In the beginning, humanity walked with God. They listened and enjoyed and learned to live a full and satisfying and whole life. But one day, they refused to believe that God was everything they longed for. They began saying “no” to God. And because they rejected God’s way, they were separated from Him.
Humanity found themselves confused and broken and angry and hurt and far away from God. No longer did they get to enjoy life how it was intended to be.
But God still loved them. And for thousands of years, He continued speaking to them through their leaders (often called “prophets”), calling them to turn their hearts back toward Him.
Sometimes they listened and obeyed, but most of the time they didn’t. They kept on saying “no”.
Eventually, God came close to humanity to carry out the greatest rescue plan of all time. His name was Jesus.
Jesus taught a new way of living, a way that would lead people’s hearts back into a full and satisfying and whole life again. But the separation between God and people still existed… and Jesus knew that. But because Jesus loved them so much, He made a way for that separation to be healed and fixed. He made a way for people to walk with God again through His death, burial, resurrection, and the sending of His Holy Spirit to anyone who wanted closeness with God. The most wonderful invitation ever was ready to be shared with all people, and all they had to do to receive it was say “yes” to Jesus.
As people began saying “yes” to Jesus, His family grew. More and more people began hearing the good news and were excited, so they started making friends and working and talking about how amazing Jesus was, oh and they’d eat together. These communities were called “churches”, and their mission was simple… to keep sharing and enjoying and living out this most wonderful invitation. The invitation to say “yes” to Jesus because He’d made a way for all people to be close and walk with God again.
One of these church leaders was named Paul. And Paul wrote 13 letters (maybe more, but we have 13) that basically said “keep going!” to the Jesus communities that were forming as they began getting discouraged or distracted or forgetting that Jesus was everything they longed for.
This 13 week series is a study through Paul’s letters to these early churches.