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June 28, 2022 8:00 am
Pay attention to context. Pay attention to other Scripture distinguish historic from the didactic material well down the road to be able to read the Bible profitably for yourself with a sense of confidence in you know what I think I'm getting it right here. Sometimes God's word simply doesn't say a ravine. We think it does, no matter how badly you might want to, and by the end of today's lesson will be thanking the Lord for that fact. Hello I build life and welcome back to the true pulpit with Don Green, Don's founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio today as he continues teaching God's people. God's word will bring us the third and final part of a message called how do we interpret Scripture taking one last look at how we can benefit the most from the Bible by learning to rightly divide the words contained in its pages.
Let's join Don now for today's lesson here on the truthful. One of the things that people use to deny that repentance from sin is an integral part of the gospel message and of his saving response to Christ is this, they say, you know what the gospel of John does not use the word repentance and therefore watch the watch watch their logic on this. I'm not misrepresenting them, they say, therefore since John was written to teach people how to come to Christ and he doesn't use word repentance.
Therefore, repentance is not part of the gospel that is foolish because the other Gospels have a lot to say there there introduced on the on the premise repent and believe in the gospel of Mark 115 Matthew four. What do they do they try to they try to cut out. They try to ignore what the other Gospels say about repentance by narrowing it down to the one gospel of John saying this is the only thing that matters in the pit one gospel against the other.
That's deplorable you don't pitch Scripture against Scripture, you take it as a totality and you say how can we read these things in harmony.
How can we read that particular thing in harmony. John wrote 30 or 40 years after the three other Gospels were completed what they had said was established.
So is bringing out another dimension, another aspect of salvation that he wanted, not contradicting, not denying the totality of biblical teaching on repentance.
Well, if you would just interpret Scripture in harmony with other Scripture you would make those kinds of errors and so you see 11 here's the thing is, much as anything I want to deepen your reverence and commitment to God's word. I know that you come in here without already in place and what were doing now is just digging a little bit deeper in making that go even further in your mind. We revere God's word. We fear God, we honor him.
We respect him. We defer to the Scriptures to such an extent that we say. I respect Scripture enough that I'm not going to manipulate one passage against another in order to achieve my theological objective I'm going to defer to Scripture, let it all speak equally because it all comes from God and therefore all to be weighed before I make basic pronouncements about what the nature salvation. See you your view of Scripture starts to inform how you do these things. Thirdly, this is the final principal for interpretation here today there's there's a lot more but these are just basic things to help you as you read the Bible for yourself and understanding that that for someone if someone was going to get up and teach in our church there be a lot more that we would need to say. The goal here is for everyone to have some basics in place where you can read the Bible profitably for yourself.
That's my goal. That's why were doing it this way today not need to give you just a couple of more technical terms, maybe we said you pay attention to context. You pay attention to other Scripture. Thirdly, this principle will do wonders for you. Distinguish between historical and didactic material that's a mouthful. Say it again distinguish between historical and didactic material. This is a very important point that is easy to miss when we say historical were simply saying that there are parts of Scripture that are designed to recount history and to give an accurate account of what actually happened.
Didactic material is that material that that is designed specifically to prescribe for us how we are to believe and to behave now.
The message of Scripture between historic and didactic properly interpreted, is consistent with each other, but as you are reading Scripture you need to be mindful of the distinctions, lest you make a very serious mistake. Some Bible books are primarily historical in nature, follow me. This is very it's very important, but it's not all that technical really. The terms are technical, but what it's what they're saying is obvious and easy to understand the historical books are describing past actions of men and women in history, and so we have the 12 Old Testament books between Joshua and Esther in our English Bibles we call the historical books there describing the history of what happened in the people of Israel from the time they crossed over into the promised land until Esther's queen ship some 1000 years later historical narrative watches when I illustrate this is going be so easy and so obvious that it's all going to go on like a lightbulb in your mind. Historical narrative may or may not be telling you what to believe or do.
Its primary purpose is to record what happened.
You need to be careful about whether it's prescribing things for you to do or not, I'll give you an easy, undeniable example when you see how simple this is a smile will light up your face. Genesis chapter 4 verse eight, Cain killed his brother Abel.
That is a historic description account of what happened. Do you know what it is not a commandment for you to go and do likewise to your siblings right it's describing an action that was wrong and sinful. But he described it accurately, but you understand that you shouldn't go out and kill your brother because Cain killed his sometimes you just need the most basic thing to establish the principle to understand that and so as we read the Old Testament now today as New Testament believers we understand that there are a lot of things that are recorded there that are in God's word, but that are not meant for us to go out into ourselves so we don't slay bulls is a sin offering. We don't shout hosannas to human kings of Israel, why do we not kill a bull because Christ was a sacrificed slain for our sins. And so the didactic portions of Scripture help us understand why we wouldn't repeat something that was done in the Old Testament. In like manner.
