The Theme of the Bible

Many people consider the Bible to be a mysterious, incomprehensible book. Not reading it as diligently as they should and with this preconceived notion, when they confront a difficult passage, or stumble upon words and phrases they do not understand, they close the book in frustration. As a result there is an abundance of ignorance, misinformation, and misuse of the sacred volume. Consequintly, many people are deprived of the greatest blessing in this life!
To understand the Bible one must understand the basic theme of the book. When acquainted with the central thrust of this divine message, it is possible to understand the Bible at its most basic level. This framework, coupled with basic study habits, will give anyone an understanding of the book.

The central theme of scripture is focused on one individual—Jesus Christ. He is the promised seed of Genesis 3:15, as well as that promised to Abraham in Gen. 13:16 (cf. Gal. 3:16). We learn that He will descend from Jacob (Israel) in Gen. 35:12. Furthermore, we learn that Jesus will be of the tribe of Judah in Genesis 49:10. The history contained in the Old Testament is the history of God preparing the world & Israel for the coming Messiah. The gospel accounts in the New Testament are the history of Jesus’ ministry and teaching. In 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul states, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Truly, Jesus Christ is the theme of the Bible.
But that’s not the whole story! This theme focuses on one historical event, His death on the cross. It was the apostle Paul that proclaimed, “Far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14).
Furthermore, through His death, Jesus created one institution, His church (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:32-36; Eph.4:4; Col. 1:18). The book of Ephesians teaches that the church of Christ is a product of God’s eternal purpose. Therefore, it is to be held in high esteem by her members, and not to be treated lightly or contemptuously.
We see this central theme, with all its elements revealed in one doctrine—the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is this gospel that is God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16,17). And one’s obedience to this gospel will save from eternal hellfire (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
We see then, the central theme of the Bible in Jesus Christ, crucified, building one church, proclaimed through the gospel, for one grand purpose: salvation (Luke 19:10)!

Thomas R. West

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