God Rules through his Word - extract from Foundation module Understanding God's Story


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In the beginning God created through his Word. He simply spoke and brought the world into being out of nothing. Adam and Eve were to express their commitment to the reign of God by trusting his Word of command about not eating the fruit of the tree. But they doubted God’s word and so they rejected God’s rule.

In Genesis 12 God came to Abraham. It was the beginning of God’s plan to restore his rule and create a new humanity. And what God did was speak a word of promise. That word of promise shaped Abraham’s life. He moved from Ur to Canaan, spending his life in tents, in response to God’s word. God was re-establishing his rule through his word. Paul described the promise to Abraham as the gospel announced in advance (Galatians 3:8).

When God liberated his people from Egypt his word was expressed in the law given at Mount Sinai. The law of Moses was the word by which God ruled his people as they waited for the coming Saviour. It was a liberating law. Pharaoh’s rule had been harsh and cruel, but God’s law protected people from oppression and ensured all were provided for. As God’s people lived under his reign through obedience to his word they were to be a light to the nations. They would attract the nations to God.

But time and again God’s people rejected his word. The people asked for a king because they wanted to be ruled like the nations, not by God through his word. God gave them a king, but at the same time raised up prophets to call the people back to his word. The prophets also promised that God would send a new king to re-establish his liberating rule. That king is Jesus.

In Matthew 28 Jesus sends his people out in mission. He has been given all authority by the Father and so he sends us to the nations to announce his coming rule. The rule of Jesus is extended through the proclamation of the word of the gospel. This is how Jesus rules in the world today and this is how we share in his rule. We are heralds of the coming king, calling on people to submit to him. If they do, they will experience his coming rule as life, freedom, justice and blessing. If they continue to reject him, they will experience his coming rule as conquest and defeat. So sharing the gospel message must be at the heart of Christian ministry and mission.

This is why the Bible must be central to all Christian ministry. The Bible is the word of God and the word of God is the means by which God rules and by which he re-establishes his rule. So our job is to preach and teach the Bible so that God’s rule is re-established in people’s hearts and lives.

If you enjoyed this extract you may like to consider further study with Crosslands.  Find more information here.

Beth Butler