How to identify the Promised Deliverer — Insight #5

This series gives an inside view on the structure of By This Name and how it breaks through confusion in our diverse society, bringing clarity to the message of the gospel.

As we read the Bible chronologically, we learn more and more about God as he reveals additional details about himself. This is known as progressive revelation. This is also true about the Promised Deliverer—the Saviour—that God said he would send. By This Name follows Scripture’s historical narrative and builds an increasing comprehensive portrait of the Promised Deliverer as the story unfolds.

For example, take the account of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin (Genesis 3). Here, we see God’s promise to provide the One who would rescue mankind from the consequences of sin.

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NIV)

From this passage, we learn just a little about the Promised Deliverer, summarized in the table on page 73.

btn-table-73Later on, Yahweh reveals that all nations will be blessed through the offspring of Abraham and his son (Gen 22:15-18). The table on page 135 adds rows with two more facts about the Promised Deliverer. btn-table-135As readers progress through By This Name, they will see that what started off as scant details about the Promised Deliverer begins filling out to an ever-narrowing description that paints a picture of a very specific man. Readers feel a growing sense of excitement and anticipation. They can sense God’s plan coming to fruition!

Benefit 1: When Jesus is finally introduced, his credibility as the Promised One has been fully established.

Working through the book in this way, the reader will be exposed to a series of tables containing specific facts—prophetic details—about the Saviour. At the point of Jesus’ birth, it will be crystal clear that Jesus Christ is the Promised Deliverer, the very One God spoke about right in the garden of Eden. This is not a random baby. This baby Jesus fulfills all the prophetic details that God provided all those years ago! See the table on Page 228.btn-table-228

Benefit 2: The reader sees for himself that Yahweh is a God who makes and keeps his promises.

The major religions of the world lack a promise-keeping God. Leading readers to discover the identity of the Promised Deliverer through God’s progressive revelation also helps the reader see that God keeps his promises. The journey of revelation shows that although a long time might have passed, God is a faithful God who keeps his word. Importantly, this understanding gives readers the confidence that they can indeed trust Yahweh and the Deliverer that he sent—Jesus—for salvation.

This special architecture gleaned from the way Scripture progressively reveals truth and details, is built into the narrative of By This Name.

By This Name Insight Series

#1: Why use the name Yahweh?
#2: Why focus on Egyptian religion?
#3: Using tables to contrast God’s way and man’s way
#4: Why talk about other “gods”?
#5: How to identify the Promised Deliverer?
#6: Why deal with syncretism when sharing the gospel?
#7: Why talk about prophecy when sharing the gospel?
#8: Why use the concept of a global classroom?

Author: David Cross

Curriculum development manager and staff writer at GoodSeed's International Office.