When we read the Gospel, it is important to read it in its proper context. Reading it through the Old Testament lens of the Law of Moses gives us an outdated interpretation that is no longer valid, but reading it through the lens of grace reveals the power of the resurrected Jesus. When we understand that we don’t have to live by old standards that no longer apply to us, we’re free to rightly divide the Word of truth. Correspondingly, we limit ourselves when we lift Scriptures out of context and wrongly interpret the Word.
Under the Law of Moses, punishment and condemnation were key motivators, but Jesus replaced the law with His grace and truth. Before, strict obedience and constant atonement for sin was necessary to please God, but faith is all that is needed, now. The truth that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for sin highlights the significance of what He did on the cross. Letting this get down inside us begins to transform us.
For example, Holy Communion celebrates Jesus’ work on the cross but, if we’re not careful, we can incorrectly interpret the Scripture on communion. The apostle Paul wrote that whoever partakes of communion in an unworthy manner eats and drinks damnation to himself. An Old Testament mindset immediately goes to sin-consciousness and condemns us as being unworthy to take communion. However, this Scripture is actually advising us to examine ourselves beforehand; it does not say to meditate on our sins and avoid communion altogether.
Reading this Scripture in context, we see that we take the bread and wine in memory of Jesus, not of our sins. Interpreting this incorrectly traps us in fear, guilt, and condemnation. Interpreting it correctly frees us to receive, by faith, what grace has made available. Reading the Word in the proper spirit opens our eyes to the forgiveness God offers us through the new
God, in Your mercy You sent us Your Son to replace the condemnation and sin-consciousness of the old covenant with grace and love. You released us from the requirements of the Law of Moses and gave us freedom through Jesus. Thank You for giving us Your Spirit to properly interpret what You say to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- 2 Timothy 2:15
- John 1:17
- Romans 6:14
- Hebrews 11:6
- Hebrews 10:1-14
- 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25, 27-29