Is It Fair For Christ To Pay For Our Sins?

Is it fair for Christ, who was innocent, to be punished for our sins? Isn’t it unjust to punish someone who is innocent, even if he’s willing to be punished?

In order to understand how Christ’s atonement can be fair and just, we must first understand our relationship with Him.

We’re one with Christ. We’re united with Him. He willingly takes our sin and gives us His righteousness.

Imagine two companies. Company A agrees to purchase Company B, which has great debt that it can’t pay. When Company A buys Company B, they willingly agree to absorb their debt and pay it. Company B’s debt is legally transferred to Company A.

In the same way, Revelation 5:9 teaches that Christ has bought us…

“With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

And again in 1 Corinthians 7:23…

“You were bought at a price.”

When Christ purchases us, we become one with Him, and He willingly agrees to have our sin debt legally transferred to Himself. This is taught in 2 Corinthians 5:21…

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

We’re so closely united to Christ that His death is our death and His resurrection is our resurrection. This beautiful promise is made in Romans 6:5…

“If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

The 3 Steps of Repentance

“Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…” – 2 Corinthians 7:10

To repent means to change one’s attitude towards sin and God. It’s a change that must occur in both the mind and the heart.

In Matthew 27:3 Judas repented in his mind but not his heart. In other words, he had a sense of regret or remorse, but he remained in his sin instead of turning to God for forgiveness.

Repentance of the mind and the heart leads to salvation and consists of three steps:

Step 1 – Recognize Your Guilt

The idea here is that we understand who we are and where we stand before God. 1 John 1:8 tells us that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” While Romans 6:23 tells us the “wages of sin is death”.

The first step in repenting involves understanding that we are sinners and stand under God’s judgment.

Step 2 – Trust That God Will Forgive You

In Psalm 51 David wrote, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Repentance is not only acknowledging our sin, it’s also recognizing that God is willing and able to forgive our sin.

We’re promised in Hebrews 8:12 that God will “forgive our wickedness and will remember our sins no more.

The second step in repenting involves believing that God will forgive us.

Step 3 – Turn From Sin, To God

Once we realize that we stand before God guilty of sin, and that He is willing to forgive us, we must then come to Him to receive that forgiveness. We come to God the Father though Jesus Christ, who is God the Son.

John 3:16 declares that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 1 John 4:10 tells us that Christ is “the propitiation [or payment] for our sins.”

Because Christ paid for our sins, Romans 3:24 tells us that we have been “justified freely” through Him, and we now stand before God innocent.

The final step in repenting involves calling on Christ to save us from the penalty of sin. Acts 2:21 promises that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.

Once we have repented and come to Christ for forgiveness Ephesians 2:19 tells us we are “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.

The Gospel Described In Two Words

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). (Eph 2:4-5)

“But God.”

With these two words we come to the introduction to the Christian message, the peculiar, specific message which the Christian faith has to offer to us.

These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel.

The gospel tells of what God has done, God’s intervention; it is something that comes entirely from outside us and displays to us that wondrous and amazing and astonishing work of God.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

And again:

Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Eph 2:13)

– D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

100 Things You May Not Know About Jesus

Claims Jesus Made

1) Jesus claimed to be God – John 8:24,8:56-59 (Compare with Exodus 3:14); John 10:30-33

2) Jesus said, “I AM the Bread of Life” – John 6:35,41,48,51

3) Jesus said, “I AM the Door” – John 10:7,9

4) Jesus said, “I AM the Good Shepherd” – John 10:11,14

5) Jesus said, “I AM the Way the Truth and The Life” – John 14:6

6) Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the world” – John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46; Luke 2:32

7) Jesus said, “I AM the True Vine” – John 15:1,5

8) Jesus said, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” – John 11:25

9) Jesus said, “I AM the First and the Last” – Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13

Titles Jesus Holds

10) Jesus is the Rock – 1 Cor. 10:4

11) Jesus is the Savior – John 4:42; 1 John 4:14

12) Jesus is King – Matt. 2:1-6; Luke 23:3

13) Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith – Heb. 12:2

14) Jesus is the High Priest of our confession – Heb. 1:3

15) Jesus is the light anf the glory – Luke 2:32

Actions Jesus Took

16) Jesus created all things – John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17

