“The House Rules”

Posted: July 10, 2017 in Bible Prophecy, Christian Life, Dispensations, Tribulation

There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people within Christendom, especially as it pertains to how a new Christian is to grow spiritually in the Lord. We’re told to “desire the pure milk of the word, that [we] may grow thereby, if indeed [we] have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2, 3). Later, in his second epistle, Peter tells believers to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Rightly Dividing It. The Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy, his son in the faith: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). To Titus he wrote this concerning the qualifications of an elder (bishop/overseer, and Pastor-teacher). “[He needs to be able to hold] fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

Clarification. We have two Greek words that need to be explained. The “faithful word” refers to doctrines or teachings that need to be “believed and practiced,” whereas “sound doctrine” refers to that which is to be “believed but not practiced.” “All Scripture is [God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction for in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NKJV).

Value. The primary value of the Old Testament to New Testament believers is one of a negative example (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). We’re warned not to behave wickedly like the rebellious Jews did or expect similar consequences. Also, the Old Testament can give New Testament Christians hope as we contemplate how God kept His promises to the Jews, so He will keep all His promises to us (Romans 15:6). The Old Testament also provides much information concerning God Himself (His attributes). He is faithful to His Word and never changes (James 1:17). His immutability doesn’t deny His mobility. He doesn’t have to keep on doing things that He chose to do only once (examples: create the universe, open up the Red Sea, etc).

For Us – To Us. All Scripture is for us as Christians, but not all of it is addressed to us. Much of the Scriptures were written to and for Old Testament believers, who were living under the Mosaic Law, whereas much of the New Testament was written to and for Christians. Generally speaking, the doctrines/teachings addressed to Christians can be found in the writings of Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude. One Bible teacher says we can find our instructions for Christian living between John 13 and Revelation 3. In John 13:34, 35 Jesus gave a “New Commandment” to love one another [fellow believers] as I have loved you. (See Galatians 6:10)

Contrast. This stands in contrast to the Old Testament believer’s standard of “loving your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). This was the best an Old Testament believer could do. He was the standard by which he loved others. Only when God the Holy Spirit produces this one aspect of “The Fruit of the Spirit” in a Spirit filled believer’s life (Ephesians 5:18) is he/she able to direct it toward the right objects at the right time and for the right reasons. Note: It’s possible for a maturing believer to misdirect God’s love toward the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). We may use the world system, but we are not to love or abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Steward. The Apostle Paul identified himself as the “steward (household manager) of the “Dispensation of Grace” (Ephesians 3:1 ff). We see Peter, John, James, and Jude as supplementing Paul’s teaching (2 Peter 3:15, 16). Even Peter acknowledged that some of Paul’s writings were difficult to understand. But, believe it or not, we can know more than the Apostle Paul did because he died before John wrote the Book of Revelation. The Apostle Paul rebuked the Christians in Galatia for trying to come to spiritual maturity by keeping the Mosaic Law (See the Book of Galatians.)  Are you trying to live by rules other than those that were designed for you as a New Testament believer?

Sermon On The Mount. This was addressed to Jews (not to Christians) who were anticipating the Kingdom of the Heavens (Matthew 5-7; Daniel 2:44, 45). It was postponed because of the Jew’s rejection of their Promised Messiah (Matthew 16:20; 23:37-39; John 1:11). God holds all men accountable for the death of Christ, not just the Jews (Acts 3:13-15; 4:27, 28). It was your sins and mine that put Him on that cross. He paid our debt by dying for our sins (Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 3:18). God the Father demonstrated His satisfaction with Christ’s death by raising Him from the dead (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Have you placed your faith in Him alone to save you? If not, why not trust Him now?

Time. God’s time clock will start up again for the Jews after “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25) and the Body of Christ, which is the Church is complete (John 6:37; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; Ephesians 1:20-22; 2:15). The Tribulation begins when the man of sin signs the 7 year covenant with the Jews (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6:19).  This will take place after the Rapture of the Church (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 4:13-18; 5:9).

Chart. We have a FREE “Dispensations” chart for you on our website: http://kelseypeach.com/Kelsey.8.pdf  It is not original with us, but is a compilation of material we’ve received from various Bible teachers. This information really helped me personally as I sought to understand the Bible better. It is the result of a normal, literal, grammatical interpretation of the Bible.

Help. It is our aim in life to try to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31) by assisting unbelievers to come to faith in Christ through the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and then helping new believers grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) so they can serve God effectively (1 Peter 4:10), and reproduce themselves (Matthew 28:19, 20). We can be reached through our website: www.kelesypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and then ask you to share it with others too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages: http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s