In like manner, not everything that Jesus did in the Gospels was something that we are supposed to do likewise. Jesus went to the cross and offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity.
That's not a prescription for us to go and do likewise. That's for us to believe and to receive not supposed to go out and imitate everything that Jesus did were not supposed to go out and do miracles like Jesus did. We don't go and die on a cross like he did some of the things that Jesus did as as a Jew he did in a way to fulfill them so that we wouldn't have to be fulfilled those ceremonies so we wouldn't have to continue those and carry them over into our Christian life. Not everything he did something that we are supposed to do ourselves. Some things he did to fulfill Scripture and to do it on our behalf, so that we wouldn't have to historic you have to understand the nature of historical literature and be careful with the way that you handle it. Even if something seems righteous by something that they buy and what a biblical character did don't automatically say therefore I must go and do this myself watch that.
Be careful. So many people go straight on that very point. Now, by contrast, other portions of Scripture are didactic, they are designed to prescribe what you are to believe and to do the epistles are especially this way. Look at first Corinthians chapter 14 first Corinthians 14 verse 37 Paul says if anyone thinks. First Corinthians 1437 if anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual.
Let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment, Paul says, what I am writing is authoritative. This is what you must believe and do. He could say those things because he was an apostle of Christ. He was doing what Christ appointed him to do. He spoke with the authority of Christ as an apostle of Christ. And so, in these didactic portions. Paul's laying out. Here's what you must believe here's what you must do you know thinking just for and to illustrate that in first Corinthians 5 there was an organ in moral man in the assembly that his father's wife and he and Paul says he says you gotta get rid of him, cast him out. Protect the purity of the church. First Timothy chapter 3 a minute. When in this with an illustration that I think will be really helpful to you and encouraging to first Timothy chapter 3 verse 14.
Somewhere down the road couple, three, four years down the road in our church, will you know Lord willing, will have a whole class on hermeneutics will do 10 or 12 weeks of this to really flesh.
All of this out, but this is enough for you to guide you to read Scripture profitably for yourself. First Timothy chapter 3 verses 14 and 15, Paul says I am writing these things to you all remember principle of contacts per purpose statements your ears perk up when a writer says that when you write these things. Paul, in case I'm delayed I write so that so that could become some of the most precious words in all Scripture for you. I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar in support of the truth Paul says I am writing to tell you is a Christian how the church is to function.
This is not material that maybe we do or don't Paul saying this is authoritative on what I'm writing is binding on the church. That's because he's writing didactic material so beloved with those simple thoughts pay attention to context.
Pay attention to other Scripture distinguish historic from didactic material. Your well down the road to be able to read the Bible profitably for yourself the sense of confidence in you know what I think I'm getting it right here now. I want to give you as we close family time here.
A true personal story that will illustrate all of these principles for you. We just finished the third session. It's hard for me to believe that I'd like to go for six more but I won't.
There were there.
The amen's were a lot softer on that one.
For those of you listening at home. A true personal story to illustrate this and let you see how sweet, precious and determinative.
These things are the story that I'm about to tell you why I went into ministry. It was that important and significant in my life and this is emotional to me because it shows the preciousness of God's word.
I had been a Christian for less than 30 days. I had no church. I had no Christian friends.
I had no Christian books.
None. I had one Bible and in the process of reading and all of that and and starting to my antenna started to come up for other Christians. I was attracted to God brought providentially into my life. There was a Christian radio program on a secular rock network out of Indianapolis that II got connected to. I think they broadcast like midnight on Sunday was some some very late hour and and they played Christian rock music which I don't.
I don't recommend to you now, but you know this is the newborn infant in the words of Ezekiel, I'm I'm still in the all of the juices of new birth. No one and no wanted con to wash me up into and to wrap me in in in close to get me started is even a baby Christian. I was brand-new I knew nothing except the God's word was true in these people claim to be Christians, and so they had my ear and so I called I called the I'd I didn't know these guys and they said, come up come up to the studio and be with us at our next studio show and so I did that their broadcasting live in, and I'm there and listening to them as her doing the program that I'd listen to one of those guys there. I'm not going to be critical of him.
I'm just going to tell you this is historical, not didactic. Okay, one of the two guys was there, asked me, he said, so Don, do you have the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which he meant do you speak in tongues I said and I I didn't know anything about tongues at that point the only thing that I knew was that my unsaved father hated that manifestation of spirituality and that was the only thing that I had to go and I said you know my my dad who was not a believer, said the tongues were a bad thing. That's all that I know and he said, let me let me help you.
