My romance: A rose I gave. The scarlet color faded in time. Petals meant for the lady I held dear. Died in vain and only she has seen.
His lasting love: He rose from the grave. His scarlet blood lasts as His lifetime. No petals.. Yet meant for everyone He holds dear. Died for us so we can finally see. Love of the created or the Creator?
Which of the two will you choose? The cross or your loss?
John 11:25 [ESV]
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
“If each is a true Christian teacher, then each has been commissioned by the same master with the same message for the same purpose—glorifying God by proclaiming His reign.”
-Mark E. Dever
It has been of great delight to be saved, what more if God entrusts you to share the same message of His good news (to which all believers are called for) that also saved you. This book has a strong word for what the cross is. It mainly tackles the subjects that has the cross as its root: The life of the messenger (of the Gospel), Justification by faith alone, Glory of the Gospel, and the need to preach Christ regardless of what culture or generation we are in. It is quite hard to rate a book with different authors (as this book is sourced from the 2006 Together for the Gospel conference). The book has authors (some even heroes, for me it’s John Macarthur) sharing their love for the Word of God and how important it is to both have it in mind and in heart. I love how each author considers the other authors, for example: C.J. Mahaney’s chapter solely deals with the quality of character of a messenger of God’s Word and does not focus much about sound doctrine as he himself said “Because the rest of the book aims to equip pastors in sound doctrine, there is little need for me to elaborate on that here”. A book that also reveals a character’s heart makes the book more trustworthy. Aside from that, one expectation has not been met: I didn’t learn a technique how to preach the cross. And I think it is totally great that I didn’t because the message inside this book (which is mostly about the Word, Christ, theology, and culture) is sufficiently enough to teach us what information we need in order to deliver a sound preaching of the cross. I think its more of a “what” to preach, not “how” to preach. I truly believe our methods of preaching may be different but it has to be as sound as the same way Jesus did it, and with this I feel that the authors here tell us “what” to preach is a lot more important than “how” to preach.
I was at first struggling to give it a 10/10 but after wrestling with R.C. Sproul regarding his chapter (Justification by Faith) to which I had a hard time understanding probably due to lack of proper foundation of how I understand the subject given, I finally understood it (after reading it again). But most importantly I gave it a 10/10 as this book may just become my mirror whenever (if ever) God will give me the opportunity to preach His Word.
Will I recommend this?
Absolutely yes! To whom? To all those who are in the Christian faith who want to learn sound doctrine and to those who want to learn how to live as a messenger of God’s Word.
“Have you ever been in a Christian fellowship gathering where the preacher, at the middle of his on-fire preaching, then asks of you to read a passage from the Bible to which you have no idea where to locate in your Bible? Then this material is specially for you. I once was placed in that situation when I was a new Christian with a “just currently-bought Bible” back then. And to tell you honestly, it was a very embarrassing moment because it took me two minutes to find it in the middle of his preaching. But above all the embarrassing moment, I want to encourage you to learn this so that you may be seasoned with Scriptures as God calls us to be.”
Colossians 3:16a [Emphasis mine] “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”
Purpose: The purpose of Bible Navigation is to teach the reader how to easily navigate the whole book of the Bible by using the table of contents. A new reader will easily misunderstand that the books of the Bible are arranged in a chronological order. And this is why the author shared this material: So that those who have a growing desire to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ through the Word may be enlightened as to what the book of contents of the Bible is really telling us. The author’s prayer is that this will not remain as a knowledge for the readers to gain but also for the hearts of the readers to be burdened to share this information to those whom they see willing to learn.
Instructions: The Bible is one grandiose story that is composed of two divisions called the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is composed of sixty-six books and has forty-plus authors. Old Testament having thirty nine books and New Testament having twenty seven books. One can easily memorize the numbers by simply knowing the number of books the Old Testament has.
39 (OT books)
3 x 9 = 27 (NT books)
39 + 27 = 66 (OT + NT)
*Get a pen and Bible and proceed to the book of contents. Place a bracket from Book A to Book E and write down the pointer of the bracket “Title A”
The format should look like this:
Book A- Book E : Title A
and it will look like this in your Bible:
Write down the “Title” in your Bible according to the list below:
Old Testament: Genesis – Deuteronomy : Torah (The Law)
Joshua – Esther : History of Israel
Job – Song of Solomon : Poetry & Wisdom
Isaiah – Daniel : Major Prophets
Hosea – Malachi : Minor Prophets
New Testament: Matthew – John : Gospels
Acts : History of the early church
Romans – Philemon : Paulian Epistles
Hebrews – Jude : General Epistles
Revelation : The Glory of the coming Jesus Christ!
