Faith Matters: One God, one plan, one story

  • The Rev. Bruce Burks of the Vernon Advent Christian Church. Staff photo/Paul Franz

  • The Rev. Bruce Burks of the Vernon Advent Christian Church. Staff photo/Paul Franz

  • Vernon Advent Christian Church. Staff file photo/Paul Franz

Vernon Advent Christian Church
Published: 5/28/2021 5:22:07 PM

Since January 2020, the theme of our Sunday worship has been “One Story: One God, One Plan, One Story.” We believe that from before creation, God set forth a plan that He has been carrying out throughout history — His Story. We have been using the outline presented in a two-volume set titled “Casket Empty, God’s Plan of Redemption Through History.” The Old Testament study guide is written by Dr. Carol Kaminski & the New Testament guide by Dr. David Palmer, both professors at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The acronym “CASKET EMPTY” stands for Creation, Abraham, Sinai, Kings, Exile, Temple, Expectations, Messiah, Pentecost, Teaching, and Yet to come. You can see that we’ve essentially been preaching through the Bible, albeit just hitting the “highlights.”

The point Pastor Derek Irvine and I are seeking to make is what we believe is the point of all Scripture. There is only one God (Jehovah), who has been writing His story since before time began. He created the world and all in it, including mankind, for whom the earth is perfectly fitted. He called Abraham to follow His lead and through him brought forth the nation of Israel. The plan all along was to bring forth the Messiah through Israel. Thus it is that through Abraham’s “seed (offspring – Jesus) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18 & Acts 3:25).

God gave the Law to the Hebrews at Mt. Sinai, revealing His character and exposing the sinfulness of all mankind, pointing to our need of a Savior. God had a plan. When Israel wanted a king like all the other nations, they were essentially rejecting God as king. However, through the line of one king, David, of the tribe of Judah, God would send His Messiah, at just the right time. Through the years they turned further from Him and He sent them into exile for 70 years. However, He promised to bring them back, and He did. The temple was rebuilt, pointing to the One who would be the living temple and the ones who would together become “the temple of the living God” (II Corinthians 6:16). God now dwells within His children (believers — the Church).

Due to God’s promises and many prophecies being fulfilled, there was great expectation leading up to the time of the birth of Christ. The Messiah would be Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” His given name was Jesus — Yeshua — which means “God saves.” He is God’s Son and God the Son and the Son of Man (a Messianic title). His sinless life, substitutionary death in payment for sin and triumphant resurrection, provides salvation from God’s wrath, which we deserve, and reconciliation with God, which we need. Through faith in Christ we are justified before God, something we cannot attain for ourselves.

Following Christ’s resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the gathered believers and birthed the Church. By the end of the Book of Acts, the gospel had spread from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and was beginning to be taken to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). We read (Acts 2:42) that the disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” That means that the apostles passed on what Jesus had taught them and what the Holy Spirit led them to further understand. The apostles’ teaching is the foundation of the Church, with Christ being the cornerstone.

Since the time of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and the formation of the Church, we have been in the “last days,” now awaiting the second coming of Christ to gather together His elect and set up the eternal kingdom of God on the earth made new. Until He comes again, we are to be about His business, sharing the gospel with those around us.

It really is one story: one God, one plan, one story!

About the church

Vernon Advent Christian Church at 4554 Ft. Bridgman Road in Vernon, Vt., meets on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for morning worship, which is also livestreamed on Facebook at Vernon AC Church (public page). As of yet, we have not resumed Sunday School, but our youth meet on Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. We livestream a Bible study on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. A women’s Bible study, mixed group Bible study, men’s group, and Sunday evening prayer group all meet via Zoom. Our Bread of Life Food Pantry is open on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Pastors are Bruce Burks and Derek Irvine.


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