I’ve been blogging through ten of the biggest big ideas in the Bible. Somehow every passage seems to touch on at least a few of these. So far we’ve pondered God, creation, sin, grace and faith. Today’s idea brings so much together, but may we never take it for granted:
6. In God’s great plan of redemption He brings home straying adulterous hearts into the fullness of His forever family.
The story of the Bible is the story of the redemption of humanity, but this doesn’t make it a story about us. Primarily it is the story of God.
It is His promised grace that overcomes fatal sin. It is His faithfulness to His word. It is His self-revelation, His becoming flesh and His sacrifice that does what we could never do. In the end it will be His bride presented to Him by His Father, and His kingdom presented to His Father. The redemption story is God’s story, and it reflects God’s character throughout.
The salvation offered to humanity is a gift beyond compare. Doctrines weave together into the richest tapestry, like the glorious righteousness in which we are clothed, and ultimately transformed. What are the beautiful threads?
Justification speaks of the transformative conquering of sin and guilt in the gracious and righteous declaration of a hideous price fully paid. Reconciliation speaks of the broken relationship restored to more than it ever could have been without the redemption story. Adoption speaks of the gracious inclusion into the inheritance and provision of the divine family. New birth speaks of the spiritual life transforming the dead heart into a living, beating reflection of the heart of our Abba. Cleansing speaks of the inside-out purging of impurity. Sanctification speaks of a precious and careful ownership. Glorification speaks of magnificence yet unseen in the loving embrace of a giving God.
As you would expect of a triune God, the imagery of redemption’s story is saturated in relational colours. Like a lost son we are arrested by a stunning display of our loving Father’s self-humiliating grace. Like a straying harlot wife we are melted and won by our groom’s persistent love. Like an enemy wishing Him dead, we are made His friends by His laying down of His life.
The problem of sin is so profound, and the solution so beyond the creature, that the whole of creation groans in anticipation of the redemption of the pinnacle of creation. Yet how creation will sing when made new in the final answer to the question of rebellion. Is there better life to be found apart from God? Is there life at all? No. He is the life giver, and what lengths He has gone to in order to give us life!
Eternal life in the joy filled family of the truly life-giving God.
So when we preach a passage in the Bible, we preach a snapshot from the family album that tells the tremendous tale of God’s great love story. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!