It’s the beginning of another year, it’s always exciting. A new year gives us a chance to renew our commitments. I hope this article will help us in that way. My aim here is to suggest one key way of knowing Christ more in the new year. All my arguments will be centered on this key way. The key way is “if you want to know Christ more, you need to read your Bible a lot”. Paul had a longing to know Christ more, which is something that all of us as Christians need to have. Paul expresses it well in Philippians 3:10-11 “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” How can this desire to know Christ be met? Let’s get into it.
1. Know the Bible know Christ (the Bible is all about Christ)
The Bible is all about Christ, the central figure in the Bible is Christ. Note what it says in Luke 24:27 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Here Jesus is with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus and he explains to them that his life, death and resurrection is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. That the whole Old Testament is a testimony about him. Steven J. Lawson in his introduction to a sermon at the Ligonier Conference in 2016  said this “The Old Testament says he is coming, the Gospels says he is here, the book of Acts proclaims him, the Epistles explain him, the book of Revelation says he is coming back”. In short Lawson is saying the whole Bible is about Christ. So if you want to know Christ, you need to read and know your Bible.
2. The Bible has a high view of Christ
One thing a person cannot miss is that the Bible has a high view of who Christ is. From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament, we can see Christ for who he really is, and the glory and honour he deserves. Notice these few verses about him.
“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Genesis 49:8-10.
“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 2 Samuel 7:12-16.
These promises are fulfilled through Christ in the New Testament, we see it clearly. Jesus will come from the tribe of Judah and he will be in the line of David. And so in Luke 1:30-33 we see how Jesus is the one who fulfills these two prophecies “And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Notice the similarities, his connection to Judah/Jacob and David, his greatness, his rule and his eternal reign and kingdom. We can also look at other Old Testament passages like Psalm 2, 110, Jeremiah 23:5-6 and so many more. They are all high profile prophecies pointing to Christ.
In the New Testament, we have clear passages that have a high view of Christ. Notice Colossians 1: 15-20 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself allowing things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” This is a glorious explanation of who Christ is, and the New Testament is full of passages like this Hebrews 1:1-4, John 1:1-18 etc. Dear friend if you want to have depth in your understanding of Christ and have a high view of him, you need to get into reading the Bible, all of it from Genesis to Revelation.
3. The Bible calls us to be conformed into the image of Christ
In Romans 8:29-30, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” we are told that we were predestined to be conformed into the image of Christ. It is something we must desire, to be more and more like Christ. But this cannot happen unless we know who Christ is, and for us to know Christ we need to know the Bible. How can we be conformed to his image if we don’t know him? So we need to read the Bible so we can know him and be conformed to his image.
Conclusion: Practical ways to read your Bible
- Use Bible Reading plans to read through the whole Bible. Here are several plans that you can use, choose the one that you will best profit from: https://www.ligonier.org/posts/bible-reading-plans
- Set aside a time everyday to read the Bible
- Ask a Christian friend to start reading the Bible with them for an hour a week
- Read the Bible with your family
- Ask a non-christian friend/colleague if you could read the Bible with them for an hour once a week