Overview of the Bible
What is the Bible all about?
There is little doubt that God’s Word, the Bible, has been one of the most, if not the most, influential books in all of history. How are we to understand the Bible? The Bible is filled with different characters, complex storylines, and different styles of writing. If we are first opening the Bible, it can seem overwhelming. However, weaved throughout the Bible is an overarching story; the story of Jesus and the story of promise.
The first words recorded in the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). Almost at the very end of the Bible in (Revelation 22:5b), we read, “And they shall reign forever and ever.” The Bible consists of 66 individual books that knit together the consistent story of Jesus and God's plan of redemption.
In the beginning, we learn of how creation came into existence including the first man and woman, Adam and Eve.
"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
(Genesis 1:26-28) New King James Version
It’s not long until we read about how God’s “good” creation is broken by sin. In Genesis 3 we read about the temptation and fall of man. The serpent tempts Eve and both she and Adam eat from the tree which God had commanded them not to partake of. The result, Adam and Eve choose for themselves what is good and what is evil. Instead of relying on God’s wisdom, they chose to follow their own wisdom. From this point we quickly read about how God’s good creation spirals downward into confusion, hurt, pain, suffering, and sin. In the brokenness, God makes a promise: one day God would restore His broken creation.
"So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
In the midst of the fall, God makes a promise. In the midst of the fall, God extends mercy and grace. Ultimately evil and the power of death would be destroyed through God's Son, Jesus. He will bruise the head of the serpent. Through death, Jesus would destroy the one who had the power of death, that is, the devil (ref. Hebrews 2:14). The story of this promise is woven like a fine tapestry throughout the Bible.
God makes a covenant with Abraham. He chooses to bless Abraham and through him, all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
"blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
However, God’s covenant people, Israel, again choose their wisdom instead of the wisdom of God. They chose to determine for themselves what is evil and what is good. Even though people consistently choose not to honor God’s Word, God upholds His promise. He promised in the garden and spoke through the words of the prophets, God is faithful. He sends His promised Messiah - Jesus into a broken, confused, suffering, and hurting creation. Jesus came to restore what was broken and to heal those who have been crushed by sin.
Jesus came to establish God’s reign through His kingdom. A new human, a new Adam who would not fail but who followed completely the words of God. The One through whom all the nations of the earth are blessed.
Jesus offers this new life to all who would follow Him. He offers new life to all who wish to enter the kingdom. He has made a way of restoration and healing, the promise of the forgiveness of sins.
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
The Bible is the story of Jesus and God's plan of restoring a broken creation. It is the story of Jesus who reveals God’s wisdom and His design for all creation. It is the story of forgiveness through Jesus the Son of God. The Bible is a story that from beginning to end tells of how God will uphold His promise.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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