Choosing Your Part of the Bible

Justin Johnson

Though we might have a heart of submission to do anything the Lord instructs, it is impossible to do everything the Bible instructs. The Bible contains God’s instructions to various people over the course of thousands of years. It is impossible to do everything the Bible says to do. No one ever has.

Everyone chooses which part of the Bible has more weight. They choose to obey that. Everyone must choose. Those who claim not to pick and choose are simply ignoring the differing instructions in the 66 book inspired Bible.

What doctrinal camp you belong to will depend upon how you choose.

Mainline Christians may choose the red letters, because they were the words of Jesus. Yet, wasn’t all of scripture inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16)? Most of our chief doctrines are found in the black letters.

Pentecostals try to “do more” of the Bible and choose Acts 2 as their place of instruction. After all, the disciples had a ministry after Jesus’ resurrection which began at Pentecost.

Dominionists desire to “take back America” and so they choose to use the dominion language of the law given to God’s only nation: Israel.

Tithers who need some extra money in a recession choose to teach Old Testament curse passages to milk their members.

When churches try to “seek a vision” from God a seemingly random verse from the Bible is stripped from its context and used as a driving force for some social action.

Why did they choose that verse? Instead of a Biblical reason the answer is typically something mystical and secretive such as, “the Lord led me”, or “it was laid upon my heart”.

How to Choose

Since no one can obey everything in the Bible everyone must choose. How do we choose rightly? Instead of flipping the doctrinal coin, here is a better way.

After reading a passage of the Bible ask, “who is speaking?” There are times in the Bible that Satan’s lies are recorded. Avoid participating in his lies.

Secondly, ask, “to whom are they speaking? Do I fit in the audience?” God gave instructions to Isaiah to preach without clothes (Isaiah 20:2). You are not Isaiah. Leave those instructions alone.

Finally, ask, “Are there any later instructions from the Lord that replace this instruction?”

You will be amazed at the problems this resolves. Everyone divides or chooses which parts of the Bible they will obey. This method will help you to rightly divide.

The Best Choice

Asking these questions of the Bible passages will lead you to one place: Paul’s epistles.

Jesus appeared to Paul and taught him the manifold wisdom of God (Gal 1:1, 11, Eph 3:10). His epistles contain instructions from the Lord Jesus.

While most of your Bible was written specifically to the nation of Israel, the Lord gave Paul instructions specifically for the Gentiles (Eph 3:1). He was titled the “apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13). You are in this audience.

The Lord Jesus revealed the mystery of himself to Paul after the red letters and after Pentecost. Paul claims to be the last person to see the resurrected Lord (1 Cor 15:8). He was given the preaching of the cross and the gospel of the grace of God as a pattern for our present salvation (1 Tim 1:15-16).

There has been no further revelation that has superseded the instructions God inspired in the Pauline epistles.

Everyone chooses which part of the Bible to obey. Contextual guidelines lead you to only one conclusion. Choose the only place you’ll find the teaching of Jesus Christ to Gentiles according to the revelation of the mystery (Rom 16:25). It contains the doctrines that work today.

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Published: October 8, 2011
Last Modified: March 24, 2017
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