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a. Four major parts to the Bible
b. The Bible is the story of what God has done and is doing to redeem the world from the devastating effects of the fall of the human race into sin. In creation we see God making everything, including us, as very good. Creation, God, people were made to be enjoyed. God could be fellowshipped with, worshipped unhindered …. In the fall we are introduced to why it is that things are no longer “very good”. They are not very good because A&E disobeyed God and their disobedience has cataclysmic consequences upon the world and the whole human race. When God deals with Satan and Adam and Eve He tells Satan that the woman is going to have a child who will crush his head (Genesis 3:15). The rest of the Bible is the story of God saving mankind through this serpent crusher.
c. The last time we were looking at these things we considered
i. The Serpent Crusher’s People – the covenant with Abraham – Gal. 3:7
ii. The Serpent Crusher’s Land – The Promised Land – a picture of the rest that God has planned for all those who are His.
iii. The Serpent Crusher’s Law – our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. See in the Law all the requirements that God has that no one can meet and that sheep and goats sacrificed cannot fix. Jesus is the Lamb. He is the sacrifice that will take care fo the problem. He is the priest. He does not need to offer sacrifice for Himself because He is the sinless One.
iv. The Serpent Crusher – King – the OT shows us that no king, not even David was good enough to be the King that Israel needed
v. The Serpent Crusher prophesied – The prophets had messages of judgement and mercy. Judgement because of sin and mercy through Jesus Christ. There will be a new covenant and it will not be broken. The promised one will come and die for us. The Holy Spirit will come and awaken sinners.
The point of the OT? We need a Saviour.
And that takes us to the New Testament
2. The Gospels
a. The Life of Christ – Matthew to John
i. The story of the four Gospel accounts? He’s here. Summed up in the announcement of the angels to the shepherds – a Saviour is born – glory to God!! The promised Messiah has come. John 1:14, Mt. 2:2,
ii. Jesus is the Saviour of the world. This is the serpent crusher. Look for no one else. See
Luke 24:44-47; Hebrews 1:1
(1) Galatians 4:4 – He came at just the right time. Nothing slowed God down or hindered Him from getting done what needs to be done to crush the serpent and win people out of his evil clutches. See the text we read this morning – John 5:39-40, 46-47.
iii. Purpose of the Gospels – to win people to Christ
(1) See Matthew 11:28-30
(2) John 20:31
iv. In the Gospels – Who is Jesus and what did He do? Those are the key questions that are asked and answered. In the Gospels we see a people who inquire much about who Jesus is. The question answered is “Who is the Serpent Crusher and how is He going to do His work?”
b. Who is Jesus?
i. He is the Son of God
ii. He is God Himself
(1) John 1
(2) Mt. 1:23 – Emmanuel, God with us.
(3) Matthew 16:15-18 – Who do people say that I am?
(4) John 20:31
iii. He is the Promised Messiah
iv. He is the only way to God
v. He is the Lord over disease
vi. He is ruler over nature “Who is this that even the winds and the waves obey Him?”
vii. He has power over death – Peter’s mother-in-law, the widow of Nain’s son, Lazarus, the resurrected ones at the resurrection of Christ.
viii. He is the Davidic King – Mt. 2:2; John
ix. He is the One who is Greater than all
Matthew 12:6 (ESV) I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.
Matthew 12:41-42 (ESV) The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.  The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
John 4:12 (ESV) Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”
John 5:36 (ESV) But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.
John 8:53 (ESV) Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
1 John 4:4 (ESV) Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
x. All the miracles, all the great teachings, all the preaching, all the casting out of demons … Their purpose is to show us – this is Him. He is the One you need. He and no other is the Saviour who can and will rescue you from the one who has enslaved you and blinded you and killed you.
(1) The purpose of the miracles is not to tell us that we can do these things too if we only have enough faith. Their purpose is to show us who this Jesus is.
