The Bible’s Big Story
What is the Bible's big story and how well do we know it? Pastor Eugene explains why it is important for us to know the story well.
My wife, Claire, and I recently went to see the latest Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. Although she had not seen the earlier episodes of this film franchise, Claire still enjoyed the movie in its own right. I, on the other hand, had grown up watching Star Wars movies—from the first, A New Hope, in 1977 right through to the last one. I had followed the big story from the beginning. Therefore watching the denouement of this epic space drama, spanning nine movies, was especially moving and satisfying for me.
The original trilogy of Star Movies spawned three prequels and, most recently, three sequels. In the world of film, prequels and sequels have become commonplace. Any successful movie is expected to have a prequel, which tells us the origins story of the hero or heroine. And it also has to have a sequel, which tells us how the story finally concludes.
We enjoy stories. Besides helping us to make sense of life and the world, they also present us with examples of characters worth emulating. Stories provide us with a certain sense of security, because their unfolding narratives assure us that life is not directionless.
I believe God created us with a love for stories because we are meant to praise Him for the greatest epic of all: God’s grand plan of salvation. The Bible is the account of this big story from creation to new creation. Moving from Genesis to Revelation, we trace the narrative of how God redeems and restores His creation, following mankind’s fall into sin.
We can benefit from reading various verses, passages and books of the Bible on their own. All of Scripture is God-breathed, and therefore useful for teaching, correction, reproof and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). But we will better appreciate the different parts of the Bible if we understand how they are all connected to one big story.
The Bible is not merely a collection of 66 books, divided into two testaments and written by a number of human authors. Scripture is ultimately God’s word, and it has one divine Author. He unifies the whole Bible, giving it one coherent and consistent message: God’s plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The goal of God’s word—both the Old and New Testaments—is to reveal Jesus to us. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. How did He do so? It was by explaining how “everything written about (Him) in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Lk 24:44). It is written in the Scriptures “that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (vv 46-47).
The Bible’s big story is the epic narrative of how God’s anointed Son, Jesus, will redeem and restore all of creation and usher in the new heavens and new earth. It is the story of what God has done, is doing and will do to establish His kingdom through His chosen King. It is the story of how God makes and keeps His promises to His people, through a succession of covenants.
If we are in Christ, then this is our story. It is therefore imperative that we know the story well, because it tells us who we are, who we belong to and where we are going. Knowing our place in the biblical story helps us to realise that we are part of something much greater and more significant than our own individual stories. Otherwise, we may be tempted to derive our meaning and significance from worldly narratives that draw us away from wholehearted devotion to King Jesus. Such narratives make us the centre of our lives, rather than God.
In The Drama of Scripture, authors Craig Batholomew and Michael Goheen stress the importance of knowing the Bible’s big story: “The Bible provides us with the basic story that we need in order to understand our world and to live in it as God’s people. We know that it is one thing to confess the Bible to be the Word of God, but often quite another thing to know how to read the Bible in a way that lets it influence the whole of our lives… If we view (the Bible) as a single unfolding story, it can be tremendously exciting. Such a story invites us—compels us—to get involved.”
How well do we know our story—the Bible’s big story? We will be tracing this storyline from Genesis to Revelation at our upcoming Equip class on Saturday, Feb 8, 330-530pm in Room 310 C&D. Do join us to learn more about the Bible’s big story and how we fit into it.
Our monthly prayer meeting will take place this Friday (Jan 31) at 8pm. Join us to pray for one another and for the advance of the gospel in Singapore and beyond.
This Sunday, we will hear from Luke 4:31-44 about how we can be confident in Christ, because of His power and authority. We will also be giving thanks for His saving work by celebrating the Lord’s Supper together. Do prepare our hearts before we gather as God’s people.
The Church Matters class will also be held this Sunday from 11am to 1230pm in Room 310. This class is for anyone keen to learn more about membership at GBC. It teaches through what we believe and what it means for us to live together as fellow members of Christ’s covenant community. All are welcome, both non-members and members. This class is the first of three sessions. The other two sessions will be held on Feb 9 and 16.