The focus of the New Testament is the new identity which God says He has given us in Christ, by sheer gift. It is the identity for which each was created and about which all of us have dreamed. But, if we do not know this, the Bible just becomes a book of rules for getting to Heaven.
First Century Church leaders taught about this new identity. They taught how humans are designed to work and what causes people to be dysfunctional. As time progressed, believers lost touch with that knowledge and increasingly struggled to remember what God had accomplished in Christ. The grace of the original Greek text was lost as it was translated into Latin, the language of the warlike, Roman legal system, which became the standard for over 1,000 years. In the first centuries, as Church teaching changed, so too did the life of believers. Many have wondered what happened to the power so evident in the first believers. Some people have devised all sorts of explanations, but most are not true. Eventually, the lives of early believers became only a distant memory, akin to a myth.
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