Thursday, January 24, 2013

First things first

I know that there is a clear distinction in Paul’s epistles between Israel and the body of Christ, but there are a few verses that I have come across over the years that have made me think that I am not sure I could explain these verses to someone and show how they support right division (2 Cor. 3:6 for example).

Don’t fret about explaining verses to them perfectly.  They have to open their spiritual eyes and be willing to see it.  Most people don’t rightly divide the word of truth.  They first have to be willing to be taught.  (They have to have the ‘want to’.)

Psalm 51:6a
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:

 If they are religious or think they know something about the Bible…

1 Corinthians 14:37
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

…if they think they know something about the Book, or speak for God, they have to acknowledge Paul.  Someone has to understand about Paul and his unique apostleship ministry, and what God has to say through him, before you can expound on specific verses.  They will fight you tooth and nail because they don’t believe there is any difference between Paul’s ministry and Peter’s ministry. 

Galatians 2:7
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

But the first thing you want to do is make sure that they are saved by asking them the crunch questions…

Has anyone ever loved you enough to ask you if you were to die today, do you know for sure where you will spend eternity?
You have to get them to see that they are saved not by their works, or lack thereof, but simply by faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for all their sins on Calvary’s cross.  There is nothing else that God wants.  They are dead in their sins.  You have to get them to see that.  Even if they are a professing believer and they name the name of Christ, give them the gospel anyway.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

What are you trusting in? 
If it is nothing but the shed blood of Christ on the cross and that Christ died for their sins and they make that clear, ask them:

What happens if you sin tomorrow?  What if you commit murder tomorrow and the police chase you and you die in a fiery car crash?  Where is your soul going?

If they don’t say, “Heaven”, then they don’t understand and believe the gospel of grace.  But if they do, then the next question is…

Why is Paul in the Bible?
You will need to be able to explain Paul.  You will need to go over the verses about Paul’s apostleship.  Here are a few examples:

Acts 9:15
But the Lord [after he saves Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus] said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Romans 15:16
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1 Corinthians 3:10
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 14:37
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

Galatians 1:1
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Galatians 1:15-16
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

1 Timothy 1:1, 11, 16
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;…According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust…. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

When you get them to see that and they acknowledge the truth, then you can go on to show them passages in Paul’s epistles regarding doctrine for us today; but they will have to understand them from a Pauline perspective.  So you must first teach them how to rightly divide the word of truth. 

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The biggest obstacle for you when explaining verses to someone is if they don’t understand right division and believe it, or if they are ignorant of the principal of how to study their Bible rightly divided.  For example, when trying to explain this verse…

2 Corinthians 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

…I would say, ‘See what Paul shows about the law?  When did God change the principle of dealing with people from law to grace?”  That shows right division.  I would show them that Paul is calling the law the ministration of death and condemnation.

2 Corinthians 3:7
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:


Romans 7:5
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

2 Corinthians 3:13
And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

When was the law abolished?  Most people are going to say at the cross.  You will have to be able to show them that it wasn’t abolished at the cross; they were still under the law in the book of Acts.

Acts 2:46
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 3:1
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

Acts 5:42
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

What you have to get them to see is that things changed with Paul.  Now we are not under law; we’re under grace in this dispensation of grace.

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

You can show them Ephesians 3 and ask them when the dispensation of grace began.

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

You need to show them that what God is doing today in this dispensation of grace which was given to Paul when he was saved (Acts 9).

1 Timothy 2:4
Who will have [1] all men to be saved, and [2] to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Until that time (four Gospels and early Acts) they were still under the law.

Each person’s understanding of scripture is different.  Some know verses; others don’t – they just go by what their preacher said or by what they heard on TV or the radio or what they read on the internet.

2 Timothy 3:7
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

But you can explain things to those who want to know the truth.

Colossians 1:9
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Ephesians 4:17-18
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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