The Whole Counsel Of God

Acts 20:27
“For I (Paul) have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”
What does it mean to preach the whole counsel of God?  If you’re like most of us, you were probably taught that it means “We must teach from the Old Testament, not just the New,” right?  What they REALLY mean by that is, “You must preach more on repentance.”  The only thing is, their definition of repentance is nothing more than “sin-consciousness.”  That is not Biblical.
True Repentance.
The word, “repent,” metanoia in Greek, simply means, ” to change your mind,” not this wailing, beating your breast and falling on your face kind of thing.  Nothing wrong with doing that, per sé, but it’s certainly not a requirement.  Just because you’re remorseful doesn’t mean that true repentance is going on.  Judas was remorseful, too and look what happened to him!
(For more on the topic of repentance, follow these links:

Teaching Old Testament For The Wrong Reasons.

Let’s have a little history lesson, shall we?  You’ll see that what Paul meant here is exactly the opposite of what is taught today. 

Here’s the scene:  The problem in the early Church was that they preached TOO MUCH from the Old Testament.  Nothing inherently wrong with it, mind you.  The Old is a wonderful place to visit!  But what they did was go there and preach the Law, putting believers back under bondage.

cc13a-finished

We Are Under The New Covenant.

Christ, by His death on the cross however, had instituted a New Covenent, DEARLY bought and paid for IN FULL, signed and sealed by His precious blood.  We were no longer under that Covenent because Jesus, having fully met all it’s claims on us, nailed that handwriting of requirements to the cross!  HALLELUJAH!

Laws Written On Our Hearts.

That doesn’t mean we are now “LAW-LESS.”  Far from it.  In fact, we are even more law-abiding, almost by accident, because we have a better deal.  Why would we need “The map (the law),” when we have The One Who wrote the map in the car with us?  He can show us the good places to stop along the way that are not covered by the map.  And if we get tired, He can drive.  He wanted to do that the whole time anyway.
We are lead from within by the Holy Spirit.  God has written His laws on our hearts…..and it isn’t the Big Ten.  “If it’s not the Ten Commandments, then what are these laws, you ask?”  For more on that topic, follow the link below:
New And Living Way.
Once upon a time, there was only the Old Testament because the New had not yet been written.  You can imagine how difficult it was for the Jewish people to wrap their heads around this “New and living way,” preached by those who had walked with Jesus.  Remember, they had been under the Law for 1500 lo-o-o-ng years.  This New Covenent was a “Bit” unfamiliar.  They were really struggling to catch up.  Even the concept of the Church and Gentiles getting saved was foreign to them.  Incredibly, they thought the Messiah was only for Israel.  They didn’t know He would save the whole world!
Gospel Of The Kingdom Vs. The Gospel Of Grace.
When Jesus walked this earth, He preached the“Gospel of the Kingdom–the millennial one, that is.  Yes, you read that right.  He would have set it up back then if His people had accepted their Messiah.  But they did not.
After His ascension, this is the same gospel that was was preached by the Apostle Peter:  “Repent!  For the kingdom of God is at hand.”  Why?  Because if they had repented and acccepted Jesus as their Messiah, He would have returned then and there.  Didn’t happen.
Enter a zealous young Pharisee named “Saul.”  When he came along, everything changed.  He first had to be knocked off his high horse, though, get saved, and be totally transformed.  Then he became the man we all know as the Apostle Paul.  He was the first one to preach this Gospel of Grace.  It was revealed to him by Jesus Himself!

There are several important differences between the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of Grace.  They are not the same, though there are definite similarities. We’re not going to go into the whole topic here.  Too long.  If you’d like learn about those differences, please follow the link below:
Old In Light Of The New.
Jesus Himself personally schooled Paul in this gospel of Grace.  He was the only one to whom the full-up revelation was given.  As he went about preaching what Jesus told him, the Church began to catch on.  But what Paul discovered after a while was that what the Churches were teaching was almost exclusively the Old Testament.  The letters of Paul, which comprise our New Testament, were written to open their understanding of the Old in light of the New Covenant.

The Emmaus Road Lesson.

The Old is the New concealed and the New is the Old revealed.  That is the lesson of the Emmaus Road.  You remember Jesus, the day He rose from the dead, how He came alongside two of His disciples as they walked along that road?  He did not allow them to recognize Who He was.  It says the “He restrained their eyes.”  Why did He do that?  Because He wanted to show how we could see Him in the Old Testament.  He showed us how to preach it:  Go there to see Him!

We don’t go there to find laws, laws and more laws.  No!  WE GO THERE TO SEE JESUS IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES CONCERNING HIMSELF.  Follow the link below for more on that topic:
So you see, when Paul admonished the Church to preach “The whole counsel of God,” what he was telling them was, “Don’t preach from the Old Testament and bring out the Law:  Bring out Jesus in the Old; Preach the gospel.  PREACH GRACE!”
That’s what it means to “Preach the whole counsel of God!”

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