17) Jesus indwells us – Col. 1:27

18) Jesus sanctifies – Heb. 2:11

19) Jesus loves – Eph. 5:25

20) Jesus offered up Himself – Heb. 7:27; 9:14

21) Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins for all time – Heb. 10:12

22) Jesus draws all men to Himself – John 12:32

23) Jesus forgives sins – Matt. 9:1-7; Luke 5:20; 7:48

24) Jesus always lives to make intercession for us – Heb. 7:25

25) Jesus cleanses from sin – 1 John 1:9

26) Jesus manifests Himself to us – John 14:21

27) Jesus gives eternal life – John 10:28; 5:40

28) Jesus gives joy – John 15:11

29) Jesus gives peace – John 14:27

30) Jesus died for us – 1 Thess. 5:10

31) Jesus tasted death for everyone – Heb. 2:9

32) Jesus rendered the devil powerless – Heb. 2:14

33) Jesus makes many righteous – Rom. 5:19

34) Jesus died and rose again – 1 Thess. 4:14

35) Jesus resurrects – John 5:39; 6:40,44,54; 11:25-26

36) We sin against Jesus – 1 Cor. 8:12

37) Jesus cleanses us from our sins by His blood – Rev. 1:5; Rom. 5:9

38) We come to Jesus – John 5:50; 6:35,37,45,65; 7:37;

39) We receive Jesus – John 1:12; Col. 2:6

40) Jesus sends the Holy Spirit – John 15:26

41) Jesus has given us understanding – 1 John 5:20

42) In Jesus we have been made complete – Col. 2:10

43) Jesus received honor and glory from the Father – 2 Pet. 1:17

Attributes Jesus Holds

44) Jesus is omnipresent – Matt. 28:20

45) Jesus is eternal – John 1:1,14; Rev 22:13

46) Jesus has authority – Matt. 28:18; John 5:26-27; 17:2; 3:35

47) Jesus is before all things – Col. 1:17

48) Jesus is honored the same as the Father – John 5:23

49) Jesus is prayed to – Acts 7:55-60

50) Jesus is worshipped – Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6

51) Jesus is called God – John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13

52) Jesus judges – John 5:22,27

53) Jesus knows all things – John 16:30

54) Truth is in Jesus – Eph. 4:21

55) In Jesus are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge – Col. 2:2-3

56) Jesus is the image of the invisible God – Heb. 1:3

The Mission Jesus Undertook

57) Jesus was a ransom for many and to serve – Matt. 20:28

58) Jesus came to be a high priest – Heb. 2:17

59) Jesus came to save – John 3:17; Luke 19:10

60) Jesus came to preach the kingdom of God – Luke 4:43

61) Jesus came to bring division – Luke 12:51

62) Jesus came to do the will of the Father – John 6:38

63) Jesus came to give the Father’s words – John 17:8

64) Jesus came to testify to the truth – John 18:37

65) Jesus came to die and destroy Satan’s power – Heb. 2:14

66) Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt. 5:17

67) Jesus came to give life – John 10:10,28

68) Jesus came to taste death for everyone – Heb. 2:9

69) Jesus came to proclaim freedom for believers – Luke 4:18

70) Jesus reveals grace and truth – John 1:17 see John 6:45

71) Jesus reveals the Father – Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22

