The King Jesus Bible
Scripture: John 5:39
Today we begin a journey. We are embarking on a tour of the Old Testament.We are going to take a look at the entire story of God today. We will be going through the entire Bible. We are climbing up to the Eagle's nest, and we are going to try and catch a glimpse at the landscape of the Bible.
It is possible to know bible stories, and not know The Bible Story. Gospel Witnesses, aims to show how every line in the Old Testament is an arrow, a promise, a type, a shadow to a singular story.
They are Gospel Witnesses. Which is exactly what Jesus calls the Old Testament Scriptures. Take your Bible and please go to John 5:31-47.
Today's aim is to lay out what the entire Bible, Human History, Christianity, The Universe, is all about.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
(Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV)
Paul, in Colossians, "In Him, all things hold together." Everything, everyone, find's their meaning in Jesus.
I'm going to give away the whole sermon and series right here: The entire Bible, we are focusing on The Old Testament, whatever you may think of it, is written to show us Jesus of Nazareth. It's all about Jesus.
Look at John 5:39. Jesus says, "The Scriptures, are witnessing -- about me." We misunderstand the Bible, if we don't see it's about Jesus. The Old Testament will seem irrelevant, if you don't see it as Jesus book. The books of the Bible are Gospel Witnesses. Each one's testimony is simply: Jesus.
The Bible is not a random collection of stories, sayings, and fortune cookie pick-me-ups. Many view the Bible similar to Google. Just search what you look for and leave the rest. Come to it when you need it. The Bible has an overarching message. The Bible really is one story.
We all love stories. No one in this room hates stories. When you are at work or hanging with your friends and someone says, "Ok, listen to what happen to me." No one says, "Nah, I'm not interested." When you sit down for dinner at Lupe, Chuy's, Ruth Chris, or around the table at home -- stories are going to get told. We love them. There is something about a story that reels us in like nothing else.
Even in times like this, at church, people want something to connect with, a story that will help us understand. Or just get our attention. And stories require certain elements to be worthwhile.
Now, there is one kind of story that we all love, the classic GOOD vs. EVIL. The protagonists overcoming a massive problem. Good stories require essential elements. Protagonists, antagonsits, tension, problem, resolve.
If I told you, Little Red riding hood went through the forest, got some cookies, and went to her grandmas. You'd say, "Jeff, that's lame. What's wrong with you?" But if I began to tell you about her conflict with a wolf, her hiding, fear, her uncertainty, and then how a lumberjack came in and killed the wolf and made a rug out of him --- that story rocks.
The stories that resonate with us, all have the core elements. And really, they are all knock offs from the Bible. There is something built inside us to rejoice and gravitate towards a moment of victory.
Now, every classic novel, epic movie, box office hit, all have the same structure. Check out this chart.
Every epic story fits into this chart. Think of the movies and shows like, Warrior, Aladdin, The Muppets, Lord of the Rings, & 24. All of these stories have a redeeming quality to them, the protagonists is victorious.
We love the stories of victory because they harken back to the greatest story, The Story. The Bible. These kinds of stories point us back to the story that has been written on our hearts.
Now, you might be thinking, "Ok, the Bible is massive. One story? No way.
The Bible is:
- 66 books, with 40 different authors
- 1,189 chapters
- 31,173 verses
- 774,746 words
- 3 different languages (Hebrew, Greek, & Aramaic)
- 3 different contintents (Asia, Africa, Europe)
- Written over a period of 1,500 years.
How can this book have a singular story?
To see the story, we have to start in the beginning, You can't pick up the Great Gatsby, open to page 84 and grasp what is happening. You need context. You need to able to answer, "What is this book all about?"
Before we dive into the story, let's get some bearings.
What is the foundational truth or message of the Bible? Bottom line?
THE GLORY OF GOD -- All things exist to display his glory. Ps 19, the heavens are declaring the glory of God, we are here to proclaim his glory.
What is the glory of God? It is the going public of his greatness, the manifestation of his attributes, the display of His love, the sum of all that is God put on display, to incite worship. GLORY is used roughly 328 times in the Old and New Testament.
Isaiah 43:27 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.
Ephesians 1:12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Psalm 115:11 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
It's all about God's greatness and glory. Sin is "falling short of God's glory."
What does it mean to give God glory? Or to live for His glory?
1) Agreement - God is glorious, amazing, the King, all for you! I agree!!
2) Alignment - My life is defined by your greatness, and spreading the fame of your name.
