Sunday, January 06, 2013

Letters To Christians

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker
who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of

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

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 said in the Four
Gospels is written 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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