From “The Evangelistic Love of God and Neighbour:
A Theology of Witness and Discipleship”
by Scott J. Jones, b. 1954
From the perspective of the Christian Scripture, the key turning point in God’s mission was the sending of the Son into the world. John’s Prologue describes the Word of God as ”the true light, which enlightens everyone,” and in Christ, it came into the world. The purpose of this coming was that to those “who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). The sending of the Son was for the purpose of saving the world (John 3:17). Philippians 2:5-11 portrays Christ entering into the world and being obedient to the point of death on a cross. God then exalted him with the purpose that everyone should acknowledge him as Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Then the author of Colossians says, ”For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him, God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:19-20).
In his ministry on earth, Christ proclaimed the coming of God’s reign. He broke the boundaries that typically separated persons by gender, nationality, social class, or the appearance of righteousness. He showed the righteousness of God and declared that faith would lead to salvation. He gathered a new community and gave them new ceremonies to remember his ministry. He reinterpreted the law in order to maintain its spiritual purpose rather than a bare following of its letter. At the end of his ministry, he promised that God would send an advocate who would continue to guide the community. In Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross Christians see the atonement for the sins of the world. In Christ’s resurrection, they see the first fruits of a resurrection to all who believe in Christ.