Jesus told His apostles, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15, 16). The reason Jesus told the apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature was because “the gospel of Christ…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16). Paul also told the “church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:1, 2), “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which ye also have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain….” (1 Corinthians 15:1, 2). The preaching of the saving gospel included the declaration of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. (Verses 3, 4). The preaching of the gospel and obedience to it is imperative to one’s salvation. (Hebrews 5:8, 9).
Jesus said the same thing in another way in John’s inspired letter. He prayed to God, asking Him, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:1, 17). Jesus told believing Jews, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). This showed that they were not saved as believers, but when their faith led them to learn the truth and obey it. Cf. James 2:14-26. The truth of which Jesus spoke was what He had heard from God. (John 8:40).
The book of James encourages all to “receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21). Greek, “Emphutos”, here means the word of God implanted by others’ instruction. (Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon, page 209). Cf. Acts 13:26. That is why the eunuch asked Philip to teach him. (Acts 8:30, 31). Philip preached Jesus to him, he understood, and he became a Christian. (Acts 8:32-39).
The book of Romans says the saints at Rome (Romans 1:7) had “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” (Romans 6:17, 18). Romans 6:1-5 shows what they had obeyed. 2 John 9 makes it abundantly clear that all who have obeyed that doctrine must abide in it to have the Father and the Son. Cf. also. Verses 10, 11.
James 1:18 says, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” It logically follows that James calls upon his readers to “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your won selves.” (James 1:22). One would also expect James to continue, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (1:25).
2 Timothy 2:15 ties all of this together, saying, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” One who rightly divides the word of truth must understand Hebrews 1:1, 2a, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,….” The scriptures speak of God speaking to mankind at different times, in different ways. The word of God reveals three different times, in three different ways. God gave His written law, called the law of Moses (Luke 2:22; John 1:17) to Israel by Moses at Mount Sinai, Horeb. (Deuteronomy 5:1-6). Verse 3, “The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day”, makes it clear that those who lived prior to that day were not under the law Moses gave them that day. Thus, we have two laws mentioned here. Prior to the giving of the law of Moses, God spoke to the heads of families, such as, Adam (Genesis 1:28-30; 2:16, 17), Abel (Hebrews 11:4; Romans 10:17), Noah (Genesis 6:13), Abram (Genesis 12:1ff), and so on.
Jeremiah prophesied that the law given at Mount Sinai would one day be replaced by a “new covenant.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Hebrews 8:6-13 shows beyond doubt that this happened. Paul told the “saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (Colossians 1:2), “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (2:14). Verses 15, 16 inform us that the entire law was blotted out. Compare 2 Corinthians 3, where, among other things, Paul says that which was “written and engraven in stone”, the law of Moses, the old testament, “was abolished.” (Verse 13, 14). Galatians 5:4 seems appropriate just here, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” “Stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Verse 1).
2 Corinthians 3 shows that we are living under the “new testament.” (Verse 6). Hebrews 8:6-14 makes it clear that the first written covenant was replaced by the second covenant, saying, Jesus is “the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises”, and, “A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Verse 13).
Understanding these scriptures will make understanding the entire word of God much easier. A failure to comprehend these matters will surely mean that one will teach many errors. Please read the second tract which you were given with this one to see the application of many Bible principles.
As with any or all tracts written by the one whose name appears below, if there is any error taught, please be a friend and send corrections to the writer. Send no money. This is not a solicitation of finances in any way.