These Broken Family diagrams present God’s good news (the gospel) in a way that makes it easier to understand for relationship-oriented people. They briefly explain the essential message at the heart of Christianity. The emphasis is on the honor and shame aspects of the gospel in order to give a more complete view than Western outlines that focus on guilt or law.
Frame 1 - Broken
When we look around the world we see broken relationships everywhere: between nations, people groups, families, and friends. Where have you seen examples of broken relationships in the world?
Frame 2 - Harmony
What do you think a world without broken relationships would be like? We deeply desire that world without broken relationships; we yearn for harmony. The fact that we can imagine this world and yearn for it is a clue that we were made for it. In fact, the Bible teaches that God, the eternal Creator, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, made human beings for relationships of harmony with him and each other. Where have you seen examples of broken relationships in the world? Human beings received life directly from God; relationship or harmony with God gave them life. God honored them by giving them a special face-to-face relationship with him. The Bible tells us that the first man and woman were naked and yet not ashamed. Although they wore no physical clothes, they were clothed with the honor of God. They honored God with their hearts and they honored him by living in perfect obedience to him. So they both received and gave honor to God and to each other.
Read Genesis 1-2 (NIV) or do Bible Study 2 in this book to learn more.
Frame 3 – Sin
But the harmony the woman and man enjoyed was broken. When they disobeyed and dishonored God, relationship with him was broken, and soon the relationship between the two of them was broken as well. When the relationship with God was lost, the man and woman also lost the honor they had received from God; they realized they were naked and therefore hid from God, feeling both shame and guilt. Ever since then, human beings continually dishonor and break relationship with God and with each other. The Bible’s word for this is sin. Sin is the heart attitude that puts self first and dishonors and breaks relationship with God and people. From this heart attitude come the individual thoughts and acts that are “sins.” Through sin, the man and woman also lost life; they were sent away from God’s presence and learned that they would eventually die.
Read Genesis 2-3 (NIV) or do Bible Study 3 in this book to learn more.
Frame 4 - Jesus
Human beings were in a state of separation from God. There was no way they could restore the relationship with God on their own because they could never honor or obey God perfectly no matter how hard they tried. Only God could make the relationship right again. In families in some parts of the world, the older brother is responsible for the younger brothers and sisters and must seek them if they are lost. In the family of human beings, God the Son, Jesus, became human in order to seek after human beings and reunite them with God the Father. In dying on the cross, Jesus took on shame and guilt and honored the Father by his perfect obedience.
Read Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV) and John 3:16 (NIV) or do Bible Studies 1, 4, and 5 in this book to learn more.
Frame 5 - Resurrection
But Jesus did not remain dead. The Father honored Jesus’ obedience by raising him from death to life. The word for this special rising to life is resurrection. We place a crown over the cross to represent the honor Jesus received in the resurrection. When we choose to follow Jesus, his obedience is credited to us and our sin is forgiven. Jesus offers life, honor, and forgiveness to everyone who will follow him and return to God’s family. When we choose to follow him, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of us to help us honor and obey God and honor others. This is the main message of the Bible. What questions do you have?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-9, 20-23 (NIV) or do Bible Studies 7 and 8 in this book to learn more.
Frame 6 - Come
Today there is a worldwide family connected to God and each other. Members of that family are working to bring harmony to the many broken relationships in our world. Jesus offers two different invitations:
1) Come and See: Learn about Jesus through reading the Bible, praying, doing what he says, and spending time with his people. Become a sincere seeker after God. If you want to become a sincere seeker, you can pray something like this:
“God, if you are real, please reveal yourself to me. If you do, I will make you the Leader of my life.”
2) Come and Follow: Join Jesus and his family in bringing harmony to this broken world. John 1:12 (NIV) tells us how: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” To “receive” Jesus means to welcome him into your life as leader and teacher. To “believe in his name” means to trust in him deeply. If you want to become a follower of Jesus you can pray something like this:
“Father God, I have been living independently of you, but I want to come home to you. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sin. Please come into my life, take control, and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you.”
Jesus is making these invitations today. Are you ready to answer one of them or do you need some more time to think about it? If you accepted either of these invitations, let your Bible study leader or another Christian friend know.
Read John 1:10-13, 35-51 (NIV) to learn more.