From the Pastor’s Desk (4/22/2015)

Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,


Take a few moments to meditate on these wonderful words from the Apostle Paul: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.   Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:19-21).


Brothers and sisters, we are righteous in Christ and are called to be ambassadors for Christ.  We are justified in Christ and we are to bear testimony to Christ.  This is cause for both rejoicing and examination.  Are you rejoicing in your salvation – are you rejoicing in your justification?  Are you bearing witness for Christ?  Are you heralding the message of the gospel as an ambassador for Christ.  Pray for the grace of Christ to do just that!


Some announcements:


  • There will be no Bible studies tonight.  We will pick back up in Galatians next Wednesday.


  • Be in prayer for the study that meets at Jovanni and Lina’s home on Thursday nights at 7:00.


  • Please pray the Lord to bless the retreat this weekend with Providence OPC.


  • Ladies be on the lookout for upcoming Mugs n’ Muffins fellowship in May.


  • Men continue to be reading for our next Men’s breakfast.  Be reading in Dr. Barcley’s “The Mystery of Contentment.”


  • Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is part I in a series on how to interpret our Bibles.


God bless and have a great remainder of the week!

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

“Understanding Your Bibles, part I”

Acts 8:35, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.”

How are we to read our Bibles? How do we interpret the various passages of Scripture? Is there any validity to the oft-repeated mantra, ‘That’s just your interpretation’? Is there a key to understanding the Scriptures? In fact, there is a key. And that key is the Bible itself. What do we find when we ask the question, “How does the Bible interpret itself”? There are several Biblical principles for interpretation that we can draw from the Bible’s own testimony. And over the next few weeks, we will examine these key principles for Biblical interpretation.

The first and most important principle for faithful Biblical interpretation is the following: we are to interpret the Bible Christologically. Simply put, Christ stands at the center of God’s revelation to us (Heb 1:1-3; Eph 1:10). That is, we are to read our Bibles in a Christ-centered manner. And in fact, this is exactly what we see the New Testament authors doing. One of the clearest illustrations of this principle occurs in Acts 8.

After persecution arises in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-3), the disciples who were scattered ‘went about preaching the word’ (v. 4). Philip, one of the seven (Acts 6:1-7), first went to Samaria preaching the gospel (Acts 8:4-24), but was then called by the Lord to ‘rise and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza’ (v. 26). And on the road Philip comes upon an Ethiopian eunuch reading the Scriptures, specifically the eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53:7-8. Philip then asks the eunuch if he understands the passage that he reading; to which the eunuch replies, “How can I, unless someone guides me.” In other words, the eunuch asks Philip, “Will you help me correctly interpret this passage from Isaiah 53.”

And Philip’s response is critical for a right understanding of the Bible: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35). In other words, Philip pointed the eunuch to Christ from Isaiah 53. Again, Christ is the sum and substance of God’s revelation to us. For example, the lamb of God who was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities … the one who was oppressed and afflicted and was led like a lamb to slaughter (from Isaiah 53:5, 7), was the Lord Jesus Christ. Philip is interpreting the Bible Christologically. And why would he do this? Because that is how the Lord Jesus Christ told the church to interpret the Scriptures. In Luke 24, Jesus tells us, “…that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (24:44). And again, Jesus states, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they [the Scriptures] that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). The Scriptures point to Christ … and according to Jesus’ own teaching and the apostles’ example, we also are to interpret the Scriptures in such a manner. All of the Old Testament points to Christ; and all of the New builds upon Him. The Old Testament is the preparation for Christ; the Gospels are the revelation of Christ; and the New Testament letters are the interpretation of Christ. Next week we will examine a few concrete example of this Christological interpretation.

Brothers and sisters, may we read our Bibles. May we love our Bibles! May we love the Lord Jesus Christ revealed on every page of our Bibles. And may we pray for the Spirit to aid us in rightly understanding and interpreting our Bibles!