This chapter is a general introduction to the Gospel of Matthew. The author takes a look at authorship, date, place of origin, the intended audience, the structure of the book, and Matthew’s purpose with the book.
The focus in chapter 4 is Paul’s view of heaven. The author reflects upon the eschatological aspects of heaven, notably the final state of believers. He first notes the Old Testament background to Paul’s understanding of heaven, then the basic structure of Paul's thought, and finally a focus on the believer’s final, future state prior to and after the return of Christ.
The story of the Bible can be seen as the story of heaven above coming down to earth, God coming down to humanity, to lift it up. Ortlund explores in Chapter 2 how heaven appears in the Old Testament in three different ways: indirectly as part of the Old Testament narrative; through developed narratives involving heaven directly (e.g.
Chapter 1 traces the work of the Holy Spirit empowering the leaders of Israel in the Old Testament. Leaders noted are Joseph (Genesis 39:1ff.), Bezalel (Exodus 35:1–39:43), Moses and the seventy elders (Numbers 11:1–35), Joshua (Numbers 27:15–23), Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson (Judges 3:1–16:31), Saul (1 Samuel 9:1–16:23), and David (1 Chronicles).
Is the kingdom of God the central message of Jesus Christ’s teaching? There are numerous interpretations of the kingdom.
This introduction indicates the great importance of a good grasp of the kingdom of God—it is indispensable for a proper understanding of Jesus Christ and the redemption he accomplished. A good understanding of the kingdom illuminates many other aspects of theology. The introduction also reflects on divergent views of the kingdom.
This is a book about the unity of the church of Christ, and chapter 1 is a short theology of the unity of the church. This unity is a demonstration of God’s purpose of cosmic unity (Colossians 1:15-20). The church further displays the unity and uniqueness of God; the unity of the church reflects the glory of God.