In a previous post we noted the benefit of Bible teachers grasping the big picture of the the Word. With that understanding comes a greater appreciation of the God who inspired the Word and worked in wondrous ways throughout history. To grasp the message of redemption from Genesis to Revelation is to grasp the character and ways of the God of the Bible.
One of the tasks of Bible teachers is to help their students not only know the content of the Bible, but also and most importantly, the God of the Bible. To do that, Bible teachers need a good grasp of Him themselves.
Following is the minimum of what they should know about God as seen in the flow the biblical narrative:
(1) In the creation of the world we see a powerful God who could have fashioned people to robotic-ally obey Him but rather gave them a will to choose Him and His ways because He wants a relationship with man, not merely subservience. By choosing disobedience, people separated themselves from a holy God who cannot stand in the presence of sin. — He is a powerful and relational God but also a holy God.
(2) To help people understand the standard to which they would have to attain to be made right in His sight, He gave them the Law. Yet, all would fall short of His righteousness (Rom. 3:10-12). Their faith would be counted to them as righteousness, not their works (Rom. 4; Heb. 11). The law would serve as a guardian until the fullness of time came when they would be redeemed from under the law (Gal. 4). — He is a righteous God.
(3) Repeatedly God sent judges and prophets to call the people back to Himself but they continued to turn away from Him. Though they left Him no alternative but to judge them, He still maintained a remnant of people through whom the Redeemer would come. — He is an exacting God but also a patient God, not desiring any to perish in their sin.
(4) Despite man’s rebellion, God still loved them and sent Jesus to pay the wages their sin deserved and to offer them forgiveness and eternal life which they do not deserve. — He is a loving, gracious, and merciful God.
(5) Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and victory over sin and death through His resurrection, whoever believes in Him is reconciled with God (Jn. 14:6; Rom. 10:9-10) so that God sees the righteousness of Christ in them, not their sin (2 Cor. 5:19, 21). They become new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) who can enjoy fellowship with God now and through all eternity. — He is a forgiving God.
(6) Jesus ascended to heaven but established His Church here on earth to proclaim His message of reconciliation as His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:18-21) and pillar of His truth (1 Tim. 3:15). He sent the Holy Spirit as their Helper. — He is an empowering God.
(7) One day Jesus will come again as the King of kings and Lord of lords to usher in His kingdom where He will have made all things new. Those who have put their trust in Him will be redeemed from even the presence of sin as God’s dwelling will then be with His people and “they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev. 21-22). — He is a sovereign and just God.
Bible teachers who have grasped the truly great and amazing God we have, will then be able to use God’s Word to help others get to know the God of the Bible as well.
The teacher training document, What Bible Teachers Need to Know About God’s Word, provides a Panoramic View of God in the Bible from a slightly different angle as well as a look at the big picture of God’s Word.