Hearing God in revelation – Salvation History
Christians believe that human beings not only search for God but that God searches for them. In fact Christians believe that God has spoken to human beings and revealed Himself to the world. They share with the Jewish people a conviction that God guided human beings in direct way from the time of Abraham (c.2000BC) and has continued to do so revealing, in a progressive way, the truth about Himself and about life. For Christians God’s ultimate speech is when His eternal Son, called the Word, becomes man. In Jesus Christ we not only receive teaching from God but God himself shown to us and remaining amongst us.
The Bible and Tradition taught by Christ’s first apostles gives us the key insight into understanding the true narrative of world history and unfolding of human life, its glories and its depravities. Revelation from God confirms that at the root of the world’s disorder is an actual, personal sin of mankind’s first parents. The first human beings used their spiritual capacity of free will to disobey God. The event of the Fall or the Original Sin is revealed by God and presented in the ancient book of Genesis in a figurative way. Echoes of this reality can also be found in the Creation accounts of other ancient cultures which refer, not just to sin in general, but an actual, historical event.
The biblical record which was compiled over a thousand years explains that after the Fall, man lost his friendship with God and suffered from sin and death. Through a series of covenants, however, as recorded in the bible, God gradually re-established a relationship with humanity and prepared the way for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah who would bring a full and final salvation to Israel and the world.
God chose one people in the Old Testament precisely because he willed to offer salvation to everyone. The remarkable and unparalleled history of the Jewish people is pivotal to God’s revelation for the world. The vocation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament was to be purified and prepared for the birth of the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, born as a Jew from a Jewish mother, who offered his life for the salvation of the whole world. Much of Jewish history in the Old Testament makes sense in the light of this preparation, a vocation which was a great privilege but also involved great suffering and persecution. It is precisely from the Jewish family that Jesus Christ is born. He is the fulfilment of God’s providence through history, recorded in the Old Testament, and revealed in the New Testament as universal saviour for all people.