The Word of God vs. The Living Word of God

“Never should I allow the road map to become more important to me than the destination itself.”

Vintage still life.

It isn’t by primarily focusing on the printed Word of God that we will find eternal life.

It isn’t by primarily focusing our attention on the Bible and Scripture that we will find Christ.

It’s only when we focus on the living Word of God – Christ  Himself – that we are saved. It’s only when we focus on Christ that we get to know Him and through Him, God. Because only by developing a meaningful relationship with Christ will we ever develop a meaningful relationship with God and strengthen the trust that binds our faith in Him.

Like many Christians, I have been focusing my energies and attention primarily on study of the Bible and Scripture, to such an extent that I lost my focus on seeking a meaningful relationship with Christ.  What a blunder.

While the Bible and Scripture may be essential to facilitate a meaningful relationship with Christ, they are only the means to an end. When we allow our focus on Scripture to overshadow our focus on Christ, we undermine the very spiritual aids we’ve been given to know God — and to strengthen our faith in Him. Only by focusing our primary attention on Christ will we ever truly find eternal life.

In his book, “We Shall Judge Angels,” Harold J. Chadwick points out that Christ once said to some Jews in the Temple, “You search the Scriptures, for you believe they give you eternal life. And the Scriptures point to me! Yet you won’t come to me so that I can give you this life eternal!” John5:39

Chadwick continues, “It wasn’t the printed Word of God that would bring them life, but the living Word of God about whom the printed Word testified. The primary intent of the Scriptures is to develop faith in God and His Christ; it is never to develop faith in the words of the Scripture.”

Put another way, I liken the Bible and Scripture to a “road map” to God and His Christ. I may need to study the roadmap in order to bring me to my desired destination, because I know I cannot reach it on my own. But never should I allow the road map become more important to me than the destination itself. It’s only a tool. Its not my destination.

As I study the Bible and Scripture, I must make a concerted effort to remind myself they are only there to facilitate my journey to God and His Christ. They are not the destination I seek. Nor should preoccupation with them ever be allowed to obscure pursuit of a meaningful relationship with Christ — or become as important to me as He is.

It is Christ Who must be the focus of my spiritual journey, not the Bible or Scripture. Because it is through Christ that I may have eternal life, not through the Bible, Scripture, prayer, good works, or anything else.

Jesus told him, ‘I am the Way – yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me.” John 14:6

Unfortunately, many Christians — including me — have spent an enormous amount of their time trying to study Scripture in order to build their faith. Our intentions are good, but our focus may at times have been misguided. Instead of trying to learn more about the Word of God through Scripture to have increased faith in Scripture, we need to be certain our focus is always learning about God and His Christ so we strengthen our faith in Him.

A focus on Scripture that overshadows a focus on Christ isn’t really Scripture at all — at least in the sense that we need it.

 

Copyrighted Image: Andrey Armyagov

 

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