Are We Bible Choppers?
What Do You Do With The Other Books?
By: Pastor Doug Dodd s.b.g.
2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
There is a general misconception that those who "rightly divide" the word of truth ONLY believe, value, or use the Pauline epistles. This misconception has led to name calling and labeling which is non productive to the edification and instruction of the believer.
As a caveat let me say that there may be some who only use, believe or value the Pauline epistles above the rest of the scriptures, but WE are not among those. When I say "we" I mean those who truly understand the Pauline distinctive and give to Israel what belongs to Israel and give to the church the body of Christ what belongs to the church the body of Christ.
Point One � The Importance Of All The Bible
In our text we understand that ALL scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Every scripture or contextual passage of scripture has at least three direct applications.
Historically. Historically every verse or contextual passage has a historical implication to the people it was written to in the time it was written. In other words, it meant something to someone when it was written. This is true of all scripture.
Spiritually. Every verse or contextual passage has spiritual value. We can learn something from the word of God no matter when, where, or by whom it was written.
Dispensationally. Similarly, every verse or contextual passage has a dispensational application. That is, it fits squarely into the twofold purpose of God.
Let us take a random passage and illustrate just what we are talking about. Let's take Noah and the ark.
Historically these verses deal with the pre flood inhabitants of the earth. The words were spoken to Noah and were for Noah's obedience.
Spiritually we can learn a great deal from this passage in principle but not necessarily practice. Notice:
We learn the doctrine of God's view of sin.
We learn the doctrine of God's love towards his creation.
We learn the doctrine of God's provision for the righteous.
We learn the doctrine of man's responsibility to God.
We learn the doctrine of the free will of man.
And we could go on and on but the point is we do not have to build an ark to learn the spiritual value of these verses.
Dispensationally we learn that God has not told us to build an ark today to be saved. Noah was saved by faith (faith is believing God [Rom 10:17]), but his faith caused him to do something.
Every verse or contextual passage will follow this same rule: historically, spiritually, and dispensationally.
Point Two � Those Who Say And Do Not
During his earthly ministry (historically) the Lord Jesus Christ warned his followers about the deceitful nature (spiritually) of the Scribes and Pharisees in their use of the law (dispensationally) when he said:
The same could be said of those who say they believe and practice all of the word of God. It is ignorant for anyone to say they believe and practice all of the Bible. It cannot be done historically, spiritually or dispensationally.
The only method of Bible practice that is practical, logical and non-contradictory is a dispensational method.
Let's take another example � salvation. Is it by grace or works? The answer is YES.
It is clear from this passage that historically there were some people who believed that a Gentile could not be saved (spiritual) unless he was circumcised and kept the law of Moses (dispensational).
But what does Paul say? Or better still, What did God tell Paul to say?
These two passages either contradict or complement one another through dispensational contrasting. The point being that they are not contradictory but are dispensational in nature.
Was there ever a time when people were told to demonstrate faith by doing the works of the law for salvation? YES!
Was there ever a time when people were told they could not do anything to be saved including trying to keep the law of Moses? YES!
You cannot do both and you had better know which one is for you!
All of the Bible is for us but not all of it is written to us.
Miles Coverdale said it this way:
"It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture
if thou mark not only what is spoken or written,
but of whom and to whom, with what words,
at what time, where, to what intent,
with what circumstances,
considering what goeth before
and what followeth after."
Point Three - What Paul Teaches About The Other Scriptures
Before we look at what Paul teaches about the "other" scriptures let us take a look at what Paul was told to write about the "scripture" he penned.
In the Old Testament Law, there are NOT just 10 commandments. There are over 600 commandments which must be followed, not just the ones you like.
If you absolutely need some "commandments" to follow then why not follow the ones given by the risen Lord Jesus Christ, through the apostle to the Gentiles, for you and me today?
We Agree With Paul
We agree with Paul when he says:
LEARNING: Gaining knowledge by instruction or reading, by study, by experience or observation; acquiring skill by practice. (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
We agree with Paul! The things that were written aforetime were written, NOT necessarily for our practice but for our learning.
ENSAM'PLE: To exemplify; to shew by example.
ADMONI'TION: Gentle reproof; counseling against a fault; instruction in duties; caution; direction. (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
Again, we agree with Paul. The nation of Israel showed by example what kind of behavior we are to have. Israel was given a set of instructions to follow and most of the time, it seems, they did not follow them. This is the principle lesson we are to learn: Obey the instructions given to you!
And we do, for we find the risen Lord Jesus Christ instructing us to follow Paul! So by following Paul we in fact are following Christ. Those who follow Christ today in the dispensation of the grace of God MUST follow Paul.
What Do We Do With The Rest Of The Books Of The Bible?
We Believe Them, Do You?