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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our Christian Bible - 1

This is a new, short series. The importance, the reliability and the relevance of our Christian Bible.

To understand the Bible, it is essential to grasp the sweep of that history from creation to consummation. It is also crucial to keep in focus the unifying theme of Scripture. The one constant theme unfolding throughout the Bible is this: God for His own glory has chosen to create and gather to Himself a group of people to be the subjects of His eternal kingdom, to praise, honor, and serve Him forever and through whom He will display His wisdom, power, mercy, grace, and glory. To gather His chosen ones, God must redeem them from sin. The Bible reveals God's plan for this redemption from its inception in eternity past to its completion in eternity future. Covenants, promises, and epochs are all secondary to the one continuous plan of redemption.

There is one God. The Bible has one Creator. It is one book. It has one plan of grace, recorded from initiation, through execution, to consummation. From predestination to glorification, the Bible is the story of God's redeeming His chosen people for the praise of His glory.

As God's redemptive purposes and plan unfold in Scripture, five recurring motifs are constantly emphasized: the character of God; the judgment for sin and disobedience; the blessing for faith and obedience; the Lord and Savior and sacrifice for sin; the coming kingdom and glory.

Everything revealed on the pages of both the Old Testament and the New Testament is associated with these five categories. Scripture is always teaching or illustrating: 1. the character and attributes of God; 2. the tragedy of sin and disobedience to God's holy standards; 3. the blessedness of faith and obedience to God's standards; 4. the need for a Savior by whose righteousness and substitution sinners can be forgiven, declared just, and transformed to obey God's standards; 5. the coming glorious end of redemptive history in the Lord and Savior's earthly kingdom and the subsequent eternal reign and glory of God and Christ. It is essential as one studies Scripture to grasp these recurring categories like great hooks on which to hang the passages. While reading through the Bible, one should be able to relate each portion of Scripture to these dominant topics, recognizing that what is introduced in the Old Testament is also made more clear in the New Testament.

(continued with # 2)

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