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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON FIVE The Central Person in the Scriptures

    1. The great purpose of the Old Testament was to bear witness of Christ. John 5:39, 46; John 1:45; Luke 24:27, 44; Psalm 40:8.TDOC 12.3

    2. From the beginning of the New Testament to its close the most prominent name is the name of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:1; Revelation 22:21.TDOC 12.4

    3. Under various titles Christ is presented in the Old Testament. Genesis 3:15; 49:10; Numbers 24:17; Deuteronomy 18:15; Joshua 5:13-15; Judges 13:3, 17-20; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Jeremiah 23:5, 6; Daniel 7:13; Zechariah 6:12; Malachi 3:1.TDOC 12.5

    4. Some of the greatest characters of the Old Testament were types of Christ. Examples: Adam, Melchizedek, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David.TDOC 12.6

    5. The whole purpose of the ancient sanctuary and its services was to reveal Christ as the Savior of the world. 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 8:1, 2; Colossians 2:16, 17; Hebrews 9:8-14; 8:5, 10:1; 9:23-26; 8:4, 5.TDOC 12.7

    6. The same name is applied to him as to the Holy Scriptures Mark 7:13; Revelation 19:13.TDOC 12.8

    NOTES: Christ in the word

    “If, when we look into the word of God, we do not see Christ there, we look to no purpose, for he is everywhere in the book.”TDOC 13.1

    Beholding the Redeemer

    “As the student of the Bible beholds the Redeemer, there is awakened in the soul the mysterious power of faith, adoration, and love. Upon the vision of Christ the gaze is fixed, and the beholder grows into the likeness of that which he adores.”-Education, 192.TDOC 13.2

    That glorious face

    “Thus it is with Christ in the Scriptures, especially in the Old Testament. Many persons-even many who know Christ-read rapidly through and over the pages of the book, and declare that they do not see Christ in them. Well, read it again and again; look a little more intently upon those sacred pages; draw a little nearer into the light which the Holy Spirit gives to them that ask him. Read it on your knees, calling upon God to open your eyes that you may see wonderful things out of his law; and presently the beauteous, glorious face of him whom your soul loves will shine forth upon you. Sometimes you will see that wondrous face in deep shadow, marred more than the face of any man; and again lie will seem fair as the lily of the valley, and his face will shine above the brightness of the sun.”TDOC 13.3

    A prophetic biography

    “The whole life of the Savior, from his birth to his ascension and his sending forth the Spirit, may be narrated in the words of Moses and the prophets.”TDOC 13.4

    A fulfilled outline

    “The whole picture of Jesus given us in the Gospels is the fulfillment of that outline which was sketched in word, and sign, and fact, in Israel’s record. The Gospels declare that Jesus is he. ‘We have found him.’ He is come that was to come. But who and what that glorious and divine he is, Moses and the prophets explain.”TDOC 13.5

    Christ the substance of Scripture

    “Christ being thus the Spirit of Scripture as well as the Spirit of Israel, the substance of Scripture throughout is himself. All divine revelations have Christ not merely for their Mediator, but for their center. We have not merely a succession of prophetic announcements of his coming, his work, and glory, but in all God’s dealings with Israel he revealed himself to them in Christ.”TDOC 13.6

    Christ the center of scripture

    “Christ is the center of all Scripture, as he is the center of all God’s purposes and counsels. The four evangelists take up the life and the moral glory of the Son of man, and they place it alongside of the picture of the Messiah as sketched by the prophets, the historical by the side of the prophetic, and they show how exactly the two match.”TDOC 13.7

    Christ in the Old Testament

    “I cannot but express grief and astonishment at the prevalent neglect of the Jewish Scripture. The term Old Testament may partly have contributed to this, people imagining that what is old is antiquated. We have already seen that these Scriptures are full of Christ; and were it but for the circumstance that they are the only writings of which we know that Christ used and loved them, they ought to be most precious to us. Christ’s favorite book! Christ’s only book! The book he always read, always quoted; his guide and companion during life; his meditation and comfort in his sufferings and on his cross. If you love Jesus, you ought dearly to love and diligently to read this book.”TDOC 14.1

    Christ the kernel of the record

    “It is impossible for us to understand the nature of Scripture unless we view it in relation to the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, the Redeemer of God’s people; for he is the center and kernel of the inspired record.”TDOC 14.2

    The Incarnate Word and the written Word

    “In the Bible God himself comes down and speaks, not in the Old Testament alone, and not alone by proxy. The New Testament presents us, says Dean Burgon, with the august spectacle of the Ancient of days holding the entire volume of the Old Testament Scriptures in his hands, and interpreting it of himself. He, the Incarnate Word, who was in the beginning with God, and who was God, that same Almighty One is set forth in the Gospels as holding the volume of the Book in his hands, as opening and unfolding it, and explaining it everywhere of himself.”TDOC 14.3

