The leaders of YPBC unsurprisingly believe the Bible to be God’s word to us, and many of you have come to recognise this. Most people realise that the gospels tell us about the life and death of Jesus. Have you sat down recently and read through one of the gospels?
I would like to share with you something that I read recently about the way in which God reveals himself and his plan of salvation. You notice that the Bible teaching is conveyed largely in the ‘symbolic and intuitive thought forms of the East’ rather than the ‘logical and didactic forms beloved by the West’. It is useful to trace the way that we are led to understand God through Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah and Jesus Christ.
Abraham found God in a pagan culture in Mesopotamia about 2000 years before Christ, and was known for his faith. Faith comes first because ‘anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and he rewards those who earnestly seek him’. Heb 11 v 6
Moses is one who brought God’s laws to men, but when Jesus summed up the law, he said, ‘You must love the Lord your God … and your neighbour as yourself’. Mark 12 v 30 – 31 This shows that a relationship with God requires a love of God and for God.
Jeremiah lived at the end of the time of the nation of Israel before the people were deported to Babylon. Prophets from Elijah to Jeremiah called men to repent and return to God, but Jeremiah reveals a new promise from God: ‘I will put my law in their inward parts and write it on their hearts … I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more’. Jer 31 v 33 – 34 A new way was promised, a new covenant or testament.
We call the second part of our Bible the New Testament, where we read of the way that Jesus made this possible. That bit of the story we know quite well.
How wonderful that we have in our hands God’s word!
Lee Mack, a comedian, said at the end of ‘Desert Island Discs’ on Sunday 29 Sept 2013:
“I’m glad I’m getting the Bible because I would read the Bible.”
“I always think, if an alien came down and you were the only person he’d met, and he said, ‘What’s life about, what’s earth about? Tell us everything’ and you say, ‘Well there’s a book here that purports to tell you everything – some people believe it to be true, some people don’t believe it’s true’ and they say ‘Wow! What’s it like?’ and you go, ‘Well, I don’t know, I haven’t read it,’ ”
“It would be an odd thing, wouldn’t it? At the very least, read it!”
Junior 1 leader