What about central theme? How is the message displayed? Vehicle to put forth the message?
REDEMPTION - God really has one sermon: I save sinners for my glory, for the sake of my praise.
1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
Both together, we are redeemed, for our good -- and for his glory. REDEMPTION & GLORY. Remember those words.
Let's begin, at the beginning. I simply want us to hear the story. We will go through here quickly, as we could spend weeks on the first three chapters of the Bible.
There was nothing. Only the Triune God. No space. In the beginning of history, God created the heavens (the sky) and the earth. He spoke and it happened. In six days God created everything. Grub worms, sharks, Venus, Knockout Roses, Coffee beans, and humans -- God made it all with his words.
He made Adam and Even, put them in the Garden of Eden, tending the garden, they are walking with God. All relationships are perfect. God tells them, "You can eat any tree in the garden, it's all yours -- except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the day you eat of it, you will surely die."
But then, Genesis 3 happened. The tension to the story is introduced, an enemy is introduced.
READ VV. 1-7
Satan slithers up and He's questioning God's Word, questioning God himself, "Did God really say???"
Even affirms, if we eat of that one, we will die. Satan flat out lies, "No, you won't die. For God knows, when you do, you'll be like him, knowing Good and Evil." Isn't that exactly what Satan went after -- to be like God?
Now, maybe you have thought this? Why even have that tree there?? It's a reminder, "I am the Lord -- you are my people, you submit to kind and loving rule over you."
The fruit didn't have any magical powers, it was the action. Theologian, Vaughn Roberts says the big deal is that, "the 'knowledge of good and evil' refers not simply knowing what is right and wrong, but rather deciding what is right and wrong. Their sin is that of law-making, not just law-breaking." That's the core. Adam and Even decided, it's time to do our own thing here. They were usurping God's authority.
They eat, realize they are naked, and make coverings for themselves, out of fig leaves. What's the problem with fig leaves? They die. They fall apart -- their attempts to fix themselves are a failure. That's a mega-theme of the Bible, catch that. Their attempts to fix themselves are a failure.
And now God enters the picture.
READ VV. 8-13
God calls out to them, "Where are you?" Notice the grace of God. He approaches them. He goes after sinners. They are cowering in fear, and he gently cries out, "Where are you?" He knows where they are, but God is gently drawing them out.
Sin has entered the world. Everything will be different now. The perfect creation God had made, has now be marred with sin. Now every human being is 100% infected with sin.
But let's go back to the garden.
v. 21 - This is incredible.
To get the skins of animal, you have to kill it. Blood is shed, by God, to cover Adam and Eve. Blood is shed to cover their guilt and shame. Only God can cover them.
Sound familiar? It's the gospel.
This act of God, is pointing us to the act of God will that cover of our shame and guilt forever! We are covered with the blood of Jesus.
Now, In the midst of all this disaster, a great word of hope comes to Adam and Eve.
This is the first presentation of the Gospel. Right after the first sin, comes the first proclamation of hope. God says, someone is coming who will destroy Satan. BRUISE = crush. This promised seed, offspring, he'll suffer, crushed heel, but he will crush satan's head.
We learn from the beginning that God keeps his friendships with sinners. God seeks to save sinners.
The rest of the Bible is all about the arrival of the HEAD CRUSHER. Where is the one who will defeat the serpent? Where is the promised offspring of the woman who will defeat Satan and redeem His people?
Remember the generic chart of great stories, it's exactly how the The Story of the Bible is told.
Everything was great in the garden, Adam and Eve failed, listened to the serpent, God introduces the plot, The Head Crusher/The Redeemer, the rest of the Bible is about getting him here, he comes, defeats Satan, and restores everything to how it used to be in the garden.
The theme of the head crusher to come is developed throughout the rest of the Bible. It's revealed through promises and prophesies, and through shadows & themes to show us -- this is what he will be like, this is what he'll do.
• God rescues Abraham out of his sin and tells him, "I'm going to bless the world through your family, from you family, the seed head crusher will be born.
• The nation of Israel is established, taken to the promised land, and told through you the head crusher will come, be a light to all the nations.
• God gets very specific, tells David, through your family line, the head crusher will come.
• Prophets get incredibly specific about the Seed, where he will come from, what city he will be born in, what miracles he will do.
The constant reminder through the Old Testament is, "The head crusher is on his way, the king is coming." The entire Old Testament find's it's meaning in one word: JESUS. It all points to him. He is the one born of woman, to crush Satan and set us free.