(2) Dear one – the message of the Bible is that you can know this Christ. He will rescue you. For four thousand years God weaves history so that Christ will come exactly when He did and do all that God required to win people out of the clutches of sin and Satan. And He has ordered things in your life so that you are here this morning hearing about what He has done. You can be rescued from the sin that marks you – this morning. Rescue from sin comes by faith in the One who came. He did all that was required and He calls you to turn away from sin and trust Him. Why do you not look and live? Why will you look anywhere else for hope and happiness and help and salvation? There is only one way to God and it could not be better.
c. What will He do?
i. He will live in perfect obedience to all the Law of God. He will not sin. He will do what Adam and Eve could not do – Romans 5:12-20; 2 Cor. 5:21 (ESV) For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 1 Peter 2:22 (ESV) He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
ii. John 1:29 – As the perfect Lamb of God He will offer up Himself to be punished for the sins of all His people once and for all – Mark 10:45
iii. He will teach like no one ever taught before – even His enemies will attest to that – John 7:46
iv. He will crush the serpent
(1) He defeats Satan in the wilderness – Mt. 4 – Compare this to the episode in the garden with A&E. They fell. Jesus did not. Compare it to the forty years of Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness marked by disobedience and grumbling …
(2) See Him casting out demons. Demons – those evil creatures who sided with Satan instead of remaining true to God. Those creatures who hold people captive and blind … . How does Jesus deal with them? “Be gone” – and they go!!
(3) He casts Him out at the cross
(a) Colossians 2:15f – He triumphs over principalities and powers on the cross – He crushes the head of the serpent there.
(b) Romans 16:20
(c) Hebrews 2:14-15
(d) John 12:31
(e) And why does Jesus do all that? To win back those who were lost in the fall. At the cross Jesus saves Adam and Eve. Abraham and the Patriarchs, Moses and the faithful of Israel, David and all the faithful kings, the prophets … See Hebrews 11. See Ezekiel 22:30
(4) He pays the penalty for sinners who are under the just judgement of God. And in taking their punishment He liberates them from the penalty. Satan is defeated. Slaves are set free (Romans 6:17-18), the blind receive sight (II Cor. 4:4-6), the dead come to life (Ephesians 2:1-4).
(5) He will one day ultimately crush him
(a) Rev. 20:7-10
d. There are so many pictures of Jesus as the fulfilment of all the OT
i. The Promised Messiah – Mt. 16:17-18
ii. The twelve as a picture of the new covenant – no longer tribes – but the called
iii. Jesus as Israel – Mt. 2:15 “Out of Egypt I have called my Son”.
iv. The destruction of the temple – why? No longer necessary – Hebrews 8:13 He is our temple. He will be constantly with us. We do not need to enter a temple to be with Christ. He is here and one day we will be with Him and we shall see Him. And everything will be restored back to its original intention.
e. But there are three chief pictures of Jesus in the NT that show us who He truly is:
i. Prophet – Prophet – one who speaks on behalf of God to people. Jesus is the Great Prophet – Heb. 1:1. He not only declares thing on behalf of God and for God but He declares things as God. John 7:46,
(1) He spoke with authority – Mt. 7:28-29 (See Mt. 5:21f, 27f, 31f, 33f, 38f,)
(a) See Mk. 2:5-12 – “Your sins are forgiven”
(2) He spoke with power – The raising of the dead – John 11(Lazarus); the calming of storms – Mk. 4:41; driving out of demons – Mk. 5:1-13
(3) He spoke the future – Mt 24
(1) Offering up sacrifice
(2) Mediating between God and sinners – John 14:6; I Tim. 2:5
(1) He rules a kingdom –
(2) He is returning as King of King and Lord of Lords – Rev. 19:16
3. Acts – The Missionary movement of the Gospel of Christ
a. Purpose of Acts – The church on Mission. Demonstrate the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit is given for the purpose of empowering the church to win the lost. Acts 1:8 (Note the instruction just before Jesus promises th Holy Spirit – don’t do anything until you have Him …)
(1) The Holy Spirit lands on them and they preach the Gospel in known languages – There is the purpose of Tongues.
