THE GOSPELS 64
I am afraid that many of our Bible classes are a time when ideas, true or not, are presented, but, having no connection with or relevance to our life or total faith, they are soon forgotten and the time has been of no lasting benefit to us. It is like having four good wheels with new tires but no car to put them on. Our Bible study should relate to the fundamental basis of our faith and the goal of our spiritual life.
These essays are not meant to be a commentary which covers all the details of each passage we study. Instead, I try to pick out concepts which have been neglected, overlooked or perhaps misinterpreted, and develop them as they relate to the central theme of the Bible and their relevance to our Christian life.
Every once in a while, I like to stop and realign our perspectives. We need to be reminded often of what our faith is all about and how it relates to our lives. It is not enough to simply believe that the Bible is God’s Word. We need to understand what its whole message is about, and how we should respond to it. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described the man who both heard the words He had spoken, and acted upon them. It is good to listen to God, but only if we then proceed to follow His will revealed in the words He has spoken.
The Bible has a single theme, and only when you understand what this theme is can you fully understand any part of the Book. Interpreting the Bible is not a matter of knowing the meaning of all the Greek or Hebrew words. It is a process of relating these words to the purpose for which they were written, which is the central theme of the Bible.
In the beginning, God created man in His own image. Thus man was in a perfect spiritual relationship with the Father. However, man used his free will, which was a part of his spiritual being, to break the perfect relationship with his Creator, and go out on his own. As a consequence, he no longer had that perfect love relationship with God that was his in the beginning. The result was the world of misery that we all live in today… a world without the perfect presence of the peace of God. However, God still loved his recalcitrant child and wanted him back. The entire Bible is the story of God’s work to make it possible for His child to get back into the perfect relationship of love with Him.
So, the goal of my life should be to work for a closer and more perfect personal relationship with God.
Unfortunately, most religious activity revolves around rituals, rules and regulations which relate to church organizations and ceremonial acts. None
of this speaks to the daily personal relationship with Jesus which He came to earth to establish. His Holy Spirit dwelling in us is His fulfillment of His promise when He said, “I will be with you always”. If He is to be the Lord of my life, then I must walk with Him daily and surrender my will to His in all things.
It is not the rituals that I perform in church on Sunday, but the presence of Him in my life daily, which is what Christianity is really all about.
This is the theme of the Book and the goal of every Christian life. We want to
relate these studies to that end, for only then will they be relevant.
In our next essay, we want to talk about the nature of God. If we are to have a
personal relationship with Him, we need to be aware of His nature and the characteristics of His being.