Bible, journal and coffee

What’s in the Bible?

We hear stories about people like David and Moses. We hear sayings like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. But do we really know what’s in the Bible? You would probably be surprised to learn that the Bible has answers to most of your questions.

Before we dig into some of those, let’s look at the sections of the Bible.

Sections of the Bible

The Bible has two main sections, The Old Testament and the New Testament. Those two main sections are each made up of smaller sections.

The Bible is the Word of God

The Old Testament

The Old Testament is basically the story of creation and of God’s chosen people. It is the part of the Bible that takes place before Jesus is introduced, and it is made up of four parts:

1. The Pentateuch – or the law, is the first five books of the Bible. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

2. The Historical books – these books tell the story of God’s chosen people, the Hebrews. This section includes all of the books from Joshua through Esther.

3. The Poetic and Wisdom writings – Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes

4. The Prophets – some people break this up into two parts

Major Prophets – Isaiah through Daniel

Minor Prophets – Hosea through Malachi

The New Testament

The New Testament is the story of the coming of Christ, and the birth of the Church. It is also full of instruction to the Church by the first leaders of it. It is divided into four sections:

1. The gospels – the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

2. The Acts of the Apostles – the birth of the Church

3. The Epistles – letters to the church

4. The Apocalypse – prophecies of the second coming of Christ

So, what does the Bible say?

The Bible says so much about how to live that many people spend their entire life reading it. Both the Old and New Testaments address daily life – things like finances, relationships, parenting, health. Let’s look at some of the most asked questions about what is in the Bible.

What does the Bible say about women?

This one is huge. Some people believe that the Bible oppresses women, but that is not true. Is there oppression of women displayed in the Bible? Yes, but the Bible does not condone it. It is merely there because it was existent in the culture of that time.

God actually was very intentional about showing His love and respect for women, despite the culture. There are women in the Old Testament who held roles that were exceptional for their day. Women like Deborah, a Judge over the nation of Israel. Deborah led the army that fought to free her people. Then there’s Esther, who rescued God’s people from genocide.

God loves women

What about women in the New Testament?

In fact, in the New Testament God listed five women from the Old Testament in the genealogy of Jesus. Jesus interacted with women in the New Testament in ways that left people confused and questioning. Like the woman at the well, or the woman with the alabaster jar. Jesus saw them, He loved them and He showed their value.

God brought His son into the world through a woman, even though He could have done it any other way. And He first presented Himself to a woman when He rose from the dead. The oppression of women is a man-made thing.

What does the Bible say about interracial marriage

Just as the Bible has been used to try to oppress women, it has also been used to push the idea of racism. But the Bible is clear that all people are God’s people.

One of the most well known scriptures is John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Who does God love?

The world. And who will have eternal life? Whosoever believes in Him. That’s me, you anyone else who chooses to believe. No matter their skin color, nationality, race, background or socio economic status. We are all equal in His eyes.

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

Acts 10:34-35

He accepts everyone who fears Him. This fear is not fear in the way we usually understand it. It is better understood as awe, a holy fear or reverence for Him.

We are all God’s children

But doesn’t God say not to intermarry?

No, He doesn’t say that. But there are people who either misunderstand or simply misuse scripture. God directed His people to not marry people who worship false gods.

 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.

Deuteronomy 7:3

In the Old Testament this was a huge problem with the Israelites. They were marrying people from nations who worshiped false gods, and then bringing those practices into their temples. Oftentimes these practices included things like child sacrifice and sexual deviances. This practice even led kings away from God, and He was not happy with it at all.

As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

1 Kings 11:4

This directive was brought into the New Testament

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14

God didn’t say this because He doesn’t love unbelievers, but rather because He loves all of us. As we saw in the case of King Solomon, marrying an unbeliever can lead us away from Him. And that would break His heart, and negatively affect our lives. This directive is simply to help us avoid unnecessary pain. But let me be clear, this has nothing to do with race, or interracial marriage. It simply has to do with believers not being led away from their belief by those who do not believe.

What happens after death

Another question often asked is what does the Bible say happens after we die. Most people want to know that there is more than just this life. But some of what we find in the Bible may actually scare us.

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment

Hebrews 9:27

Judgement? What does that mean? Basically, it means that when we die we will be asked whether or not we received the gift that Jesus died to give us. What gift is that? The gift of forgiveness of sin, which brings salvation and eternal life. Because we either receive that gift and let Him pay for our sin, or we choose to pay for it ourselves. And that won’t go well.

Is there life after death?

More scriptures on what happens when we die

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

John 11:25

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am

John 14:2-3

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body

Philippians 3:20-21

Two of the scriptures above were spoken by Jesus Himself. And according to what these scriptures say, the body we now live in will die, and we will receive a new one when we go to live with Jesus in eternity. But, only if we receive the gift of salvation that Jesus came to give us.

What or who is the Holy Spirit

For someone who doesn’t read the Bible, the Holy Spirit might seem weird or even scary. But the Holy Spirit is simply God. The Bible tell us that God is a three-part being. He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God the Father is the One who created everything. He is God FOR us.

God the Son, Jesus, is the One who came to earth as a man to die for us. He is God WITH us.

God the Holy Spirit is the One who came to live in us. He is God IN us.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The Holy Spirit is in us

What does the Holy Spirit do?

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is a comforter, teacher, advocate and more. His job is to guide us in this life. The longer I live as a Christ follower, the more I can see how the Holy Spirit affects my life. He makes me aware of things in my life that I need to change, and then helps me change them. And the term comforter has become so real to me. In the midst of loss He reminds me what the Bible says – things like, God works all things together for my good – and I am able to find peace in the difficulty.

The Bible is more than a book

For me the Bible is so much more than just stories, it is life and breath. For me, the Bible is comfort and peace, joy and strength. But my love for the Word of God hasn’t always been there, it is something that grew and developed over time.

The Bible can seem difficult to understand, but God said in His Word to ask the Holy Spirit and He will help us understand it. So do that. Make a decision to sit down with your Bible and before you open it, ask the Holy Spirit to show you truth. He will.