Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How to Understand the Message of the Bible

So what does God want us to understand today?

1.     We Need Help – Sin Separates Us from God
If you’re familiar with the account of Adam and Eve, you know that before they disobeyed God they were perfect and experienced the very presence of God.   (If you don’t know this see Genesis chapter 3)  But the result of their disobedience was separation from God because they had sinned.  So mankind ceased to be perfect like God and came under both physical death (separation from the living) and spiritual death (separation from God).  Like Adam and Eve, all of us have sinned / disobeyed God and are under the penalty of both physical and spiritual death. 

To understand the situation of the lost sinner read Ephesians chapter 2, verses 1 – 3 and verses 11-13.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Understand the Message of the Bible

 In between the bookends is the history of the human race that disobeyed God repeatedly:
  •          Adam and Eve disobey God and are cast out of Paradise and God’s presence and death (meaning separation) enters creation, because of their disobedience which the Bible refers to as sin.  (See Genesis, chapter 3)
  •          The flood during the time of Noah that destroys the rest of mankind, because “their every thought was only evil continually.”  (See Genesis chapter 6, verses 5-7)
  •          The Tower of Babel, where unbelieving mankind is judged once again, but this time God sets aside all of mankind in their disobedience and unbelief and holds them responsible for their choice to remain separated from Him.   These people are referred to as the Gentiles in the Bible.  (See Genesis chapter 11, verses 1-9 and Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32 which described why God made this decision.)
  •          Out of unbelieving mankind, God chooses a man named Abram, who believed the promises God made to him and becomes the Father of the Jewish people through his son Isaac, who are God’s Chosen people.  (See Genesis chapter 12, verses 1-4)
  •          The remainder of the portion of the Bible referred to as the Old Testament is a record of continued failure and disobedience, but God had promised a Redeemer and would keep His promise.
  •          In the New Testament Gospel books, God presents the Jews His Son, Jesus, but they reject Him and are set aside like the Gentiles had been at the Tower of Babel.  (See Romans chapter 12, verses 13-24)
  •          God out of His great love, mercy and grace offers forgiveness to all through Jesus. (See Romans chapter 12, verses 25-32)

The overall lesson to be learned from the Biblical account is our personal inability to please God through our lives and the choices we make. And in the midst of all of the failures of mankind, God promises a way to restore what we’ve lost through our sin. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Understand the Message of the Bible

Included with this guide is a chart which depicts the message of the Bible, called the Highway of Life.  It begins in the lower left corner with Adam and Eve outside the Garden of Eden.  It ends on the upper right side with an archway into the Kingdom of God.   The two points just mentioned are book ends.

Outside the bookends, a perfect creation is described in the beginning (the book of Genesis) and a perfect recreation is described at the end (Revelation).  Perfect means nothing separates man from God and there is a close relationship between God and the individual. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How to Understand the Message of the Bible

Before we begin, 2 common observations to consider:
I feel like something is missing
Look up the Book of Romans in the New Testament, chapter 1, and read verses 18-20.  There you’ll find the evidence of God is inherent within each of us.  And when we don’t understand, choose to ignore or reject that evidence, it feels like a hole in our lives.   Blaise Pascal, a famous French mathematician and believer in Jesus, described this as a “God shaped hole in each of our lives that only Jesus can fill.”

I want to understand the Bible, but I don’t

Look up 1 Corinthians, chapter 2 and read verses 11-16.  There you’ll see the Bible is God’s book and no one knows it or understands it like Him.  Ask God to help you understand what He wants you to know. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to Understand the Message of the Bible

Do you feel like something is missing in your life – perhaps a sense of purpose and a genuine understanding of why life was given to you?   Do you wonder if there is a God and how to please Him?  Do you feel like you have a problem that you just can’t resolve on your own?   A person without Jesus is described as “lost” and when we’re lost, we need someone who knows the way to provide directions.  With your permission, I’d like to serve as a guide.  God’s Word, the Bible, provides the answers we’re looking for, and often times the best way to begin is to follow someone who recognized  something was missing in their own life and was shown the way as well .

If you have a Bible, references to certain books and passages will be given below for you to see for yourself.   If you’re uncertain where to find the reference, the Bible, like other books, has a Table of Contents in the front to guide you.  If you don’t have a Bible, there are resources on-line you can use, for example,  .  You can choose a translation to read from and do a Passage Look up to be taken directly to the Bible reference.  If you need a suggestion for a version to begin with, the New Living Translation is a good place to start.