By Guest Blogger Ty Woznek
Those who have read “Maddening Theology” for a while know that I am a “Jesus-Centered” guy. I have written about it several times which you can read here: Jesus-Centered Part III, The Blessing of Christ-Centered Theology, Gospel-Centered Part I, and Gospel-Centered Resources. In fact, I had scripted on the spine of my Bible “Jesus in all of Scripture.” That being said, Ty Woznek, a friend of mine, has wise words to make we are Scripturally balanced when he talks about making sure we don’t lose sight of God the Father in the midst of our Christ-Centered theology. Below is his guest blog on the subject.
“How does Jesus pointing people to God the Father line up with the emphasis on Jesus in preaching?” I asked during a conference. “It seems with our emphasis on Jesus in the Scriptures we are forgetting God the Father, who Jesus pointed to, submitted to, and sacrificed himself so we can have a relationship with.
WE NEED AN ALIGNMENT
Our tires were months old, but no longer good. We needed an alignment. At that time in our marriage, we drove over 175,000 miles in three years. That means we needed 5 alignments a year. Oops. With the laser focus on the centrality of the Gospel or Christ we have done something similar with the church. We are in need of fresh tires because of over emphasis. At this point the “yeah…but…” is starting to rise. While the Gospel is the main thing, it’s not the only thing. While it is most important “I delivered to you as of first importance…” It is not the only thing that Paul, Jesus, and the Bible spoke on. So why do we need an alignment?
IS JESUS OR GOD THE FATHER THE MAIN THING?
More importantly the need of an alignment is our view on God the Father. While much of the Bible points to and is about Jesus, I would suggest God the Father is also a central figure. We ignore him too often. Paul alludes to this in Philippians when he says “… every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Paul’s prayer in Ephesians chapter one amplifies this point. Paul thanks the Father for the work done in us, through us and for us in Jesus. But more than that is what Jesus said.
A FEW THINGS THAT JESUS SAID IN MATTHEW
Let me list just a few things that we find Jesus saying in the book of Matthew.
“… so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. … so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good… You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. …your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. All things have been handed over to me by my Father… For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. My Father if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’
- While the preaching of the Gospel is primary, and Jesus the agent that makes that happen, as Gospel-centered people we must point people to the Father. Jesus did. Significant parts of the Bible are about our Father. In focusing on what Jesus is to us, let us not forget that our Jesus established our relationship with the Father, goes before the Father on our behalf, and that together we glorify the Father by doing His Father’s will.
- Preach Jesus! While the church needs an alignment, we must not “swing the pendulum” the other direction. Without Jesus, we cannot know who is central, the Father. Without Jesus, we lack the power of the Holy Spirit to live biblically discerning lives. Without Jesus, we are of all most people to be pitied. In course correcting, let us never forget that the Gospel was delivered to us as of first importance. Preach Jesus, and don’t forget to build discernment. Preach Jesus, and don’t forget our Father in heaven. Let us be in proper alignment and not out of balance. Our culture needs this from us.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.