Welcome to God’s Story, the first lesson in Meeting Your Guide. In this introduction, we’re going to look at the Good News – the gospel, or as I’ve called it, God’s Story. We’re going to see that His Story breaks down into four related and deeply interconnected aspects or realities. What I’d like to do is introduce those four aspects to you right now, and then develop each aspect further in a separate Lesson Topic below.
So, let’s briefly survey the four aspects.
First, God’s story starts by saying something profound about God Himself. He reveals to us that He is the One who created us, the holy, loving, wise, and sovereign God, who cares about us and for us daily, and the One to whom we are presently and ultimately accountable.
Second, the Good News says something about us. It teaches us that we are not an accident, but rather the work of God Himself. The Bible says that we are made in His image, made for relationship with God Himself! We have inestimable value in His eyes. But, He has has painstakingly made it clear that we have arrogantly turned our backs on Him. We have severed our relationship with Him, seeking autonomy above all things. Our refusal to acknowledge our treason has disastrous and ruinous effects that must and will be faced.
Third, at the heart of God’s story, the Good News, stands the person and work of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. We cannot talk about God’s story without saying something about what He achieved for us on the cross and through His resurrection. It is through the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation (present reign) of the Son of God that we learn that God’s story is first of all a story of salvation, that is, rescue, wherein He delivers us from the certain judgment for the sins we have committed and continue to commit.
Fourth, if we are to be faithful to this “Good News” (i.e., the gospel) as presented in scripture, we must acknowledge that God’s story is made known to us with a note of warning as well as promise. As we come to understand God’s story, we sense the living and reigning Christ summoning us to repent (turn) from our sin and turn back to Him, trusting Him alone for pardon and renewal. Jesus warns repeatedly about certain and eternal judgment if we refuse to acknowledge our sin, if we steadfastly maintain our present course of unbelief. There will be no place we can hide when Jesus returns to judge (cf. Heb 4:13).
But, there is a note of profound hope in the Good News! God promises to welcome, pardon, and restore anyone, no matter who they are or what they’ve done, if they will humbly acknowledge their sin and turn to Him. God promises over and over again in Scripture that He will receive any and all who turn to Him in faith, abandoning their pride and self-reliance, trusting in Christ alone for complete pardon and renewal. Our best efforts, past, present, or future – be they religious or whatever – will not secure God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness, reconciliation to God, and renewal are found through faith in Christ and faith in Him alone.
So, where are you?
These four points comprise God’s story. They clearly tell us who He is and what He has done for us. They also clearly tell us what He now requires of us. So, where are you? Have you decided to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior? IF not, can you put your finger on why? Can you verbalize it in a single sentence or share it with a Christian?
Let’s keep moving forward, asking God to open our eyes to see things we have never seen before. Join me in the first topic in this lesson, A Word about God, wherein we reflect for moment on the God who created us, cares for us and to whom we are ultimately accountable.