Instructions from Paul

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

Instruction – We follow Yeshua and believe His sacrifice is the redeeming event that brings us into covenant with YHWH again. Now what? Where do we go from here?

I’ve confessed Yeshua as the Son of God, and I realize there are fruits of the Spirit that must produce in my life which lead me to fulfill the two great commandments – love God and love your neighbor. While the fruits of the Spirit are beautiful, and the beatitudes are sobering, how do I actually do this stuff? How do I show love and joy? How do I walk in peace and practice longsuffering and gentleness, goodness, meekness, and temperance? Am I a robot that’s been upgraded to a new model where my actions just suddenly start becoming more righteous? No, I am a man. I require guidance, and instruction. I need to learn what is pleasing to God and set my heart to do it. This is where the law of God comes in.

There’s a difference between being righteous and living righteously. We’re made righteous by the blood of Yeshua. Excellent, but are we living righteously? Apostle Paul instructs Timothy in how to live righteously, and this instruction should come from the Old Testament – Paul’s only definition of Scripture.

The word is paideia and primarily relates to the upbringing of children. I’ve discussed the meaning of “and become as little children” in an earlier post, so this should come as no surprise when Paul uses a word relating to children while addressing Timothy. Yeshua says we should become as little children, and little children need instruction in righteousness.

Both the way of education and the goal are indicated by paideia.

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 753

The way and the goal are included in paideia. And our paideia comes from the Tanakh. Don’t these words start sounding familiar? Isn’t Yeshua the way? Isn’t conforming to His image our goal? The instructions from Paul direct our focus to the Old Testament, and the OT directs our focus to Yeshua. If we choose to become as little children, then we should rely on the wisdom found in Torah to instruct us in righteousness.

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Isaiah 58:2 (KJV)

I understand that righteousness has been bestowed upon you by the grace of God found in the sacrifice of Yeshua, but are living righteously? Do you know how to love God and His Son? (Deut. 6:5; John 14:15) Do you know how to love your neighbor? (Lev. 19:18) God is ready to teach you, just open the Scripture.

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