Doctrine: Getting to Know the Story Line of the Bible
Introduction to the series
I. Key Words:
1. Systematic Theology – The study of the nature of God and his dealings with man in a systematic or orderly, logical way.
2. Topical – Systematic theology is generally topical in nature. We examine a particular topic and ask the question what does the whole Bible say about this particular subject. We then compile that information and form conclusions based on it.
3. Doctrine – A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church or other group. For our class we will define doctrine as a summarization of the conclusions drawn as a result of our study of systematic theology.
II. How do we make sense of it all, where do we begin, and what topics should we select?
1. These are important questions to start with because, to many, the study of the Bible or the study of theology is like trying to do a large, complicated puzzle. There are so many pieces they just can’t seem to fit it all together and make sense of it.
2. It is true that in the Bible there are many books, authors, and themes all emphasizing different aspects of theology, but amazingly each one of these pieces were hand-crafted and made to fit exactly together.
3. When doing a puzzle it is very helpful if you begin by taking a look at the top of the box that it came in. The box-top generally has a picture of the completed puzzle printed on it to provide a reference to continually examine as you assemble the puzzle. This enables you to keep the “big picture” in mind as you deal with the small individual pieces. You can see how they relate to each other and fit in with the whole puzzle.
4. This is exactly what we are attempting to do with this class. We will begin by taking a look at the “box-top”, the “big picture” and we continuously refer back to it as we progress. We will call this snapshot the “story line of the Bible”. That is how I came up with the name Doctrine: Getting to Know the Story Line of the Bible. And so, we will keep that picture before us as we look at the individual topics and see how they fit together to tell the beautiful story of God’s redemption of man through his son Jesus Christ.
III. Taking a look at the Box-Top: Defining the Story Line of the Bible
1. So let’s define the story-line of the Bible. The Bible has many unsolved mysteries and people often want to “major on the minors” as they debate possible meanings to all sorts of non-essential issues. But on the essentials, the Bible is perfectly clear and there is one primary path that cuts right through the center of its pages. This is the path of redemption that is found in the person and work of the Jesus Christ. So let’s look at this story-line. These headings will form our big picture and they will be the titles for each of our classes. The first two are introductory (“The Existence of God” and “The Bible”) and the rest layout the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We will spend the next weeks looking at each of these themes and what they mean about God and our individual lives.
2. The story line:
- The Existence of God
- The Bible
- The Attributes of God
- The Creation
- The Fall of Man
- The Covenants
- The Incarnation of Christ
- The Life of Christ
- The Cross of Christ
- The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ
- The Glorification of Christ
- The Great High Priest
- The Head of the Body
- The Baptizer in the Holy Spirit
- The King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Lesson 01: The Existence of God: How Does God Reveal Himself to Mankind?
By Rick Arnold
- Romans 1:18-20
- Psalm 19:1-6
- Cosmological Argument
- Teleological Argument
- Anthropological Argument
I. General Revelation: God has given a limited revelation of himself to all mankind
A. Outer Revelation: The Creation
1. Teleological Argument (Rom 1:20; Psa 19:1-6) – If the universe was designed then there must be a designer.
2. Cosmological Argument – Every effect must have had a cause. Every thing that began to exist must have had a cause. It is generally accepted that the universe began to exist and therefore must have been caused. That cause could not have been chance, or nothing, and must have been an eternal, living, intelligent being. Since every man intuitively has the idea of God, then the most logical conclusion is that there is a God and he was the cause of the universe.