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Revelation - Centred On Christ, Our Saviour

Carl E. Braaten has written that "Serious reservations ... must be voiced against the dominant position of the idea of revelation in theology." Braaten suggests that the idea of revelation implies that "man's essential predicament is his lack of knowledge." Braaten offers this comment: "If the ignorance of man stands in the centre, then the fact of revelation relieves that plight; but if man's guilt is the problem, then not revelation but reconciliation must become the theological centrum" (History and Hermeneutics, p. 14).
Any worthy theology of revelation will take full account of the substance of Braaten's comment. Man's basic need does not lie in his finitude. It lies in his sinfulness. This need is not met by mere knowledge about God. It is met by reconciliation to God. We must, however, resist any and every tendency to draw a false contrast between revelation and reconciliation. Revelation is not merely an antidote to ignorance. Revelation centres on Christ. He is our Saviour. He is the One who reconciles us to God. Biblical revelation must be understood with respect to its specific intention. This is most closely related to salvation. The Scriptures point us to Christ. They call us to believe in Him. They call us to receive eternal life through faith in Him. This salvation is more than simply an antidote to our ignorance. It is God's way of removing our guilt. Scripture's primary focus of attention is on the divine reconciliation by which our guilt is removed. Let us not think, however, that we should dispense with the word, 'revelation', and simply replace it with the word, 'reconciliation'. Let us rejoice in the God who has revealed Him most wonderfully in His great act of reconciliation through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). 

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God continues to carry forward His great purpose of salvation.

Genesis 16:1-16
We move from salvation and the assurance of salvation to Satan and the activity of Satan. Sarai came with temptation - "Why don't you sleep with my slave? Maybe I can build a family through her." Abram gave in to temptation -"Abram agreed with Sarai (Genesis 16:2). The evil influence of Sarai continued: "Sarai mistreated Hagar so much that she ran away" (Genesis 16:6). When we read of Satan and his activity, we must not imagine, for a moment, that Satan wins the victory over the Lord and His purpose of salvation. This becomes clear as the story develops. The Lord's purpose will not be thwarted by the activity of Satan. The "Almighty Lord" will be victorious. This chapter ends with the birth of Ishmael. It is not a high- point in the purpose of God. It is a sign that Satan is trying to overthrow God and His gracious purpose. This leads to a 13-year gap in God's speaking to Abraham (Genesis 16:16-17:1), but that…

Isaac and Jesus

Genesis 22:1-24
Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac - "You did not refuse to give Me your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:12). God did give His only Son for us - "God did not spare His only Son but handed Him over to death for us all" (Romans 8:32). While there may be comparisons made between the sacrifice of Isaac and the sacrifice of Jesus, we must emphasize the great difference - the sacrifice of Isaac did not happen, the sacrifice of Jesus did. For Isaac, there was a way out. For Jesus, there was no other way. Abraham's faith was proved genuine without the sacrifice of Isaac. Our faith only becomes a reality through the sacrifice of Christ (Galatians 2:20-21; Galatians 3:13-14).