(blog series part 1 here)
Joy Fuel #1 – The way we learn the Scripture should be Christo-centric
When we open the Bible we open ourselves to the Christian Scriptures. The OT may have been written in Hebrew and the NT in Greek, but all of it is Christian. Genesis is just as Christian as is the Gospel of John. Christ is in the first chapter of the Bible just as much as he is in the beginning of John 1. We should not wait to think of or speak of Christ till Matt 1:1.
“If you leave out Christ, you have left the sun out of the day, and the moon out of the night, you have left the waters out of the sea, and the floods out of the river, you have left the harvest out of the year, the soul out of the body, you have left joy out of heaven, you robbed all of it’s all. There is no gospel worth thinking of, much less worth proclaiming, if Jesus be forgotten. We must have Jesus as Alpha and Omega…” (C. H. Spurgeon).
When we are Christo-centric in our learning of Scripture we will keep our focus on him in
our sharing the Gospel. If questions or objections come at us from every direction, we will keep pointing the unbeliever to Christ. They do not need a better argument. They need Christ. For example, if an atheist wants to keep saying he doesn’t believe God exist, then no worries. Tell him of Christ. What he needs most is not more evidence. He needs Christ.
If Muslim wants to keep saying the Quran does not allow for Christ to be the son of Allah, then no worries. Tell him of Christ all the more. What he needs most is not more debate about this or that. He needs the loveliness of Christ. The Quran names Jesus Christ far more that it does Mohammed. That should make any Muslim deeply curious about Jesus. Lead them to want to dwell long on thoughts of Christ in the Gospels. The Quran says so.
With Spurgeon can learn to say, “From every text of Scripture there is a road to Christ. And my dear brother, your business is, when you get to a text, to say, now, what is the road to Christ? I have never found a text that did not have a road to Christ in it.” Without a long focus on Christ our thots on the OT will likely fit in a synagogue as well as in a church.
Christ is the I AM come in the flesh. Christ is Yahweh himself in our midst. Thus, when we read the OT we should not think of it as containing some predictions about Messiah. It is that, but much more. Yahweh’s name is mentioned over 6,800 times in the OT. Those are 6,800 mentions of the I AM, the triune God who reveals himself to man in the Son Yahweh. The Father we can only know through the Son in both the OT and the NT. We can have fellowship with Father, Son, Spirit, but only because of the Son. He is the One of Yahweh triune who embodies and presents their blessed charity of Persons to us all through.
He comes to us not only as Savior. He comes as Sovereign Savior. He comes as Redeemer who is the Everlasting Ruler. He comes not only as Eternal Priest. He is true Melchizedek, the priestly King and the kingly Priest. The whole of Scripture is The Christ Epic. Like Aragorn we may see him in shadow form early on (Strider), but later he appears in brilliant light, the King in his beauty. He has always been the King. He is King now. He rules in covenant love.
King. Creation. Conflict. Cross/Resurrection. Kingdom
(covenants . . . . . . . New Covenant . . . . . )
> the Christ Epic <
The Gospel we proclaim is not a ticket to the after life. The Gospel we proclaim announces that Iesous Kurios, Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord over Target. He is Lord over Wade Hampton Boulevard. He is Lord over South Carolina, Lord over the US. He is Lord over London, Lord over Mecca, Lord over Tokyo, Lord over Berlin. Jesus is Lord over Heaven and earth.
When our minds and hearts are soaked with the Visio Christi (vision of Christ) across all the Scripture we will surprise ourselves with how easily we bubble over with talk of Christ to anyone, family, friends, a stranger or whomever he brings across our path.