77101 The Bible Overview

The Bible presents a unified story that leads to Jesus Christ and yet is comprised of sixty-six books written by various authors over the period of 1,500 years.

The Bible consists of two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The word, “testament” refers to a covenant between God and the human race. God’s desire and plan have not changed throughout history.

“You shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7; Ezekiel 36:28; Jeremiah 30:22) is at the heart of God’s covenant throughout the Bible. It is to establish a relationship between God and the human race.

The Old Testament is when God made a covenant of law with the people of Israel (offspring of Abraham). It is a relationship between God and Israel based on the law.

Jesus ushered in a new covenant. It is a relationship based on grace.

Instead of the people of God keeping His commandments to remain in a good relationship with Him, God established the permanent relationship through Jesus His Son.

If you are new to the Bible, first read the Gospel of Mark (short and fast-paced). Next, read the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts (also written by Luke). After Acts, read the Gospel of John and then the Gospel of Matthew. After the Gospels, you can read the rest of the New Testament. We suggest Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians first.

After you have read the Gospels, you can also begin reading the Old Testament. First read Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings in this order. These books will show you the overall history and the story of the people of Israel. 

77102 The Old Testament

The Old Testament of the Christian Bible is the Jewish Bible.

The books in the Old Testament are arranged differently in the Christian Bible and the Jewish Bible.

The Jewish Bible is divided into three segments: Law (Torah), Prophets (Nevi’im), and Writings (Ketuvim). Taking the first letter of these three segments, the Jewish Bible is also known as TaNaK.

Jesus used the Jewish Bible. For example, when He said, “All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40) or “everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44b), Jesus was referring to the entire Jewish Bible.

Later after the time of Jesus, the New Testament books were written and combined with the Jewish Bible to form the Christian Bible. The Jewish Bible (TaNaK) became known as the Old Testament.

The Old Testament is divided into four sections. The first five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) are called the Pentateuch. Then starting with Joshua, there are books that are historical, followed by five poetic books known as Wisdom Literature (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon). From Isaiah to Malachi, these are 17 books of prophets.

PENTATEUCH
Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

HISTORY
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah

POETRY (Wisdom Literature)
Esther
Job
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Solomon

PROPHETS (Major Prophets)
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel

PROPHETS (Minor Prophets)
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

Jewish Bible (TaNaK)

Law (Torah)

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

Nevi’im (Prophets)

Joshua
Judges
Samuel (1 Samuel and 2 Samuel in one book)
Kings (1 Kings and 2 Kings in one book)
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Ezekial
The Twelve (minor prophets)
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

Ketuvim (Writings)

Psalms
Proverbs
Job
Song of Songs (Song of Solomon)
Ruth
Lamentations
Ecclesiastes
Esther
Daniel
Ezra/Nehemiah (Ezra and Nehemiah in one book)
Chronicles (1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles in one book)

32455 How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

You may be thinking, “I’ve accepted Christ into my life. I know that the Holy Spirit comes into your life when you accept Christ. But why then, does my life presently reflect so little power?”

It is important to think about what might be standing in the way of your experience of a Spirit-filled life. Living the Spirit-filled life requires being filled with the Holy Spirit. A Spirit-filled life is one of effectiveness and fulfillment.

Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit by following these three steps:

Step 1: Get right with God

When you are right with God, you are ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In contemporary society, we often don’t want to talk about “sin”–and we surely don’t want to personally admit to it! However, the Bible teaches us that our sin does stand in the way of our fellowship with God. Have you confessed every sin or act of disobedience that you are aware of, to God?

How to repent of your sin:

  1. Agree with God that you were wrong.
  2. Acknowledge that Christ died on the cross for those sins.
  3. Consciously turn your mind and heart away from your sin and toward obedience to God.

Step 2: Be filled by faith

When you are right with God you are ready to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This occurs totally by faith. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

Right now, in faith, you can claim His fullness and He will fill you with His Spirit. Here is a sample prayer for you to pray:

Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have been in control of my life, and as a result, I have sinned against You. Thank you for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross. I now invite Christ to again take His place of authority on the throne of my life. Fill me with your Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in your Word You would do if I ask in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I now thank You for directing my life. Amen.

Step 3: Walk anticipating results, even if you don’t feel any different

Getting right with God and then asking Him to once again have the Holy Spirit control and empower you demonstrates your desire and willingness to submit yourself to God. Now believe that God will do what He has promised.

Don’t focus on whether or not you feel any different. Just continue to walk in obedience and, by faith, expect Christ to live His life through you. He will show you evidence of the Holy Spirit’s power flowing through you at the appropriate time. Walk by faith and leave the results to God.

31057 Develop The Relationship

How to Know That Christ Is in Your Life

Did you receive Christ into your life?

