The Bible in 7 points

The story of God's journey in reconciling the world back to Himself has been summarised by Dan Armstrong and others as a 7 stage mission. The narrative of the Bible is complex and rich, but it can be understood on a basic level too. The simplicity of the elemental structure below may be helpful for those who are new to Christianity or struggling to understand the flow of the Old Testament into the New:

1. God ‘with’ People (Genesis 2)
Relationship (between God and his people) which is good: God gives man a lease of the earth with dominion over it, but they need to trust God’s word.

2. God ‘and’ People (Genesis 3-11)
Separation (fall into sin): The relationship of trust is destroyed. God now begins the journey of reconciling the world to himself. And he must do it through ‘man’.

3. God ‘to’ People (Genesis 12 - 50)
God appears to Abraham, and he enters into a covenant with God: he becomes a people under promise by God.

4. God ‘among’ People (Exodus - Deuteronomy)
God reveals Himself in Israel’s midst, through Moses and through the tabernacle, who become a people belonging to God.

5. God ‘through’ People (Joshua - Malachi)
God gives Israel prophets, from Joshua to John the Baptist: He leads them and appeals to them through his chosen anointed ones, to live rightly as his people.

6. God ‘as’ a Person (Gospels)
God gives Jesus who completes God’s work of salvation for people, making them right with God through trust in his death.

7. God ‘within’ People (Acts - Revelation)
Jesus lives in his people: The restored relationship of God with people is fulfilled and perfected through God’s Spirit who Christ gives to his church.

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