Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Opening the scroll

Rev 5:6-9 NLT  “Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth.  (7)  He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne.  (8)  And when He took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God's people.  (9)  And they sang a new song with these words: "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For You were slaughtered, and Your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
There is a direct correlation between the above passage and the following one:
Luke 24:44-45 NLT  “Then He said, "When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about Me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled."  (45) Then He *opened their minds* to understand the Scriptures.”
Jesus had a specific way of looking at the scripture. He saw it as expressing his purpose and destiny. It is only in seeing the scripture as Jesus sees it that one can have the scripture opened. It is only opened when Jesus and the redemption that he brings is the sole focus of the scripture. All scripture must be viewed with the understanding that Jesus is Lord and Christ and the sole purpose of the scripture.
Paul puts it another way in this passage: 2Co 3:14-16 NRSV  “But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside.  (15)  Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds;  (16)  but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” Notice that the veil is only removed with a Christ-centered approach to reading and understanding the scripture.
That is one of the main obstructions to revelation knowledge today in the church. To really truly understand the scripture in the way that it was meant one must see the redemptive gospel focus. The passage that I quoted above from second Corinthians ends with an explanation of the ministry of reconciliation. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not counting trespasses. He made Jesus who knew no sin to be made sin for sinful humanity so that reconciled humanity could be the righteousness of God in Christ and be at peace with God.
Peace with God is the most important aspect of truly loving God. The Shema, Deu 6:4-6 NRSV  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.  (5)  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.  (6)  Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.” Jesus said that this was the first and greatest commandment. i.e, loving God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might.
This commandment can only be fulfilled when one is set at peace with God because of the grace found in Jesus Christ. The scripture will only be opened when one understands the gospel of grace in its fullness and ties all the reading and teaching and preaching to it.

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