Ask Norm!

By Norman S. Edwards

From SVM – Fall 2015 – 1

October 12, 2015

Dear Brethren:

The articles in the spring 2015 issue of Shepherd’s Voice Magazine. The Long-Term Effect of the Rebellion: A Study on the Added “Law of Moses” offered the best examination and explanation of the subjects that I have ever seen or heard anywhere. I have read and studied through it and plan to go through it again while the subject is fresh on my mind. There is a lot of confusion in this area. People seem to know the Ten Commandments are still valid, but founder on “the law”. Baptists, etc. know one is saved by grace, not “works of the law”. Even so, they will all honor the Ten Commandments (Sabbath excepted, but that is another lesson).

These companion studies do much to sort out the confusion and open up understanding of why we do what we do and how we might explain it, if someone asks.

Thanks for all these helps. Enclosed is a small offering to help with expenses.

—Sincerely,

M.M.K.

Dear M. M. K.,

I learned a lot from Everett W. Leisure’s article as well. Resolving the different emphasis of the Old and New Testaments has always been an important point of study to me—and I am still learning.

Christ and the apostles constantly quote and refer to the Old Testament. One website lists 937 times: http://mbsoft.com/believe/txh/ntot.htm. It is obviously important. But are all books of the Bible or all topics quoted equally or proportionally to their size?

No! The material quoted is far from equal. The most frequently quoted books are Psalms and Isaiah. The other prophetic books, for their size, are frequently quoted as well. The first five Books of Moses have a big influence, but the references are primarily the lessons of faith and the principles of justice, not the details of offerings and other priestly matters. There are few quotes from the Historical books: Joshua, Judges, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah. It is primarily the spiritual and prophetic teaching of the Old Testament that is quoted, the added “Law of Moses” is almost never quoted.

All the Bible is valuable, but some parts are more valuable than others. When Jesus was asked what commandment was most important, He did not say, “It’s all important”, but “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’ and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-39).

Since it has taken many years for people who study the Bible to understand these issues, we should be patient with those who are still coming to an understanding as well. I am in the process of studying all the places in the New Testament where believers or a congregation as a whole had to be corrected by Christ or the apostles. There are hundreds of corrections made. Yet, with only a few small exceptions, these brethren in error are treated as members of God’s Church.

We need to study so we can grow in knowledge of every word of God, but we must never forget that the greatest spiritual attribute is love (1 Corinthians 15).

 

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