Google+ 12/14/12 Start Anywhere, but Sing!

Romans 3:21-23

 

 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law,

As was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 

 

I am often asked questions about the Old testament versus the New Testament.  After all, there are many cultural practices that we simply don't understand that abound in the Old Testament.  Because we don't understand them, we, as Christians, often dismiss them as not applying to us in our modern-day world.  This is a dangerous mistake.  My response to folks that are confused about the Old Testament versus the New Testament is simple, but not so easy to implement in our daily lives.  The Bible is a canon.  Because I am a musician, I will make a musical reference here!  Think of the old song we all learned as kids, "Row, Row, Row your boat."  Because it is a canon, you can start virtually anywhere and still have the song come out okay.  Another word for canon in music is the word "round."  You will remember the days of singing in 2, 3, or 4 parts, with each group starting and finishing at a different time.  Even though we were all singing different parts of the song, it sounded okay.  The final part of understanding this musical and Biblical concept is realizing that everything you need to complete the round or canon, exists in the song.  We cannot add anything to the song or the canon/round won't work.  Being a canon, the Bible is the same.  The Bible is 66 books that all agree with each other.  When the canonization of the Bible was done, the various religious leaders threw out all of the other "entries" as they simply did not agree with the other 66.  This is why the Apocrypha is not in the Bible and does not belong.  So, how does understanding this canon concept affect our Scripture today?  Paul is speaking to the church in Rome and explaining that because of Jesus, we will not be condemned if we have violated "The Law."  Paul's reference here is to the first 5 books of the Bible in the Old Testament.  Paul explains that because Jesus has died for our sins, and we believe and repent, we get a "do-over."  For you golfers out there, Jesus gives us a "legal mulligan!"  The reason this is important is verse 23, which is the last verse of our Scripture lesson today.  Paul says that none of us are better than the other.  All of us have violated "The Law."  In our Living Translation today Paul says, "For everyone has sinned; We all fall short of God's glorious standard."  God's grace  through His Son Jesus Christ is such good news for us!  Don't miss the small words.  All of this only occurs if we put our faith in Jesus.  So does everyone get "do-overs?"  Not according to our Scripture.  We only get second chances when we put our faith in Jesus.  As you evaluate the Old and New Testament, try using this rule to help you sort it out.  Everything in the Old Testament is wise and accurate for us today, unless Jesus changed it in the New Testament.  As an example, we are to listen and obey all the Old Testament prophets.  We also know that after Jesus, there are no new prophets!  That keeps you from me trying to convince you that my daily devotions, weekly sermons, original music, and books I write, are the Gospel of Dave!  If you use this simple rule I have shared with you, there will be a lot less confusion.  So today, start anywhere you like reading your Bible.  Pick any chapter.  Keep reading.  Don't add anything extra.   We may need a "do-over" or a "mulligan" along the way.  That's okay, Jesus says, if we do truly repent of our transgressions.   Remember, we all fall short sometimes to God's glorious standard.  God promises if we believe in His Son Jesus Christ, we will all end together and in the same place as we "sing" our "life canon."  And you thought singing a canon or round was boring!!