THREE DISTINCT PERIODS OF TIME
1. God is our Creator, the Sustainer of our lives, our Father, and our Judge. He is also our Savior wanting none of us to perish. He, therefore, has the right to teach us and to expect us to follow His instructions.
2. God has, for their benefit (Deut.10:12,13), always taught His people. He taught the following what He wanted them to do:
a. Adam and Eve, Genesis 2:16,17
b. Noah, Genesis 6:14
c. Abraham, Genesis 12:1
d. Israel, Deuteronomy 6:1,2
3. Likewise, God teaches all people today (John 6:45; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Indeed, His plan for the salvation of all men is a teaching plan.
4. The Word of God records instructions concerning the building of an ark, circumcising children, building a temple, going to Jerusalem to worship, partaking of the Lord's Supper and sing praises unto Him. By what authority do we do or refuse to do certain of these instructions? how do we know what to practice or not to practice? How are taught from the Bible?
5. This study of understanding the Bible is actually a study of authority for doing what we do.
I.WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT GOD HAS TAUGHT MAN IN THREE DISTINCT PERIODS OF TIME.
A. The first period of time is covered by Genesis 1:1 to Exodus 20. The other two periods are: 1) the Law of Moses and 2) the Law of Christ are observable from a study of the following passages:
1. Hebrews 1:1,2, Contrast between "old time" and "end of these days"
2. Hebrews 10:9,10, contrast between "first" and "second"
3.Galatians 3:19,23-26, significance of "added...till"
II. THE NEW TESTAMENT, THEN, IS GOD'S INSTRUCTION FOR TODAY FOR ALL OF MANKIND.
A. Hebrews 1:1,2--God speaks to us today through Jesus
B.Matthew 28:18-20--Jesus has all authority; Moses has no authority today (Acts 3:22,23).
C. Now, let us see how God speaks to us in His Son. John 16:12-15 will be used as a base upon which to build our concept of God's authority. The passage teaches that God revealed His will to Christ, who made it known to the apostles through the Holy Spirit. The apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit wrote it for us (Eph.3:3,4). Hence, the New Testament. Consider the following:
GOD---------- Rom.1:20; Rom.9:20,21; Rom.11:33-36
CHRIST------- Mt. 17:5; John 12:48-50; 2 Cor.10:5
HOLY SPIRIT-- John 14:26; 1 Cor.2:9,10
WRITTEN N.T.- Eph.3:3,4
D. Today, we must submit to the authority of God as revealed to us in the New Testament. We must not submit to the wisdom of men. This is vividly illustrated from:
1. Matthew 21:23-25--The baptism of John, was it from heaven or from men? It makes a difference.
2. Matthew 16:13-18--What men said concerning the identify of Jesus and what God revealed to Peter is the difference between truth and error.
3. 1 Corinthians 1:20-2:15 contrasts God's wisdom and the wisdom of man.
E. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 indicates that God's Revelation through Christ makes us wise unto salvation and furnishes us completely unto every good work.
1. We must contend for the faith (Jude 3).
2. We must not add to it or take from it (Rev.22:18,19).
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