If the spirituality and miracle of the Bible comes to us— not just in its individual thoughts and events— but in the way all of them, together, help us see our need of the God who has come to us in Jesus, then,
Can we also conclude that living with conscious reliance on the Spirit of Christ is the true and better way of living a lawful life (John 1:17); (Gal 5:1); (Gal 5:22-23)?
This thought about the true and better has been echoing in my mind after thinking again about an approach to Scripture that we’ve considered in the past. For those who might have missed it, here’s a summary:
Author and pastor Tim Keller has a way of understanding the Bible that I think enables the details of Scripture to resonate not only within themselves, but with the details of life as we experience it.
Keller reads both Testaments as if they were inspired by a Divine Author who uses the characters, events, and details— even of subplots— to develop the heroic nature of the main Character and Story.
The result is that readers who think the surprise ending is too good to believe can see through hindsight a continuity of Story, and convergence of subplots, written by scores of authors over many centuries— in a way that none of them, individually or together, could have orchestrated or contrived.
I think Keller’s findings about Who and what is True and Better are too important to forget.
For example (and I’ll give some links below so that you can hear or read more for yourself), Keller suggests that,
“Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.
Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, his blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.
Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.
Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”
Also in Keller’s words,
“This isn’t typology. It’s instinct.”
To hear all of his examples, here’s a short 2 minute audio link:
And here’s another graphic approach to the same presentation:
In a related explanation, here’s a wonderful 10 minute excerpt of a Keller message where he likens each piece and part of Scripture as being like a John the Baptist who says, “It’s not about me. It’s about him.”
That’s the background for the question I’m suggesting that we consider together: Is life in the Spirit— as Jesus promised it, and as Paul described it— the true and better way of reflecting the heart of Jesus… and pleasure of our Father?