A Message for All Time
Understanding and Applying the Bible
Albert Einstein is best known for his wild hair and his famous theory of relativity. What most people don’t know is that he spent the last 30 years of his life searching for a theory he never found-a theory he knew in his heart would someday be discovered. Einstein believed there could be one grand theory that would explain how all the major forces of the universe are related.
Einstein’s quest continues to this day. Some call it the Unified Field Theory. Others describe it as the Grand unification Theory. Perhaps the most popular label is the Theory of Everything.
Even though most of us may not have much in common with someone such as Einstein, but no doubt we’re captivated by the thought of a Grand Unifying Theory, one for the Bible-a simple yet elegant theory that captures all of the facts from Genesis to Revelation, all the teaching of Scripture, and sums it up in a way that even a child can grasp.
Why? Because understanding the Grand Unifying Theory of the Bible reveals the heart and mind of God and what is most important to Him both now and throughout eternity. It helps us grasp the driving force that should direct our lives, and the primary purpose for which we were created.
A seminary professor once said that the reason there were so many chapters in Exodus devoted to seemingly endless details for building the tabernacle was an easy answer: “God Himself was coming to live with His people!” That simple answer actually can become the master key for the entire story of the Bible from beginning to end. In fact, in one of the final chapters of the Bible, the apostle John writes the following climax to his great vision:
“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away'” (Revelation 21:1-5).
God created us to be part of a loving community with Himself at the center. Because God is love, He made us in His image so that we could experience the depth of His love-not only with Him but also with each other.
The fall of humanity in Genesis 3 was like an earthquake that fractured our God-given purpose. At its core, sin destroys relationships, community and fellowship with the One who made us.
But God never gave up on His original plan! Every book of the Bible, every story within its pages describes the great lengths He went to in order to bring us back to Himself-ultimately by becoming one of us and then by dying on the cross to remove the gulf that separated us from Him.
When you realize that the Bible isn’t primarily about rules but relationships, your Scripture reading will be transformed. And when you discover that God’s Word isn’t mainly about laws but love, you’ll feel the heartbeat of the One who made you for Himself.
The last section of Understanding the Bible is to help you to not just better understand the Bible but also how to apply the Bible to your life. So, let the “Grand Unifying Theory” be the North Star that guides you to your destination.