Saturday, 27 February 2010

The story of the bible

At my university, I was asked to do a presentation of what the bible is about. Two of us had to speak, and one of the lecturers spoke on the historicity of the bible and how we can have confidence that it is the word of God and I had the privilege to talk about what the message of the bible was. Here is my presentation in bullet points:

1. What is the purpose of the bible?

- 'From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work'.

- A book of Salvation

2. The purpose of the bible is not:

- Scientific
- Literary
- Philosophical

- But the purpose of the bible is about salvation

3. Salvation

- Salvation is more than the forgiveness of sins.

- It includes the whole sweep of God’s purpose to redeem and restore mankind and indeed all of creation

4. Story of the bible

- It begins with creation
- Man made in the likeness of God
- Sin entered the world
- The bible emphasises the gravity of sin as a revolt against the authority of God our creator and Lord
- The relationship is broken

5.God loves the very rebels who deserve nothing but judgment
- God calls Abraham
- Israel is made into a Nation in which the messiah will come

6. The law is given with rituals for atonement but the law made nothing perfect.

'When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order'.

- All of this pointed to Christ

7. Jesus entered the world

‘It was fitting that God for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings’.

- Jesus took the sins of the world upon himself, of those who would belive.

8. The Cross

-Isaiah explains the cross

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,        yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

10. 'When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant'.

11. The cross reconciles man to God

- 'Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit'.

12. "God commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

13. Believe in Jesus

- For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

- This is the good news and it says come to Jesus, come and live. Put your faith in Him and trust Him for He is alive and is able to save those who come to him. He will give them life and life to the full.


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