All believers will travel a road of enlightenment and hopefully grow in faith and service to Jesus Christ but not all roads will take us to the foot of the cross and promised salvation. The road I speak of is our journey into the christian fellowship, the embracing of the word of God and seeking the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Becoming a vital living, serving member of the family of God; to which we have been adopted through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We all are on that journey seeking our very own Pentecost. Many will enter into christian fellowship, joining a church and embracing the word through Sunday school and the preached word. There the journey stops, sadly they never reach their own “Pentecost”. Using “road” as a metaphor, what mode of transportation is available? There are many, Today’s post will focus on the word of God as written in the bible. This is the most common road offered but in reality the least followed. As I always do here is an excerpt from bible.org.
“The first five books of the Bible are sometimes called the Pentateuch which means “five books.” They are also known as the books of the law because they contain the laws and instruction given by the Lord through Moses to the people of Israel. These books were written by Moses, except for the last portion of Deuteronomy because it tells about the death of Moses. These five books lay the foundation for the coming of Christ in that here God chooses and brings into being the nation of Israel. As God’s chosen people, Israel became the custodians of the Old Testament, the recipients of the covenants of promise, and the channel of Messiah” bible.org
Scripture supporting that view.
Romans 3:2 Plenty in every way. First of all, the Jews were trusted with God’s revelations.
Romans 9:1-5 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
“Then there is the Biblical apocrypha (from the Greek ἀπόκρυφος, apókruphos, meaning “hidden”) denotes the collection of ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. Some Christian Churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament.” (Wikipedia)
Most Christian church goers know little or nothing about these books.
Then there is of courseThe New Testament, “as usually received in the Christian Churches, is made up of twenty-seven different books attributed to eight different authors, six of whom are numbered among the Apostles (Matthew, John, Paul, James, Peter, Jude) and two among their immediate disciples (Mark, Luke). The New Testament was not written all at once. The books that compose it appeared one after another in the space of fifty years, i.e. in the second half of the first century. Written in different and distant countries and addressed to particular Churches, they took some time to spread throughout the whole of Christendom, and a much longer time to become accepted.”
The above is from http://www.catholic.org/bible/new_testament.php, this is a great read for those who want a bare bones article about the bible, history and origin.
In an article written by ED STETZER in July of 2015 he shares his concern that we are basically a nation of “bible illiterates”. Tough words but the numbers tend to prove him right.
The Sad Statistics
“Christians claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word. We claim it’s God’s divinely inspired, inerrant message to us. Yet despite this, we aren’t reading it. A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.”
I have over the years noticed a marked preference among church goers to avoid the Old Testament writings, preferring to read and study the New Testament. So…What is Old Testament vs New Testament? The Old Testament is a record of the giving of God’s Law. The New Testament shows how Jesus the Messiah fulfilled that Law (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 10:9). In the Old Testament, God’s dealings are mainly with His chosen people, the Jews; in the New Testament, God’s dealings are mainly with His church (Matthew 16:18). I need a better answer and I favor one I found on this web site.
“While the Bible is a unified book, there are differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In many ways, they are complementary. The Old Testament is foundational; the New Testament builds on that foundation with further revelation from God. The Old Testament establishes principles that are seen to be illustrative of New Testament truths. The Old Testament contains many prophecies that are fulfilled in the New. The Old Testament provides the history of a people; the New Testament focus is on a Person. The Old Testament shows the wrath of God against sin (with glimpses of His grace); the New Testament shows the grace of God toward sinners (with glimpses of His wrath).”
I am very aware that the only true road to salvation is the one that leads us to believe and declare Jesus Christ, is the risen son of the only God, and that through him alone will we find the grace of the father and life everlasting. We are seeing in the church today an overwhelming effort to pervert or a nicer way of saying it, interpret scripture in a manner that allows today’s new culture and societal practices to somehow seem acceptable within the christian community and the family of God. I don’t know if we do it intentionally or if it has just become a normal practice but it seems as if we ignore or at least avoid some of the Old Testament writings. There are certain books of the OT Bible we avoid because they make people un-comfortable or have become a lighting rod which opens the door to discord that divides and destroys the churches ability to meet its calling. We need to once again come to the understanding that neither ( OT or NT ) can or is supposed to stand alone. We cannot and should not ignore, change the meaning, or rewrite God’s relationship and plans for his people through the written word, just to find social acceptance in the world today. Matthew leaves no doubt or wiggle room.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
This verse right there tells you that all of the basic moral commandments set out by God the Father in the Old Testament still apply for all of us today. This includes all of the 10 Commandments, all the commands not to engage in occult, getting tattoos, etc……But wait…thats old hat, things and people change, times change. Really, do you believe maybe God might change? What road are you traveling today. Got your bible with you? Do you read and study it daily, all the bible, or are you just hanging around the edges.
I pray you will find your Pentecost.