What is the Bible About?
The bible gives an overview of world history from God's own perspective, with its doxological (i.e. God-glorifying) purpose, divine superintendence, and victorious end, all minutely planned out before the creation of the world (Isa. 46:9-10; Mat. 25:34; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8); and according to this divine perspective on history, all things were designed to be brought together in Christ, who is the reason for world history and the one in whom all things are summed up (Eph. 1:9-12; Col. 1:13-20). Thus, when he was on the earth, Jesus taught that the entire bible, from the first books of Moses to the last books of the prophets, was written to testify of him and his redemptive work alone (Jn. 5:39-40; Luk. 24:25-27, 44-48).
The great theme of the bible is the redemption of mankind, and the eternal growth of the Kingdom of God (Isa. 9:7; Rev. 5:9), which is swelled by the legions of sinners chosen before the foundation of the world to know God's unmerited grace, and so to magnify his mercy (Eph. 1:4; Rom. 9:23-24; Eph. 2:7; 3:21). Its great hero is Jesus Christ, who entered into an eternal covenant with the Father to redeem a people (Psalm 2:7-9; John 17:1-5), and who was then made the Guarantor of an eternal covenant that God made with fallen mankind, to save them and bring them back into his presence. Thus, he was promised immediately after Adam's fall, in Genesis 3:15; and the rest of the bible unfolds that first gospel promise, and shows the great steps that God took throughout human history to foreshadow Christ, confirm the promise of his coming, and prepare to bring him into the world to fulfill the promise “in the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4-5). The climax of the bible and of all human history is the Cross of Calvary, where Jesus, the promised Christ, fully accomplished the covenanted redemption, offering himself up as an atoning sacrifice for all the people that he had covenanted with the Father to save (cf. Gal. 6:14). The great conclusion of the bible is paradise regained, where God dwells once again in the midst of his redeemed people, with Jesus Christ, their Immanuel, enjoying eternal fellowship with them, and exulting in their unending praises (Rev. 21:1-5).
This great theme of the bible, the redemption of a people through the promised Christ, was designed ultimately as the self-revelation of all the inexhaustible and diversely excellent glory of God, so that his people might glorify him for all eternity (Psalm 79:9; Isaiah 43:6-7, 25).
For Further Study
What is the Bible About? by Edmund Clowney
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