If God wrote you a letter, would you read it? Probably so. Do you know that God has truly given us a written account of what He wants us to know about Himself? The Bible has stood the test of time. It has endured the study of ardent scholars and followers, as well as the scrutiny of skeptics. It still stands and speaks into our lives today just as much as when it was originally written. Every culture, every time, every people group on any part of the earth can study, learn, and apply the words of the Bible to their profit and encouragement. This is difficult in some places because of language barriers, finances, and even opposition from those who seem to be afraid for people to read Scripture. But here in our culture we have every opportunity to read and study the Bible. God, through human means, has given us this book.
THE BIBLES STORYLINE
The Bible gives us a storyline – a story about God, about mankind, and about God’s coming to mankind. The storyline goes like this:
God created the world and He made it magnificent.
Man rebelled against God’s authority.
God sent prophets and leaders to instruct and to call people back to a right relationship with Him.
Again – Man would not listen.
God raised up a nation – Israel and gave laws and commandments that helped them to know what God required.
Once again – Mankind rebelled.
God then sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world as a man to show us what God is like, and to give His life on the cross as payment for our sin. It was men who killed Jesus. God raised Him from the dead. God still pursues us so that we can have a right relationship with Him.
THE BIBLES MESSAGE
The Bible, God’s written communication to us, makes it clear that we all need a Savior. We need to be forgiven because we have all sinned – we have all fallen short in so many ways. God has said in Scripture that sin must be paid for. The problem for us is that if we paid on that debt from now and for eternity, we would not be able to get out of debt. If I must pay my debt with my life, I am without hope. The good news that the Bible brings us is this: Jesus paid the debt for our sins when He died on the cross. He also rose from the dead and is right now praying for us. Do you believe this? Do you believe it enough to tell God that you believe it? Do you believe it enough to say “Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the gift of Your Son.”?
The Bible tells us that we are all accountable to God. One day, we will stand before a Holy God and give an account for our lives. Do we hope at that time that the good will outweigh the bad? Do we hope that all of our accomplishments will impress God? The Bible is clear about the basis for our judgement – either Jesus is our Savior or we are on our own. When we belong to Christ Jesus and follow Him — His goodness is given to us as if it were ours – and our sinfulness is put on Him as if it were His. It will be good news to us on that day of ultimate accountability to be able to say – “I belong to Jesus and He paid my debt when He gave His life on the cross”.
Bob serves as the lead pastor on Lifegate’s pastoral team and is the primary preaching pastor. He received his BA from Asbury College and MDiv from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.