2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The Bible is one single story broken up over 66 books, two testaments, and thousands of years of history. The focal point of the story is Jesus — the hero whose death and resurrection saves all who believe in Him. See Jesus Christ — and the salvation God offers through Him — is the one supreme subject that binds it all together.

Too often, though, we read the Bible as though it were a disjointed collection of self-help tips or theological nuggets. This shouldn’t be the case. Rather, when we know where a text fits into God’s big picture, we can zoom in and truly understand the details. For this, we need biblical theology.

As we zoom out and look at God’s big picture, we can see how a given passage points us to Jesus as well as teaches us something about the original audience and people in the story. This is vital for properly reading, interpreting, and teaching Scripture.

If we want to know the meaning of any given passage of Scripture, we must consider where it fits in God’s great plan and how it contributes to it. We need the big picture in order to understand Scripture, and biblical theology will enable you to get your bearings when you land in any part of it.

To help us move forward I want you to be aware that the Bible can be broken up into eight sections:

Old Testament:

The pattern of the kingdom

The perished kingdom

The promised kingdom

The partial kingdom

The prophesied kingdom

New Testament:

The present kingdom

The proclaimed kingdom

The perfected kingdom

The climax is Christ’s work on the cross, which unites people to God and will usher them into the perfected kingdom at the end of time.