英語 English

Story


The Bible, written 2000~3600 years ago by over 40 different authors guided by the Spirit of God, tells the story of God's plan to rescue his beloved creation. This story answers the important questions: Where did the world come from? What went wrong? What hope is there for the world? The story of the Bible can be summarized in five chapters:

Chapter 1: Creation

Genesis 1:1, 31 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. ... And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. ....”

Before everything, God existed. God made everything out of nothing. God made the heavens—sun, moon, stars, glaxies, supernovas. God made the earth—full of beauty, design, complexity, and diversity. All of God’s creation was perfect. There was no death, evil, pain, disease, or suffering. God made humans special.

Genesis 1:27-29 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food."

God lived with mankind and made man stewards of the earth. Life was with God, life was eternal, and life was good.

[Read the whole story: Genesis 1-2]

Chapter 2: Fall

Genesis 2:15-17 "The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”"

Genesis 3:4-6 “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

Man sinned by choosing to disobey God. Sin broke man’s relationship with God. Consequentially, the entire creation was marred: sin, death, disease, disaster, pain, suffering, and all kinds of evil invaded creation. Romans 6:23 - “The wages of sin is death…"

But God in his great love and mercy made a promise to restore and renew his creation.

Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

This cryptic promise was the first of many prophecies of a savior. He would be a human and through his own wound he would defeat man's enemy and rescue mankind. This savior was known as the “Messiah” (Hebrew; Greek = “Christ”). From this point on, God’s people began to anticipate the coming of the Messiah who would restore humanity to God and fix the fallen creation.

[Read the whole story: Genesis 3]

Chapter 3: Israel

Romans 5:12 “… just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…”

The effects of sin and death infected every member of the human race. In order to save all people, God chose one man, Abraham, through whose family he would send the Messiah.

Genesis 12:1-3 “Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God blessed Abraham and his family grew into a large nation called Israel. God called Israel his people and separated them from the other nations whom did not love their creator God.

God gave Israel a LAW to show them how to live.
God gave Israel a TEMPLE to show them how to draw close to him.
God gave Israel a system of animal SACRIFICES to show them how sin must be dealt with through death.

But, as God knew...
...the LAW only exposed Israel’s sinful condition—it could not fix it. 
…the TEMPLE only allowed one man to approach one time a year—it could not restore life with God. 
…the SACRIFICES only reminded Israel of their sinful condition—they could not cleanse it.

Hebrews 10:1-4 “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”

God would soon remedy sin and its effects once and for all...

[Read the whole story: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah]

Chapter 4: Messiah

At last, at the perfect time, God sent his Son, in the form of human flesh, born as a baby.

Galatians 4:4 "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman..."

This baby was given the name, “Jesus." He was called “Christ” or “Messiah.”

Unlike every human, Jesus lived a perfect life according to God’s LAW; Jesus never sinned.

Hebrews 4:15 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus was the perfect Israelite, the perfect human. He came to accomplish what the old prophecies had foretold the Messiah would do. 700 years before Jesus was born it was prophesied:

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53:5-6.

Jesus the Messiah came to remedy the root problem of death: sin. Jesus took the sin of mankind onto himself and died in our place as a substitute. 

1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

In this way the Messiah defeated sin with his death. With sin defeated, death lost its power and Jesus rose victoriously from the dead, never to die again. Jesus was the first to be free from sin and death. And all who unite themselves with Jesus through faith in him will also be free from sin and death.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23 "For as in Adam [the first man] all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ."

[Read the whole story: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John]

Chapter 5: Restoration

Now:
After Jesus’ resurrection anyone who believes in him is spiritually recreated. Everyone who believes in Jesus is a member of God’s new humanity, God’s new Israel/new people, called, “the church.”

1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

The church began after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven and continues to this day. The church, as representatives of the new humanity in Christ, are tasked with spreading the good news of new creation throughout the world.

Future:
Jesus' resurrection began the spiritual new creation in the hearts and lives of Christians. We anticipate the physical new creation, when heaven and earth will be recreated and man will once again live with God.

After Jesus’ resurrection he ascended to heaven but he is coming back soon; anytime! The first time Jesus came he came humbly as a baby but the second time he comes he will come as the victorious King and Re-creator.

Jesus will raise everyone who has already died and judge all people based upon if they have believed in him. Those who rejected Jesus in their lives will be cast into eternal death and those who believed in Jesus will live in the new creation with God forever.

Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.””

Finally, God’s creation will be restored to perfection with no sin or death. Once again mankind will steward the earth to the glory and praise of God. Life will be with God, life will be eternal, and life will be good.

[Read the whole story: Acts & Revelation]