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How Do We Respond

    • 3 posts
    September 14, 2015 4:51 PM EDT

    George Moss III's photo.

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    • 128 posts
    September 14, 2015 7:07 PM EDT

    I recently covered this on the giving teaching that I wrote. (Teachings > Giving). Many people teach that the Old Testament is no longer relevant to Christians today, and I want to make clear what I believe to be the truth. They teach that the Old Testament was given to Jews long ago and that it is not for us today, but to me, that is a flood gate of deception. They tend to write off practices like tithing and fasting which were covered extensively there.

    The cross of Jesus is the joining point of the Old and New Testament. Basic hermeneutics teaches that you interpret the Old Testament through the cross of Jesus. Some things are abolished, some things pass through unchanged, some things are changed to a higher order. If it changes, then the New Testament has to tell you about it. We do not have two completely separate Bibles, we have one Bible with an Old and New Testament authored by God and interpreted through the cross of Jesus. When something changes, then the New Testament has to tell us that it did, or else it did not change.

    Some examples:
    Sacrifice began in the Old Testament (Genesis 31:54) and was abolished at the cross by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus (Hebrews 10:12).

    Circumcision (Gen. 17:10) began in the Old Testament, but at the cross, it was changed to circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29) and Paul had to tell us that. It changed to a higher order.

    There were many laws concerning food and unclean animals in the Old Testament (Lev. 11:4). That changed at the cross and Paul told us to eat what was set before us (1Cor. 10:27). When it changed, Paul wrote that it did.

    In the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was behind a thick veil and only the high priest could enter into God’s presence, and then only once a year. In the New Testament it tells us that this veil was torn in two from top to bottom, making a way for everyone to come into God’s presence (Matt. 27:51, Mark 15:38). Entering into the presence of God changed and the New Testament records that it did.

    Praise and worship began in the Old Testament (2Sam. 6:14). David danced before God with all his might. It came through the cross unchanged. The New Testament is silent on it. Praising, worshiping, and dancing before the Lord with all of your heart is still the same, whether Old Testament or New.

    Bestiality (sex with animals) was forbidden in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:23), but the New Testament is silent about it. (Yes I know that we include that under the blanket statement of sexual immorality, but the point is that it is not explicitly mentioned in the New Testament.) It came through the cross unchanged. There was enough said in the Old Testament that the New Testament did not need to go back and cover it again. Though Jesus removed the death sentence from such sins with “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her” (John 8:7 WEB).

    Tithing was established in the Old Testament before the law, and before the ten commandments were given (Genesis 14:18) when Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek. The New Testament does not explicitly mention tithing at all, or record that it was changed or abolished, so it continues on unchanged. It is worth noting that Abraham (Gen. 14:20) and Jacob (Gen.28:22) gave God a tenth because they were thankful, not because He required it. It was hundreds of years later before tithing became a law.

    Incest, having sex with your sister and immediate family members were prohibited under the Old Testament (Duet. 27:22) but the New Testament is largely silent on it. There are many references to the blanket statement of sexual immorality (porneia) but people choose what they want that to cover, usually every sexual sin but the one they like. Still, when Paul heard about a man that “had his father’s wife”, he became furious (1Cor. 5:1). Who said this was wrong? Where was it written? Paul knew the scriptures from the Old Testament. They were relevant then, they are relevant now. The rules about incest had not changed at the cross. It was still sin.

    The New Testament writers believed that the Old Testament was authored by God as one book and that it still had meaning for their day and time. The authors of the New Testament referenced the Old Testament extensively when writing. The New Testament contains at least 343 quotations directly from the Old Testament, and at least 2,309 allusions. Every New Testament book except Philemon and 2nd and 3rd John contain references back to the Old Testament. It was written for our instruction (Romans 15:4) and is God breathed (2Tim. 3:16).

    If we throw the Old Testament out, what about everyone’s favorite scriptures and blessings contained there? “For I know the plans that I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11). “Delight yourself in Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4). Psalm 91, Psalm 23, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What about the ten commandments? All these were ancient writings given to the Jews. Are you willing to throw all of that out and say that it is not relevant for Christians today, or can we just use the Bible like a buffet and pick and choose what we like?

    Teaching that the Old Testament was given to the Jews and does not affect Christians today opens up a floodgate of hell and deception. You will run into things like “Jesus did not say that I couldn’t sleep with this animal, so it must be ok.” You pray about that and you will find out. It is my opinion that when you state that the Old Testament was given to the Jews and is not relevant to Christians today, you will instantly begin to slide away from “rightly dividing the word of God” (2Tim. 2:15). To me, there is no confusion here. The New Testament is an extension, not a replacement Bible. The Bible is one book authored by God and we are adopted into His family, grafted into the vine. Teaching that the Old Testament is not for today, is not sound doctrine.

    • 3 posts
    September 14, 2015 8:51 PM EDT

    Dion, you did a great job explaining it. And all your examples. You have helped me now know how to explain it to someone else. Have you heard of 119 Ministries-Test Everything?

    • 4 posts
    September 15, 2015 2:58 AM EDT
    Amen!
  • September 15, 2015 4:58 AM EDT

    Pastor Dion, that was a great explanation. I have an on going disagreement about this with my husband. He believes the old testament is only a history book now and means very little since the cross, while I believe more like you, that the bible in it's entire form is relevent and inspired by God. I like your examples and will probably read this to him. Thank you very much. Blessings

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    • 128 posts
    September 15, 2015 2:24 PM EDT

    [blockquote]Mark Duell said:

    Dion, you did a great job explaining it. And all your examples. You have helped me now know how to explain it to someone else. Have you heard of 119 Ministries-Test Everything?

    [/blockquote]

    No I have not. I just know that the Cross of Jesus is bridge between the testaments  :)

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    • 128 posts
    September 15, 2015 8:21 PM EDT

    Brian, variety is the spice of life. Speak your mind, we all have different ones, but all are welcome and it does not have to agree with mine in order to be right :)

    • 1 posts
    September 17, 2015 10:54 PM EDT

    This is totally cool... it has answerd some questons i had..  this is the best thing i have read lately except for the bible.  wow this is so great.. thank you...