“Progressive revelation in Christianity is the concept that the sections of the Bible that were written later contain a fuller revelation of God compared to the earlier sections.

For instance, the theologian Charles Hodge wrote, ‘The progressive character of divine revelation is recognized in relation to all the great doctrines of the Bible. .. What at first is only obscurely intimated is gradually unfolded in subsequent parts of the sacred volume, until the truth is revealed in its fulness.’ [1]

The ultimate revelation of God is understood to be found in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels. Hence according to this idea, the New Testament should be used to understand and interpret the Old Testament, even though all sections of the bible are believed to be accurate according to conservative theology.”

1. Systematic Theology. Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology. Vol. 1.Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers (2003), pg. 446. ISBN 1-56563-459-4 (also available abridged by Edward N. Gross, ISBN 0-87552-224-6)

Much of the Christianity that is put forth today is what I’d call ‘Old Covenant Christianity’. There is an over reliance on the revelation of God that occurred in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus claimed that these scriptures pointed to him and are fulfilled in him. Hebrews claims that Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation.

‘No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.’
John 1:18

He has explained [exēgeomai – exegesis] God. Jesus is how we are to interpret the God of the old covenant. And he did that by revealing a God of Love – Dada Father. The good news is not that Jesus appeased and angry or wrathful God but that God was in Christ! reconciling the world to himself. And when we enter into this reconciliation, we enter into the fullness of Christ.

Old covenant Christianity says that we have to enter into that fullness through more prayer, more devotion, more fasting and entering into worship [corporate singing]. Old covenant Christianity says things like, ‘God inhabits the praises of his people’. The reality is that God use to inhabit the praises of his people, but now he inhabits his people!

In the new covenant the fullness of Christ dwells in us. We cannot get more of God. And the scripture tells us plainly that it is not the goose bumps, or the flow of prophecy, or a word of knowledge that judges the presence of the spirit. It is if we are loving others. [1 Cor 13 and 1 John]

If I am out freezing my ass off handing out warm tea to prostitutes on a Friday night, that is a better indication of the presence of God in my life than my attending a rocking Sunday morning service or a shake the walls prayer meeting.

Though we would never say it out loud, the fact is – so much of what we do, we do to get God to come closer to us! Prayer, fasting, worship, spiritual warfare, tithing, … None of this will get us any closer to God or bring any more of God’s presence. It may make us feel closer. It may even seem like the Holy Spirit shows up in a tangible way. But it is all old covenant spirituality. The lest in the kingdom of God has all the anointing of God he will ever have or need. All our seeking after more anointing is old covenant.

The new covenant is this:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:4-10

Now obviously i am not against all that other stuff. I do think spiritual disciplines are helpful in getting me to see just what it is God has done and is doing in my life. And God will continue to meet me along my journey into his fullness. But that stuff is just to remove the scales from my eyes so I can see God clearer and not to get God to do something more.

I also realize that there is an interplay, a relationship between me and Father. He does react to my actions. He is more than a God, he is a Father and a Friend. We live in a relationship and as such his actions affect me and my actions affect him. And together we affect the world around us. But my actions in no way affect if he will bless me or curse me. My actions do not bring more of his presence and my actions do not align the stars so that he can do some mighty thing that he is just waiting on us so that he can move.

Dad, help me to grasp your ultimate revelation more fully, help me to be more rooted and grounded in love that I may be able to more fully embody your fullness to others. Amen