I recently attended the second meeting ever of Christians at UMHB, a small campus ministry in Belton, TX. What a joy it was to be with these students! This group’s vision is to have a time each week where all Christians at their school (regardless of denomination or ministry affiliation), can come together and practice 1 Cor. 14:26. I’m a long-time friend of one of the officers. He told me that most Bible studies people attended there were mainly one man speaking or watching a video of one man speaking, with everyone else simply listening and taking notes, and possibly talking about their struggles with sin afterward. (This is an unfortunate repeat of most Christian’s Sunday morning.) Their mission to help bring all the Christian students at their school into function has been really encouraging.
However, it’s not necessarily an easy transition to make. To all the sudden go from expecting to receive in a meeting, to being expected to give in a meeting is hard. Knowing that, we fellowshipped and they asked me and some others to take them through the Divine Romance in the Bible this semester. Our thoughts were that this would provide spiritual food to eat, help them see the Bible in a whole new way, as well as give these students time to develop their own functioning.
The first week, I spoke on Isa. 54:5 to introduce the Biblical theme of the Divine Romance.
“Your Maker is your Husband.”
This verse clearly shows how God primarily views His relationship with man. Clearly man is God’s creation, He being the Creator. Christians are God’s servants as well as His many sons (Rom. 8:29), God being Master and Father. Because God is so vastly immense He is so many things to His people, and thus His people can be rightly identified as so many different things as well. (Priests, co-kings, and spiritual warriors just to name a few more.) Our view of His elect could be any of these things and they would be correct. But when God views His chosen people, the Church, primarily He sees His wife. (See The Divine Romance – God, the Bible, and the Church)
My good friend Gary Schroeder spoke the second week, and said something that has stuck with me.
“The entire Bible can be summed up in one verse.”
Any guesses on what that verse might be?… I’ll give you some hints. It’s not written in red (i.e. the words of Christ in the Gospels). It’s not found in the epistles of Paul. It’s not even in the New Testament. If you want to understand any book you simply have to read the introduction. For the Bible that’s Genesis 1-2.
Without further ado, it’s Gen. 2:18. Especially the second-half:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
You may not be that impressed, but this verse really does sum up the entire Bible. Let me explain.
- Gen. 1:26 says that Adam is made in the image of God.
- Col. 1:15 says that Christ is the image of the invisible God.
- And Rom. 5:14 says that Adam is a type of Christ who was to come.
What does this mean? By implication, what is said of Adam can also be said of Christ. If Adam is in the image of God, Christ is the image of God, and Adam is a type of Christ, then what is true of Adam must be a shadow of what is true of Christ (specifically before sin enters the scene in Genesis 3).
When God says it’s not good for man to be alone, by implication, it’s true that it is not good for God to be alone. Adam in the image of God desired a suitable counterpart for himself. This could only mean that God also desires a suitable counterpart for Himself. God is not only loving but IS love, and that love needs an object. Of course the Three of the Trinity have co-existed from eternity and there is love shared among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this sense God has never been alone and has an object of love.
What I am NOT saying is that God is “needy,” in the sense that He is not perfect and complete in Himself. What I am saying is that God is love so much so that He desired to include someone else in it. To overflow that love to His chosen people made in His image, and thus to have a suitable counterpart for Himself that matches Him in every way.
The bear, elephant, and hippopotamus could never be Adam’s counterpart and it is ludicrous to think they ever could be. They simply don’t have the same life. Although dog is man’s best friend, a dog will never be a “suitable helper” for man in the sense of Gen. 2:18. In the same way, man could never be God’s counterpart as he was naturally created. They must have the same life. Man must receive the divine, uncreated, eternal life of God in order to match Him. (See Zoe Life Part 1 & 2)
Unfortunately in Genesis 3 Adam fell and was cut off from the tree of life. And so it begins… The rest of the Bible is a love story. One in which God preserves His chosen people until the appointed time (the Old Testament), in which He is incarnated to redeem and regenerate them with the divine life (the Gospels and Acts), to then transform and build them together as His Body and Bride (the Epistles), until she is ultimately prepared and presented to Him at the wedding feast of the Lamb (Revelation).
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” – Revelation 19:7
If you had to summarize the bible in one verse, which one would you choose?