The one God, the Lord God of Israel, is the source and creator of all that exists, whose character and will determine what is good. Humankind, created to dominate the world, was to live in harmony with God, each other and creation.
Humans were to use their abilities freely in order to serve God’s perfect and admirable purposes. Instead, our reality is comprised of disharmonious relationships and the service of selfish and misguided purposes. Believing that any way is sufficient, humankind has turned away from God.
Yet, rather than shutting down this reality, God – in His rich mercy – has chosen to pursue relationships with people. He called Abraham, which initiated a great plan through which all nations would be blessed as people choose to respond with faith.
The focal point of God’s pursuit is the person and ministry of the Messiah, Jesus, the seed of Abraham and David and the Son of God. Jesus revealed the very nature of God. He bore the just penalty for humankind’s rebellion, calling all to believe in himself as the risen Lord.
The righteousness of Jesus Christ may be credited in God’s records to the account of those whose belief propels them to faithful allegiance to the true and living God. In extending this blessing to all nations, God made the Church.
The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone. It is comprised of all true believers who are heirs of His household. Believers are empowered by the Spirit of God and glorify Him in their worship. The Church is also a ministry of reconciliation that calls people to proper faithfulness to God, as well as a ministry of exhortation for believers as they strive to live according to God’s original purposes.
Despite the failures of both Israel and the Church to fulfill their call perfectly, God is perfect in His work and will bring his plan to completion. The Church awaits the return of Christ in victory, knowing true believers are not subject to the wrath that awaits for those who have persisted in refusing God. Instead, believers will live and reign with Jesus Christ having become emancipated from the effects of our disobedience and consequential cursing.