The Bible is more than just a history book. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16). “[G]iven by inspiration of God” literally means “God breathed.” The Bible is God’s Word. God brought it into existence, and it is infallible. The human writers wrote what God’s Holy Spirit moved them to write. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21).
The Bible reflects the attributes of it’s author. God’s word is pure. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psalms 12:6) (See also Ps 19:8, 119:140; Prov 30:5). God’s word is true. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17) (See also Ps 119:142, 151, 160; Rev 21:5). God’s word is perfect. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalms 19:7) (See also Ps 119:56, James 1:25). God’s word is righteous. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Psalms 119:128) (See also Ps 19:8, 119:72)
Despite being written by dozens of human writers over a span of thousands of years, the Bible is unified in it’s basic message of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness toward mankind.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1). God created the world and everything in it. He created the sun and the moon and the stars. He created all the plants and animals. Finally, He created mankind. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27). Man was given one simple rule: Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:16-17
When God finished His creation, He inspected it, and found it to be very good. There was nothing bad in the original creation. There was no sin, no hatred, no death. There was plenty of food. There was only one simple rule to obey. It was all very good.
Meanwhile, up in Heaven, God had an angel named Lucifer. He was a powerful, fully of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. (Ezekiel 28:12). He, like all of God’s creation, was perfect. However, pride got the best of him. He boasted that he would exalt himself above God (Isaiah 14:12-14), and God was forced to punish him: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground. (Ezekiel 28:17) This formerly holy being was now cursed, and was now known as Satan or the devil. He became the enemy of God. A number of angels joined him in his rebellion, and became known as demons or devils.
Satan was furious at God. But since he could do nothing to God, he decided to go after us, because we are created with God’s likeness and image. He disguised himself as a serpent, and convinced Adam and Eve to break the only rule they had. They ate the forbidden fruit, thinking that it would make them like God. However, they were now out of fellowship with God. Sin and death entered into the world that day. They died spiritually the moment they sinned, and died physically years later. God punished them by kicking them out of the garden of Eden, and forcing them to labor for their food. God did however, promise them a deliverer that would bruise the serpent’s head. (Gen 3:15). God gave Adam and Eve animal skins to cover themselves. The sin of Adam passes to all of us, that we are all sinners. There is nothing that we can do on our own to cleanse ourselves of our sin.
After we fell into sin, we became so wicked that God was forced to judge the entire world. Only Noah and his family were still righteous before God. So God told Noah that He was sending a flood, and instructed him to build an ark. After the flood, only Noah and his family remained. The flood was so terrible that God made a covenant never to destroy the earth by flood again. He created the rainbow as the sign of this covenant (Gen 9:9-17). However, mankind didn’t learn. Instead of scattering and repopulating the world, people gathered and attempted to build a huge tower to heaven (Gen 11:4). God stepped in and confused their languages. They could not understand each other, and the tower of Babel was never completed. People grouped with others speaking their same language, and everyone scattered from Babel. This is the origin of diverse languages and nations.
Centuries later, God chose one nation, Israel, as His own. They went into captivity in Egypt, but God had not forgotten them. He sent Moses to deliver them from their bondage. He used Moses to give the Law, including animal sacrifices for sins. However, these sacrifices were not perfect. They merely covered sins, and did not remove them. Throughout the Old Testament, God promised a redeemer, the Messiah, who would deliver us from our sins. The prophet Isaiah foresaw the Messiah suffering for our sins: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5) Moses spoke of a coming Prophet, the Messiah: The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deut 18:15, see also vs 16-19).
While God had given Israel His Law, it is impossible to keep the Law perfectly. Israel kept straying from God’s Law, to serve other gods. God sent prophets to warn them to repent. When they failed to repent, He would allow their enemies to conquer them. They would then return to God in repentance and He would deliver them. However, they would soon fall back into idolatry. Eventually, they were lead away into captivity. Regardless, God remained faithful, and restored them.
When at last the Messiah came, He was also known as Emmanuel, or “God with us.” For, in order to pay the price for our sins, a perfect sacrifice was needed. Because man could not do this, God sent His own Son to be the sacrifice. Even from the beginning, Satan attempted to kill the Messiah. He tried to kill Jesus when He was an infant. Jealous King Herod murdered many young children trying to eliminate this newborn King of the Jews. (Matt 2:16). Satan tried to kill Jesus Christ many times though His ministry, by inciting crowds against Him. They tried to stone Him (Jn 8:59; Jn 10:31); they tried to throw Him off of a cliff (Lk 4:29). But it wasn’t His time. He chose Himself twelve disciples and began traveling and doing miracles; however, at this time, only reaching out to the Jews. The religious leaders of His day hated Him, and rejected Him as their Messiah.
When the time was come, He laid down His life. Judas Iscariot, one of His closest friends betrayed Him to the religious authorities. He was tried in a sham trial in the middle of the night, convicted, then handed over to the Romans. The Jews, His own people, demanded that the Romans crucify Him. He was whipped to within death, then crucified to death. For a brief period, Satan thought that he had won. However, three days later, Jesus Christ arose from the dead, completing the deliverance from sins. In raising from the dead, He defeated death, He defeated hell, and He defeated Satan. He spent forty days with His followers, preparing them for their ministry, before ascending up into Heaven. Jesus filled them with His Holy Spirit, to give them power from on high, to go forth and preach reconciliation with God in His name. For He had done what no other could do: He had paid for the sins of all mankind. Now His disciples traveled the world, leading many to faith in the Messiah. The Gospel was opened to Gentiles, and many Gentiles were saved.
Jesus Christ will return again. This time, not to suffer and be crucified, but to rule and reign. At His first coming, He came to pay for the sins of mankind. He substituted Himself in our place. To those who receive Him, He takes the penalty of their sins. However, many have rejected Him and His forgiveness. They will have to pay the penalty for their sins themselves. Prior to Jesus’ return, there will be a seven year period of great sorrow and trouble known as the Great Tribulation. When He returns, He will set up His kingdom on Earth, and rule for a thousand years. When the thousand years are completed, the unsaved dead are brought before God for judgment. All are found guilty and are cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11 – 15).
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
Everyone has sinned against a holy God.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
The penalty for sin is (eternal) death, but God offers us the free gift of eternal life though Jesus Christ.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8 – 9
A gift isn’t a gift if we have to do works to earn it. Salvation is by faith alone.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, even while we were still dead in sin. He didn’t wait for us to attempt to get right with Him first. He reached out to us.
Romans 10:9 – 13
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Salvation is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
God is righteous, true, just and holy. We are all sinners; we have broken His righteous law and deserve nothing but hell. Jesus Christ offers Himself as the full payment for your sins; if you reject Him, you will have to pay for your sins yourself. The only way to forgiveness of sins and eternal life is through Jesus Christ. Therefore, the basic message of the Bible is this: repent of your sins, and call out on the name of the Lord Jesus to save you.
- You are a sinner, separated from God by your sin.
- The penalty for your sins is death.
- There is nothing that you can do to earn your way into a right standing with God.
- God loves you so much that He sent His Son to take your punishment.
- Call out on Him to save you from your sins.