One of the distinctiveness of ‘reformed’ teaching and preaching is the centrality of Christ, often referred to as being “Christocentric”. We do so for that is the way Scripture presents Him. Scripture records for us that all things made in heaven and on earth were created through Him (Col 1:16; Heb 1:2). Immediately after the fall of mankind into sin, God the Father speaks about the Saviour who would come and crush the serpent’s head, even though the serpent would bruise His heel (Gen 3:15).
Scripture records God’s promise to king David that his seed would be on the throne forever (2 Sam 7:16), an obvious reference to Jesus Christ. Jesus’ ancestry can be traced back to king David, from the house of Judah (Lk 3:31). When Jesus came, He lived among sinful man and performed many wonderful miracles, clearly indicating that He was the Son of God Who came with power. Throughout His earthly life, He did not sin, thus making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sin.
However, a Christ who remained dead could never be our Saviour and so Scripture records for us with ample evidence that He rose victoriously from the dead (Lk 24; 1 Cor 15). More than that, Scripture records for us that Jesus ascended (Acts 1) and is now seated (standing) at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 7:55), a place of absolute authority. It is from that exalted position, Jesus continues to reign and rule all things for the glory of the Father and the salvation of the elect.
Scripture also teaches that this same Jesus is coming again and will judge the living and the dead and those who have been called by the Father, saved by Christ, quickened to life by the Holy Spirit, will enter into eternal life, all to the glory of the Triune God.
But it is not only Scripture that is Christocentric, all of human history is serving the salvation of the elect who have been saved by Christ to the glory of the Father (Phil 2:9-11). Under God’s sovereign rule, everything that happens, all the good things and yes, even the bad, are used by God to draw out the elect, so that they will inherit eternal life in glory, won for them by Christ.
So, if we are agreed that Scripture and all of history and any future event is about God’s glory and the salvation of sinners through his Son, surely then as Christians it is incumbent on us to be Christocentric now. Christocentric with all ministries, whether it be the Sunday worship services or the latest mission venture. All must be subject to just one test and that is to glorify Christ. If our ministry or our mission works fail that test, then we can be certain the Holy Spirit is not involved, for that is His primary role (Jn 16:14).
Now being Christocentric doesn’t mean that every message or every mission project has to speak specifically about Jesus’ life, birth and resurrection every time. What does need to happen is that there is an unmistakable Christocentric pattern in our ministries. If the value of Jesus life, death and resurrection are never mentioned or seldom spoken about in our ministries, then the time has come to refocus.
Finally, being Christocentric in ministries and missions can only occur if Christ is central in our personal lives. When He is, we will increasingly become Christocentric in all we do with the Holy Spirit’s help. JZ.
Pastor John Zuidema
Since 1997 Pastor John has been ministering to Churches across Australia and New Zealand.