According to His promise in Revelation 3:20, where is Christ right now in relation to you?

Christ said that He would come into your life and be your friend so you can know Him personally. Would He mislead you?

On what authority do you know that God has answered your prayer? (The trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word.)

The Bible Promises Eternal Life to All Who Receive Christ

“The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5).

You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the very moment you invite Him in. He will not deceive you.

Now That You Have Entered Into a Personal Relationship with God

The moment you received Christ by faith, as an act of your will, many things happened, including the following:

  1. Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20 and Colossians 1:27).
  2. Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
  3. You became a child of God (John 1:12).
  4. You received eternal life (John 5:24).
  5. You began the great adventure for which God created you (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; and 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what He has done for you? By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.

To enjoy your new relationship with God…

Suggestions For Christian Growth

Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus Christ. “The righteous man shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11). A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly with every detail of your life, and to practice the following:

G – Go to God in prayer daily (John 15:7).

R – Read God’s Word daily (Acts 17:11) begin with the Gospel of John.

O – Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).

W – Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).

T – Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).

H – Holy Spirit – Allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16,17; Acts 1:8).

Fellowship in a Good Church

God’s Word admonishes us not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together…”(Hebrews 10:25).

Several logs burn brightly together but put one aside on the cold hearth and the fire goes out. So it is with your relationship with other Christians. If you do not belong to a church, do not wait to be invited.

Take the initiative; call the pastor of a nearby church where Christ is honored and His Word is preached. Start this week, and make plans to attend regularly.

47504 How Do I Know the Bible Is Reliable

When we talk about the reliability of the Bible, it is important to know that the Bible is not written as a textbook, a training manual, or a research paper. The main literary styles you find in the Bible are narrative, poetry, and discourse.

The reliability of the Bible must be understood in the context of its literary styles.

Science seeks objective and reproducible explanations of the events in our universe. While our knowledge is exponentially growing, science has its limitations in verifying the truth.

Philosophically and theologically, we define God as the Supreme Being far greater than humans (and all of creation). As such, God is not subject to science but rather science is subject to God. Human minds will never fully comprehend God.

For example, the miracles recorded in the Bible cannot be used to determine the scientific reliability of the Bible. Miracles, by definition, are events that cannot be explained by our current knowledge of the universe.

In metaphorical terms, the Bible states that God “stretched out the heavens like a tent.” (Isaiah 40:22) After Hubble’s discovery, scientists acknowledged that our universe actually does “stretch out” from an infinitely tiny point (singularity). Once the evidence for a one-time beginning was confirmed, many scientists recognized the obvious parallel between the Bible and science.

Growing archeological evidence supports the historical reliability of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

For example, it had been argued that Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth didn’t exist during his lifetime. In 2009, however, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced an archaeological find proving that Nazareth did exist in the first century.

Perhaps, one of the unique measures of the reliability of the Bible is its prophecies. Particularly interesting are the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah (Christ) or the Anointed One. These prophetic words in the Old Testament were said to have been fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament.

Learn more about the reliability of the Bible HERE.

47503 How Do I Know That Jesus Rose from the Dead

Everything Jesus taught and claimed depended on his resurrection from the dead. If Jesus didn’t rise as he promised, his message of forgiveness and hope for eternal life would be meaningless. Jesus was putting his words to the ultimate test of truth.

So, how do we know that Jesus rose from the dead?

There are five possible explanations:

  1. Jesus didn’t really die on the cross.
  2. Jesus’ body was stolen.
  3. The disciples were hallucinating.
  4. The account is legendary.
  5. It really happened.

Read “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” that further discusses these five explanations, and reach your own conclusion!

47502 How Do I Know If Jesus Is Real

To determine if Jesus was a real person in history, we need to seek evidence for his existence in the following areas:

1. Archaeology

Archaeological finds do not directly prove the existence of Jesus, but growing evidence from archaeology confirms rather than contradicts the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus.

2. Early non-Christian accounts

The Jews had the most to gain by denying Jesus’ existence. But they always regarded him as real.

Since Jesus wasn’t of immediate importance to the political or military affairs of Rome, very little Roman history referenced him. However, two important Roman historians, Tacitus and Suetonius, do acknowledge Jesus as a real person. Additionally, two Caesars wrote letters, mentioning Jesus and early Christian origins.

3. Early Christian accounts

Early Christians wrote thousands of letters, sermons and commentaries about Jesus. Also, creeds which speak of Jesus, appeared as early as five years after his crucifixion.

4. Early New Testament manuscripts

Over 24,000 complete or partial manuscript copies of its books exist, putting it far above all other ancient documents.

5. Historical impact

Yale historian Jaroslav Pelikan writes of him, “Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries…