11.03.2011

The Bible in 700 words


The story of the Bible is true.

God made the world. Adam and Eve died inside when they sinned. God had mercy and kept them alive physically, promising a redeemer. Mankind grew worse. God judged them in a flood, but saved 8 in an ark.

God promised Abraham to bless world through his descendant. He believed what he could not see. His family was faithful but flawed, like each of us. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, but God used it to feed the world.

Egypt oppressed Israel, and God came down and delivered them. He fed His wandering people for 40 years, sometimes faithful, usually rebellious. He gave them bread, gave them His Word.

He brought them into the promised land with Joshua’s leadership, punishing the sinful nations there with destruction. Israel worshiped other gods, and God afflicted them so they would turn back to Him. When they repented, He sent judges to save them.

They asked for a king, again not trusting God to deliver them. God gave them Saul, who stumbled and fell, then David, who stumbled and stood by grace. God revealed more of His plan of redemption at this point – it would be Abraham’s descendant through whom God would bless the world. And it would be David’s son who would sit on the throne forever. God used David, Solomon and the priests in their time to give us Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.

Israel did not stay faithful to God after David died. Solomon was wealthy and wise, but a womanizer who worshiped idols. The kingdom was torn apart and kings followed Solomon’s pattern, allowing idolatry, treason against the God who made and redeemed them. Prophets came and spoke to these kings, but they trusted in military might and political alliances instead of God. They allowed oppression of the poor and injustice among God’s own people, against His clear Word.

So God judged them with conquest and exile. They were killed or carted off to other lands for a time. But God had plans to prosper them in the next generation. A faithful remnant returned, rebuilt Jerusalem, and restored the worship of God. Nehemiah defended Israel against opposition while Ezra taught the Word of God. Malachi and Daniel prophesied of a coming Messiah, after other kingdoms rise and fall.

After 400 years, in the fullness of time, God came to Zechariah and Elizabeth and gave them John. God overshadowed Mary and gave the world Jesus, because He loved us so much, so that whoever believes in Him can have life, even though we have been spiritually dead since birth.

Jesus grew into, learned, lived and taught the Torah, the law and ways of God. He was baptized by the Spirit to preach the kingdom of God. He went hungry for 40 days in the desert, and emerged to give bread and life to Israel. His brothers rejected Him and handed him over to pagans. He died on a Roman cross, to keep all the promises He had made as God to Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Mary, and many others. Promises to give His people an eternal king and liberator from the tyranny of the devil and their own sinfulness. He rose 3 days later to show everyone this is true, and to give us life in His life.

He trained the disciples, ascended to heaven, and sent the Spirit, equipping the apostles to go into all the nations, baptizing and teaching them to truth and obey Jesus. They took His message to the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Gentiles, finding faith and persecution everywhere they went. The Bible ends with Paul under Roman house arrest preaching Christ, and John under arrest for the same reason. But John is given the final revelation of how God, the author of history, will bring it to conclusion. He will instruct His church, give ample time to all to repent, protect and vindicate His people, judge the wicked, and finally bring His people to His Son for a wedding feast. He will restore joy where there was sorrow, laughter where there were tears, purity where there was sin, peace where there was misery.

That is the story of the Bible. That is what we believe.

1 Comments:

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Peter Jones said...

Steve, that was excellent. Thanks. Peter Jones

 

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