72) Jesus has explained the Father – John 1:18

73) Jesus was crucified because of weakness – 2 Cor. 13:4

74) Jesus has overcome the world – John 16:33

75) Jesus is our only mediator between God and ourselves – 1 Tim. 2:5

76) The fruit of righteousness comes through Jesus Christ – Phil. 1:11
 

Promises Jesus Made

77) Jesus is with us always – Matt. 28:20

78) Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant – Heb. 7:22; 8:6

79) Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven – John 14:1-4

80) Jesus abides forever – Heb. 7:24

81) Everyone who’s heard & learned from the Father comes to Jesus – John 6:45

82) Jesus saves forever – Matt. 18:11; John 10:28; Heb. 7:25

83) The Christian dead have fallen asleep in Jesus – 1 Thess. 4:15

84) Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come – 1 Thess. 1:10

85) Jesus is able to save completely – Heb. 7:25

86) Jesus opens the mind to understand scripture – Luke 24:45
 

Witnesses Of Jesus

87) Jesus bears witness of Himself – John 8:18; 14:6

88) Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself – John 5:36; 10:25

89) The Father bears witness of Jesus – John 5:37; 8:18; 1 John 5:9

90) The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus – John 15:26

91) The multitudes bear witness of Jesus – John 12:17

92) The Prophets bear witness of Jesus – Acts 10:43

93) The Scriptures bear witness of Jesus – John 5:39

94) The Father will honor us if we serve Jesus – John 12:26 see Col. 3:24

95) The Father wants us to fellowship with Jesus – 1 Cor. 1:9

96) The Father tells us to listen to Jesus – Luke 9:35; Matt. 17:5

97) The Father tells us to come to Jesus – John 6:45

98) The Father draws us to Jesus – John 6:44

99) Disciples bear witness of Jesus Christ – John 15:27

100) The Law leads us to Christ – Gal. 3:24

Would You Drink From A Dirty Glass?

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
– Romans 3:23

Many people believe that they can work their way to heaven. But no amount of good deeds can ever save us from God’s judgment because our hearts are corrupted by sin. Unless God gives us a new heart we cannot be saved.

Think of it this way…let’s say I offer you a glass of water. You look at the glass and notice that it looks dirty.

You say: “You know, this glass looks dirty.”

I respond: “Oh, the glass is contaminated with deadly bacteria, but don’t worry, it’s filled with spring water.”

Would you drink it? Of course not, because it doesn’t matter how pure the water is, the glass has contaminated everything within it.

Think of the glass as our hearts and our deeds as the water which fills the glass. Some people lead very bad lives — they fill their glass with ditch water. Others lead average lives — they fill their glass with tap water. Still others lead, by human standards, wonderful lives — they fill their glass with spring water. But it doesn’t matter whether your glass is filled with ditch water, tap water, or spring water, the glass is dirty. In the same way, the good deeds you offer God to earn your salvation are contaminated by sin and He cannot accept them.

But God will give a new glass to any one who asks.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
– Ezek 36:26

What did our Romans 3:23 say? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But Romans 3:24 offers us hope because God offers to “justify us freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

While our hearts are contaminated with sin, Christ’s heart is pure, and His work is pure. He has lived the life we could not. To those who call on Him, He offers to credit His life to their account. They are now “justified by His blood” and “saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom 5:9)

Our good deeds, then, are not done to earn our salvation but done out of appreciation of our salvation.

God doesn’t take good people and make them better, nor does He leave bad people without hope. God, through Jesus Christ, takes sinners and makes them a new creation, forgiven, able to stand blameless, able to be called children of God.

A Look At The Gospel (And How It Works)

The word gospel means “good news”. The best description of the gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

“I declare to you the gospel…by which you are saved, if you hold fast that which I preach to you – unless you believed in vain. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Let’s break these verses down and see what we discover.

“I declare to you the gospel…by which you are saved, if you hold fast that which I preach to you – unless you believed in vain.”

The first thing we learn about the gospel is that it’s the message by which people are saved from God’s judgment.

God has chosen to save us – not because of any work or deed we’ve done – but by His grace, through faith in Christ. Salvation is God’s gift to us. (Eph 2:8, Rom 6:23)

Now let’s take a look at how the gospel works.

“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried…”

God is perfect and we aren’t. We sin and are separated from God when we fail to live up to His standard. (Rom 3:23) We do this by either by not doing what He requires of us or by doing what He has forbidden us to do. Sin can occur in thought, word, or deed.

So before we go to heaven something needs to change. Our sin needs to be paid for.

To do this God became a man – Jesus Christ – lived the perfect life you and I couldn’t, and died on the cross as a payment for our sins. We find this taught in Romans 8:1,3:

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

If we call on Christ to save us from our sins, are sins are charged to His account and He pays for them (1 John 2:2). We are then “born again” (1 Peter 1:23) and able to enter heaven (John 3:16).

“…He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

After Christ died for our sins He didn’t stay in the grave. After three days He rose again.

When Christ was raised from the grave, it showed that the sacrifice He made was sufficient and accepted by God the Father.

