Dr. Bryan Chapell

January 16, 2023

“”In him [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

Ephesians 1:7-10

It’s been said that “History is His Story.” But how does his story unfold? That is no longer a mystery.

The Bible says that the big story of God’s dealing with humanity began with a good creation that was spoiled by Adam’s fall. Then our gracious God promised the redemption of his creation (and persons) through the blessings Jesus made available through his death and resurrection. As we confess our need of his grace, he lavishes it upon us.

In other words, God has a plan! He didn’t give up on us or our world because of past sin. Instead, he said to his church, “You are my plan to unite heaven and earth with the message of the gospel.” 

The PCA is part of that plan. We have been uniquely called to fidelity to God’s Word with Confessional convictions that maintain a missionary zeal for lost souls. We are a people of the Word with a heart for the nations. 

We are only a small part of God’s worldwide plan, but we do not lose hope. Just as our saving and sovereign God did not give up on a fallen world, we rejoice that he does not abandon a church frequently humbled by its weaknesses.

Instead, God gives us more cause to trumpet his grace. Despite our sins and failings, a covenant-keeping God provides a plan for our forgiveness and a calling to make it known. 

We are pardoned and privileged at the same time. We have the promise of eternity with Jesus and the commission to make him known.

Just as we trust Scripture alone to tell us how we may be freed from sin’s consequences by faith alone in God’s grace alone, our daily witness and worship gratefully proclaim this mercy to the world so that more hearts turn from sin and self to Christ alone. 

In this 50th Anniversary year of the PCA, we give glory to God alone, knowing that he had a plan from the beginning to rescue his people by the grace of his Son. Our history flows into His Story by the will of God for his mission to the world.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, all of history unfolds your great story of creation, fall, redemption, and eternal perfection. Help the PCA and me to live with confidence that this story is unfolding through our witness and worship so that it is no mystery to our families, neighbors, and world. May the Redeemer, who gave himself for us be glorified through us!

Dr. Bryan Chapell is the stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America