“Part 2” believers miss the point

Starting line

Start with part 1

New Testament letters have two parts.  Part 1 is the doctrinal part which is followed by part 2, the behavioral part.  I find many believers focusing on part 2 while neglecting part 1.  Most believers can tell me what they should be doing but few believers know or grasp the positional doctrines explained in Part 1 of New Testament letters.

Part 2 believers don’t understand why part 1 is necessary.  Without part 1, Christianity becomes one more moral systems designed to better the world and individuals.  However, Christianity and morality are two distinct things.  Christianity is about Jesus.  Morality is about behavior.  You can be moral without being a Christian but you cannot be a Christian without Jesus.

Part 2 believers don’t understand the significance of obeying.  Without part 1, obeying becomes the path to being a good person.  The trouble is no one can obey themselves into goodness.  We don’t obey in order to become good. Obeying doesn’t make us who we are, it expresses who we are.  If you’d read part one of the New Testament letters you’d know that.  Furthermore, obedience is not the bribe we offer God so He will bless us.  (That includes tithing).  If you read part 1, you’d know we are already blessed because we are “in” Jesus.  The doctrine of “in” is a game changer.  Check it out.

I’m calling you to put first things first.  First-things center on believing in Jesus, trusting His work for us, and embracing our identify in Him.  Once we understand obeying doesn’t impact the work of Jesus on our behalf we can launch into a life of free, loving, humble, obedient service.  Placing obedience before believing may make us moral people but it doesn’t make us Christians.

Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

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4 Comments on ““Part 2” believers miss the point”

  1. Ash Says:

    This is what we like to call hitting the nail on the head. The head (our head) – Jesus – focusing on him, while the rest follows accordingly.

  2. Fantastic point. I’m retweeting this.

    I found you through a comment you left at Stuff Christians Like. First, your tag line caught my attention because of the name of my blog. Second, this post caught my attention because my blog I’m admittedly (and purposely) focuses on the second part.

    But I hear what you’re saying. The more I write and learn about part 2, the more I realize I need to take people back through part 1.

    It seems to me that most people actually do focus on part 1 (which is why I wanted to explore part 2 more)… the problem is they don’t really understand part 1. As a result, you end up with this idea that we serve God and serve others to become good people instead of doing it out of sheer gratitude for what Christ’s done for us.

    I’m looking forward to reading more from you. I’m subscribing. Thanks for posting.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

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