Monday, 11 October 2010

Two Ways to Read

I think i've finally figured out how this Scripture thing works:

1st - if you cannot be bothered - you won't read it - you'll just pick the verses you like... too bad for you...

2nd - what happens if you can be bothered - and you study diligently?

1st option - you study it to improve yourself (like most secular education) - inevitably you end up being a Pharisee - this can be known as the Satanic way of reading Scripture

2nd option - you study it to know Christ alone - you become like Christ, since you now are beginning to love Christ


Therefore if you read any passage,  OT, parable, NT, etc...
without going to Jesus - you inevitably become more Pharisaical
you are not reading it 'spiritually' - because that implies reading it 'relationally'

e.g.  Psalm 1
Blesed is the man,.... etc, etc right?

what were the Pharisees doing? not walking with sinners, not eating with prostitutes, etc....  Psalm 1 followed?

what did Jesus do? walked with sinners, ate with prostitutes - Psalm 1 understood in the Jesus context means to not associate with the Pharisees!

take ANY ANY ANY passage in the Bible - try it out
you will always be a Pharisee if you don't read it looking for Jesus

YET - our natural tendency IS to read it the Pharisee way (if we are bothered with studying it) - so our first conclusion to every passage is not Sola Christus, Fide, Gracia, etc..
it is always, works-based, legalistic, pride causing moralism...

Read again.. with prayer, with humility, not trying to justify yourself, but looking for Jesus to either affirm or rebuke you...

Very hard to do...

So Scripture will always always be Mysterious....

4 comments:

Inilah Kebenaran said...

What about those who after spending some length of time 'exegeting' an OT passage then ask, "So... how are we going to bring it to Jesus?"

dave bish said...

I do basically agree, though

"Blesed is the man,.... etc, etc right?" isn't a brief part of working it out.

Inilah Kebenaran said...

Upon reflection, I guess you're right. Just overreacting to a situation this week where someone was trying to "bring an OT passage to Jesus" more along the lines of "I guess we'd better now that we've had fun in the text" as opposed to "surely it's about Jesus but how?". Kinda as an afterthought of exegesis, as opposed to being the heart of exegesis? Kinda as if they would be happy for it not to be about Jesus?

Paul Blackham said...

That is such a helpful article. Thank you, Dev. All too often these passages of the Bible are preached as if we were the righteous man and we need to stay clear of the wicked. The sermon is about the new intentions we need to develop or the new efforts we need to make to be more righteous. For many years I just couldn't be bothered with the Psalms because they were presented as such navel-gazing self-righteous prayers. They were so unrelated to the real condition of us wretched sinners that they were obviously irrelevant. Then I began to notice the way that the Psalms were exegeted in the New Testament and the lights started to come on. Jesus is the Blessed Man, the Righteous One, the Faithful One who has clean hands, the One who can have His life examined in the most detailed way, the One who can be vindicated by His own righteousness, the One whose enemies need to be destroyed. The moment we try to step into those shoes we are doing the Pharisee thing of reading the Law as if it was speaking about us.