Recently I started teaching a series on Thursday nights with my college group. As you guessed from the title of this blog, we are doing an overview of the bible. Not only is it an overview of the ENTIRE Bible, we are trying to do it in one school year. That’s 9 months. That’s not 9 months of meeting everyday, but of meeting 1 time a week with approximately 1 hour of teaching. I’ve never had a more daunting task.
Some might be thinking, Why? Why do that? Why is it important? Why not just take a smaller chunk of Scripture and study it in depth?
My reasons are numerous –
1. How often is an overview of the entire Bible taught? More often than not, and in my own personal experience, we get tons of in depth study on smaller books of the bible (or the larger ones, less often though). Yet, we rarely see how they all fit together. I asked the college group if they’ve ever tried to put together a fairly complicated puzzle without looking at what the puzzle is supposed to look like when finished. Of course no one had because that would be extremely difficult (I supposed if you really loved puzzles you might attempt this someday). Well that’s what we tend to do with the Bible. We like to look at each individual piece with out knowing how they all fit together.
2. If God is the Author of the entire Bible, then shouldn’t it all fit together? I’ve put this as an “if, then” statement in order to make it a question, yet I firmly believe that God IS the author of the bible. The Holy Spirit guided the hands and minds of men to record every Word that God wanted to be recorded. Therefore there is complete unity and cohesion in Scripture. This further exemplified by the lack of any apparent contradictions in Scripture (some might disagree here, but I again firmly believe that the Bible does not contradict itself).
3. We see the Cross as more beautiful and excellent when we see that it is center of all the Bible. It was God’s plan from the beginning to redeem mankind through the sacrifice of His Son. The Old Testament, testifies of this, and the New Testament tells us how to live because of it. The Cross was not plan B. As we look through Scripture and see the unity of it, we begin to realize that there are no accidents. God is the great author of all things in the universe and everything works according to the perfect plan of His will. This is beautiful and glorious.
4. The Bible is not about us. So often we make it about us. We make Bible study about us. What can I learn from this? What can I get out of this sermon. While not all bad, because we should seek to be learning and growing in our own personal walk with Christ, we have to keep in mind that the Bible is about God. It is about God revealing Himself to us as sinful human beings. It is about Him showing us plan. This is so He receives the maximum glory. It’s about God getting the glory He deserves. That’s why we exist. Not for ourselves but for Him. Understanding the Bible as a whole should help remind us of this truth.
5. Finally, (and I could go on), it’s to when the appetites of my fellow believer and stir in their hearts a longing for the Word of God. My goal is to give a little bit of information and to highlight the overall plan of God. I hope, and it’s been my experience, that this whet’s ones appetite and gives a taste of the what the Bible is about. When I’m hungry, and I’ve tasted something good, then I go back for seconds.
Stay tuned for more blogs on my series on an overview of the Bible as I will try and post some of the highlights from each week on here so you can keep up with us!