Standing in the Gap

What does it mean to be a world Christian? Nancy and I are reading In the Gap by David Bryant, a book that seeks to answer that question.

Bryant makes three main points:

  • We are called to a greater view of God.
  • We are called to a bigger vision of the world.
  • We are called to stand in the gap as ambassadors from a holy and loving God to a needy and lost world.

The following is an excerpt from Bryant’s book (which sadly is out of print).

Christ’s coming isn’t one in a series of equally significant events in God’s worldwide purpose. Rather it is the fulfillment and direction to everything else God is doing among the nations. As Abraham’s nobler heir, Christ receives God’s purpose to bless all earth’s families and is Himself its guarantee. Through Him who takes away the sin of the whole world, God’s purpose extends once and for all beyond one nation to the ends of the earth; beyond any one cultural form of the Kingdom (Israel) to break through to all kinds of people everywhere. His blood can and will ransom sinners form every tongue, tribe, and nation.

And, since Jesus rose and lives, He continues to lead God’s worldwide purpose to its ultimate triumph: when all things are finally summed up in Him, all His enemies destroyed, and all glory given to His Father. The kingdoms of the world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Messiah. Then, He will shine like the sun for the cosmopolitan city the Bible calls His Bride and Wife. From beginning to end—from before the foundation of the world until the New Heaven and Earth—Christ remains the center of God’s worldwide purpose.

Therefore, He is also central to our own involvement in God’s worldwide purpose. Since He gave the Great Commission, its priority has not been diminished why two thousand years of the Church’s historical ebb and flow. The fundamental basis of the Christian world missionary movement is Christ’s universal authority. As John Stott observes, His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations, His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And, His presence with us (“Look! I am with you always to the climax of this age!”) leaves us no other choice.

And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Colossians 1:18-20

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