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SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (31): Looking Back


At the end of a journey, it is often good to think back about where we have been and what we have seen.

This journey has been longer, with more side trips that I anticipated when we set out. For that, I apologize.

Nevertheless, it has been a quick trip through the Bible in 30 segments (1 of which was broken into two parts – 26 & 26a). Did we learn anything?

I learned several things and was reminded of many others.

I. God Is In Control.

God is the creator, the planner of all of this. Man is the creature who is trying to be God (which is sin).

II. When We Take the Reins, We Mess Up – Badly!

Adam and Eve were first when they were in the Garden of Eden. We are no better, though, for we walk in their steps.

III. Only God Can Straighten Out the Mess We Make.

We are utterly incapable of redeeming ourselves. We find redemption only through God’s initiative and by His grace.

IV. God’s Plan of Redemption Is Through His Son.

From the time of Creation, God planned to redeem us by means of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Jesus is the Lamb of God that has been slain from the Creation of the world.

V. Redemption Is More Than Forgiveness of Sins.

Redemption, in the Scripture, means restoration of the conditions of the Garden of Eden. Sin cause Mankind to be ejected from the Garden; Redemption restores the Garden, as “His blessings flow Far as the curse is found” (Isaac Watts, Joy to the World, v. 3 in Praise for the Lord, John P. Wiegand, Editor, Nashville: Praise Press, (c) 1992, 6th printing , p. 376).

This means forgiveness – but it also means renewal. Without renewal of our character, we will still be in rebellion against God, and that will not do.

This also means renewal of the earth that at the present time is “groaning as in the pains of childbirth” looking for the time it “will be liberated from its bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21-22). This redeemed earth is also called “the new heavens and the new earth” in several places. This is not new in time, but new in quality. It will happen when the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband and the dwelling of God will be with men (Revelation 21:1-4).

Not only the earth, but our bodies also will be redeemed when God raises us from the dead to give us a new body to live in the new heaven and the new earth where God will be our God and He will wipe every tear from our eyes.

VI. While We Wait, We Work the Works of God.

The redeemed on earth are a colony of heaven. Our homeland is there, but our work is here. Here, we are as ambassadors on the business of the king. This means we work with Him in His Work of Redemption. We work with Him in things like:

Saving others

Pointing to Jesus

Walking in His Ways

Serving as He Served

Caring for the Poor

Establishing Justice

Comforting the Hurting

Loving all Men as He Loves Us

Loving God above All

VII. Rejoicing in the Spirit as We Await Our Glory

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

In the Spirit, we worship.

In the Spirit, walk day by day.

In the Spirit, we are fruitful with the fruit of the Spirit.

In the Spirit, we rejoice even in suffering, knowing that Christ suffered for us.

These are but a few of the things we may have gleaned as we observed the passing scenery on our Journey through the Scriptures.

We have not learned all of the details of that landscape. We have merely seen a broad outline of the “lay of the land.” Hopefully, we will have learned enough to help us to place what we learn later into the context of God’s love, Christ’s sacrifice, and the Spirit’s yearning for us.

May we ever read the Scriptures against the background of God’s story of Redemption and Renewal. Let us be renewed ourselves in spirit, soul, and body. Let us renew our relationship with God – and with others around us. Let Jesus be seen living in us!

Above all, let us shine as stars in this world of darkness and evil, as the light and goodness of God pours from us for all to see!

PREVIOUS: SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (30) – Revelation

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2 Responses

  1. Jerry,
    This was an informative and interesting walk through the bible. I have sent this series to several friends and family as you posted it. Our IT team at our church will be meeting this week as we begin to expand our website. We will provide a link to your blog for our members and others. Great job; as always.
    Tony

    • Thank you, Tony! Your appreciative comments are always welcome and refreshing! Marion and I are looking forward to seeing you and Sheryl in November. JS

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