2 Timothy 2:15 reads, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the WORD OF TRUTH.”
There is a wrong way and a right way to teach and preach the scriptures. Staying on track, observing context, words and their meaning, also observing what Covenant or time it was written and to whom!
Doing otherwise, can bring about much chaos and certainly a misrepresentation of what God actually states. In this article I wish to submit some popular and promoted lies or total misconceptions of what some portions of the Bible do not teach or actually do teach. The local Churches throughout history have been guilty of these to a degree. Let us remember we must KEEP on REFORMING! It is always necessary in this world!
MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE IN INTERPRETATION OF THE WORD OF GOD –
Proper hermeneutics require that one distinguishes between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant and their teachings! I want to emphasize however, before we get into all of the details, the MAJOR focus on any of this or any of my articles is that they all should direct us to Jesus Christ Himself! If you Miss Him and yet seem to get the mechanics you perish! For instance, when Jesus came into the world, and began His ministry, He was functioning in His humanity and Deity, since He was the God/man, under the Covenant of Law given to Israel.
The mistake is, that all of the words of Christ in the Gospel books of the New Testament, are to be considered as being under the New Covenant! Not so! Until a Covenant is cut with the shedding of Blood, it is not in effect.
The priests in the Old Covenant under the Mosaic law, had to shed the blood of hundreds of animals often, and once year for all of the people.
Jesus Christ and His ministry prior to the CROSS, was being lived out under that Mosaic Covenant, and He was correcting the Jews understandings of the Law which was written and also the 613 other rules and ordinances they lived under. Much of what was stated WOULD NEVER BE STATED IN THE SAME MANNER FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOW UNDER THE NEW COVENANT, AS BORN AGAIN, SPIRIT FILLED SAINTS!
The Covenant of Grace is a BIG change! That is not to say the words of the Old Covenant are not inspired and true, they are, but to rightly divide and use the words correctly for the time they are used is so important. So, we are no longer under the Law and its power nor its condemnation and wrath.
For instance we are NOT to cut off our hands or pluck out our eyes, even though allegorical and having a spiritual meaning behind it, that is what the law would require if one would want to be perfect under the law. Jesus said that! We as saints and Christians, could never do that or be like that, and that is why we need a Savior! An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was taught! A person would be stoned for certain sins they committed. That is NOT for a saint of God under the New Covenant!
Today we have legalistic groups who would stand behind such even for those of us who profess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord! That would be so incorrect. I do recognize that is a common moral precept that God put in the hearts of even sinners that goes all through human beings until the end of time. So states Paul in the book of Romans chapters 1 and 2. But the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant is no longer in effect. It faded away and we died to it!
Another example: David asked not to take His Holy Spirit from Him, which we should never pray and ask for, because Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to us and HE always remains with us and never ever leaves us! He remains in us until we leave this earth! Not so, in the Old Covenant. Samson Lost His Holy Spirit power when his hair was cut off.
Certainly if we sin and we do, we grieve the Holy Spirit, but He never leaves us! Words commonly used in the Old Testament writings are written under the Law rules and regulations, and do not mean one and the same for us today as we are In Christ Jesus. So great care when we use the O.T. words in our teachings, and preaching! Much more could be stated on this for a later time.
1 John 1:9 taken out of context presents a false conception or idea about how we deal with personal sin.
It is a common knowledge and fact that the Gnostics were spreading their false teachings during the time of this writing of 1 John’s epistle. He was correct their false teachings to the believers and saved ones who follow Jesus Christ the Son of God!
Notice now in context verses 8-19; how this works out;
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgiven us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.“
NOW THIS IS TRUE BEFORE WE ARE SAVED AND A PERSON IS STILL LOST, AND EVEN AFTERWARD AT SALVATION, IF WE KNOW THAT IT IS NOT THE REDEEMED, SANCTIFIED, HOLY, PURE, BORN AGAIN NEW MAN WE ARE, DOING THE SINNING AFTER SALVATION WE CAN SAY SUCH!
The Gnostics were saying they did not sin, and did not have to confess their sin(s) to God and Christ. John states through the Holy Spirit if one does this, that person is NOT saved. Lost sinners have to trust Christ and repent and confess their sins or they will not be saved.
