Monday, November 08, 2010

Placing a Bible Verse in the pattern of Sound Words (2 Timothy 1:13)


I continue to study and work on how the bible frames the demands of the New Testament Law upon unbelievers since we have a new lawgiver Jesus instead of Moses. This concept of framing is very important because to now see every verse in its Canonical framework can make us misuse texts. Paul says to Timothy: "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:13 ESV). Notice that we are not just to follow the words but the pattern (the framework) of sound words. That means we must place every scripture into its proper Biblical frame to understand it. A Scripture (on the runway) is like s puzzle piece that must be put into the frame made from from other scriptures at the 50,000 foot level in order to see the passage in light of the progress of redemptive history as a whole. If we put it into a wrong frame we will get a wrong understanding of the meaning. This is something I am studying with great effort and still seeking understanding.

For instance that is why my aim in ministry (as a Disciplemaking Pastor): is to preach the gospel by prayerfully expounding the Bible to the people God has given to me to love. I am to preach the gospel in every sermon, because every sermon relations to the Gospel circle (even thought the passage itself is not the gospel).

For instance, the epistles speak of “the perfect law of liberty (Jam. 1:25), “the royal law” (Jam. 2:8), the Law of Christ (Gal. 6:2), and the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:2). This consists of the many imperatives found throughout the epistles which comprise this law. Unbelievers are not excepted from the moral law found in the New Testament that is much wider. Matthew 5:20 is also of utmost importance to our understanding of how the NT Law relates to unbelievers as well - Your righteousness needs to exceed that of the scriptures and pharisees.

This biblical topic is the most widely confused and debated issue in Biblical Christianity today. I see people being unbalanced on the ends of the spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, we see Classic Dispensationalists” who say that the Old Testament has no relevance for us today, since the Old Testament was for Jews and not for Christians (they even put the sermon on the Mount as only applicable in the future millennial Kingdom). They see an absolute separation of Israel and the Church. They would also deny “Lordship Salvation.” On the other end of the spectrum, there are “Classic Covenant Theologians” that believe that there is just one covenant of Grace that we are all under and that all the Biblical covenants are administrations of the one covenant of Grace. So the New Testament is just a renewal of the Old Covenant. They would see a unity of God's peole in both the Old and New Testaments. In between these extreems (from my current understanding) there are “Revised Discpensationalistists”, “Popular Dispensationalists,” Progressive Dispensationalists,” “MacArthur Dispensationalists,”, “Progressive Covenantalists”, New Covenant Theology”, and Monocovenatalists. (I receintly made up a one page chart in trying to understand this). So as you can see one's preundrstanding and how one litterally frames each passages of Scripture into the whole Cannon of Scripture determines a lot. I am in the middle right now as either a “Progressive Covenantalists,” or as a “New Covenant Theologian. You can see that sometimes one side believes the others is guilty of false teaching or even heracy - see http://www.againstdispensationalism.com/95theses.shtml

Does all this make sense to you? Much of proper frame work comes from proper exegesis and buildig a proper Biblical Theology even before we get to systematic theology.


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