We Christians are a curious sort of people. Have you heard someone say, ďIím waiting to hear from God on that.Ē Have you looked for a sign? Are you waiting to discover your mission? Do you wish God would just tell you what to do?
God has spoken and is still speaking through an entire book, written just for us. It has the answers to mysteries of the past, and is a guide to the future. Itís full of practical wisdom for life right now. The Bible is Godís written word, transcribed by men chosen for his purpose. (2 Peter 1:20,21) Every word in it is meant to communicate directly with us. It teaches right living, corrects wrong thinking and trains in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible is the Christian's handbook. It is, in reality, 66 books written by 40 different men living on 3 continents. It was written in 3 languages in a time span of 1600 years. Incredibly, there is one common theme running through all of it, from Genesis to Revelation.
The books of the Bible are grouped in what we call the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the ancient world, a testament or more often called a covenant, was the term for a special relationship between two parties or a formal agreement between two people. You may have heard of a marriage covenant, which binds husband and wife to each other. The Testaments are like that. They are promises from God to mankind. Godís promises are irrevocable.
The Old and New Testaments describe the relationship between God and man. The Old Testament consists of 39 books, begins with creation and the fall of mankind Ė when Adam sinned and was cast out of the Garden of Eden. The first promise of the Messiah (Christ) is in Genesis. God promised a Savior, sent for the redemption of mankind. He returns those who believe to a right relationship with God.
The Old Testament contains the Pentateuch. These are the 5 books of the Bible containing the Law of Moses. There are also 12 historical books, 5 books of poetry and 17 books of prophesy. This is the Bible that Jesus read. He quoted or referred to the Old Testament teachings approximately 180 times in the New Testament.
The New Testament picks up where the Old Testament leaves off, completing the story of Godís plan of redemption. Jesus Christ is revealed as the Messiah, fulfilling the promises of the Old Testament.
The New Testament consists of 27 books.
There are: 4 gospels meaning, glad tidings concerning salvation. They tell the story of Christís life and our redemption. They are; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There is 1 book of church history Ė Acts.
There are 21 letters written to churches and individuals and 1 book of prophesy - Revelation.
Make a habit of reading the Bible, trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. The words in it are living and active. They will penetrate into your soul, changing you, and changing your life. (Hebrews 4:12)