Unified, Consistent, & Coherent Scripture: The Will and Mercy of God

The Bible is comprised of sixty-six books. It was written by approximately forty different authors over the span of 1500 plus years. The diversity of the authors ranges from shepherds to kings, all from different tribes and nations. There is over 2,000 miles between some of the locations in which the books were written.  Despite all these factors, the Bible offers a unified and coherent message throughout the entirety of scripture. It focuses on one theme: That there is a God and that He has provided redemption for His creation, ultimately through the death of Jesus Christ. Regardless of writer, location, time or topic, the Bible offers a consistent viewpoint throughout its various phases. For example, when considering the will and mercy of God, one can examine scripture and find these topics revealed throughout His creation, within His grace for fallen man, in His provided redemption, and His ultimate goal for our restoration.

The very first words found in the Bible are “In the beginning God created.” (Gen 1:1) Etzel and Small remind us in their book, Everyday Theology that, “the word of God—his voice—is powerful enough to create everything that you can see, hear, and touch. The fact that there is a God, who is the creator of the universe, is presupposed from the very first verse to the very last, regardless of the author that wrote it. Millard J. Erickson explains, “The whole of what exists was begun by God’s act of bringing it into existence- he did not fashion and adapt something that already existed independently of him.”  Furthermore, God’s creation -specifically man, whom He awarded dominion, sinned and fell short of His intended glory. This irreversible separation from God’s will required a sacrifice to amend, one that humanity was not capable of producing. So, the Lord sent himself as a source of redemption for His fallen creation. He sacrificed himself so that humanity could be saved and will one day restore His creation back to His original intention.

The will of God can be seen throughout the Bible within creation, the fall, redemption, and final restoration. Consider an infinite being, forever existing, in the vastness of nothing… sounds lonely right? Now consider creating something before anything ever existed, simply out of love. Something that was created solely to love and be loved by, something to attend to and be attended by. It is hard to imagine such power, or even such intention, but that is precisely what God did. His will has always been, and still is, to live in harmony with His creation. He created man uniquely, in His own image, with the attributes of His character so that man can have dominion over His creation and glorify His name. Humanity is intended to represent God on earth. When Adam sinned against God and ate the forbidden fruit God’s will for His creation did not change- His creation did. Adams sin forever separated humanity from righteousness, which just so happens to be a requirement of God’s will. Considering that everything was created by Him, God could have just as easily snapped His fingers and created something more compatible than man, simply by starting over. However, God did not do this. Instead, He reveals His will by allowing humanity to go on. He enforces this will consistently throughout scripture. For example, God makes a covenant to Abraham that all nations will be blessed through him. (Gen. 22:18) Signifying that there was still hope for humanity. He also delivers the Israelites from bondage and guides them into the holy land, allowing them to become an independent, holy nation. (Exodus 12) Again, an opportunity for the representation of God within creation to be present.  Again, humanity fails. Israel strays from God for the pursuit of power, riches and false deities.  Finally, despite the shortcomings of man, God sends His creation a final solution for the problem of sin   -preserving His will. He provides an opportunity to redeem humanity through the death of Jesus Christ so that we may someday be reunited in perfect harmony with Him. The Bible says that, “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) One day, according to scripture God will return and rebuild His perfect world according to His holy desire and His perfect will. He will restore His creation back to its original design and purpose. Ultimately residing with His creation, as originally intended, for eternity- the will of God. Humanities relationship with God is entirely dependent on the will of God. Humanity cannot escape God’s will, nor can any individual. Because humanity is created by God, it will forever be subjected to God’s will. Luckily, we were created by a Holy God who works all things for His glory. His will works toward maintaining and building His relationship with man rather than destroying it. “Not only is God in control, but He is also directing matters according to the goodness and graciousness of His character” – Millard J. Erickson.

 Similarly, the mercy of God is also an attribute consistent throughout the four phases of scripture. Gods shows His mercy during creation when He created mercy as a characteristic of man. By making man in His image, reflecting His character, one can conclude that man is merciful, because God is merciful. However, nothing can truly compare to the mercy of the Lord. He shows His mercy during the fall by not destroying Adam and Eve after they had sinned. (Gen 3) He shows his mercy to Noah, when He spares his family from the flood. (Gen 6) He shows His mercy on Abraham, and spares Isaac. (Gen 22) He shows mercy on Israel and delivers their nation from bondage. (Exodus) He continues to show His mercy in the New Testament through the life and death of Jesus Christ. He will again show His mercy on humanity by restoring creation and allowing man’s redemption- something undeserved by all. (Rev. 21) Humanities relationship with God directly corresponds with Gods mercy. Without the mercy of God, man would be incapable of ever maintaining a relationship with our Holy creator. Humanity has sinned and therefore deserve to be separated from holiness. It is through God’s mercy that humanity has the opportunity to obtain salvation. Gods mercy is ultimately found in Christ, for without Christ’s death, humanities relationship with the Holy Creator would be founded in death- the payment for sin. It is through God’s mercy and the hope found in Christ, (an example of God’s mercy) that humanity has a chance to live. “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  (Romans 10:9)

In conclusion, there is no other book as coherent and consistent than the Holy Bible. Despite the differences in time, authorship, location, and class, the Bible never contradicts itself and offers consistency throughout, regardless of the doctrine that you choose to examine. The Bible’s message is unified and never redirects its overall view- which is that there is a God who loves and created the world and despite humanities inadequacies, offers us redemption through Christ. The attributes and examples of His character have been recorded in detail, in this holy, consistent, unified, and perfect book- The Holy Bible. 

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