John 1:14 (NIV) — “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
There’s a great deal I didn’t understand about the Bible or the Christian lifestyle when I first came to the church in my 30s.
Now in my 60s, I hope perhaps I might share at least a hint of the things that helped me the most in my search for Christ. In those early days, I went to a random handful of churches. I saw many differences.
In my poking and prodding through Scripture, since my attendance was hit and miss, I really wasn’t gaining much through Sunday school or midweek Bible study. What was happening was I slowly absorbed small portions of Scripture. Rather than drinking from a fire hose, I was getting small quantities from a garden hose (I don’t recommend this method).
After awhile, I was able to start linking and connecting the Old Testament with the New. For example: John 1:1-5 — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life; and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness had not understood it.”
Hahaha, I didn’t grow up in church but I had been in some very dark places, and one of the only things around was a Gideon Bible. Like many, I picked up and read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
So, reading those first couple of chapters of Genesis only kind of answered the basic questions — “Who, where, when, why, how.”
It wasn’t until I had heard enough and read a bit that I was able to link the Old Testament book of Genesis with the New Testament book of John. In the beginning ...
It may not seem all that earthshaking to others, but this was a huge breakthrough for me.
I actually now understood Romans 10:17 — “Faith comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God.”
So for me, linking the creation connection with the Gospel of John’s opening (In the beginning ...), along with the creating and dividing light and darkness, all seemed to fit in developing my understanding.
In my early time in the church searching, I kept running into the same problem. I had unrest in me; I couldn’t find answers because I didn’t know the right questions.
It’s the same today, even with all our high technology. If you don’t ask the right question by entering the right information, Google won’t give you a specific answer.
For example: The Christian faith is based on a Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three in One.
Hmmm, that seems a bit much. How do you explain that? How do I even ask someone to explain that?
So allow me to piece together this little puzzle.
The Bible opens up with the Book of Genesis chapters one and two — the Creation Chapters.
We’ve already discussed creation and light along with the beginning of John. Genesis 1:26 — “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’”
Naturally, “Who’s our image?”
In Genesis 1:1 — “God created, and the Spirit of God hovered.” In the Gospel of John 10:30, Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.”
So in my elementary detective work, I find my first reference to the Three-in-One God.
The next step in this parade also came from the Gospel of John, chapter one, verses 29 through 34, which confirmed the connections I had made of the Trinity.
I needed or hoped for something more, which I found in the Gospel of Matthew at the baptism of Jesus. Matthew 3:16-17 — “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.’”
The voice of the Father, the body of the Son and the presence of the Spirit.
The Scripture of Genesis 1:26 — We are created in God’s image as a triune being: mind, body and soul.
How I’ve learned to describe the Trinity, the Three-in-One God — Water: Ice, H20 and Steam. Three different representations of the same essence.
If there was one study that has helped me the most in coming to understand the link between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and how the God of creation has revealed Himself to the world, I would say it was the study of the Wilderness Tabernacle and the High Priest.
You can get lost in the weights and measures, or you can learn from the Spiritual Principles and actions of Salvation. God working with and through people.
In Exodus 25:22 — “There, above the cover between the two Cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you.”
Matthew 1:23 says, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son and they will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’”