Faithlife Sermons

(026) The Bible in 20 Words

Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

The Bible in 20 Words

April 6, 2008

Prep: Read Christmas Eve and Philippians 11.

Opening: Invite to Alfy’s.

Prayer: Sharon’s recovery

The Greatest Story

·         Waiting to finish Philippians.

We are going to read the entire Bible, the 20 word version. 10 key events that capture the core story of the Bible.

The Bible is the history of God’s relationship with mankind, not a systheo.

·         Even Romans was a response to specific situation.

Ä  Why study this?

1. God’s hand throughout history to accomplish His purposes.

2. Trust that he can work in our history.

3. Other lessons along the way.  

1.  God Created

The first words of the Bible are “God created the heavens and the earth.” But foremost of His creation is mankind.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over...all the earth....” Genesis 1:26 NIV

·         We’re the only thing He made in His own image.

But we were also meant to be like Him, in our own small way.

·         The “meaning of life” is found in His purpose for us: God made man to know and reflect Him.

But there’s a twist in the story, drama. We weren’t satisfied with reflecting God; we wanted to be God.

2.  Man rejected

For man to truly love God, God had to give us free will.

·         Without choice, there can be no love.

·         It’s the risk of relationships.

There had to be a real opportunity to for Adam and Eve to rebel. So God gave them one rule: Don’t eat the fruit of this one tree.

·         It’s ironic: God gave man authority over the ENTIRE EARTH, but he couldn’t even handle a PIECE of FRUIT.

They showed that no matter what rule God gave, they’d rebel.

[Eve] took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6 NIV

·         Notice that Adam was there: Men have be shirking their responsibility ever since.

3.  God promised

No sooner had man fallen, then God promised to restore what was lost and began orchestrating his plan to redeem mankind.

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “... I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 NIV

Theologians call this “protoevangelion,” first good news, God’s plan to defeat Satan and restore us.

·         Man cannot destroy anything beyond God’s ability to restore.

Throughout the OT, God continued to confirm and clarify this promise of a Messiah who would die to pay the penalty of sin and restore what was lost.

·         From the moment they were lost, God sought to bring them home, because he “is love.”  

4.  Abraham selected

In order to reach the entire world, God decided to work through Israel, beginning with choosing Abraham.

Abraham was not a great righteous man; barely more than a pagan: He probably thought there were many gods.

·         But he believed Yahweh and obeyed Him.

I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Genesis 12:2-3 NIV

·         God’s blessings are never for our benefit alone.

God’s story with Israel unfolded through the TaNaK, revealing the law and learning about God’s nature. Their job was to represent God to the nations.

5.  Israel forgets

Israel routinely forgot their mission, failing in 1 of 2 ways.

First: As wicked as pagans. Had to be punished through them.

Second: refused to reach out, became exclusive and isolated.

·         It’s hard to be salt and light, engaging without falling.

6.  Jesus born


After 4,000 years, Time had now come for God to fulfill his promise to Adam & Eve.

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 NIV

But Jesus didn’t match their expectations, wasn’t “restoring Israel.” Without his miracles, they should have stoned him.

·         Christ’s teachings were to change to focus from external law to internal motives, from nationalism to salvation.

7.  Christ crucified

Christ’s death and resurrection conquered sin and death and brought salvation. The Curse was broken, relationship resorted.

But not completely restored: Sin and pain still reign. So we still look forward to his second coming, as a triumphant king.

Ä  Most Jews rejected Jesus because died a criminal’s death.

8.  Gentiles accepted

The book of Acts tells the story of the Gospel being rejected by most Jews, but accepted by many Gentiles.

Since you reject [the Gospel] and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.  For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles...., that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Acts 13:46-47 NIV

Ironically, by rejecting Jesus the Jews became a light to the nations. Had they accepted Him, the Gospel would have never been spread to the world.

9.  Church expanding

Epistles show the apostles’ interaction with the new Gentile church. Peter applied OT promises to the church:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

·         The church is now God’s representatives to the world.

·         Notice the “-ing”; this event continues today.

10.MIssion accomplished

Revelation and elsewhere, the Bible gives us a glimpse of the end of the story, full restoration.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21:1, 3 NIV 

·         No matter how bad things get, we know how the story ends. God will restore all things.

They will be better than before the Fall. We will know the lengths God reached to save us from such great depths.

God is in control, and I the same way that he has worked in history, he will work in each of our stories, IF we trust him, and believe that he will.




·         Trust that he is in control.

·         Restore us to your intent, to know and love and serve you.


May the God who is over history redeem and restore your hearts through his son.

Related Media
Related Sermons