Bible Summary from Genesis to Revelation: About
Have you ever felt overwhelmed when it comes to studying the Bible? What’s worse is that you start feeling terribly guilty as a Christian because you know you should be reading it more, contemplating it, and memorizing passages from it so that you always have access to it. You know that the truth about God is in there. You understand that His revealed will in many areas is also brought to us through its pages. There is history, poetry, wisdom, the gospels, and a great deal more. If you truly love the Lord, why aren’t you panting after His Word as a deer pants after water?
I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. If anything, I am commiserating with you because I’ve been there and it is an easy place to arrive to if we’re not careful. The truth is that studying God’s Word can be overwhelming for the average Christian as well as the person who has earned a doctorate studying it. I firmly believe it is something Satan spends a great deal of his time on; keeping Christians from studying God’s Word.
I’ve learned that in order to study something as massive as the Bible (or even one individual book), it has to be done in bits and pieces. In fact, I believe it is very important to look at the Bible from the larger concepts to smaller. I mean simply that for me at least, the best way to study God’s Word is to gain a general sense of what the entire Bible says, then from there learn the main or general summary of each book of the Bible. Once that is firmly established inside a person, they can then work on adding facts, figures, and information from each book to enlarge their understanding of that book. One such book is the one shown above called Know Your Bible by Paul Kent.
A Christian should be able to give a total synopsis of the Bible and even a general summary of many or all of the individual books of the Bible. Think of what that would mean for the believer.
For other people, they may be simply comfortable reading through the Bible in a year. I’m not content with that. While I also do that (and it is a very good start!), it is not good enough for me. Because of that, I’m starting this series on a Bible summary. It will start with the most general to the more specific. We will start by determining how to sum up the entire Bible in just a few sentences or short paragraphs. After that, we will summarize each book, starting with Genesis and will present the main players, the key facts, and overarching topics.
I’m doing this for me. I cannot get enough of this. It has to become embedded within me before it can truly impact me and if I do not do this, it will take me that much longer to learn what I can about God’s Word. There is no easy way to learn God’s Word. Even if someone has a “photographic memory,” and they are able to commit all of God’s Word to that memory, they would still have to “read” through it in their minds. They would still have to break things down and learn about His Word. They would still need to study it to understand what God is saying. That only comes through repetition. Read. Contemplate. Learn. Repeat.
Too many Christians today ignore God’s Word entirely. Too many Christians open it for “daily devotions,” which normally means reading what someone else has to say about God’s Word and they normally talk about one or two passages of Scripture. At that rate – and if that’s all a person does – it will take their entire life to get through the entire Bible.
Because of our sin nature that continues to exist within us (even as Christians), the enemy of our souls uses it to constantly pull us away from the things of God. Satan doesn’t want us to approach God. He doesn’t want us to learn more of God’s Word. He doesn’t want us memorizing Scripture and our sin nature is all too willing to go along with that.
We must be diligent in going around the roadblocks Satan sets up. We must remain focused in our desire to learn His Word. The more we read it, the more we will want to read it. I believe this. The more we want to read it, the more we will ask questions regarding the text that will provide answers and help us remember more of His Word
If you are like me, you will need to force yourself to push through the temptation to ignore His Word. You might have to read it out loud, with purpose, so you can hear yourself say it. You will need to create a habit of reading His Word and to help do that, you will also need to learn more about His Word so that you begin to see it as ONE book made up of 66 smaller books that all feed into the overall plan, purpose, and theme of His Word.
Let’s finish this initial article with a brief summary of the entire Bible. There actually is a theme that runs through it. Certainly, as W. Graham Scroggie stated in his seminal work, The Unfolding Drama of Redemption, the underlying theme of redemption and salvation offered to a fallen humanity, with the promise of removal of the curse, extends from Genesis to Revelation.
The main (but not only), emphasis of the Bible is to reveal God’s plan of salvation to all who will receive it and will ultimately lift the curse that came upon humanity, the animal kingdom, and the world itself (along with the air above the earth; the heavenly realms). Hence, the Bible is divided into two main sections, or “acts” if you will; Act I (Old Testament), and Act II (New Testament) that both support this premise.
In the Old Testament, we learn how God began to unveil His plan of redemption by creating a special and peculiar people He would later call Israel. This specially created nation was intended to be a “light” or witness to the rest of the world of God’s goodness and justice. It was to be attractive enough so that people from other nations would want to join themselves to Israel so that they too, could become part of the “covenant” people that God had created. While we know that this did not work itself out as was ideally intended (because of Israel’s consistent and continued failure), God’s plan of redemption continued, moving onward.
In the New Testament, we see the birth of the Savior from the nation of Israel that existed at that time even during the Roman Empire (as was prophesied about long before Jesus’ arrival as the Son of Man or God the Son; cf. Daniel 2). Jesus’ birth was another phase in the movement or revelation of God’s sovereign plan of redemption, this time in physical form in one Person (the God-Man). Israel was necessary to bring Jesus into this world, from the tribe of Judah. Jesus perfectly fulfilled God the Father’s plan without a hiccup, without even the slightest hint of failure (which would have been sin). He was victorious every step of the way and was found worthy (Revelation 5).
While the Old Testament begins to introduce us to God’s plan of redemption, the New Testament carries it forward and introduces us to the very Person who is the embodiment of that redemption.
From the first chapter of Genesis, where God creates human beings, through the last chapter of Revelation, where God welcomes anyone to ‘take the water of life freely’ (22:17), the Bible proves God is intimately involved in, familiar with, and concerned about the lives of His people. His amazing love is shown in the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. That sacrifice for sin allows anyone to be right with God through simple faith in Jesus’ work.
These truths are found in the pages of Scripture. But sometimes they can be obscured by the vast amount of information the Bible contains.
For us to see beyond somewhat obscured facts, we need to gain greater comprehension and understanding of exactly what is contained in God’s Word, with as much detail as possible. I hope that this series (which will not run concurrently, but be interrupted by other articles), will do that for you. If nothing else, I write this for myself because one of the ways I learn is by writing. It helps embed things for me.
I hope you benefit from this. I hope it sparks a greater interest in knowing and understanding God’s Word. I do not want to face Him when I leave this earth knowing that I could have read more, studied more, memorized more, but didn’t. How about you?
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