Memorizing Bible Versus

The Gospel, Theology

Everyone knows that the best scene in the movie is always the fight scene.  Rocky vs. Apollo, Luke vs. Darth, Gandalf vs. The Balrog… there is just something about direct conflict that resonates with us.  The Bible is no stranger to epic throw-downs.  Sometimes, as in the conflicts of Cain vs. Abel or Herod vs. John, the battle doesn’t go the way we would have hoped.  Other times such as with David vs. Goliath or Elijah vs. the prophets of Baal we rejoice to see the forces of God driving back the ranks of evil.

While there are many such battles recorded in the Bible, they are all just small skirmishes in a larger war which provides an organizing  lens through which to view these more localized attacks.  The first strike in this meta-war occurred when the ancient Serpent enticed God’s image-bearers to break ranks and disobey a direct order of their King.  This led to a declaration of war in Genesis 3:15, wherein it was promised that the Seed of the woman would go forward as the champion for the forces of good.  He would not emerge unwounded, but He would claim skull-crushing victory.  The subsequent events of Biblical history record the progress of this struggle, as the armies of death rage against God’s chosen people and seek to stomp them out whenever possible.  Yet again and again God’s people are shown that the battle belongs to the Lord, and though they may be weak and often unfaithful to His call, He will not be mocked.  In the fullness of time, God’s Champion is sent out to strike the victory blow- not by means of brute strength or worldly glory, but through the courageous humility of a deeper love.  The Lion of Judah becomes the Passover Lamb, and Death shrivels up and withers away in the brighter light of  Resurrection.

Victory has been declared, but the enemy still swings wildly as he clutches his mortal wounds and spits out hate at the triumph of the Lamb.  Our king will return for us.  Until then we continue to fight His war, rejoicing as we see captives set free from the ranks of the Evil One and enlisted under the Banner of the one they once despised.  While the fighting goes on, the war is over; as it truly was decided the moment that our God (who cannot lie) promised His deliverance in that ancient Garden.  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56, ESV)

So while I’m a big fan of memorizing Bible verses, let’s not forget to memorize Bible versus.  Seeing the war-story behind the sword drills and the systematics will help us understand how every part of the Bible fits into this larger picture: God rescues sinners through the life, death and resurrection of His Son- for our good and His glory.  Or to put it another way… in this battle, Jesus wins.

(By: Nicolas Alford)

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