God’s Story

The drama we live in is God’s story. A good drama has good and evil characters. In the case of God’s story, only one character turns out to be good. Without a hero, God’s story would be grim and without hope. The intention of evil, in God’s story, is for the hero to be resisted, in His activity, and obscured from plain view. That is, until the final day, the climax of the story.

People are conditioned to believe that heroes have colorful costumes, but the hero of God’s story saves the world, with modest charisma and without dithyramb. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus Christ would have no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him (Is 53:2). For this reason, men miss the hero. God’s intention is for Him to be proclaimed, so that He might be known. It is our desire to publish Him here, by telling His story, in short.

Another tension exists within the larger story. If God intends for Jesus Christ to be known, and Satan intends to obfuscate His identity and heroic works, then why does the Author of the story not simply over-ride the resistance? The answer is the glory of God. God will be glorified in His own story, by displaying His attributes, some of which would not be seen without evil posing it problems. Humanity is part of the story. We are creatures and characters in this drama.

Every story has a series of points on which the plot turns. The plot line is what connects the key points. The plot line leads us to a climax in the story, and then there is a resolution before the story ends. God’s story has all of these component parts, and we will attempt to establish these key points on the plot line of history, showing the climax and the resolution.

First, God is the author of the drama of life. Everything that has ever occurred was authored by Him. Granted, that is a lot of story, but all of history belongs to the One who mused it and brought it into being. God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Gen 1–2), and He is the architect and builder of everything that was made (Heb 11:10). Nothing that was made finds its existence apart from Him. The pinnacle of His creation was a creature made in His own image, man, both male and female (Gen 2). The Author entered a personal relationship with His chief characters. The Author created spirit creatures, too. Angels and humans were to serve God, who made them.

In making them in His likeness, He gave them a will, to fulfill His purposes for them. A portion of the angels used their will to rebel against God, and they enticed the humans to join in their insurrection against God. Thus, evil was written into the story. This produced the tension previously noted. This also produced the first major turn in the plot line.

God’s glory was seen, in part, by what He had created. Men and angels should have glorified God and enjoyed their relationship with Him, but darkness now pervaded the hearts and minds of men, in the same way it manifested in the evil angels (demons). The personal relationship was broken, and the cause was given a name…sin.

Second, sin separated men and demons from God, who is holy. Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4). It began with the demons and infected Adam and Eve, the first of God’s created humans. The rebellion against God was a corporate action, and the progeny of our first parents were all poisoned, by inheriting a sin nature (Eph 2:3). This nature is a propensity to commit crimes and transgressions against God, who established a Law, to display and demand holiness. God told man what was required of him, as a creature, but man, spurred on by demons persisted with his iniquities. God had warned Adam and Eve that the consequence of rebellion would be death.

Death is the absence of life. Upon removal from the Garden of Eden, man observed the stunning depravity of his new environment. The memory of Eden began to fade, along with the knowledge of God. Wherever life appeared, entropy ensued and engulfed; and therefore, reproduction was crucial for life to continue. The threat of extinction was observable and man began to administer conservation. Something in humans wants to live and not die. All sinned, however, and therefore, all die (Rom 3:23; 6:23). Death was clearly unavoidable. It was also mysterious because no one came back to give a report.

Death became a fearful issue. Man searched for the fountain of youth and produced endless consumer products, to abate the obvious decay in his appearance. He conjured up theories of what happens to him — after the body falls lifeless, is buried, and forgotten.

Meanwhile, God was telling man exactly what happens to him after biological life is finished. It is appointed once for a man to die and then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27). God judges each person for the deeds done in the body, both good and evil. God told man that no one does good, not even one (Rom 3:10–12). Every intention of a man’s heart was only evil, all the time (Gen 6:5). Punishment was the result of man being justly judged, for being only evil. Meanwhile, Satan, the adversary of God and destroyer of man, told his slaves that God’s story was tomfoolery (1 Cor 1:18).

The result of the devil’s deception was that man thought he was good. He thought his works were good. He convinced himself that sin was not a big problem. He largely ignored death, until it suddenly came upon him or visited him after many years. By that point, he had convinced himself that either nothing or only good awaited his soul, after his body finally failed him. The fear of death was best dealt with by distraction, and then, when the time came to face death, theories of mortality were reinforced by religion.

Religion is man’s way of avoiding God through self-medicating the soul. Instead of humbly submitting himself to God, man created another god(s) in his own sinful image. The true image of God (imago Dei) was marred, and this now served as an object for worship. Evil was celebrated in subtle ways. Man made graven images of himself, and when he was not entirely convinced of his own greatness, he made icons of animals and plants for him to bow down and worship. False religion remains the most vivid argument for the depravity of man. It exalts man to the place of God (Gen 11).

