5 Key Concepts of the Bible
Last Sunday, Pastor Osien taught on the 5 key concepts of the bible believers must understand in order for them to know their God. “The Big 5.” He explained the importance of these key concepts through the analogy of a safari. When you go to a Safari you expect to see animals, but there are certain animals that attract the most attention at the park, these are; lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, and rhinos to name a few. They are more exciting compared to seeing a lizard, a gecko or even an ant. The concepts of the Bible are similar in their impact or relevance in revealing god’s ways to us.
Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” This tells us that God wants us to be knowledgeable about the word and its purpose.
Bible Reading: Acts 8: 29-35
“Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
In this encounter, Philip was prepared and understood the scripture therefore he was well equipped with knowledge to teach the man about Jesus who is the Word. Are you a Philip? Do you understand the bible? The faith? Do you read it? In order to lead a successful Christian life you need to read the bible, which is our manual, at the same time we cannot truly believe in something we do not know or understand. Daniel 11:32 teaches us that we will be able to resist the ways of the enemy only if we know our God.
The Big 5 Ideas of the Bible
- Idea 1 – There is only one God
Believers must understand this fact in order for them to be able to know about this God and what he expects of us. This God is introduced to us in the first verse of the first book of the Bible. Genesis 1:1.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
There is only one God and this God Created all things. There was no other god competing with Him, who could compare, who existed except God. He is God alone and this is the understating in which He wants to relate to us. Exodus 20:3 “You Shall Have no other Gods before me.” Is a declaration of the first idea of God. He demands no Idolatry. Do you remember the story of when the Philistines brought the Ark of God to the house of Dagon in 1 Samuel 5? They placed the Ark near the statue of Dagon and the next morning it was broken to pieces on the floor. This shows just how serious God is about his position as the only God. You cannot place him among other gods for He is alone in His reign and majesty.
To worship God you must know Him. The study of the bible helps you to know this God. In Deuteronomy 6:1-5 we are told to love God with everything, with all you heart, all your soul, all your might. Don’t just love God based on what he has done for you, but love him on a deeper level by knowing who He is. If you love someone then surely you would want to know who they, what they do not like and what they like. God does not like us to have other gods!
Who is this God?
“Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
…He who sits above the circle of the earth…who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” This is what this God can do. Another version says he spreads the heavens like a curtain, alone.
Have you every tried to spread a bed on your own? It is a difficult task. Yet God spreads the heavens all by himself! See Isaiah 44: 23-28. David says in Psalms 104:2, this same God “wraps Himself in light as with a garment…” Could you yourself be able to wrap a cloth around you on your own? But God, who needs no help from anyone, can actually wraps himself with light, something we cannot even touch with our hands. God actually grabs it and ties himself with it as if it was a piece of cloth. This is our God. Do you understand this God? Does that not make you want to know more about this God?
In Job 9:8, He “Marches on the waves of the sea.” Jesus showed us a bit of marching on water in Matthew 14:20-33. Peter even tried it as well! Knowing more about God will help us to emulate him! If you understand your God no enemy can mess with you, no witch can curse you and no situation can hold you down. “The people that know their God shall be strong……..”
God does not need your help; he spreads by himself; the Amazon, the oceans, the deserts, mountains and the fields.
You must learn to trust Him, and when you do there must be a difference between you and those who don’t know him. Trust in the Lord with all your strength and lean not to your own understanding. These big ideas should help us to trust God more!
Do you know your God?
- Idea 2 – This God is Holy
Holiness is Gods nature, this is the same nature he initially put in Adam and Eve.1 Samuel 2:2 tells us that, “No one is holy like the Lord”. Hannah understood the attributes of the Lord as far as Holiness is concerned and approached Him with this understanding. She prayed to God in full understanding and assurance of who He was and God opened her barren womb.
Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8 show us that even in heaven, they don’t sleep day or night proclaiming, “holy, holy, holy, is the Lord” without ceasing. If it were you after a few minutes you’d get bored and tired of saying it because you don’t comprehend the significance of holiness. You must understand that shouting ‘Holy’ forever is a privilege for those in heaven.
Holiness is something we must insist on, we must seek it, and follow it. One of Gods standards is holiness but sin makes you fall short of that standard. God’s standard of holiness cannot be changed or lowered for anyone. “I am the Lord, I change not!” If you understand holiness you won’t ask “is it ok to kiss my boyfriend or my girlfriend” “Is it alright to do this or that?” . It will not be an issue whether you tithe your gross or net salary!
1 Peter 1:16 God says “Be holy, for I am holy”. That’s the big idea that you cannot afford to treat as a lizard at a Safari. You wouldn’t hug or pet a wild lion so in the same way holiness is a big idea that must be taken seriously.
God told the children of Israel in Exodus 40 not move, whenever the cloud was over the tabernacle they had to pause in their journey. God was teaching them about holiness and purity. Even in 2 Chronicles 8:11 Solomon who had many wives had to kick his wives out after he bought the Ark of the Lord to the house of David. He understood that that place was holy.
What is it in yourself that you will kick out in order to be holy?
- Idea 3 – God will help His people
“May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;……
When you know God is your helper, you will not be moved. Just look at how Israel was always helped by God. The most import prayer to remember is “help me God”. Don’t waste time before you pray for help; it is a prayer you must never be lazy about. The Lord is our Help. Jesus was also ready to help the people of his time. Look out for situations where Jesus helped people as you study the word to strengthen your faith.
- Idea 4 – The Redemption story
The Old Testament is a rehearsal of the redemption story. It is a dry run God tested before putting His Son to die. Examples of this are when the Hebrews had to put the blood of the Lamb the on the door during Passover, and when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac. If Abraham was willing to do it then surely God Can.
These were not just stories of fascination, God was preparing for our redemption story. Jonah in the stomach of the big fish was a dry run of Jesus in the tomb, the forth man in the fire in the book of Daniel was Jesus revealing himself as he who saved us from the fire, and Zechariah 3 shows the presentation of the sacrifice of sins our sins before the throne of God..
In John 20:16-17 Mary was so excited to see Jesus and wanted to touch him but Jesus said “do not cling to me, I have not yet ascended to the Father”, in fulfilment of Zechariah 3. As you read the Bible, look out for these ideas so that your understanding can be enhanced.
- Idea 5 – The Resurrection
In John 11:24, Martha says, “I know that my brother will rise again in the resurrection on the last day…..”, Jesus taught us not to fear death because we will rise again when he returns. To believers, death is a transition into eternal life. It must not be feared. Many times people do not realise that dying is a process of entering into eternal life. Matthew 10:28 tells us “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Death is not forever but rather a separation of the body and the spirit. Death means that the spirit no longer needs the body. Have you ever seen those who try to prolong a person’s death when clearly that person’s body is failing and is no longer of use, the spirit is trying to let go of that body but they still try to hold on by any means necessary even though the person is clearly suffering. You must serve God while you still have the strength to do so, and be ready to depart when your body can no longer hold. Jesus shows us on the cross that he commended his spirit to the Lord when time came. Stephen also did the same. Believers must not fear death because they will be resurrected into eternity according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Death must not always be seen as a curse all the time….. your body just doesn’t have any more to do here on earth.
To be continued and expanded further!
View Previous Articles
13 February 2014 – The Power of Discipleship
19 January 2014 – Benefits of Fasting
12 January 2014 – Do Christians Have to Fast?
24 November 2013 – What Kind of A Christian Are You?
17 November 2013 – How Much Do We Trust God
10 November 2013 – Remembrance Sunday
03 November 2013 – Unity and Diversity One Body