Saturday, January 19, 2013


As published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Release Date: January 17, 2013
Column Number: 1303

Ok class; how do you harmonize the teachings of The Christ Jesus and the Apostle Paul?

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice; I know you have struggled with this seemingly impossible task!

There is a method of Biblical Interpretation that is absolutely essential for determining who’s on first and what’s on second and when’s on third.

Gimme five; and I’ll give it a shot to ‘splain it; and maybe I’ll need another five next week.

Jesus taught in the “Sermon of the Mount”:

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I did not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. Truly I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law, until all of it is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).

Now, take your best shot to interpret those words of Jesus (probably printed in red in your Bible).

Remember, the Bible is actually “The Mind of God on Paper”; and we are supposed to be able to accurately translate that????? I hope you will agree, we need all the help we can get!

Now, look at what the greatest Christian ever (Paul) wrote:

“Nevertheless, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through Faith in Jesus Christ; so that we might be justified by Faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law, no flesh shall be justified” (Gal 2:16).

It is really quite obvious: something radical happened between the “Sermon on the Mount” and the later Ministry of Paul the Apostle.

Here is another one for your databanks: In the sermon to the twelve that He sent out, Jesus said:

“Do not go in the way of the Gentiles; do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matt 10:5-6).

Later, Jesus said:

“Go and make disciples of all the nations (Gentiles); baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).

Obviously, these two examples alone point out a distinguishable change in the Plan of God. For some reason, God introduced some completely new revelation about how He and mankind were going to relate to each other; and this is confusing to young Christians and new Bible Students.

It is quite obvious that God deals with different people in different ways at different times:

Adam was told to dress the garden and not eat of the fruit of one of its trees;

Noah was told to build a big black box;

Moses was given a complicated set of rules and regulations that had to be kept to the last detail in order to be “right with God”.

We are told to repent and come to Jesus in Faith.

Do you see it? If you cannot comprehend this system of time periods (called dispensations), you are really going to be in a world of hurt if you try to figure God’s Mind out!

And yet, through it all, there has only ever been only one way to come to salvation – and that is by God’s Amazing Grace; the only way there will ever be!

I am glad I saw that and came running to Him in faith, repenting and accepting His Salvation by His Grace!


You don’t know how? I do, and I will share!

(Mooty is pastor of the West End Baptist Church of Newport; and writes this column for the Thursday and Weekend Editions of “The Newport Plain Talk”. He can be reached at Write or call the paper with your comments today.)

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