Who Is God?
A very important question is, “How should we read the bible?” But a more basic question before we can get to that important question is, “Who is God?” Now, we all know that God is the creator of the universe; he’s the source, he’s the origin of all things. He created all things and he sustains all things. We also know that being the creator of the universe he is a personal being. We are personal beings and therefore if we as creatures are personal, well then surely the creator is a personal God. And then we also know that God is not only a creator God and a personal God, but God is a speaking God. And God has spoken to us in various ways; he’s spoken to us in creation, he’s spoken to us in our consciences, he’s spoken to us in his son pre-eminently. If you want to know what God is like look at Jesus. What Jesus loves, God loves. What Jesus hates, God hates. And then he has spoken to us in his word- the Bible. The bible is God’s word written. Now, you may say to me that sounds a little bit unreasonable or illogical but it’s not. If we the creatures can think, and speak, and communicate well surely the creator who is always greater than the creature can think, and speak, and communicate. So, what we have in the bible is God’s word written. He’s a personal God and he’s a speaking God. We don’t have to live in fear and darkness and superstition, no God has spoken. He’s revealed himself to us.
What we have in the bible is God’s word written. He’s a personal and speaking God so we don’t have to live in fear and darkness & superstition.
The Bible Is Without Error
Now let’s get to the question, “How should we read the bible?” Well, if the bible is God’s word written it implies a number of things. There are a number of consequences and let me mention three of them; The first consequence is that the Bible therefore, if God is the author the Bible must be without error. It means that the Bible as written by God in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek is without error. It is the word of God because God is the author. So that’s a very very important point that we understand. That even though God used human authors, and God spoke through human authors, and through their personalities, he worked through human authors so that what they said was the very word of God. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:21 he says, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” So, there was this partnership between human beings and God in producing this written word. And God spoke through the vocabulary, through the So, personality of the authors. But God saw to it that the very words, not just the ideas but the words were from God and are therefore without error.
God saw to it that the very words in the bible, not just the ideas were from God and are therefore without error.
The Bible Is One Story
The second principle that we get from the fact that God is the author is that the Bible is one story. Now, we would expect that. If God is the author of all the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament, there are not two different books, there are not 66 different books, no, it is actually one book. It’s made up of various letters, and documents, and prophecies, and history but there’s one author. And so, we would expect there to be one story. A overview of the bible will tell us that there are four parts to the story of the bible; There’s creation- Genesis 1 and 2, there’s the fall- Genesis 3, there’s redemption which starts in Genesis 3 and runs right through to Revelation 20, and then there’s glorification- the very end and the consummation of God’s great purposes. So, when we read the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Moses and the Exodus, of David and Solomon, and the kings; When we see the grandeur of the nation of Israel, when we see the fall of the nation of Israel, that is all part of God’s great story to redeem us from the fall, to prepare us for glory. There’s one story and those are the four key themes that run through the entire story of the Bible.
The Bible Has One Hero – Jesus
The third thing that I want to mention concerning the fact that God is the author of the Bible is that the Bible has one hero. So, the hero is not David, or Moses, or Paul, or Peter, no, the hero is Jesus. God has come to rescue us, he’s come to redeem us from the fall, from our rebellion against him, from our rejection of his authority and so God has prepared a plan. A plan of rescue- to rescue his people from their own sin, from the judgment of God, from hell itself. And the method in which God would rescue his people is through his son the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, we have pictures throughout the Bible of Jesus coming to rescue his people from their sin. In fact, Jesus tells us how we ought to read the Old Testament. You remember in Luke’s gospel after the resurrection Jesus was with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. And when they came to the end of their journey, and when they were having a meal, it says in Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” So that’s a striking statement which he repeats a few verses later when he speaks to the 11 disciples in the upper room. He says there in Luke 24:44, “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” So that means that we ought to look for Jesus- the redeemer, the rescuer throughout the bible.
When we read the Bible, we ought to read it with four main themes: Creation, fall, redemption, glorification.
So, in Genesis chapter 3 after the fall of Adam and Eve, God slaughters an animal, perhaps it was a lamb and he takes the blood-drenched skin and covers the nakedness of Adam and Eve with this blood-drained skin of a lamb. I think Jesus would have said, “That’s me.” When Abraham was about to kill his son Isaac on the mountain and as he lifted his arm with a knife, there was a ram in the thorns that bleated and instead of Isaac dying, the ram died. Jesus would have said, “That’s a picture of me.” When the Old Testament speaks about the tabernacle, speaks about the temple- the temple, tabernacle were symbols of the presence of God. Jesus comes and says, “You can break down the temple and it will rise again in three days.” Jesus is our temple. Jesus is our tabernacle. The Old Testament is filled with priests and sacrifices; Jesus says, “I’m the ultimate high priest. I’m the final sacrifice.” So, when we read the Bible, we ought to read it with those four main themes: Creation, fall, redemption, glorification. And the key hero in the Bible is Christ -who’s come to redeem his people, who’s come to rescue his people by shedding his blood. There we have an overview. Some key principles to help us to read the Bible.