If we were to ask a hundred Christians what the goal or aim of the gospel of Jesus Christ is, I’m guessing a good bit of that number would provide an individualistic salvation answer. They would say something like, “to save me from my sins so that I can live eternally with God.” The reason for that is because of the individualism that has dominated Western culture and read back into scripture.
Now I am not trying to suggest that God does not save us each individually. The spiritual blessings that we have in Christ (cf. Eph 1:3) are given to each of us individually. However, the aim of the gospel is reconciliation of people back to God and each other into “one body” so that we all are one community, the “household of God” (Eph. 2:14-22).
This is a “family story,” as J.R. Daniel Kirk calls it in his book Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul?, which arises out of the narrative that shapes the mystery of this gospel Paul is proclaiming (cf. Eph 3:6). Here is how Kirk further elaborates:
The story of our relationship with God is a family story. And our family history is the true tale of a Father who has acted to make us his beloved children through the act of our firstborn elder brother. Because this is a family story, it is one in which we who participate discover a new corporate identity. Because it is God’s story, it is a story of grace and forgiveness. And because it is Christ’s story, it is a story of embrace and unity that glorifies in difference and diversity (p. 54).
I love that description because it rightly points to the unity of one family God has reconciled us to be without collapsing that unity into uniformity (something which the New Testament never does).