Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts
The days which there are a large proportion of children going to Sunday Schools are gone, those who receive and learn Bible Stories in class. So now we can see and observe that the average non-Christian is almost completely ignorant of the contents of the Bible. It still remains the world’s bestselling book but only very few ever read it. Even Christians’ knowledge of the Bible is not much better. We all have our favorite passages, but much of scripture remains uncharted territory, especially the Old Testament. Many don’t know the relevance of these great stories for us today. So the purpose of this book is to let us have an overview of the whole Bible that will help us see how the different parts fit together. And let us know, teach and love Christ through all the Scriptures.
The Bible is a diverse collection of different writings which contains 66 books written by about 40 human authors over nearly 2000 years. It has two main sections (Old Testament – 39 books & New Testament – 27 books) written in two main languages (Hebrew & Greek respectively) and includes a mixture of types of Literature. But still it holds together as a unity. It is just one book written by one author with one main supreme subject that binds it all together: Jesus Christ and the salvation God offers through him. Just as the Lord Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, so the Bible is both a human and a divine book. It is God’s Word: He is the ultimate author.
The author divided the Bible into eight sections, which are the main epochs in God’s unfolding plan to restore His kingdom.
The Old Testament
- The pattern of the kingdom (Gen.1-2) – In the Garden of Eden, shows us God’s original and perfect creation. It is a model of His kingdom as it was meant to be.
- The perished kingdom (Gen. 3) Fall – When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and live under God’s curse and are under His judgment.
- The promised kingdom (Gen.4-12)Promise to Abraham- through his descendants he will re-establish His kingdom
- The partial kingdom (Gen12 – 2 Chron.)Exodus-Law-Conquest-Monarchy- God’s promises to Abraham has partially fulfilled but because of sin it was soon over.
- The prophesied kingdom (Ezra – Malachi) Prophetic hope- God used Prophets to explain that they are punished for their sin but offered hope for the future.
The New Testament
- The present kingdom (Gospels: Matt. – John) Birth of Christ to Ascension- The waiting was over; God’s King had come to establish God’s kingdom.
- The proclaimed kingdom (Acts – Rev.) Pentecost – God sent the Spirit to equip His church to tell the whole world about Christ
- The perfected kingdom (Revelation) Second coming/New Creation – There will be a great division between His enemy and His people. They really will all live happily ever after.
This is God’s big picture. As we learn about Christ from the whole Bible, let us determine to love, honor, and worship and obey Him.
Christians in the world today did not give equal value to the great stories in the Old Testament with what has written in the New Testament. Many churches shortened their Sunday Service and cancelled/ omitted in their schedule of the Sunday school. Maybe it is because some of the Christians came very late to the service and don’t want to attend their Sunday school. Praise God because there are still churches who continue to conduct Sunday school classes.
After reading this book, I felt the need of reading the Bible details by details from Genesis to Revelation. Every stories and words counts. I had known that there is a relevance of these great stories for us today and it is connected with each other. Instead of picking up my favorite verses, I should also know its historical and relational dimensions. If I want to understand any part of the Bible properly, I must consider where it fits in that great plan and how it contributes to it. The Bible is all about God’s promise and fulfillment of it to restore His relationship to us, His people. God longs for human beings to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him in His presence. I am so glad that I am part of His family and I can also enjoy this intimate relationship He is offering to us through His Son Jesus Christ. As He is perfect and Holy God, that is possible only as I submit to His loving rule and do not sin with the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells in me as I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Savoir. I am also encouraged to familiarize this Bible stories so that I can share it to others and I know that it will also benefited to me. I can easily relate to the New Testament because most of this writings quoted to the Old Testament. I am thankful with this book because it helps me to enjoy more reading God’s word. It also inspires me to ask God and explore other Spiritual Gifts that God entrusted to me or God will possibly give to me.
As a Christian, I must not expect life to be easy because there are many trials, temptations, challenges and also persecutions may happen. But one thing is for sure, God is in control. I only need to trust Him, have faith and live with the Holy Spirit. Although there are still many questions in my mind that only God can answer, I will not let my faith be stumble just because of this. I thank God for the wisdom and for the help understanding His word. I praise God for this opportunity to work with Him as a Staff because I had reminded once again that “Mission is not an option for the keen few, it is an obligation for us all. Jesus commanded us to do so.” It is by His Spirit that God is at work extending His kingdom in these last days and not mine. I am just His mouthpiece and beloved servant/friend/child. I am called to proclaim the gospel and live a Christian life among people who live in a very different way. To God be all the glory!