Sep 29

Bible Reading and Gospel Music

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Quote

How can we read the Bible so that the Bible transforms us? In short, we are transformed when the Spirit grants us to see and to know Christ better in the Word. This is because seeing and knowing Christ is the way we are transformed into Christ’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:18; 1 John 3:2). Our goal is to be like Christ, and the means is our vision of Christ.

Ok. Got it.

But how does that work? What is the relationship between our spiritual apprehension of Christ and our becoming like Christ? How does reading the Word work on us?

Sometimes an illustration helps. In his article on how to read the Bible, “Christ-Centered Bible Study,” Keith Johnson begins by illustrating the relationship between hearing the Bible’s message and living its demands:

Imagine yourself in a large house in which those who are deaf and those who can hear are living together. In one of the rooms, you see a guy sitting in a chair, listening to music on his iPod. Rhythmically, he’s tapping his foot, drumming his thighs, jutting out his chin, and swaying to the beat. His entire body moves in response to what his ears are hearing. It’s obvious that he’s enjoying himself and listening to a pretty good song.

A few minutes later, one of the deaf persons enters the room. Seeing the guy listening to the music and rocking out, he thinks, that looks like fun! I think I’ll try that. So he sits down next to him and begins to imitate him. Awkwardly at first, he tries drumming his thighs, jutting his chin out, and swaying to the music just like the guy with the iPod. With a little practice, he begins to catch onto it. By watching and trying, he begins to mirror the others guys actions pretty closely. But although he eventually gets better at keeping time, he concludes that it’s not as much fun or as easy as it initially seemed (especially the chin jut–very difficult to do when you’re not actually hearing the music).

After a while, a third person enters the room and watches this scene. What does he see? Two people apparently doing the same thing, apparently listening to the same thing. Is there a difference? Absolutely, the first guy hears the music and his actions are a natural response to the music’s rhythm and melody. The second guy is merely imitating the outward actions. Being deaf, he’s not listening to anything.

There’s an important spiritual parallel here. The dance (outward actions) represents the Christian life, while the music represents the grace of the gospel.

That’s a helpful image. After all, Jesus used the senses of both seeing and hearing to communicate what it means for us to apprehend his identity and his message (Matthew 13:13).

The whole article is worth reading.

HT: Dane Ortlund