|Vol. 13 No. 6 June 2011||
In rightly dividing the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), we must remember God has had three distinct plans, methods and dispensations in His dealing with mankind. The first, the Patriarchal Age, lasted from creation to Sinai and for a period of approximately 2,500 years. In this age, God spoke directly to the fathers. After selecting Israel as His chosen people, God gave them a law for the Jews alone. This Mosaic dispensation, from the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai to the death of Christ, lasted approximately, 1,500 years. Many of the things God had commanded at the first were incorporated into the Mosaic Law. The Jews obeyed these instructions, not because they had been commanded by God in the Patriarchal age, but because God made them a part of the Law of Moses, to which they were subject.
Though we today have a new and better covenant, Jesus included in His New Testament many of the principles found in the Mosaic Law. All believers live in respect of and in obedience to the New Covenant because it is the will of God for man today. Again, we do these things, not because some of these principles were part of the Jewish law, but because they are incorporated into the New Covenant.
At the death of Christ, the Old Law (Mosaic Law) was fulfilled. Jesus took it out of the way to make room for a New Testament (Colossians 2:14). The New Covenant had been prophesied (Jeremiah 31:31). When Jesus died, His new and better covenant came into force (Hebrews 9:16-17). It was dedicated by the blood of Christ. Many of the problems in the world of Christendom result from a failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth. There is an Old and New Testament. There are further divisions in both the Old and New. Jesus divided the Old Testament in this manner the law, the prophets and the psalms (Luke 24:44).
The New Testament also has subdivisions. If one wishes to learn of the life and teachings of Christ, he must go to the first four books of the New Testament, the books of testimony (John 20:30-31). To learn of the beginning of the church and how people are converted to Christianity, one must go to the Book of Acts. It is here that we learn how people render obedience to the Gospel and are translated into the kingdom (Acts 2:47; Colossians 2:13; John 3:3, 5). The third part of the New Testament is comprised of the epistles – letters addressed to the churches telling Christians how to live. The Revelation, prophetic in design and figurative in style, was given for the immediate needs of first century Christians (Revelation 1:1-3).
Every part of God’s Word is important, but we cannot go to a nullified law to prove that instrumental music should be a part of Christian worship. We cannot prove baptism is not essential to salvation by appealing to an event which occurred under the Mosaic Law (Luke 23:39-43). We cannot insist on a direct leading of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians by claiming a promise made specifically to the apostles (John 14:26; 16:13).
May we all follow God’s instruction and respect the authority of His Word. May we all put forth a studied (diligent) effort that we may prove ourselves worthy workmen that have nothing of which to be ashamed.
Can you imagine being alive at the time Christ lived? Can you imagine being able to see Jesus perform a miracle? Can you imagine being able to hear Him preach and teach? I think it would have been wonderful, but there were some people who did not want Jesus around them.
In Matthew 8:28-9:1, we read about Jesus going into the land of the Gergesenes. When He arrived, He was met by two individuals possessed by devils. Jesus sent the devils into a herd of pigs. The pigs, then, ran into the waters and died.
The people of the nearby city came out to Jesus when they heard what He had done. However, they did not come in joy to see the man who had done the miracle. They did not come to listen to Him teach. They did not come to welcome Him to their city. Instead, they came to tell Him to “depart out of their coasts.” They did not want to have anything to do with Him.
In verse one of chapter nine, we read that Jesus entered a ship and “passed over” to his own city. How terrible that Jesus passed over these people, but He did it because they did not want Him. They told Him to depart, and He did so.
Jesus does not force Himself on anyone. He will not come into someone’s life if he or she does not want Him. He does not surprise anyone today and just take over one’s life. A person must want Jesus and want to obey Him. The only way to obey Him is to study the Bible. God gave us what He wants us to know in the Bible.
When someone tries to get you to read your Bible, be sure you read it. When someone wants you to study the Bible, make sure you study. If you do not read and study it when given the opportunity, you are doing the same thing that the Gergesenes did. You are telling Jesus to depart. You are telling Him you do not want anything to do with Him. Do not make Jesus depart from you.
Until next time, keep reading and studying your Bible. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.