Bible Themes

Bible Themes

As we read and study the Bible, we notice that throughout God's word certain important themes are repeatedly mentioned or implied. Several of these basic scriptural topics are described below.

Faithfulness

God reveals Himself in the Bible as One who can be fully trusted. He exhibits complete integrity in all He says and promises; consequently His people are to have complete confidence in His promises concerning them (Num. 23:19).

Isaiah 55:9-11
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Studying the faithfulness of God will bring about spiritual stability and confidence in a believer's daily walk.

Love

In the Old Testament the verb "to love" (Hebrew ahab) and its related words cover the full range of meanings the English word "love" has, including love for God (Ex. 20:6; Ps. 40:16) and the love God has for His people (Deut. 7:13; Hos. 3:1). The New Testament also uses the Hebrew word chesed specifically for the covenant love the Lord has for His people, referring to His steadfastness or loyalty.

In the New Testament the primary Greek verbs expressing the concept of love are agapao, loving as an act of will, and phileo, loving as a response to a person or object. In the synoptic Gospels, one notes that the primary use of the word "love" is with regard to the great commandment (Matt. 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:26-28).
Love is possibly only because the believer has responded in faith to God's saving act in the death and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 5:8).

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Justice

Justice is founded in the being of God and is an extension of His holiness. God is shown to be a sure defender of the poor and the oppressed (Ps. 10:17-18; Jer. 9:23-24). The Psalms base justice on God's role as the sovereign creator of the universe (Ps. 99:1-4), so the idea extends beyond the nation of Israel (Ps. 9:7-9); (Dan. 4:27). In view of God's concern for the poor and the weak, a corresponding quality is expected from God's people (Deut 10:18-19).  When they properly carry out justice, they are agents of divine will (Is. 59:15-16; 2 Cor. 9:8-10). God's demand for justice is so central that other responses to Him are empty  or diminished if they exist without it (Amos 5:21-24; Mic. 6:6-8; Matt 23:23). Paul (primarily in Romans) uses the language of justice to describe God's work of salvation as he expounds the righteousness of God.

Judgement

In the Old Testament  God appears frequently in the role of "Judge of all the earth" (Gen. 18:25), or more generally the "God of justice" (Mal. 2:17). Judgement implies not only an unbiased weighting of good and evil, but also vigorous action against evil. It is because of this understanding that the people of God are summoned to exercise judgement in turn (Is. 1:17; Zech. 8:16). It is a strongly personal notion, closely linked to God's characteristics of mercy, lovingkindness, righteousness and truth.
The New Testament continues to stress judgement as part of God's nature and essential activity (Rom. 1:18; Heb. 12:23; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:23; Rev. 16:5). His judgements are not confined to the future but are already at work in the present age (John 8:50; Rom. 1:18,22,24,26,28; Rev. 18:8). Judgement is associated even now with Christ, who exercises the Father's judgements.

Mercy

Just as strong as the judgement is the Bible's recognition of God's mercy. By His grace. God extends help and forgiveness to sinners who deserve only condemnation, as well as practical help to those are suffering under life's burdens. God shows compassion toward those who have broken the law (Dan. 9:9; 1 Tim. 1:13,-16),  although such mercy is selectively bestowed upon the undeserving (Rom. 9:14-18). God's mercy extends beyond withheld punishment (Eph. 2:4-6) to include the blessings of salvation.

Jesus showed mercy toward the afflicted when He healed them, as in the case of the blind men (Matt. 9:27-31; 20:29-34) and lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Jesus was modeling the behavior He expects from His followers: because God is merciful, He expects us to be merciful as well.

 Matt 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

 James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Truth

The Hebrew idea of truth is generally associated with constancy, permanence, faithfulness, and reliability. God above all is true, that is, real and reliable (Is. 56:16; Jer. 10:10); His people are to seek God's truth (ps. 25:5; 51:6; 86;11) and judge truly. The lack of truth is lamented (Is. 59:14-15; Zech. 8:16).
For the Hebrews, truth was basically moral and relational, not simply intellectual. For the Greeks, the emphasis of truth was intellectual rather than a matter of trust or reliance. The new Testament usage draws on both understandings. The word is found mainly in Paul's writings and in John's Gospel and letters. John builds on the understanding that God is true or real (John 3:33; 7:28). Christ reveals God and thus reveals truth (John 8:26, 40; 18:37). Christ is full of grace and truth (John 1:14-17), He is "the truth" (John 14:6; see John 1:9; 15:1), and He sends the Spirit of truth.