Today, we have professing Christians running around all the time and preachers teaching, that we are sinning and BEING all the time like LOST sinners who have not trusted Jesus and our redeemed born again spirit and soul are evil still! Both situations are wrong! When we do allow sin to take place after redemption, it is living like carnal lost sinners do, but there is a difference, NOT all of our innermost being is like that at all. We that have the Spirit, are abiding and living in Christ, which all are if they are saved, are not wanting that to happen, not happy about it, not enjoying it, but rather, struggling to see it overcome and stopped in the body of flesh.
Our sin(s) after we are saved, redeemed, and born again, come from the flesh. We sin now and the vertical is forgiven always forever, due to His One time death and shedding of blood on the cross. Our horizontal sins we need certainly to take care of, confessing one to another that which we engage in which in many cases deals with others. Get things right with others is the point. Yes, it is still evil, sin, we ask God to give us strength to overcome those in the flesh when the temptations come about, and if we fail, we ask Him to continue to help us for we are not desiring to sin against Him to carry out our fleshly desires. Sin itself raises its ugly head, and then Satan comes along and tries to make us think all types of wrong thoughts now. In doing this he seeks to keep us back from witnessing, from praying, from reading the Bible, from loving other, and even make us think we are lost.
We also must realize that we sin in so many ways as the flesh can possibly think of or the Devil can think of, or the world system can think of, even such things as no praying enough, not reading the word of God as we should, not encouraging others in the faith, and on and on we could go. But all of this shows us that the Flesh dwells no good thing. Until it dies and is put in the grave back to dust it will be sued by Sin! But that is NOT the REAL YOU if you are born again and a new creation in Christ Jesus. Thank God HE will raise that body up one day and it too will be perfect in Jesus, a spiritual body like unto Christ’s body!
The point also is this. Hebrews teaches us along with many other portions of scripture that the Atonement made by the Blood of Christ, was A ONE TIME EVENT AND ACTION. THIS BLOOD PAID FOR ALL OUR SINS, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. He no longer sacrifices himself and sheds his blood continually like the Roman Catholics do in the Mass! They actually seek to make people think Christ Cross Shedding of blood is a continual event every time they hold their mass! NO! He did this ONCE and for ALL so states scripture. That means then YOU and I do not need to keep going back and back asking for forgiveness of our sins as if they are not forgiven. That means we are doubting his Atonement, the efficacy of the atonement made. That God didn’t make a ONE TIME satisfactory atonement for our sins! WE are FREE from sins bondage, free at last!
OUR NEW MAN IS FREE, FREE FROM BONDAGE, FREE FROM WRATH, FREE FROM CONDEMNATION, FREE FROM SHAME, FREE FROM GUILT, FREE THANK GOD ALMIGHTY FREE AT LAST!
Yes, I (my old man still in sin) does sin because I am still in a body infected with the virus of Sin. It operates in our body of Flesh. We admit that to God, we fail and ask Him for continued strength and help in time of need and realize however that those sins were paid for at the Cross with a ONE TIME ONLY sacrifice for them. Either we are saints now as HE said we are; we are a Holy Nation as He said we are; A peculiar people as He said we are! Are we are not!!
Peter says in 1 Peter 1:22, “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you Love one another with a pure heart fervently. Being Born again, not of corruptible SEED but of incorruptible; by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
God states through John these words, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that YOU SIN NOT. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (Note: He paid for those sins on the Cross and sits by the Father on the Throne making intercession for those past, present and future sins we do all the time”! In other words that ONCE for ALL Cross work works for ALL TIME – immediate forgiveness for present and future, because we were saved and our past ones paid for at that time also.
