In Matthew 3:1 & 2 John the Baptist starts out his ministry with the words ““Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We are not going to talk about repenting today as we presume most of our readers have already repented and entered into the kingdom of God and it si at that moment when one repents and receives salvation that they leave their earthly culture and enter God’s culture. This fact will help you understand the passage, ‘in the world but not of it’. We are in the world but we do not live according to all of its rules. We live according to the rules God gave us n the Bible.
God did not write the Bible because he had nothing better to do with his time nor did he write his rules so that they can be broken (in God’s culture rules are meant to be obeyed), he wrote the Bible so that we would know how to live correctly in his culture and be able to please him. Like earthly cultures, God’s culture does have rules to follow. These rules are not meant to oppress or make people second class but to ensure that we know how to obey God. We find no instance in the Bible where God rewarded disobedience. God made the rules so that we would become free from sin and learn how to be holy as he commanded us to become in 1 Peter.
Sadly, there are people out there who claim that if we follow the bible and obey its rules we have made the Bible a god and are committing idolatry. They are not correct. How can we obey God if we toss out the rules he wrote in the Bible? These people who make that claim have yet to unearth one complete set of holy, divinely inspired words written by God to direct our lives in the modern era. This means that they are not basing their claims on any real evidence but merely stating their own personal opinions because they do not want to obey God.
There are no alternative scriptures to the Bible. If there were then God would be disqualified from being God and he would have sinned. He would not be just, he would not be fair, he would not be honest thus there are only one set of scriptures for all people of all eras. Those same people who make the claim that following the Bible is idolatry also claim that the Bible was written for one set of people in one given era. That is not true either. The Israelites may have received God’s word originally but that does not make them the original audience. We are all the original audience. It doesn’t matter the era because sin has not changed, evil has not changed, nor has temptation and so on. The Bible is for all people of all eras.
What was sin in Moses’ time, in Jesus’ time is sin in our time. The words of God do not change because God does not change nor what he has declared to be sin has changed. We do not need to interpret the Bible but follow the Holy Spirit to the truth and then accept and go with the truth. The truth is that we have to obey the Bible as it is written. Once we get to the truth, that is what we implement in our lives and in our churches.We do not use interpretation because there is no biblical command or instruction to interpret the scriptures. There is, in John 16:13, instruction to follow the Holy Spirit to the truth. God is truth not interpretation.
How does this apply to our daily lives When Peter & John said that they are to obey God rather than men, they were not saying that they will ignore certain earthly cultural rules. There are cultural rules that need to be obeyed. If the government says you need to follow the building codes then you follow the building codes., If they place traffic lights up then yo obey the traffic lights, and on go the examples. We obey those rules because GOD gave governments permission and authority to make those rules. Those restrictions do not have us disobeying any of God’s commands or instructions thus we must obey them. Why do we obey them, because it is obedience to God and those rules do not call for us to disobey biblical commands or instructions.
That is the key. We disobey those earthly laws that make us disobey God. We obey God over man, By obeying those laws that do not have us violate God’s law we are in obedience to God.We are obeying the government as it should be obeyed. But when earthly culture and God’s culture conflict, we are members of God’s culture and we obey that over any earthly instruction. We live according to God’s rules in God’s culture not earthly ones. That is why we have the Bible. God’s culture is not an earthly culture but comes from him who is holy and incorruptible thus we learn his ways if we want to exist properly in God’s culture.
God’s culture has different rules and he has provided us with the keys to understanding those rules. We follow the Holy Spirit to the truth and not the interpretation. The truth reigns in God’s culture not the interpretation. The truth is the Bible is not being made a god because we obey it.