    The face of Christ

    “In Christian character the image of Christ is marred by imperfections, but in the Scriptures the portrait is perfect. A friend described to me a painting which hung on the wall of his boyhood home. When you first saw it, it was a beautiful landscape with trees, streams, houses, and people, but while gazing upon it all these beautiful things began to form into a human face. On a closer inspection you perceived that the whole picture was intended to give the face of Christ. The devout student of the Scriptures is constantly having experiences like this. He sees in the Bible trees of faithfulness, streams of truth, landscapes of loveliness in deed and character, but they are all so arranged in their relation to Christ as to bring out the features of his character. While we thus see him as he is, we become more and more like him, until by and by we shall see his unveiled face and be completely transformed into his likeness. ‘Search the Scriptures’ for a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ.”TDOC 14.4

    The Word and Christ

    “Whatever the word is, it is because of its relation to Christ. Is the word of God quick, that is, living? It is because Christ is the life. Is it powerful? It is because Christ is the power of God. Is it sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow? It is because Christ is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; because Christ divides between Peter who confesses him as the Son of God, and Peter who savors the things of men. Is it a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart? It is because Christ knows what is in men; because he sees Nathanael when he is under the fig tree, and the Pharisees who think evil in their hearts. Is it said of the word, Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight. But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. It is because the spoken and written word is identified with the Lord himself, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, even the Son of man unto whom the Father hath committed all judgment. Is the word spoken of as the sincere milk, the nourishing food of the soul? It is because Christ is the bread of life. Is it commended as light shining into darkness? It is because Christ is wisdom.TDOC 15.1

    “The essence of Scripture is that Savior in whom are all things which pertain unto life and godliness. The soul that has found Jesus Christ, sees him in Scripture, always and throughout. Jesus is the door by which alone we can enter the sanctuary of the word. And, when we come to Jesus, we enter into possession of the word, for he has the words of eternal life. They are his, and he only can give the word. John 17:14. And as we have the word through him and in him, so we find him in every portion of Scripture.TDOC 15.2

    “When I listen to the accordant voice of all the holy prophets, and of the apostles of our Lord and Savior, me thinks I stand in Jerusalem at our Lord’s triumphant entry, and hear the multitudes of those who go before, and of those who follow after, crying, Hosannah to the Son of David, blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord to save.”TDOC 15.3

    Jesus only

    “Jesus only’ is the true center of Scripture in all its manifold revelations.”TDOC 15.4

    “In Christ the Eternal lodged his purpose and laid his plans for the world. It is his fullness that the fullness of the times dispenses. The Old Testament, the reservoir of precious revelation, had him for its close-kept secret, ‘held in silence through eternal times.’ Romans 16:25-27. The drift of its prophecies, the focus of its converging lights, the veiled magnet toward which its spiritual indications pointed, was ‘Christ.’ He was the spiritual rock that followed Israel in its wanderings, from whose springs the people drank, as it answered to the touch of one and now another of the holy men of old.TDOC 15.5

    The revelation of Christ

    “The revelation of Jesus Christ gives unity, substance, and meaning to the history of Israel, which is otherwise a pathway without goal, a, problem without solution. Priest and prophet, law and sacrifice. The kingly Son of David, and the suffering Servant of Jehovah. The Seed of the woman with bruised foot bruising the serpent’s head; the Lord whom his people seek, suddenly coming to his temple; the Stone hewn from the mountains without hands, that grows till it fills the earth the manifold representations of Israel’s ideal center in the Lord Jesus Christ. The lines of the great figure drawn on the canvas of prophecy-disconnected as they seemed and without a plan, giving rise to a thousand dreams and speculations are filled out and drawn into shape and take life and substance in him. They are found to be parts of a consistent whole, sketches and studies of this fragment or of that belonging to the consummate Person and the comprehensive plan manifest in the revelation of Jesus Christ.”TDOC 16.1

    Christ the key to the Bible

    “Christ is indeed the key to them, all; he is the key of the types, and the key to the Bible. Of him God has given us more than sketches; the word from end to end is full of him. In the word we have a whole Christ presented to us: Christ in his offices, in his character, in his person. Christ in his relations to God and man; Christ in his body the church; Christ as giving to God all that God required from man. Christ as bringing to man all that man required from God; Christ as seen in this dispensation in suffering. Christ as seen in the next dispensation in glory. Christ as the first and the last, as ‘all and in all’ to his people. The different books are but God’s chapters in which he arranges and illustrates some one or more of these or other aspects of his Beloved.”TDOC 16.2

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