Jesus Creed

Anyone who takes the Story of the New Testament seriously will include the earliest chapters of Acts in any serious discussion of the missional life of the first Christians. What was a missional life like for them? Any thoughts? You need not be restricted to these chapters in Acts.
1. It was empowered by God’s Spirit who democratically distributed gifts and power to one and all: Acts 2:17-21. (By the way, I think the theme of “justification” is established in Acts 2:17-21’s quotation of Joel: these verses declare who is in the people of God and it does so by setting the word of the Lord against the unjust rulers.)
2. It was ecclesial incorporation: 2:42-47 etc. The missional shape of the earliest Christians was to create fellowships and incorporate others.
3. It was socio-ecclesial reformation and vision-establishing: 2:42-47. Again, this community embodied what Jesus taught. It became the nucleus of a society in which God’s will was being established.
4. It was inclusive of others, esp Gentiles: read Acts 8, 10, and 15.
5. It was empowered by Jesus Christ: cf. 3:6.
6. It was prophetic critique of unjust society: Acts 4 and 5.
7. It was dynamic exploration of new themes, new words, new groups, and new situations: this is how I see Paul’s mission — exploration of what the redemptive work of God might look like in new contexts (Acts 8–28).
8. It involved creative adaptation: Acts 17, at the Areopagus. Paul tries a new rhetoric.

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