6th March 2011

The Point Of The Bible

“In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’”
Isaiah 25:9-10 (NIV UK)

A recent survey showed that more people in America can name the individual Beatles than can name the four Gospels. Many Americans know very little about the Bible, even many Christians. And a good percentage of those who are familiar with the Bible miss its real purpose. It’s a little like the old saying about not being able to see the forest because of the trees.

The Bible is commonly thought of as a codebook, a kind of “instruction manual”—a “how to guide” or set of rules for life. People miss its actual purpose because they are too busy looking though it for lists of dos and don’ts.

But by its own testimony, the Bible is more of a casebook than a codebook. It is full of stories and illustrations that teach us who God is and what God is doing with and for humanity.

Don’t get me wrong. The Bible does contain important dos and don’ts that provide us with solid instruction about wise living. But that is not the fundamental purpose of the Bible.

Jesus himself gives us the purpose of the Bible. Speaking to first century Jewish leaders, Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39 NIV).

When Jesus spoke, the New Testament had not been written. When he talked about “the Scriptures,” he was talking about the Hebrew Bible, what we call the Old Testament—and he said that the Old Testament Scriptures testified or gave evidence about who he is.

John, Paul, George and Ringo changed the face of music in the modern world, recording more platinum albums and more number one singles than any other musical group in history. But Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, along with all the rest of the Scriptures, set down the record of the most important events in human history—the preparation and prophecies, the birth, the life, the death, the resurrection and the ascension of the Son of God for the salvation of humanity. And while more than one billion Beatles albums have been sold, the number of Bibles printed tops eight billion.

The Beatles were gifted musicians, but when Jesus was born, no less than a choir of angels sang with joy, and an angel announced his arrival: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

The Bible announces the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, the gift that lasts for eternity. Through Jesus, God has demonstrated his love and his grace, forgiving all the sins of humanity and reconciling all people everywhere to himself. And God calls on them to enter into fellowship and eternal life with the Father, the Son and the Spirit, and with each other, through faith in Jesus Christ.  This is the good news we call the gospel.

Prayer
Holy Father, we ask humbly for the eyes to see in your inspired Old Testament, as we study and read it, not things to do necessarily, but to
see Jesus Christ. And so to learn more about him and your purpose through him for we human beings now and in your kingdom to come. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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