God’s Grand Narrative
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. Isaiah 25:1
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16
God planned the “grand narrative” of the Bible, as Sinclair Ferguson calls it, from eternity past. We can summarize it by the terms: creation, corruption, conflict, and consummation. As Isaiah expressed it, these are “plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” Nothing ever catches God by surprise. He wrote all of human history before it started. What He plans He completes.
Isaiah observes the chaos of the times and anticipates the coming judgment. But he also makes sweet promises. God will swallow up death forever and wipe away tears from all faces. The Lord will keep in perfect peace all who keep their minds on Him (Isaiah 25: 8; 26:3). “Trust in the Lord forever,” writes Isaiah, “for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (26:4).
Paul, too, has the big picture in view as he exhorts the Ephesians to live in the unity of the Spirit of God. God has sent them apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to equip them for His service. Why? God wants them to grow in unity and maturity in Christ. These two objectives go together.
We live in the middle of the grand narrative which began with creation and continues with corruption (Genesis 3:1-13) and conflict (Genesis 3:15), but Jesus Christ has come announcing that “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). He told His disciples to pray that the Kingdom would come, so we know there is more to come (Matthew 6:10).
Think about it
In the daily chaos of this world, do you lose sight that God is completing His plans perfectly? Trust in the Lord, as Isaiah said. Seek unity and maturity as Paul admonished. God will fulfill His grand narrative.
 Sinclair Ferguson, From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible, Edinburgh, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1982, 2014, p. 76
© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission
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