The Story: The Bible’s Grand Narrative of Redemption, One Year Daily Devotional by Jon Nielson

Have you ever tried reading through the entire Bible, only to bail partway through a huge list of names or a chapter on infectious skin diseases?

The sixty-six books of the Bible may seem pretty different from each other, but they actually tell one story—a story with one Author, one Hero, and one key plotline. (And yes, sometimes skin diseases do play an important part!)

This yearlong, daily study of God’s Word, written for teens and young adults guides you through five acts of his grand story of redemption. Although you won’t read every chapter in the Bible, daily Scripture and devotional readings will equip you to understand the unity and development of God’s story and to grow in your personal discipline of Bible study and prayer.

Read a daily excerpt below:

DAY 365

1 Corinthians 15:1–4

Yesterday, we remembered the first gospel promise of the Bible—the one spoken by God to Adam and Eve after their sinful rebellion against his Word. Today, you read a passage that summarizes the substance of the gospel, which was promised long before. It is, really, the gospel explained. So if someone asks you at some point, “What is the gospel?” you can take him or her to this passage. How does this passage explain the gospel to us?

First, it tells us that the gospel is about Jesus’ sacrificial death. As Paul begins reminding the Corinthians about the gospel—the things “of first importance”— he begins with this: “that Christ died for our sins” (15:3). We need to remember this! Any description of the gospel that does not include Jesus’ death for our sins hasn’t done the job. The gospel tells us how Jesus’ death dealt finally with the sin of God’s people—a sacrificial death for sin. Above all, this is what the cross of Jesus accomplishes; Jesus makes atonement for the sins of all God’s true people, who will repent of sin and trust in him as Savior and Lord.

Second, this passage tells us that the gospel is about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. His death on the cross paid the price for our sins, but it was his resurrection that conquered death forever for all his people. The gospel is about Jesus’ death and his resurrection from the dead. Jesus doesn’t stay dead; his resurrection is God’s proof that his work on the cross was acceptable and effective for lost sinners. Christians serve and follow a risen Savior and Lord; their hope for eternal life is anchored in his resurrection!

Finally, this passage tells us that the gospel is also anchored in God’s Word. Did you notice the phrase that is repeated after each part of Paul’s gospel summary? It’s the phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures.” Paul wants to be clear—everything about the gospel is in line with God’s Word and all his promises to his people. Christ’s death for sin and his resurrection from the dead fulfill God’s Word—including that first gospel promise in the garden of Eden!

Today, thank God for this gospel! Thank him for the good news that Jesus died for your sin and rose from the dead to secure your resurrection and eternal life. Ask God to help you hold on to this gospel with all your strength. It is of first importance!