Monday, February 18, 2013

Read Your Letters

27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the

The Bible contains both the Old Testament and the New
Testament. The New Testament contains the four Gospels (Matthew
through John), the book of Acts, the Letters to the Church
(Romans through Jude) and the book of Revelation.

All the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and as such is an
important message to us today. However, not until the
resurrection of Jesus Christ did the New Covenant start, which
changed everything.

God never changes, but His covenants (and thus His way of
dealing with people) did change. There was an Old Covenant God
had with the people of Israel. Now there is a New Covenant. And
the New is not just a continuation or amplification of the Old,
but is radically different.

The New Covenant did not begin until after the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ. So everything said and done
before the resurrection of Jesus was before the New Covenant
started. (Even the four Gospels, although placed in the New
Testament section of the Bible, are primarily a record of
Jesus' ministry before His death, which means they mostly
happened before the New Covenant started.)

God is now dealing with people based on the New Covenant. If we
go back and read God's message to people who lived under the
Old Covenant we cannot expect all that was said to them to
apply exactly to us today.

You can learn something reading a letter written to someone
else, but it is not nearly as instructive as reading a letter
written directly to you.

So my top recommendation for Bible reading, especially for new
believers, is to read the Letters to the Church. (Epistles is
another word for Letters.) There are 21 Letters with 121
chapters. So by reading just one chapter each day, you can read
all the New Testament Letters three times in a year.

If you are considering reading the Bible, this is an excellent
way to start. If you are a new Christian, I strongly recommend
that you start reading the Bible using this plan.

Although everyone should read the entire Bible, it is not best
for you to do that until you are solidly grounded in the truths
of the New Covenant, which are revealed in the Letters to the

When a new Christian starts reading the whole Bible from the
beginning by starting with the Old Testament, without having a
clear understanding of what Jesus has provided for us with the
New Covenant, confusion is likely to result.

14 But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading
of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted,
because it is set aside only in Christ.
15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies
over their hearts,

Reading the Old Covenant, also called the books of Moses --
without the knowledge of the New Covenant -- is like trying to
see something with a veil over your eyes. You see glimpses of
truth, but you can't clearly see the whole picture.

17 for although the law was given through Moses; grace and
truth came through Jesus Christ.

Once a believer has a clear understanding of God's message to
the Body of Christ, the Church, then we can read the rest of
the Bible without as much chance of getting confused.

Some people recommend that a new Christian start their Bible
reading with the Gospel of John. That is a good way to get
acquainted with Jesus. But it still can cause confusion for
someone who does not clearly understand what Jesus accomplished
for them through His death and resurrection.

14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is
without foundation, and so is your faith.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless;
you are still in your sins.

Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no New
Covenant, and we are all still lost in sin.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, and thus the start of the New
Covenant is a great dividing line in history. What Jesus
accomplished for us changed everything.

So read your letters and find out what Jesus accomplished and
what God has said directly to you!

SAY THIS: I will spend more time reading the Letters God sent
to me.


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