One of the goals of every Christian is to become more familiar with God’s word (Psalms 119:11; Matthew 5:6; John 6:68). The Old Testament contains many practical, encouraging lessons (Romans 15:4). It is a rich portrayal of God’s personality, power, and provision for man. The New Testament tells us about the life of the God-Man, our Savior the Lord Jesus, and contains our roadmap to heaven through the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20). The apostle Paul wrote,
[T]he mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:3-6).
So, whatever other good books we study in life, we must give primary attention to the Bible.
Often, we can do much more effective study of a Bible chapter or book if we bring to the study a general understanding of the background, circumstances, and contents of the book. Just think of questions such as this: What is going on in Ecclesiastes? Why are there four books with the name John? Is there much difference between Matthew, Mark, and Luke? What are the books of Chronicles about? There are many reference books to help us with questions such as these, but sometimes we want something simpler and easier to use.
To this end, each weekly bulletin in 2016 will contain a Bible Basics Bullet (“BB Bullet” for short), a tool to inform our study of a book of the Bible. For example, you can get the BB Bullet for Genesis in this week’s bulletin. (Next week the BB Bullet will cover Exodus, etc.) Each weekly BB Bullet will contain the following information about a book of the Bible:
- Background information (date of the book’s writing, author, original audience, and theme)
- Chapter-by-chapter outline of the book
- Key verses from the book
- Practical lessons from the book (How does this book apply to the life of a 21st-century Christian?)
BB Bullets may be collected in a notebook that will serve as a simple Bible handbook. And at the end of the year, the whole collection of BB Bullets will be posted on the Macland Web site.
The Bible is the only book that has the almighty God as its author. Make 2016 the year in which you come to know this supernatural book better.