Logos Word of God – BT13

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Shouldn’t the 2 greatest OT commandments be included in what is “profitable for teaching?”

 

 

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What about the 2 greatest OT commandments of “love God and love your neighbor as yourself?”  Shouldn’t these be included in the “profitable for teaching, etc.” scriptures of 2 Timothy 3:16?  Well we know from early BLOGs (a) that the Law was NOT included in Paul’s instructions to Timothy.  After all, didn’t Jesus teach them to His disciples?  Aren’t these to be included in the Great Commission by Jesus to His apostles:  “teaching the disciples you have made to carefully-watch/guard ALL (b) as-much-as-this (c) that I have already definitively/wholly commanded-for-an-end-purpose (d) you” (e)?  Did Jesus ever entellomai command these 2 OT entole commandments to be taught?  Nope! <Notes> a) see Logos Word of God – BT7 and BT8, b) pas typically used for ‘every of a portion of’ as is here – every of the kind that Jesus commanded, c) hosos is a comparative or correlative pronoun meaning: “as/so great a space as, as many whatsoever as of, as/so long time as, as much as this, so much more, in so far as”, d) entellomai is a verb form of entole commandment that emphasizes the end-objective, purpose, or consummation of an officially-decreed, universally-binding charge, e) Matthew 28:20.

 

The ONLY places you see these 2 OT commandments mentioned by Jesus is when He simply responded to a trick question posed by scheming Pharisaical lawyer-scribes (a).  Jesus never expounds on either one of these to His disciples.  As much as Jesus loved the Father and as important as the “loving God with your whole being” OT entole commandment, Jesus never expounded on it to His disciples.  And the only time He talked about the “love your neighbor” OT entole commandment was to point out to the unbelieving Jews, not His disciples, the deficiency of that command, because “neighbor” in Hebrew and Greek means “those of like status, location, religion, etc.” giving way for the Pharisees to conveniently have another “Tradition of the Elders” entole commandment to “Hate your enemy.”  This allowed the Jews to hate Gentiles, especially the Roman occupiers and half-breed Samaritans.  However, Jesus countered these Jews with: “Love your enemies and proseuchomai conversationally-pray for those who persecute you” (b).   <Notes> a) Matthew 22:38-39 Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:25-28, b) Matthew 5:43-44, Luke 10:27-36.

 

What about Paul’s use of these OT entole commandments?  Most of Paul’s citations from the OT are from the prophetic ‘portion of’ scripture to prove that Jesus was the Messiah in order to convert Jews to Christ or to bolster Jewish-Christian’s trusting-relying-faith in Christ instead of the Law that ‘spying’ teachers were pushing.  He would never teach any portion of the Law due to his strong negativity towards it and its teachers (see Logos Word of God – BT8).  He warns Christians to not keep even the smallest part of the Law unless you want to be obligated to keep ALL of it (a).  James says:  “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (b).  It’s ALL or nothing with the OT Law, and the NT writers consistently say “nothing or you are obligated to do it ALL.”  <Notes> a) Galatians 5:3, b) James 2:10.

 

So why does Paul resort to quoting the “love your neighbor” entole commandment?  In one place a frustrated Paul resorts to this particular Law only to make a point to stubborn Jewish-Christians to stay out of debt to avoid conflict with civilians and arbitrating governing authorities in Romans 13:9-10. However, Paul has already appealed to Christian unconditional-love coming from God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (a), that which comes from Christ dying for us (b) that we can’t be separated from (c).  Paul has already told them to unconditionally-love other genuinely, even with brotherly affection, outdoing each other in the showing of honor, as part of the transformed life (d).  So Paul has already laid the ground-work for Gentile and Jewish Christian love, but now he frustrating appeals to the Jewish-Christians who revered the Law, essentially reminding them that what he asking them to do in Romans 13:9-10 was also said in their revered Law, so really they have no excuse!  However, once Paul deals with this appeal to stubborn Jewish-Christians he goes right back to Christian’s real reason to unconditionally-love – Christ’s death (e) and so his final appeal is “by the unconditional-love of the Spirit” (f).  Why are so many Christians so quick to pull Romans 13:9-10 out of the context of Paul’s many verses in Romans about NT Christian universal unconditional-love just to expound 2 verses on OT Jewish neighborly-love<Notes> a) Romans 5:5, b) Romans 5:8, c) Romans 8:35-39, d) Romans 12:9-10, e) Romans 14:15, f) Romans 15:30.

 

In the only other place Paul frustrating uses this particular OT Law of “love your neighbor” is in Galatians 5:13-14, again only to Jewish-Christians.  He tells them NOT to use their newfound freedom from the OT Law as an opportunity for the flesh to be nasty to each other, but through unconditional-love serve one another.  But Paul already had appealed to the only 2 NT entole commandments (a) of trusting-relying-faith in Christ working through unconditional-love for one another as Christ did for us (b), and Paul tells us where this ability to unconditionally-love like Christ comes from – from His Holy Spirit (c), not ourselves trying to obey the Law!  So once again, Paul returns to the Holy Spirit!  Christ and His Spirit is always the context of unconditional-love for a Christian, not the Jewish Law.  Again, why are so many Christians willing to take isolated appeals to stubborn Jewish-Christians, ignore the larger context that appeals to all Christians, and then try to apply the isolated appeals to all Christians, even Gentiles? <Notes> a) 1 John 3:23 – see Only 2 Commandments. Paul frequently couples faith and love:  1 Thessalonians 3:6, 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:14, 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:13, as Jesus did:  Revelation 2:19.b) Galatians 5:6, c) Galatians 5:22-23.

 

Reflection:

 

 

Why is it that so many Christians are so quick to latch onto OT commandments as their rules for successful Christian living?  Could this be because of “a different spirit” (a) that leads people to “another ‘Great News” gospel” or a “different gospel” (b)?  Or to “itch their ears” away from the “sound teaching” (c) of the Christ’s gospel that accords with godliness (d), that is by trusting-relying-faith (e), with our sanctification/holiness not by the Law but by the Holy Spirit (f) and empowered by Holy Spirit (g) not our only “might and power” to obey the Law?   <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 11:4, b) Galatians 1:6-7; 2 Corinthians 11:4, c) 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:9, 2:1 d) 1 Timothy 6:3, e) Romans 1:16; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 3:2, f) Romans 15:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 10:29; 1 Peter 1:2, g) Acts 1:8, 8:19; Romans 15:13, 19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:7.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, keep me from being distracted from the simplicity of the gospel, so simple that even a little child can live it.  Let me not take verses out of context, miss the point, and build doctrines that cause me to live in the old covenant instead of the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant of “trusting-relying-faith in You and universally unconditional-loving others that way You did.”  Thank You for only giving us these 2 commandments to faithfully watch-over and guard carefully, and that’s what it means to be a disciple of Yours!

 

 

 

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