Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Letters To Christians
2 TIMOTHY 2:15 NKJ 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
All of God's Word is truth, but we must rightly divide the Bible, or we will be confused and misled.
ALL Scripture is written FOR us, but it is not all written TO us, nor is it all ABOUT us.
Every verse in the Bible is a message of truth we can learn from. But every verse is not specific directions for us. For example, instructions to offer daily animal sacrifices show us a truth of the need for a payment for sin, but those verses are not written directly to us. After Jesus' final sacrifice we are no longer instructed to offer daily animal sacrifices.
The whole Bible is the inspired Word of God, but only the letters in the New Testament are specifically and directly written to us.
While we can learn many things from reading a letter written to someone else, reading one written directly to us is much more meaningful.
The letters to Christians (epistle is another word for letter) are found in the New Testament starting with Romans. Therefore we should (and must if we are to be accurate), base the bulk of our teachings on what we find in the Bible specifically written to us, the New Testament Epistles.
The book of Acts is not a letter, but it is a history of the beginning of the church as they began to understand and walk in the New Covenant.
While the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are included in the section of our Bibles we call the New Testament, they actually record the life and ministry of Jesus which took place under the Old Covenant with Israel. (For the New Covenant could not start until the blood of Jesus was shed for the remission of our sins.)
Now we live under a new and better covenant. This New Covenant started at the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one could be included in the New Covenant until after Jesus finished His work and was raised from the dead.
The ministry of Jesus on earth, recorded in the Gospels, was to the people of Israel. So much of what is written in the Four Gospels was said to backslidden Jews under the Law who had essentially rejected God.
Surely you realize that God would talk differently to His family than to a group that has rejected Him.
We should rejoice in our New Covenant and all its blessings. And while we can learn many things from the whole of the Bible, our primary focus should be on the part written to us.
SAY THIS: Because I am in Christ, I am part of His body on earth, the church. So the letters in the Bible written to the church are written to me.
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