The Story of God
I am praying that many of you who are a part of Grace Fellowship will journey with us through the entire Bible this year as we commune with and get to know the heart and will of our God in greater measure. The plan we have chosen to follow unfolds the story of God in chronological order.
Use one of these methods to join us on our journey through God’s story:
At Grace Fellowship we make much of the Bible – first and foremost because this is not merely the words of men but in truth it is the Word of the Living God. Many people reject or mock the Bible – I used to – though I had never read it. But I have now and it is not like any other book – it is a book that man could not have written and it is a book that man would not have ever written.
There are many reasons why we have been forced to conclude what we have and if you stick around Grace long enough, you will hear many of these. But the main reason why we affirm this Bible to be the very Word of God – a revelation from the One true God – is because Jesus said so. He claimed to be God come in human flesh (incarnation) and then He rose from the dead. Do you get that? He conquered death – proving He was who He said and all things were as He said.
If Jesus truly is God come in the flesh – who died a real death on the cross – and rose again as King of the universe – then this impacts all of us and we have to deal with it and everything He has spoken. (If not, then nothing in this book really matters, but if He is risen and living and ruling then we need to give heed to everything this book declares – for our good and Jesus’ glory and honor.
The Bible is a book that essentially unfolds a story. The story of Jesus – our amazing God. (i.e. “In the Volume of the book it is written of Me” – Heb. 10:7). It is not simply a group of poems or little wise sayings as we flip it open here and there.
As we walk through the story of the Bible to help us get the bigger context, it will be a massive help to us as we approach and then read it in its parts.
The Bible story can be highlighted in 6 words:
Right in our first week of reading, we are introduced to the God of heaven and heaven – our creator and sustainer of all there is.
Gen. 1:1 – Before anything we see existed – there was God. The creation testifies of the Creator. The existence of any created object testifies that there is a Creator. (My watch etc. – testifies someone designed and made this).
This God is not like a man – He is unique – the Bible uses the term “holy” which means totally unique – separate and high above everything else.
First God is Spirit, Jesus tells us in John 4 – God is not limited by a physical body such as we are. He is eternal – no one has to wind Him up and does not have to recharge by eating or drinking or sleeping as we do. He is life and is the giver of life.
Acts 17:25 – God is complete and does not need anything (As a holy, triune God, the Father, Son, and Spirit have shared an eternal love relationship and happy fellowship as the one true God – John 17:5). We see right in our first chapter of Genesis with the use of “us” that God is community. (i.e. “Let us make man in our image”) This makes the one true and living God unique from all other so-called gods. This God is not the same as other gods – just with a different name.
The beginning of our story is God – not our birth. The story is not about us – we are not the main character. We have a supporting role. The story is about a glorious, eternally happy God.
God the Father spoke and Jesus created the universe out of nothing (John 1). We belong to God as His creatures. We answer to Him. We serve His purposes – created by Him and for Him.
Gen. 1 – God created it good (verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31) (Good is measured by its purpose). We were created in God’s image (God is community). We were created to be in community with God and one another.
It doesn’t take long into our reading before that which was “very good” goes terribly wrong. Something is wrong in the world and something is wrong with us – Gen. 3. The lie and deception – to doubt the goodness and love of God – and wrong interpretation (interpreting God as a cosmic killjoy who cannot be trusted) – was embraced by the first human creatures – Adam and Eve. The couple is already in trouble when they begin talking “about” God rather than communing “with” and talking “to” God.
Their sin was not the mere eating of fruit or breaking a rule, it was an act of treason – rebellion to a God who had only shown us good. The result of sin is death and all the brokenness that results from separating ourselves from the God of life and source of all goodness.
Praise God, that right in the midst of the section of the rebellion and fall of the mankind is a wonderful promise made by our wonderful Creator. In Gen. 3:15 we have God’s promise of a Redeemer – one who would come to save us from sin, Satan, death, and hell. (“The crushing of the serpent comes at real personal cost to the one inflicting the blow.”) The Redeemer will set things right and restore the relationship with Himself that was fractured and lost at the fall. God is a pursuing God. In grace, the One offended sets about to conquer sin, Satan, death and hell.
“Yahweh is a God who loves people who have no love for him. His nature, revealed most clearly at Calvary on the cross, is redemptive and missionary. At the cross, when God-in-Christ was crucified, we see the heart of God exposed. It is a heart that beats for the salvation of lost sinners.”
And we have only just begun to discover the heart and character of our God who is worthy of all our trust and obedience…