Featured in the January, 2016 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
(In One Simple Word)
For most people the Bible is overwhelming: too long, too complicated, too hard to understand.
The Bible is long with 1,189 chapters, 31,373 verses and a grand total of 775,693 words. It has within its covers 7,487 promises and 1,017 prophecies. It names over 2,900 people.
Lengthy, detailed commentaries have been written to explain the Holy Scriptures. There are Bible study classes from Sunday School to seminaries that endeavor to make clear the Word of God.
However, it is not all that complicated. The entire Bible can be explained in one simple word – “relationships”. Whatever you read in the Old Testament or the New Testament, it’s all about relationships. Anything, whether it is a parable, history, a psalm, or a letter it has to do with relationships. As you read the Bible, think about this one word and the Scriptures will begin to open up for you.
We all know that the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) are basic in the Christian faith and in the Word of God. What are they all about? Relationships! The first four commandments have to do with our relationship with God.
1. Only one true God
2. No idols
3. Respect God’s Name
4. Keep God’s Day
Here, very simply, God has laid it down that if you want to get along with Me, that it is if you want to be rightly related to Me, you must pay attention to these commandments.
The balance of the commandments have to do with our relationship to other people.
5. Relating to our parents
6. Respecting our neighbor’s life
7. Honoring our married partner by being faithful
8. Honoring someone else’s property
9. Not lying
10. Not wrongfully desiring anything that belongs to another person
If we keep those six commandments, it is amazing how well we will relate to other people. The Ten Commandments are about relationships as is everything else in the Bible. On Tuesday of Easter week, Christ was asked the challenging question, “What was the Great Commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:36). His answer was direct and easy to understand. He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-39). Again, “relationships” how we relate to God and how we are to relate to one another. The entire Bible is about relationships.
But, there is a problem. We have not rightly related to God. We have broken His commandments, and we have not loved Him with all our heart. So, we are in trouble.
Not only have we violated the commandments that deal with our relationship to God, but we have grossly and repeatedly violated the commandments that have to do with our relationship to one another.
We are sinners (Romans 3:23). Now comes the big story of the Bible. Since, we have failed in relating to God and to one another, Jesus Christ comes to the earth, goes to the cross, is crucified for our sins and is raised again! The point of this is that He came bearing our sinfulness, so that relationship with God can be experienced by repenting of sin and receiving Christ (John 1:12). We can experience being rightly related to God and His full favor solely because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
This is Christianity, this is the message of God’s Holy Word. Then, amazingly when through faith in Christ you are rightly related to God, you begin to experience much better relationships with the people in your life!