Why Has There Been Confusion About The Word
Have you ever really thought about that? There may be several answers to this question and I will attempt to begin to address one in particular right now.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are, what I call, the bridge books, crossing from the Old Covenant into the New. Since the New Testament opens with them, we need to point out that in the context of each, they bring to a close the Old Covenant and the law and are the launching pad of the New with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, we have looked at these 4 books as the beginning of the new without fully recognizing the importance of Jesus' life on the earth to come as a man, fulfill the law, by paying and satisfying the debt and then rising in newness of life.
Because we have not clearly seen this, we have been very confuse from time to time. We couldn't understand why Jesus said what He said when He said it. Much of the time He was addressing Pharisees and religious minded people and we thought He was talking to us. We have embraced statements, the red letter words of Jesus, m like - you brood of vipers or den of thieves. John 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Have we forgotten in accepting the Lord, we have become a new creature in Christ and that when we are born again, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We fail to realize that the religious structure of the day had so watered down the law in an attempt to say they could keep it and that needed to be addressed. Jesus came to bring the law back up to God's pristine standard when He said things like when you look on a woman to lust, you have already committed adultery already in your heart. He came to show mankind that there was no way they could keep the law in the form it was given. God, Himself followed the law with the altar in order to keep man until the fulness of time came.
I so appreciate this following truth. It so narrows the possibility of misinterpretation because it gives such excellent wisdom, instruction and guidance as we seek to know the truth of the Word. This was given by Miles Cloverdale, translator and producer of the first English Bible: "It shall greatly help thee to understand scripture, if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, and unto whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstance, considering what goeth before, and what followeth after."
We've picked a scripture out of the middle of a passage and tried to make it stand alone - even to making doctrines out of them. When you take a text out of context, that is just what you have left - a con. We have said those are the red letters meaning Jesus spoke them, yet not considered to whom, why, where, to what intent and what was said before - the setting - and what followed.
All of the Word is for us but not all of the Word is to us. We see the Three sets of peoples in the Word: the Jews, the Gentiles or Nations and the Church. We have tried to make everything apply to us, under all circumstances and at all times. We have done it in the Old Testament and the New - the Gospels and even the letters not clearly understanding what was said, why it was said and to whom it was said and what were the circumstances and the context of the passage. My, no wondered we have been confused.