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The Christian Story Part 3 – Redemption

First two weeks of covering the Christian story:

1. This world is a good world

2. This world is a broken and bad world

 The core problem being idolatry – treating something other than God as if it
was God

 The difficulty some Christians have with “dark” themes (the example of
lament in the Bible)

Part 3 – Redemption - the purchase back of something that had been lost

What does God do with a broken creation?

 Presumably God could simply decide to start again.

 God does not make junk and he does not junk what he has made.

 The Bible as one long story of salvation - seeking to restore and renew
creation so that it can reach its appointed goal.

 The place of the Old Testament as preparation:

- the law shows our need of forgiveness

- the sacrificial system of Israel shows the way to forgiveness

 Jesus as the chapter on which the whole plot turns

The Christian Story Part 3 – Redemption

 The basic idea in the Christian gospel is that God does for us what we cannot
do for ourselves.

 A story of substitution

For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of
salvation is God substituting himself for man. (John Stott)

“God did not then, inflict pain on someone else, but rather on the cross absorbed the
pain, violence and evil of the world into himself. Therefore the God of the Bible is not
like the primitive deities who demanded our blood for their wrath to be appeased.
Rather, this is a God who becomes human and offers his own lifeblood in order to
honour moral justice and merciful love so that some day he can destroy all evil
without destroying us.” (Tim Keller)

The cross is the point where God and sinful man merge
with a crash and the way to life is opened –
but the crash is on the heart of God. (Oswald Chambers)

The difference between religion and the gospel.

 The gospel is good news for bad people – the gospel is not for good folk.

Thinking through the implications:

Incarnation – God saves the world by fully becoming a human being

 God is personally involved with us

 God knows what it is like to suffer

 There is nothing inherently ungodly about having a body

 Jesus maintained holiness, yet could stay in contact with unholy people.
The Christian Story Part 3 – Redemption

Atonement – the act of reconciling two things which were previously in a state of

The scandal of the cross

Christianity is the only religion which has at its centre the humiliation of its God.
(Bruce Shelley)

If the cross of Christ is true - then servanthood is at the centre of the universe.

The struggle to servants when using our gifts

If God is not too high and mighty to be a servant......


 The central claim of the Christian faith is that Jesus is raised from the dead –
completely (body and soul).

 You could (potentially) disprove Christianity.

 If Jesus rose from the dead, it changes everything.

 The hope of eternity in the Christian faith is not immortality of the soul, it is
resurrection from the dead.

o Jesus’ resurrection as the perfecting of a human body

The Christian Story Part 3 – Redemption
 The story of resurrection is of a God who can take broken things and make
them new – he can redeem what was lost.

 The resurrection and the End towards which God is taking all things.

God’s unstoppable goal is nothing less than the restoration of his good creation,
the eradication not of the world, but the sin that has damaged it.

 The boredom of most people’s vision of heaven

 The biblical idea of a final existence where creation is perfected and

completed. (Isaiah 65:17-25; Romans 8:18-25; Revelation 21:1-22:5)

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are
its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory
of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light,
and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates
ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations
will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does
what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s
book of life. (Rev 21:22-27)