In light of the fact that God created man a rational being, it is logical to conclude that God would want mankind to have knowledge of Him. Foremost in our concern of that knowledge would be what requirements God has for man.
It is fair to ask if God has any requirements at all. That is, whether He created the universe and man, and then simply let them loose to run throughout time on their own while He sat back and watched. In fact, there are some people who say that very thing. They are known as Deists.
God has revealed His plan for mankind.
He has shown in progressively clearer and ever more detailed ways who He is, and what it is that He desires. He has had people live out their lives as examples, each one showing a different aspect or fuller view of God's complete plan. He has provided an account of these things in the Bible.
In the Bible the lives of these people, and the acts and edicts of God, are recorded for all succeeding generations to see and gain understanding.
As previously covered in the discussion of religion, the central element in this revelation was the need for the sacrifice of a life to atone for or "cover" sin. Sin which kept man apart from a sinless and holy God.
Some of the Bible accounts illustrating this include:
Adam and Eve - After they had committed their sin, they covered themselves with leaves. God showed that more than a plant was needed to cover up their sin. God replaced the plant coverings with the skins of animals to give Adam and Eve a "cover" for their nakedness before Him. (Genesis 3)
Cain and Abel - Cain offered plants, Abel offered animals. God accepted Abel's sacrifice and rejected Cain's. (Genesis 4)
God gave Moses the Law in which was set forth the Day of Atonement- On the set day each year, the high priest went into the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle and sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice upon the Mercy Seat. So each year the sacrifice was made to cleanse the people of their sins from the previous year.
In the Old Testament the Bible records the Law. There it contains rules of life and the requirements given by God for the sacrifice which was to be done every year on the Day of Atonement to remove the sins of the people. Following on through the Old Testament the prophets revealed how God would provide a man who would be perfect and without sin to redeem His people from the penalty of sin.
The New Testament reveals that man to us. Not just a man, but God Himself, Jesus Christ. The Gospels tell us how Jesus came and announced Himself, and then offered Himself on the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. They also reveal His resurrection from the dead, the proof that all He had said was true. After His resurrection, and His ascension into heaven to take His rightful place at the right hand of God, He sent the Holy Spirit into the world in His place.
Jesus went to the cross, taking upon Himself the sins of mankind. (Ephesians 2) The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers to show that what was done in the Old Testament was a type, that is, a symbol of what Jesus would do for those who put their faith in Him. It explains clearly how Jesus fulfilled perfectly those things required in the Old Testament laws.
It tells us that after Jesus offered Himself on the cross He entered into the Heavenly Temple. As the perfect High Priest who Himself was without sin, He there poured His own blood upon the Mercy Seat. This sacrifice met the need to once and for all time cleanse those of us who believe in Him of all of our sins. (Hebrews 9)
He then chose the Apostle Paul. Paul was to be the one to explain all of these things to us in this completed state. The things which were revealed to Him by the Glorified and Risen Christ.
There is one book which the person interested in knowing the truth regarding religion should know. That book is the Book of ROMANS. Most questions raised by honest searchers pertaining to God, man and salvation are explained in this book. (Of course this means in the context of knowing the whole Bible!)
It is the book of Romans which was the key element in sparking the Reformation. Martin Luther felt this book was so important that it should be memorized by every Christian.
In order to truly understand Christianity one must know this book.
The closing chapter on Revelation is The Revelation of Jesus to John the Apostle. In this, the last book of the Bible is recorded the things which will come to bring about the completion of God's dealings with His creation and with man.
Not until Christ returns will there be more to know and be said.