† John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Paul teaches that truth is to be obeyed (Rom. 2:8; Gal. 5:7), that it proves reliable (2 Cor. 7:14; 11:10), and that its opposite is malice and evil (1 Cor. 5:8).

John 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and danger.

The Greek idea of truth as correct knowledge appears most clearly in Paul's pastoral letters. One is to know the truth (1 Tim. 4:3; 2 Tim. 2:25) and avoid false beliefs (2 Tim. 2:18; 4:4).

† 2 Timothy 4:1-4
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

 

Holiness

In Hebrew, to be holy primarily means to be separate form the ordinary or profane. God is holy, and people. things, and actions may be holy by association with God. Psalms and Isaiah frequently refer to God as the Holy One (Ps. 78:41, 89:18; Is. 1:4; 5:19; 30:15). Places where God appeared and was customarily worshipped were also holy (see Gen. 28:11-22; Ex. 3:5).

The temple in Jerusalem was the most holy place in Israel because God's presence dwelled there (1 Kings 8:10,11); consequently, persons and things relating to the temple were holy (Lev. 22:27). Israel itself was a holy nation (Ex. 19:; Lev. 19:2; Deut. 7:6) because the Lord set it apart for His purposes.

The New Testament reaffirms the ideas of holiness found in Judaism. God, the temple, and the law are all holy. The physical temple is deemphasized because Gentle Christians had moved away from the practice of Judaism and because the temple was destroyed in A>D> 70, but the temple occurs as a metaphor for Christian holiness (1 Cor. 3:17, 6:19). God is  addressed as "Holy Father" by Jesus (John 17:11), praised in heaven by the threefold "holy" of Isaiah (Is. 6:3; Rev. 4:6-10), and addressed by the petition of the Lord's Prayer, "Hallowed be Your name" (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2).

Missions 

God has always used His people to proclaim His mighty deeds and saving grace. The nation of Israel was to declare the goodness of God to the Gentiles so that they might enter into covenant with God. The Book of Isaiah is filled with declarations regarding the salvation of the Gentiles (Is. 11:10; 42:6; 49:6; 60:11).
It was not until the advent of the church that the good news of God's salvation in Christ was being proclaimed widely in the world. Jesus commands His people to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

 Mark 16:15-18
He said to them, " Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hans; and when they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

It is through "the foolishness of the message preached" (1 Cor. 1:21) that people are drawn to faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is of God, but He uses His people as means by which He saves sinners.

 1 Corinthians 1:21
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

 

 

FAITHFULNESS
Faithfulness describes the dependability, loyalty, and stability of God, particularly in relation to His people. God's faithfulness in keeping His word is a consistent theme in the Bible. Faithfulness is also something that God's people are to demonstrate in their relationship with Him.

LOVE
Love is both an attribute of God and an essential part of His nature. Lovingkindness is another term used throughout the Old Testament to refer to the loyal esteem and favor God has toward His covenant people. In the New testament the two main terms used for love refer to the positive regard God has for His Son and His people, and to the affection of brothers and friends toward each other.

 
 

JUSTICE
When the Bible refers to the justice of God it means that God is honorable in His treatment to people. All of His decisions are righteous and true. God requires that His people also deal justly in all situations of life. (Micah 6:8). God's actions in the Bible give us the pattern by which we can make right decisions.

JUDGEMENT
God is the Judge of all the universe. He judges according to His standard of Law as revealed in the Bible. Judgement can refer either to the process of determining guilt or innocence or to the punishment given out to those who fall under God's wrath.

 
 
MERCY

Mercy is seen in God's compassion toward the suffering and Hos willingness to restore those whose own sins have separated them from Him. God sovereignly determines to extend mercy by withholding punishment from sinners and restoring them to fellowship with Himself. God also exhibits His mercy through His providence, such as healing and rescue from danger. God expects us to show mercy to others as well.

TRUTH

The Biblical concept regarding truth is not conformity to an external standard but faithfulness or reliability. Concerning God, of course, faithfulness or reliability is not measured by any external standard; the standard of God Himself.
 
 
 

HOLINESS
God is holy, separate from His creation by His very nature, To be holy literally means to be cut off or separate, and denotes apartness, the separation of a person or thing from the common or profane to divine use.

MISSONS
God uses His people to proclaim His Word to those outside His covenant. By this proclamation those He has elected unto salvation come to faith on Him. Israel was to proclaim His goodness and today the church is commanded to go into all the world and proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ.

 
 
 

 

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