The Natural Divisions of the Bible

III.  The Natural Divisions of the Bible
        A.  The Old Testament
              1.  It's purpose is to lead to the coming of Christ
              2.  The Messianic thread of hope runs through the entire 
                    Old Testament
              3.  The Prophetic hope of the coming Messiah can be read
                    through the Old Testament and lead one to find the
                    Messiah of promise
        B.  The Gospels
              1.  Their purpose is to lead a person to believe that Jesus
                    is the Christ
              2.  The Gospels reveal Christ to us
              3.  The four books in this division are Matthew, Mark, Luke and
                    John and may be considered as biographies of the life of Christ
              4.  The first Gospel, Matthew, begins with the birth of Christ 
              5.  There is enough evidence in these four accounts to convince
                    a person that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Old
              6.  Matthew makes his appeal that Jesus is the Christ and makes
                   extensive use of Old Testament prophecy to confirm his claim
              7.  Mark, the shortest of the Gospels, begins with the ministry of
                   John as Jesus comes from Nazareth in Galilee to be immersed
                   in the Jordon River
              8.  Luke, who also wrote the book of Acts, addresses his treatise
                   to his friend, Theophilus, 'so that he might know the exact truth
                   about the things' he had been taught [Luke 1:1-4]
              9.  John in his Gospel gives sufficient proof that Jesus is the Christ
                   and states that more proof could have been given if that had
                   been necessary [John 20:30-31]
        C.  The Acts of the Apostles  
              1.  The book of Acts tells a person how to become a Christian 
              2.  This book appears in the Bible in the logical order
              3.  When a person believes that Jesus is the Christ, he will want
                    to become a follower of Christ
              4.  This book tells the reader exactly how to become a Christian
              5.  Acts gives specific examples of the different steps of salvation
              6.  It is the only book in the Bible that tells a person how to
                   become a Christian 
                   a)  Acts 2 - The first gospel sermon answering the question, 
                        'Brethren, what shall we do?'
                   b)  Acts 8 - The message proclaimed to those of Samaria
                        as well as one from Ethiopia
                   c)  Acts 9, 22, & 26 - The three accounts detailing the
                         conversion of Saul, who later would be known as
                         the Apostle Paul
                   d)  Acts 16 - The gospel is received by Lydia and her household
                         as well as a jailor from Philippi along with his household
        D.  The Letters or Epistles
              1.  This grouping contains the New Testament books from Romans
                     through Jude
              2.  These writings teach a person how to live the Christian life
              3.  If one becomes a Christian, as the early believers did in Acts,
                   then he will want to know how to live faithfully for Christ
              4.  These books provide sufficient instruction for Godly living
              5.  The Epistles can be summarized by II Peter 1:1-11
        E.  The Revelation to John
              1.  The purpose of this book is to encourage the Christian to be
                    faithful to Christ unto death
              2.  There are times when the Christian way is hard, dark and
              3.  There is rest for the weary, joy for the sorrowing, peace for the
                    persecuted and a reward for the faithful at the end of life
              4.  The Christian must endeavor to be true to God at all times
                    until time ends
              5.  The Christian will have aches, pains, heartaches and troubles,
                    but he should take courage in the fact that God is with him
                    and will never leave or forsake him
              6..  The Christian who remains faithful unto death has an eternal
                     home with God reserved not only for him but for all who are
                     overcomers to the very end