerful. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

The gospel makes disciples.

What is a disciple?

Matthew 28:16-20

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

In keeping with the mandate given in the Great Commission a disciple is someone who has been made a disciple, baptized and is learning to obey everything Jesus taught.

“been made a disciple” – through the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of Jesus Christ through the verbal proclamation of a disciple of Jesus Christ through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in the powerful gospel, a dead and counter-gospel enemy of God is reconciled to Father and given the Holy Spirit and thus birthed to new life in the kingdom of God.

“baptized” – baptism is a post-conversion activity in which the transformation of the gospel is recognized by the community of the kingdom (church) by entering into the water to be immersed and brought back up from the water thus putting on display for the public the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus that has been made effective in the death of the candidate’s bond to the curse, the removal of the guilt of sin and their resurrection to new life in Christ.

“learning to obey everything Jesus taught” – the baptized follower of Jesus Christ now begins the journey of life in the community of the kingdom, as a student of the Manual in community (private and public), working out the reality of their salvation and membership in the kingdom of God by engaging their domain of society as salt and light with the powerful gospel among all nations

A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ who has been taught (by someone) and is continuing to learn (personally and corporately-RL Groups) how to follow Jesus.

Matthew 7:24-27

A disciple is a person who epitomizes their relationship with Jesus in hearing and obeying!

Discipleship and the Radical Life – Discipleship is practiced in RL!

A disciple hears and obeys through communion with God.

A disciple hears and obeys in covenant community.

A disciple hears and obeys in colliding with culture and making disciples.

  1. Society

Disciples of Jesus live in society and have gifts that suit them to work and function in various domains of societies structures.

This is God’s strategy for completing the Great Commission.

What is Society?

Society is composed of groups of people who work within their own areas of expertise or “domains”. Society is the structured system of organization for large-scale community living.

These core structures of society do not change.

The people working within these domains meet the basic needs of society and keep it functioning.

Why is the Society so important?

The domains of society become crucial in the transformation of a city.

Those who assume leadership in these spheres of influence have the potential to completely reshape their city, its values, priorities, and practices.

The Scriptures teach that domain leaders function with a delegated authority from God (Romans 13 / Government as a domain / Given authority to execute justice).

God is sovereign over domains, intends to transform all of creation into a new created order at the restoration of all things (Revelation 19-22) and is in that process now as his people preach and heal.

In directing his people to bless their cities and the nations of the world, God is calling us to engage domains as a way of seeing God’s kingdom come to people and entire cities.

How does this concept look in real life?

Kingdom mindset question: “What if the church were the missionary?”

Engaging Domains Is God’s Plan from the Beginning: The Creation Mandate: Genesis 1:26-28

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

  1. Man was made to have dominion over the whole earth (every sphere of society).

 

  1. The fall made man more of a casualty of creation’s brokenness rather than a “subduer” of creation and society as a whole.

 

  1. When Jesus came, he broke the curse of the fall and began bringing all things back under his reign (Ephesians 1:7-10).

 

  1. Jesus has given us the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:15-20), so we have the powerful good news to bring salvation and restoration to all nations.

 

Thinking about Jesus’ followers engaging every domain of society creates 4 key shifts.

  1. From needs to assets

This shift is one of mindset. This is not an organizational change or shift in processes, rather this is a shift in how we see each other as members of the community of the kingdom.

We move from asking what we need to evaluating assets to be given away in serving our individual and collective domains.

We move from asking: “what did you get out of the service today?” to “how can I engage my domain of society with the gospel of the kingdom?”

  1. From programs to domain engagement

This shift has organizational implications. This changes how we organize for work and what work is undertaken.

This is more Spirit-led as members of the community of the kingdom take ownership and responsibility for action.

You begin to ask questions like:

“What is my domain?”

“How can I begin to mobilize people in my domain who are in the kingdom to take this domain for the kingdom?”

“How can I partner with others to make changes in this domain?”

  1. From working for the city to working with the city or from simply funding the cross-cultural worker to partnering with the cross-cultural worker to get glocal resources in the work

This shift is one of relationships and expectations.

This changes how we interact with the community.

Here the church becomes more of a partner to help create solutions rather than simply a provider of a check or other resources.

It becomes a flesh in the game mentality.

We begin to realize that Father has placed valuable people resources in the community of the kingdom and those people are valuable glocally.

We begin to interact with other religions in the engagement of our society’s domains and get to make disciples!

Evangelism and great commission work begins to become natural (as well as part of the culture of a church) as we engage like this.

This multiplies the great commission work force because now everyone is a great commission disciple that can have impact locally and globally.

  1. From managing ministries to leading members

This shift impacts decision-making.

The decision is not what ministries are the pastors going to run, but what will the pastors do in releasing the body to supply it’s part in the kingdom.

Ephesians 4:11-16

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry (teaching, praying, engaging domains as examples), for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

The power of the kingdom is NOT contained in a few talented men, rather it is the apostolic genius contained in every follower of Jesus walking in step with the Spirit bringing the rule of Jesus to their domain.

  1. Church

The gospel of the kingdom makes disciples in domains of society and from there the church multiplies and disciples make disciples and plant churches or expand a church’s reach through multi-campus models.

  1. What the church is – A local church is a gathering of baptized, born-again Christians who covenant together in love to meet regularly under the authority of the Scriptures and the leadership of the elders to worship God, be a visible manifestation of the kingdom of God, and, ultimately, to give God glory (John 3:1-8; 13:34-35; Acts 2:41; 14:23; Eph. 3:10; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 10:24-25)[2]

The church, properly defined, consists of all true believers in Jesus Christ throughout all time.

