Friday, April 23, 2009
Once in a while I encounter a passage of Scripture that seems to capture the message of the whole thing. And while I recognize that this can be a tricky thing–summarizing the whole canon–I have a couple of candidates to put forward, one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament.
The heart of the Old Testament:
“I shall show you what is right and good: to revere the LORD and worship him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:23b-24 REB
Here, the prophet Samuel teaches Israel to follow their God wholeheartedly, based on his mighty acts in the past (e.g., the exodus, the promised land). It’s all there.
And the heart of the New Testament:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering.” Romans 8:1-3 TNIV
In this passage, the Christian message is summarized: In Christ, God dealt with sin permanently, so his people could be free from condemnation.
What do you think? What do you observe the heart of the Bible to be? Or at least the respective testaments? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
Hint: John 3:16 is too obvious; dig deeper!