Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

What is the Bible? (Part 2)

What do you look for when you come to a new book?

If the title interests you, you probably want to find out who the author is and where he’s coming from. I guess that’s why those new book jackets get my attention.

Then if you appreciate the author, you’ll also want to know what his “agenda” is, i.e. what occupies him and what point he’s trying to make.

In the previous post in this series, “What is the Bible?  (Part  1),” we considered who the Author, the source of the Bible is. We learned that the Author is the speaking God.

Now in this post, we’ll  consider the second point—what occupies God. We’ll find out what’s the subject, the center, and the content of the Bible. In this way we’ll receive much more profit from our Bible reading.

The Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 The entire Old Testament is a revelation of Christ; He is its center and content.

Luke 24:44 says,  “And He said to them, These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and Psalms concerning Me must be fulfilled.”

Verse 44, Footnote 1 in the Holy Bible Recovery Version says,

The Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms are the three sections of the Old Testament, that is, “all the Scriptures” (v. 27). The Savior’s word here unveils that the entire Old Testament is a revelation of Him and that He is its center and content.

 Where can we find Christ in the Old Testament?  We can see Him mainly in the Old Testament types and prophecies.

For example, in the types we can see Christ as:

  1. The tree of life to be our real food (Gen. 2:9; John 15:1; 14:6)
  2. The Passover for our redemption (Exo. 12:1-11; 1 Cor 5:7)
  3. The manna for our heavenly supply (Exo. 16:13-31; John 6:31-32)
  4. The smitten rock with living water for our drink (Exo. 17:1-6; 1 Cor. 10: 4)
  5. The good land for us to enter into, possess, dwell in and enjoy His riches (Deut 8:7-8; Col. 2:6)

In the prophecies we can see Christ as:

  1. The seed of the woman to crush the serpent (Gen. 3:15; Heb. 2:14)
  2. The son born of a virgin called Immanuel, meaning God with us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:20-23)
  3. The King to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matt 2:4-11)
  4. the One forsaken by God, pierced by men, and raised to declare the Father’s name to His brothers (Psa. 22:1, 16, 22; Matt 27:46; John 19:37; Heb. 2:12)
  5. Plus so much more in the prophecies concerning Christ found in cross-reference d on Luke 24:27

 Jesus Christ is also the subject and content of the New Testament

 Matt. 1:1, the first verse in the New Testament says,

 “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Rev. 22:21,  the last verse of the New Testament and  of the entire Bible says,

 “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”

So as the beginning of footnote 1 on Matt. 1:1 points out,

The first name and the last name in the New Testament is Jesus, proving that Jesus Christ is the subject and content of the New Testament.

The Bible is a book of life, and this life is a living person, the wonderful and all-inclusive Christ.  The Old Testament gives a portrait, in types and prophecies, of the wonderful person as the Coming One. Now, in the New Testament, this wonderful person has come…

This footnote goes on to present Christ in four wonderful aspects as revealed in the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

The Gospel of Matthew testifies that Christ is the King, the Christ of God prophesied in the Old Testament who brings the kingdom of the heavens to the earth. The Gospel of Mark tells us that He is the Servant of God, laboring for God faithfully…The Gospel of Luke presents a full picture of Him as the only proper and normal man that ever lived on this earth; as such a man, He is the Savior of mankind. The Gospel of John unveils Christ as the Son of God, the very God Himself who is life to God’s people.

Once we’ve come to appreciate how the Bible reveals this most wonderful person, Jesus Christ, we need to consider  how we can practically apply the revelation of Christ.

 Here are four ways to make the truth that the Bible is the revelation of Christ practical in our experience:

First, whenever we read the Scriptures, we need to turn our heart to the Lord Jesus so that the veil is taken away from our heart (2 Cor. 3:15-16). We can do this when we come to the Word by praying, “Lord Jesus, I turn my heart to you.”

Second, whenever we read or study the Bible, we need to come to Jesus Christ so that we may receive divine life (John 5:39-40). Note 1 on verse 39 points out that if we are to get life from our reading, we need to match our coming to the Scripture with our coming to Christ. When we come to the Word, we come to have fellowship with Christ Himself. You may also want to read my previous post, “My Favorite Hymn on Coming to the Lord in His Word.”

Third, we need to look away (i.e., look with undivided attention) unto Jesus that we may be infused with faith, the believing ability, to run the Christian race (Heb. 12:1-2). We do this by looking away from our present condition and situation and gazing on our wonderful Lord Jesus.

Fourth, whenever we find Christ in the Scriptures, we need to linger there with prayer and praise, to behold His glory so that His Spirit may transfuse us with the Christ we see and transform us into the same image (2 Cor. 3:18). As we read, we can pray back what we’re reading to the Lord and even praise Him and thank Him.

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing us that the Scriptures are the revelation of You.  Lord, turn our heart from every preoccupation so that we may be unveiled to see You in the Word. Also remind us to come to You each time we come to Your Word so that we may receive life from our reading.  Grant us to look away to You and behold You so that we may be filled with faith to run the Christian race and be transformed more and more into Your glorious image.

If seeking the Lord Jesus in the Word has changed your Bible reading, please share how it has helped you by leaving a comment.

References:

You can get a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version with footnotes from Bibles for America.
You can also read more about “The Bible” in Lesson One of Truth Lessons, Level One, Volume 1, by Witness Lee.
In addition,  check out a great hymn on Christ as the content of God’s written word. Make sure to click the “View Lyrics” link.
 
Photo Credit: Ryk Neethling (Creative Commons)

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

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