Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Right Way to Read the Bible accoring to the Heidelberg Catechism

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

19 Q. How do you come to know this?

A. The holy gospel tells me. God himself began to reveal the gospel already in Paradise;

later, he proclaimed it by the holy patriarchs and prophets, and portrayed it by the
sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; finally, he fulfilled it through his own dear Son.

2) Scripture

Galatians 4:4-5: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Comment:

Finally, after all the preparations and promises, when everything was set and the time was just right, God sent his eternally, beloved Son into the world. Jesus came and fulfilled every Old Testament Scripture. This is why 2 Corinthians 1:20 speaks of Jesus and says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” He came to fulfill all of the promises of God in the Old Testament. When he returns he will fulfill any remaining promises that deal with the new paradise promised, that is, the new heaven and earth.

Jesus told us how to interpret the Bible. Sometimes people will say things like “that’s just your interpretation of the Bible.” But the truth is that Jesus tells us how to interpret or understand the meaning of the Bible. Just as Jesus is Lord over every part of life, so he is also Lord over how to understand the Bible!

So what does Jesus tell us about understanding or interpreting the Bible? He tells us the Bible is about him! He tells us the Old Testament is all about his suffering and his glory. In Luke 24:25-27 he says:

"O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself."

Every part or section of the Old Testament is in some way related either to the suffering of Jesus or the glory of Jesus---either to his humbling himself to become a man to die in our place or his resurrection, ascension, and his coming again in glory. The Heidelberg Catechism is teaching us how to read the Bible in the Christ-centered way that Jesus himself taught us!

Discussion: How do the words promise and fulfillment point to the right way to understand the Bible? Why does it make sense for the Lord Jesus to tell us how to interpret the Bible? What two words in Luke 24:26 summarize Jesus’ ministry?

Prayer Starter: Thank the Lord for his Word, and for its fulfillment in Christ. Ask the Lord for
the help of his Spirit to better understanding the Christ-centered way we should handle it. Remember those in need in your prayers, along with your pastor, teachers, or missionaries who proclaim God’s Word.

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