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Applying Scripture Correctly To Our Lives

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On many other things Jesus raised the bar on the old ways. Instead of dealing with adultery He dealt with the lust behind it by saying if you even look at a woman lustfully you have committed adultery in your heart. Instead of dealing with murder He dealt with the anger behind it. Instead of an eye for an eye we are now commanded to turn the other cheek. So it is important that we examine and test everything. This is why doctrine is so important! Because people can twist Scripture so easily if they so desire. They can leave the context out; refuse to look for supporting or dissenting Scripture or use the Bible to prop up pre-formed biases and conclusions. I remember I once sat down to do a devotional on righteous anger"because I was angry. I was angry about things in my church and I wanted to write about that. By the time God was through with me I had a devotional about how our anger rarely reaches the level of righteous anger Jesus has set in Scripture. God cut through my arguments with His Word and showed me how my anger was mine. It was selfish not righteous. It was about my ego, not His Son. That is how you watch your doctrine. When the Scriptures I was seeing were not agreeing with my plan, I could have pushed them aside and simply kept going until I could find something I could stretch to fit. But then it would be my word not God's. My word means nothing. God's Word means everything.


This brings us to our key verses, which should completely dispel the notion that somehow things in the Bible are not applicable to New Covenant believers simply because of whom the original audience was.   It is important to realize first that this letter was written by Paul to Timothy. There was no New Testament yet. Paul had no idea this letter would become doctrine. So when he is speaking about Scripture here he is clearly speaking about the Old Testament. First, all Scripture is inspired by God. From the fall of man to the revelation of John on the Island of Patmos. God does not waste a single letter in His Word. He inspired all of it. It is useful beloved to teach us what is true -- as we see today in this study. Understand that the poor theology we spoke of today has two huge problems for those who follow it. One is that they would be missing out on some of the greatest promises in Scripture. I would rather hold Jeremiah 29: 11 close to my heart than discard it based upon some contextual argument that does not pass the smell test. Secondly, bad theology leads to bad theology. Nothing good can come of it. The Bible says that a little leaven spreads through the entire batch. I have heard the contorted argument that we should eat the meat and spit out the bones but I tell you what -- if the bone is rotten, I don't trust the meat.


All Scripture is also useful to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. I know the "love only" crowd may have some problems with this but it is not my word -- it is God's. The 2Chronicles verse for example was designed to help Israel correct their backsliding ways and it also serves as a stark reminder to the church today to repent. It applies to both. Lastly, God uses His Word to prepare and equip us to do every good work He has laid out for us. How do I know that is what this means? Because Scripture supports it:


For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -- Ephesians 2: 10 (NLT)


Listen beloved; broad is the path to destruction and narrow is the gate that leads to heaven. Many are being led astray in these times. Our job is not to have unity for the sake of unity. We should not have the goal of singing kumbya together regardless of what is being taught and preached. Check and make sure the person is not trying to use Scripture to support a pre-formed bias. What do I mean by that? A prosperity preacher will seek out Scripture he can use to prop up his belief that everyone should be rich -- starting with him. I remember once there was a prosperity preacher who used Deuteronomy 28: 2 to defend his extravagance. Right away my Spirit bristled and was curious what Deuteronomy 28: 1 contained. Here are the two verses:


"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: - Deuteronomy 28: 1-2 (NKJV)


The second verse speaks about being overtaken by God's blessings but he conveniently left out the context which shows that you must first obey all 613 Mosaic laws, which no one could do. Be wary of people who are preaching anything "alone." God is a God of balance and order. When Paul left the Ephesian elders he said he was free of their blood because he preached the entire Gospel. Watch your life and your doctrine closely. The wolves are in sheep's clothing for a reason.



Reverend Anthony Wade -- September 7, 2012

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