Understanding the Bible

Chapter 1: The Purpose of the Bible

The author laments that people tend to ask different questions and use different strategies for Chronological Bible Reading Plan. Others, he says, refuse to read the Bible at all or don’t even begin because they don’t see the significance that stories about distant people have for them today. However, Christians believe that although there are many human authors in the Bible, there is one unifying theme of the divine author. This is perhaps most clearly expressed in what Paul says to Timothy in I Tim. 3:15-17.

The apostle summarizes the origin and purpose of Scripture.

The author examines the nature of the Bible’s usefulness and analyzes the three words Paul used-redemption, Christ, and faith.

Stott presents the central idea that the ultimate purpose of the Bible is to instruct its readers for salvation, which means that Scripture has a practical purpose, moral rather than intellectual. Since it is neither scientific nor literary, the Bible can rightly be considered a book not of literature or philosophy, but of salvation.

He notes that salvation includes not only the forgiveness of sins, but also God’s entire plan to redeem and restore mankind and all creation. At the heart of this plan is God’s love for disobedient people who deserve only condemnation.

God’s plan, which originates in His grace, Stott points out, was formed before the beginning of time.

He made a covenant of grace with Abraham and promised to bless all the families of the earth with his prosperity. The rest of the Old Testament lists His gracious actions toward Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites. Although they rejected His word, He never rejected them. In the New Testament, the apostles emphasize that forgiveness is possible only through the death of sin-bearing Christ, and that a new birth, leading to new life, is possible only through the Spirit of Christ.

The New Testament writers emphasize that although people are already saved in one sense, their salvation is yet to come in another sense. Conceived in the eternity of the past, achieved in the present moment and historically operative in human experience, it will reach its completion in the eternity of the future.

Stott’s hypothetical argument is that if salvation is available through Christ and if Scripture speaks of salvation, then Scripture is full of Christ. Christ argued that in each of the three sections of the Old Testament-the Law (the Pentateuch/first five books of the Bible), the prophets [the early historical books or prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the later prophets (the primary prophets-Isaiah before Daniel-and the secondary prophets-Hosea before Malachi] and the Psalms (writings)-there are things about Him, and all these things must come true.

 Finding Christ in the New Testament is not unusual.

In the Gospels, The Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and Revelation He is clearly presented. In the latter He appears, for example, as a glorified man, as a lamb, as a majestic rider on a white horse, and as the heavenly bridegroom. A review of the two Testaments shows that we must look to the Bible if we want to know anything about Christ and His redemption. The author puts faith in perspective after regretting its abuse.

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