Christianity as Written in the Bible
No New Doctrine or interpretation is needed nor should be done contrary to ‘what is written’ in the ‘Bible’.
Let’s look briefly at this Missed Part of The Great Commission as the verse in picture points to these ‘deep phrases’:
‘all things I have commanded you’ (to the apostles, disciples & the earliest church);
Yes, all the things as written in the ‘New Testament’
(i) Obeying the part of Law of Moses to keep as a Gentile believer
““For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:
that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.” (Acts 15:28 – 29)
To ‘only observe’ these ‘four things’ from the “Law of Moses” (given separately from the Ten Commandments) as a Gentile believer is “good to the Holy Spirit” (practice endorsed) & “no” greater burden is to be enforced by anyone (“no” extras such as tithing or circumcision are allowed; doing extras is called a “burden” and ‘not sacrifice, nor obedience’)
The Ten Commandments is separate from this as the context of the passage itself points to the ‘law of Moses’ given later. The common Jewish definition of putting the Ten Commandments equal to the Law of Moses is ‘not’ found in Holy Scripture.
Rather, the fact that the Ten Commandments is given “first & separately” from the ‘latter Law of Moses’ & the ‘only part written by the Hand of God Himself’ on the Tablets proves Its far Greater Importance.
The ‘circumcision of Moses’ to keep ‘these latter Law of Moses’ (Ten Commandments not included) is nullified for a Gentile believer and that part of the Covenant is spoken of below to eventually ‘disappear’ too (“not” re-instated):
“When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)
(ii) Obeying the ‘not’ mentioned parts which we are “not” supposed to keep (E.g. Tithes, ceremonial laws, etc.) as a Gentile believer
“But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.” (Acts 15:5)
““Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?” – apostle Peter (Acts 15:10)
Yes, each time we ‘preach/place a Law of Moses burden’ on ‘Gentile believers’, we are “not” pleasing God by doing extras but rather as the apostle Peter warns, ‘we are actually putting God to the test’ (yes, anything from the ‘Law of Moses’ which includes ‘all these practices’ regardless if it pre-dates the law itself such as circumcision or tithes, it’s “not” mentioned to be kept; only the four things mentioned in Acts 15:29 must be kept).
(iii) Obeying the Traditions carried forward to the Gentile church too
Why should we ‘obey these traditions’ (the ones mentioned in Scripture & not the inventions of the certain churches from ancient time till now)
Because by doing so, we “imitate (follow) Christ”:
“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Is obeying these traditions mentioned in Scripture important or optional? Let’s consider these verses:
“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
“Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.” (1 Corinthians 11:2)
Now, what are the ‘traditions mentioned in Scripture’?
Any written in the ‘New Testament’ (Example 1 Corinthians 11)
(iv) Isn’t it for the “Corinthian church” only? Times have changed and we may practice oppositely to ‘what is written in the New Testament’ regarding these ‘minor’ (not so important) aspects?
Let Scripture answer:
“But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.” (1 Corinthians 11:16)
The verse above clearly states that it’s not only for the Corinthian church by the phrase ‘we have no other practice and neither do the churches of God’. So, if the “churches of God” knows of ‘no other practice’, to whom does the ‘modern churches teaching/allowing/practicing contrary to it belong to’? Answer for yourself.
It also refutes anyone trying to be ‘contentious’ (disagreeing) against obeying these traditions. No other practice refutes that one can practice oppositely or that God allows different observance to different churches.
Fact is, God has the “same written rule” for the Corinthian church and our modern churches. On aspects which are “not” written (E.g. Cigarettes, tattoos etc.), I will let you decide for yourselves because I can only state for ‘sure’ regarding ‘what is written’. His rules are not time-based and remains the same for all times within a Covenant under which it is to be observed.
Are such transgression minor?
Invented traditions (those not written in Scripture, adding/removing to the Word) especially those plainly contradicting “What is written” (E.g. 1 Corinthians 14) are ‘serious’.
Let’s consider ‘how serious it is’ with Scripture:
Firstly, the Pharisees too had a tendency of having “traditions” against the “written Word of God” (analogous to ‘some mordern churches invalidating the written New Testament Rules or Customs’ by their ‘own traditions allowing opposite practice’). Christ the Lord ‘warns’ the ‘seriously’ regarding it below:
“thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” (Mark 7:13)
It’s “really serious” because “wrong doctrine” (following ‘man-made, not written in Scripture commands’ or ‘allowing opposite to Scripture traditions’) makes even “our worship” to be ‘vain’:
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)
It’s “hell serious” because “preaching (even the Gospel) with such false doctrines” against ‘what is written’ (in Holy Scripture) is analogous to what the error of the Pharisees was in this aspect of “Mission work or evangelism”.
The result? As Scripture states below, the “convert” (or proselyte) becomes “twice the son of Hell”. The phrase ‘son of Hell’ questions the “Salvation” of our well-intending Pharisees any more than our modern evangelists or pastors who make disciples/converts/proselytes who ‘teach contrary or approve/allow’ those things “against written Scripture” in ‘their doctrines’, right?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:15)
Maybe that’s why our Blessed Lord questioned whether will “He find Faith” (Faith which is true to His Written Word first, as delivered) just prior to His Glorious Return?
“I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” – Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 18:8)
There’s ‘plenty’ of ‘faith in Christianity in doctrines plainly opposite to what is written’ even today. Thus, our Blessed Saviour must be referring to the ‘Faith’ as it was delivered to the earliest church.
Aren’t “prophesying”, “casting out demons” and “doing great works/wonders/miracles” in His Name (in Christianity)” way more important than “getting doctrine (law) right first”?
““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21 – 23)
The reason given for ‘rejection’ is “lawlessness” (certainly includes sin, wrong doctrines and not obeying the Lord’s Commandments).
Finally, is the Scripture quoted above is out of context?
Please consider this, I beseech you due to the “ultimate seriousness” of it where we may not gain life in the coming age itself:
Now, if “lawlessness” includes “disobeying the Lord’s Commandments”, then is all of New Testament “writing” (especially apostle Paul’s writing including the rules in 1 Corinthians 14 or 1 Corinthians 11, etc.) considered the “Lord’s Commandments” or ‘Paul’s opinion which may be changed’?
Again, the verse below clearly states this “unchanging truth” that ‘all of apostle Paul’s writing’ with regards to the ‘rules for the church or traditions to be observed (“written ones only” as the ‘word written is found in the verse below’)’ are the “Lord’s Commandments” sealing the claim:
“If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.” (1 Corinthians 14:37 – 38)
Note that the verses above also mentions that “no” one (‘spiritual’ believers, pastor or even ‘prophets’) who teach/allow “opposite rules/doctrines” to ‘what Paul wrote’ will be “recognised” (sounds like the frightening ‘I never knew you’ phrase, doesn’t it?)
Let’s remember that the verses above in Matthew 7 clearly mentions that “only” those who “do the Will of the Father” which certainly includes “obeying the Lord’s Commandments” (all of New Testament’s take on it without changing anything) make it to “the kingdom of Heaven”.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:13 – 14)
Last but most importantly, “obedience” (beginning with ‘what’s written or commanded in the New Testament) is the ‘only proof of love’ we may demonstrate toward our ever Blessed Saviour:
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:15)
“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:23 – 24)