Our Vision: Connecting the World to God's Redemption Story

May 7, 2012 by Jong Park

1 John 1:1-4 [1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—[2] the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—[3] that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. [4] And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

What is God’s Redemption Story?

Some call it redemptive history; it’s the story of God’s redeeming grace in the Bible–from Genesis to Revelation, from Creation, Curse, Christ, Cross, and (New) Creation. The center of God’s Story is Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. It’s a sweeping saga of how  wayward humanity is loved and pursued by a gracious God. When we are gripped by this Story, we see the world differently.

We want to live in God’s Story

Look at all the sensory words in v. 1:  heard, seen, looked upon, and touched with our hands. It’s a full-orbed experience with God; all of John’s senses have been blown away by God. To live in God’s Story is to live as a person touched by the Gospel in the totality of my being. Why is this important? We can’t commend to others what we have not experienced personally. It is of premier importance that we live in God’s Story before we tell others about it. What happens when we are mesmerized by the Story of God? 1) We love the supreme glory of God, 2) We feel deep affections for God, and 3) We make a maximum commitment to God.

We want to connect the world to God’s Story

Notice how the gospel oozes out of John. There are three words that show John’s expression of the gospel to the world: “Testify” (v.2), “proclaim” (v.3), and  “writing” (v.4). Testify b/c he was an eyewitness of Jesus; Proclaim because it’s a matter of life and death; write because he needs to reach people far away (no cell phones and internet). To people near and far, he wanted to preach loud and strong so the message could go deep and firm.

In fact, John says he is writing so that his joy may be complete (v. 4). Our  joy is not complete until the Story goes full circle: God brings me into His Story, I get God’s heart, then I go out bring others to God’s Story. Evangelism and missions is joy, not a burden.

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