Q.How are these articles divided?
A: Into three parts: God the Father and our creation; God the Son and our deliverance; and God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.
I remember taking Composition Classes I was in grade school. The teacher explained to us often that any story had to have a flow that started with a beginning, following by a plot in the middle and finishing with a conclusion. Well, The Bible is no different. If you read the Bible as a whole it tells a beautiful story of redemption and love. Though studying the Apostles’ Creed we are able to pause and see the metanarrative of The Bible. Let’s explore this narrative as we study The Heidelberg Catechism q 24.
In its entirety, The Bible is inspired by God. He used men at different historical periods to write it but all of them were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, even though most authors never knew each other, The Bible follows a story about God’s doing for His children.
BEGINNING: The story starts with creation. God made everything out of nothing. This is called creation “ex nihilo”, creation out of nothing. God started this out of an over abundance of love. He didn’t have to create anything. He in Himself is completely content, full, in need of nothing. But out of this trinitarian love, God created everything by the power of His Word. Everything He created was good. But the crown of His creation was mankind (Psalm 8). God created human beings, male and female, in His image (Genesis 1:27). God made mankind to be in communion with Him. To glorify and obey God in order to have an abundant, perfect life. But mankind was tempted. Satan planted seeds of doubt and unbelief and instead of running to God for help, Adam and Eve chose to disobey and decay, disaster and death entered the world.
MIDDLE: As soon as sin entered the world, the world experience pain, groaning, decay, death. Nothing would work the way God made it to work. Everything was now tainted by sin. Mankind was doomed to live an separated from God for all eternity. But in God’s grace and mercy, He gave humanity hope. Hope that one day, Someone would come to deliver, to regenerate, to restore. That Someone is Jesus. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty for the captives and opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor… (Is. 61:1-2). Christ came as a propitiation or payment for our sins. Christ came to live the perfect life we cannot live, to die the brutal and eternal death that we deserve, and to rise on the 3rd day to proclaim victory for those who believe in Him, those who put their faith in Him. But when He ascended, just as He had promised, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. After all, He is Emmanuel, God with us…always…to the ends of time.
Today we live in the already not yet tension. We have been forgiven, we have been declared righteous. However, we still live in a fallen world that hasn’t been fully regenerated. Already but not yet. So while we walk in this life, in this broken world, we still groan, we still falter, we still fall. But The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life that is Christ like. He empowers and reminds us to come back in repentance to The Cross of Christ and find forgiveness and power and joy and peace in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This staying in repentance as we walk through life and become more Christ like is called sanctification. It is a process that lasts our lifetime.
CONCLUSION: But our King, our Redeemer, our Counselor will come back for us. In a near future He will come back so that our not yet becomes our already. He will come back to judge everything evil, to condemn all unrighteousness and to welcome all of us, His children to His regenerated Kingdom, where all will be made good again. He will wipe our tears. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. (Rev.21:4). This reality of future glory empowers us to live in our still fallen world boldly proclaiming hope in Christ alone. His promises allow us to walk in victory through the pain that sin let into our world.
That is the story of The Bible. The beginning, just a couple of chapters allows us to understand that God is King. God is the One who tells us who we are, what is right and what is wrong. He is Creator. He is Lord.
The. Middle which is the majority of The Bible, points us to our desperate need for a Savior and shows us Jesus coming and saving us. This part also points us to the Holy Spirit who continues to empower our living and our repenting, our permanence in Christ.
The conclusion which is again but a couple chapters long allows us to yearn for Christ’s Second Advent, where all will be made right again. It empowers us to live in as people who have arrived while we wait for His coming.
The Bible, dear sister is a beautiful story because it invites you to come and see Jesus. To come and see that He is good…oh so good.
So today, dear sister, I want to ask you; have you came and seen? Have you experience redemption in Christ? Is your heart yearning for that glorious Second coming? And if you haven’t come and seen, will you open your Bible, read it for yourself with a heart that yearns for truth and see what God does in your life? Because only Christ can fill that longing for beauty and justice that deep down bothers you.
In Christ. #enthralledbygrace