The grand story of the Bible is moving toward an end, one where God will reveal himself as he is. But what does that actually mean? When we take into account the entire biblical narrative, one that is centered around the cross, this means that God will fully unveil his love and we will not only see him as love, but also we will see ourselves as God’s beloved bride.
In this final sermon in this series covering the high points of the Bible, Greg offers an overarching perspective of the Scriptures while also pointing to the end of all things. The overarching survey can be captured by seeing the Bible as a grand love story of God seeking to share his love with human covenant partners. The Bible depicts it is as a story of God seeking a bride, where God is betrothed to a people in history who will then ultimately have the marriage consummated in the endless glorious age to come.
However, the Scriptures depict a history of a bride who has separated herself from the groom. This begins at the beginning in the story of the fall. Instead of trusting God’s loving and beautiful character, humans suspected him of all the worse aspects of human nature. The bride fell under a curse and she forgot who she truly is. The Bible is the story of God desperately trying to wake his bride up, rescue her from the enemy, and open her eyes to his true character and true love for her.
We see this in Psalm 18:25-26 where is says that God appears to people as they are, not as God actually is. With this in mind, the Bible shows us a God who is willing to stoop as low as he needs to in order to enter into solidarity with his deceived bride. God relates to his bride on her own deceived terms, in order to gradually reveal to her that he is not at all like the beast she imagines.
This point of view is rooted in the cross, the ultimate expression of God stooping to bear the sin of his bride and taking on the appearance that reflects the ugliness of sin. The love of God goes to the farthest extent possible as God became what he was not, as sin and a curse, in order to demonstrate the love that God is. God did the same thing throughout the Old Testament, as is exemplified by the giving of the law. God was willing to accommodate the Israelite’s fallen need for a meticulous law, taking on the appearance of a rather typical Ancient Near Eastern law-centered deity, so that he could influence his bride in the direction of truth. Because God cannot coerce his bride into having only true conceptions of his nature, God had to embrace his bride where she was at, even if it made him look bad.
The bride is then invited to see this God of love and be influenced by it, to be transformed and made ready for her future marriage by gazing at the beauty of the groom. The central passage for understanding this is found in 2 Corinthians 3:14-18. There we are encouraged to see in our imagination the beauty of the revelation of Jesus, and as we do so, we are changed from one degree of glory to the next. God’s beauty changes our ugliness and prepares us for the coming marriage union with God.
This is where this entire biblical story is heading. We are moving to the face to face encounter with God where we will join God and be fully awakened to the reality of what it means to live in the love of the groom. We are children now of God, but this reality will be fully unveiled then. When he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
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8 thoughts on “Where Is This Story Headed?”
What an amazing analogy, with The Notebook!! It’s one of my favorite movies and I’ve never seen it like that! I rewatched the movie after watching this sermon and this quote caught my attention… “summer romances are…a fleeting glimpse of eternity.” I think of the exciting romance my husband and I had when we first met. One of the best feelings I’ve ever felt, falling in love. And it’s just a glimpse of our eternal love with Jesus one day! ❤️
Does what 2 Peter talks about, theologically speaking, trouble you at all? It certainly is not the most loving letter in the NT.
I’ve always had difficulty reconciling the God of the Old Testament with God revealed in Christ in the New Testament. I get it now! Thank you!
“someday we’ll see Him as He is”
It’s been over 2000 years already, so how much longer until the Actual finish line?
Greg keeps talking about a way for podrishioners to connect. In this sermon he said to “google it”. What can we google? Is there a link someone can post? Would love to find out if there are podrishioners in our area.
Hey Jenny, I believe what he is referring to is https://tribenet.org.
This resource shows like-minded churches and small groups around the world.
We continue to work towards better ways to connect podrishioners.
where y’all located? i’ve been hoping someone here in Natchez Ms gets onboard…i’m dyin over here
There is also a Facebook page for Tribenet users which you can request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/903477626490938/