We continue our reflections on the Church’s Mission, using Christopher Wright’s excellent book The Mission of God’s People: a Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission, and three key passages of scripture: Isaiah 43:8 – 11, Luke 24:45 – 49, and Acts 1:1 – 8. One of the opening verses of the Bible states God said: “Let there be light.” God wants to be seen and known.
The initiative is always with God. But we are drawn into his purposes not only as people benefitted by them, but also as those who are actively involved in them and in making them known.
In Isaiah 43:8 –11 God says twice over to his people, “You are my witnesses.” He was at the centre of creation and continues at the heart of history. Shortly before returning to heaven Jesus said to his followers that they were witnesses to all that God had done in Jesus.
Not every Christian is called to be an evangelist, but we should all be gossiping the Good News of the gospel wherever we are. 1 Peter 3:15 puts it like this: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have.”
Readings: Isaiah 43:8 – 13, Acts 1:1 – 8
Questions to think about:
These helpful questions are provided by the author of the book which has served as a basis for this series – Revd Dr Christopher J H Wright – The Mission of God’s People: a Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission.
- What does the expression “giving your testimony” bring to mind? How does popular practice relate to what the Bible means by “bearing witness”? How can we resist the tendency to make our testimony mostly about us, rather than about the great truths of God in Christ?
- Can you point to ways in which the task of witnessing has resulted in strengthening your own Christian faith and understanding?
- Courts sometimes speak of someone as “a credible witness” (or not as the case may be). What constitutes a “credible witness” for Christ?