Posted by: Jeff Warren | August 19, 2009

God’s BIG Story

You must approach your Bible from the vantage point of the bigger story, which is, “salvation history”.  It is the redemptive story of God.  In the end, it is all about God.  He is above, behind, under, over, and beyond the Bible.  God stands independently of the Bible.  God and the Bible are not the same.  The Bible points us to God through Christ.  If it does not, it’s simply a religious book of rules and regulations.  And if you believe that the Bible is “inspired” by God (2 Timothy 3:16) then you must read as it comes from the heart of God.  Like any love letter, this one comes from a Person.

As we approach the Bible from the larger story we then read it and interpret it in light of this BIG story.  If you do you’ll avoid three traps:

1. You won’t get trapped in a legalistic hermeneutic– a rigid interpretation of passages, and an inevitable reductionist approach to Scripture that puts God’s Word in a box- instead of unleashing it’s awesome mystery and power into our lives.

2. You avoid the tendency to remove the Holy Spirit from the dynamic work of interpretation and application of the Word in our lives TODAY.  Often we approach the Scriptures without the inward working of the Spirit- and an awareness that God is STILL and always at work in our lives (He didn’t stop moving, talking, guiding us when the Bible was completed).  We start to read it as a Guidebook on HOW to join Him- in this very same story we see in the Bible- in OUR day!  How exciting is that!?  When you woke up today you found yourself in the SAME Story- this HUGE narrative that we see in the Bible.  It’s still going on!

3. Finally, you avoid isolation from your brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ who may not agree with your interpretation of specific details of certain passages- instead you have the ability to embrace believers who hold to the CORE like you do and you can love them and encourage them and join them in God’s redemptive work in our world.  Yes, debate them in love and with respect if we need to, but serve with them even if we disagree on NON-core issues.   Too often we broaden the “core” beyond what God ever intended.  If you want to know what’s core, go to 1 Corinthians 15:3-5.

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Responses

  1. Hi Pastor Jeff, I’ve really been enjoying your messages on the Bible, God’s big story. I was wondering if you have ever read John Eldredge’s book EPIC. You are both saying the same thing, which I think is great. Most christian don’t understand that they are born into this story or how they fit in.

    Keep up the good work.

    In Him,
    Charlie Berry

  2. Charlie,
    I have read it (but didn’t even think about it in prep for this series). Great book. Will need to check it out again for inspiration! Thanks for your encouragement. Pray for me as I prepare heart and mind for this weekend.

    • Thanks, Jeff, for your response. I think it’s great that different pastors/writers give similar messages even with all their differences and backgrounds.

      OK, in yesterday’s message you mentioned two judgments. First is the question for everyone, what did you do with my Son? Second is for Christians, what did you do with your life? The Bema Seat, I believe.

      OK. Now I do believe we will give an account of our lives, but with no condemnation. Rom 8:1 All sin is forgiven. God can remember our sin, but He chooses not to remember.

      In 1 Cor. 3:10 and following Paul tell Christians to be careful how we build on the foundation that is Jesus. We build with gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay and stubble ( declining values). Then “the Day” (give an account of your life) will come for judgment. Now we all “build” with as sorts of things, some are golden, some are stubble. But in the final moment of sanctification the bad stuff in burned away and only good left.

      Am I thinking correctly here? I don’t want to get off track. This way we are free to be the butterfly and not stay the caterpillar. 🙂

      thanks for the help.

      In Him,
      Charlie

      • Charlie,
        You are dead on. Anything we do (build) without God (the Designer and Builder) in mind will be burned up and destroyed. It will not last. Only what we do for Christ will remain. As we think about “the Day” it makes you think hard about about what you’re doing today, doesn’t it. Big and small deeds done for Jesus will last. Let’s test our hearts and serve Him today. Life is a stewardship, it is temporary, and we’re accountable. Thanks for the clarity and the verse… good stuff.

    • Thanks, Jeff, for your response. I think it’s great that different pastors/writers give similar messages even with all their differences and backgrounds.

      OK, in yesterday’s message you mentioned two judgments. First is the question for everyone, what did you do with my Son? Second is for Christians, what did you do with your life? The Bema Seat, I believe.

      OK. Now I do believe we will give an account of our lives, but with no condemnation. Rom 8:1 All sin is forgiven. God can remember our sin, but He chooses not to remember.

      In 1 Cor. 3:10 and following Paul tell Christians to be careful how we build on the foundation that is Jesus. We build with gold, silver, precious stones, wood hay and stubble ( declining values). Then “the Day” (give an account of your life) will come for judgment. Now we all “build” with as sorts of things, some are golden, some are stubble. But in the final moment of sanctification the bad stuff in burned away and only good left.

      Am I thinking correctly here? I don’t want to get off track. This way we are free to be the butterfly and not stay the caterpillar. 🙂

      thanks for the help.

      In Him,
      Charlie


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