Keeping it simple
I have often wondered why it is, that so many people want to see the New Testament as complicated or mysterious. So many claim that there are hidden things that need discovering and so on. I admit that sometimes the scriptures can be a little confusing. But for the most part the New testament is pretty straight forward. Just think how it would be if we took a more simplistic approach to reading and studying the NT.
Lets look at the layout of the NT. Its put put together quite simply. The gospels, Acts, the letters and the revelation which really is a letter as well. Although revelation is written in a far different format than all the rest of the letters. Maybe we should to look at the NT in this way... The gospels and the book of Acts are the reference and history books, the letters are the instruction manual and the revelation is the Lord's letter of encouragement to His people. If you want to learn about Jesus and what He said and did it's in the gospels. If you want to learn about where and when the church began and how it grew it's all right there in the book of Acts. If you want to know what the original church was like, read Paul's letters. If you want to know what the original teachings of the church were on what it is to be a Christian and how to live as one, it is in all of the letters. If you want to learn about how intimate Jesus is with His church and their struggles, read the revelation. It is such a love letter for believers, as well an encouragement to remain faithful to Jesus.
We have complicated the NT, because we tend to over think things. One of mans problems has always been that we don't take God's instruction at face value, we aren't content to say to ourselves, He said it so that settles it. If we had been, the problems in the garden never would have arisen. God had given Adam and Eve one simple rule to obey and they didn't do it.They fell prey to an influence outside the word of God. When they fell under that influence and began to question God's word in their minds it was all over, but the crying. Their choice to think it over and to look at God's word from a different perspective caused them great grief. One of the biggest issues in christendom today is man wants to look at God's word from societies perspective and impose that on what God has stated clearly in His word.
Many today want to say that the bible was written for different people at a different time. Society and science has shown us things that we need to apply to God's word. We need to rethink what we read and look at it from our modern and enlightened perspective. But if people would just read God's word and take it at face value they would see that many of the things they think acceptable, go directly against God's instruction.
If we keep our reading and study of God's word simple and straight forward and take God at His word and apply it to our lives we will be far better off than if we try to apply our perspective to His word. Simply put, we need to accept God's word with a child-like faith. He said it, that settles it.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 NIV
© 2012 Leo J. Woodman