JESUS, the Center of the Bible

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If we fail to see Jesus as the star of the Bible we will never truly do justice to biblical interpretation. When you open your Bible to read it must be Jesus you’re looking for or else you’ll only produce religion out of your study.

  • Jesus dominates the whole of biblical revelation. Everything and all things centres on him.
  • His human pedigree, his redemptive programme, and His divine person which are revealed in the New Testament historically are revealed in the Old Testament prophetically.
  • Aaron in his priestly office promoted Christ. Heb.5, Moses in Deut. 18:18; David anticipated him is revealed in various scriptures like Psm.110:1
  • That which the Old Testament promises the New Testament presents. That which was needed is now supplied. He who was typified now appears. What is longing in the Old Testament is satisfaction in the new.
  • Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament, presented in the Gospels, proclaimed in Acts and possessed in the Epistles, and predominant in revelation.
  • Christ is the focus of all history. Even our dating system is marked BC (before Christ) and AD (after Christ death).
  • Divine revelation converges in Christ in the Old Testament, and emerges from Him in the New Testament. Both parts of the revelation meet in Him. The one part as preparation and the other is as realization.
  • In Christ God and man meet in the one who is the God-man (2Cor.5:18-19).
  • In the Old Testament the anticipation of redemption was in type and prophecy; in the Gospels we have the accomplishment of it by the death of Christ, in the Acts and Epistles, the application of it to the needs of man, and in Revelation, the achievement of it.
  • The law and the prophets all testified of Jesus. None spoke otherwise.

The Interrelation between the Old and New Testament

  • The Old Testament is preparatory, the New Testament is effective.
  • The first is embodied in the history and literature of a semitic race, and the second is embodied in the history and literature of the Christian Church.
  • Each is represented by a person. Moses – Jesus.
  • Each focuses on an idea – Law and Grace
  • One is characterized by prohibitions and the other by promises. Ex.20.1-17;Jer.31:31-34;Heb.8:6-13
  • The both has mountains. Mount Sinai and Mount Zion.
  • The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament, the Old Testament is unveiled in the New Testament.

Christ (the living word) and the Written Word

  • “His name is called the Word of God” (Rev. 19:13)

They “pressed upon Him to hear the Word of God” (Luke 5:1).

  • The Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

The Gospel of peace (Rom. 10:15).

  • “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way (John 14:6).

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes” (Ps. 119:33).

  • “Full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14).

“All thy commandments are truth” (Ps. 119:151).

  • “A bone of Him shall not be broken” (Jn. 19:36).

“The Scriptures cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35).

  •  “I am the Living Bread … If any man eat of this bread he shall live forever” (Jn. 6:51).

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).

  • “With Thee is a fountain of life” (Ps. 36:9).

“Thy law … is a fountain of life” (Prov. 13:14).

  • “I am the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12).

“Thy word is a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105).

  • “Thou art my lamp, O Lord” (2 Sam. 22:29).

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet” (Ps. 119:105).

  • “I … will be unto her a wall of fire” (Zech. 2:5).

“Is not my word like as a fire” (Jer. 23:29)?

  • “To you who believe He is precious” (1 Pet. 2:7).

“Exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Pet.

  • “His mouth is most sweet” (Song of Songs 5:16).

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste” (Ps. 119:103).

  • “His name shall be called wonderful” (Isa. 9:6).

“Thy testimonies are wonderful” (Ps. 119:129).

  • “Christ, the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:24).

“The Gospel is the power of God” (Rom. 1:16).

  • “Him that is from the beginning” (1 Jn. 2:13).

“Thy word is true from the beginning” (Ps. 119:160).

  • “From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God” (Ps. 90:2).

“Thy testimonies are everlasting” (Ps. 119:144).

  • “The Lord shall endure forever” (Ps. 9:7).

“The word of the Lord endureth forever” (1 Pet. 1:25).

  • “Christ abideth forever” (Jn. 12:34).

“The word of God abideth forever” (1 Pet. 1:23).

  • Christ, “a stumbling Stone” (Rom. 9:33).

“They stumble at thy word” (1 Pet. 2:8).

  • “Abide in me and I in you” (Jn. 15:4).

“If my words abide in you” (Jn. 15:7).

  • “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph. 3:17).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16).

  • “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword” (Rev. 1:16).

“For the word of God is … sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12).

  • “Sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:2).

“Sanctified through the truth” (Jn. 17:19).

  • “The Son therefore shall make you free” (Jn. 8:36).

“The truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32).

Similarities Between Christ and the Bible

  • “Born of God” (1 Jn. 5:18).