(2) See the phrase “filled with the Spirit” in Acts
(a) Acts 2:4 (ESV) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(b) Acts 4:8-12 (ESV) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
(c) Acts 4:31 (ESV) And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
(d) Acts 9:17 (ESV) So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
(e) Acts 13:9 (ESV) But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him
(f) Acts 13:52 (ESV) And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. And what was Paul to be filled with the Spirit to do? Be the greatest missionary the world has ever had. In the Book of Acts we are seeing four thousand years of preparation by God for the salvation of the world, explode into reality. Peter is given the leadership of giving the Gospel to the Jews and Paul is chosen to take it to the Gentiles.
And the point for us this morning is this. How does this fit in with the plot line of the Bible? God fills His people with the Holy Spirit so that they can give the Gospel to lost people and be used of God for Him to crush the serpent’s work in their lives. In the Gospels we see Jesus doing all that can be done and needs to be done to release people from the sin and slavery and death that Satan brought into the world. Now in the Book of Acts we see the mission of the church to let the world know that they can know God and be forgiven and live lives pleasing to God and be brought back to the Garden. They can do as they were created to do in the first place – live for the praise of the glory of God. Dear Christian, we have the same task that that first group of Christians had. Preach Good News to a world that has been enslaved to sin and death. Tell them of the only way out of that slavery – Jesus Christ.
(3) Grieve the Spirit and you hinder your ability to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The early church faithfully witnessed when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And that is what we need. But the filling is not some gift of languages or healing – it is the power of a holy life – I Thess 1:4-5
(a) Dear ones, the church of Jesus Christ is called to proclaim to the world the glories of the great God. We are to be so taken up with Him that we cannot keep silent. How you doing with that? You know what stops us – not filled with the Spirit. This is not about speaking in tongues. This is about being under His control so that we follow Him.
(b) But you do not need the Holy Spirit to help you witness the Gospel do you? No, some of you here need the Spirit to awaken you to your need for Christ. You need new birth that only the Holy Spirit can give.
4. The Community of the Redeemed – Living for Christ – I Corinthians – Jude
i. When we get to the Epistles we find ourselves being told how to live as those who have been set free. But not as individuals, but as a community of the faithful – the church.
(1) Romans 6:1-11 (But note it well dear children of God – You need to understand the Gospel in order to be empowered to live like this. Paul argues for 5 chapters what the Gospel is before he even hints at how the life is to be lived. Good living without the Gospel will send you straight to hell. It is moralism. It is self-righteousness. We see the same thing in Galatians).
(2) Romans 12:1-2
(3) James 3:10
(4) Colossians 3:1, 5, 12
ii. Purpose of Epistles – to teach how to live as believers in the world and with each other in the church
iii. People who have been redeemed and therefore live out the purposes of their redemption
(1) The praise of His glory – Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14
(2) Mission – Declare His praises
5. Victory in Christ – Revelation 1-20
i. Purpose of Revelation – Encouragement to carry on as the people opposed for Christ
6. The New Testament dear ones.
a. It is the arrival and work and ministry of the eternal Son of God. We find here who He is and what He has done. We find our need for a right relationship with God met perfectly in Him. Come to Christ and know the power of a holy life lived for the reasons God made you in the first place.
b. It is the story of people filled with the Holy Spirit who proclaim this great Saviour to the world. This is your calling dear Christian. And if you have no heart for it then go back to the Gospels and find Christ. Because if you have no heart for the salvation of others you are not saved yourself.
c. It is the story of believers in Jesus Christ living transformed lives for the glory of God as a community of people called the church. You call yourself a Christian? Then you must be baptized and become part of a fellowship of God’s people so that together you can live for the glory of God and proclaim Him to the nations.
d. And when that seems too daunting. Remember this. Jesus is going to win. He cannot lose. The big loser is Satan. Read Revelation 1-20 and see that our Master is victor. When you are disheartened remember that the trials are promised by God – In this world you will have trouble – but rejoice for Jesus has overcome the world.
e. Let us pray.