Page 64: The third feature of the covenant to which we now turn is ethics. In the ethics section of a covenant is set forth the pattern of life, the standards for conduct, expected under the Sovereign Covenant Maker. It is vitally important to realize that the "principle is that law is at the heart of God's covenant.
Correction: True Christians will preach Jesus Christ not the law of Moses.
Acts 13:38-39 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses."
Page 64: In the Great Commission proper we find in the original Greek three participles: "going," "baptizing," and "teaching." The main verbal command, which draws these three participles into its orbit, is the directive to "disciple": "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." What does it mean to "make disciples"? And how does this involve ethics?
Answer: A change of heart is needed leading to repentance not keeping the law of Moses.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
Pages 65-66: They end with a non-descript understanding of a "disciple"; He is anyone who is a "believer" who is "growing." Growing in what? The understanding of regeneration? As a matter of fact, this deficient understanding is actually set forth as the implication by some.
Note: True Christians will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:17-18 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Pages 66-67: D.A. Carson rightly notes that "matheteuo ('I disciple') entails both preaching and response." The proclamation of truth is necessarily there, of course. But the idea of discipling involves the proclamation of truth with a view to its effecting the appropriate response in the disciple.
Note: True Christians will proclaim Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Page 67: In fact, "To disciple a person to Christ is to bring him into the relation of pupil to teacher (sovereignty), 'taking his yoke' of authoritative instruction (11:29) (hierarchy), accepting what he says as true because he says it and submitting to his requirements as right (ethics) because he makes them."
Correction: Jesus Christ desires a loving relationship with you as a friend.
John 15:15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you."
Page 67: Discipling involves turning people from sinful rebellion against God to a faithful commitment to Christ and training them in the exercise of that faith commitment in all of life, not just a non-descript "growing."
Correction: True Christians will grow in the knowledge of the Jesus Christ leading to love.
Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Note: Beware of the Institute for Christian Economics wind of law doctrine.
Page 68: The Christian faith is a "religion of the book." The whole Bible is, in effect, a covenant document. The orthodox Christian holds that the Bible is "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Correction: The Christian faith is a relationship with God in love according to the Bible.
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
Page 69: Here in the Great Commission the Word of God is promoted, when Christ instructs His followers: "teach them to observe all that I commanded you." But what all does this cover? Certainly it covers at least all things that He expressly taught - and thus involves much more than just "going, preaching, baptizing," as Jack Hyles, John R. Rice, and others teach. This should be apparent even on the surface, for He urges them to teach "all things (Gk: panta) whatever I commanded you."
Note: True Christians will love God and their fellow human beings.
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Page 69: It has been commented that "the fact that Jesus had given commands (enteilamen) indctes (sic) His authority to issue binding and lasting regulations ...." These regulations "bind" and "regulate" the Christian's conduct in all of God's world. In fact, the command is that we "teach them to observe all that I commanded you." Thus, here "Jesus binds us to all that he has bidden us and not merely to some one or two features," as is too often the position of many Christians.
Correction: True Christians will love God and their fellow human beings.
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Note: There many ways to show love but just one commandment.
Pages 69-70: This obligation to teach "all things commanded" extends even beyond His express words. First, despite some who would limit the scope of this command, it should be observed that this command would include all teaching in Scripture that was previous to His earthly ministry. Christ was careful in His ministry to uphold the integrity and relevance of God's Word in the Old Testament.
Note: The author is promoting the Mosaic Law for Christians to keep.
Ezekiel 43:19-20 "You shall give a young bull for a sin offering to the priests, the Levites, who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me," says the Lord GOD. "You shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the rim around it; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it."
Page 70: Note that: (1) He came that He might live in terms of God's Law, which man had broken. (2) He taught the fundamental unity of both testaments (John 10:35), with the Old Testament forming the foundation of His teaching. (3) He kept the Law in His daily life. (4) He commanded His followers to keep the Law. (5) Thus, He even upheld its civil validity (e.g., Matt. 15:3-6). (6) He defined godly love in terms of the Law, as did the apostles.
Correction: Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law for us thereby freeing us from it.
Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."
Page 70: It is important to keep in mind that the apostles themselves followed the Master in depending upon the ethical integrity and relevance of God's Law as confirmation for their instruction. We should also note that true evangelism, by the very nature of the case, necessitates the preaching of the Law.
Correction: Don't be fooled by false teaching by the Judaisers.
Galatians 3:1-2 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Pages 70-71: The truly evangelistic encounter must deal with the sin question, and sin is defined in terms of God's Law. In fact, on Judgment Day men will be judged in terms of the Law's just demands.
Correction: Everyone has a conscience of what is right and wrong regardless of the Law.
Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Page 71: In light of this, it would appear that in urging the teaching of "all things He commanded" the Great Commission urges us to promote "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). And the whole counsel of God is found in the teaching of Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament record), in the teaching of Christ (the Gospel record), and in the teaching of His apostles (the remaining New Testament record).
Correction: The New Testament record disagrees with the author.
John 8:18 "I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."
1 Corinthians 1:22-24 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Page 73: The promotion of the crown rights of King Jesus, as it may be expressed, is through the means of the Great Commission's evangelistic call to disciple the nations. Clearly the means of Christ's dominion in the world is to exercise, through His people, a spiritual influence, not an influence through carnal warfare or political upheaval.
Correction: The New Testament record disagrees with the author.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Pages 74-75: Again we are reminded that conversion to the Christian faith involves the taking up of a new life style. As we noted earlier, Christ claims to be "the way" of life (John 14:6). He obligates us to "follow" Him. He promises us blessings for building our lives on Him and His teaching, and warns us that a refusal to build our entire lives on Him and His doctrine will eventuate in collapse and ruin. Thus, the implementation of His truth claims in every endeavor and walk of life is here rightly commanded of us.
Correction: Christian salvation is by grace through faith with a new life style the direct result.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Page 75: In doing so, it reflects and supplements the socio-cultural concern of the Old Testament, urging the people of God to live all of life under Christ's authority, not just the inner-personal or family or church areas of life. Hence, the command to "observe all things I commanded you."
Correction: Jesus Christ does not want any of His followers to keep the Mosaic Law.
Acts 10:28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
Page 76: But should we not preach "biblical sociology" so that the recipients of salvation might know how they ought to behave as social creatures? Should we not preach "biblical economics" to those who are evangelized, so that men might know how to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted into their care, resources they use every day of their lives? Should we not promote a "biblical culture" to those who are converted so that they might labor toward a transforming of a godless culture into a God-honoring one? On and on we could go in response.
Correction: True Christians will preach or testify of Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:10-11 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
Note: Trying to "Christianize" pagans will be futile until Jesus Christ returns.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Note: The total for nonreligious people increased from a negligible 3 million in 1900 to today's 768 million or 12.7 percent of the world population. The Associated Press, January 2001.
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX