The Fundamental Questions of the Christian Life (continued)
Behind the Scenes With the Bible
Now, let us take up our Bibles and allow them to lead us to this whole matter of the knowledge of Christ.
The Christian, with his Bible in his hand, is led behind the whole scene of history. On the stage of the world, a wonderful drama is being worked out, set in all the branches of science: the earth - geology; the heavens - astronomy; life - biology; the human body - physiology; and the human mind - psychology. All these things - the world and man and history - are in the foreground. But with Bible in hand the Christian is led behind them all - behind the stage, so to speak, behind the scenes - into the background of these things. He is led into the very presence of God - to God behind it all. Moreover, with Bible in hand the Christian is brought to see that God is a God of purpose, a God of design, a God of plan; a God Who has conceived and projected this wonderful design which is being worked out. And as a third step, the Christian is led through the Bible to see that that great design, that great purpose, that great plan, with all the Divine resources for its accomplishment is all centered and summed up in one Person, God's Son. The whole design, the whole scene, the whole intention and all the Divine resources are focused upon one Person; the Son of God. It all concerns Him.
Seven Sections of the Bible
Next, the Christian discovers that, in relation to that God of purpose, and to His great purpose concerning His Son, the Bible falls into seven distinct sections. The first - the Creation - is comprehended in quite a small compass of the record. The Bible has much to say about the creation in relation to the Son of God. In Him, through Him, and unto Him were all things created (Col. 1:16). That is comprehensive!
The second, which we will call the patriarchal section, runs from the fourth chapter of Genesis almost to the close of the book in chapter fifty. We shall look at this more closely in a moment.
A third section, beginning with the Book of Exodus, is what we call the Israelitish section. This runs from the beginning of the Book of Exodus right to the end of the Old Testament. But is has some sub-sections. There is the priestly sub-section, running from the twelfth chapter of the Book of Exodus to the First Book of Samuel; the kingly or monarchical sub-section, from the First Book of Samuel to the end of the Books of the Kings and Chronicles, where the kingship is set aside and the people go into captivity; and the prophetical sub-section, which occupies the last quarter of the Old Testament.
The fourth of the main sections of the Bible comprises the Incarnation, the Life, Death and Resurrection, of God's Son.
The fifth, a short but very important section, embraces the forty days after His Resurrection.
The sixth section is the heavenly session of the ascended Lord, with its two aspects - the advent of the Holy Spirit, and the birth, vocation and completion of the Church.
The seventh and final section - the Son coming in His Kingdom - has various aspects and implications and effects, in three particular connections: firstly, in relation to the Church; secondly, in relation to the nations; and thirdly, in relation to satan and his kingdom.
That comprehends the whole Bible in seven sections. For the present I am going to confine myself to the second and the third, the patriarchal and the Israelitish sections, keeping in mind our object, which is to discover the place and significance of the Lord Jesus in the Divine scheme of things, so that we may come to that adequate knowledge of Him which is essential to spiritual fullness in the Church and in the believer.
(continued with # 3 - (The Patriarchal Section)