I love the phrase ‘practicing Christian’. It suggests so much. It suggests that you’re actually putting things together for a proper performance. Secondly there is the element of actually like a doctor doing what you’re there to do – be a Christian. There’s a lot of timidity in some circles from professing being a follower of Christ. That’s understandable because it does come across as rather arrogant and proud to suggest that you are indeed a disciple of Christ. Yet for all that I profess to follow Jesus Christ. I fail often, but His grace allows me to eventually get over it and get back on the path for His Name’s Sake.
Part of that following sees me being given great opportunities to share and facilitate sessions to explore what it is to follow Jesus. We’re currently going through a 26 week series looking at the basics of belief and in that overall series we’re doing a trilogy on the tragedy to triumph story of the bigger picture of God’s plan of salvation. Last week as you know we looked at the bad news which left us on tenterhooks with just how bad the situation is. I’m a bit concerned by portrayals of Christianity that neglect the bad news. I’m not convinced by the ultra optimistic view of humanity that says that we’re alright really. The mission of Christ to humanity doesn’t make sense in that way of thinking.
I don’t need to make too much of the bad news – the reality of the world outside paints the picture so easily for me. The real delight is in the midst of that to present the good news. This is what we’ll be looking at tomorrow should God spare our lives and I’m getting really excited about it. I’ve had it in mind ever since the series began because it links with the theme of my heart for the last three years which has been about what is the gospel. I hope to post some of the notes and slides from the presentation at some point tomorrow evening, all being well.
What I wanted to do is share some of the very brief points that I’ve made that have formed the basis for the session – a basic outline of the plan of salvation. These notes are in line with my cultural connection which on this occasion is the 80’s cult classic – The A-Team where Hannibal Smith’s catchphrase was so appropriate – “I love it when a plan comes together.”
How the plan comes together
Father creates perfectly – culminating in Man created to reflect Him
Man disobeys and falls into sin, corruption and death – meriting the wrath of God
Father sends Son to live blamelessly – reflecting initial perfect image bearer
Son offers His life as the ransom/payment for sin – taking on God’s wrath
Father raises Jesus from dead by His Spirit
That Spirit is given to men to raise them from death to life by faith and repentance
That which was initially created perfect and corrupted, is seen as perfect again as it is processed to fulfil this picture of perfection
This is such an amazing and glorious picture of the real love of God that this is why He rejoices for every lost one who comes home and why we too should love for the joy of others returning and being shaped into the image of the loving, forgiving, redeeming, restoring, sanctifying and glorifying God. It’s good news to me and I trust it will be good news to you.
For His Name's Sake