We consider this week the third way to keep the first commandment. In the previous weeks we used Kevin DeYoung’s small book The 10 Commandments as a guide through worshipping God exclusively and shunning all idolatry. This week we will focus on Turning to Christ Uniquely. It highlights what we will see in greater detail as we continue that the commandments, with the coming of Christ, are transforming. Not to mean, “they are now irrelevant” but the we are given more insight into how they are observed.
The commandments are still for God’s people, but with the coming of Christ, God has illumined them for us. As an example DeYoung contrasts the way in which God spoke from Sinai “Worship me alone.” Yet in the transfiguration event, God speaks “This is my beloved Son…;listen to him” (Mat 17:5). The implication of the incarnation for us is that Christ deserves our worship. When we consider texts such as
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Heb 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
Phil 2:10-11 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I find Scott Oliphint in his book Majesty of Mystery helpful here, wherein he says “The divine ‘nature’ of the Son of God, therefore, is essential to who He is; the ‘nature’ of man is who He is only because He freely decided He would take it.” Jesus is the divine person, the second person of the Trinity and therefore as the Son of God has always been and cannot but be, fully God. If he would never have taken onto himself humanity, he would be God and worthy of all praise. Therefore, we are not worshipping the one true God unless we worship God as he has revealed himself in Jesus. To state this differently, if we are not worshipping God in Jesus, we are not worshipping God.
The Incarnation allows us to view God’s love for us. Why would this person who needs nothing from us come to relieve us of our state of sin and misery? Why would the person who receives all glory and adoration humble himself and expose himself to abject humiliation? The best answer from Scripture is because He loved us and rescued us from the clutches of sin and death in order that we would cheerfully serve and worship Him for eternity.
Citing Calvin’s commentary on the first commandment, we owe God four things: adoration, trust, invocation, and thanksgiving. That is, we are to worship Christ, treasure Christ, look to Christ, and find grace in Christ. This is how we can be Christ-centered in keeping this commandment.