Bible reading methods are not created equal. Some methods will lead you down a path of legalism and bondage. They place the emphasis on what you must do. Other methods will take verses horribly out of context in the attempt to make them relevant to your life. Those kinds of methods will not help you. Only reading the Bible in a Christ-centered way will nourish you on your faith journey. Reading the Bible with “Jesus-glasses” on is both a mindset and a method.
The Mindset of Christ-Centered Reading
The mindset of Christ-centered Bible reading first believes that the Bible is God’s Word. God cannot lie (Titus 1:3). So everything God says is trustworthy and true. God is also faithful. He does what He says He will do. He is in control of all things. He is sovereign. Therefore, we can expect for God’s work in the future to be like His work in the past. When we read the Bible, we can patterns and themes in earlier portions of the Bible repeated later. Theologians call this typology. Earlier people, events, and institutions are pictures or signs pointing us forward to Christ. For example, Adam is a type of Christ (Romans 5:12-14). Just as Adam’s action affects all humanity, so also Christ’s work on the cross affects all those who believe.
The Method of Christ-Centered Bible Reading
Christ is the point of the Bible (Luke 24:27). He is the crucified and resurrected King of the kingdom (Acts 2:36). He fulfills the old covenant and inaugurates the new covenant by his own shed blood (Luke 22:20). He shines forth God’s glory most brightly as he received God’s judgment on the cross to provide salvation for his people (Romans 3:23-26).
The whole Bible, therefore, must be read as pointing to Christ and especially His cross. Why His cross? The cross stands at the heart of the Christian faith. If we don’t see His work on the cross at the heart of every passage, we don’t even have the power to obey the commands of the God. Does this mean that every time we read the Bible we should see how the passages relates to Jesus’ cross and resurrection? Yes! Christ-centered Bible reading is meant to lead us to Christ, not only as our example for living but as our crucified and risen King by whom we receive salvation and the sustaining grace to follow him.
Here are some resources I put together to help you use the method of Christ-centered Bible Reading.
Graphic: Click to download (“Save Image As”)