Sitting in the hotel room, soaking in the day. Jesus is good to provide us preaching.
Dr. Chapell preached today: in the Word we find the voice, hand, and heart of God… and those three elements together comprise a perfect portrait of Jesus Christ. Wow. Reading through Chapell’s book this semester for class, I kept thinking what a perfect vision for preaching. Christ. Always. And yet, in the Old Testament, He’s not there explicitely all the time. And so, in our hermaneutics class, we learned that Christ was not always in the text, and so we should teach according to what the original intent was. Context is King.
But Chapell in his preaching emphasizes that the reference point in Scripture is always the Cross. This is second nature to most of us, but isn’t so obvious with certain theological viewpoints. This undermines the Gospel, brothers! The Cross is central to redemptive history, both corporate and individual. In it, we see the full expression of Christ’s character in all His passion. That’s just cool. Christ is the context of all of Scripture.
In Dr. Chapell’s message, he beautifully painted the picture of God calling out to us with His voice, reaching out to us with His hand, and thus showing us His heart. “It is not that the child holds tightly to the parent, but that the parent holds tightly to the child.” God reaches to us in the darkness; we don’t grope for Him! Our salvation is graciously, wonderously, overwhelmingly provided for us from the first call of His voice until His hand draws us to His side eternally.
And in the midst of all this, we are entrusted with His voice. Chapell pointed out that we speak as Christ, not merely for Christ. God has entrusted us with His voice. Wow. The Word of God is ours, in our lap. And we don’t treat it as such. If we really understood the Word, and spoke it as it was meant to be spoken…