Teach One Another – BT17
NT teaching has nothing to do with OT scripture’s Law, only the prophetic
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There’s absolutely nothing in the NT about teaching 613 commandments from the OT Torah Law of conditional-favor, because the NT says obeying the OT Law is all or nothing. You can’t teach people to obey 1 commandment without teaching them to obey all 613 commandments! Yet, I hear Christians and churches doing that all the time! Paul calls these “commandments, rules, regulations, and ordinances” that promise to curb the indulgence of the flesh, “worthless and useless elementary ‘abc’ principles” common to all religions and human traditions, promising freedom but only continuing slavery (a). The only enabling-power over sin is Spirit-power that only occurs when being ‘filled to completion with all the fullness of God,’ so that Christ lives in you – He alone has all rule and all authority. Everything we need is “in Christ” by having “Christ in us!” <Notes> a) Galatians 4:9; Colossians 2:16-23
The only portions or gramma Letters of the OT graphe scripture that were NOT considered “worthless and useless” by any of the NT writers (a) were the prophetic Messianic and New Covenant passages that Jewish-Christians used to catechize the Jews by, those “able to make you wise unto salvation by trusting-relying-faith in Christ.” Only those were considered “profitable or useful” because the Greek word pas rarely means “the whole of” but more often “every of a kind” and always defined by context, as is here, meaning the “OT prophetic scriptures about trusting-relying-faith in Jesus” (b). This is basic bible interpretation, but so many have misused this verse! <Notes> a) only 250 verses of 23,145 or only 1.08%, b) 2 Timothy 3:15-16.
OT prophetic passages are routinely used throughout the NT, especially in the Book of Hebrews and Paul’s writings, to combat Jewish teachers infiltrating the early Jewish Church who wanted to drag Jewish-Christians back into their “security blanket” of following Moses’ writings of “righteousness by works of the Torah Law of conditional-favor.” Of course, the NT writers instead appealed to the Holy Spirit’s teaching and enabling-power to convince them to keep having trusting-relying-faith in the only 2 commandments of trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love.
However, these OT prophetic passages weren’t ever used when writing to Gentiles, because they could care less about books of the Jewish religion. The Church was predominantly Jewish for the first 20 years till about 55AD and predominantly Gentile after 65AD Jewish Wars and destruction of Jerusalem by 70AD, so there was only 10 years where it was mixed! Paul rejected the Jews after so many beatings in 48 AD (Acts 13:46). The NT writers knew their audience and wrote effectively as the Holy Spirit moved them! Predominantly Jewish books: James, Matthew, Hebrews, 1 John, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy. Mixed books to Gentiles and Jews far from home and in many cases secular: John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Philemon. Predominantly written from a Gentile perspective or for Gentiles: Mark, Luke, Acts, and Philemon. Even if this isn’t perfectly accurate, it’s important to know your audience!
Modern churches could take a lesson in knowing what to use and when, but if they aren’t quietly listening to the Holy Spirit through devoted, patiently waiting, watching, worshipful, conversational prayer, but instead relying on the “security blanket” of just quoting scripture, as if they were Jews writing to Jews or writing to anybody 2000 years ago, then they won’t be very effective with a today’s predominantly Gentile audience. Paul only quotes 1 philosophical scripture when he was talking to the philosophers of Athens in Acts 17:16-21.
As Christian musicians, why are we teaching any of the Old Testament commandments when the New Testament not only doesn’t but tells us NOT to! The NT and early Church only use prophetic portions of the OT scriptures to convert Jews by and to argue back at the Jewish teachers of the superiority of the Jesus as Messiah and the New Covenant He brought. Instead the “meat” was to be led by the Spirit in prayer to discern the will of God – see New Covenant Ways – BT16, not read about it, and thus keep in step with and walk by the Spirit. That was surely the approach in Gentile churches, especially after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, where they didn’t even use the Old Testament at all until Origen forced its re-entry around 200 AD to make a name for himself and to support the legalism the corrupted Church wanted to reinstitute.