Is the whole Bible really about Jesus? Here at Theocast, we believe that it is. Jon and Justin consider the pattern of Jesus and the apostles with regard to how they understood the Bible. The guys consider typology and how it is useful in understanding the Scriptures–and biblicism and how it is not helpful.
Semper Reformanda: Justin talks about the thing that has most impacted his preaching. Jon and Justin then discuss how important it is to see that every promise of Scripture finds its fulfillment in Jesus.
Episode: Is Christ-Centered Preaching Dangerous?
“The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant & His Kingdom” by Samuel Renihan
“Preaching Christ in All of Scripture” by Edmond Clowney
“The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament” by Edmond Clowney
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Justin Perdue: Hi, this is Justin. Today on Theocast, we are going to answer the question, “Is the whole Bible really about Jesus?” We don’t like to bury the lead here at Theocast, and so our position is that yes, in fact, the whole Bible is about Christ and what he has accomplished on behalf of sinners in order to save us. We’re going to have this conversation from a couple of different perspectives. We’re going to talk about typology and how that works in the Bible. If you don’t even know what typology is, don’t worry, we’re going to define it and try to explain it for you.
We’re also going to talk about Biblicism and how it is unhelpful to understanding the Scriptures accurately. Again, if you don’t know what Biblicism is, stay tuned. We’re going to try to explain it to you and help you see how it relates to this conversation.
We really hope this is an encouraging and life-giving conversation for you, and that is a conversation that will open up the Scriptures and show you how from Genesis to Revelation, Jesus really is the point of it.
The title of the episode is Is the Whole Bible Really About Jesus? What we want to do today is answer that question. But we’re really just pulling the curtain back here and having a conversation about a couple of different things—and I’m going to try to explain briefly what we mean by these terms and then we’ll just kind of take-off and run with this.
We’re having a conversation today about typology and somewhat also about Biblicism. And so just briefly to define those terms for the listener: when we talk about typology, we are talking about the way that God reveals Himself, the way He reveals redemption—in particular, the way He reveals redemption through Christ in Scripture—where there are things that occur earlier on in biblical revelation, referred to as types, that are significant in and of themselves but they point to something that is greater, different, and ultimate. So those greater, different, ultimate fulfillments of the types are often referred to as antitypes. We’re going to talk about examples of some of that today. But if the Bible is read appropriately in a typological way, we are going to see types and shadows and pointers to Jesus all throughout the Old Testament before Christ even shows up on the scene in the New Testament.
If you think about, for example, the writer to the Hebrews and how he explains the fact that the sacrificial system, and so many of the other things that were revealed to Israel in the law, were ultimately about Christ. They were ultimately shadows and pointers to Jesus and the redemption that would be accomplished through him. That is a biblical example of typology. We’re going to talk about some other biblical examples of typology in this episode. So we’re having that conversation about how typology is really helpful in coming to the Bible, and it’s helpful to us, in particular, in seeing Christ through all of Scripture.
But then we’re also going to be having a conversation about something referred to as Biblicism. The goal of a biblicist is a good goal; it’s a good aim. It’s admirable that you want to be a Bible person and only say things that the Scripture says, and you don’t want to add to it or take away from it. That’s a good aim. But oftentimes, the way that Biblicism presents itself is that if the text does not specifically and explicitly say something, that it just must not be true. And so there’s a real concern in Biblicism for some of the systematic categories, the covenantal categories, the redemptive-historical categories that the Reformed have always had that help us to see Christ in all of Scripture. The biblicist gets very anxious about that. We’re going to explain what we mean by that, too.
