In Acts 20:27 we read, “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Paul did not just preach part of the Word; he preached the entire, complete message of God. He gave the whole counsel of God.
This class is called “The History of Redemption.” It is a survey of the whole Bible, the whole counsel of God. We will go through the whole Bible twice from Genesis to Revelation. The first time we go through it we will emphasize what God did; the second time through, we will emphasize what God said. It is a history but it is a special history. It has two main objectives.
The first objective is to see the unity of the Bible as it presents God’s plan of salvation for mankind from Genesis to Revelation. We want to string the pearls onto the same chain, so that we can see that there is a unity to the sixty-six books of the Bible. The Old Testament begins in Genesis 1:1 with God; the New Testament begins in Matthew 1:1 with Christ. There is a unity, a wholeness, and an integrity about the sixty-six books of the Bible. So, one of the purposes is to for us to see that integrity.
The second objective is to review the general content of the books of the Bible in order to see what the Bible is all about. We want to review the general content of each of the books of the Bible in order to see their integration and thematic relationship. The theme of the Bible is redemption—the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. We want to keep that theme in mind as we move through the sixty-six books of the Bible. As we begin to see how God has worked in this world to provide salvation for man, our appreciation for God and His Word will no doubt grow.
We want to set the Bible out like a map. When we hold the map out completely open, we get to see the relationships of the main roads, the side roads, the freeways, the interstates, and the states. We can get perspective when we know where we are because we can see the whole map. And that is what this class is about.
So we approach the survey of the Bible from two points of view. First, we will look at what God has done and is accomplishing in history. Secondly, we will look at what God has spoken or revealed in terms of Scripture.
We have two basic theologies today in the church. One of them is called dispensational theology and the other is covenant theology. When a person focuses on what God has done and how He has acted through the periods of history, he will become a dispensationalist. If a person focuses on what God has said, then he will become a covenant theologian. What I hope to show in this class is that we do not need to become either one; when we read through the Bible, we are going see what God has done and what God has said are never in conflict.