  1. What the church does – A church must do only a few things to be a church:

2.1 gather in gospel love to hear the Word preached,

2.2 sing,

2.3 pray,

2.4 give,

2.5 make disciples

2.6 and practice the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Members, those who have covenanted together, lovingly care for one another (1 Cor. 12:12-26), even through the practice of church discipline (Matt. 18:15-17).[3]

  1. What the church’s mission is – The church is God’s strategic plan for evangelism with one overarching mission: to go to all peoples to make disciples, teaching them to obey everything Christ has commanded – including forming new churches (Matt. 28:18-20).

Church Multiplying Hint: If Jesus is building his church, and the church is the bride of Christ, then making disciples must include forming them into new churches!!!

The Bible’s Teaching About the Church:

  1. The Church Has No Prescribed Form

Notice that the church’s manifestation is not prescribed in any passage of the New Testament. The church is intended to take the shape necessary to continue to be like yeast in dough until the whole lump of dough is leavened.

The Scriptures tell us what a church is and does not how it is to look on the outside.

We often hinder the work of the church by unnecessarily prescribing or assuming external necessities rather than majoring on inherent function.

  1. The Kingdom Is Manifested Through The Church

The kingdom manifests itself through the church.

Experientially, the church provides a foretaste of the future reign of Jesus Christ.

The church exists only because of Jesus and is mandated with extending his mission to all nations.

  1. Jesus Builds His Church

Matthew 16:18

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The church is what Jesus is building as the community of the kingdom.

  1. The church Is God’s Agent of Transformation

Some examples of how God transforms in the church from Scripture:

  1. The Church Is An Expression Of God’s Trinitarian Nature

“Professor Colin Gunton, in his seminal work, The One, The Three and the Many, points to the secular search for an ideology that can protect the individual while promoting community. Recent history, he suggests, had been ruled by two competing regimes. In the west, we are products of a world driven by the individual. An increasingly privatized worldview has promoted the rights of the individual above all else. In the east, communism exalted the many. What mattered most was the common good, the people and the nation. The result, Gunton declares, has been two equally oppressive and totalitarian regimes. The answer lies in the discovery of a worldview capable of honoring the one and the many, without either being at the expense of the other. The doctrine of the Trinity presents such an ideology. The God who is Father, Son and Spirit models this unity amidst diversity, and this community of equality. The church, through its relationship with the Triune God, is called to model this for the world.”[4]

The existence of the church is not arbitrary but reflects the nature of the God who is its source.

  1. The church Is God’s Dwelling Place ***

1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:22

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you (plural) are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?”

We often read this passage and read the “you” as singular and make application as if it’s singular, and that then makes our application be off.

Illustration: If I want to take off from RMG and fly to KCHA (Lovell field in Chattanooga) and I’m off by just 2 degrees in my heading, will I hit Lovell field? No. 2 degrees is not a lot off, but 2 degrees off over that distance will put me many miles off course and I’ll miss my target.

When applying Scripture we can’t make it say what we want it to say. And we can’t apply it rightly when we’ve missed it’s meaning.

However, this “you” is plural. This means that the whole church is God’s temple. Does that mean that the Holy Spirit does not reside in us individually? No. He does. But it does mean that his residence in us individually is not intended to keep us isolated. Rather his presence in us is to draw us together.

Therefore, if we harm the body of Christ or neglect the body of Christ we will fall under the condemnation of verse 17 that says, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

  1. The Church Displays God’s Manifold Wisdom

Ephesians 3:8-11

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold (varied, diverse, multi-colored)_ wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,…”

How do we live the church out locally?

  1. As the family of God we grow in our love for and fellowship with each other. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Attend regularly to encourage one another and grow together across demographic lines. (Hebrews 10:25)

Attend a RL group with members who share the DNA and multiply that DNA in others who can impact others.

How do you determine partnership? Vision / Relationships / Collaboration / Family

It’s hard to have deep fellowship with people who don’t share the vision. You just end up arguing over the vision or circling in the wilderness without ever multiplying until the darn thing dies.

A TRC Application: We value the kingdom, and the kingdom multiplies. If you are in a group of people from various churches who just want a bible study, what are they going to do when you start talking about multiplication? So, in order to stay part of that group you have to sacrifice a value you say you are covenanted to.

  1. As the bride of Christ we seek greater love for Jesus and submission to him

2 Corinthians 11:2-3

“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 

  1. As God’s new temple we increase awareness of his presence among us

1 Peter 2:4-8

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’ So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’ They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.”

  1. As the body of Christ we increase interdependence on each other’s gifts

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Try this:

  1. Gather as a RL group, in covenant with other TRC folks
  2. Pray together
  3. Discuss the sermon, texts from the sermon and applications the Spirit gives you
  4. Expect each person to contribute
  5. Anticipate Ephesians 4:11-16 gifts to be manifest (apostles – see the big picture and push for the vision; prophets – speak the word of the Lord as the bumpers for the vision; evangelists – bring in the lost, tell the lost; shepherds/teachers – guide, counsel, instruct)
  6. See the church body equipped to grow up into Christ
  1. As a priesthood of believers we have an increasing sense of God’s joy in our praise and good works

1 Peter 2:5

“…you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The Church Worships

Psalm 147:1 “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”

[1] The implications of the church being an outpost are huge. It means that the church is launching missions to those not in the purpose of the outpost. The purpose of the outpost is to establish the rule of Jesus. This affects not only our message but our strategy. The outpost must take the form of what it is trying to reach into or risk become irrelevant to it’s target.

[2] Mack Stiles, Evangelism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), p. 71.

[3] Ibid. p. 71.

[4] Dick Tripp, Qualities of the Triune God, http://www.christianity.co.nz/church2.htm

 

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