Before you check out, if you’re sitting here and you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh. This is an academic conversation and this is something that’s going to be over my head,” it is not going to be. We’re going to talk about this at a street level, as a couple of pastors who deal with the Scriptures regularly and are trying to teach the Scriptures to our people. This conversation ultimately is about seeing Christ in all of Scripture in ways that are legitimate and responsible, and really upholding what Jesus Christ himself says about the Bible, namely, that it’s all about him. We hope that you come away from this episode more encouraged to study the Scriptures, more encouraged to sit under the Scriptures on the Lord’s Day as you hear your pastor preach them to you, or if you’re a pastor out there and you’re more excited to get in the pulpit and herald Christ from any text in the Bible.
I might just launch us off, Jon, in thinking about the words of Jesus Christ himself in Luke 24 and in John 5. Luke 24, the road to Emmaus. Jesus is resurrected and he appears to a couple of his disciples and he says to them that they are slow of heart to believe everything that the Scriptures have revealed. Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to these disciples everything in Moses and the prophets that was written about him.
Then in John 5, at a couple of different points, Jesus makes it very clear to his Jewish audience. He says to them, “You search the Scriptures thinking that in them you find eternal life; yet it is they that bear witness about me.” And then he goes on later in John 5 to say they talk about Moses a lot, and, “if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.”
This is the conversation that we’re having today. I get excited for this because this has changed my Christian life. It has changed the way that I think about the Bible wholesale. This is probably the single greatest thing that informs my preaching from a week to week basis: it is the fact that all of the Scriptures from Genesis to revelation are about Christ and what he has done for sinners.
Jon Moffitt: I was preaching through the book of John, and John is probably one of the greatest prolific writers when it comes to the Old Testament in terms of how much he references in typology, in referencing to ceremonies and the law. He mentions the Psalms and Isaiah a lot. He won’t do a direct quote, but he’ll even say things like “to fulfill scripture” to allow the reader to know what Scripture something is in reference to.
To add to the Scriptures that talk about Jesus in the Old Testament, there’s a couple more. You have Acts 8:35: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.”
Book of Acts. Let’s do some math here. The New Testament has not been written at the moment; it’s being recorded as past history. What Scriptures is he referencing? What is he talking about?
Justin Perdue: Whenever we hear the apostles in the New Testament reference the Scriptures or Jesus reference the Scriptures, they’re talking about what we call the Old Testament.
Jon Moffitt: Philip is telling the eunuch about Jesus from the Old Testament, which I can tell you right now that Justin and I both can preach the gospel clearly from the Old Testament because the apostles did. We can use Old Testament text to preach Christ and we do, and we’ll always do. We are not crippled by only having the New Testament in order to preach the gospel because what else was Philip using?
Another verse that would be connected to this is Acts 18:28 where he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that Christ was Jesus. Again, Scripture has to reference the Torah, the Old Testament, and he’s referencing the Old Testament to show that it is about Jesus. It’s not one little reference. I know sometimes people say, “Well, you guys always quote Luke 24 and you’re basing an entire theological system and way of reading the Bible based on one verse. It’s not. There are multiple examples of New Testament writers using the Old Testament to teach us about Jesus. There is much that can be learned and should be learned about Jesus.
Now, this is where understanding typology is so important. It took me a long time to understand this and so I’m going to say it in such a way that if you’re brand new to Reformed theology, if you’re brand new to redemptive-historical biblical theology or covenant theology, typology is really important. When someone said “type” and “antitype”, my brain didn’t have a category for that. So if you’re smart unlike me and you already know it, you can fast forward the next 30 seconds. But if you’re like me and you need help in these categories, the antitype thing is what threw me off.
A type is an example or a picture of something, but not the reality of it. We use these illustrations all the time, but one of my favorite ones is if you go to a Mexican restaurant and you get that real big laminated menu. I love that the more expensive ones will have a picture of the burrito and underneath it, it says, “Not the actual size.” Thanks for clarifying. But it’s a picture; it’s a type of the burrito. You look at it, anticipate it, and are excited about what you see, but the picture is not what you taste, it is not what sustains you, it is not what gives you energy. The substance, or the real burrito, is called the antitype.
