Two threads intertwine through the biblical story like the two strands of DNA: a theology of covenant, and a theology of kingdom.
To speak of covenant is to speak a familial language. God comes to Abram, whose name means ‘great father,’ and makes a covenant – whereby each party is to be considered as the other, or, as the marriage contract expresses it, “All that I am I give to you; all that I have I share with you.” This covenant is made “with you and your children.” Abram has no children, as yet; but the consequence of the covenant is that they are to experience God as great father – while God’s identity as ‘father to nations’ is conferred upon Abram, expressed through a name-change to Abraham…
In the covenant, we experience God as our father, mother, husband; Jesus as our brother; and Holy Spirit as guarantor of our experiencing ourselves as children, friends, bride.
To speak of kingdom is to speak a language of exercising dominion. God has dominion of all creation, and delegated dominion over all the earth to human-kind. Human-kind was tricked into abdicating that exercising of dominion, in favour of God’s enemy. So God embraced humanity within his own being, and won for us a decisive liberation; and re-commissioned us with delegated power and authority to exercise dominion, joining him in destroying the works of the upstart principality of the enemy...
In the kingdom, we experience God as King; Jesus as anointed heir, and co-regent; and Holy Spirit as guarantor of our experiencing ourselves as anointed co-heirs, ambassadors, spiritual warriors.
Within the strand of covenant, the internal frontiers to be won are a pressing-on into greater knowledge of the nature of our identity; the external frontiers that flow out of that, won by a greater exercising of obedience.
Within the strand of kingdom, the internal frontiers to be won are a pressing-on into greater knowledge of the nature of our Jesus-derived authority; the external frontiers that flow out of that, won by a greater exercising of our Jesus-derived power.