Every so often a Christian thinker/leader comes along and radically changes my views on something. In college it was C.S. Lewis and John Piper. In seminary it was (among others) Stanley Hauerwas. In the last few years it has been Tim Keller.
Today I’m traveling to the EPC General Assembly. Tonight at the General Assembly Tim Keller is preaching. I am looking forward to it.
I have listen to many of his sermons and lectures. And I have read a few of his books. By far his greatest impact on me has been his ability to interrupt Scripture in a Christ-Centered way.
One of the first times I remember having my mind blown, was listening to a lecture he gave about the story of David and Goliath.
Here’s what he said:
For example, look at the story of David and Goliath. What is the meaning of that narrative for us? Without reference to Christ, the story may be (usually is!) preached as: “The bigger they come, the harder they’ll fall, if you just go into your battles with faith in the Lord. You may not be real big and powerful in yourself, but with God on your side, you can overcome giants…
A better approach … “how is David foreshadowing the work of his greater Son”?… The story is telling us that the Israelites can not go up against Goliath. They can’t do it. They need a substitute. When David goes in on their behalf, he is not a full-grown man, but a vulnerable and weak figure, a mere boy. He goes virtually as a sacrificial lamb. But God uses his apparent weakness as the means to destroy the giant, and David becomes Israel’s champion-redeemer, so that his victory will be imputed to them. They get all the fruit of having fought the battle themselves.
And here comes the clincher:
…There is, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do, or basically about what he has done? If I read David and Goliath as basically giving me an example, then the story is really about me. I must summons up the faith and courage to fight the giants in my life. But if I read David and Goliath as basically showing me salvation through Jesus, then the story is really about him.
Until I see that Jesus fought the real giants (sin, law, death) for me, I will never have the courage to be able to fight ordinary giants in life (suffering, disappointment, failure, criticism, hardship).
After hearing this I remember thinking, “I will never read the Bible the same way again.”
I am looking forward to hearing Keller preach tonight. Not because I want hear about what more I need to do. But because I expect to be reminded of what Christ has already done for me.
May all of us today stop striving to get the victory in our own lives, but instead live out of Christ’s victory on our behalf!
Transcript taken from http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/moralismkeller.html