A Cosmic Construction Project

“Salvation in Scripture involves more than deliverance from sin and death…. Salvation is not only negative, but positive; it implies not only the destruction of sin, but a new creation of righteousness leading to life. Man was created as a liturgico-cultural being, a priest-king. Salvation restores communion with God, and with that communion comes a complete fulfillment of the image of God. By His death and resurrection, Christ has made His people to be a kingdom and priests (Rev. 1:4-6), new Adams and Eves called to worship Him and to mold the creation into an image of the heavenly temple-city. Jesus established the kingdom to bring people to worship, serve, and obey Him in all they do, so that they would do His will on earth as in heaven (Matt. 6:10). He established the kingdom so that the life of men on earth might reflect the life of the angels in heaven, so that heaven and earth might come to resemble each other more closely, so that they might be ever more closely joined.

Though the kingdom was established primarily for the Father’s glory and the salvation of His people, the kingdom inevitably exerts its influence on the world in time and space, in real history and among real nations. Christ established His kingdom so that, through His people, He could bring all nations and the entire creation under His sway.

The gospel of the kingdom, then, is something more than a message of personal deliverance from hell. The gospel is not only the good news of individual salvation, but also the good news that in Christ a new creation has begun (2 Cor. 5:17).

As William J. Dumbreall has expressed it, ‘To say…that the gospel is Christ crucified, or Christ dying for sins is correct: but we need to put the further question, “with what in view?”. On this question the Pauline evidence…is unequivocal. Christ crucified is the architect of the new creation, the new Adam, the Image.’ The establishment of the new world order of the kingdom was not a rescue operation, but the beginning of a cosmic construction project.”

       Peter Leithart, The Kingdom and the Power, pp.169,170.

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