So when we say type and antitype, which we’re going to give some examples here in the Old Testament, those are the theological terms for it. A great example of this is when Jesus says to Nicodemus, “as the serpent was raised in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” The serpent in the wilderness was a type, an example, a picture of what is going to happen to Jesus, because those who looked on the serpent and believed were healed, and those who looked to Christ on the cross and believed are also healed of their sins. That’s a good example of type and antitype as it relates to Jesus being referenced in the Old Testament, pointing us towards the New Testament reality.
Justin Perdue: Jesus, of course, picks up on that very thing in his conversation with Nicodemus in John 3. The New Testament is replete with examples of this kind of thing being done by Christ and the apostles.
You mentioned earlier how the apostles write what I might even call the apostolic pattern when it comes to this conversation. When we are saying that we read the Bible from a redemptive-historical perspective, meaning it’s redemptive history with Christ at the center, and we read it in that Christ-centered way, and we read it with an eye for typology—types and shadows and pointers and fulfillment and all those things—all we are saying and all we are advocating is, “Hey guys, let’s read the Bible. In particular, let’s read the Old Testament the way that the apostles understood it and the way that Christ understood it.” We’re not coming up with anything new. We are looking to Christ, Paul, Peter, John, and the writer to the Hebrews, and we are just following their lead in terms of how they understood the Old Testament Scriptures to bear witness to Christ and the redemption that he would accomplish for sinners.
This is maybe one of the more controversial pieces of this conversation: we have freedom to not only go to the texts that the apostles specifically reference, but we have freedom to read the entire Old Testament that way, because they have given us a pattern; they have shown us how to do it.
For example, the way that Peter in 1 Peter 3 connects the ark and the flood and what happened there, to redemption and to baptism. That means that it is legitimate to now go back to the Old Testament as saints have done for a long, long time and see other passages, to use Peter’s language, where the saints are brought safely through water. And we can see those things as a pointer to our baptism, through which we are united to Christ, we are sealed into him, and our sins are drowned in the waters of baptism because Christ ultimately has taken the judgment of God for us. We’ve died in Christ to the law.
So Peter connects that in 1 Peter 3 to Genesis 6-8. But then there are other ways that the saints have seen the same connection, like Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea, where God’s people walk safely through water. People have said this is a pointer to baptism—they’re entirely right about that. Because it’s a pointer ultimately to the deliverance that God would accomplish for us through the Lord Jesus Christ.
But a lot of times—again, talking about that Biblicism thing where it’s gotta be on the face of the text and if the text doesn’t say it, we shouldn’t draw the conclusion—if you do that, if you go to the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus, where if you were to preach the flood from Genesis and you were just conclude that Moses, in writing about the ark and the flood, doesn’t say anything about baptism, doesn’t say anything about Jesus and the ark being a type of Christ, and so as you preach this, you think, “The original authorial intent must have been this thing and this is what I need to say.” In order for you to do that, you have now divorced the account of the ark and the flood in Genesis 6-8, you have divorced that from the entire canon, you have divorced it from the entire context of the whole Bible, and have actually been irresponsible in preaching it if you do not preach Christ and baptism from Genesis 6-8.
That’s the really controversial thing, I think, to say here. There is such an obsession sometimes over original authorial intent in the Old Testament that we almost academically, thinking that we’re smart, convince ourselves to not preach Christ from the Old Testament.
Jon Moffitt: To go back to explain what you mean by authorial intent, for those who this might be new to if you didn’t grow up a part of a church that does expository teaching or preaching, what Justin is getting at is that when an author like Moses sat down to write the history, inspired by the Spirit, there’s a reason behind their writing. That’s authorial intent. What’s the intention of the author? You can see these things in the epistles, you can hear in the beginning when Paul says, “I’m writing you for this reason.” Even in the gospels, you can see the introductions to the gospels and what they’re writing them for. The argument has been—within conservative, evangelical Calvinistic churches—is that you cannot give any other application than the original intention of that individual author. What we mean by author is Paul, David, Moses, etc.
