The Bible is much more than a set of propositions and principles that one can extract to live a better life. The Bible is ultimately the story of God and His interaction with his creation. The sixty-six books of the Bible miraculously come together to tell this story.
A common way to understand the Bible’s storyline is Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. An equally helpful way to understand the Bible’s storyline is through the metaphor of renovation:
- Perfect House
- Broken House
- New House
Paul Tripp, in his book Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad, uses the renovation metaphor when he says,
The world you live in is a lot like a broken-down house. Every single room has been dirtied and damaged by sin. Not one part of it shines with anything like the pure glory that was so evident when it was first made. Sin has left this world in a sorry condition. You see it everywhere you look … [but] let us also see that this world of ours is more than a broken-down house. It is a broken-down house in the process of being restored.
Genesis 1:1 says that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and in Colossians 1:16-17 we read that by Jesus, “all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” So Jesus is the Master Builder and he created the perfect house called the universe. All that He created was declared good. In Genesis 1, God declares His creation good 6 times, including v. 31, which states, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” This creation was not just good … it was perfect! The Master Builder created the perfect house.
In Genesis 2 we see that God created Adam and Eve
— His image-bearers — to take care of His creation and to have dominion over the earth. Adam and Eve had a perfect relationship with each other and with Him. No pain, no suffering, no shame, no guilt, no sin … just perfection. It was life as it was meant to be. God’s people, living in God’s house, under God’s rule. The house that God built was truly perfect, and then, the house broke.
You all know the story. Adam and Eve decided perfect wasn’t good enough. They thought life in God’s house would be better if lived apart from Him. When Adam and Eve ate from the fruit of the tree that God had forbidden, God banished them from the garden, and all of creation immediately fell under the curse and judgment of God.
Consider what Paul says in two of his letters: “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and we are “alienated from the life of God” and “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, 4:18; Romans 3:23).
As a consequence of sin and alienation from God, there is now broken relationships in three different areas:
- Broken relationships between God and man. Sin alienates us from God, leaving us spiritually dead, and subject to God’s wrath.
- Broken relationships between one another. Sin also brings conflict into human relationships: between husbands and wives; parents and children; and people of different races, languages, and nations.
- Broken relationships between man and the rest of God’s creation. Originally the earth was a welcoming environment, but now the earth is hostile to human life. Natural disasters, environmental devastation, and the harshness of the elements.
The perfect house that God created is now nothing but a shell of what it used to be. If some of you doubt that this house that God built is broken, read the news. The glory of God’s house has not been completely destroyed by the Fall, but it has been deeply affected by it.
In response to the broken world, God decided to start a universal renovation project. What had been broken by sin, He would rebuild. We are living in this time of renovation. God sent His one and only Son (who was the original Master Builder) into the world to begin a work of renovation.
During Jesus’s time on earth He restored sight to the blind, He healed the lame, He returned hearing to the deaf, and He offered salvation to all. He, who was perfect, became sin for us and died on the cross so that He might reverse the curse and begin the renovation project on earth (2 Cor 5:21). The amazing thing is that this was God’s plan all along.
In God’s eyes, a perfectly renovated house is more beautiful than a perfect house. So through Christ and His people the renovation project has begun and one day all things will be made right.
This time period will be the new house. God will take what He has already created that was affected by the Fall and completely restore it. The new heavens and the new earth. Jesus said, “behold, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
The New Adam, Jesus Christ, will reign on the throne in the New Jerusalem. And we will reign with Him in our new bodies. People from all nations, tribes, and tongues will dwell in this new house. Rev 21:1-4 says,
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
It doesn’t matter how broken you think you are, God wants to renovate your life. He wants to make all things new in your life. All you have to do is come in faith.