As a Christian reads and studies the scriptures, there must always be in their minds certain basic criteria or truths that exist which controls the readers understandings, preventing any deviation from what is taking place and what is being taught in the verses (context maintained)!
The pertinent ideas that should be remembered relating to WHO is being spoken to, WHY are these things being spoken, WHAT is going on in terms of the timing of the event(s), and WHEN was it written and bottom line WHAT Is God actually saying.
Not what does it mean to me, but What does He actually say to me and to others who read the Inspired Words from His own powerful Being? It doesn’t matter what I think about it, what matters is what does HE say!!! HE HAS ONE MESSAGE!
Of course, when we hear and understand what He says we believe it absolutely regardless of what we may feel about it!! Many things in the Bible would offend the mind and thoughts of human beings during any time in the history of mankind. But so what? It doesn’t matter if they offend or are out of sync with our human thoughts!
Why? This is our Creator and our God Who is Speaking. If you want to hear GOD speak READ HIS WORD, and if you think you need vocalization sounds READ it out loud and you will hear it out loud. God speaks right now in HIS word. Hebrews chapter 1 states, “He has spoken to us in the last days in and through His Son Jesus Christ, so hear Him!
A case in point is this! The New Testament doesn’t actually begin in Matthew chapter 1, even though it is separated in our Bibles as if it is words under the New Covenant. It is a transitional book, having some doctrine concerning both the Old and New Covenant matters. In fact, the New Covenant (Testament) isn’t controlled by the ink and print of words on a page in the bible called the New Testament, IT (THE NEW COVENANT) BEGINS AT THE POINT IN HISTORY WHEN JESUS CHRIST SHED HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS, AND THEN ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND ASCENDED BACK INTO HEAVEN WHRE HE CAME FROM! That is when the N.T. begins and the O.T. (Covenant) ceases.
So, the materials you read about and matters you read about in Matthew for instance is during Life on planet earth as Jesus came into this world by way of the physical virgin birth of Mary and began His ministry at around 30 years of age or so, and ALL OF THAT WAS UNDER THE OLD COVENANT OR THE MOSAIC LAW TIMES!
Since that is correct, most of all of the material you will read there relates what should be going on within the nation of Israel as they are to be living under the Mosaic Law Covenant which does NOT apply to us today. However, there will be things in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), which speak of future events that will happen in the New Covenant days, such as the New Birth as He described it to Nicodemus, or perhaps words relating to His coming again in Judgement upon Israel in 70AD, or the Final End Time coming of Christ back to earth etc.! So, our thoughts must be directed to those facts as you read those 3 Gospel books. I did not include John’s Gospel because it is much different in its context than those three books.
The POINT then is the New Covenant did not happen until the Crucified Savior Died and came back to Life! He said, ‘IT IS FINISHED”! All O.T. covenant matters are over with. Even though the Jews kept on doing certain Mosaic laws etc., it was over, and eventually God totally destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD some 60 + years later. The born-again people whether Jews or Gentiles in either period (O.T. or N.T.) are in ONE body, and the Lord Jesus is revealed as the ONE Who is in them and is their REAL GOD and LORD and SAVIOR.
Now we see unity of all peoples regardless of their ethnicity and backgrounds placed into ONE Body called the “Called out ones from sin and Satan’s kingdom” or the ecclesia. We use the term in English Church which is a improper term of Ecclesia. The Greek means called out ones by the new birth really and has nothing to do with denominations, or buildings or signing on the dotted line membership cards, etc., for it is a Spiritual body living on earth and many are already in heaven. We know those on earth only by their testimonies and observation of the fruit produced by them. Physicality issues make NOT a Saint or a real Christian.
As Paul puts it, Jesus was ‘born under the law, to redeem those under the law’ – Galatians 4:4-5! So He lived for 33 years on planet earth while those around Him still operated under the Old and not the New Covenant. Where then should we look for the New? The first effects of the New are evidenced in the book of ACTS at Pentecost insofar as the working out of it all took place in the early days of the N.C.! The Apostles’ Letters to the Saints instruct us about life under the New Covenant! But do not forget, the O.T. should be studied for it tells us so much about so many things, such as our beginnings as a human race, the fall of the first two humans, creation of all things, and much much more of God’s workings with individuals and nations.
We should not ever attempt personally or use others materials which MIX Old with the New. We end up with a contradicatory Covenant of our own invention. People are caught up in this today all over the planet. It has infected all of the Evangelical Churches to some extent, and has really cause a lot of serious confusion and problems for the saints in the body of Christ, in terms of assurance, guilt, what sin is and what salvation is all about. A very mixed bag exists out there and it is very difficult now to say to anyone here is a local congregation and ministry that is right on target about the O.T. and the N.T.! Very difficult because there are NOT many out there! But there are some, and we can’t ever send anyone to a Denominational group or some who say they re not denominational but yet they are for they have sister type groups on the same page so to speak. But I can give someone my recommendations if needed when someone asks.
The New we find our standing as holy children of God! The first (Old) covenant was set aside because it made NO ONE perfect. It was a performance system, and No one could perform in a way that met its standards! All failed! Now that is obsolete. It is set aside due to our inability to cooperate with it! Listen to Hebrews 8:13 – “By calling this Covenant “new” God has made the first one obsolete, and what is obsolete and outdated WILL SOON disappear.” and Hebrews 7:18-19, “The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better Hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”
Now HERE is the BIG picture: “There is ONLY ONE way to get close to God now——–through the New Covenant. Any other way is a counterfeit that is invariably rooted in ill-conceived parallels with human relationships and driven by moment to moment feelings.! That will not work and will always fail. Using the Law unlawfully will create DEATH. So, come to Christ Alone, by Faith alone, for His glory alone, and by the word of God alone for Salvation and Sanctification. No works involved by man, but only the work of God in our hearts as HE works 24/7 our lives! Amen!