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What the Bible is all about


The Bible speaks about many things: it covers a vast range of subjects. There is, however, a danger of focussing on one line of things and marginalising the others. It is something which it is very easy to do and can be spiritually detrimental. There are those, for instance, who concentrate on subjective matters; almost always speaking and writing about Christian experiences, feelings and the like. This is especially noticeable when the speakers or writers are women. There are also those who speak mainly on objective matters, the doctrines of Scripture, Biblical history and so on. Both these lines are important but it is wrong to be occupied with the one to the exclusion of the other. The subjective side is the internal one, whereas the objective side is the external one. Those who have studied Scripture point out that the former is usually connected with women; the latter with men.

Take, for example, Adam and Eve. The judgement on Eve was internal; that on Adam external (Genesis 3:16 and
17-19).

Creation

One line of things that one may become overoccupied with is what is creatorial. It is important to be clear that the physical creation was brought into existence by God and that it is sustained by him. Genesis chapters 1 and 2 tell us about the origins of the physical world around us and how we ourselves came into being. Apart from these passages, the book of Job has a lot to say about the creation. God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind which is a strong force in nature (Job 38:1). The testimony to God in creation is largely dwelt on - see particularly chapters 38 to 40. Apart from these passages, many Psalms speak of God's creatorial work, for instance, Psalms 8, 104 & 148. There are also many references to it in other Old Testament passages - see for example, Jeremiah 10:12 & 13 and Amos 4:13. Apart from these passages there are many that speak of the plants and animals that God has made. The blessings of Isaac speak of physical things (Genesis 27: 28 & 39), as do the blessings of

Jacob (Genesis 49) and Moses (Deuteronomy 33). The New Testament has much more to say about spiritual matters than what is physical but it is not without references to the material creation. The latter (which we are familiar with) often helps us to get some idea of the former (which we are not familiar with). See for example the parables of Christ which have been described as earthly stories with heavenly meanings. Matthew 13 contains a number of such parables. Ultimately there will be worship to God for what he is as creator (Revelation 4:11) as there will also be to God and Christ for the work of redemption (Revelation 5).

It may be worth noticing that the evolutionist often gets obsessed with the idea of 'the survival of the fittest', and forgets that all creatures have their limitations, else one species might overrun the earth. He also largely ignores the fact that the existence of one species of animal or plant contributes to the benefit of the whole ecological system. Further, he cannot admit that there is any purpose in creation; that a flower contributes to man's enjoyment of life by its beauty and man's wellbeing by enabling bees to make honey which he can eat.


Redemption

Many occupy themselves with the way God has taken to recover man to himself, though perhaps thinking much more of man's side of this: the forgiveness of his sins (Colossians 1:14 "Redemption, the forgiveness of sins"), rather than God's side, which we we get in Luke 15. We need mercy, but that is our side and it is a mistake to be exclusively occupied with that. However, there is much in the Scriptures about the way to blessing. It begins in Genesis 3:15 with God speaking about the seed of the woman crushing the serpent's head and then in Genesis 4:7 where there is apparently a reference to the sin-offering. The Old Testament is full of sacrifices pointing on to the great sacrifice of Christ, also many texts that can be used in a Gospel preaching such as: "Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12). In the New Testament there are many more. All four Gospels give the trial and crucifixion of Christ. Paul deals at length in Romans with the meaning of the death of Christ; He "has been delivered for our offences... " (Romans 4:25) and also in 1 Corinthians we have: "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3). Bibles can be had that underline passages that have relevance to the subject of how man can get right with God. There are many aspects to the subject. Preachers speak not only of redemption, but also of salvation, new birth, reconciliation etc. Undoubtedly Scripture says much about this important subject, but it is not exclusively occupied with it. A Christian may be a gifted evangelist, but he should not be exclusively occupied with the matter of the salvation of sinners himself, even if as to his work he is constantly preaching about it.


Prophecy

Being exclusively occupied with creatorial matters is like always being occupied with the foundations but never getting the building beyond ground level. This is really because the creation takes us back to the beginning:"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Redemption takes us further. It gets us, so to speak, up to first floor level. Persons are forgiven, redeemed, saved, born again, reconciled etc. They are set up here to begin the Christian life on earth, but


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