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What Is At Stake

What is at stake when we fail to adopt, understand, and practice a redemptive-historical perspective of Scripture in our reading, interpreting, and teaching of God’s Word?

I have highlighted on this blog how an impoverished reading of the text will result in misapplying the Bible, misunderstanding the proper relationship between the two testaments, and ultimately miss out on how Christ is the fulfillment of all of Scripture. However, there is a greater danger if we fail to understand and practice a redemptive-historical hermeneutic in our thinking and living. If we fail to take seriously the Bible’s own hermeneutic, then we fail to rightly glorify Christ. Let me explain.

1.) As the true man who accomplishes God’s purposes, Jesus is granted the title as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36; cf., Heb 2:5ff). As the king he reserves the right to judge both great and small and in him all things find their restoration. Paul is quite clear that all things will be made subject to Jesus as Lord; things in heaven, earth, and under the earth (Eph 1:10; Col 1:15-18). The pinnacle of history is Christ and he is the fixed reference point in God’s plan of redemption where all things find their restoration and renewal (Mark 1:14; Gal 4:4; cf., Rom 8:9ff; Phil 3:20-21).

2.) The way in which God revealed this plan of completion and renewal in Christ is found in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus repeatedly makes clear in his ministry that he is the fulfillment of all the promises of restoration and renewal found in the Old Testament (Matt 5:17-20; 12:38-42; 22:41-46; Luke 4:14-21; 24:13-49; John 5:39-47). Aside from the direct references by Jesus, the New Testament writers are aware that Jesus is the pinnacle and fulfillment of God’s purposes as they detail very carefully the numerous ways in which he has fulfilled the Old Testament. If we are truly people of the Spirit then we will preach Christ from all the Scriptures, just as the apostles did, because the Spirit’s work is to testify of Christ (John 15:26-27; cf., Luke 24:32, 44-50; 1 Pet 1:10-12).

3.) If we as Christians believe that in Jesus all things find their proper place and completion then to preach anything less than Jesus from all the Scriptures robs him of his proper place as both Lord and Christ. The glory of our salvation is Christ and the thing that God has prepared for those who love him is Christ. Paul makes this point clear in 1 Corinthians 2:9. The wisdom of God is manifest in Jesus, who is the reward for those who believe. That which God has prepared for those who love him is eternal habitation with Christ for all of eternity. For us not to preach Christ from all of Scripture is to rob him of his glory and give our congregations an incomplete picture of who Jesus is and our eternal reward, which is him.

The implications for not understanding and teaching in a redemptive-historical fashion are devastating. As the church we are partakers of this divine mystery and if we fail to understand who Jesus is from all of Scripture we will inevitably misrepresent the gospel (cf., 1 Cor 15:1-5) and fail to rightly glorify Jesus as both Lord and Savior (cf., Acts 13:40-41; 28:25-28).

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