If we put our trust Christ to pay for our sin we too can look forward to God raising us one day.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)

What good news that is!

Learn More: How Do We Know We’re Saved?

The ABCs of Christianity

Admit, Believe, Consider, Do…the ABCD’s of Christianity.

A

There is something to Admit

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23

Christians are people who admit that they are weaker, guiltier, and more sinful than they would have ever dared admit.

By nature and by choice we are not in a relationship with God — even though it is for such a relationship that we were created.

And that at the root our lives are self-centered rather than God-Centered, and that we are helpless to break this pattern without the power of God.

B

There is something to Believe

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Christians are people who believe that God loves us so much that he sent his only Son to earth to become a man, Jesus Christ, and that Jesus died on the cross as our substitute and was raised from the dead in order to offer us complete forgiveness.

Through Christ, we are more loved, valued and accepted by God than we would have ever dared imagine.

C

There is something to Consider

“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Tim 3:12

Christians are people who are not naïve, but who have counted the cost of following Jesus.

Being a Christian involves acknowledging Jesus’ authority and lordship in every area of life, welcoming his work to change us from the inside out, and rejoicing to spend time with him and with his followers in the life of the church.

D

There is something to Do

“The man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” – Romans 4:5

Christians are people who have received Christ as Savior and Lord by self-consciously turning from sin, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness (the Bible calls this “repentance“) and trusting in Jesus alone for forgiveness and acceptance by God (the Bible calls this “trusting faith”).

– Jules Grisham

What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

In this study, we’re going to cover four things the Holy Spirit does:

1) The Holy Spirit Reveals God’s Will
2) The Holy Spirit Applies Salvation
3) The Holy Spirit Indwells Us
4) The Holy Spirit Give Us Spiritual Gifts

And along the way we’re going to contrast how the Spirit did these works in the Old Testament and how He does these works in the New Testament and today.

1) The Holy Spirit Reveals God’s Will

Specifically He reveals God’s command of Acts 17:30 that “all men everywhere repent.”

The Holy Spirit “convicts the world of sin, and righteousness, and judgment,” in John 16:8. In other word the Spirit show us that we are sinners, separated from God, and that forgiveness is found through Christ.

In the Old Testament He convicts through the prophets who 2 Peter 1:21 tells us “spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

In the New Testament He convicts through the apostles who in John 14:26 the Sprit, “taught them all things, and brought to their remembrance all things that Jesus said to them.”

And in Ephesians 4:11 we see that He convicts through us today by given gifts to some to become “evangelists, pastors and teachers.”

1 Corinthians 2 show us that another aspect of the Spirit revealing of God’s will comes by opening our hearts to spiritual truths. This gives us the ability to both understand and respond to God’s calling.

So the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will to Man by using messengers who faithfully proclaim His Word and by giving him the ability to understand their message.

2) The Holy Spirit Applies Salvation

The Holy Spirit applied salvation to both Old and New Testament believers. The difference being that in the Old Testament believers looked forward to what Christ would do whereas in the New Testament and today we look back on what He has done.

Now 1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us that we were “washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

So once the Spirit has convicted us of our sin, and has given us the ability to understand the gospel, He washes us of our sin once we respond. He does this by sanctifying us, which means He sets us apart from the world and unto God to receive salvation and become more like Him.

Then we’re justified, or declared innocent of sin. This is done when the Spirit takes Christ’s perfect sacrifice and credits it to our account. This means that when God looks upon us He sees Christ’s perfection and not our imperfection.

3) The Holy Spirit Indwells Us

This is the area where we see a fascinating difference between how the Spirit worked in the Old and New Testament.

In the Old Testament the Spirit didn’t dwell “in” the believer He dwelt “with” the believer. We see this in Exodus 25:8 when God says, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Again in Deuteronomy 12:5, “You shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.”

And again in 1 Kings 8:13 where Solomon, after building the Temple, says, “I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever.”

Now compare that to the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Jesus says in John 14:17-18, “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

Again in 2 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

And again Ephesians 1:13-14, “You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance.”

The hope of the Old Testament believer lay in the fact that God was “over there” in the Temple. But he could only get so close because of the restrictions of the Law and His presence was limited to Israel. But the hope of the New Testament believer and for us today lays in the fact that God dwells “in us”.

