The Bible contains 66 books, written in 3 languages (Hebrew, Greek, & Aramaic), over a period of 1500 years, by more than 40 authors on 3 continents. Authors of the Bible include kings, peasants, philosophers, farmers, fishermen, poets, statesman, and scholars. The books of the Bible cover history, sermons, letters, songs, geographical surveys, architectural specifications, travel diaries, genealogies, and legal documents. It’s the best selling book of all time & is now available in nearly 3,000 languages, and it contains ONE STORY of God’s perfect Creation, man’s complete corruption by sin, Christ’s rescue and redemption, and God’s restoration of all things through Christ. Tim Keller said it best:
“Many people think of the Bible as a book of moral teachings with stories sprinkled through to illustrate the teachings. But it’s a lot better than that…the Bible is a single true story with teachings sprinkled through to illustrate the story.” ~ Tim Keller
This Fall at Bridge Church we’ve been examining this story and applying it to our everyday lives. I believe if we understand the story, reading the Bible can be more profitable and applying God’s truth to our lives and the lives of others will be a more fluid motion. We started out breaking down each individual part of the story – CREATION, CORRUPTION, REDEMPTION, RESTORATION – and now we’re going through each of the 9 sections/literary categories of the Bible, learning to see it through the lens of this Story. Here’s a few highlights of this ONE STORY in the Old Testament:
- The One Story in Genesis: Man cannot bring about redemption & restoration alone. Redemption and restoration only come b/c of God’s unmerited favor. Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23
- The One Story in the Old Testament Law (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy): The Law gives us a glimpse of God’s character, sets the first limits & price tags on human sin, demonstrates our need for rescue, and prepares us to put our hope & trust in Christ.Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 3:19-26, Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
- The One Story in Israel’s History ( Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther): Like Israel God created you for his glory & his purposes & to be a light to others. Like Israel you and I have corrupted His original purposes. Like Israel, God’s provided for us – people, seasons of deliverance, grace, opportunity. Like with Israel, God kept his promise to us by sending Christ. In Christ is power to change, power to overcome, power to break free from destructive cycles.
This weekend we’ll find this One Story in the Wisdom books – Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
Also, this Fall we held a workshop called How to Get a Grip on the Bible. Find the booklet here. Hearing someone else teach and preach the Bible is helpful, but to be a fruitful Christian you must learn to listen to and relate to God personally.