I had the opportunity to travel to Georgia last weekend to visit Hope Bible Church in Locust Grove. If you are new to studying the Bible rightly divided, you might think there is no one else around that follows Paul’s instructions about Bible study, but this is not the case. There are many people in Bible Studies, home churches and yes even very nice church buildings studying the Bible as God intended. Unfortunately, there are not churches in every city that rightly divide. What you will find within these groups is a surprising amount of agreement about the meaning of verses and doctrine. This is not found within Christianity as a whole. The main difference being the literal interpretation of scripture. Christianity as a whole gives many verses and entire passages or doctrines an allegorical or “spiritual” meaning. The result of the allegorical interpretation of scripture is a wide variety of meanings for verses. Each teacher can “interpret” verses in his own manner with differing applications and opinions of the meaning. The dispensational teacher follows a strict literal interpretation of verses which results in typically only one outcome on the meaning of a verse. My wife recently talked to a pastor about Ephesians 4:5. This verse clearly states there is “one baptism.” This pastor quickly replied; “that’s not what that verse means.” This is a convenient answer for a pastor with a “two-baptism” doctrine to uphold. Pulpits are filled with people teaching you that verses don’t mean what they say. If there were a way you could leave this verse alone and believe it EXACTLY AS IT IS WRITTEN and it would still make COMPLETE sense why would you want to not believe it? Why would you work so hard to convince people verses don’t mean what they say? I don’t believe this Pastor is deliberately hiding the truth. This pastor was not taught to believe his Bible ALONE. This pastor was taught to believe his Bible in relation to his denominational stance. His agenda is water baptism, therefore this verse contradicts his agenda. This type of teaching is the reason why so many Christians believe they will never understand the Bible. They watch Pastors and teachers explain away the literal meaning of verses, so they can teach a different meaning. To the person in the pew this makes the Bible seam hard to understand and they feel frustrated with Bible study and defeated. Dispensational Bible study is basically just the concept of believing the Bible AS WRITTEN and not reading yourself into verses that were NEVER written to you. You ARE in the audience of Ephesians 4:5 and the “one baptism” it describes. You are NOT in the audience of John the Baptist and Jesus’ water baptism. When you follow scripture rightly divided you CAN understand the Bible! Wouldn’t you like to know how?
You might have noticed the name change on our website, or maybe not. In scripture names can have significant meaning and add very interesting tidbits of information to a story. We started out as Grace Bible Study for several different reasons. Recently we changed our name to Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship. This name better describes what we are doing here. Our Apostle Paul tells us of the abundant grace we have by being in Christ. We are a group of Bible believers that believe the Bible as it stands. We don’t put our spin on the verses to make them match an agenda. The Grace of our Savior Jesus Christ is truly abundant and is fully understood by studying the Bible God’s way. Many Christians are content with what they currently know about the Bible. Many have little interest is spending time around God’s word comparing scripture with scripture. Rather, churches today create ministry after ministry attempting to get each member locked into doing something “at church”. Modern church growth methods abound with finding things for each member to do. Paul tells us clearly the ministry we are left here with is the ministry of reconciliation 2 Cor 5:18-20. Paul would have us to make all men see the “fellowship of the mystery” Eph 3:9. Churches today are filled with preaching but void of members with a proper understanding of God’s heavenly purpose for the body of Christ. Churches today are filled with “ministries” but members that are void of a clear understanding of God’s will for this time. Christians today can quote some proof texts for a denominational position but can’t clearly explain the gospel by which we are saved or give even a simple description of what God is doing throughout scripture. God’s grace is truly abundant now because we are living in the age of grace. God is saving people today apart from works and on the sole merits of what Christ did for us. This message of Grace alone is not found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. You might quote a few verses in John chapter 3 but clearly the Gospels are void of the message of grace alone. If grace alone is so prevalent in the gospels what do the majority of Christian know the “Romans Road” so well? Why don’t you have a “Matthews Road”? I’ll tell you why, because the grace message is not in Matthew. The message of grace alone is only found in Paul’s epistles. Grace and truth did come by Jesus Christ but no one knew about it at the cross. The disciples did not understand the resurrection, John 20:9. They thought Mary was seeing things and did not believe she had seen Jesus, so much so that Thomas said he would not believe unless he put his hand in Jesus’ scar. Don’t you find this odd? Seriously… If Jesus had been preaching his death burial and resurrection during his earthly ministry, why all this confusion? These are the questions that Christians never ask. These are the things that when you rightly divide your bible all become crystal clear. Jesus was sent here for an earthly purpose Rom 15:8, Paul was sent to you for a heavenly purpose Rom 15:16. Are you content with what you don’t know about your Bible?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul