Bible Insights in 500 Words
God’s Epic Drama in 6 Acts
We do better to think of the Bible as a drama in which we are participants rather than a story where we only listen but never act. God’s drama has 6 acts**:
1- Creation 2-Fall 3-Israel
4-Jesus 5-Church 6-Victoryl
We live in Act 5. And, it is our task to take up our roles, play our parts, and continue the drama, living true to the Author’s intention. Let me share an illustration: Imagine that a new, hitherto unknown play by William Shakespeare was discovered in a dusty and forgotten room of a library in London. Further, imagine that the play was incomplete. The first four acts were finished, but only a few notes were included from the author to suggest Act 5.
The script for our part is not written, but you have all you need to learn how to play your role with grace and peace.
* You know how the story begins (Act 1) – God creates the world and calls humans to care for the earth by expanding Eden to fill the whole world, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule” (Genesis 1:28).
* You know humans rejected (Act 2) God’s plan, and they gave their allegiance to “that ancient serpent, who is the devil” (Revelation 20:2; also Genesis 3:1), who became the “Prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
* You know that God did not abandon his world, but he chooses to rescue and restore his world through the family of Abraham (Act 3) whom he promised to bless so that they would be a blessing to the whole earth (Genesis 3:1-2).
* You also know how the story will end (Act 6). God reclaims and restores his world with a New Heaven and a New Earth, as well as a New Eden where the leaves of the Tree of Life heal the nations. “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him” (Revelation 22:3).
* You know that the final victory is possible through Jesus (Act 4) who said on the night before he was crucified, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out” (John 12:31). Jesus rises and exits the tomb, conquering sin, death, and the devil. On Easter morning he rose to be the King of the world, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19).
* That brings us to your part (Act 5), and you receive the call, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). You play your part because you cultivate “the same mindset as Jesus Christ” as you “work out your salvation” (your role in God’s drama), knowing that “God is at work in you” (Philippians 2: 5, 12-13).
**NT Wright, Scripture and the Authority of God (Dr. Wright proposes 5 Acts, but scholars building on his word are suggesting that there is a 6th act – the final Victory of God when the world is restored.
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