John 5:39-40, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

“We were made to know and treasure the glory of God above all things; and when we trade that treasure for images, everything is disordered. The sun of God’s glory was made to shine at the center of the solar system of our soul. And when it does, all the planets of our life are held in their proper orbit. But when the sun is displaced, everything flies apart. The healing of the soul begins by restoring the glory of God to its flaming, all-attractive place at the center.” –John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, p. 21

Our Purpose: Jesus Christ stands at the center of God’s ultimate purpose to glorify himself in creation and redemption. In the incarnation, Jesus reveals the glory of God. He stands at the center of history and gives it meaning and purpose. The Old Testament prepares for his coming. The Gospels record his coming. Acts records the spread of the news of his coming. The epistles explain his coming. And, Revelation anticipates his final coming. Jesus Christ also stands at the center of our joy and it is in knowing him and loving him that we find our soul-satisfying delight. It is because Jesus stands at the center of all things that he stands at the center of God’s BOOK (John 5:39). When we pick up the BOOK in faith, we hear him speaking and calling and enabling us to make him the center of all we think, say, and do. When we respond and obey him, he becomes the satisfying joy of our life. All that we are and all that we do becomes a beautifully ordered testimony to the glory of our God. Jesus Christ is the center of our joy!

I.                    Christ is at the center of the Scriptures.

John 5:39-40, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

“Jesus, as he is revealed in the Bible, has a glory- an excellence, a spiritual beauty- that can be seen as self-evidently true. It is like seeing the sun and knowing that it is light and not dark, or tasting honey and knowing that it is sweet and not sour. There is no long chain of reasoning from premises to conclusions. There is a direct apprehension that this person is true and His glory is the glory of God.  –John Piper

II.                  Christ is at the Center of God’s Plan.The end of creation is that the creation might glorify God. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at the glory he has displayed? —Jonathan Edwards

Colossians 1:15-20: Christ is the Revealer of God’s glory: [15]{John 1:14; 14:9; 17:6-8; Hebrews 1:3]; Christ is the Ruler over all things: [15-16] [Hebrews 1:1-2; Psalm 89:27]; Christ is the Creator of all things: [16][John 1:1-3, Psalm 19:1] Christ is the Sustainer of all things: [17) [Hebrews 1:3] Christ is the Leader of his Church: (v. 18) [Ephesians 4:15-16; Ephesians 1:22-23]; Christ is the Victor over death:(v. 18)[1 Corinthians 15:56-57]; Christ is the Reconciler of sinners: (v. 20) [1 Peter 3:18]

III.                Christ is at the Center of our Joy.“Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. And when we are satisfied in him, we are crucified to the world”. –John Piper

  1. He is our Treasure. Matthew 13:44: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
  2. His joy is our joy. John 15:11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” [John 17:13-14]
  3. His joy overflows in us. Phil 1:25-26: “I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”
  4. Our faith in him is our joy: 1 Peter 1:8-9: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
  5. The Preaching of Christ is our joy: Phil 1:18 “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”
  6. Our eternal reward will be the joy of seeing the fullness of Christ’s glory. John 17:24 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

IV.                The Scriptures were at the center of Christ’s mission.

  1. He fought with the Scriptures: Matthew 4:4: “It is written”
  2. He proclaimed the Scriptures: Mark 7:6 "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
  3. He fulfilled the Scriptures: Luke 22:37 “It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." 
  4. He affirmed the Scriptures: Mark 12:24 “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?”
  5. He explained the Scriptures: Luke 24:27 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

V.                  Application: Christ, Scripture and the Problems of Life.“It is doubtful whether God can use any man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” A. W. Tozer

  1. Problems and pressures are God’s way of growing our joy in Jesus. John 16:33
  2. Jesus’ words are divine principles that enable us to be victorious in every situation. Matt. 7:24-25
  3. The greater the pain and suffering the deeper the grace and the joy Jesus supplies. 2 Cor. 3:10
  4. Our prayers are powerful and our lives are fruitful when Jesus’ words abide in us. John 15:7
  5. Jesus is glorified in our troubles when we trust His promises and call on his name. Psalm 50:15

 “If Christ obliterated all devils and demons now [which he could do], his sheer power would be seen as glorious, but his superior beauty and worth would not shine as brightly as when humans renounce the promises of Satan and take pleasure in the greater glory of Christ.” –John Piper