Now notice this BIG TIME announcement from JOHN:
1 John 3: 2-10: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this hope in him PURIFIETH himself, EVEN AS HE IS PURE. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And you know that he was manifested to TAKE AWAY OUR SINS; and IN HIM (WE ARE IN HIM) is no sin. Whosoever abideth IN HIM (We can’t not abide in Him nor not dwell in Him or we would be lost), SINS NOT; WHOSOEVER SINNETH HAS NOT SEEN HIM, NEITHER KNOWN HIM. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS. He that commits SIN is of the DEVIL; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that HE might destroy the works of the Devil. WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOES NOT COMMIT SIN; FOR HIS SEED REMAINETH IN HIM; AND HE CANNOT SIN BECAUSE HE IS BORN OF GOD! In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. WE ARE sanctified now! We work on our bodies through the Holy Spirit and Word to control the body of sin which exists. In that sense we still work on making it submit to the Spirit of God with God and the Holy Spirit even in that fallen state of the body; But that body won’t stop its sinning until the day we leave it!!
That is clear as it can be! Then why do we sin and what do we call it and how do we deal with those teachings?
Again the new creation, or new creature is IN CHRIST, IN THE HOLY SPIRIT and IN THE FATHER also because of the New Birth. We cannot sin due to that position we have IN HIM! If we are OUT of HIM we would perish, and be lost sinners.
However, the new creature or creation is LIVING physically in a body which is sinful, and full of sin, because that is where sin resides now. Our bodies of skin, bone and blood is where the problem of sin comes from, as it takes our natural desires and perverts them and causes them to react wrongly and it uses the Law to also entice us and condemn us as the sinful acts take place.
But as Paul the Apostle stated, it is NO longer Paul that sins but sin that dwells within him or his body. That is the wretched part of our human state still waiting on the translation, resurrection or our passing away to be rid of it! Christ will however, raise it up to perfected sinless state also one day! For that day we pray to happen soon! But this is why we can see sinless perfection in our new man, but sinful practices in our old man which hasn’t been changed yet!
This duality exists. Why should that surprise us? We are body, soul and spirit. God is a Triune God! Recent studies have even been shown by Medical Science that our brains are “left side and right side”, and one is passive and the other active. One part passes on information to the other side and the other side carries it out. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and it is a mystery I know, but all I have stated is right there before your very eyes!! We are NOW saints, not lost sinners. We do God a disservice and actually practice unbelief when we do not recognize we have been SAVED by the ONE TIME Sacrifice of shedding His Blood on the cross paying for and actually Forgiving our sins past, present and future. We stand Uncondemned! We stand now pure, undefiled, and holy before God in His righteousness and His holiness! That is our FOREVER position!
We certainly can and should say, that we now in our sinful body engage in wrong doings, as we pray to Him, but thank Him for His amazing grace which has paid for that by His blood and they are ALL forgiven in Christ Jesus.
We must recognize who we are now, and this is needful and most demanded today, for many are condemning their own lives now and living in abject fear and shame due to thinking they are lost or unforgiven because they failed God. Chaos and confusion comes about because we are not taught the truth about our very total being after Salvation takes place.
No one practices in this body we now live in, absolute holiness, but in the Spirit and in the born again state, we are in, we are practicing holiness, purity and righteousness. That dichotomy exists. THE NOW AND THE NOT YET EXISTS! AND THAT IS A BODY STILL SINFUL AND FAILING, AND A NEW PERFECT HOLY PERSON WITH IMPUTED HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS EXISTING, AS A REAL ENTITY, SOUL AND SPIRIT IN CHRIST!
***These facts and truths which they have to be, or Paul and John are wrong because they both state the concept of which I speak of in this article. Otherwise we have a bigger problem than we can imagine. We are denying scripture, denying reality, mixing sin with righteousness (synergism) and corrupting the word of God. I failed in my presentation on this for years in the Lord’s work, and now so thankful for His mercy and grace those ignorant moments have been forgiven. I did it ignorantly in unbelief, which was because of my submission to men and their teachings and their schools and their statement of faith documents, rather than the word of God as it speaks! I recognize much mystery exists in these spiritual matters and only the Holy Spirit can teach us the truth and unravel things, and bring light to bear upon all of it to us! May it be so! For it is NOT a cold, hard carved in stone like dead matter, even though things have a forensic posture, but rather, also, it is a living vital RIGHT NOW posture we have IN CHRIST JESUS! Not some far off and pie in the sky view someday. But now we are IN CHRiST seated with Him on His Throne. Our spiritual eyes need to be opened to these great spiritual realities.
