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A New Kind of Church for a New Kind of World, by Frank Viola

That ministry is enunciated in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And again in Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed what the Kingdom of God was all about by loving outcasts, befriending the oppressed, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, caring for the poor, driving out demons, forgiving sins, etc.

If you peel back His miracles, the common denominator underneath them all is that He was alleviating human suffering and showing forth what the future Kingdom of God looked like.

When Jesus did His miracles, He was indicating that He was reversing the effects of the curse.

In Jesus’ ministry, a bit of the future had penetrated the present.

Jesus embodied the future Kingdom of God where human suffering will be eradicated and there will be peace, justice, freedom, and joy.

The church, which is His Body in the world, carries on this ministry. It stands on the earth as a sign of the coming Kingdom. The church lives and acts in the reality that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the world today. It lives in the presence of the future . . . in the-already-but-not-yet of the Kingdom of God.

For this reason, the church is commissioned to proclaim and embody the Kingdom now … to bring a bit of the new creation into the old creation … to bring a piece of heaven into the earth … demonstrating to the world what it will look like when God is calling the shots. In the life of the church, God’s future has already begun.

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Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Summer 2008

About the Author: Frank Viola has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. He has written many books on these themes, including God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, and The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels. He blogs regularly at Twitter

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