Follow the Arrows!
Many of you might not know that I have a hobby called cross country racing, otherwise known as Hare Scrambles racing. This type of racing involves a dead engine start and a race through the woods and other obstacles on dirt bikes that lasts for two hours. This is very similar to what is called Enduro racing. I bring this up to talk about a comparison. Paul uses comparisons all the time in his books to help us understand concepts. Most of you know our Christian walk is compared to a race by our apostle Paul. My racing number is 924 which comes from the verse in 1 Corinthians 9:24 talking about running that ye may obtain. In Bible study as in racing the start it vitally important. In racing this give you the advantage of being able to sprint quickly to pull ahead of your competitors. In Bible study the start is learning the basic concepts that will enable you to understand what you are reading. Unfortunately, we were taught wrong when we started. We were taught about context, but never about the context that really matters. We were taught that if it’s in the New Testament then it’s our information. The Bible DOES NOT teach this. We were taught that the OT was for Israel and the New Testament is for us. The Bible DOES NOT teach this. (Jer 31:31-34, Eze 36:22-28, Heb 8:8-10) So we were taught wrong from the very start. After the start of a race, you enter the woods on a 6 to12 mile course. There are small arrows stapled to trees that guide you through the woods. So, not only are you riding as fast as you can through the woods, but you are also looking for small arrows to keep you on course. Sometimes there are other signs like an X to show you where not to go or Danger signs to indicate a dangerous obstacle ahead. Some of the guidance or arrows most of us were given about Bible study were pointing in the wrong direction. Let me give you one example. Many churches and pastors give new converts the advice to read the book of John first as you start to learn about the Bible. Gideon's and other publishers publish the book of John specifically for this purpose. This Gives new converts the WRONG directions and NO warning of the danger ahead. The book of John is the WRONG place to send a new convert!!! The book of John is Old Testament in doctrine, directed to Israel, includes WORKS for salvation, describes the offer of the kingdom to Israel, and DOES NOT teach salvation is by grace alone through trusting in the shed blood of Jesus. Yet, we were directed to read this book first! (Jn 4:22, Jn 5:29, Jn 12:13-15, Jn 20:9) Salvation in the book of John is about believing Jesus is the Christ, the King of Israel and trusting in his NAME, NOT HIS BLOOD. (Jn 20:31) No, there is NO CROSS in John 3:16. We were sent in the wrong direction from the very start of the race. In a cross-country race when you get lost in the woods you loose precious time going the wrong direction and you must find your way back to the course. In our Christian life we have lost so much precious time riding around in the woods because the course was marked wrong for us. The arrows were pointed in the wrong directions! When we study scripture, we must PAY ATTENTION to the arrows. The context you and I were NEVER taught is the context of Prophecy and Mystery. Prophecy relates to what God is doing with his earthly people Israel. Mystery relates to what God is doing with his heavenly people the Body of Christ. Most of Christianity has been trying to win their race by following Israel’s arrows. You’re on the wrong course! Your arrows are found in Paul’s books. There is where you find the Start, the directions, the guide, the warnings, the course, and most importantly where the finish line is. I pray you find your way. If your lost it’s not God’s fault. It might not even be your fault. You might have been given the wrong arrows? But it is your responsibility to find the right course. Paul set the course for you to follow based on the information Jesus gave to him. You will be held accountable for how you build upon what Paul started. (1 Cor 3:9-10) Time is short, don’t race the wrong course. (“Dirt Adventures” on YouTube if you want to see me race) (Paul’s 13 books – If you want to get on and stay on the right course)
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