Big Picture of the Bible

Big Picture of the Bible is a Message of RedemptionIf we walk through the pages of Scripture we’ll find a message of redemption from the beginning to the end. The following acrostic provides teachers with an easy way to remember the various sections of biblical content in a way that brings them together for a view of the big picture from Genesis to Revelation.

An Acrostic of the Big Picture of the Bible Showing a Message of Redemption

Starting in the beginning books of the Bible we see the need for redemption. As we continue to read, God’s plan unfolds and then becomes a reality. The message of redemption in Jesus Christ from the penalty of sin continues to be proclaimed until in the end we find deliverance even from the very presence of sin.

B – Beginnings (Genesis – Esther)

“In the beginning God created” the heaven and earth and its inhabitants. Created with a free will, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s one restriction, bringing sin into the world and breaking fellowship with a Holy God. In these books we see the beginning of the nation of Israel through whom the Messiah would come to save the world from sin. God also enacted the law which was impossible for them to keep, pointing to their need of a Savior. — Hence, these beginnings help establish our worldview.

I – Insights into Living (Job – Song of Solomon)

Pain, suffering, and hardship entered the world due to sin. God in His grace provided wisdom to navigate life’s circumstances, the good and the bad. — Hence, these insightful books provide perspective for living in a fallen world.

B – Broadcasting (Isaiah – Malachi)

Through the prophets God broadcasted the necessity of judgment for sin but also His plans for delivering that generation and the generations that followed which included the coming Messiah. — Hence, through these prophecies we gain hope in a Sovereign God we can trust to right the wrongs in this world.

L – Life Through Christ (Matthew – Jude)

The prophesied Messiah came and lived among us (Gospels), died for sin in our place and rose again so we can be saved by His grace and live as His Body, the Church, as a pillar of truth and light in this world. — Hence, through the Life of Christ, we learn how we can be saved by grace through faith with the power of sin broken in our lives and a relationship with God restored for now and eternity.

E – End Times (Revelation)

Christ will come again and right all the wrongs, once and for all saving us not only from the penalty of sin but also from the very presence of sin, death, and the enemy of our souls. — Hence, in light of God’s End Times plan, we find hope realized in a new heaven and earth where there will be no more pain, suffering, and tears because we live in the presence of the Almighty God for all eternity.

Another FAQ About Using Games

FAQ about Using Games as a Bible Learning Activity

Perhaps you’ve worked through the validity of using games as a Bible teaching method. But, now you may be uncertain about whether the game you choose will work. That brings us to another frequently asked question about using games.

How can I keep the game from flopping?

Remember these five P’s:

Preparation – Make sure all the equipment and supplies are there and in working condition. Think through the logistics ahead of time to make sure the game is within the age level ability range of your students, will work with the number of students in your class, and in the space you have. Consider the noise volume in terms of consideration of other classes. Make sure think through all safety issues. If you think through conceivable problems in advance and how you can deal with them, you will be able to approach the activity with confidence. Uncertainty and fumbling on the part of the teacher can negatively affect how a game works.

Practice – While physically testing a game is best, at least mentally run through the game prior to class so you can better be aware of potential difficulties. In class you may want to do a trial run or demonstration for students, particularly if the game is a bit complicated or requires some sort of skill.

Presence – Be there to support students with help and encouragement as needed. Yet, do not so micromanage them that they’re hesitant to enjoy it. Bring your own excitement and enthusiasm into the game. Participate with them when appropriate or feasible to help build relationships with students.

Pace – Keep the game moving yet don’t rush it to the point of frustrating students. Idle students can derail a game’s effectiveness as a learning tool.

Pliancy – Be willing to restart a game if students seem to be floundering too much. Be willing to make some adjustments as you go but be careful of constantly changing rules as that could get too confusing. Also be willing to abandon the game if it seems to be irreparable. However, be cautious on how quickly you abort. Not everyone will always like certain games. That doesn’t mean they can’t still learn from them. Take students’ feedback but don’t base what you do on the complaint of one or two students if others seem to be enjoying it. Remember the purpose of the game isn’t merely to entertain but for learning.

Teacher Training Resource: Games as a Bible Learning Activity Download

FAQ About Using Games

FAQ about Using Games as a Bible Learning Activity

You may see games listed as a Bible teaching method but have questions about the validity of using them.

Here are two questions you might ask.

Questions About the Validity of Using Games as a Bible Teaching Method

Isn’t the use of games in Bible classes just a time filler?

Yes, games can merely fill time and produce little eternal results. However, when used in Bible classes we should have a higher purpose. We should be making the best use of our time. We should carefully choose games that reinforce or set the stage for what is being learned. If we can’t explain the connection between the game and the lesson, we should question if it is the best use of the short time we have with our students. If done well, often students will have fun learning without even realizing it.

Does competition really have a place in Bible classes?

This question assumes all games have a competitive nature but they don’t. Games don’t always have to be structured with an emphasis on winners and losers. And, the ones that do entail competition, can usually be adjusted to tone it down. One way to do that is to eliminate prizes or figure out a way to reward everyone. You can also work it out so there isn’t just one winner. Perhaps you could have a team of winners. You can keep the focus on teamwork above individual prowess. If there is a level of competition, be prepared for what it may bring out in students and use it as a learning tool — how to treat one another, how to deal with conflict in a Christ-like manner, etc. Remember, it is the teacher’s responsibility not to let competitiveness get out of hand. Set some ground rules before beginning and stick to them. For more, read: Games Are Good As Long As . . .


Problems to Avoid When Adapting

Problems to Avoid in Adapting
Click to enlarge image in Pinterest & repin.

We’ve been looking at lessons on being adaptable Bible teachers from 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. If you haven’t read any of those posts, click on the links below:

Perspective Needed to Adapt
Purpose Behind Adapting
Particulars of Adapting

While adapting is biblical based on passages like the one we’ve been looking at, it does bring some challenges.

Possible Problems Bible Teachers Need to Avoid as They Seek to Adapt

Sometimes we can begin with the right intentions but over time lose sight of the real purpose behind adapting. Classes then become little more than entertainment or worldly chatter.

Sometimes we can go too far, compromising the truth of God’s Word or losing Christ-like integrity in the process. We become like them instead of winning them to the Lord or establishing them in His Word.

How the Apostle Paul Avoided These Problems when Adapting to Those He Served

Having the right perspective and purpose behind adapting, as seen in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, certainly laid the foundation for avoiding the above mentioned problems. Here are two more takeaways from Paul’s example in being adaptable:

1) He knew where to draw the line. Notice he said “I” adapted, not the message or who God is.

I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. (1 Cor. 9:22)

We don’t change God to make Him more palatable for our generation. We don’t make Jesus or God according to our liking. God is who He is as described in the Bible.

The truth, or message, did not change, just how it was presented. All Scripture is inspired and useful (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Who are we to pick and choose what is relevant and what can be disregarded?

2) He kept the focus where it belonged. Paul concluded these thoughts with, “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:23).

We do what we do for the advancement of the Gospel, not for our own sakes, and not even just for the sake of our students. There’s a bigger agenda to which God invites our participation. If we fall prey to compromising the message or losing Christ-like integrity in the process of adapting, we won’t see lives changed. We will be robbing the cross of its power (1 Cor. 1:17-18). However, when we see people come to know Jesus as their Savior, and grow in their relationship with Him, we’re experiencing the power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16) at work. That’s the real blessing in teaching.