Over the last forty years of teaching the Bible, I have learned some interesting things about how Christians determine what they believe. Unfortunately, one of the things I’ve learned is that many Christians never let the Bible get in the way of what they believe.
A recent Barna Survey reveals that for the first time, most Americans now depend upon their own logic, tradition, or experience to formulate beliefs. Few actually take the Word of God as the basis of their beliefs. The result is what Jesus spoke about in Mark 7:13:
“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.”
Most Christians today aren’t aware that their “old-time religion” is polluted with many traditions that void the power of God’s Word. While there are plenty of “man-made” traditions that are harmful, it comes as a complete shock to most believers that there are traditions instituted by God that can make His Word of no effect.
After you pick yourself up off the floor from that statement, let me explain. The Old Testament way of relating to God is not the same as the New Testament way of having a relationship with God. The Old Testament was legalistic and based on your performance. The New Testament, on the other hand, is a covenant of grace based on acceptance of what Jesus did. Because of that, there is a huge difference between the way people approached God under the Old and the way they should now approach Him under the New. continue reading.