#GodsStory ft. Jeremy Cheong: The Bible Is More Than A Guidebook To Life
Posted on 8 Jun 2020 by CERC
#GodsStory ft. Jeremy Cheong: More Than A Guidebook To Life
Throughout my early years being a Christian, I knew that the Bible was about God showing His love for us by sending Jesus to die for our sins. However, I didn’t have the slightest idea why and how that happened. I just treated it like a catchphrase and thought that it would be cool to have a god like that by my side. Nothing more, nothing less. It never occurred to me how crucial it was to know that this was a life-changing matter involving the life and death of many.
I often found myself puzzled and confused during my earlier years about why the Bible goes on and on about Israel, the Jews and the many practices which seemed irrelevant to what I assumed the Bible to be — a guidebook to life and how to be a better or more successful person in general. As a result, I either skipped the parts where I thought did not fit well and read what I was able to comprehend; or rather, read it allegorically to fit my own understanding of the text. As for parts that I did not understand, especially in the Old Testament, I concluded them as redundant and thus, invalid.
I was gradually confronted by the Word and saw that I had been living an ignorant life against God by choosing how I wanted the Bible to sound or be like. Aside from a renewed Spirit and heart from God, that realisation was also a product of learning biblical theology.
Biblical theology played a huge role in correcting and humbling me to see the point and centre of God’s narrative and story.
It made me see how all 66 books in the Bible should fit in together as one key message. It really helped me fill in the missing links and gaps in my understanding of the message in God’s story, gave me a deeper appreciation of the Old Testament (OT), and helped me see how crucial and key every book of Scripture is to understanding and interpreting the big picture. The Bible is one whole coherent message about Christ and each book points to Him.
It helped me think from the biblical author’s perspective; how they write their books and letters; to what message they try to convey; to the points they try to make; and even the events they reference in order to show their readers the reality-affecting implications of those events relevant for their present time. This includes all of us living who read the Bible today.
It also made me think that these biblical truths and accounts from the OT are not distant from us (i.e. the account of God delivering the Israelites out from Egypt, giving them the means by which God can dwell with them, and Israel’s subsequent rebellion against God when they wanted to head back to Egypt, etc.). Applying these events to us in our present time, I wonder what “Egypts” are present in our lives?
Are we truly relying and putting our hope on God’s promises, or are we going to repeat Israel’s failure?
In short, biblical theology has corrected me and helped me think better about how we as God’s people fit into God’s big, consistent story, and how its message is applicable at all times — whether past, present, or future, all the way until the final consummation.