This is why Matthew opens up with a Genealogy.
Matthew 1:1The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Matthew is saying --- Jesus of Nazareth is the one! The one we have waited for from Genesis 3:15, it's Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John declare the Savior is Jesus.
The Story Continues
Jesus dies. He sacrifices himself on the cross, to pay for our sins, to grant us new life, and forgiveness --- only by belief in him. No works. Pure grace. Pure love. But He doesn't stay dead. If this were a movie we would all be going, "I can't believe that just happen." And then...he rose again from the dead! The theater would errupt with joy!
Jesus conquers sin, Satan, and death. Colossians 2:15 says that Jesus disarmed the satanic forces. He grabbed their weapons and dismantled them before their eyes.
Then the story continues, we are in the middle of it. The rest of the New Testament tells us how to live for the glory of Jesus, what it means to make much of Him, to spread the fame of His name, and living as The Church, His bride. That we are to spread the fame of His name to all nations and peoples. To Holland, to Uzbekistan, to the Tai Yuan People group, to Camden, to Anadarko, to Tomball.
It's all about Jesus! And we know how the story ends.
Jesus comes back, gathers his saints. And Satan makes war on Jesus, and loses. Jesus triumphs over Satan.
We live with King Jesus forever in the new heavens, new earth, and the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 22:5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
The promise of Genesis 3:15, secured at the cross, fully-fulfilled in Revelation.
I love this. Listen for the theme.
Isaiah 11:8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
What is Isaiah saying? This is a prophetic picture: the serpent will be stripped of power, a toddler can get their rattle from the snake's pit. The serpent is no longer a threat, because of the boy from Jesse's line: Jesus.
Church, the bible we all must use the KJV, The King Jesus Version. This is the King Jesus Bible. It all points to Him. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible, and the Holy Spirit only wants to glorify Jesus. Of course His book would be all about Jesus. The written word is all about the incarnate word -- Jesus. He is the hero. It's all for his glory.
Hebrew storytelling goes something like this: Beginning -- Middle -- Beginning.
Think: Lion King -- Paradise, Paradise Lost, Paradise Restored by the Only Son.
Everything began in the garden, everything will go on forever in the new garden. A meal with the serpent ruined everything, but the marriage supper of the lamb shows all is well.
There are themes and shadows that show us Jesus. We will unpack these over the next weeks:
- The Exodus shows us the exodus to come by the cross.
- The failure of all the Kings of Israel, show us, we need a King that is like us, but not like us.
- Man made in the image and likeness of God, Adam, failed, but God made in the image and likeness of man, Jesus, wins.
- Adam and Eve failed at the temptation of Satan in Genesis 3, but Jesus won in Matthew 4.
All the stories in the bible are Gospel stories. They are all witnesses to Jesus, which is what Jesus said in John 5:39, "They bear witness to me."
Sunday School brains needs a reboot, a reorientation around the glory of Jesus. David and Goliath isn't about us facing our giants. We are not the point of the Bible. God is. The Bible isn't about you -- it's about Jesus. He is the subject. We are not the heroes. Jesus is. We are the bad guys, the lowlifes, and those in need of rescue. Jesus is the hero. It's all about his glory, and grand love in redeeming sinners like us.
Over the next weeks, our hope is to understand the Old Testament like Jesus. Close with this.
Is he your hero? Do you see you need one? Who is your hero?
- You? Just ask yourself, "How is this working for me?"
- Your parents? Christian parents don't give birth to Christians. You weren't born a Christian, you need an encounter with Jesus, if you think you've been a Christian your whole life, I don't think you get it.
- Your baptism?
- A prayer you prayed?
- You have no idea?
Is it Jesus? Repented of your sins, been rescued from the hell to come, put your faith and trust in Him and what He's done. In this gospel story.
I pray that we enjoy the Bible more after this series, because we love Jesus more. This truth, the Bible being all about Jesus, changed my walk and love for Jesus forever. I pray it does for you.
Jesus is great. He is glorious. Let's glorify Him. Let's worship our Savior-hero.
More in Gospel Witnesses: The Unfolding Glory of Jesus
April 20, 2014I Saw The Sign:The Greatness of Jesus for Great Sinners
April 13, 2014Daniel and the Lion's Den: God's Reigns Prevails
April 6, 2014Counter-Cultural: Three Friends and the Fiery Furnace