Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It really is - All About Christ

Whether it is a result of my recent studies in Biblical Theology or simply a conviction gained simply by reading scripture I have found lately that there seems to be an excessive amount of preaching and preaching instruction on application. I am not saying that there is no application in scripture as I do see all of scripture leading to some form of application. What I am saying is that all too often the scriptures are put forth as a book of instruction instead of one about Christ.

I do not know if you have ever heard Bible used as an acronym – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth – with the result the Bible is seen more as a user manual than a book about the creator of the universe. Again, this does not negate that the Bible will promote application but what I think we need to see is that the Bible is not a book about application but is a book that brings about application.

It is our standing with Christ which allows us even to apply what we read in God’s word. If the bible is given as one of instruction then the listener may be inclined to seek after the next thing to do rather than realize it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that any work at all can be done.

As I read about preaching the one thing that seems to be promoted the most is to preach sermons that are applicable to the audience. We should preach understandable sermons but if we simply give instructions about how to save money or have good marriages we will have accomplished nothing if the source the ability to have those things is overlooked. So I would say we need to revive preaching that is Christ centered and then the application that is revealed is then able to be based on Christ rather than simply being a how-to sermon.

I had the privilege of preaching this week on John 19:25-42 entitled - Its All About Christ - and sought to make sure that all I did was focused on Christ rather than man. How successful I was I am not sure but I do know that from now on my preaching needs to first focus on Christ and then move from there to where the text leads. My fear is that in the effort to be relevant we, including myself, have made the Bible to be about man and not about Christ.

I want to make sure I am understood and that is I do believe that we do need to apply what we read and hear from scripture. But, this application has to come from a heart changed and controlled by Christ. So we simply need to remember that scripture Is All About Christ!

3 comments:

RevyRev said...
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RevyRev said...

My friend who visited noted that he saw it as strange that the main point of your message was "all about Christ". We had a good conversation about this.

It seems to take time for some people to get this. But I agree with your concern.

My concern is that if we talk about application without bringing it into the glory of Christ in the gospel people try to apply it without reliance on the Holy Spirit.

One aspects to what it means to walk in the Spirit in walking in repentance of sin and faith / reliance on Christ to help live out obedience. If you give someone a command and do not make it all about Christ people will be tempted just to apply it without reliance on Christ. if that is so, they are walking in the flesh.

So the most important part of application is saying it, and showing it, such that people are drawn to trust and rely on Jesus in their application.

Tony, i think your right on the money. If application is given without Christ being the central figure we may be baiting people to either to

1) Do works in the flesh,
2) feel this "Law" is burdensome and be incapacitated
3) disregard application even if it is Biblical and sin of omission not to act.

Tony said...

Thanks Dave:

My struggle is that in an effort to be praticle we are not being Biblical. I realize that we need to make sure we do not go so far in the other direction. Thus the scriptures begin to be seen as not being applicable to us and I do not want that as they are.

The issue is that application with out Christ as the source of the power to apply is simply empty works.

Hope that makes sense.