“How Then Should We Live? – Part 2”

Posted: December 5, 2018 in Christian Life, Dispensations, Lordship Salvation, Prayer, Replacement Theology, Salvation

When it comes to “How To Live The Christian Life,” many new Christians (and some older ones) are confused. They are told to Read their Bibles – let God talk to you, Pray – you talk to God, and Witness for God. Many of them don’t know that while all the Bible is for us, not all of it is addressed to us (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Titus 1:9). They aren’t aware that there are eight ways to communicate with God, not just “asking and receiving.” [1] When trying to witness to others, many Christians confuse “The Message & The Method” of salvation. [2]

Equippers. Upon His ascension back to heaven, Christ gave to the Church Evangelists and Pastor-teachers (Ephesians 4:8-16). They are responsible to equip the believers in their care so all of them are equipped to do their work of ministry primarily through the use of their spiritual gifts (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14). They need to be taught “How To Live The Christian Life.” We must not confuse the condition for salvation with the multiple conditions for spiritual growth as one commentator does in James 4:7-10. He writes: “In a series of 10 commands (10 imperative verbs in the [Greek] text), James reveals how to receive saving grace. These verses delineate man’s response to God’s gracious offer of salvation, and disclose what it means to be humble.” The MacArthur Study Bible, NKJV, p. 1932.  No, these verses are not telling a sinner how to be saved. They were written to Christians to tell us how to live once we have been saved. The word “Brethren” refers to Christians, not the unsaved (See James 1:2, 16, 19; 2:1, 5; 3:1, 10, 12; 4:11; 5:7, 9, 10, 12, 19).  Beware of the false teaching of Lordship In Exchange For Salvation” [3]

Salvation. Mankind has always been saved by God’s grace through faith in God and not by good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Isaiah 64:6). Today, the Gospel truth we must believe in order to be saved is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). It is the same message for Jews and non-Jews (Romans 1:16; 10:9). Have you placed your faith in Him alone to save you? Are you relying on any of your good works to save you? Why should God let you into heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Dispensations. Throughout man’s existence on earth, God has given different rules for living to different people. They are the “House Rules.” It’s not too hard to see that the rules given to the Old Testament Jews are different from the rules given to Christians. Examples: Dietary rules, Sabbath keeping, animal sacrifices, etc. All these different rules were designed by God to test people’s obedience to God and to demonstrate to us that no matter what kind of rules God imposes on mankind, we always fail when we depend on ourselves to keep God’s rules for living.  Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). On the other hand, “[Every true Christian] can do all things [that God intended for us to do] through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13; See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Question – If you’re saved, are you doing your good works for the glory of God and the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 5:13; 6:10)? God, being omniscient, knows what we do and why we do it and will judge our works someday (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Note: Dispensations are not different ways to be saved but different rules for living. They are the result of a normal, literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of the Bible, not the allegorical interpretation that twists Scripture (2 Peter 3:16; See Genesis 3:1).

Rules. The Christian’s “Rules For Living” in the “Dispensation of Grace” can generally be found between John 13 – Revelation 3 after which the true Church is found in heaven. In John 13:34, 35 Jesus gave His disciples a New Commandment “…that you love one another as I [Jesus] have loved you.” This is a positive command and this kind of “agape” love is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the life of a “Spirit filled” Christian who is “walking by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16-25). This “agape” love also stands in contrast to the Old Commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). Under the “Dispensation of Law” this was the best an Old Testament believer could do. The “Ten Commandments” were basically negative prohibitions (Exodus 20:1-17). Even before God had given them to the Jews they boastfully said, “All that the LORD has spoken, we will do” (Exodus 19:8). But they didn’t. Their obedience to the Mosaic Law would have brought to them health, wealth, and happiness. But their disobedience brought on them the curses from God that the Jews are experiencing to this very day (See Deuteronomy 28; Malachi 3:8-12).

Replaced? The Church has not replaced Israel. God is not finished with the Jews as a nation. He will keep all His unconditional covenants (promises) that He gave to them (See Romans 11). They will get all the land that God promised to give to them when Christ returns at His Second Coming, not the Rapture (Genesis 15:18-21). The future of the remnant of believing Jews is as bright at the promises of God that were given to them. (See Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7; 11:1 ff; 35:1 ff; Jeremiah 30:9; Zechariah 14.)  God’s time clock with the Jews will start up again after the fullness of the Gentile believers have come in and been saved (Romans 11:25; John 6:37) and the man of sin (Antichrist) signs a seven year covenant with the Jews (Daniel 9:27). The last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation are known as the “time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) and the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:15 ff). These days may be just around the corner. Where will you be when they occur?

Check Up. To see how well you are doing as a New Testament Grace believer, we invite you to refer to our “Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” on our website. We’ve listed some of our Responsibilities, the Failure of most Christians, and the Judgment of our works at the “Bema Seat Judgment” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Use it as a guide for doctrine, reproof, correction, or instructing you in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Don’t lose out on the crowns, rewards, and praise that might have been yours if you had done what God wanted you to do in this life (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 3:11). “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which hall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18; See 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 4:8; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33).

Help. We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through out website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share it with others who might benefit from it.

[1] Prayer https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/%E2%80%9Clord-teach-us-to-pray%E2%80%9D/)

[2] Salvation https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/salvation-the-message-the-method/)

[3] Lordship For Salvation http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

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