I Believe that God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, even the entire universe, spoke his creation into existence (Genesis 1). I believe that God’s words have particular importance to how humans are supposed to live in this world he has created. The Bible is the collection of Books that we believe compile the story of God’s redemptive plan for all of creation. I believe that all of the Bible is inspired by God and can be used to help us become more like God’s son, Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:16).
I don’t come to the Bible to find answers to scientific questions, or to create purely rational arguments to defend the faith. I come to the Bible to find out who God is, what God has said about himself, what God has said about his creation, and how God wants us to live. The Bible is not meant to be read as a book of proofs, rather it is to be read as a book of transformative stories.
If I have a problem with something the Bible says, the problem is not the Bible, it’s me. In my sinfulness and in my selfishness I would rather have the Bible agree with me and my point of view. But if I make the Bible say what I believe then I have done the Bible a disservice as well as the people who come to me with questions and seeking guidance. When reading the Bible I must submit to what the entirety of the Bible says to me.
So how should we read the Bible?
When we read the Laws in the Old Testament we cannot reject them outright, even though Acts 15 gives us a pretty clear understanding of what kinds of laws we must still hold to. Instead we must read the law to find the heart of the Law, which is essentially that the people of God must live differently than the rest of the nations.
When we read the books of Joshua and Judges we cannot reject these books as overly violent to our modern sensibilities. Instead, we must find the message of the Joshua and Judges and try to understand how pluralism can destroy our faith.
When we read the Gospels we cannot create an artificial distinction in God the father between the Old Testament and the New Testament. God is eternal. God is the same in the Old and the New Testaments. We have to see that the Gospels show us how God ultimately deals with sin through Jesus Christ’s work on the Cross. Sin is still as destructive and horrible, But God has paid the price for our sins by sending the Son. God still desires that the nations follow him, and the Church gets to share the message of the Gospel.
When we read Revelation we cannot make it about charts and graphs and try ti figure out who the anti-christ is, and when exactly the ends times begin. Instead we should read the Revelation to see that God is not done with his world, that there is still a spiritual battle that rages, and that the there will be a culmination of history when Christ returns, and all nations will be judged. The church is to read Revelation with humility and awe, and trust that no matter how bad things get in this world, God the creator of the universe, is still in charge and the persecution and struggles of God’s people are not the end of the story for those who follow God.
Until then we currently find ourselves in the narrative of God’s redemption. We are still apart of God’s story. Yesterday I talked about remembering your story. Today, think about your story in light of God’s greater story. You have a role to play. God’s not done with you. I believe God’s desire is that you would see your part of the story and that you would join in his narrative of redemption.