From time to time, it is helpful to step back and reacquaint ourselves with the overarching story that the Bible tells. Reflection on this topic is important because of our tendency to “miss the forest for the trees.” We often get so focused on our favorite passages, doctrines, books, or sections of the Bible that we miss THE Story. The Story of the Bible is the story of God accomplishing His plan of redeeming His broken creation. Theologians have divided the story a number of different ways, but here at Suber Road Baptist Church we like to divide it as follows:
- Creation – God is the rightful King of the world and worthy of our praise.
- Fall – Mankind has rebelled against God as his rightful King.
- Judgment – God justly punishes mankind’s rebellion.
- Atonement – God made a way for mankind to be forgiven of their rebellion and have a restored relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus.
- Resurrection – God approved of Jesus’ life and ministry, raising Him from the dead as the promised Messianic King.
- Response – God’s redemptive action calls for a response of repentance to God and faith in Christ.
- Consummation – God will ultimately redeem the entire cosmos.
As we consider the Story of the Bible, there are several practical implications that are relevant for us. The Story of the Bible provides. . .
1. An Outline for Evangelism
This is a great way to share the Gospel, because the story of the Bible is the story of redemption. I think we often have a difficult time communicating the Gospel because we rip it from its context within this overarching narrative, which begins with Creation and ends with Consummation. I’ve found sharing the Gospel comes very natural when I share it within this overarching story. Also, stories just seem to stick with us better than truth presented in bullet-point fashion. This is true of both Christians trying to learn the Gospel better as well as unbelievers trying to learn Christian essentials for the first time. The tract Two Ways to Live: The choice we all face (by Matthias Media) is very helpful in learning to share the Gospel in this way.
2. A Christian Worldview
Everyone has a set of lenses through which they see and make sense of the world around them, whether secular or religious. The Story of the Bible gives the basics of a Christian worldview. It accurately portrays reality, the real state of affairs — where we’ve been, what the problem is, what the solution is, and where all of this is going. It is the story of this book that answers the big questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Am I valuable? Is there any purpose/meaning to life? The point is that if we want to have a right understanding of reality, of life, of where things are going, then we have to understand this Story.
3. A Basis for Missions
As we reflect on the Story of the Bible we see that doing missions is not something that can be limited to a few proof texts in the NT. It is firmly rooted in the overarching mission of God to rescue His broken creation. The point is that our mission in taking the Gospel to the end of the world is based on His mission (John 17:18). We do missions because God is on a mission.
4. A Framework for understanding the rest of God’s Word
Let’s be honest, there are parts of the Bible that seem very irrelevant to us. We are often left wondering, what does that mean to me? Having a thorough understanding of the big picture will help you to understand the parts. When confronted with a passage that is difficult, one of the first things I do is ask some of the following questions. Where does this passage/story fit into the overall story that is being told? How does it relate to one of the big picture points we’ve looked at? How is God bringing about His Plan or telling us about it in this passage? Much of the time, asking these kinds of questions will help you make some headway through those difficult passages.