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I think I could explain the gospel in three words, so long as I would have follow-up time to explain all three words. And those words would be “Lord Jesus Christ.”

Russell Moore, “Can You Explain the Gospel in 3 Words?” The Gospel Coalition (Apr 25, 2018)

“The Story of God” by Matt Papa /

“The Story of God” is an epic spoken word piece by Matt Papa on the Bible’s story in 10 minutes.

Buy a script for group performance of “The Story of God.”

> Let me tell you a story
it’s no ordinary tale
no it is the ordinary
from which every other story hails
>
> it’s the story of God
it’s the story of history
and I’m not the author
no, the Author is a glorious mystery
>
> see long before He would put
His pen to the paper
long before there was time
or before there was matter
>
> He was there, all alone
Father Son Holy Sprit
1 God in 3 persons
everlasting in existence
>
> completely satisfied
needing absolutely nothing
He was happy in Himself
and His joy was overflowing
>
> the Son in the arms
of His holy righteous Father
the Spirit overshadowing
all glorifying one another
>
> so why would this God
even bother to create
the fountain of all happiness
can you improve upon this state?
>
> well the joy within Himself
welling up at such capacity
was so full it must be shared
with a glorious society
>
> so the mighty Author, quill in hand,
to share His infinite mind,
His love His joy, sat down to write
His “once upon a time”
>
> in the beginning God created
the Heavens and the Earth
He made all things to reflect
His beauty and His worth
>
> mountains rivers oceans trees
all gladly testifying
endless stars and galaxies
declare His glory shining
>
> He made it all and it was good
and to culminate His work
He fashioned man
and breathed to life
His special ball of dirt
>
> man came to life with blinking eyes
& was welcomed by God’s face
they walked with Him every day and night
there was peace and no such thing as shame
>
> God said
be fruitful, fill the earth
and eat from any tree
except for this one
cause if you do you’ll surely fall from Me
>
> now why do this? and give this choice?
because He is writing a Story
and He’s about to show to whole world
The fullness of His glory
>
> conflict enters
early on in the script
with a snake in the garden
doing was he does best running his lip
>
> flashback to when
this evil was created
he was an angel of heaven
who fell when his head got inflated
>
> banished from God
and from His endless mercy
he came down to earth
to tempt us with the unworthy
>
> so there in the garden
on an ordinary day
he came to the woman and said
did God really say?
>
> that you should not eat
from every tree in the garden?
He must not want your happiness
or you would have total freedom
>
> so pridefully they listened
and sinfully they took
and scorned their creator
and they ate the forbidden fruit
>
> injustice. this, my friends
this is injustice
that God should be seen &
then treated as a nothing
>
> that man should completely forfeit his joy
and dig for fleeting pleasures
in the gutters of this world
>
> fallen now is all mankind
and sure to face His judgement
a world of pain, of toil and strain
and hell forever after
>
> but God would make a promise to
preserve Himself a people
and through the brokenness of man
o could there shine a hero?
>
> the plot line continues
some character development
all supporting actors
all fantastic as embellishment
>
> Noah found great favor
in God’s holy sight
and when God sent the floods
He mercifully preserved his life
>
> we come to Abraham
and God made him a covenant
He said “I will bless you
and make your offspring abundant”
>
> to Isaac and to Jacob
God would come and do the same
and though many dangers
came to threaten His perfect plan
>
> the story would go on
with the Author’s full control
and He would lead His people
everywhere that they should go
>
> flash forward now 400 years
in Egypt there’s a pharaoh
who doesn’t like God’s people
growing numerous in freedom
>
> so he made them slaves
but God came down and chose His servant Moses
a burning bush… a call to go
His presence was His promise
>
> go and tell that pharaoh now to
let my people go
so they can freely worship Me
in the place that I will show
>
> plagues.  numerous
God would show that He is the I AM
that pharaoh’ rule is like a pawn
in His glorious hand
>
> the waters part. the millions leave
to follow their great Savior
He guided them provided for them
though they were so ungrateful
>
> at Sinai God gave the law
so perfect and so pure
His people soon discovered
they could not obey these rules
>
> they tried they failed
they tried they failed
compelled to live in sin
they’d bow to worship idols
then they’d bow to God again
>
> they said to God “give us a king”
and that will make things better
God, their rightful king, assured them
this would be a fetter
>
> they insisted, God relented
gave to them their kings
some were good, led them to Him
some brought idolatry
>
> God sent his prophets
“turn back to God”
sometimes the people listened
but mostly they just gave a nod
cause they all wanted to be Him
>
> “God will not wink at your sin”
the prophets would all say
the people rose to eat and drink
and left to go and play
>
> God finally seemed to have enough
and brought a blaring quiet
the prophets ceased, the people waited
400 years of silence
>
> enter our protagonist
mostly unannounced
the plot is quickly rising now
>
> who is this guy?
nobody really knows
He meek…..He’s humble
unordinary hero
>
> but the craziest thing
about this character is well
unlike the other characters
