Abraham: A Model For World Missions

Have you ever thought about how Abraham, a Jew, serves as a model for the Gentiles mission? I have been doing some reading and thinking in this area lately. Here is what I have discovered.

No Distinction Between Jews and Gentiles

In Galatians 3:27-29, we learn that there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. All who put their faith in Christ are offspring of Abraham. They are kingdom citizens who are grafted into Israel, and, as such, are heirs to the promise God has made to Abraham (Rom. 11:11-24; see also Eph. 3:1-6; Rom. 4:13-17).

This means the kingdom of God is a multinational community of faith, which includes Jews and Gentiles alike. That means us, all those who are non-Jews. We are apart of God’s kingdom. We are the offspring of Abraham. As his offspring, we are apart of God’s mission to bring redemption to the world.

Abraham: Our Model

In Genesis 12, Abraham teaches us how we might accomplish our mission. God comes to Abraham and tells him that He will bless him if he would leave his country and go to a land that the Lord would show him. In Genesis 12:4, we are told that Abraham listens to the Lord and leaves. In doing so, he exercises faith and obedience to God (Rom. 4; Gal. 3:6-29; James 2:20-24; Heb. 11:8-19).

If we use Abraham as our model, we learn that to be successful in, and apart of, God’s mission, we too must exercise faith and obedience. This means that Abraham’s faith and obedience to God are not merely models for personal piety and ethics. They are also the essential credentials for effective participation in God’s mission [1].

Christopher Wright says,

“Those whom God calls to participate in his redemptive mission for the nations are those who exercise saving faith like Abraham and demonstrate costly obedience like Abraham” [2].

He continues by saying,

“So then, what God promised Abraham becomes the ultimate agenda for God’s own mission (blessing the nations), and what Abraham did in response to God’s promise becomes the historical model for our mission (faith and obedience)” [3].

Questions for Reflection

  • Why do you think it is true that the faith and obedience of Abraham is a historical model for our mission?
  • Do you believe, like Abraham did, that God will use you as His kingdom agents to bring redemption to the nations?
  • How are you doing with exercising faith that God will use you?
  • How are you doing at being obedient to God’s command?

Resources

[1] Christopher Wright, The Mission of God’s People, 80.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.

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