“How Then Should We Live?”

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Bible Prophecy, Bible Study, Christian Life, Dispensations, Salvation, Tribulation

            A person is saved today from having to spend eternity in hell with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) as soon as he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ alone as the One who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Luke 24:39-43). He is not saved by any of his good works lest he should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).  Make sure your faith is in the Christ of the Scriptures, not in the Christ of the cults (2 Peter 2:10).

                Living.  But once a person is saved, how should he live?  Where is he going to find his rules for living the Christian life?  With such a big Bible (consisting of 66 books) before him, he is likely to be overwhelmed and not know where to begin.  Without some help from a spiritually maturing Christian (Romans 8:14; Galatians 6:1, 2; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:2-4) he is likely to become the victim of the devil and get discouraged, disappointed, and maybe even doubt God and His Word.  He may continue to struggle with his sin nature that will battle against his new nature (Romans 7:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4).  Some men erroneously teach that a Christian loses his old sin nature when he gets saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25).  Instead of blaming themselves for their own sinful, carnal behavior (Galatians 5:19-21), they blame the devil.  Other believers are enamored by the present world system and all that it offers to distract us away from God (1 John 2:15-17).  Do you feel this way yourself?  Would you like help?

                House Rules.  If a person interprets the Bible normally (as he would other pieces of literature), he will soon realize that there are “seeming contradictions” in the Bible.  While we believe one can find seven distinct sets of “House Rules” (Dispensations) within the Scriptures, three of them take up a large portion of God’s Word: the Mosaic Law (Exodus 19:9-Matthew 12:50), Kingdom Rules as found in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and other kingdom passages, and Grace Principles for New Testament believers (John 13-Revelation 3).  The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that Christians are not under the Mosaic Law today but we are to live by Grace Principles (Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:1-5; 5:1).

                Growth.  A Christian cannot grow spiritually and be well pleasing to God if he tries to live by the wrong set of rules (2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:9, 10).  He will have difficulty living a victorious life because he doesn’t know or is confused about his spiritual enemies: the devil, his own sin nature, and the present world system.  He may try to do things independently of God (John 15:5; Matthew 7:21-23; Isaiah 14:13, 14) and his works will be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2, 58; 1 Thessalonians 3:5).  At the Bema Seat Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10) this believer will lose many crowns and rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 3:11) that could have been his if he had done the things that God wanted for him to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10).  

                The Mosaic Law.  These rules were given to the presumptuous Jews (Exodus 19:8; 20:1-17) before they entered the land that God promised to give to them as an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:18-21; 17:8; 48:4).  All other “occupiers” of Israel’s land need to beware of God’s warning (Genesis 12:1-3; Relation 16:16; 19:11-16; Zechariah 12:1-14; 14:12-15).  The book of Deuteronomy is the second giving of the Law and it predicted earthly blessings that would come to the Jews if they obeyed God’s Law and a curse that would come on them if they disobeyed it (Deuteronomy 28).  Without God’s help, there was no way they could keep it (Romans 8:3).  The Law was designed to show the Jews how sinful their hearts were/are (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23) and their need for a better way than their bloody, animal sacrificial system (Hebrews 9:23).  It was a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ (Galatians 3:24)

                The Sermon on the Mount.  This was addressed to Jews who were anticipating the fulfillment of Daniel’s and other prophecies when Christ (Messiah) would set up His literal kingdom on earth (Daniel 2:44, 45; Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1-16; 35:1-10; 61:1-3; Zechariah 12; 14; Matthew 4:17).  “Red Letter Christians” often pick and choose the sayings of Christ that they like to use to push their socialist agendas.  The Church and Christians didn’t even exist until after Christ’s death and resurrection on the Day of Pentecost (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2; 10:44-48; 11:15).  It will be complete before the Lord returns in the Rapture (John 6:37; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Christ will set up a literal kingdom on earth when He returns at His second coming after the Great Tribulation, known also as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Matthew 24:21-31; Jeremiah 30:7; Isaiah 9:6, 7).  The initial phase of His kingdom will last 1,000 literal years (Revelation 20:1-6).

                The Dispensation of Grace.  While most of the Christian’s “House Rules” were given by the Lord (Who is the Head of the Church –Ephesians 1:22, 23; 4:8) to the Apostle Paul (who was the steward of these Grace teachings – Ephesians 3:1-12; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Colossians 1:25), the Apostles John and Peter, and the Lord’s half brothers, James and Jude added supplemental information for us to believe and practice.

                Truth.  The Scriptures tell us what God wants us to know at this time (John 17:17).  We have everything we need for life and godliness in them (2 Peter 1:3).  The Old and New Testaments are God breathed and are profitable for doctrine (teaching), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  While everything in the Bible is to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9).  Some things never change: God, Satan, man’s sin nature, salvation by grace through faith.  But other things do change: Man’s diet, types of sacrifices, places of worship, the nature of animals, and the responsibilities that God imposes on people during different stages of history.

                Value.  The Old Testament has value to the Christian in that it tells us if we behave like the rebellious Jews did in the wilderness, we will suffer similar consequences (1 Corinthians 10:6).  It also reminds us that God will surely keep all His promises to us Christians as He did for the Jews.  This gives us hope for today and the future (Romans 15:4).  The Christian’s primary purpose in life should be to glorify God (make Him known) in all that he does (1 Corinthians 10:31).  In both the Old and New Testaments we can learn a great deal about God’s unchangeable nature and attributes (James 1:17).

                Dispensationalists.  “A dispensationalist is someone who believes that God means what He says and says what He means, and that it is the responsibility of every believer to humbly take God at His Word.”  When we study the Bible we always should understand a word in its literal, normal, natural and basic meaning unless this meaning does not make sense. Rule: If the plain (basic, normal) sense makes good sense, seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.

                Excited.  We’re excited to see many indicators (not signs) that seem to point to the imminent arrival of Jesus Christ for His Church (John 14:1-3).  Are you ready?  Will you be in that number?  

                Help.  We’ve prepared a “Dispensational Chart” to help those who desire to know more about God’s Plan for the Ages.  You may call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information:  www.kelseypeach.com

                If this or our other articles have helped you, would you let us know how it has and pass it on to others who may have an interest in spiritual things.  Click on “Follow” to receive them as they come out.

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