this is the Author himself
>
> His name was Jesus
He was born of a virgin
fully God He was perfect
fully man He was learnin’
>
> different from all the others
but tempted just the same
in every single way we are
without a single sin
>
> He made the lame to jump
He caused the blind to see
and unlike the religious leaders
had some real authority
>
> cause He came from high
and He came to redeem
not to be served but to serve
His haters and enemies
>
> He loved, He gave
showed us the heart of the Author
claimed no glory for Himself
cause He came from His Father
>
> and we hated Him for it
cause we wanted to be God
despised and rejected
we esteemed Him not
>
> conflict escalating now
it’s starts with a betrayal
Judas whores his eternal Lord
for 30 pieces of silver
>
> a final meal a prayer and then
they head into the garden
where Jesus sweat with drops of blood
preparing for our pardon
>
> The soldiers took the Lord away
and led him to a trail
“are you the Son of God?” they say
I AM there’s no denying
>
> Except of course for His disciples
who left their Lord in fear
Jesus looked up to the sky
He was all alone from here
>
> they led Him to the Pretorian
and then began to beat Him
“who hit you?” they would shout and say
“oh Father please forgive them”
>
> they made His back a bloody mess
they whipped Him till he lost his breath
they threw the cross upon His wounds
the weight of sin 300 pounds
>
> the great eternal Lord of all
the Author of all things
now like a lamb unto the slaughter
would this be His defeat?
>
> they nailed Him to the rugged cross
they shouted out “where is Your God?”
He said “have You forsaken me?”
He takes a breath, His final three:
>
> “It is finished”  the Savior’s cry
and then He bowed His head
the Author of life the Lord of all
the Son of God is dead
>
> they laid His body in a tomb
then everything was quiet
as God’s people find themselves again
in everlasting silence
>
> 2 days pass
>
> on the second morning after Jesus died
Mary went to the tomb to take a look inside
>
> and when she arrived she was
met by an angel
she fell to the ground but he said
there’s no danger
>
> this Jesus, Jesus
is He the one that you seek?
Mary He is not here
He is risen indeed!
>
> Climax, its true
every good story has one
the part where you feel
a slight shift of momentum
>
> Mary sprints to go
tell the disciples
the Lord, He’s alive!
He’s alive like he promised
>
> Peter and john go
and see for themselves
but there’s nothing there
they said “perhaps He truly lives?”
>
> then Jesus’ words
came flashing to mind
they will kill the Son of man
but after three days He will rise
>
> momentum is surely building now
the enemy is limpin’
Jesus finds the 12 and then
He gives to them the mission
>
> all authority is mine
all in Heaven and on Earth
go and tell them I’m alive
go and tell the whole wide world
>
> and don’t get slack
I’m coming back
>
> Acts now the church is born
the Holy Spirit given
the news of Jesus
like the most contagious sickness spreadin’
>
> thousands saved. A mighty wind
is blowing through the region
the promise God gave to Abraham
we’re finally starting to see it
>
> Repentance and forgiveness preached
All in the name of Jesus
Sinners and saints alike proclaim
Our God has come to save us!
>
> the Gentiles hear the story and
the news is blowing up
the plan is working, the gospel spreading
from Asia to Africa
>
> martyrs laying down their lives
cause they know this story’s true
it’s a story like no other
it’s a movement you cannot undo
>
> Constantine tried to slow it down
and turn it into steeples
but an angry monk from Germany
wrote some holy gospel thesis
>
> it’s spread like fire, then it came
to America by sail
and here we are the twenty-first century
the gospel cannot fail
>
> It’s the greatest story
that’s ever been told
by the greatest Author the world has ever known
>
> but there is some still left to go
yes there is some still left to go
>
> see GO was the command
to every tribe and nation
and carry this great story to
this dying generation
>
> cause when this gospel finally spreads
across the whole of earth
we’re gonna hear a trumpet sound
and Jesus will return
>
> Heaven will be opened
and a white horse shall appear
and the One who sits upon it
all His enemies shall fear
>
> His eyes will be like fire
and His purpose will be glory
justice for all evil
life for all who love this story
>
> He’ll come to judge the quick, the dead
and all who’ve trod this world….every
knee will bow
and tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord
>
> death and hades He will throw
into the Lake of Fire
and Satan too that serpent foe
that coward that old liar
>
> the church will rise
surround the throne
and clothed in glory His
with every nation tribe and tongue
we will worship Him
>
> singing Worthy Worthy
is the Lamb
The Lamb who has been slain
blessings honor glory and power
forever to His name
>
> and for ages and ages
we will sing
the praises of
our God and King
>
> it’s the greatest story
that ever been told
by the greatest Author
the world has known
>
> yeah the bad guys lose
the good guys win
Jesus is Lord of all
The End.

Jackson Wu, “Chiasm, Oral Peoples, and the Grand Biblical Story” (Jul 26, 2017)

Thomas R. Schreiner, “10 Things You Should Know about the Biblical Covenants” (Jul 17, 2017)

Mark Ward, “Has the Gospel-Centered Pendulum Swung Too Far?” LogosTalk (May 31, 2017)

“The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses” by Chris Bruno /

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno is a book about the Bible to help you see the forest and the trees.

