The remarkable story of the Bible
The Bible reveals a wide range of truths about God and man. But the overarching message of Scripture is the story of the kingdom of God.
The Bible teaches that God created the world as part of his kingdom that was to be ruled over by man in submission to him. Man rebelled against his Creator and King, however.
The heart of Scripture is the revelation that God himself, through Jesus Christ, became Man in order to rescue us from the disastrous consequences of our sin and restore the kingdom that we have attempted to take from him.
The Bible tells a remarkable story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation.
- The first man, Adam, yielded to Satan’s temptation and disobeyed God (Genesis 3:1–6). In effect, he chose to exercise rule in defiance of God’s authority.
- Adam’s sin brought tragic results on himself and all his descendants. All people are born legally guilty (Romans 5:12), personally corrupt (Romans 3:10–23), spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1), and internally hostile to God (Colossians 1:21). In this condition, they are headed to eternal torment separated from God (Revelation 20:15).
- Throughout history, man has persisted in his Satanically energized rebellion against God’s authority (Psalm 2:1–3; Ephesians 2:2–3). Sin has corrupted even man’s efforts to do good things (Isaiah 64:6).
- In love, God promised that he would redeem man to himself and thereby restore his fallen kingdom (Genesis 3:15; 12:1–3; 49:10).
- After centuries of preparation through the nation Israel, God began to fulfill his promised redemption. The second Person of the Godhead took on human nature in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1–18). Jesus came to inaugurate God’s kingdom—to bring man back under his blessing and authority (Matthew 4:17).
- In order to accomplish this goal, Jesus came as a substitute, doing for man everything that God required of him. He lived a perfect life, keeping God’s law in man’s place (Matthew 3:15–17; Galatians 4:4–5). He then died on the cross, satisfying God’s wrath against man’s sin (Romans 3:24–26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Finally, God raised him from the dead, showing that he had accepted Jesus’ work (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:1–4).
- All who repent of their sin and trust in Christ as their substitute receive God’s gracious salvation (Acts 20:21; Romans 10:9–13). They are forgiven and declared righteous in God’s sight (Romans 3:24; 5:1). They receive God’s own life, with the result that they increasingly display his image (John 3:3; Ephesians 4:22–24). In the future they will enjoy eternal bliss in the presence of God (John 3:16; Romans 6:23) and will be restored entirely into his image (1 John 3:2).
- Believers are now members of Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13), striving to submit every area of their lives to his rule (2 Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 3:22–24) and to make disciples of Christ throughout the world (Matthew 28:18–20).
- One day Jesus Christ will judge all people (Acts 17:31). Everyone will finally acknowledge him as King (Isaiah 45:22–23; Philippians 2:9–11). He will decide their eternal destiny on the basis of how they responded to God’s redemptive plan, consigning Satan and his followers to the lake of fire (John 3:36; Revelation 20:11–15).
- The kingdom of God will come to its complete and final form when he creates a new heaven and earth and his people rule with him forever (Revelation 21:1–7; 22:1–5).