KEEPING THE OLD FRESH
Knowledge of the Old Testament is more than just knowing facts about the Old Testament or the events and characters of the Old Testament. While we, as Christians, are not under the Old Testament’s Law of Israel, there are various reasons we need to read, study and comprehend the Old Testament.
First, it was written for our admonition and learning (Roman 15:4 Cor. 10:11). Often in the New Testament, the writers make an appeal to the Old Testament. Heb. 3:12-19—remain steadfast; James 5:7-11—be patient in suffering; 2 Peter 2-3 – warning regarding false teachers and scoffers.
The Old Testament scriptures make one wise regarding salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 3:14-15). In the Old Testament we learn of the fall of man and the rise of sin; the background and development of God’s plan of salvation; hundreds of Messianic prophecies which describe the Christ and what to expect when He would come. There is no way for one to fully understand the book of Hebrews without an understanding off the Levitical priesthood or the book of Revelation without an understanding of prophecy and apocalyptic literature.
The writings of the Old Testament are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Doctrine: e.g., the nature of God, man and sin; Reproof: e.g., the need for repentance from sin; Instruction in righteousness: e.g., how to live godly lives. Often the apostles referenced the Old Testament to instruct Christians regarding their conduct (Rom. 12:19-21; 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1; 9:7-10; James 2:20-26; 1 Peter 3:8-12). Old Testament writings are profitable for these things in order that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17).
The Old Testament must be a part of our ongoing Bible study. We should include it in a daily Bible reading plan. The Psalms, Proverbs and Prophets contain valuable lessons that can guide us in our daily pursuit of holiness.
We should not ignore the Old Testament because it provides the background and setting of the New Testament. There is much to be found there pertaining to our admonition, learning, comfort, hope and wisdom concerning our salvation in Christ.
ALL scripture is inspired of God, and is profitable…” (2 Tim 3:16).