The Bible Is NOT About You

For the past seven weeks, I have been leading a group of men in our church through Tim Keller and Ed Clowney’s class on Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World. The 35 MP3’s are available for free on RTS iTunesU, and a PDF of the class notes are available as well.  I have also been supplementing the men with articles, chapters, and essays on Christ-centered preaching from Chapell to Greidanus to Goldsworthy to Spurgeon.  It has really be a lot of fun to learn together how to expound Christ, apply Christ, and adore Christ in our preaching.

Below is a video which is a good summary of what Tim Keller means by Christ-centered preaching, followed by a summary transcript of the audio excerpt.  Do you, preacher, make your message all about Him? Are you, Christian, satisfied with Christ-less messages?

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us.

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal.

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. And when God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love from me,” now we can look at God taking his son up the mountain and sacrificing him and say, “Now we know that you love us because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love from us.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant.

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends.

Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.

The Bible’s really not about you—it’s about him.

HT :: Collin Hansen

Explore posts in the same categories: Biblical Theology, Jesus, Preaching

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7 Comments on “The Bible Is NOT About You”

  1. Thank you for sharing this perspective. I am starting to see this view elsewhere, so I can tell God is working to remind us, it’s all about HIM, not us. So many are satisfied just hearing about what God is going to give them or do for them, without realizing that God’s glory is the focus. Even if God never answered a single selfish desire of mine, just knowing the God of the Universe should be enough.

  2. Jeremy Says:


    I posted a message on Twitter, but it’s easy to get lost in the clutter there. I’m making my way through this series and had some questions about the session 6 Q&A. Do you agree with Keller’s assessment of Edwards and Piper? I have read some of Edwards writings, but mostly through the lens of Piper’s writings. Do you think that Christian Hedonism is a dangerous name for our pursuit of God’s beauty and the eventual reward and eternal joy it will bring?


  3. Jonathan Says:

    The pdf link doesn’t work anymore. Any chance you could post an updated link? I’m working through the lectures right now and it would be great to have the pdf. Thanks.

  4. […] I’ve already plugged this awesome excerpt of Tim Keller in the past, but it’s worth posting again. […]

  5. Mark Freer Says:

    what happened to the notes of keller and clowny course on preaching in a post modern world?

  6. bhomcy Says:

    I spoke too soon- took a bit of searching, but I tracked down the notes:

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