Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It is the first line in the Bible and sets the stage for understanding the story we are apart of.
God was first. Before anything existed He was. Nobody made God, nothing is bigger or more powerful than God, and no one knows more than God (He knows everything). God is good, loving, passionate, pure and beyond understanding. He is exactly as the Bible describes him to be. He judges, he gets angry, he feels pain, he intervenes, he is holy, pure, just, and only does what is right, he never does what is wrong, wicked, or evil.
God made humanity (both male and female) in His image. Basically, God put His character and his mission into people so that we would be like Him (see end note), full of love and goodness and purity. He gave us the job of overseeing the earth, under His leadership, with Him as the ultimate King. We were to be the governors of earth, overseeing things for God.
The problem happened the day people had a conversation with Satan, who tricked us into not trusting God. We decided to rebel against the kingship of God, declaring that we would no longer perfectly obey God, but instead follow Satan's suggestions. This was bad. We were tricked. Two tragedies happened that day: First, humanity unknowingly surrendered their allegiance to God's enemy, Satan, so that people now followed Satan's leadership and not God's. Second, our character and mission became twisted and corrupt, self-obsessed like our new king, Satan. God was grieved that the good place he had made was now being run by Satan; that the good people he had made were now twisted and enslaved by Satan, and as a result were enemies of God.
What was God to do? He is, ultimately, all-powerful. In a moment he could wipe out humanity. But then, he is madly in love with people. His loving heart is broken and torn between his love for the entirety of humanity and our aggressive rejection and hatred of Him that is present even to this very day.
The consequences of rebellion God told us before we committed high treason was that if people were to rebel against God they would die. As a result of man falling away from God, He knew that only death awaited all of humanity, yet God's heart was torn by His love. And right there in Genesis 3, the same moment people rebelled; He began speaking words of potential hope for any rebel. Someday something would happen that would provide a way for a condemned people to break free from the rule of Satan, and be spared from ultimate destruction.
Was it too much to hope for?
Enter the hero. Jesus is the hero. God knew the only way to free people from the sure judgement that all of Satan's people are under is to set them free from Satan's rule. The only way to set them free from their sure death was to have someone who didn't deserve death (not under Satan's rule but God's) die instead of the condemned ones in order to take their place. But since everyone was under Satan's rule, God had to step in, literally. God became man. He was named Jesus because he saves his people from their sins. He was the only person not under Satan's rule. He came and was executed, given the punishment for being under Satan's rule when he wasn't. The results of his death were amazing.
- Before this moment everyone was stuck (enslaved) in Satan's rule. Jesus' death provided a way out.
- Anyone can escape Satan's rule by letting Jesus' death take the place of his or her own by dedicating the entirety of their lives to Jesus Christ no matter what, no matter the cost.
- Not only that, but for everyone who escapes Satan's rule, God begins to remake them into His image. So that we will once again have His character (we become 'new creations' which is so much more than just a realignment of our character.)
Jesus is the Hero. This is the basic story of all time, recorded in the Bible. Everyone is born a slave to Satan, yet Jesus is in the business of setting people free from Satan's rule.
The way I respond to this is I have asked God to forgive me of being an enemy of Him. And I ask Him to forgive me of all that I have ever done against him. I ask him to allow Jesus' death to take the place of my own. And I dedicate the entirety of my life to His service. My life is now focused on becoming like Him (taking on His character), and doing whatever He wants (He is the king, I am the governor, the slave) any time, any place at any cost.
More good news: God would not allow Jesus to stay dead, and so He raised him back to life three days later, and lots of people saw him, hundreds. Then after about 40 days, after his mission was finished, he went back to heaven to be with God.
The Holy Spirit (also God) has now begun His mission, calling people out of the rule of Satan, and helping those who have been set free to change and take on the character of God once again. The Holy Spirit point's people to Jesus, and Jesus point's people to God.
The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God (the father) are all one God (commonly known as the Trinity).
The story is not over. The Day of God is coming when He will judge everyone. All of humanity should be condemned on that day as rebels and enemies of God, yet because of Jesus' death, the penalty for rebellion has already been paid in full for those who have dedicated their lives to God. Those whose rebellion has already been punished in Jesus, they will be restored to their place as governors of the earth under the kingship of God. Everything will be made new and return to how it was supposed to be.
You are part of this story. Do you need to break free from Satan's rule? Or do you need to work with the Holy Spirit to take on the character of God (godliness) and call others out from Satan's rule? Wherever you are at in this story, get going, the time is short, the end is near.
Hope this is helpful,
Note: Some things above are incomplete, so as not to miss the story. For instance, it is a massive understatement to say all that it is to be made in the image of God (and then in the end to return to the image of God) simply has only to do with character. God calls it becoming 'new creations.' In the end there is a complete transformation involving much more than character.