The Mission of the Church


Thomas F. Torrance, "The Mission of the Church," Scottish Journal of Theology 19 (1966): 129-143; #1966-243


Torrance, Thomas F. "The Mission of the Church." Scottish Journal of Theology 19 (1966): 129-143; #1966-243

Publication life cycle / General notes

Sequel to #1963-199: "Part of an essay written for the Faith and Order 'Commission on Christ and His Church', of the World Council of Churches, and sequel to the essay, 'The Foundation of the Church', published in SJT 16.2, 1963, pp. 113-31."

Translated into French: #1966-244.

Reprinted in Robert Walker, ed., Atonement (#2009-TFT-1k). Walker: "This section is an abridged version of a duplicated student handout (23 pages) entitled 'The One Church of God'. The handout was 'part of an essay written for the Faith and Order 'Commission on Christ and His Church', of the World Council of Churches.' The first two sections of the handout were published in the Scottish Journal of Theology (SJT), vol. 16.2 (1963), pp. 113-31, under the title 'The Foundation of the Church' and subsequently reprinted in Theology in Reconstruction 1965." 

Walker: "The third and final section 'The Sending of the Spirit and the Mission of the Apostles' appears to have been published only in the Scottish Journal of Theology, vol. 19.2 (1966), pp. 129-43, under the title 'The Mission of the Church'...." (#1966-243). 


In His birth, life, death and resurrection Jesus Christ finished the work the Father gave Him to do. He the eternal Son and Word of God, by whom all things were made and in whom all things cohere, became flesh, a Man among men, incorporating Himself into the humanity He had made but which had alienated itself from God through sin. It was our corrupt human nature that He took upon Him, but in taking it and in living out His holy life in it, He condemned sin in the flesh and saved what He had assumed, healing and sanctifying the mother through whom He was born, the sinners with whom He identified Himself and to whom He communicated His grace, the company of men and women which He built around Him as His own body, loving them and giving Himself for them, and in them for all mankind. In this oneness with us, wrought out in birth, in life and in death, He offered in Himself to the Father a sacrifice of obedience, bearing our judgment and offering us in Himself to the judgment of the Father, that through His life of obedience in our place where we are disobedient, and through His judgment in our place where we have no justification, He might destroy sin in our body of sin, death in our body of death, and raise us up in Himself to righteousness and new life, presenting us before God as those whom He had brothered and redeemed, and therefore as sons and daughters of the Father in Him.