What is “Gospel Convergence”? Part 1

The purpose of Gospel Convergence is to provide:

“Meditations on the Life of Jesus in the Mission of His Church for the Glory of God”

This encapsulates our Theological Vision which can be broken down into three complementary points:

  • Christ-Centred
  • Mission Orientated
  • Doxologically Driven

Christ-Centred

We believe that to be aligned with God in how he designed his universe to operate means being Christ-Centred, both in how we read and interpret the Scriptures and also in how we live our lives as individuals and within our various and varied communities.

This has profound implications for every area of our lives and we hope that we can help others, as well as ourselves, to see Christ clearer from the pages of Scripture to even the most mundane parts of our day and everything in-between.

We believe that being Christ-Centred has unambiguous Biblical warrant and tremendous practical application.

Biblical Warrant

From beginning to end the Bible is God’s story of his self-revelation in Jesus Christ. In Genesis 1 we have God creating the entire universe by the power of his word: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… And God said… and there was… And God saw that [it] was good” (vv. 1, 3, 4 ESV).

This ‘word’ is later revealed to be the Word:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…. For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:1-3, 14, 16-18 ESV)

Jesus is on the very first page of the Bible as God’s Agent of creation. We could systematically move through the narrative of Genesis and see Jesus on each and every page:

“Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God…”

(Tim Keller)

This is true not only of Genesis but the whole of the Old Testament, however, let’s move ahead into the New Testament and consider how Jesus himself interpreted the Bible.

In John 5 Jesus is speaking with some of the religious leaders of his day who interpreted the Bible as a rule book that if we obey it will earn us God’s love, acceptance and eternal life. Jesus responds to them quite emphatically, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (vv. 39-40 ESV).

Jesus points out the irony of the religious leaders hermeneutic. They spend all their time reading the Bible trying to find out how to earn eternal life and because they think it is something to be earned or achieved they miss out all together because they don’t (more accurately, they can’t) see that eternal life is a gift that is freely given in a Person, not one earned by assiduous rule keeping.

However, it wasn’t only the religious leaders who failed to grasp Jesus’ hermeneutic, his own disciples didn’t get it either until after Jesus resurrection when he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures:

“And [Jesus] said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself… Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:25-27, 44-49 ESV)

It is clear from these two passages that Jesus considered himself the central hermeneutical key to the whole Bible in terms of God’s plan of salvation which is the central theme of the Bible.

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