There’s a danger when you read Scripture in that way because it disconnects the Bible as if it’s a library of books that are all of the same time period, and God is a part of them—but they’re not all connected as if there was one theme.
Our argument is that according to the New Testament, there is a theme and there is a driving message. We can go to Ephesians 1 and it literally says that before the foundations of the world, God made a pactum, a covenant, that there would be salvation promised to sinners. This was before the first mention of Scripture; this is before creation. We take great heart in that because Paul is saying there’s a greater theme that’s going on; there’s a major theme of what all of Scripture is about. Paul thankfully gives us a good peek into that to say, “This is how you should read your Bible: from a redemption of sinners that unfolds through history.” This is why we use the term that’s been used for many years: redemptive-historical understanding of Scripture.
So our argument would be the author of Scriptures, the intention of the author, which is God by means of the Holy Spirit. The authorial intent is redemption. And then you go down into the writer. I would argue the author is God, the writers are the humans; they’re instruments. So the authorial intent is always God and His redemptive plan as revealed to us in Scripture. And then we go down and say, what did the writer say in their context? We don’t want to interpret it in our own means saying, “Well, I can say whatever I want now because the writer just wrote something.” No, the writer wrote it for a purpose, but it’s not disconnected from all of Scripture and God’s authorial plan, which was told to us before.
Justin Perdue: A few comments here. 1 Peter 1:10-12 in that area. The apostle there makes it clear. I’ll just read 1 Peter 1:10 and following: “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preach the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” That’s 1 Peter 1:10-12. What that is saying is that the prophets of old, as they wrote down things inspired of the Holy Spirit, did not fully, in their humanity, understand everything that they were writing. That right there has to be taken into consideration when we have this conversation about original authorial intent.
Did Moses understand everything that he wrote completely in terms of how it pointed to Christ and would be fulfilled in Jesus? No, he didn’t. Did Isaiah in Isaiah 53 fully understand what was going to happen? No, he didn’t. So if you are going to govern yourself by what Isaiah or Moses or David or whoever understood then you’re going to gut the Scriptures of their ultimate meaning that point to Christ and his work for sinners to save us. That’s just one thing for us to keep in mind.
Here are two examples that I think are very illustrative and perhaps provocative when it comes to this conversation. They are both from the pen of the apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 10, in particular, verse four is where I want to get. But I’m going to begin with chapter 10 in verse one and read it real quick. Paul says, “For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” That is a reference to Exodus 17. Now, in Exodus 17, what’s happening? In verse four of 1 Corinthians 10, it’s a reference to that chapter; in Exodus 17, the people had been brought out of Egypt, they’ve been brought through the Red Sea, and they are grumbling because they’re thirsty. And Moses says to God, “What am I supposed to do with these people?” Basically. And God says, “I will stand before you there on the rock of Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” and Paul is saying that that rock and the water that came out of it is about Jesus.
Can you imagine in an Old Testament class or in a hermeneutics class, if a student in many seminaries today were to preach that text or to write an expositional paper on Exodus 17 and to ultimately make the point of that. “Well, Jesus is the point of this.” You will get a failing grade in many seminary classes because that is irresponsible hermeneutics and exegesis of the text. But that’s what the apostle Paul does.
Another passage that perhaps is even more illustrative of what we’re talking about is Ephesians 4:7 and following. Paul has just been talking about how there’s unity in the church. Then he goes on to say, he’s going to talk now about how each of us have been given gifts for the use of the body and for the building of the body. He says, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,” and he is referencing now Psalm 68, “‘When he ascended on high he led a host of cap his, and he gave gifts to men.'” And then he goes on to talk about how that’s ultimately about Jesus giving gifts to the church.
