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HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE BIBLE

Copyright © Rosemary Bardsley 2004

STUDY FIVE: MAINTAIN THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE

Martin Luther once said: 'To the unbeliever, the whole of the Bible is Law, even the Gospel; to the believer, the whole of the Bible is Gospel, even the Law.'

To get the most out of the Bible we must constantly remember that the Bible is the one message from the one God. This is not to disregard the natural distinction that exists between the Old Testament and the New Testament, a distinction we have already seen in the study on fulfilment, but it is to avoid either setting up or assuming a division or a conflict between the two with two different Gods, two different messages, two different ways of salvation, and so on. There is not space in this study to identify every aspect of this unity – it contains some of the more significant.

SECTION ONE: MAINTAINING THE ESSENTIAL UNITY OF SCRIPTURE

A. THE ENTIRE BIBLE REVEALS THE SAME GOD

Task 1: Compare and comment on these passages that describe God as holy, creator and redeemer:

Old Testament
New Testament
Comment

Leviticus 11:44-45

Joshua 24:19

Psalm 99:1-9

Isaiah 29:23

Ezekiel 36:22

Luke 1:35

Acts 3:14

Ephesians 4:30

1 Peter 1:15,16

Revelation 4:8

Genesis 1 and 2

Job 38-42

Psalm 19, 104

Isaiah 40:12-28; 42:5; 45:5-12

John 1:1-4

Romans 11:36

1 Corinthians 8:6

Colossians 1:15-17

Exodus 15:13

Job 19:25

Psalm 78:35

Psalm 130:7-8

Isaiah 43:14

Isaiah 44:22

Romans 3:24

Galatians 3:13

Galatians 4:4-5

Titus 2:14

1 Peter 1:18

Revelation 5:9

We could look at any other attribute or action of God and find that it is common to both the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps you could make this a personal study project.

B. THE ENTIRE BIBLE SPEAKS OF JESUS CHRIST

Refer back to Study Four on fulfilment, where we saw that Jesus Christ is the meaning of the Old Testament.

Task 2: As a quick personal or group brainstorm, see how many Old Testament symbols or prophecies of the person or work of Jesus Christ you can write in this box in one minute:

 

 

C. THE ENTIRE BIBLE PROGRESSIVELY REVEALS THE HISTORY OF THE ONE SALVATION

Task 3: Discuss the significance of the progress of God's revelation of his plan of salvation itemized below:

The increasingly focused identity of the Saviour:

Note the condensation – from the broad identity as the 'seed of the woman' to the specific identity as the Jesus Christ, the son of Mary.

The progressively revealed image of the Saviour as a substitutionary sacrifice: