For nearly 45 years I have heard people tell me that I am deceived, “off balance” and not to be trusted because I dare to believe that the keys to understanding God’s will for us living in this day and time are found predominantly in the epistles written AFTER the Day of Pentecost. For reasons that still both amuse and befuddle me, the vast majority of Christians refuse to believe that what is written in Romans through Jude is anything other than “icing on the cake of the four Gospels” or nice little letters written to churches in the First Century.
One of the main reasons there tends to be incredible friction within the Body of Christ is the schism between factions which believe Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the Holy Grail of recorded revelation, those who believe the Book of Revelation is the absolute authority, those who zero in on the epistles and those (like myself) who look specifically to those epistles written by the Apostle Paul as the “all truth” Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would lead us into.
I understand my position is in the minority among Christians. In fact, there are very few men and women who believe that if we spend most of our time reading and studying the writings of Paul, we will understand who the Church is, the role of the Church and who we are and what we have available to us as children of God living today.
Of course much of this comes down to whether one believes Paul’s epistles are indeed the “all truth” Jesus promised. The overwhelming majority of Christians flatly reject such a notion as either foolishness or blasphemy. Good, bad or otherwise I happen to believe that Paul’s “church epistles” form the foundation of understanding the rest of the Bible in light of all God did for us through Christ.
I believe with all of my heart that the greatest revelation given to the Church is found in the epistles of Romans through Titus. I believe that without a proper understanding of who Jesus Christ was, what He accomplished, what God did when He raised Jesus from the dead and what is available in the Holy Spirit first given on the Day of Pentecost; there is no way to appreciate or walk in the newness of life promised in Romans.
I believe that The Law was nailed to the cross and we now live under a far greater law, the law of love. I believe that we are saved by grace and through God’s grace we are allowed to live and move and have our being in Christ. I believe that that we live in the dispensation of grace and until Christ returns, man can chose whether he will obey God’s Word or live in sin. I believe that the day is coming when everyman must appear before the Great White Throne and give an account of what he chose to do and how he chose to live in this life.
I believe that if a believer puts on the whole armor of God and seeks to walk in love, live in Christ and walk in righteousness; God will be well pleased and that believer will receive rewards and crowns after Christ returns. I believe that once the church is “gathered together” (according to 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15), all the horrible things mentioned in the Book of Revelation and much of the Old Testament will take place and those who have rejected Christ will endure the Great Tribulation.
I believe that the old man was crucified with Christ and that we are to put on the new man through renewing our minds to the Word of God. I believe that God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation whereby we are to bring the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world. I believe that God has instructed us to love one another with a pure heart fervently and seek to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
I believe many more things and in setting a few of those things out in this blog, I understand that I will probably lose many friends and be looked upon as a heretic by many more. I am willing to accept this as the price I must pay to boldly proclaim what I believe to be true. I respect each person’s choice to believe as they see fit and I will neither condemn nor think any less of anyone who vehemently disagrees with me. To me, this is the beauty of the grace which defines the current age and love which binds us together.