The Big Picture of God’s Story
Here are the notes from Sunday, April 27th, 2014. You can listen to the podcast here.
“Over the last 200 years we have relied in our culture on social progress and enlightenment to bring about the new world in which we would like. So that we have forgotten that the new world that we would like is God’s gift to us already in the crucified and risen Jesus.” – N.T. Wright
The whole story of God needs to stay in our thinking, worship and prayer culture. This shapes our mission. It energizes our mission. When we remain in the context of the whole story of redemption, we remain in the correct size and role in the story. We remain small. God remains in charge and the story remains anchored around God.
Here are significant parts in God’s story:
CREATION (Genesis 1-2)
Heaven and Earth were created as one. They were distinct, yet not separated. Intricately connected together. Heaven is God’s sphere/realm and Earth is where man lived.
SIN and SEPARATION (Genesis 3-Malachi)
It wasn’t until sin entered the picture in chapter 3 that there is a separation of Heaven and Earth. Mankind looked for the end of time when they believed that God would make everything right again. When justice would prevail. They called that The Resurrection.
JESUS THE MESSIAH (Matthew-John)
Jesus paid for the debt that humanity owed. He took care of the our sinful weight. When Jesus came, he transformed their thinking when he said, “I am the Resurrection!” Repent and believe in me and you will NOT die.
OVERLAP of HEAVEN and EARTH (Acts-Revelation 20)
The Good News is that because of Jesus Christ, we are able to live in a place NOW where Heaven and Earth are overlapped and interlocked. In Jesus Christ the great chasm between Heaven and Earth dissolves. When we repent and believe in Jesus, there is a new reality that we begin to participate in.
REFINER’S FIRE (Peter 3)
Great Judgment where all injustice is corrected. This is the defeat of the final war. The enemy is not a people group, but death itself.
2 Peter 3:6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed…10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
NEW HEAVENS and NEW EARTH(Revelation 21-22)
2 Peter 3:13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.
We believe in a day when our dead bodies will be resurrected and will live forever connected to God. Humans return to that glorious relationship that Adam and Eve had in the garden.
REMEMBER THIS: The great reward for followers of Jesus is not a place that we float off to. We will be in a glorious place. However, instead of that being the focus of the reward, the best part of the resurrection is being reunited directly with Him, and we completely take on His attributes.
WHAT SHOULD LIFE BE LIKE NOW (as we await the new heaven and new earth)?
In Genesis, man was created on sixth day of creation. Jesus died on the sixth day of the week. God rested on 7th day of creation. Jesus rested on the 7th day in the grave.. Then, there is the first day of the week of the new creation.
John 20 – In the morning of the first day of the week… We live in the first day of the new week.
Jesus message to the followers after they saw him rise from the dead was, “Dry your tears and go tell people.” In the evening of that day, he stands in the midst of the disciples and says, “Shalom (peace)”. He breaths the Holy Spirit on them and sends them out.
Jesus challenged the Jews with the kingdom message. He lived in their traditions, but transformed them in the process. Fulfilling their hopes but turning them inside out in the process. Dying as the king of the Jews and rising again to the hope of new heavens and new earth.
As Jesus was to Israel, so the church is to the world. Jesus said, “As the father sent me, so I send you.” Jesus summed up all that Israel looked for but did it in an unimaginable way. That is what the church has to be within the wider world.
We Listen to the world’s stories. We understand the life of the world. Its aspirations, problems, puzzles. And then in the power of the Spirit, we learn how to live in the kingdom of God… in and for that world.
Paul speaks of the Resurrection in his letter to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 15:56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
After talking about Resurrection, he says: “Therefore, steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord because your work in the Lord is not in vain.”
What you are doing in the present is not wasted because of the resurrection. Kingdom-bearing activities are not here today and gone tomorrow.
Somehow Bach’s b-minors mass, your kindergartener’s artwork in Sunday school, and my sermon will all be put into God’s final creation.
Your labor is not going into a void.
- We are implementing the Resurrection
- Anticipating the Final New Creation
We are on a linear timeline, but in the present moment is always capable of intersecting with the past and the future.
- The Israelites ate the fruit of the Promised Land while still in the desert. We eat the fruit of the New Heavens and New Earth while we still inhabit the broken/sin-filled earth. (this is the future breaking into the present)
- When we eat of the Passover, we are bringing alive the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus afresh today. (this is the past breaking into the present)
People always wondered what it would look like if God was running the show. The miracles were the breaking in of God and his demonstrating his divinity over the world. What would it look like if God was running the show? What would it look like if He was in charge. When we see Jesus, we see what it looks like when God runs the show. He also teaches distinctly what the Kingdom of God IS like.
Posted on April 28, 2014, in Sermon Notes, theology and tagged 1 Corinthians 15:58, 2 Peter 3:10, new heavens, nt wright notes, resurrection sermon, robin steele sermon notes, sermon notes for surprised by hope. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.