OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE #1
“CREATION THROUGH ABRAHAM”
Welcome to Cougars for Christ. I shared my testimony with you all last Friday at Cougars for Christ and during it I said that I would get frustrated reading the Bible from front to cover. Because that was how I thought, you were supposed to read it. I grew up going to church; but was never really taught anything about the Bible because my preacher was more worried about getting emotional responses and having people walk the aisles than actually teaching us God’s Word. The purpose of attempting the impossible task of going through the entire Bible in 5 lessons is to teach you all an overview of the Bible so that you are comfortable with it and will be less intimidated by it and will want to read it and discover God’s Word for yourselves.
It has helped me in many areas of my life — very practical information about the way to live!
Ultimately it all boils down to RELATIONSHIPS.
The Bible is a book about RELATIONSHIPS: God/man, husband/wife, parent/child, friends, employer/employee
…it will help you in your relationships
We come from different backgrounds with different interests — our goal is to let the Bible speak for itself.
We’re going to: 1. put the Bible in chronological order (help see the Bible as a whole)
2. look at several key themes (God’s sovereignty, sin and judgment, grace, etc.)
God has been INVOLVED in human history! He doesn’t act just on Sundays!
Set guidelines for the study:
–times to start and stop (7:45-8:06; a LOT to cover in a short amount of time!)
–I will post our lessons on the Flemingsburg Baptist Church Youth Group Facebook page just in case you miss a lesson or want to review it.
–questions (no stupid questions do not exist!; You can also go there and ask me questions since we will probably not have time during this lesson series.—If you do not want to ask questions on Facebook you can write your questions down on a note card and hand it to me after the lesson and I will answer them on Facebook without mentioning your name.
We’ll assume nothing; the 5 sessions will be geared toward those who like me in Middle School don’t know much about the Bible…
Start at the table of contents…
Old Testament and New Testament — “covenant”
66 books (39 OT plus 27 NT)
They’re NOT in chronological order (i.e. Job may have been first one written)
Explain verse notations (i.e. Jn. 3:16) that express book, chapter and verse
Look at “Structure of the Old Testament” chart that divides the O.T. into three divisions:
–HISTORICAL section (Genesis -Esther) — 17 books
(first five are the Pentateuch or Torah or Law)
–POETICAL section (Job – Song of Solomon) — 5 books
–PROPHETICAL section (Isaiah – Malachi)– 17 books
Not written in “book” form; but on scrolls
Taken from Jewish “scrolls” — whose division was:
There is a “historical highway” that we are going to try to follow during our lessons.
–each book has one or two words to help you remember the main essence of that book
When I say “Genesis”, you say “Beginnings”
When I say “Exodus”, you say “Exit”
–there’s a main highway, and then some roadside stops (which don’t carry you forward in a historical sense)
–the historical part is Genesis through Nehemiah (the Prophetical books fit in along that main time period)
OPEN THE BIBLE!
Gen. 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
–doesn’t attempt to explain the existence of God
it says “in the beginning, God”
–each step of creation was God speaking things into existence (overview — “let there be.)
–God is a personal being with phenomenal power
A brief detour — we may have differing points on how we were formed
Creation Vs. Evolution
–I’m biased toward creation (science background)
–Have never seen enough evidence to convince me that evolution was real
–No “transitional forms”
–Big Bang Theory; what caused the first cause? where did that first cell come from?
–the orderliness of the universe! (order goes to chaos)
–belief in evolution takes a much larger “leap of faith:
Gen. 1:26 —Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” interesting word!
–Let “US” — points to God’s three-fold nature, points to the Trinity
–the word for God is Elohim (a plural noun with a singular meaning); plurality w/in unity
Gen. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
–God created man in His own image–we have a personality, characteristics that describe us too
–Why did God create Man (not animals ) in His own image? — RELATIONSHIP
The only logical conclusion is that God wanted to have a relationship
Gen. 2:7 Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
–God created Adam and Eve — from a rib
Gen. 2:15-24 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.”
