Since we’re approaching the end of the New Testament, I thought I would write on the New Testament Story. We are at a vantage point now where we can look back on the New Testament storyline. After laying out what I consider to be the New Testament’s 10 Big Events, I will lay out this storyline…
Ten Big Events in the New Testament
There seem to me to be 10 Big Events in the New Testament:
- The coming of God’s Son
- The ministry of Jesus
- The crucifixion of Christ
- The resurrection of Jesus
- The ascension of Christ
- The sending of the Holy Spirit
- The spread of the Gospel
- The mission of the Church to both Jews and Gentiles
- The persecution of the Church
- The return of Jesus Christ
Events 1-5 are in the past, events 6-9 are ongoing events for the Church, and we’re waiting for event 10 to happen. We live in light of all God has done in Christ. As we follow Jesus, God sends his Spirit and the Gospel is spread as we’re on mission to the whole world. The second return of Christ is what we hope for in confident faith.
The Basic New Testament Storyline
We can put all these 10 Big Events together to make up a Basic Storyline of the New Testament:
At the appointed time, God sent His only Son to redeem humanity and to reestablish God’s Kingdom on the earth. God’s Son came by becoming incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth. Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, Jesus ministered by gathering disciples, teaching, preaching, healing and performing mighty and miraculous deeds.
The ministry of Jesus climaxed in His crucifixion and resurrection. God raised Jesus from the dead three days after His crucifixion. Through His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus accomplished the redemption of all who trust Him as their Savior.
Before His ascension into heaven, Jesus taught many of His disciples and prepared them for the life and mission of the Church. After Jesus’ ascension, God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within and empower all who follow Jesus for ministry to the Church and the world. The mission God has given to the Church is to live in light of the Gospel and to spread the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ. The Church is called to fulfill its mission among all peoples, both Jews and Gentiles.
Since the beginning of the life and mission of the Church, followers of Christ have faced persecution for their faith in Christ. When Jesus Christ returns in triumph and glory, His followers will experience the fullness of Christ’s redemption and God’s new creation. At that time, those who have rejected Jesus as their Savior will be eternally separated from the presence and glory of God.
This is the Story you and I are in the middle of. Our lives and stories are framed by the first and second comings of Jesus. We look back in faith in what God has done in Jesus. We live in the present in love. And we wait in hope for God’s promised future. This is our story. Let God’s Big Story of redemption encompass your little life story. It’ll change how you see yourself and your life.