During the retreat over the weekend, we were blessed to have Mark Whited, a campus minister from Indiana come and speak to us. He shared the story of the Gospel, from creation, to corruption, to redemption and restoration. This week, I've been diving into the story of the Gospel as it's revealed through the Bible. I've been doing so because later today I'm starting a 1-1 Bible study with one of the students here at UNC-W and I'm going to be teaching him this story so he can understand more of the world he's stepped into with a recent decision to be baptized.
First think about a great story. Doesn't matter the tale, but pick one. Although I'm more partial to the story of Star Wars and the archetypes found there, let's together look at Titanic, something I think everyone has seen.
Beginning of the movie, there's celebration. The passengers board the boat, they set out for America, adventure, excitement, entertainment awaiting them along the way. It was good. But then tragedy happens, the boat collides with an iceberg, suffering cataclysmic damage. The passengers must now flee utopia, their world shattered. The remnant of those who make it through are ferried to land. Their lives are never the same.
Sound familiar? Their story aboard the ship, is our story in life. In Genesis 1-2 God created everything. It was good. There was utopia, purpose, balance within all of creation, intimacy with God. But tragedy entered the story. How do you interpret this next part? Do you say that Man chose against God? Do you start with the enemy coming in, leading man astray? How we choose to word this next part of the story says a lot about our point of view with Christianity, and how we look at ourselves.
Let me be clear on something, Man did choose against God, and Satan did lead man astray. But which is the more important aspect of the story? How did tragedy come about?
I believe tragedy entered when man believed in the lies of his enemy. We so often forget as Christians that we have an enemy, that we are still in a state of war. We become consumed with mastering ourselves and believing that we are bad, cursed, down to our very DNA. We forget that when God created us, he called us "Very Good."
This is where good news really becomes good news. God is not offering us something new, but offering us the ability to reclaim what was ours to begin with! When we become a new creation in Christ, our struggle is not so much with flesh and blood as it is against our accuser, who is furious, that we have changed our allegiance. Christ calls us to be holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4), not to forever sulk in our guilt as our accuser would have us do.
We are at a state of war, but our enemy is not ourselves, nor largely our actions. If we are a new creation in Christ our enemy is Satan, the accuser, the dragon, the serpent, "a roaring lion who seeks someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering." 1 Peter 5:8-9