Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Teaching the Whole Counsel of God's Word

The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper then any two edged sword.(Hebrews 4:12) The Psalmist declared that "the LORD has magnified His Word above His name." (Psalm 138:2) Jesus said "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matt.4:4) 
At Calvary Chapel we make it a priority to teach through the entire Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. One of the blessings of going through the entire Bible is that you don't miss anything. 
The Old Testament, although at times challenging to teach, is just as inspired as the New Testament. The Old Testament scriptures are full of God's truth and wisdom. The Old Testament points to Jesus, and the New Testament reveals Jesus; for "in the volume of the book it is written concerning Him."(Hebrews 10:7). 

I think of Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus with disciples after His resurrection. The distraught disciples didn't know that Jesus had risen from the dead, or that He was talking with them at that very moment. While on the road Jesus began to speak to them from the Word of God, and it says, "and beginning at Moses and ALL the prophets He expounded to them in ALL the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27) What a Bible study that must have been.  Jesus went through the Old Testament and revealed Himself to His troubled followers.

Another important point to consider when teaching through the Old Testament is prophecy. One-third of the Bible is prophecy. We recently went through Ezekiel and Daniel and it was such a blessing for our church. I have found that one of the things that motivates me to live a holy life is consistently being reminded of fulfilled prophecy as well as the rapture of the church. Why would I want to go and reach anyone for Jesus with the gospel if I didn't recall to mind the reality of His imminent return? 
I believe the generation coming up needs to be reminded that JESUS is coming soon. In fact I don't think we can say it enough. Although we don't know the day or the hour, we are to be living expectantly and looking for the LORD. And I believe that based upon biblical prophecy that the birth pains are increasing with frequency and intensity. (Matthew 24:8)

I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, "But you MUST CONTINUE in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you learned them, and that from childhood you have known the HOLY SCRIPTURES, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ. ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Timothy was raised on the Old Testament Scriptures. 

As a Pastor it's easy for me to become intimidated when teaching through the Old Testament. Yet I have found that God is so faithful to help me overcome my own inadequacy. We have been given a wonderful pattern and template of teaching through the entire Bible. We have seen the fruit of that labor, and therefore let's continue in the things which we have learned and been assured of.