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Understanding the Bible

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

10/25/05 08:53 pm - benwillstabyou

do i have to hate gays to call myself a christian?

6/15/05 12:46 am - esaias122

(00:37:46) Joshua: People don't get it though
(00:37:56) Joshua: They think it is more loving to sit back and let people go to hell
(00:38:00) Joshua: They think it's better to let them DIE
(00:38:02) Joshua: Without caring
(00:38:08) Joshua: They think I should join them
(00:38:15) Joshua: They think I should shut up and sit down while people DIE and BURN IN HELL
(00:38:19) Joshua: And call it LOVE
(00:38:31) Joshua: I call it SICK

Do you get it?

There's a man standing in the rain at a bridge out sign, and he sees his neighbors driving toward it without any sign of stopping. The man decides to avoid warning them, so that he doesn't "offend" them. He would rather them not be offended, not think he's weird, not "push them away". So they drive straight off the CLIFF and DIE.

Some love.

Letter from an athiest:

"You are really convinced that you've got all the answers. You've really got yourself tricked into believing that you're 100% right. Well, let me tell you just one thing. Do you consider yourself to be compassionate of other humans? If you're right, as you say you are, and you believe that, then how can you sleep at night? When you speak with me, you are speaking with someone who you believe is walking directly into eternal damnation, into an endless onslaught of horrendous pain which your 'loving' god created, yet you stand by and do nothing.

If you believed one bit that thousands every day were falling into an eternal and unchangeable fate, you should be running the streets mad with rage at their blindness. That's equivalent to standing on a street corner and watching every person that passes you walk blindly directly into the path of a bus and die, yet you stand idly by and do nothing. You're just twiddling your thumbs, happy in the knowledge that one day that 'walk' signal will shine your way across the road.

Think about it. Imagine the horrors Hell must have in store if the Bible is true. You're just going to allow that to happen and not care about saving anyone but yourself? If you're right then you're an uncaring, unemotional and purely selfish (expletive) that has no right to talk about subjects such as love and caring."

This is an excerpt from an e-mail sent to Evangelist Ray Comfort of Living Waters.

DON'T YOU GET IT? IT WILL BE HELL WITHOUT JESUS! THAT IS NOT A JOKE!!!!!

http://www.despiertate.net/hell.html

Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

11/15/04 07:34 pm - badp - Two Groups

This might seem obvious to a lot of you, but its implications are often totally ignored.  The Bible addresses two distinct groups of people.  Recognizing this and the importance of the differences between the two groups is critical to properly understanding the Bible.  In other words, mix up the groups and the Bible will be very confusing.

One of these groups is Israel, also known as the Hebrews or just the Jews.  The other group is called the Body of Christ.  Each group was established by God, and each group has its own set of rules. 

Some might object to this and say that God has always worked on the same level with everyone.  But God of course has the right to set different rules for different groups of people, if He so chooses.  He is not obligated to save any of us, so if He decides to have one set of rules for one group and a different set of rules for another, who's to complain?

To say that God had different rules for Israel and the Body of Christ means that there are two distinct agreements or covenants.  Each of these covenants was designed and instituted by God as part of each group's core identity.  Israel had the Covenant of Law.  The Body of Christ has the Covenant of Grace.  These two covenants are not only very different, they are almost polar opposites.  Now consider this: If God says one thing to Israel, and then says the exact opposite to the Body of Christ, is there a contradiction?  You'd say no, of course not.  But if you don't understand the distinction between the two groups, it appears to be a major problem.

Just in passing, with an explanation to follow later on, understand that we Christians today are members of the Body of Christ.  We, therefore, are under the Covenant of Grace.  ("Duh," some of you are thinking.  Okay, moving on..)

Israel's own particular set of rules is pretty obvious.  Just look at books like Exodus, Leviticus, Duteronomy, even the Gospels.  Lots and lots of rules.  It's a little known fact that Jesus made it a point to minister only to Israel.  He said in Matthew 15:24, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  He even commanded His twelve apostles to go only to Israel.  "Go not into the way of the Gentiles... But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:5-6).  Jesus also quoted constantly from the books of the Old Testament and taught adherence to the Law of Moses.  God required strict adherence to the rules in order to be saved.  We call it the Covenant of Law for a reason!

The Body of Christ's rules are vastly different.  Simply put, there are none.  All that is required that you be under the Covenant of Grace.  To enter into the covenant, one simply has to turn to Jesus Christ in repentance and believe that He died for their sins and that God raised Him from the dead.  That's it!  Yes, vastly different.

Think of all the books of the Bible.  Which ones pertain directly to Israel?  Well, there's Hebrews, which (hence the name) is written to Israel.  James starts out his book by addressing it "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad," a reference to the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  Peter's books, John's books, Jude, Revelation.. all addressed to those under the Covenant of Law.  So which books are written to the Body of Christ?  Well, all the ones that aren't addressed to Israel.  The book of Romans, however, takes turns addressing both groups.

To understand the Bible, it is imperative to know which group is being addressed!  Once you know, you become better equipped to make sense of otherwise confusing or seemingy contradictory passages.

11/12/04 09:45 pm - badp - Welcome!

Welcome to rightlydivide!  My name is Ben and I'm the creator of this community.  Please take a moment to read what this is all about.  I assure you, this is not just another Christian community.

I started this community with one goal:  To promote a proper understanding of the Bible.

Now if you're a typical Christian, the idea of studying the Bible probably doesn't make you want to do backflips.  So let me offer a little encouragement by saying, unequivocally:

The Bible is not difficult to understand.

The Bible can be well understood, without contradictions, without confusion, and without having to mangle verses to "make them fit."  This is what this community aims to accomplish for all who truly desire to gain a deeper, clearer understanding of God and His Word.

Let me ask a few questions.  How often do you read the Bible?  Okay, how often do you read the Bible and enjoy it?  Do you get frustrated because some passages just seem so confusing?  Do you often wonder, "What the heck is it talking about?"  Do some verses seem to contradict others?

You don't have to just gloss-over or ignore the parts of the Bible that trouble you.  For many years I would simply ignore the parts that I didn't understand.  For the ones that seemed to contradict, I would come up with some goofy explanation to reconcile them.  I operated this way for the first several years of my Christian life, until I learned a better way.

The Bible does make sense.  It not only makes sense, but it tells an amazing, fascinating story.  Please don't sell yourself short by thinking that you already understand the Bible.  I thought I did, too, but what a pleasant surprise it was when I found out that there was so much more.  There was so much I missed until I changed how I thought about God's Word.

How do you think of the Bible?  Do you see it like a math book, full of strict definitions and tautologies?  Or do you see it like a legal document, laden with commands and rules?  Or do you see it as a complete work of nonfiction literature, penned by dozens of authors, each inspired by God?

The Bible is a beautiful, complete work of literature that is completely true.  It has narratives, poetry, prose, imagery, metaphor, idioms, sarcasm, humor, etc.  To understand the Bible, it's very helpful to first have a basic, but accurate, understanding of God Himself.

Feel free to join up and post your comments or questions.  Remember, the Bible is not difficult to understand!  Together we can learn more about His Word and grow stronger in our faith.

Enjoy!
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