God has Spoken

Reading J. I. Packer’s God has Spoken I came across this from an argument for the necessity of verbal revelation:

True as it is that the incarnate Christ was not only God for man but also Man for God and that in Him we not only hear God speaking but also watch God blessing and man obeying, and that this is richer revelation than words alone could ever give, yet the centrality of verbal revelation remains, and it is precisely to the divine words that the Gospel calls us to respond. (p. 70)

We all fall into the trap of over emphasising either the human or the divine aspect of Christ at some point or other, at the cost of what is not being emphasised. This has partly to do with who we are; how we were brought up and what circles we move in.

I have often insufficiently marveled the aspect of Jesus being human in the sense of in him seeing how humans should behave towards God.

This has of course been picked up in the WWJD armbands (what would jesus do) that are being carried (mostly) by youth with a desire for holy living.

This has however been criticised, and rightly so. The story of Jesus is not primarily a textbook of holy living but a display of God acting on behalf of humanity. It is through our union with Christ – in His death and His resurrection – that we are saved. That is the Good News. We cannot be saved by asking our selves ‘what would Jesus do?’ and doing likewise. Jesus’ example, no matter how awesome, is no Good News to us, simply because we cannot live up to it.

When this has been said and emphasised however, we cannot only see Jesus as our representative, but also as our model for how to live in communion with God as a human being. A tree shall be known by its fruit (Mt. 12:33) – God requires holy living. And so we do have to ask ourselves ‘what would Jesus do?’.

In fact that is what our whole life is about – conforming to the Word of God – that is to Jesus –  by obeying by the Spirit (Rom 12:2) what God has spoken in the Scriptures.


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