by Roger Thomas

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This Book's for You (3 of 6)
Series: The Old Testament for New Testament Christians
Roger Thomas
Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11

Introduction: We often refer to ourselves as a New Testament church. Does that mean we don't believe in the Old Testament? Obviously not. We believe the Old Testament exists. We believe the Old Testament is the Word of God. We believe what Jesus and his apostles believed about the Old Testament. Jesus read it, preached it, and taught it. But to accurately understand the Old Testament, we need to remember two principles.

First, the Old and New are different. They are different in purpose. The purpose of the Old was to lead people to the Christ of the New. When Jesus came, he brought a new covenant. He shined a new light on the things of God. That's the way the Old Testament must be read.

We can learn much from the Old Testament. But if we rely on the Old Testament for some information, our knowledge will be incomplete or even distorted. We can't learn our morality and ethics from the Old Testament. The foundation is there. The spirit is the same. Both start in the same place. But Jesus takes us farther than the Old Testament. He makes it clear that God is concerned about more than outward behavior and regulations.

We cannot learn about worship from the Old Testament. Again, there are plenty of similarities. But there are more differences. The Old Testament emphasizes position, place, and proper ceremony. The New Testament, in keeping with Old Testament promises, focuses on the priesthood of believers and the finished sacrifice of Christ.

Most of all we cannot learn how to be saved from the Old Testament. Again, there are similarities. Paul, in the New Testament, cites the example of Abraham for the principles of salvation by faith as opposed to salvation by works. But the Old Testament points us to the one from who we receive forgiveness of sin. Any use of the Old Testament that does ...

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