Old or New Testament?

I have mentioned several times that what we find in the bible is how we should live our lives for God, but the question is raised in the scriptures: which law do we live by today the old Jewish law as found in the old testament or the law of Christ (Romans 8:2) as found in the New testament?

The old testament law with all of its trappings (priests, animal sacrifices, sundry and sabbath day laws and yes, even the ten commandments) was given by Moses for the Jews to live by until the Messiah should come when a new law was to be given (Romans 10:4; Hebrews 8:6-13). The apostle Paul wrote extensively in Romans and Hebrews and elsewhere that the old law, that which the Jews lived by, was fulfilled and superseded by the new covenant that is through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord (Col 2:14).So,  what covenant then are we under today?

People believed in Jesus’ day that the Messiah would come and usher the nation of Israel into a new and thriving prosperity and not only restore the kingdom to Israel, but that He (the Messiah) would rule over it and the kingdom would be an earthly kingdom, much greater and glorious than the old kingdom under Solomon and David.

People still make this mistake today by falling for the unscriptural doctrine of premelinialism which teaches that when the Lord (Jesus) returns He will at last set up a kingdom here on earth.This is a topic for another time, but suffice it to say that Christ’s kingdom is not now or ever will be a physical kingdom here on earth.

Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:30) and this makes it a spiritual kingdom with Jesus ruling from heaven, which is what we find in the church of Christ today.The problem is a miss interpretation of old testament prophesy, which is seen much in the same way it was in Jesus day, instead of in light of the new testament teaching and the coming of the true Messiah.

What happened to fulfil the old testament law and prophecy was not the ushering in of an earthly paradise and the restoring of Israel, but the arrival of a Messiah who was the son of God and who was actually sacrificed on the cross and gave his life and his blood that all people everywhere may have remission of their sins and the promise of eternal life when they keep His commandments.

Jesus, the son of God, came to this earth in the form of a servant and died on the cross (Philippians 2:5-12). This was done that God might have the perfect sacrifice given once for all (Hebrews 7:27) for the forgiveness of sins to those that obey Him in baptism (1 Peter 3:21).

This was not the Messiah the Jews expected but through Him is established the new covenant with the old covenant being done away with so that we are to live by the new and not the old. This means that when people try to bind part of the old scriptures on us today or justify their religious practices by old testament scripture, they are in error and do not rightly divide the word of truth as we are told to do in 2 Timothy 2:15.

I realize that today’s post is more a statement of beliefs than actual proof of what I believe, but I would hope and pray that an honest and unbiased study of the New testament (especially Paul’s epistles) can only yield the same belief (that the old law has been done away with and we have no right to bring in those parts that we want to attempt to live by them today).

The new covenant (testament) fulfills the old covenant (testament) in such a way that what we find in the old is also covered in the new and when it is not we should not try to live by it today. For example the ten commandments, though we do not live strictly by them today, are included in the new testament, with the exception of keeping the sabbath day holy, in a way that fulfills them through Christ.

Also, the institution of the priesthood {(outside of Christ, our High Priest) (Hebrews 4:14)} is not found in the New Testament and so is not authorized today.To understand these principles or anything that we must do in these last days (a period which extends from the New testament times till today–see  Hebrews 1:2) bible study is necessary.

I encourage you to begin with a daily reading, so that you may cover it in a year, by clicking on the above link. Also, I encourage you to find a church where what you find, and only what you find, in the scriptures is taught and practiced and attend regularly or even better, whenever the doors are opened for worship and for study. May I suggest your local Church of Christ.

What good, then, is a study of the old testament ? Very much good. By studying it we learn much of God and how he dealt with the nation of Israel. Much of what we read in the old testament still holds true today as long as we do not try to bind its laws upon Christians today.  Paul said of the old scriptures “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, so that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4).

May God bless and keep you until next time.

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