We are “part of the body of Christ” which is made up of people of nations, tribes and tongues. The Old Testament believer was limited to how close he got to God. But through Christ we can “come boldly to the throne of grace.” He has promised to never “leave us or forsake us” and His continual presence guarantees our salvation.

4) The Holy Spirit Give Us Spiritual Gifts

This is another area where we see an interesting difference between the Spirit’s Old and New Testament work.

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit indwelled believers and gave them gifts only on special occasions. But the indwelling wasn’t always permanent as we see in 1 Samuel 16:14 when “the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul” and again in Judges 16:20 when Samson “did not know that the LORD had departed from him.”

Additionally the Holy Spirit only gave gifts to certain people for specific tasks. For example in Numbers 11 Moses and the seventy elders are given the Holy Spirit to rule the people. Or in Genesis 41 where Joseph is said to have the Spirit of God within him because of his ability to interpret dreams.

Now let’s compare this to how the Holy Spirit gives gifts in the New Testament and today.

We’re blessed with “every spiritual blessing” Ephesians 1:3 tells us. Those blessings come by the will of the Father, through the work of the Son and are applied by the power of the Holy Spirit.

All believers now have the Holy Spirit, Eph1:13 tells us, when “having believed in Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

Each person has a purpose and has been given whatever gift is necessary to complete that purpose. These gifts enable us to perform the “good works, which God prepared for us beforehand” and produce the fruits of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Holy Spirit lives within the believer in 1 Corinthians 6:19, causes our sinful nature to be born again in Titus 3:5) baptizes us into the family of God in 1 Corinthians 12:13, helps us to understand the Bible in 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, guides us in Romans 8:14, strengthens our faith in Ephesians 3:16-19, and serves as the guarantee of our salvation in Ephesians 1:13-14.

Christianity 101: Heirs of God

“And if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:17)

How we become heirs of God

“And if children, then heirs…”

We aren’t heirs because:

1) We are simply God’s creation – Our text doesn’t say “if creatures, then heirs.”

2) Of our heritage -“For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children.” (Rom. 9:6-7)

3) Of our service – “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt 7:22-23)

4) Of our ceremonial observances – “He is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised” (Rom. 4:11)

We become heirs of God when we trust Christ for our salvation. Christ sacrifice on the cross brings us forgiveness of sin and adoption into the family of God. – “God sent his Son to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Gal. 4:4)

If we are heirs we have:

1) Believed on Jesus – “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

2) Been born again – “Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'” (John 3:3)

3) Received the spirit of adoption – “God sent his Son to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. You are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Gal. 4:4-5,7)

4) Been renewed in the image of God – “You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Col. 3:9-10)

What We Inherit

“heirs of God…”

Our inheritance qualifies us to be:

1) Heirs of all things – “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Rev. 21:7)

2) Heirs of salvation – “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)

3) Heirs of eternal life – “Being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7)

4) Heirs of promise – “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath.” (Heb. 6:17)

5) Heirs of the grace of life – “They are heirs with you of the grace of life.” (1 Pet. 3:7)

6) Heirs of righteousness – “By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Heb. 11:7)

7) Heirs of the kingdom – “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (James 2:5)

Joint Heirs With Christ

“fellow heirs with Christ…”

1) We are only heirs if we are heirs with Christ, through Christ, and in Christ – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

2) This shows the greatness of the inheritance — it is worthy of Jesus.

3) This guarantees it for us. Jesus will not lose it. His title deed and ours are one and indivisible. His taking us into union with himself secures our inheritance – “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:39)

4) This reveals his love for us. That he would become a partner with us in all things is love unbounded. (1 John 3:1)

5) His prayer for us attains it – “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” (John 17:20)

6) His going into heaven before us prepares it – “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

7) His coming again will bring us the full enjoyment of it – “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)

8) This joint heirship binds us to Jesus, since we are nothing and have nothing apart from him – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 14:5)

Let us joyfully accept present suffering with Christ, for it is part of the heritage. Let us believe in the glorification which is sure to follow in due time, and let us anticipate it with great rejoicing.

