I’ve tried telling a short version of God’s Story told in Scripture. I’m certainly not unique in attempting this. My main hope is showing the gospel (death / burial / resurrection) in connection with how God created people and the world, how people and the world now are (mixed good and bad) and how God will bring things to completion (good over bad). For 2 main reasons:
1) Some people get confused about God in light of their experiences of the mix of good and bad in life
a. Some non-Christians either don’t think they need God because
i. They have enough good as is and thus don’t need God
ii. They think God isn’t really good because there is evil and suffering
b. Some Christians get discouraged about the seeming distance of God
i. They see non-Christians enjoying their life without God and religion so they wonder why they bother
ii. They don’t see God rescue them from really hard situations so they wonder if He really cares (or is really even there)
2) Some Christians get confused about our purpose
Some think we get saved and just try and ‘hold on’ until Jesus returns
i. Stay focused on the church (internally)
ii. Avoid bad people and things
b. Some think we should just be a version of good people among others
i. ‘Good doesn’t have to be directly connected to God, all religions (and non-religion) are fine as long as they are good’
ii. ‘Getting along is more important than getting right (mercy focused grace is everything)’
But we know scripture teaches that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works, but saved so that we may be useful (Eph2:8-10 and such).
1. Creation: God made us. Therefore He determines what is right and should get appropriate recognition.
2. Fall: Although it is true that everyone has good in them (image of God) it is also true that everyone has defied their Creator and needs redemption
3. Redemption: Only Jesus was qualified to redeem us. Only Jesus actually does redeem us. We must go through him uniquely to be justified.
4. Transformation: We are not saved just to avoid bad, we are saved to be empowered to fulfill our original purposes of living wisely under God for the world
i. therefore we eagerly seek to grow up in character along with the family (church is good AND intentional)
ii. and we eagerly seek to offer goodness in general and gospel hope in particular to the world around us
5. Completion: God in Christ is the future and we should rearrange all of our priorities accordingly (even if it is hard and not always obvious)