Notes and quotes from Biblical Theology by Nick Roark & Robert Cline.
1. “It’s possible to read a story, find it interesting, and entirely miss its point.” When it comes to the Bible story, it is all about Jesus. You will find Him in the beginning, middle, and end of this story.
2. “In the Bible, the triune God explains who he is and what he is like and how he’s at work throughout history by his Spirit and in his Son, Jesus Christ the King, and how we ought to glorify him in this world.”
3. What do we need to know the overarching narrative of the Bible? So that we accurately read and understand each event, character, or lesson that’s been given to us. “Biblical theology helps us read, understand, and teach the Bible the way Jesus said we should.”
4. “Biblical theology is an approach to reading the whole story of the Bible while keeping our focus on the main point of Scripture, Jesus Christ. In other words, biblical theology is the scriptural road map that leads us to Jesus.” Every part of Scripture should be understood in relation to Him.
5. In the Old Testament we have promises pointing forward to the Messiah and His mission. In the New Testament shows and unpacks how those promises have been fulfilled in Christ.
6. Missing the point of the Bible produces false gospels and false churches. It’s how you get Prosperity-Gospel, Civil-Gospel, Soup-Kitchen, and Immorality-Affirming churches.
7. The middle two chapters of this book give a helpful outline of the story of Scripture which would make a great fourteen part sermon/teaching series: 1) The King creates and covenants; 2) The King curses; 3) The King judges; 4) The King blesses; 5) The King rescues; 6) The King commands; 7) The King leads; 8) The King rules; The King casts out; 9) The King promises; 10) The King arrives; 11) The King suffers and saves; 12) The King sends; 13) The King reigns; 14) The King returns.
8. When preaching Christ from the Gospels, take note of Sinclair Ferguson’s wise advice: “expend our energies admiring, exploring, expositing, and extolling Jesus Christ.”
9. Scripture begins and ends with God ruling and reigning as King over everything and with a holy people who are to live for His praise.
10. Biblical theology helps to guard against proof-texting and moralism and helps “guide preachers and teachers toward evangelistic, Christ-centered exposition that emphasizes the glorious Hero of the whole story, Jesus Christ.”
11. What is proof texting? It is reading meaning into the passage instead of reading meaning out of the passage. It is coming to a text with a preconceived meaning and using the text to say what the teacher wants to say. “Proof-texting twists the meaning of a biblical passage and makes it “say” something it wasn’t intended to say.”
12. Moralistic preaching simply highlights positive or negative character qualities in biblical characters for the purpose of behaviour modification. It’s about getting change or improvement in behaviour apart from the gospel.
13. Two types of tools to help preach Christ – study tools and storyline tools. Study tools are exegetical ones which help you to carefully observe what is in the biblical text and focus your interpretation on understanding what its context and its author’s original intent is. Storyline tools helps us “see where a text fits into the storyline of the whole Bible and how it contributes to the culmination of that storyline in the person and work of Jesus Christ.”
14. Historical context = What did the passage mean to its original audience? Literary context = What kind of text are you interpreting? (recognising a book’s genre).
15. “God’s plan of salvation is revealed progressively throughout Scripture, culminating with Jesus Christ. The way God reveals this plan develops like a seed growing into a tree.”
16. Scripture is the best interpreter of itself. “Look for textual connections to other parts of Scripture.”
17. “One thing that doesn’t change when we read the Bible is the character of God.”
18. “No matter what passage you are teaching from, you must always ask how it relates to the person and work of Christ.”
19. The prosperity gospel dishonours Christ and diminishes the Christian’s hope because it makes trusting Jesus the means to a worldly end – your best life now. “The believer’s best life isn’t now. Our best life arrives when our blessed hope appears.”
20. Biblical theology “helps us understand that neither America nor any other nation on the planet today is God’s holy nation; the church is… This guards churches from falsely thinking that the mission of the church is promoting the healing of America or whatever nation you might be from.”
21. What are mercy ministries? They are “a beautiful opportunity to meet urgent needs while pointing sinners to the remedy of the most urgent need of all, the need to be made right with our holy Creator through faith in Jesus Christ.” Mercy ministries should never replace nor diminish the primacy of proclaiming the gospel.
22. “Christ’s church stands against the world for the sake of the world and summons the world to turn from sin and to trust in Jesus Christ alone.” This means we must not affirm or approve actions that God’s Word says are sinful. This means we should expect the mission of the church to be at odds with the world. This means it won’t be easy. This means our aim “isn’t to secure the fleeting applause of this world but rather to cause great rejoicing in heaven.”
23. How you view the Scripture’s storyline will affect how you view the church’s mission – what we do when we gather and when we scatter.
24. When we gather, we need to prioritise making disciples. “When we gather, we want to emphasize proclaiming Christ from all the Scriptures, because “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”” So we read the Word, preach the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, and “see” the Word in the gospel ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It is will also mean taking church membership seriously and so that the gathered church is “distinct and holy and set apart from the world.”
25. When we scatter, we need to be disciples. “This is what we’re called to do all week, both individually and with other members of the church. When the church scatters, we seek to be disciples of Jesus who scatter the saving message of his grace wherever we go because “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. We pray for the Lord to rescue our lost family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers.”
26. The Christ’s church, gathered and scattered, seeks to make disciples and to be disciples until the Lord Jesus comes and the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.