So what is the Bible really all about? Is there a single theme—a major message—that can be worded concisely, to help someone quickly understand the point of God’s message for us?
Perhaps the point is: “Be good. God is watching.” Or maybe, “Be unselfish to please others, and you’ll be happy.” Or something like, “It will all work out in the end. Justice will prevail, with bad people punished like they deserve, and good people rewarded the same.”
Well, those are some ideas of what people might think the Bible is about, but they all miss the real point.
The good news is we don’t have to guess. Because the Bible already provides an accurate summary description of itself. Calling itself “the Scriptures,” in a passage Paul wrote, the Bible has this to say about just what God’s most important truth is: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
That’s the bottom line. That Christ died for our sins, and rose from the dead. It was prophesied in the part of the Bible written before it happened, and it is the banner theme of the part of the Bible written afterward. Christ died for our sins, and rose again.
Notice that it doesn’t just say He died and arose. A lot of nice, religious people know He did that, but still don’t get the point of the Bible, and still don’t have a relationship with God. You need to understand WHY Jesus died to know what God is saying. He died “for our sins.” He didn’t die to found a religion. He didn’t die to set an example of sacrificial living that will please God. He didn’t die for “original sin” or for “the sins of Adam.” He didn’t die to show you how to live, and He didn’t die to show you how to die.
He died for your sins.
He died in your place.
Now, whether you’ve ever read the Bible or not, you already knew all about sin. It’s the reason you lock your doors before going to bed at night. And you already knew that you are a sinner. It’s the reason you wouldn’t want anyone to know about a lot of the secrets you keep.
And when you stand before God, God wants you to know that He isn’t okay with the fact that you have sinned. He isn’t willing to overlook even one of your sins, much less the whole load of them you’ve built up over a lifetime. God is holy. He is perfect. He is totally righteous in all He does. And He will not accept even a little bit of sinfulness into heaven under any circumstances.
But He loves you and me, and wants us to live with Him forever, even though we can’t if there are any sins on our record.
So He did what was necessary to satisfy both His righteous justice and His merciful love. He became a Man—the Man Christ Jesus. He lived a perfect life in our place. And then, even though there was no guilt in Him, He died on the cross. He died for our sins. The Bible had said He would hundreds of years before He came. And in accordance with the Scriptures, He did just what He had promised. He died for our sins.
That means He absorbed all of the punishment of God that we deserve for our sins. So that God could justly punish all of our wrongs, big and small, and still forgive us. Even though we can’t earn the forgiveness for ourselves. He earned it for us by not sinning and by taking the punishment in our place.
But He didn’t just die for our sins—He also came back to life. Because of that, He can be our Savior today, and give to us the eternal life in heaven that He earned in our place by living a perfect life.
You already knew you have sinned. You already knew sin deserves punishment. Now, thanks to God’s word in the Bible, you also know that you can escape the punishment you deserve because of what Christ has done for you.
That’s the message of the Bible for you, in a nutshell. And you must respond to it by personally trusting Christ as your Savior, in order to receive the benefits of Christ’s death in your place. Just knowing about it isn’t enough. You have to make the decision to trust in Christ alone to save you, and commit yourself to that belief. Those who don’t trust in Christ alone as their Savior will die with their sins unforgiven, and they will go to hell for eternal punishment.
Come to Jesus today for salvation. Tell Him you believe you have sinned and deserve punishment. Tell Him you believe that He loves you and died in your place on the cross. Tell Him you are trusting in Him alone to forgive you, cleanse you of sin, and give you eternal life in heaven, just as He promised.
Indeed He does promise that to everyone who comes to Him believing that message. The message God wrote for you in His word. “Christ died for our sins… and He was raised.”