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IS STUDYING THE OLD TESTAMENT IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY?



WHAT DO YOU THINK? DO YOU READ AND STUDY THE OLD TESTAMENT OR DO YOU STICK TO THE NEW TESTAMENT ONLY?


I hear people often say that they only read the New Testament because it is what is applicable to the here and now. And while I would agree that an understanding of the New Testament is indeed necessary for our lives, I believe that the same is true of the Old Testament.


The Books of the Bible (all of them)are compilations of words inspired by God, spoken through His people. Every single word, passage, chapter, and section in the Bible is filled with complete accuracy and purpose.


In order for us to gain a clear understanding of what we are reading and how it is applicable to our lives –we must take the time to not only read it but study it. And as we study, we should ask ourselves questions like:

  • Who is the author?

  • When was it written?

  • Who is the audience he is speaking/writing to?

  • What was the purpose of it?

As we open the first pages of the Bible, we see the magnificent power of God; the Creator of the Universe. And after His perfect Creation, sin entered and separated Adam, Eve, and every person that would follow, from the presence of God. It is here, in the first book of the Bible, that we see humanity’s need for a Savior to redeem us and bring us back into a right relationship with a Holy God. Visions of the Messiah that would one day come and save us from our sins are woven in and out of Scripture from the beginning. And as we see the supremacy and power of God, we also see His Love for His children.


Because of our need for a Savior, God sent His son to be born to a virgin. He would live fully God and fully man and spend the last 3 (ish) years of His life on earth teaching the Scriptures. During this time, the New Testament had not yet been written. It was instead the Old Testament that they read and followed. I believe there is a misunderstanding that after Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, the Old Testament became unnecessary and inapplicable to our lives. Jesus offers an explanation of this in Matthew 15:17-20 when he says:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

God did not come to remove or abolish the Old Testament Law, instead He came to fulfill it through His death on the cross and His resurrection into Heaven. The New Testament reveals that while we are equally as sinful as we have been from the moment sin entered, instead of the sacrifice of an animal for cleansing and purification, Jesus was now our sacrifice that removes sins - past, present, and future. And because of this, we can stand before a Holy God. And as we receive Him as our Lord and Savior, the love of God grows in us, and our lives become the evidence of this love. And through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can walk in the newness of life.


And in this newness, we are not tied to an endless set of rules but instead, we are cleansed and given a clean heart that seeks and desires the things of Christ.


The Bible is a picture of God’s amazing love for His people and His plan to bring them out of the "wilderness" and into the "land" in which He has promised them. From the first chapter to the last, the Bible shows us that His plan has always been to redeem His people back to Him where they belong. And while this is His plan, we are given the chance to make the choice for ourselves. Just as the people of the Old Testament, we can choose to live a life of trust and obedience to God or we can live lives of idolatry as we trust in the temporaries of the here and now.


And as we study the Old Testament, we learn that God is a loving God. But it also tells us that He is a jealous God, and he will not tolerate His people having any other gods before Him (paraphrased Exodus 20:2-3)


The Bible from beginning to end is a gift that we have been given to learn from and live by. And as we seek the inspired Words of the Almighty God, we see a magnificent story of truth and purpose on every single page.

 

The subject of the importance of the Old Testament has been covered from many different angles throughout this month's weekly blogs. Be sure to go back and read from the beginning of the month if you missed one.



 

Do you have questions about the Bible? If so, please submit them below. You will receive a response from me within 2 weeks. In addition to this, your question could also appear as the subject of a joyfully HIS Blog Post.







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