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
–it wasn’t good for man to be alone; no one to share this wonderful environment
–Adam and Even were a “match made in heaven”
-God created the institution of marriage–had a plan for it from the very beginning
–they were to “leave and cleave” — not cling to Mom and Dad
Gen. 3:1-6 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 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.
–Two trees mentioned: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
The Tree of Life
–The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was forbidden
–God gives us the freedom of choice, because He loves us (Illus: Kathy Chatty doll)
Part of who God is — He gives us choices
–They chose to disobey, so God kicks them out of the garden
–They don’t take responsibility for their actions, they try to hide from God
–This is called “the fall” of man
–JUDGMENT #1 – He kicks them out of the garden, and DEATH (separation) enters
–GRACE #1 — Promise of the Messiah
–The Curse (Gen. 3:14-19) (Unproductive labor, Pain of childbirth, etc.)
–The Promise (Gen. 3:15) (Eventual victory, in spite of present misery)
–Places an angel at the garden, so they won’t eat from the Tree of Life and live in their sin forever
Gen. ____ : ____
Cain, the farmer
–Abel the herdsman
They were to bring an offering before God
-God accepted Abel’s gift, but not Cain’s
Why is this story in the Bible?
We can’t come to God on our own terms
PEOPLE: I want to come to God on my terms; on the basis of what I think
–Without the shedding of blood, there is not forgiveness (remission of sins)
–Abel knew what God required and delivered it
–Cain chose to do it his own way, on his own merit (people still do that today!0, and God said that “sin was laying at the door”
–We can make up our own rules, but not the consequences!
–Sin is “missing the mark” based on the attitude of your own heart
-Cain “slits the throat” of Abel
–Seth is born–through Seth comes Noah
Gen. 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the and, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
When God looks down, what does He see?
–“God looks at the HEART! (another important concept of God)
–God calls Noah
–JUDGMENT #2 – The Flood (wipes out an entire generation of people)
–GRACE #2 God Saves a Remnant, and gives a RAINBOW as a promise that He’ll never destroy the earth by flood again
–The Ark: -450 long (wouldn’t fit in Soldier Field, lengthwise)
-75 feet wide
-45 feet high
-522 railroad cards of volume
200 sheep could go in each car
-could easily care for the 3500 species they say were present at that time
Three Sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth
Ham — Africa and apt of the Middle East
Shem — “Semitic” people — from whence Jewish people will come
Japheth — Asia and Europe
Gen. 11:1-4-9 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come,let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
–Tower of Babel — to glorify themselves — make a name for ourselves; they’ve missed the mark!
–God “scatters” them and gives them different languages, so they can’t cooperate
–God creates culture! (i.e. in Ghana, don’t offer anything with your left hand)
–JUDGMENT #3 — God scatters them and confuses their speech
–GRACE #3 – The “apple wrapping” –so if one culture turns rotten, they don’t all turn rotten — a means of preserving the gospel
Gen. 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.”
–We meet Abram, who grew up in UR, and his wife Sarah
–They go up to Haran, where Abram is called by God at age 75
-God promises Abram LAND, SEED, and a BLESSING
–God says “Is there anything too hard for me?”
Gen. 15:7-17 And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
–God makes a COVENANT with Abram
–A covenant meant cutting an animal ( or several in half, and holding hands, “walking through the pieces,” which is what COVENANT means (in other words, if I break the covenant, I’m “dead meat”)
–In this case, ONLY GOD WALKS BETWEEN THE PIECES — the covenant is not based on what Abram does — the responsibility is placed on God himself
–Sarai says “no way!” – Why don’t you take Haagar? — He does, and she fathers Ishmael — out of whom the Arabs and Palestinians come
God says “that isn’t what I meant”
Sarah becomes pregnant with Isaac
The Bible is history, but it is much more than that!
The Bible is the story of God fulfilling His promises — throughout history!