If a person were to read Psalm 68, that psalm is about God being enthroned on Mount Sinai, traveling from the wilderness to Mount Sinai and being thrown on Mount Sinai. We would be looking at that again in an Old Testament class, an exegesis situation, or a hermeneutics class. And if someone were to stand up and say, “Hey, that right there—God being enthroned on the mountain—what that’s ultimately about is Jesus Christ and his ascension. And then it’s about him giving gifts to the church.” Again, I think that many people would be rebuked for such an interpretation. I think Paul himself would have gotten an F in many seminary classes for saying that that’s what this is ultimately about. He would be scolded to consider original authorial intent. “Paul, what are you doing?” These are the things that we’re talking about, and we could give a dozen, 20, or 30 more examples like that from the New Testament and how the apostles write. And so all we’re contending for today is for us to interpret the Scriptures just like Paul. Let’s look to the Old Testament and when we preach the old Testament, let’s preach it asking this question: where does this text stand in relation to Christ? It’s so helpful because then we are kept from moralizing.
Think 1 Corinthians 10, Exodus 17. We can talk about the people grumbling, we can talk about our sin and all those kinds of things, and we can talk about God’s provision for the things that people need. But ultimately, what are we going to leave people with? That God in His grace—not only has He already rescued people from bondage to Egypt, which is a pointer to the rescue that’s going to come from our bondage to Satan and sin, not only has He brought the people safely through the Red Sea, which is a pointer to baptism and how we’ve been brought safely through water. But now He’s sustaining His people in the wilderness while they are sojourners. And He is saying that the water that He gives for their sustenance is ultimately about Jesus Christ himself. That’s what we can say. It’s so wonderful. It’s beautiful.
Jon Moffitt: In Sam Reniham’s book, The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant, and His Kingdom, chapter 13 on the mystery of Christ is really helpful in this because that is what we’re dealing with: the revelation of the mystery of the Messiah and the final consummation where Jesus does finally show up from type to antitype, or from shadow to substance.
I want to allow Justin and I to speak into this for a moment where it does change two things: I think it changes God in the way in which God interacts with you and His Word, and number two, I think it allows the Word of God to come alive. My kids love putting together puzzles. They’re up there right now. It’s summer break and they don’t have school. I wake up and they’re out there putting together a puzzle, which I don’t do. To me, I’d rather read a book or something. Puzzles just seem puzzling to me. But if I were to go in there and flip the puzzle upside down where all the color is now gone and there are only shapes, they could painstakingly, and probably with not a lot of joy, put that together. It’s going to be confusing and they could get the outer border and the frame down. But after that, it’s just not gonna be as enjoyable because part of the puzzle is seeing the progress. That’s how most people read the Bible; they don’t see the picture, they don’t have the box cover, and they are not looking at the live colors of the illustration. They hear about how powerful the Word of God is, they hear about how wonderful it is, but what they look at is a puzzle turned upside down. I can see the general idea; I know the corner pieces are obvious, but the rest of it doesn’t make sense.
What we’re trying to say is once someone introduced to us the historical understanding—and this is how the Word of God has been taught and read for hundreds of years—all of a sudden, we couldn’t stop putting the puzzle pieces together and seeing Christ come to life as the Old Testament reveals him.
Justin Perdue: You just talked about power. People were told that the Word of God is powerful. Last I checked, Jesus Christ is the power of God: the gospel and the message of Christ and his cross are the power of God unto salvation. If the word of God is powerful, which it is, and if the word of God accomplishes its work, which it does, ought we not herald the one that the Word is about, who is described as the power of God, the wisdom of God, our Redeemer, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption? Yes. We should preach him. I get geeked up about this, which is probably evident even on this podcast today.
I’m going to continue to illustrate some of this just to maybe demonstrate my excitement over this and how this fires me up. I’m saying this publicly so I’m bound to this forever: if someone were to push me on my favorite book of the Bible, I usually say whichever one I’m reading and studying or preaching through at the moment. It’s my favorite because it’s on the front of my mind. But I think I am at a place finally in my life where if somebody told me to pick one book, it is unquestionably the book of Hebrews for me at this point because of this very reality.
