Vol.XII No.XII Pg.2
February 1976

Command Or Example?

Robert F. Turner

If there is a book or letter in the New Testament addressed to Robert F. Turner I have failed to find it; nor do I recall a single command that was specifically addressed to me. But as I read Dr. Lukes treatise regarding the history of the early disciples of Christ (addressed, either specifically or as a literary mechanism, to Theophilus) I notice he gives the gist of a sermon preached by Peter and the apostles, about 30 A.D., to some Jews in Jerusalem; in which they were told to repent and be baptized. . He didnt say the Lord wanted me to do that! But he did say the promise was to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. The context indicates the blessings of the promise are for those who do what he told the Jews of his audience to do.

Then I read a first-century biography on the life of Christ, and find that He told his disciples they were to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit (he will guide you into all truth). Then they were to go into all the world and teach all nations, every creature: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved... Since Lukes history refers to this promise, and describes the Jerusalem sermon as a result of these promised events; I begin to get the idea that the Pentecost message was for Robert Turner — a creature of one of the nations. A fellow named Paul wrote some letters during the first century, addressed — not to Robert Turner, but to some followers of Christ of his day. These creatures were far removed from Jerusalem, and were gentiles like me, yet they had believed, repented, and been baptized; and evidently enjoyed the promised blessings as did the Jerusalem converts.

The evidence accumulates — I am more convinced that Christ has a common message for mankind, and that the sent ones delivered this message in person and by writing (Lu. 1:1-4; Jn. 20:30-31; 2 Pet. 3:1-2). The apostle Paul told saints in Ephesus (not RFT) that they could understand his knowledge by reading what he wrote. (I got that information by reading his inspired letter — just like I read uninspired letters written to me today.) I begin to think I can understand about Jesus Christ, just like the Ephesians did — even before I read a single book on Art of Exegesis or The Role of Examples in Interpretative Analysis.

He may not know if he got it by example or command, but maybe theres still hope for any ol hillbilly who can hear or read, and love the Lord.