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Redemption and Restoration

 
The mission of God is the unifying theme of scripture. It’s what the Bible is about. It’s the one main thing. It’s what God was up to in the Old Testament New Testament. It’s what God is up to right now in little and large ways. God has a mission. And His mission is what gives purpose and priority to every other teaching and practice in the Bible. So if we don’t know what the mission of God is, we are in danger of missing His point. Whatever God says is the point, is the point. And God says the point is to redeem and restore all things through Jesus. “He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new!’” (Revelation 21:5) That’s the mission of God.
 
Everything else is a means to that end. Who says so? God. “And now the Lord says, ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’” (Isaiah 49:6)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life.” (John 3:16)
 
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
 
God wants His world back. God wants all things made new, the ends of the earth saved, all things reconciled to Himself. This is the mission of God. This is the point. Everything else is a means to that mission. Everything. The cross and empty tomb of Jesus are a means to that mission. The Word and sacraments are a means to that mission.
 
Discipling is a means to that mission. Our churches, worship services, and programming are means to that mission. And so are we. The mission of God is what we are made for and saved for. It’s interesting. Even though Christians are pretty specific
about confessing what we are saved FROM, we’re not always as specific about confessing what we are saved FOR.
The first part of the plan was to save human beings FROM sin, death, and the devil. Jesus did that through His life, death, and resurrection. Check.
 
For just as through the disobedience of [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of [Jesus] the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
 
For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
The second part of the plan was to breathe his Spirit back into us so we could again be sent out to take up our original role in the created world. Remember what happened the evening of Jesus’ resurrection in John 20:21-22? “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Doesn’t that sound like Genesis 1 and 2 again?
 
And [the Lord God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
 
So with sin, death, and the devil taken out of us and the Spirit of God breathed back into us, Jesus can recommission us to take up the role we were made for and now saved for. Instead of spreading ruin in the created world, we are back to spreading His love, goodness, service, and truth. . . . like we were made to do in the first place. From God, through us, and into the world that needs it so badly.
To what end? That all things be made new. That all things be reconciled to the kingdom of the Father. That all things be redeemed and restored.
 
That’s the point. That’s the mission of God.