TRUTH-FACTS-TRADITION-CHURCH FATHERS AND TIME!
Facts and truth are not the same as tradition, or historical consensus, or long time ago certain things were spoken and written! Much care and examination and prayer must be engaged in to find the truth about matters. Of course, through the Holy Spirit in His people, He will lead us to the truth as we ask Him and listen to His lead!
Just because people had Moses, Elijah, Paul the Apostle, or Peter, doesn’t mean people followed the truth and were on the right page with God. Soon, after each of these leaders gave them the word of God on matters, they deviated from it and fell into heresies and outright unbelief. Israel did. The Corinthian Church did, the Galatians, and so did the Jerusalem Church!
Today we have entire denominations that are guided by tradition and false narratives and heresies abound. That is why we have so many denominations and so-called independent churches. Each one has its KNOTS and those KNOTS need to be united and straightened out, this is what is called Reformation.
LET’S EXAMINE SOME OF THE OLDER DEAD MEN AND THEIR TIMES!
It is easy to check these men out with just some devotion to searching out their writings etc.! Take for instance these individuals:
Origen: He believed that the whole population of the entire world would be by Jesus!
Tertullian: He believed that water baptism would save a soul and so one had to make sure it was done just at the point of passing away! Last rites if you please!
Irenaeus: He believed that the Gentiles would be saved by their morality and ethics found in their Greek philosophy books and teachings.
John Wesley: He did not believe in substitutionary blood sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of our sins! In other words, that blood brought about IMPUTATION of Christ and His righteousness to our very soul and spirit. He was more like a moral deist, a Armenian type follower (Jacob Arminius) who rejected the Doctrines of Grace. He was the opposite of George Whitefield who was a very Biblical evangelist at the same time who did believe the word about the Doctrines of Grace.
So, many more could be spoken about, from the beginning of the “body of Christ”, and even today we have had myriad views and belief systems existing dividing the people of God. That is man’s fallen nature, the old man who moves along with the depravity inside of man blinding and befuddling the mind of a saint.
LOOK AT TRUTH AS OPPOSED TO TRADITION FOR AN EXAMPLE.
Colossians 2: 8 – “….see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
We are never to bend the knee to tradition, principles or rules worshipping them. We worship JESUS and our GOD alone! No statement of faith, no confession of faith, no systematic theological book, for men or women wrote these. I have found people take their Confessions and use them as the Holy Word of God instead of the actual Scriptures and Bible! (However, the actual scripture written by them in their writings are to be considered the truth, even though it may be taken out of context.”) It still is the word of God, but many times being wrongly applied or interpreted.
So just because something is old doesn’t mean it is truth! Let us remember that we also have the Holy Spirit and He can lead us unto all truth! We submit to Him asking for His power and direction about things in the word of God. Also, let not it create fear either, when we have to come down on a different side than that which is popular. I have had to take I am sure a very unpopular side to many today in this generation on matters which are true but yet rejected by many such as: Election; Predestination; The way the New Birth takes place, the how, the why, the actual work of God in it, and how it is ALL of God and not man! Other things like the New Covenant and also how Covenant Theology has big knots in it, along with Dispensationalism. One too, that brings much push back is our understanding from the word of God about the LAW and GRACE matters.
Notice Hebrews 13:10-14;
“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin are burned OUTSIDE THE CAMP. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through HIS own blood, suffered OUTSIDE THE GATE. So, LET US GO OUT TO HIM OUTSIDE THE CAMP, bearing HIS reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”
Jesus as you see went outside of the walls of Religion! Religion kill! It is vile and unclean. Jesus was revolutionary when it came to the truth opposed to error. He turned the tables upside down, He went outside of the Temple which had been defiled, and was crucified in a evil wicked place by wicked men, who hated God. He SHUT DOWN the TEMPLE in 70 AD totally and said no more! Since then it has not been seen!
So, the word says to you and I: “So let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” – Hebrews 13:13
We get opposition, when others will not take a stand on the word rightly divided. Also, I have found PRIDE gets in the way of many ministers, teachers and others, even when they see their errors, but fearing their jobs loss, or people being offended that they have made errors will NOT confess such openly and publicly to their congregations and to the world.