As a Bible teacher and counselor, I confess I sometimes progress. I made up this idea, because I couldn’t come up with a succinct way of saying it … other than coining a new word/meaning. Will you humor me? Here’s what it means. When I progress, I take God’s command and make it relevant to those I’m working with…or even myself. I want to make God’s Word powerful. I want it to make a difference and improve how we live life. I want God to be glorified. And so sometimes, I expound … or progress… what God says to do. I take it a step farther.
Jesus dealt with progression.
God commanded the Jews to not work on the Sabbath. The spiritual authorities of the day, who were intent upon obeying God, needed to decide what that meant for their culture. This is natural. Those who love the Lord and love others want to help others understand how to love Him and others too. So they progressed the command. Eventually, Sabbath became not an expression of love for God , which is what it was intended to be, but a burden. Jesus broke the progression rules when he and his disciples picked grain to eat on a Saturday morning, but not God’s law.
Some progression is necessary. Culture changes with time and place. The world fluctuates. Christians must use wisdom and the Spirit to decide what behavior best loves God and others. I’m okay with that. But wary. I am afraid of progressive burdens. I am afraid of what they say about God. Make no mistake. I am not afraid of God’s commands. But what kind of burdens have I placed on people that God never intended?
Sometimes God’s Word is a little hard to understand, in a practical sense. There is room for differing thought. Can I separate progression from command? Lord, teach me what this means because I’m afraid I’ve often condemned the innocent.
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Matthew 12:7
I’m curious what progression you’ve seen in Bible teaching and churches?