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03 Apr '14

Is your ultimate focus on Scripture or Jesus?

Posted by T.J. Addington in spiritual formation
I do not worship Scripture, doctrine or theology. I worship Jesus and there is a big difference! It is easy to substitute the word of God for the person of God even though the word points to the person. The word without Jesus and His transformative work is dead and can lead to little else but legalism. The word understood and Jesus worshiped leads to freedom and life.

In my years of consulting with churches some of the most damaging and dangerous people have been those who knew the Scriptures the best. They could quote Scripture (and used it against other people), knew fine theology (and loved to show it) and often were the most rigid and legalistic people in the congregation. To say nothing of the lack of grace. These individuals worshiped the Scriptures at the expense of worshiping Jesus.

The word is designed to lead us to a living Lord and the transformation of our lives through the Holy Spirit. It does so only when we engage with Jesus (John 15) and are organically attached to Him. Jesus did not tell us that the Scriptures were the vine and we the branches but that He is the vine and we are the branches. It is as we remain in Him that we find life.

The word is truth about God but it is not God. Furthermore, without the Holy Spirit working in our hearts the word cannot transform our lives but only add to our intellectual knowledge and lead to a dead orthodoxy (if one can call it orthodox without the living Lord).

I love Scripture and read it through almost annually. But I love Jesus more and worship Him. He is my savior, not the Scriptures. He gives me life while the Scriptures help me understand him better and align my life with His. 

Never substitute the word of God for the person of God. The first can lead us to the second but it is the second that gives us life. Together His person and His truth are a powerful combination for life transformation.

(Posted from Havana, Cuba)