God’s Oracles Center Around Christ: 1 – The New Testament Explicitly References The Centrality of Christ

The Christian ought to believe that God’s oracles center around Christ because Jesus, the Christ, explicitly said that very thing. In an encounter with the Pharisees, recorded by the disciple John, Jesus dispelled the notion that the primary function of Scripture is to teach the law of God so that one could be righteous through holy living.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me…For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. (John 5: 39, 46)

After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus made another explicit statement about the Christ-centered message of Scripture, during a conversation with His disciples.

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24: 44 – 47)

The author of Hebrews told us that God’s oracles climaxed with the coming of Christ.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Hebrews 1: 1 – 2)

Prior to Jesus, God spoke to Israel through a series of prophets, and the prophets looked ahead to the coming of the Christ. When Jesus came, the prophets ceased, for the Messiah had been revealed, and their message was no longer needed. All that was needed was for the words and deeds of the Messiah to be written down for posterity, and that has happened thanks to the authors of the New Testament.

Believing that Jesus is the main focus of the Bible is key to accurately reading and comprehending the Bible. One of the easiest things to do is to forget that the book is primarily about Jesus. When one does this, when one forgets, the book often becomes about the reader. The reader goes to Scripture to extract principles for living a better life, just like the Pharisees did in Jesus’ day. This narcissistic reading can even happen when reading about Jesus – instead of focusing on the glory of Jesus and giving Him due praise, the reader instead studies the words and deeds of Christ, merely so they can try to mimic those qualities in their own life and become “a better person”.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit gave us explicit references in Scripture, which prove the primacy of Christ, to help guard our hearts and minds as we approach God’s holy word. Since God desires His people to worship Him in spirit and in truth, we must read Scripture, the revealed word of God, accurately. As we increase in our comprehension of the Biblical narrative, and as we increase in our comprehension of our own sinful nature, we will learn that it is impossible to please God through our living of His law. It is only because of what Christ has done on our behalf, by dealing with our sin, that we can be pleasing to God. The redemption of mankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus of Nazareth is what the oracles of God all point to, in one way or another. The apostle Paul summarizes this great work well:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

To rightly understand the gospel of grace, and not turn it into a gospel of works, one must understand that Jesus stands in the center of all of God’s revealed truths.


God Reveals His Oracles: 4 – How God Has Given Specific Revelation

Suggested Pre-Reading: God Reveals His Oracles: 3

Even though God gives to all of us a general understanding of His eternal power, divine nature, and moral character, by writing such things on our hearts, it was God’s good pleasure to choose long ago a specific group of people to receive His detailed oracles; truths about God, man, and the events of history. God even told these people about future events before they happened, such as the death of the Jewish Messiah and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem.1 Thankfully, these chosen people wrote down the divine words, so that we could have them today. One must keep in mind that due to limited technology, the only two ways the ancients could give us God’s words were in writing or by means of an oral tradition. Without a doubt, a written tradition is far superior to an oral one, and so the ancients preserved for us God’s words using the best method available.

Now who were these people who God chose to write down His oracles? They were the Israelites – the Jews. God personally established the nation of Israel by delivering the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from slavery in Egypt, and by using the man Moses to help lead them. One of the promises God gave to the nation through Moses was to provide a line of prophets who would dispense holy truth. Moses recorded this promise:

“The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18: 17 – 19)

God spoke to Israel over the centuries through various prophets. God did not speak with other nations in the same way; the relationship between God and Israel was unique. This uniqueness was attested to by the apostle Paul:

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. (Romans 3: 1 – 2)

So these Jews, who at the time were the only people entrusted with the oracles of God, wrote God’s words down for posterity. Over the course of time a portion of their many writings were collected and bound together as one book – this book today is called the Bible. The Bible is a library consisting of sixty-six books from some forty authors, whose writings occurred over the span of more than one thousand years. Despite the multiplicity of authors and span of time, the Bible is a cohesive narrative with discernible plots and themes. This should be expected, since God was the one giving the words to be written down. The Bible is the key source of information about God and man, and it says of itself:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17)

Now, what is the main point of the Bible? Since God has gone to the effort of inspiring words to be written, and binding them together in a singular book, what is the message of this book that God wants us to know? The answer to these questions is the focus of the next series, which will discuss the essential Christian principle “God’s Oracles Center Around Christ”.

As we move on to the next principle, regarding Christ, let us summarize in three key points what has been discussed over the course of this series on divine revelation, points which are an orthodox Christian perspective on divine revelation.

  1. God must speak to us, if we are to know anything specific about Him.
  2. God could choose to speak to all people or to some people.
  3. God chose the Jewish people to be the recipients of His specific divine instruction, and their words have come down to us today in the form of the Bible.

The Christian must be convinced of these three things, and they must cling to the notion that the edifice of all true Christian doctrine is built upon the foundation that the Bible is the divinely revealed word of God.

1 Book of Daniel, Chapter 9 Verse 26: “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary…” These words were written approximately 500 years in advance of Jesus’ death and the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome.