The whole of scripture is the story of God's plan to redeem his creation. From beginning to end, it is a carefully crafted historical narrative through which we learn about the Creator and his creation. Let's look at the metanarrative of scripture and observe how we fit within this continuing epic saga.
Our study of the overarching narrative of scripture comes to a close with a vision of the victory that is yet to come in full. In one sense we have already taken hold of the victory, but the perfection of it has yet to be realized. We have a part to play in the continuing story of the Lord’s church as we strive to stake a claim in the New Jerusalem.
The Human Condition III
We have short memories. Scripture is riddled with examples of the short attention span of mankind. The early church was no different. Only a few decades following the establishment of the church, Paul must begin to diffuse tensions, correct error, and generally clean up the messes that were already being made of the Gospel of Jesus. Do we really think we are so different? Maybe we can finally be the people who would learn from the mistakes of the past as opposed to repeating them.
The Renewed Israel
As the book of Acts opens, the Apostles are asking Jesus about the renewal of Israel. Jesus’ answer is expectedly unexpected. In fact, it was time to restore Israel, but it was going to look far different from the anticipated result. God’s plan for his people has come full circle, but with a twist. Those on the fringe are no longer on the fringe. Those who were once looking in from the outside have found themselves squarely in the center of God’s story. And so have you.
The King's Lineage
Israel wants a king – a different king. They have grown tired of God as their king and they just want to be like the nations around them. God warns them of the turmoil that will come with a man on the throne, but they don’t want to hear from God. And so the lineage of Judah’s kings begins in the house of Saul and will ultimately come to a close in a manger in Bethlehem.
The Human Condition II
A few weeks ago, we observed the human condition when we looked at God’s judgment in the flood. The condition of humanity rears its ugly head again here in the people of Israel – God’s chosen people. The judges come and go to God’s people bringing God’s message to Israel hoping to bring them close to the God that led them through Canaan.
Israel on a Mission
Having spent well over a half of a millennium waiting on God to deliver on his promise, Israel is ready to lay siege to the land that was promised to Abraham so many centuries ago. They have spent a wealth of time in preparation, and they are ready to begin their conquest of the Land of Canaan.
Preparing the People
Before God can deliver on his promise to Abram and lead the people into the promised land of Canaan, they must go through a season of preparation. They endured times of blessing, slavery, and wandering through the wilderness. At times the people seem lost and wonder if God is still with them, and they struggle to understand how God is working among them.
The Call of Israel
Some time has passed since Noah and his family came out of the ark. Some lines have been blessed and others have already received a curse because of their ungodly behavior. God approaches a nomadic shepherd named Abraham and delivers a promise that would redefine all of mankind and set the stage for the next scene in this epic saga of humanity.
The Human Condition I
Sin is progressive and has deep fibrous roots that extend far beyond the immediate consequences my perception. The devastating consequences of the actions of Adam and Eve in the garden have grown. The human condition has spiraled into a seemingly incontrollable nose dive. Something must be done to rectify the situation. The flood is coming and it will be the first vessel of redemption for God’s creation.
Sin enters creation and brings with it death, decay, and various other forms of destruction and perversion. Humanity is forced to live in exile, banished from the perfect paradise of God and coping with the fractured relationships they once had with both God and man while they were in the Garden. The creation rebelled against the creator, and the first exile is under way.
So the story begins. The Garden of Eden was a perfect paradise. God walked freely among his creation. Man and God communed intimately and regularly with one another. This is the way God intended it to be – Creator and creation in perfect harmony. We have glimpses back into this relationship from time to time, but our restoration is not yet complete.
The story of redemption Pt 2
We are a people created with story in our hearts. Narratives resonate with us at our core. We identify with story lines in books and moves because they reflect our own story – our own journey. We will finish looking at God’s epic saga. In acts III and IV of this saga, we see the path to restoration and its achievement.
The story of redemption Pt 1
The Redemption Story – Epic: We are infatuated with stories. It is a part of our makeup. It is how we were created. It should be no surprise that God's Word comes to us in the form of an epic saga. And the narrative is not over yet. We have a part to play in the story of God's redemption of mankind. Tonight we will begin a journey through the story of God's chosen people and seek out ways in which we participate in God's continuing narrative.