Feb 2

As we said last week, our Mission Statement focuses on what we believe God has called us to be about doing. Vision is not quite the same. It focuses less on what we do, and more on who and what we are, who and what we want to be as we continue to grow into what God’s vision is for us as individual Christians and for our church. This year we are emphasizing the church as the body of Christ.

In an article on the Lifeway blog of Thom Ranier, Trevin Wax speaks of the importance of connecting the whole story of the Bible in determining a Biblical worldview and accurately understanding the gospel. I believe his comments apply to us as we consider the importance of the story of Scripture in determining our vision, or rather in understanding God’s vision for us. Here are some of his thoughts. The whole article can be found at this web site: http://blog.lifeway.com/pastorstoday/2014/01/28/four-reasons-to-preach-the-bible-as-one-story/

The story line of the Bible is important because it helps us think as Christians formed by the great Story that tells the truth about our world. It is vitally important that people know the overarching story line of the Bible that leads from creation, to our fall into sin, to redemption through Jesus Christ, and final restoration in the fullness of time. If we are to live as Christians in a fallen world, we must be shaped by the grand narrative of the Scriptures, the worldview we find in the Bible…

Every story has a main character. The Bible does too. It’s God. Specifically, it’s God as He reveals Himself to us in the Person of Jesus Christ…

Here’s what happens if we learn individual Bible stories and never connect them to the big Story: we put ourselves in the scene as if we are the main character. We take the moral examples of the Old and New Testament as if they were there to help us along in the life we’ve chosen for ourselves.

But the more we read the Bible, the more we see that God is the main character, not us. We are not the heroes learning to overcome all obstacles, persist in our faith, and call down fire from heaven. We’re the ones who need rescue, who need a Savior who will deliver us from Satan, sin, and death. It’s only in bowing before the real Hero of the story that we are in the right posture to take our place in the unfolding drama. Bearing in mind the big story of Scripture helps us keep our focus on Jesus, and off ourselves.

As we consider our vision, or rather, the Lord’s vision for us, as individuals and as a church, we must turn to the only inspired and authoritative, objective and truthful source we have: the Scriptures. And we must keep in mind the ultimate story line of the Bible, and remember that we’re not the hero. We’re not the Savior. We’re the ones who are in need of rescue. We’re the ones who are the saved. And our Savior has a vision for us.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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