How To Apply Obscure Bible Passages
I checked out a link someone sent me on Twitter to help Christians think differently about homosexual activities. It was a repost of an article that went through every obscure Old Testament command and suggested if someone calls homosexuality a sin, then they had better be keeping the laws like not wearing clothes of two types of fabric (Leviticus 19:19).
While it does take an impressive amount of time to find so many commands that are unintelligible the writer was proof-texting to make his point.
Too bad proof-texting is what many of us hear on Sunday morning, so we don’t have clue that it’s unprofitable. You can argue anything from proof-texting. It’s sloppy at best and dangerous at worse.
Then I realized, it’s also how you need to write blog post. Who has time to read the context when bullet points are so much easier to take in? I assume RevTrev Readers know the context or study the context. I’m sorry about that. I’ll try to do better in the future.
So I thought I’d share a bit of the context with my readers that was totally lacking from the article, I read this week with obscure biblical commands.
The point is we need to understand the difference between:
- Ceremonial Law
- Civil Law
- Moral Law
Let me briefly explain each. I wrote the start of a series on biblical law as I prepared this newsletter so I’ll hit the highlights here just for brevity’s sake. The series will have these concepts more fully developed.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
However, that doesn’t mean we’re under the Law.
- Ceremonial Law refers to the priesthood, temple, cleanness, certain foods, circumcision, Passover, animal sacrifices and the Sabbath is fulfilled in Jesus. How do we know they’re fulfilled in Jesus? Because the New Testament points it out.
- Civil Law refers to laws pertaining to the governing of Israel as a nation ruled by God. While they tell us a lot about the compassion and justice of God, they aren’t applicable to us. Why? Because the New Testament tells us we need to follow the law of the land. Romans 13:1-7
- Finally, Moral Law refers to laws that still apply to us, even though Jesus fulfilled their requirements through His sinless life. What that means is we can be forgiven when we sin if we confess and turn from them. Have you ever noticed almost all the 10 Commandments are mentioned in the New Testament? I’ll cross reference them for you in the near future.
We have moral laws in Romans 1 that confirm the moral laws in regards to sexual sin still apply to us today. So the author I read was completely out to lunch. I’m not out to bash gays any more than I’m out to condemn divorced people who remarry. To me, sin is sin, but when we confess it and turn from it there is forgiveness. And I know it’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.
What I’ve been ranting about is lack of discernment and lack of understanding. We all need a better understanding of the Bible.
Are you building on yours?
As a challenge for you this week: Do you know which of the 10 Commandments aren’t commanded in the New Testament? Leave your answer in the comments.
Mind If I Pray For You?
Lord, give us discernment always tempered with love, so we won’t just be people who judge harshly. Give us knowledge but not without love, because we know knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Give us a hunger to know you through your Word. Give us the wisdom to share You with others through our actions. Amen.