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The New Testament Pattern [message #7078] Sat, 08 May 2010 04:37
william  is currently offline william
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Registered: January 2006
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Actually the "Biblical Pattern".

As the Lord established Himself in the new nation of Israel with the
giving of the Law, it becomes obvious that His plan for mankind is being
unveiled. Interestingly enough He chooses an unlikely and relatively
small group of people to make Himself known. Without their obedience His
message would not proceed very far. Apart from the tables of stone
written with His own finger there wouldn't be a whole lot of evidence of
God's plan if the recipients hadn't taken some responsibility to both
document and preserve His words for future generations.

That revelation could be further compromised by the lack of morality, by
those to whom the Word had come. Fortunately the written record survived
despite the moral failings of His chosen people. Even the lack of
faithfulness on the part of trustees was documented and preserved so that
future generations could see aspects of God's grace and forbearance that
might otherwise be hidden.

Fast forward to the New Testament. The Jews have neglected their
responsibility to bring the light of the good news to the gentile nations
and have become introverted. In the span of a few years they reject God's
renewed attempt to restore their prominence as bearers of His revelation
which turns out to be a blessing for the gentiles. They officially reject
God's offer of salvation obtained through the suffering and death of His
own son.

God had once again offered to them the responsibility of bearing His
standard to the world and in the pages of the Book of Acts you seen them
time and again rejecting His offer.

They wanted to continue to be focused upon those things that seemed to
make them unique-adherence to an outward conformity to a myriad of
minutia. They saw the details but failed to see the grand mosaic that was
spread before them. Paul finally has had enough of their rejection and
says: (Act 28:28) Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of
God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

They did indeed hear the message of the Gospel and proceeded to spread it
far and wide.

Fast forward to the present day. As gentiles we were given the same
responsibility to spread the good news by offering God's salvation to all.
This has been done to some degree throughout Church history with various
levels of success. The main problems that continue to hinder the
successful propagation of that message is the same problems that the Jews
encountered-pride and sin. (Obviously pride IS SIN!)

We spend our days thanking God that we are not like that sinner, and just
like the Pharisee we wrap ourselves in the knowledge that we are "the
elect". Oh the simplicity of the Gospel! Love God with our whole heart
and love our perishing neighbors as we love ourselves!

None of us know how much time we have left to spread His message;
shouldn't we spend the rest of our days doing just that? How much time
have we wasted as professional critics; critiquing this group or that
group, instead of preaching the good news of our common salvation, and the
blessings derived from following His Word?

As far as I can tell the first attempt to mold the Church into the failed
methodology of the past came from the Judaizers who wanted to burden the
growing-by-leaps-and-bounds Church by preaching: You must be circumcised
to be saved! We have our own variations but the message is the same-- Do
This, or Don't do that, or you can't be saved. Shouldn't we have the same
sort of answer to those false messages as did the early church? Is the
Lord's arm so short as to be unable to save without us trying to help Him
produce good works in the people He chooses?

The message then is the same message today--preach the Good News of the
Gospel and the Holy Spirit will come as a refining fire to purge the dross
from the midst of His people. He has His work and we have ours, let us
not become as the Jews became-so introverted as to be unable to perceive
God's plan for the world. They failed miserably and we will fail too...
unless we learn the lessons that have been clearly set before us.

Blessings,
William

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