All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)
The entirety of the Bible is the living Word of God. It was given through the hands of men, by the Holy Spirit, to serve as a guideline for how God’s people are to live. Think of it as one part rule book, one part love letter, and one part promissory note.
In the beginning, we are given an account of the creation of all things. Through the creation story we see how man was intended to live, the giving of the first law, and the introduction of sin into the world, resulting from the breaking of the one rule. (Genesis 2:17) Throughout the remainder of Genesis we see the downward spiral of man, the wrath of God at the depravity of His creation, and the consequences that man’s actions carried. (Genesis 6-9) Through that, we also see God’s love. He could have completely blotted man from the earth and started over. He performed a partial reboot through Noah and the great flood, but He could have just as easily destroyed Adam and Eve and started over. Instead, God showed His faithfulness to His creation and allowed life to continue.
In the Exodus from Egypt God hands down the Law through Moses, which becomes known as the Mosaic Law. It is the full rule book on how God intends for His people to live and the consequences for breaking the law. Many people today get hung up on the minutiae of the Law given to the Israelites. Much of that law is not applicable to all people, as it serves as the foundation of the Jewish faith, however we are given the groundwork for how our relationship with God and with our fellow man is supposed to look.
All through scripture, we see the influence of God’s love and faithfulness. Man’s rebellion against God was an offense punishable by death, but God desires for us to live. For this reason, He sent Jesus to bear our punishment. This is the ultimate act of love, one the we as humans could never be capable of. Jesus was a fulfillment of the Mosaic Law. He lived the life that God intended for all of us. He was faithful to God, resisted the temptations of sin, and replaced all of the livestock used to atone for sin. He became our unblemished lamb, and paid the debt our sins have incurred. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)
In Jesus, we receive God’s promise that all who believe, and follow His law, are redeemed and shall live in His kingdom forever. God created man to inhabit the earth and to live in relationship with Him. Sin destroyed the communion with God and cast man into the abyss. Jesus shines His light into the abyss and illuminates the path that restores us to God’s glory. Through Him, all sin is erased and forgiven. Through Him our soul is saved from death and given life.
Scripture is our rule book. Through it we are given the model for our life. It is the image of God defined. Obedience, justice, love, faithfulness, righteousness.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. (Psalm 128:1 NIV)
Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 16:20 NIV)
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 NIV)
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. (Proverbs 14:34 NIV)
Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. (Proverbs 21:21 NIV)
In order to know the rules, you must read them. In order to build the relationship, you must nurture it. In order to find life, you must forsake yourself.
Dwell in God’s word.
Use the teachings of Christ to live an upright life.
Repent and bow before Him so that you may find life.
Go forth and spread God’s love to an unbelieving world.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20 NIV