“Born … by the word” (1 Pet. 1:23).

  • “Begotten by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3).

“Begotten through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15).

  • “The Son quickeneth whom He will” (Jn. 5:21).

“Thy word hath quickened me” (Ps. 119:50).

  • Christ “healed them” (Matt. 4:24).

“He sent His word and healed them” (Ps. 107:20).

Thus we see very clearly that the Living Word (Jesus) and the Written Word cannot be separated.

 

 

Saved by Grace but Spirituality by Works?

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Paul, the beloved apostle of Grace to us used the book of Galatians to settle a believe system that was plaguing the Galatian Church then but since we today have not taken heed to the Lord through Paul we are still suffering from the same ignorance.

We all believe without reservations that salvation is by grace but turn around to teach that to keep and maintain salvation and to mature and be truly spiritual we must go back under the law. The early Church had this same problem: Acts 15:1-2,5

1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

The contention was that the Gentiles though were saved without the law, now that they are saved must go back to the law. The law that could not save them how will it keep them saved? Beloved, we are saved by Grace and kept by same Grace.

See how the issue was settled: vs 10-11

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

The conclusion was that we should leave the law alone and stay with grace all through our Christian life. See verse 10 and 11 again in other Bible versions.

Acts 15:10-11 The Message (MSG)

10-11 “So why are you now trying to out-god God, loading these new believers down with rules that crushed our ancestors and crushed us, too? Don’t we believe that we are saved because the Master Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us just as he did those from beyond our nation? So what are we arguing about?”

Acts 15:10-11 Living Bible (TLB)

10 And now are you going to correct God by burdening the Gentiles with a yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? 11 Don’t you believe that all are saved the same way, by the free gift of the Lord Jesus?”

The law could not save them so how will it now keep them saved? If we didn’t need the law at salvation we also don’t need it after salvation. What saved us is the only thing that can keep us saved. We began by Grace we continue in Grace, by Grace and through Grace.

The Galatian Church began their Christian walk by Grace and later were bewitched by some religious men to go back to the law. They actually fell from Grace (Gal.5:4). They substituted the law of the spirit of life in Christ with the law of sin and death (Rom.8:2).

Apostle Paul said: Galatians 3:1-5 (KJV)

1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

According to the Holy Spirit, it is foolishness to be saved and Grace and want to be spiritual by going back to the law. Oh! How many foolish friends we have today. We fall from Grace when we want to use the law to justify or mature ourselves no matter how sincere we may be (Gal.5:4).

It is bewitchment to teach people who are saved by Grace to go back to the works of the law. Let’s desist from witchcraft. We weren’t saved by works, we didn’t receive the Holy Spirit or work or receive miracles by the works of the law. It’s Grace from start to finish.

If its true that we are saved by Grace but perfected, matured and spiritual by the works of the law then the following is also true:

  • Then Jesus lied that it is finished (Jn.19:30). He never meant what he said.
  • Then salvation is not perfect, so we have to complete it by our efforts.
  • That means God failed to completely save us. He actually lied that he did.
  • God has to apologize to the Old Testament prophets. The prophets of old saw by revelation the Grace that will be revealed today and they wished they would join us to enjoy it (Jer.31:27-34; 1Pet.1:10-12; Lk.10:24). They knew what wr were going to have was far different so for God to now take us back to the law today, he has to go and apologize for lying to them.
  • Grace is not sufficient. If we say we must bring in the law for any reason we are actually saying Grace is not enough (2Cor.12:9).
  • The Bible is false. The Holy Bible declares over and over that we are fully and perfectly saved (Col.2:10; Gal.3:1-5). If we believe any other thing we are against the integrity of scriptures.
  • We are not really saved. We must go and work for it by strictly keeping the law. It is either we are fully saved or not saved at all, no middle ground.
  • We should have more faith in our works than God.
  • Salvation is not really free, there is a hidden cost
    .
  • Then Salvation by Grace is a bite used to lure people into a life if bondage in works and law
  • The New Testament is not really new just refurbished.

If we insist that even though salvation is freely given by Grace we must work hard to grow in it, then all the above absurdities are completely true.

The work of saving us was well planned and absolutely executed to the last. It was not a half-baked cake, it was fully and completely baked. Man’s effort is not needed at any point. All we are called to do is believe. That’s why we are called believers.

We remain spiritual the same way we got spiritual (saved). God is only pleased by our faith in his son not in our bankrupt efforts (Jn.6:28-29). It is not difficult to please God by works, it is impossible. It’s by faith only that God is pleased – Heb.11:6. Spirituality like salvation is a product of faith not works lest any man should boast (Eph.2:9).