– Charles Spurgeon

An Overview Of The Bible

The Bible is one book. Seven great marks attest this unity.

1) From Genesis the Bible bears witness to one God. Wherever he speaks or acts he is consistent with himself, and with the total revelation concerning him.

2) The Bible forms one continuous story — the story of how humanity relates to God.

3) The Bible makes the most unlikely predictions concerning the future, and, when the centuries have brought round the appointed time, records their fulfillment.

4) The Bible is a progressive unfolding of truth. Nothing is told all at once. The law is, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn.” Without the possibility of collusion, often with centuries between, one writer of Scripture takes up an earlier revelation, adds to it, lays down the pen, and in due time another man moved by the Holy Spirit, and another, and another, add new details till the whole is complete.

5) From beginning to end the Bible testifies to one redemption.

6) From beginning to end the Bible has one great theme — the person and work of the Christ.

7) And, finally, these writers, some forty-four in number, writing through twenty centuries, have produced a perfect harmony of doctrine in progressive unfolding. This is, to every candid mind, the unanswerable proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.

The Bible is a book of books. Sixty-six books make up the one Book.

Speaking broadly there are five great divisions in the Scriptures, Christ being the one theme (Luke 24:25-27).

1) Preparation For Christ — The Old Testament

2) Appearance Of Christ — The Gospels

3) Preaching Of Christ — Acts

4) Explaining Christ’s Works — The Epistles

5) Christ Judging The World — Revelation

In other words, the Old Testament is the preparation for Christ. In the Gospels he is manifested to the world. In the Acts his preached. In the Epistles his Gospel is explained. And in Revelation all the purposes of God in and through Christ are consummated.

And these groups of books fall into sub-groups. This is especially true of the Old Testament, where there are four well defined groups:

REDEMPTION:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

ORGANIZATION
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1,2 Samuel, 1,2 Kings, 1,2 Chronicles, Ezra,
Nehemiah, Esther

POETRY
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

SERMONS
Lamentations, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zehpaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Genesis is the book of beginnings, and explains the origin of Israel. Exodus tells the story of the deliverance of Israel; Leviticus of the worship of Israel as delivered people; Numbers the wanderings and failures of the delivered people, and Deuteronomy warns and instructs that people in view of their approaching entrance upon their inheritance.

The Poetical books record the spiritual experiences of the redeemed people in the varied scenes and events through which the providence of God led them.

The prophets were inspired preachers, and the prophetical books consist of sermons with brief connecting and explanatory passages. Two prophetical books, Ezekiel and Daniel, have a different character and are apocalyptic, largely.

The Bible tells the Human Story.

Beginning with the creation of the earth and man, the story of the first human pair continues through the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

With the twelfth chapter begins the history of Abraham and of the nation of which Abraham was the ancestor. It is that nation, Israel, with which the Bible narrative is mainly concerned with from the eleventh chapter of Genesis to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

The Gentiles are mentioned, but only in connection with Israel. But it is made increasingly clear that Israel fills the scene only because they are entrusted with the accomplishment of great world-wide purposes (Deuteronomy 7:7). The appointed mission of Israel was:

1) To be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of idolatry (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:10)

2) To illustrate to the nations the greater blessedness of serving the one true God (Deuteronomy 33:26-29; 1 Chronicles 17:20,21; Psalms 102:15

3) To receive and preserve the Divine revelation (Romans 3:1,2)

4) To produce the Messiah, earth’s Savior and Lord (Romans 9:4). The prophets foretell a glorious future for Israel under the reign of Christ.

The Central Theme of the Bible is Christ.

It is Jesus Christ — “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) — his sacrificial death, and his resurrection, which makes up the Gospel. All earlier Scripture points forward to Him leads, while all following Scripture points back to Him.

The Gospel is preached in the Acts and explained in the Epistles. Christ, Son of God, Son of man, Son of Abraham, Son of David, thus binds the many books into one Book.

Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) he is the ultimate destroyer of Satan and his works; Seed of Abraham he is the world’s Blesser; Seed of David he is Israel’s King. “Desire of all Nations.”

Exalted to the right hand of God he is “head over all to the Church, which is his body.”

Meanwhile the Church looks for the fulfillment of his special promise: “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (John 14:1-3).