I've been reading through the book of Isaiah, and there have been many moments where I've stopped and thought, Wow. You just cannot read the book of Isaiah without feeling awe for God's power, shame for humanity's foolishness and sin, and praise for the Messiah who, from our future perspective,...
If you have not yet visited our new site, OpenTheBible.org, I strongly encourage you to do so!
This site contains 50 sessions that give you a comprehensive tour through the whole Bible story–from Genesis to Revelation. It’s meant to help open the Bible for you and for others around you.
Here are 10 of my favorite quotes from this site, and I encourage you to find some of your own favorites as you go through the 50 sessions.
From Chapter 1: Life
God introduces Himself as your Creator and therefore your owner. You are not your own. Your life is a trust given to you from God. That means you are not worthless or aimless. God chose to bring you into being and he did it on purpose. You will discover that purpose as you get to know the One who created you.
From Chapter 2: Curse
Whenever Satan tempts you to sin, his first strategy will be to create confusion. He will try to lower your defenses by suggesting that maybe what you want to do is not really forbidden by God, or at least that the Bible is not clear about the matter.
From Chapter 3: Salvation
Knowing a coming judgment would not be of much help to us unless there was a way to be saved from it. The warning of judgment is not the angry outburst of a vindictive God; it is the gracious call of a loving God who says, “I must destroy evil, and I will. But I do not want to destroy you, and here is how you can escape.”
From Chapter 4: Judgment
At Babel, the tongues were a judgment from God leading to confusion and people being scattered. At Pentecost, the tongues were a blessing from God leading to understanding and people being gathered together.
From Chapter 5: Promise
The first book of the Bible tells us how we can be right with God and it tells us that it is by faith. Abraham was saved in the same we are, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. He saw the day of Christ from a distance, and he believed.
From Chapter 6: Blood
Another way of avoiding God is to fashion our own gods who will support the lifestyles or values we have chosen. When people say that they don’t believe in a God who will judge, or that they can’t believe in a God who saves people only through Jesus, what they are really saying is that they do not like the God of the Bible, and they have chosen to invent another god more to their liking.
From Chapter 7: Law
God was not saying, “I’m giving you these commandments, so that by keeping them you may become My people.” He was saying, “I am giving you these commandments because you have become My people already.” The message of the law to us today is not that we must keep God’s laws in order to be saved. The law tells us how God’s people ought to live, and for this reason it speaks to us today.
From Chapter 8: Atonement
Even at this early stage in the story of the Bible, God was preparing for the coming of Jesus. The whole purpose of the sacrifices in the Old Testament was to shape our thinking so that we would understand why the Son of God had to come into the world.
The sacrifices help us to see that in His death on the cross, He accomplished what the sacrifice of animals could only anticipate. Christ made atonement for our sins. He brings back the presence and the blessing of God for all who trust in Him.
From Chapter 9: Priest
Can you visualize your sin being taken so far from you that you can no longer see it and it can never come back? God wants you to know that through the finished work of Christ your sin is forgiven and your guilt is removed.
From Chapter 10: Courage
The life of Jesus had a very different outcome. His calling involved extreme suffering and loss (Luke 9:22), but He was ready to pay the price, and the book of Hebrews tells us how He did it. Christ endured the cross “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2).
In other words, when God held the cross before Jesus, He looked through it to the joy that was on the other side. He focused on the outcome, and Isaiah tells us that, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11).