What’s the book of Hebrews about? It’s about Christ and how he’s greater than everything and how he’s the point of it all. The writer is telling people, “Don’t go back to the law. Don’t neglect such a great salvation and go back to the law. You know why? Because Jesus is greater than the law. He’s greater than angels. He’s greater than Moses. He’s greater than Aaron. The law, the sacrificial system, the priesthood, and the whole nine yards: all of that was about Jesus Christ. He has accomplished your salvation. He has once and for all made an atonement for your sins. He is seated at the right hand of God in the heavens and he’s coming back. He’s got you and you’ve been given a Kingdom that can never be shaken. It’s ultimately all about Jesus and what he’s done for you. And so now, in full assurance of faith, draw near to the throne of God with confidence and boldness.” What a wonderful message. That’s one.
Another one is John 6. This just pops into my brain and it encourages me to no end. This illustrates our point too: when Jesus has given this whole business to people about how he’s the bread of life, and how he’s the bread that came down from heaven, he references the manna in the wilderness. He says your fathers were fed with bread from heaven. How many people, in preaching manna from the Old Testament, are gonna preach Christ? Because we should. As Jesus spoke about it, he said, “I am the bread that comes down from heaven. Just like your fathers were sustained in the wilderness by heavenly bread, you and your pilgrimage on this earth will be sustained by me. You need to eat my flesh and drink my blood because I am true food and true drink for you.” He’s pointing to the Lord’s Supper, but ultimately he’s talking about union with him, how he is our nourishment, and how he is what we need.
This is just another example of how we often are not taught from the whole Bible everything that Christ understood the Scriptures to be saying about him. When I come to the Scriptures and when I sit under the Word, I need instruction on wisdom. I need instruction on things that I need to avoid doing because they’ll wreck my life. I need instruction on things that I should pursue because it will be good for me. I need good teaching on God’s law so that I understand what God requires and how I have not met the test. But ultimately, what do I need and what do you need when we come to the Scriptures? We need Christ proclaimed to us because he’s the only hope for sinners—and he is everywhere.
I’ve said this before and I just want to clarify. Forgive me for being excited about all this, but when we talk about preaching the Bible and understanding the Bible this way, we are not saying that the Bible is a Where’s Waldo? book, Jesus is Waldo, and on every page, we’re trying to find him hidden underneath words and rocks and everything else. It’s not what we’re saying, but we are asking the questions of the text, always knowing that everything in the Bible is oriented toward and around Christ. And so then we preach that way and we understand it that way. To your point, Jon, it makes the Bible come alive.
There’s actually good news all throughout. Because if I’m only told about wisdom or if I’m only given law, there’s no good news in that. Or if I’m only told that God is holy and God is good, or if I’m only told that Jesus is Lord, there is no inherent good news in that for me because I’m a sinner. You’ve got to give me the whole thing and you got to tie it together for me with Christ as my Savior.
Jon Moffitt: If I were to hand you a drill that’s got a screwdriver bit in it and there’s no battery in it, and you’re over there and you’re twisting it, you’re getting the job done. You’re using it like a screwdriver. That’s how most people see the Old Testament. They understand it’s supposed to screw or unscrew something. Then I walk over, I pop a battery in, I hit a button and I say, “Watch this. Your mind is going to explode at the capacities and the abilities of how much more you’re going to be able to accomplish.” That is understanding the Old Testament in light of the power of the New Testament.
One more passage I want to give as an example of this is 2 Corinthians 1:20 where it says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” He just summarized the Old Testament. The Old Testament is just one massive unfolding promise. It started with Adam, clarified with Abraham, moving on to David and Solomon, and all the way through the prophets. And he says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” So Paul in the beginning of his letter in 2 Corinthians, he’s concluding for you that Jesus is the finality of all that has been written. He is it; he is the point. There’s nothing wrong with asking how this promise is connected to the greater reality of Christ. So when we look at Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the prophets and all of that, he says all the promises of God. All of them. If Paul didn’t mean to say that, he should have clarified it like “some of the promises of God”. But he says, “all of them” are pointed in a redemptive nature to a Person of redemption who saves sinners. It is exhilarating to go back and read a book full of, you can say fantasy, but it’s not fantasy, but it feels like fantasy, because there’s so many miraculous texts in there. It’s Narnia on steroids.
