For any one who may not be familiar with the term Audience Relevance, then here is an example that I use.
Jesus talks about divorce in Matt 5:31, 32 to the people of Israel. With Audience Relevance, we must understand with whom the speaker is speaking to or addressing. Here Jesus is speaking to the Old Testament people.
“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”
Here Jesus tells his people that they only way to divorce was through fornication of the other partner. He then further explains to the Pharisees this was because of the hardness of your heart that Moses gave you the bill of divorcement that it was never God’s intention to have man separated from his wife:
“And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. Mk 10:4-12
Now we go to the Apostle Paul’s teaching on divorce.
Here in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul is now taking to a different type and kind of people. He is not talking, in general to Jews but to the Gentiles believers in the Lord:
“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” 1Cor 7:10,11
As you can see, Paul instructs the husband not to put away (divorce) his wife. Paul does not give the husband the opportunity as Jesus gave the Jews to divorce the wife because of fornication. We as believer are not to “harden” our hearts but are given the ministry of reconciliation. That is forgiveness.
So, rightly dividing the word of truth, Jesus gave his people a way of divorce, although he did not want too and Paul gave no way of divorce for the believing believer. So it is whom the speaker is speaking and addressing that makes all the difference of what is being said and why. Much more can be said on divorce, but this is only the example of Audience Relevance. Two types of people and times with two different outcomes and conditions for divorce this is a clear example of Audience Relevance.
HEAD COVERING Another good Audience Relevance is found in 1 Cor 11:16 where Paul was talking to the Corinthians about women covering their head.
“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
We can definitely see that Paul is only talking to the Corinthians and not the whole assembly.
John “The Bible was written for us and not to us”
THINGS FOREIGN TO OUR EARS 3/27/2012
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Tim 2:15
Let me start out saying that God will judge believers on what they know of the scriptures and not what your pastor knows. That is, many believers will only rely on what their pastor teaches them, be it wrong or right, when God has instructed us in many places of His Word that it is up to us, each individual to read, study as we run the good race.
“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” 1Cor 11:18, 19 KJV
“For in the first place, when you assemble as a congregation, I hear that there are cliques (divisions and factions) among you; and I in part believe it, 19For doubtless there have to be factions or parties among you in order that they who are genuine and of approved fitness may become evident and plainly recognized among you.” Amplified Bible (AMP)
“for first, indeed, ye coming together in an assembly, I hear of divisions being among you, and partly I believe [it], 19for it behoveth sects also to be among you, that those approved may become manifest among you;” 1Cor 11:18,19 YLT
Paul told us to study God’s Word, because as he stated in the above verses, 1Cor 11:18, 19 this will show who has studied or not. In other word, this will happen within the Body of Christ and don’t shun away from topics as many do saying, “You’re just wrong” when they have not truly studied God’s Word for themselves.
Those, within the Body of Christ that rejects any teaching that is “foreign” to them is not acting as Paul instructed us.
In an educational study, people were given a new concept (such as the earth is round, or the second coming has already happened) and asked to believe it, which resulted in them setting aside some things they already believe. This is very applicable to our study.
50% believed it immediately -- without thinking.
30% didn't believe it, immediately -- without thinking.
15% wanted to wait awhile while they make up their minds, but asked for no clarification and no further information.
5% analyzed all the details and finally came to a conclusion.
The results of the study go like this, it is estimated that
5% of the people think,
15% of the people think they think, and
80% of the people would rather die than think.
I think that the Bereans in Acts 17 were among the 5% that think. They analyzed the details and came to a conclusion.
In Acts 17:11, the Bereans, "were more fair-minded" in that they:
"received the word with all readiness,"
"searched the Scriptures daily,"
apparently had the true spirit of open-mindedness for religious thought, and
In the spirit of truth sought to understand "whether these things were so" which Paul had spoken.
I am asking you to be one of the 5% that think, I am asking you to be a Berean, to search the Scriptures -- not to poll your friends, not to see what Church history says, not to search the commentaries, but to search the scriptures to see if these things are so. The cry of the reformation was "Sola Scriptura" -- the Scriptures alone! Anything that contradicts Scripture must be set aside and the Scriptures must be authoritative.
I want to remind you of something -- all truth must come from scripture! Instead of superimposing a meaning on the biblical text, we must seek to discover the author's intended meaning (the only true meaning). One must recognize that what a passage means is fixed by the author and is not subject to alteration by readers. Meaning is determined by the author; it is discovered by readers. Our goal must be exegesis (drawing the meaning out of the text) and not eisogesis (superimposing a meaning onto the text). We, as believers, need to hold a belief; we need a model or map to check out the things which we hear. But if your beliefs conflicts with the Scripture you need to modify your belief, not the Scripture. Do you agree with that?
We don’t see Paul arguing the End Times because there was no time to debate it. Likewise, we should argue the case for Jesus and not for the case of End times.
What is it that makes individual wish and hope for the Rapture and the End Times? Is it that,
They are afraid to die?
Their faith is weak?
They want the joy of revenge on the sinners? (Rom 12:19)
They don’t want to live this life anymore? (2Tim 3:12)
But this is for certain—when we die, we will be with the Lord. We have that guarantee we don’t have the guarantee that we will see the “return of the Lord” in our lifetime.
As hard as it is to stomach, the context of the passes does suggest that Jesus has already come back in is glory in “that generation.” This should not prevent any of us from not to continue the great work that has been laid before the disciples and ourselves.
So what do we as believer have to look forward too? Many things, such as running the good race and knowing that when we die we will go before Christ, to receive our rewards. The Christian life in not the all encompassing thing of “looking and only hoping for the return of Christ,” it is still the life changing work of the Holy Spirit within us and being ambassadors for Christ as we reign with Christ for years to come in an ungodly world.
Our hope is not in His return, as it was for that generation that lived it, but our hope is in living the lives of godly men and women knowing that when we die we will be like Him for all eternity.
FIVE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
Are we, basing our walk and faith only on the Return of Christ?
And if it does not happen, we should throw off the faith?
If the return has happen, we should throw off the faith?
If the return has happen, we should throw off the faith and don’t follow Christ?
What would have happen if Jesus did not tell us, that he was going to return? How would we then live our lives?
Do not base your walk and faith in Christ on the Return of Christ because it will fail. However, that you would be ready at any time to appear before God and He would say unto you, “Well done good servant.”