The Unity of Scripture

“That Book in Your Hand”

Is the Bible just a bunch of fragmented stories and letters on religion written by a lot of different people, or is it one Book with one Author?  Is it disjointed fragments, or a single epic story, the greatest love story ever told?

Rewind

Sermons on the nature of the Bible (Bibliology):

  1. The inspiration of the Scriptures, their divine nature, from II Timothy 3:16.
  2. The moving of the Spirit in giving us the Scriptures, from II Peter 1:19-21.
  3. The inerrancy of God’s Word (its complete reliability).
  4. The preservation of God’s Word.
  5. The illumination of the Scriptures, the work of the Holy Spirit in helping us to understand spiritual truths.
  6. The perspicuity of Scripture — the Scriptures can be understood and rightly interpreted.
  7. The canon of Scripture — this wasn’t a sermon, but it belongs in this study on Bibliology

The Message of the Bible

As we’ve looked at how God gave us His Word, we saw that every word is His.  Thus, we would expect the Scriptures, rather than being fragmented, to have a unified message.  Sometimes, a casual look may cause us to misunderstand how it all fits together, but there are unifying themes which run through the entire Bible.  It is indeed one unified Book.

God Gives Life to Man for Loving Fellowship with Him

Genesis 1:26-27

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man Becomes a Rebel and Breaks Loving Fellowship

Genesis 3:6

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Because Man is a Rebel,
God Promises a SAVIOUR who will Restore Loving Fellowship

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

God Spares Man from Destruction, but Man is Still a Rebel
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Genesis 6:5

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 Genesis 11:4

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

God Chooses a People but Man is Still a Rebel
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Genesis 12-50

These chapters of Genesis tell how God chose Abraham and his descendants to be His people and the family by which He would bring the Saviour.  Despite His present blessings and promises of more blessings, these chosen people in their dysfunctional families rebelled against Him, lied, deceived, kidnapped, murdered, committed adultery, etc.

God Gives His People the Law, but Man is Still a Rebel
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Exodus through Deuteronomy

God sends plagues on Egypt and delivers His people from slavery.  He takes them on dry land through the Red Sea, and destroys Pharaoh’s army.  He gives them the Law, and they break it.  He forgives and takes them through the wilderness, but they refuse to trust Him and enter the Promised Land.  They wander in the wilderness for forty years, yet God remains faithful, despite their murmuring.  God keeps giving, and they keep rebelling.

 God Gives His People a Land, but Man is Still a Rebel
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Joshua and Judges

Joshua gives the account of God giving His people the promised land, and closes with the command to serve God alone.  Judges gives the account of this people, who had been so blessed by Him, rejecting Him and serving other gods, and all the evil that came.

God Gives His People a King, but Man is Still a Rebel
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Samuel, Kings, Chronicles

God’s people want a king, so God gives them one, but he sins.  God gives a righteous king, through whom Messiah will eventually come, but even that king sins, and his descendants and the people turn to wickedness.

God Gives His People Prophets, but Man is Still a Rebel
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Isaiah – Zephaniah

God sends prophets, warning His people of their wickedness, pleading them to return to fellowship with God, but they disobey.  The prophets tell of a Saviour who is coming (Isaiah 53 and other passages), and a time when His people will have new and obedient hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and other passages).  Finally, because rebellion continues, God judges the nation, but does not completely destroy them.

God Gives His People Restoration, but Man is Still a Rebel A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

God restores His people to the land He had promised them, but they still have not learned to obey.  They sin, and sin again.  The Old Testament closes in Malachi with promises of a SAVIOUR.

God Gives His People His Son!
but Man is Still a Rebel!
A SAVIOUR is Needed to Restore Loving Fellowship

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

The story of the birth and earthly life of the Son of God is told.  Note particularly Jesus’ parable in Matthew 21:33-45.  It tells the story of the Old Testament and Gospels in 13 short verses, including their evil rejection of the Son of God.

A Loving SAVIOUR!

Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, John 19-20

Christ died on the cross, bearing our sins, and rose victorious, that we might have forgiveness and cleansing, be born again to new life in Christ, and live forever in loving fellowship with Him.

God Gives His People a Message of Hope and Joy
Telling Rebels of the SAVIOUR and Loving Fellowship with Him

Acts

The Holy Spirit comes to indwell God’s people, and they go as witnesses to Christ, spreading the good news of the SAVIOUR and fellowship with God.  Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles are brought together, bond and free, rich and poor, for the Gospel knows no such boundaries.  The message of God’s love, the opportunity to live in fellowship with Him, goes everywhere.

God Gives Teaching of the Work of the SAVIOUR
And how Former Rebels Live in His Loving Fellowship

Romans through Jude

 The apostles write letters helping God’s people to more completely understand all the gracious love of God’s redeeming work.  They teach what it means to live out our faith in the Saviour, and what fellowship with God means for this life and for our future hope.

The SAVIOUR Returns, Judges Rebels,
and Restores Perfect Loving Fellowship

Revelation

God gives a vision of the events leading up to our Lord’s return, as He judges the world, and brings in truth and righteousness.  The final two chapters tell of the new heaven and new earth, when there will be no more sin, and fellowship with God will be perfectly restored.

So, What is the Story of the Bible?

  • The story of God giving and giving and giving
  • The story of man’s rebellion, the havoc it brought, and its final outcome
  • The story of God’s persistent love, ultimately revealed in the SAVIOUR
  • The story of loving fellowship — broken, restored, perfected

It is the story of God’s love, the story of
THE SAVIOUR
who gave His life that we might live in love with Him forever.

Further posts on the Unity of Scripture:
The Unity of Scripture — It All Matters
The Unity of Scripture — the “Analogy of Faith”

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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