Challenge: Once you’re done, you can now enjoy navigating through God’s Word easier. With these in mind, you will be more effective in knowing how to use the Scriptures. This material will also make it easier for you to memorize all the books of the Bible (Note: Not the Bible rather the book of contents). And now you know all these, let me challenge you to take a step up in knowing God’s Word:
Memorize the book of contents.
Make your own reading plan.
Create your own cross-references.
If you haven’t finished the Bible yet, finish it but never stop studying it.
Most importantly: share this knowledge to others.
To enlighten you, this isn’t the only Bible navigation available to us. Personally, I mixed mine with another group’s Bible navigation/categorization (The Bible Project’s) into my book of contents as well. I encourage that you also find other good and reliable resources other than this as I would love to also learn together with you. I hope that someday your Bible’s book of contents will look better than this:
It is amazing to see that even the book of contents has been used by God as a way to make it easier for us to understand and memorize His Word. May this knowledge bless you and your reading of His Word.
Prayer: Father, I pray that whoever reads this material will not just make this knowledge reach to their heads. May it reach to their hearts and to those whom You called them to minister as well and may all of them apply it and share it so that the world may know the richness of Your Word that truly satisfies and I also pray that they may have the desire to be more rooted in love with You, may they take this knowledge as a treasure to carry in their hearts. We do not worship the Word but we exalt it for it all points to Your Son, Our Savior, Lord, and Shepherd, Jesus Christ the King! In His name we pray. Amen.
Special thanks to: 1. The Triune God who has inspired me to keep teaching and sharing the Word.
2. Bible Study Fellowship for the seminar about Bible Navigation.
3. The Bible Project for being a blessing to share how to study God’s Word.
A Letter to the King of kings and Lord of lords. From the saint who has been redeemed by His infinite grace.
My Lord and my God. You possess all knowledge. You created me even though You knew I could never know You You gave me everything even though You knew I will never be satisfied You waited patiently for me even though Your creation was my focus You saved me even though You knew I would be disobedient
I was broken and I blamed You. Yet You still took care of me. I was lost in my despair. Yet You chose to provide me a path to You.
I was unloving. Yet You gave me love.
I was boastful. Yet You served me.
How can this be, God? That You would take my place for me. That You would carry my shame on the cross. That You would send Yourself to live with us only for You to die. That You would choose the redemption of ungodly people rather than Your divine throne.
What kind of love is this? Redeeming us from our iniquities. Reminding us of Your loving promises. Breaking us from the bondage of sin. Providing us eternal life.
Nothing can ever go above Your standards, Mighty God. Not the greatest definition of love from humans. Not the wonderful treasures of this world. Not the rich knowledge we acquire. Not the impressive skills we are gifted with.
My gratitude is with You forever. To the Father who sent His Son. To the Son who gave Himself up. To the Holy Spirit who abides in us. To the mystery of Your nature.
With all these I praise You!
All Your saints cry out to You as we wait on the day of Your majestic return, my Lord and my God.
Psalm 113:1-3 [ESV]
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!
I thought that this book will be more on descriptions of who the Holy Spirit is and why He has been forgotten. To my surprise, I found out that it goes beyond that as Francis Chan will help you experience Him as well. After reading this book, my idea about the Holy Spirit has not just become an entity which you cannot interact with in an intimate and personal way, the same way with Jesus and His Father. He is a “who” after all not a “what”. How Francis Chan speaks and shares his life has made this book more believable in my opinion. And in his life, we can trust that this book is not from his experiences alone but also from the very Word of God itself because I noticed that he will make you read chapters from His Word to make sure you open your very own Bible. He also doesn’t ignore the fact that if we’re going to learn to live by the Spirit, we will need theology, one that is grounded in the Scriptures. In a Christian setting where people think truth and love is like a seesaw, Francis Chan bluntly tells us its a need to know theology (and that theology is one of a humble one yet not watering down the truth). This book has been one of the most uncomfortable books I’ve read yet one that has a strong impact on who I believe The Holy Spirit is.
I gave this book a high rating because it lived with the title and also the structure of this book is unique and very interactive. Francis Chan not only provides his viewpoint of his opinions regarding the Word of God but also gives real life examples, and one of the best pages here is when he provides stories of other fellow saints from old to the recent generation. The stories of the saints in this book has encouraged me that the Holy Spirit does really work in us, while the Word of God alone is our reliable source of truth, it also helps to see if there really are people living by the promises God has provided in His Word. This interactive book will make you indeed learn a lot about the Holy Spirit both in knowledge and in application.
Will I recommend it?
Yes. To whom? To those who have believed the gospel already. I cannot fully recommend this book to someone who is not yet a Christian. For what reason? Better if you read crazy love (by Francis Chan as well) first.