What if someone asked you to tell them the general story of the Bible? What would you say? How could you help them understand what the Bible is, and why it matters? It seems simple, but yet complicated. The Loved Bible Project Foundations Workbook, it says this about the Bible:
It’s one big unified story, made up of many smaller stories. The entire book is really about Jesus.TLBP Foundations Workbook, p.8
As you meet with someone to talk about Scripture, you can help them see the unifying story with these 4 words:
- Re-Creation (sometimes also described as Consummation or Restoration)
Grab a few note cards and an envelope! You can write out the foundations of this unifying story and stick it in the front of your Loved Bible. We love the way Harvey Turner unpacked it in his book, Friend of Sinners.
God makes all that is – seen and unseen – out of nothing, and it is good. Humans are the crowning achievement of this creation because they are made in the image of the creator God.
Humanity rebels against the creator God by disobeying his command, and turns inward in self-reliance. This behavior brings the consequences of sin: death, disease, suffering, war, famine, pain, confusion, and alienation.
God promises and sends a Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who reconciles humanity to the creator God. He does this by living the perfect human life, dying a substitutionary death for sinners, and rising from death as the first of a new humanity. Jesus then ascends to heaven and sends God’s Spirit to humanity to establish his kingdom in the hearts of his people. This action reestablishes his relationship with them by adopting them into his family.
Jesus Christ returns to earth to restore creation to God’s original intention. All things will be made perfect, sin will be removed, justice will be restored, suffering will cease, tears will be dried, and joy will be fully known. Jesus will rule as king, and we as his people will forever be with God in his home. The kingdom of this world will be the kingdom of our God.
One Big Story
The Bible is one story: a collection of 66 “books” written over a period of almost 1500 years. The variety of literary genres in the Bible – including law, history, wisdom and poetry, prophecy, narrative, and written letters (sometimes called epistles) – are all God’s authoritative words to us (2 Timothy 3:16). Approximately 40 human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, resulting in the perfect and holy Word of God (Psalm 12:6, 2 Peter 1:21).
The story of Scripture has these and other key themes linking it all together, and tells about God’s plan for his creation from beginning to end. The focus of this plan is Jesus Christ. God inspired diverse authors to write his story of the universe, and this story centers around his Son to bring all of creation to its true purpose: full and perfect union with God himself.
The Bible tells how the Creator made all things (Genesis 1:1), sustains all things (Hebrews 1:3), and is carrying his creation to its ultimate destiny – full re-creation (Revelation 21:3-5).TLBP Foundations Workbook, p.8
As you read the Bible and talk about it within your discipling relationships, discuss how you see Jesus. Ask how that particular passage fits into the bigger picture, and consider where you fit, even today, into God’s ultimate plan.
- Seamless by Angie Smith is a great resource formatted for either teens or adults to help you gain an overarching understanding of God’s Word. Her book Woven is also great!
- A fun children’s resource by The Village Church
- Amen by The Daily Grace Company (5 week study helping you understand and identify the metanarrative of Scripture: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration)
- From Beginning to Forever by Elizabeth Woodson will guide you through the story of the Bible, showing how all 66 books combine to form one unified narrative.
Cover photo by Jeff Seevers