Monday, March 30, 2009

What can we (and our teen-aged children) learn from an overview of the Bible?

Part One

Studying the Bible in great detail is great. However, there are times when it's good to step back up a bit and review the overall message of God's word. This following scriptures provide one way to do that.

Genesis 1:1. Of course, we've all read this verse many times. It's a logical place to begin our overview of God's message to us, though. Understanding that this world did not just happen, but that it was created for a purpose is foundational to our faith.

Genesis 1:26-27: After the creation of other life, God created man and woman in his own image. He created them with a spiritual nature. He made us to be like Him in special ways. From the beginning of time, He has desired that there be a relationship between Himself and man. Rather than creating man as a robot, however, he gave man the ability to respond to God or to disobey. He has communicated clearly with man to let him know how he can be in relationship with his creator. He clearly outlined consequences or results that come from the choice of choosing God's way or man's (our own) way.

Genesis 2:6-7; Genesis 2:15-17 -- Man's way or God's way. What were the results of man choosing his way? Genesis 3:16-19. What would have been the result of obeying the Lord?

But God had a plan to deal with man's sin and lost condition.

Genesis 22:17-19 -- Abraham
A. God chooses the man Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham.
B. God makes a promise to Abraham -- What was it?
C. Much of the Bible is the story of Abraham's descendants and how through them God has given the whole world the opportunity to know Him and be blessed.
D. It is often a messy story, because of how often men failed to love and obey God. It is a beautiful story, because it is the story of God's faithfulness to do what He had promised.

Genesis 25:22-26 Israel
A. Abraham had Isaac and Isaac had Jacob (Israel) and Jacob had 12 sons.
B. Their descendants became the Twelve Tribes of Israel
C. God used Joseph and a famine to bring the entire group to Egypt.
D. They eventually became slaves of the Egyptians, but this was in God's plan, as well.

Exodus 3:1-8 The Exodus
A. God calls Moses to lead the people out of Egypt.
B. The rest of Exodus is the story of how that happened.
C. The way God led his people out of the bondage of slavery and into a promised land becomes a picture of how He will lead all nations out of the bondage of sin and into a new relationship with Him.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
A. Throughout the OT this is what God wants Israel to learn.
B. He continually emphasizes how He wants to bless them. (7:12-13)

2 Chronicles 33:23, 2 Chronicles 34:27-28 -- Israel's unfaithfulness to God
A. 2 Chronicles is one of the books of history -- the first being Joshua -- that describes the history of Israel
B. God looking for humble faith from Israel.
C. God is faithful and continues to work with them. When they repent, he forgives.

The Prophets -- Calling the people of Israel back to faithfulness, looking forward to the Messiah
A. The books that we call the Prophets contain the writings of men God sent to remind poeple of His love for them and to call them back to Him.
B. These men also tell about the coming of the Messiah, a savior through the nation of Israel.
C. This will be the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham.
Read Hosea 11:1-4, 14:1-2

Isaiah 740-680 B.C. prophet of the coming Messiah
A. Some of the clearest prophecies are in Isaiah.
B. Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah looks forward and sees and amazing man; but He is more than a man
C. Isaiah 42:1-6 -- The servant God will send will be compassionate an bring a message for all the nations. He will be a light to the Gentiles and not just for the house of Israel alone.
D. Isaiah 29:5-6 -- For all people
E. Isaiah 53:1-6; 11-12 The servant God will send will lay down His life for other and through His suffering and death men will be healed.

400 years transpire between the writing of Malachi and the opening of the New Testament. During this time, the Hews kept looking for the Messiah. They began to think He would be a powerful military leader. They did not quite get the suffering servant passages in Isaiah 53
The Old Testament was all about God working through Israel to fulfill His promise to Abraham
The New Testament is about how that promise is fulfilled in Jesus.

Jesus -- the One
A. God in the flesh -- John 1:1-14
B. God's revelation to us -- Hebrews 1:1-2
C. God's desire to embrace us -- Luke 13:34

We have a decision to make just as those in the beginning did -- Will we follow Jesus (God's way) or follow our own way (man's way)?

More in Part II


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