When you go, “Hey, this is God showing how He’s going to fulfill the promise of a Messiah, and Paul already told us it’s going to happen. So let’s go back and watch it over,” now you have one conclusion. You begin to read the Bible as one story, promise, and one covenant after another of God always being faithful. Even when the children of Israel went down to one person, God was still faithful to preserve His seed, to preserve His promise in the midst of debauchery and sin and absolute chaos. God is still in control. You look at the death of Christ, which is utter chaos, and yet John says that was according to the plan.
Justin Perdue: Well, how many times does it look like the light is going out on redemption as you read the Scriptures? I just preached the account of Noah and the flood not long ago because we’re in Genesis right now, and the line of the promise is down to one guy and his family. There are going to be other points like David and Goliath: is redemption about to be over if this giant kills this guy? What’s going to happen? And that happens over and over again in the Bible. Ultimately that’s about God and what He’s doing—this is His movie and we should sit on the edges of our seats with our popcorn and jumbo Coke ready, watch it, and behold what our God has done.
This is maybe my closing thought: let’s just say that you watch a really good movie for the first time and you’re watching all these things unfold. Then you get to that point in the movie where this thing happens that makes everything that happened before it clear. It makes everything that happened before it obvious. Everything that you were watching for the last two hours was about this. It changes everything for you in terms of how you think about that movie.
Jon Moffitt: Can I give one example? The Village.
Justin Perdue: Exactly. That’s a good illustration of what we’re discussing today. Jon, if you go back and watch The Village tonight, you’re going to watch it knowing that, and it’s going to change how you see it, because you’re going to identify all of these things throughout the movie before that revelation really occurs—and we read our Bibles that way now because we’ve been told the point of it all, and we’ve been shown how to read it by the apostles and by Christ himself. Why on earth would we go back and read the Scriptures that were written before Christ came as though he isn’t the point? We shouldn’t.
It’s kind of crazy. And I think it’s just a joyful and joyous experience for people when you read and study the Scriptures, or you sit under preaching, where it becomes very clear that there are sermons about Christ all throughout the Old Testament. What a wonderful book the Bible is.
Jon Moffitt: I know you’re going to take us into the Semper Reformanda and explain what it is, but in there, I would like to talk about the dangers of not reading your Bible this way and how modern day history, through different biblical interpretation models that have been given to us, have actually caused pietism, legalism, doubt, fear, and anxiety when it relates to the Old Testament, instead of hope and joy.
Justin Perdue: We’ll have that conversation. Saints, if we’re going to leave you with one final thought today, it’s that read your Bible, study it, and sit under the preaching of God’s Word knowing that the whole Bible is about your Savior who died for you, who atoned for your sin, in whom you died to the law and your penalty has been dealt with, and he is the one who provided you with righteousness and you’re secure in him. Read your Bibles that way and they’ll come alive, we pray, for you.
We are now headed into our Semper Reformanda podcast. This is a second podcast that we record every week for people that have partnered with our ministry. If you’re not familiar with Semper Reformanda and what it is, you can go over to our website theocast.org, and you will find all the information that you need to know about Semper Reformanda over there. We would encourage you, if you’ve not already done so, to go check that out and consider joining the Reformation as we seek to spread this message of the sufficiency of Christ and the rest that is ours in him as far and wide as possible. We would love for you to lock arms with us.
For many of you that are listening to the regular podcast and will not be listening to the other one, we’ll talk with you again next week. For those of you Semper Reformanda folks, we’ll talk with you guys in just a moment.