The Whole Story

adamjesus

I was teaching the kids the promises God gave to Abraham, when the pastor decided to switch to Billy Graham’s Christmas box material. After reviewing the twelve planned lessons, I couldn’t see why lesson 2 jumped from Adam and Eve’s sin to lesson 3 about Jesus’ birth. So Adam and Eve sinned and God sent Jesus to save us from our sins. What about the whole bible story from Abraham to Moses, to David and kings til the Babylonian Captivity? As if the Gospel was only about forgiveness of sins and entering heaven.

I see the story as beginning with Abraham and the promises: descendants, land, and blessing, fulfilled in Moses, Joshua, David, and Jesus. How can we ignore that God is building a kingdom people and that we become part of that plan? “They will be my people and I will be their God.”

I’m not alone. N.T. Wright, in his book The Day the Revolution Began, explains that he has changed his thinking from “that the death of Jesus was all about God saving me from my ‘sin,’ so that I could ‘go to heaven.’”to “Jesus died in order to … restore human beings with a vocation to play a vital part in God’s purposes for the world.”

Paul’s letter to Titus emphasizes our testimony to the world, and that God is working “to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (2:14). We are here to make a difference in the world: “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives (3:14).

“And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” Titus 3:8

So I will continue to teach the whole story from Abraham to Jesus. We are part of that plan. We are His people.

(Have you ever thought that if a person doesn’t enjoy living with God here on earth, that he won’t enjoy living with God in heaven either? So what’s the point of just giving out “salvation tickets to heaven.”) Matthew 7:21-23