Third, the plot line in God’s story turned again with the arrival of the hero. God sent His only begotten Son into the world, as the universally needed Savior. Jesus Christ came into God’s story, as God incognito. As God’s Son, He did not think equality with God as anything to be grasped (Phil 2:6). He was God incarnate (Jn 1:14). The eternal Son took on flesh and dwelt among us. He was fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of a virgin girl, in order to avoid the inherited sin of Adam (original sin). Because He was God, He was impeccable. It was impossible for Him to sin. This qualified Him, to do the work He came to finish…with perfection.

Jesus Christ came into the world to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). God had authored salvation, into the drama of creation and fall. This third point is climactic. Jesus Christ was not just a good teacher or a good prophet. He came to bear our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet 2:24). He represented God His Father as prophet, priest, and king. Jesus taught the people, and His teachings revealed His Father in heaven to them.

Jesus laid down His life on the cross, as our great High Priest. He offered Himself up to God, as the Lamb of God. The sacrificial lamb was offered to God, in the place of the person who realized she must pay for her sins, in order to have atonement with God. Separation demanded reconciliation, and sin’s penalty must be paid. As our substitute Jesus Christ shed His precious blood, in an acceptable act of redemption (1 Pet 1:19). His ransom payment, for slaves to sin, was acceptable, with the Law being fulfilled and the blood sacrifice offered. God could justly extend mercy to sinners (Rom 9:15).

Jesus Christ’s perfect, sinless life and unblemished sacrifice for sins, was intended to save His people; and it has done that because death no longer has power over those who were sprinkled with His blood. The tomb could not hold Jesus, and He was resurrected from the dead. Not only that, but He ascended into heaven, to be enthroned as King of glory. With all authority in heaven and earth given to Him (Mt 28:18), Jesus Christ reigns over all of His creation. In sending the Holy Spirit the plot turns again.

Fourth, the resolution to God’s story includes the Holy Spirit of God, applying the blood of Christ to God’s chosen people, in every generation, in anticipation of the full number of the elect being incorporated into the body of Christ, the church. God calls all people to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ, in faith (Acts 17:30). God asks, “Why will you die?” Sinful man is unwilling to come. In fact, with himself as the primary obstacle, and Satan as a secondary obstruction, man is spiritually unable to heed the call of God, to come to Christ Jesus for salvation. Man remains 100% responsible for his sin and insubordination, and his ignoring the call to salvation, highlights his own ignorance, laziness, and love of sin.

But God has decreed to over-ride man’s inability (Rom 8:7), by choosing some for salvation (2 Thess 2:13). It is Christ Jesus who died for these elect persons (Jn 10:11, 15), and the Holy Spirit comes to them with regenerating power to overcome unwillingness and inability (Jn 3:1–8). It is God the Father, who has given these people to the Son (Jn 6:37a), and it is certain that they will come to Christ.

All who come to Christ for salvation have blessed assurance, for Jesus Himself said, “…the one who comes to Me, I will certainly not cast out (Jn 6:37b).” It is necessary for all people to come to the one and only way of salvation (Jn 14:6), but they will not come unless the Father who sent the Son drags (Gk. elkuse) them to Christ (Jn 6:44). Faith in Christ is granted to them, from the Father (Jn 6:65; Phil 1:29). By turning from sin and death to Christ, who is life, these born again believers have the indwelling Spirit of Christ living in them (Rom 8:9, 11).

The future will see the story play out, with men and women repenting and believing in Christ…or dying in their trespasses and sins. It will be manifested, whether they are eternally chaff to be burned or wheat from God’s harvest. The resolution of God’s story began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), and it will be consummated on the day of Jesus Christ’s return, to judge the living and the dead (Mt 24:29–25:46; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5).

In summary, we have considered turns in the drama of God’s story. First, God created, but man sinned. Second, sin held dominion over man and enslaved him, with his end being hell and the lake of fire for eternity. Third, God sent the solution, the Son of God, who perfectly played the role of hero and Savior of the world. Finally, we looked at the remarkable irony of man rejecting the only way of salvation. We saw how God caused some people to be born again, a necessity because of their unwillingness and inability. These people will forever be grateful to God for having mercy on them; while the others will have all eternity to continue their rejection of God, in the place of punishment (Mt 25:46; Jude 7).

In conclusion, God’s story provides a glorious view to innumerable attributes of God, including His love, mercy, grace, as well as, His righteousness, justice, and wrath. All of these are on display for all people to see, especially in the person of Jesus Christ. This is an abbreviated version of God’s story, but at any length, it is a good story…for those who believe it.

David E. Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 19, 2020

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher