By Stewart Topping
Our Christian Bible is made up of 66 books that fit together very well. The plan that God set in motion is redemption of mankind. The Buildings we call Church have divided us as believers. We are divided by their interpretation of the doctrine of salvation. The most basic teaching and the most important has a different meaning in each Church. Most are made by men and are not scriptural but it is hard to change tradition. A lot of the doctrine has some form of the law.
Part 1 “man’s fallen nature” and Part2 “what we are being redeemed from” have been sent out earlier and are available on the website www.faithintheword.com this is part 3 “Jesus the theme of the Bible”
One thing that divides the church is the two theories of belief.
There are two theologies in the Church today.
- Dispensational theology
If you consider what God has done and how he acted during biblical history you will become a dispensationalist.
- Covenant theology
If you consider what God has said then you would consider yourself a covenant theologian.
As we read the bible and consider what God has said and what He has done they will not be in conflict. But we must keep Redemption at the top of the pyramid of God’s plan.
We do not have to polarize and choose a theology. We need to step back and see the whole forest and not get lost in the trees. “Dave Shirley”
In this plan there is no doctrines made by man, no rules or manmade regulations, only facts. When we are reading through the word of God we must keep redemption as the theme of the Bible. God has a plan to redeem mankind from his fallen nature and the plan was set in motion before time.
Let’s look at the whole Bible by examining each section. Christ is the theme of each of the eight sections of the Bible
- The Law: The foundation is laid for Christ (Genesis – Deuteronomy) (5)
- Genesis – The doctrine of election
- Exodus – The redemption of His people
- Leviticus – Sanctification and setting a part of His people
- Numbers – Direction of God’s people
- Deuteronomy – Instruction of God’s people
2. History: Preparation for Christ (Joshua – Esther) (12)
- This section is where we are preparing for Christ.
- Joshua goes in to Canaan, God’s rest, and possesses the land
- King David expands the land
- Solomon Glorifies the land and the nation
- The division begins in 1 Kings 12, The land is divided and deteriorating begins throughout Israel
- The people are exiled to Babylon for 70 years
- Esther is providentially protected
- Ezra comes back to Canaan to restore
- Nehemiah comes back to rebuild
3. Poetry: Aspiration for Christ is expressed (Job – Song of Solomon) (5)
- In poetry we see the aspiration and desire for Christ
- The wanting for the relationship with Jesus Christ
4. Prophecy: The Expectation of Christ (Isaiah – Malachi) (17)
- We see in this section prophecy, the foretelling or expectation of Christ, one prophecy after another.
5. Gospels: The Manifestation of Christ (Matthew – John) (4)
- The manifestation of Christ that was promised The messiah is finally here and the end of the Law with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
6. Acts: The Propagation of Christ (Acts) (1)
- The transition of Law to Grace. From the Apostles of the Law, the Physical circumcised, to the Apostle of Grace, those circumcised by the Spirit of God
7. Epistles: Interpretation and Application of Christ (Romans – Jude) (21)
- Interpretation and application of Christ
8. Revelation: The Consummation of all things in Christ (Revelation)(1)
- The consummation of Christ
Redemption started at the beginning of the Bible. God spoke it in Genesis and He carries it all the way to the last book, Revelations. The Bible is not to be used for Doctrine so that it will divide us, but to see the Plan of God for the redemption of mankind. God loved us from the beginning and continued to plan for our return to Him, very much like the story of the prodigal Son. We want to do our own thing, go our own way departing from God for a short time only to return to a loving father.
God made a path so we could find our way back! Read Luke 15:11-32 for more detail on the prodigal son.
Grace is the result of redemption. We were redeemed at the cross. It was done before we even asked for forgiveness. We were bought with the price of the shed blood of Jesus.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph. 2:7-9 (KJV)
Key points to remember.
- We are redeemed and forgiven is part of redemption
- Grace is a free gift and cannot include works (law)
- Faith is when you believe that God is and you can have a relationship with Him