It caught my attention because it’s cut from the same cloth as The Kingdom Story. Below is Bruno’s Bible summary and the individual verses he studies in the book. There’s a well-designed study guide and memory verse cards at the publisher’s site.

Cover of “The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses” by Chris Bruno
Cover of “The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses” by Chris Bruno

The Story

God created a kingdom, and he is the King, but he made human beings to represent him in that kingdom. Adam and Eve rejected this call, which led to sin and death. But God promised to defeat the Serpent through the seed of the woman, who is also the seed of Abraham. Through Abraham’s family, and specifically Judah’s royal seed, David, the covenant blessings would come to the world. Because all people were guilty and deserved death, the sacrifices of the Mosaic law revealed more clearly their need for a substitute — the suffering servant. Through the servant and the work of the Spirit, God would establish a new covenant and give lasting life to his people in the new heavens and new earth.

Jesus is the One through whom all of these promises find fulfillment, first in his sacrificial death as a necessary and just payment for sin and then in his victorious resurrection and reign as King. This great story will find its culmination when the redeemed from every tribe, tongue, and nation gather in the new creation to live with God forever.

The Verses

  1. Genesis 1:31
  2. Genesis 1:26–27
  3. Genesis 3:6–7
  4. Genesis 3:15
  5. Genesis 12:2–3
  6. Genesis 49:10
  7. Exodus 12:23
  8. 2 Samuel 7:12–13
  9. Isaiah 53:6
  10. Ezekiel 37:3–5
  11. Isaiah 65:17
  12. Mark 1:14–15
  13. John 19:30
  14. Romans 1:3–4
  15. Romans 3:21–26
  16. Revelation 21:1–4

Before maturing disciples, we must teach the gospel in its fullness. A kingdom gospel will produce kingdom citizens.

Zach Lee, “The Secret to Making Kingdom Citizens.”

Announcing the Kingdom /

We CTBPers, if you will, start everything in the same way. We announce God’s kingdom. We give out the good news we’ve received. And we do all we can to ensure that people will stay strong in it and entrust it to others.

Our work in the field is among people who do not know God’s promises to us and what he’s done in history to fulfill them. Even the believers we work with haven’t known how to tell God’s message. So when we announce the kingdom we must say enough for the message to be weighty and good as well as complete.

How should we summarize the message of God’s Word? Who is to choose what to say and leave unsaid? The answer, of course, is in the Bible. Scripture tells us what is most important and God often inspired the writers to summarize the message for us. We believe God made his message clear and so we compiled, as far as was possible, a story of the Bible telling itself. To help translation, the statements are short and concrete.

We are not innovative or clever in our telling. We revise our story as we study and share it. This process will continue as we receive help. Those we’ve trained have been eager to adopt it and pass in on. By it, people have come into the kingdom and the kingdom’s work. This story is the framework for the other stories and training we give.

Our words and the way we wield them must reflect the source and authority of God’s Word. This did not start with us. And may it not end here. We continue to remind people — even ourselves — about these most important things. God has granted everything we need for life and mission in his Word.


The Kingdom Story (Creation to Christ)

God created the world with his Word. God spoke and made heaven and earth and all that is in them. God made man and woman like God. He blessed them to have authority and to multiply over the earth. It was so. And God was pleased.

When God made people, he loved them and gave them rains and harvests. God commanded them, “Love God and love each other.” But instead of loving God they loved the things he created. And they abused each other. Because of this sin suffering and death has entered into people’s lives and into the world. From that time, people have multiplied. But each generation of people has been like the first.

But God wanted to make a kingdom of holy people for himself from out of all peoples. God would be with them, and they would be with him. He promised to send someone to save them from their sins. He said this Promised One would come in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. He would obey God’s Word. Then he would suffer and die. And on the third day he would rise to life and rule as Lord forever.

At the right time, God sent the Promised One, his own Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came in the power of God’s Holy Spirit. He went around doing good. He healed those under evil’s power. God was with him. He loved God his Father and loved others. He lived according to God’s Word.

Then, according to God’s Word, Jesus suffered and died for our sins. He was buried. And on the third day he rose to life. He appeared to many witnesses. And he gave them the good news: “God’s kingdom is near. All authority has been given to me, as Lord. Go and tell all people in all places to turn from their sin and turn to God for forgiveness. When people believe, dip them in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And teach them to obey my Word. I will be with you always.”

After this, Jesus went to his Father in heaven. He promised to return. He gave his people his Word and his Holy Spirit. So they are becoming like Jesus. They meet together and love God their Father and love each other like family. They go and tell all peoples in all places to believe the good news that Jesus died for our sins. And when people believe, dip them in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And they teach each other to obey God’s Word (just like I am doing today). From that time, his people have multiplied.

At the right time, God will complete his kingdom. Inside his kingdom there will be no sin, suffering or death. Outside there will be judgment and fire. God is saving this kingdom of holy people for himself from out of all peoples through faith in the Lord Jesus. And he is very pleased. He is with his people, and his people are with him always. Amen.