Theology of Missions Paper

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THE THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS

Submitted to Dr. H Edward Pruitt in partial fulfillment of the requirements of GLST 500 by Alyssa Avant

B.A. University of Mississippi, 2003 July 15, 2012

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................1 MISSION IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT......................................................................1 MISSION THEOLOGY IN RELATIONSHIP TO BROADER THEOLOGY...............................3 MISSION IN ITS THEOLOGICAL CONTEXT............................................................................3 KEY THEMES OF MISSION THEOLOGY..................................................................................3 IMPACT ON GOD'S PEOPLE........................................................................................................4 CONCLUSION................................................................................................................................4 BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................................................................................................5

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INTRODUCTION

As Christians we have a message of hope. We are taught in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”1 We know that hope as Jesus Christ, the Messiah who came to save us. As the most commonly known scripture of our world tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”2 However, many people in our world today still do not know Him as Savior and Lord of their life. As Christians our mission, as was the mission of Christ is to lead others to a saving knowledge of Himself. God uses us as His children to help fulfill the mission of calling everyone unto Himself. This paper will develop a theology of missions by looking at the Old and New Testament scriptures that help us to understand missions. We will also look at other Biblical theologies. We will in short see the patterns of missions and why it is such an important topic in the lives of us as Christians.

MISSION IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT Though they are not as commonly discussed there are key passages that help us to understand our mission in both the Old as well as the New Testaments. The New Testament scriptures pertaining to missions are more widely known and studied, as it has a strong mission emphasis, but lets first look at those found in the Old Testament. One of the greatest examples of a mission emphasis in the Old Testament is the story of Abraham, as he was the first man to whom God gave the call of the great commission. Genesis 12:2-3 1. The Holy Bible: New International Version, (Zondervan: International Bible Society, 2009) Proverbs 13:12. 2. Ibid, John 3:16.

2 declared that Abraham's name, his blessing and his being made into a great nation was for the purpose of being a blessing to all the peoples of the earth. Herein lies the heart of the mission mandate from its very inception. 3

Two key verses, Genesis 12:3 and Exodus 19:g revolve around the famous declaration that it was God's plan to provide that all people would be blessed as a result of being the lineage of the father of the chosen people. Another area of Old Testament scripture that focuses on the area of missions is the message found in the Psalms. There are several key passages that summon the nations in the Psalms. The key Psalm according the Kaiser is Ps. 67 where God had blessed Israel and caused his face to shine upon them in a favorable way, so that God's way may be known in all the earth and his salvation made available to all nations. A similar message can be found in Psalms 93-100. There is first an inviation to “Sing to the Lord a new song” and it is stated that the Lord reigns. The whole series leads up to the proclamation that the nations of the earth...
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