1Co 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
First of all, you and I can agree on something before we continue; that many times we go over the Bible and read words that really mean nothing to us but that we recite and jot down because they sound nice. Memory verses fill our minds but mean zilch to our hearts because they are really mental exertions.
Second, I know many of us have been told that the answer to all our problems is in the Bible. There was a point in History when someone read John I “In the beginning was the Word…” and figured out that this translates into Christ, that the Bible is Christ in paper form.
To a lot of us, this verse meant the Bible was like a magic book able to wield so much power if we could only master its usage.
Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Later, as grace and truth presents Himself as He is, I began to understand the Bible, was like any other witness. A John, who came to announce the light but not being the light. I know a group of friends elsewhere in the world who hold up their Bibles and say they are what the Bible says they are, they can do what the Bible says they can do…etc. In essence it’s like saying about a window or “I am where I am looking at”; like talking about a map as if it were a destination.
Few of us know there was a time there was no Bible but the encouragement of words from those who had heard Christ or those who had heard those who heard Christ.
1Jn 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life, (for the Life was revealed, and we have seen it and bear witness, and show to you the everlasting Life, who was with the Father and was revealed to us), that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we write these things to you so that your joy may be full
That said, I know the Bible is a grand witness because of the testimony from old, because of the shadows proclaimed, because of the secrets hinted on, because they speak of Christ. However I know the Bible is not an end. Like any other witness of God – the weather, nature, prophecy, miraculous, etc, these things point us to the real life. They announce the vine, they announce the bridegroom, they announce the builder. The one who if we are without, are nothing.
Christ is not some foundational doctrine given upon which other things are built. He cannot be compared to the things that speak of Him. He is the substance of everything we have heard to be life and good.
He does not have qualities which He gives us as being apart from Himself.
The verse at the beginning is a window into this.
Christ is made all things to us. Things are not given to us as though they were anything in and of themselves. To think that you could be patient, or merciful, or loving or hopeful outside the life of Christ is to dwell in an imagination offered by the mind.
To think that you can achieve righteousness or holiness or sanctification by doing a list of things or eating Kosher is being a little ignorant of who Christ is.
Christ is life. I don’t know a better way to put it. Outside Him, we waste away in death.
Eph 5:14 Therefore he says, “Awake, sleeping ones! And arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”
What that means, is that Christ shall be made your life. What you know as life shall be put away because it is a lie and truth and light shall be made manifest to you in Him because He is those things. He is not apart from them, He cannot give them because He is them.
Until the day you understand that Christ is made all things to us, it is possible for us to look to ourselves to think we can manifest any goodness and achieve a good standing with God. May this not be so. May we know that without Him, we are alive but dead and that to be truly alive, we must be dead in Him and He must be alive in Us.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
In the end the answer to all our problems becomes knowing the one of whom the Bible speaks of because He is the substance of the things spoken of.