Should we simply do everything Jesus says to do? Word for word? Or is a closer examination warranted? When I was a new Believer, I was told by my pastor, "If Jesus said it, I believe it and I will do it."
When Jesus came to the earth, he was a Jew living under the Jewish law. He obeyed the law perfectly, without sin.
When Jesus addressed crowds, there were no Christians present, only Jews under the law. Christians, or better described as Church Age Believers, only came about after Jesus' death.
Therefore, what was recorded in the Gospels are His instructions and interactions with Jews under the law.
To the Jews under the law, He said things that can't possibly be meant for Believers today. For instance, Jesus said:
If we took that verse and applied it to Believers in the Church Age, we'd have a problem. Doesn't Jesus live in my heart—even when I'm alone in the woods? Do I need to find another Believer to "gather" or be near me to ensure He is in my heart? Of course not.
Another obvious example is in Matthew 24.
"But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are
nursing babies in those days!" Matt. 24:19
Should believers be concerned about getting pregnant in the last days? Of course not.
More obvious examples of Gospel verses that don’t apply to us:
We've been posting a series of video presentations entitled "Satan's Top Ten Lies," which are free to download in the FREE COMPASS DOWNLOADS folder in the compass.org digital store.
We just posted Lie # 5 -- "Do everything Jesus says to do." It shows the above verses in context and another 20 or so verses that make it IMPOSSIBLE to follow Jesus' every command. It sheds a whole new light on the Gospels and clears up why Jesus said what He did.
It's an interesting study and once you understand how to "rightly divide the Word," you'll be amazed how the rest of the Bible comes together!
Bill Perkins is the founder and Executive Director of Compass International, Inc.
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