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Transitional Verses

Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me, Romans 16:7.

In a world wherein most King James Bible believing churches adhere to a dispensational theology, I adhere to a transitional approach to scripture. Embedded in many books of the bible are verses that cannot be applicable today doctrinally, but still contain a spiritual and historical truth. As an example, I have no intention to salute Andronicus and Junia even though Romans 16:7 commanded me to do so.

I can look at Romans 16:7 and know that historically two Jews who were in Christ before Paul lived in Rome. I can be edified in knowing that it is good to salute and recognize fellow believers. Those two applications are historical and spiritual applications to Romans 16:7. There are a few doctrines that can be extracted from that verse, but its primary application is no longer valid. We will not salute Andronicus and Junia until we meet them in glory.

In fact, almost every verse in Romans 16 is outdated and transitional. And, they are not the only transitional verses in the Book of Romans. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established, Romans 1:11. I am not waiting for someone with apostolic powers to lay hands on me and impart some spiritual gift. Because I have developed the ability to rightly divide the word of God, I can weigh Romans 1:11 against a verse such as Colossians 2:1; And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power, and I can see that a transition took place.

As was discussed in a series of posts, (HERE), (HERE),and(HERE); a transition took place during the end of the gospels and throughout the Book of Acts in which a people who had believed the promises of God given in the Old Testament and who had clearly shown by their works that their faith was alive, transitioned to the faith of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Jesus Christ on this earth and through the preaching of the apostles.

To be a Transitionalist is to recognize that at the end of Moses's speech in the Book of Deuteronomy, he didn't hold an altar call for people to come forward and ask Jesus into their hearts. It also means that just because I am not a Hebrew and I am not a person who has or is transitioning to the faith of Christ, the Books of Hebrews is nevertheless loaded with verses that are directly applicable to me and and to my faith in Christ.

Because I have been taught to rightly divide scripture, I can isolate verses that have a distinct historical and doctrinal application to saints in transition. In the fields and woods behind my house are innumerable herbs and plants that can be safely harvested and eaten. There are also herbs that kill or sicken humans. I can closet my children in the house and mandate that they only eat properly labeled food, or I can teach them the art of plant identification so that they can perfect those skills for life and know the fullness of nature. Likewise, I can teach my people how to rightly divide the word of God. We do not salute Andronicus and Junia.

There are books labeled for people who are not me. 1st and 2nd Timothy are good examples of that. They are written to a man named Timothy who died a couple of Millenia ago. They are not like 1st and 2nd Corinthians which although written to saints of that city, clearly state that they are also written to; them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours, 1st Corinthians 1:2.

Likewise, the Book of Colossians was apparently written to only the Colossians; To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse, Colossians 1:2. Perhaps I ought to ask why the letters to Corinth clearly state that they are meant for others as well as for the saints at Corinth, whereas the letters to Colosse, Philippi, and Thessalonica aren't? After all, when I try to teach out of the Book of Hebrews, I hear a cacophony of voices yelling that its clearly labeled for the Hebrews.

What about Peter's writings? The classic dispensational teaching places them off limits because he and Paul agreed to divvy up the world into Jewish and Gentile ministries.

Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

We can clearly see that each Peter and Paul had specific gifts and blessing towards the Jews and then the Gentiles respectively. Does that mean that they never ministered or wrote to others? Peter wrote two epistles and a person would have to strain very hard to make them Jewish epistles. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 1st Peter 1:1.

Lest anyone should wrestle that into making the Jews to be strangers, Peter wrote to those same people; Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, 1st Peter 1:18. Whoever it is that he wrote to, Paul wrote to the same people, And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you, 2nd Peter 3:15.

Can we all at least agree that sometimes not every verse in a given book is applicable to even the same people a generation or two later? And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat, Exodus 16:15. If the people under Joshua saw round white things on the earth, they might have been Catholic or Protestant Communion wafers, but they weren't manna.

Did Joshua rope off the Book of Exodus because it had verses that were clearly for another time and had zero doctrinal application to the current generation? No, I'm sure the priests and Levites of his day taught the people to rightly divide the word of God just like a wise preacher should do today. As a person aware of transitions, and aware that most of the New Testament Epistles contain passages that are as void for the saint today just as Exodus 16:15 was for Jews living in the Promised land, I teach my people to rightly divide the word of God. Roping off entire books is not rightly dividing the word of God.

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