He opened up his Bible. That's impressive and he turned acts chapter 2 verse four he said here's listen to what Scripture says. He says, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance. He read. He read Scripture, and he closed it and he said you see Don you need to speak in tongues like we do. While you know and on the brand-new Christian I'm I'm in the him in the juices of new birth, I am covered with blood, so to speak, because I'm such a new Christian, something seemed wrong but I didn't know what and but I knew that in my heart what I wanted was I wanted the truth. I didn't care what the implications of it were, I just wanted the truth but I had a hard time believing that what he had told me was true, but I had no ability to refute it. As I stood there with them. So I drove home is a 50 mile drive home, which means was 50 mile drive to get there and I was driving home in a blinding blizzard from Indianapolis to Bloomington on Highway 37 and I'm, I'm, you know I'm thinking through these things and you know I think you know at one point on no see if anything came out. Nothing came out. And so I'm I'm really confused and I'm really concerned there's a lot at stake because the future of my Christian life is at stake here, something seemed wrong. I didn't know what and what did I do when I got home I opened my Bible and in the back of that Bible, which I no longer have it somewhere in the land of Russia right now was a concordance and I went to the concordance and I just looked up tongues and appointing me to first Corinthians chapter 12 verse 30 where it says all do not speak with tongues, do they. I immediately knew that guy was mistaken he was wrong even though he had the radio show. He had the audience. I am but but he was wrong. You can't say that every Christian should speak in tongues. When the Bible says not all speak with tongues, do they expecting the answer.
No, they don't know that incident illustrates many things. First of all, that incident illustrates why that man was in error. He was in error because of what we just discussed right here he was using historical biblical material to make a didactic point asked 24 is not designed to teach that every person should speak in tongues. We know that because elsewhere when we compare Scripture with Scripture, we go to the didactic portion that says that everyone does whatever else we say about tongues in the future. We know that it's not a command for everyone to do that.
Watch this watch this bigger point and you'll see why this is so precious to me embedded in that true story is the clarity of Scripture and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. I was a nobody, still in but I was a nobody. 3 o'clock alone in my single bedroom apartment in Bloomington, Indiana and all I had was a Bible in my heart was really disturbed about what I had just heard. And I opened a Bible that is clear, that is that is known for, which is made by its perspicuity, it can be understood by the simplest of believers who is who are sincere in seeking the truth and the spirit of God enabled me to understand and to discern the truth on a major doctrinal point, just through the Bible is a nobody believer in a nobody apartment in a nobody town God's word led me in the truth is the spirit opened my understanding when I read it I couldn't have explained anything about interpretation to I didn't have to know the things we discussed truth in order for the Scriptures to guide me rightly in my Christian life.
You know what that same reliable guidance is available to you as a believer as well and maybe maybe there's going to be as it will be different issues for you than it was for me but that's 11. That's how trustworthy Scripture is. That's how clear it is. That's how precious it is that someone of no account could open it and find the truth of God contained within it. My story is not unique precious to me, but it's not the point. It's just an illustration. God uses his clear word to help his sincere people. People just like you can read his word. You can honor his word. You can read it naturally with the confidence that God will give you understanding that will lead you in the true knowledge of Christ. That's precious.
Will you be that Christian man that Christian woman Christian young person just on the start of your life would you be that man that says I want to trust this word I want to believe this word to protect this word on when I defended him to teach him to proclaim it. Treasure it is most precious thing that I have your words were found, and I ate the words became for me. The delight in the joy of my heart because I have been called by thy name. The Lord God of hosts you be that person blessing which amen. And may we all be that kind of person will friend you been listening to the truth pulpit with our teacher Don Greene, a friend if you'd like a copy of today's message the entire series or you like to find out more about this ministry. Just go to the truth.
Pulpit.com again that's the truth. Pulpit.com now before we go. Here's Don with a closing word of encouragement. We know my friends is on recording this I just preach from Psalm 136 that says over and over again that the God's lovingkindness is everlasting and therefore we should give thanks to him, that's so true my friend you think about the Lord Jesus Christ and the loyal love that he showed to his people.
Loyal love in leaving heaven to come to earth, loyal love and living a perfect life, loyal love and laying that life down at the cross in order to pay for the sins of people like you and me loyal love and keeping us by his Holy Spirit loyal love and one day taking us to heaven. Oh my friend be encouraged by the love of Christ, he is a loyal Savior to those that look to him in a gracious Lord, to all who submit to him by faith in Jesus Christ. Thanks, Don and friends will be more from our series called effective Bible study next time Pineville right inviting you to join us that as Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word