WHY WE FOLLOW THE NEW TESTAMENT

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The Old Testament was written for Israel (the Jews)
What is the purpose of the Old Law for us?
See Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11-12, etc.

Galatians 3:19-25

The law (of Moses) was a tutor "to bring us to Christ"

Galatians 4:21-31 

Two covenants, one of bondage and one of freedom

Galatians 5:4

You who attempt to be justified by the law have fallen from grace

Colossians 2:14

the Old Law was nailed to the cross

Hebrews 1:1-2

God has spoken to us "by His Son"

Hebrews 8:6-13

Christ is mediator of a better covenant (The New Testament) and made the first obsolete.

Jude 3

The faith has been "once, for all" delivered to the saints.

Having established that the Bible is inspired of God, we must then learn to properly use it. Paul urged Timothy to, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15). The expression "rightly divide" means to properly and accurately handle the word of God. This means that as we study a passage of His Word, we must consider the context and how it relates to the rest of Godís Word.

The Bible teaches that today we are no longer under the Old Law. The New Testament is our ONLY standard of authority today.  Consider the following facts.

The Purpose of The Old Testament was to provide a law for the Jews. When man sinned (Genesis 3), God immediately began to implement the plan He had predestined before the world was made. It is manifested in the curse upon Satan, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed: He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heed." (Gen.3:15). The historical portion of the Old Testament records the development of this promise and a people through whom the promise would be fulfilled (Genesis - Esther). Job - Song Of Solomon record some of the poetry of this people, written by men who were inspired of God giving us insight into who God is, how to praise Him, real wisdom, etc. The prophets (Isaiah - Malachi) record Godís message to His people to loyally serve Him or be prepared to be rejected. Unfortunately they chose the latter. The people to whom we refer to are the nation of Israel. The Law of Moses was written for them.

Galatians 3:19-25.  In the book of Galatians, Paul is refuting the idea that Christians had to keep the law. After pointing to the flaws of the law (that it had to be kept perfectly, it was physical, no one would be justified by it, etc), and that the promise precedes the law (Gal. 3:15-18) he then proceeds to show why it was written. Galatians 3:19-25 deals with this. It begins with Paul asking, "What purpose then does the law serve?" He then adds, "It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made". The law he speaks of is the Law of Moses. In verse 24, he says, "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." The tutor here mentioned was a servant who was given the care of ensuring that his masterís children were educated. He was responsible for taking them to the teacher, and seeing that they were prepared when they went. Paul here says this was the purpose of the law to the Jews, to bring them to Christ, which was the fulfillment of the seed promise of Genesis 3. This being the case, we are no longer under the law and we cannot use it to justify what we practice. Note Paulís warning in Galatians 5:4, "You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law, you have fallen from grace."

Galatians 4:21-31 - The Old Testament Has Been Done Away With.  
In addition to pointing out that the old law (The Old Testament) was for the Jews only, Paul further stated that it had been done away with. In Galatians 4:21-31, Paul contrasts the two covenants (the Old Testament and the New Testament) using the illustration of Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was Abrahamís first child, through Hagar, Sarahís handmaiden. When he was born, God told Abraham that he was not the child of promise (Genesis 16). Some 13 years later, Isaac was born to Sarah (Genesis 21) and Sarah and Hagar depart with their children. Referring to this, Paul notes, "For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bond woman , the other by a freewoman . But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic, For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar---for this Hagar is Mt. Sinai...Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise....So then brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free." Study the text and you can see clearly that the old law is no longer in force. In Colossians 2:14, Paul said, "having wiped out the handwriting of requirements (the Old Law) that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." 

Hebrews 8:6-13. The book of Hebrews is another book that establishes the relationship of the Old Law and the New Law. The writer does so, by pointing out the superiority of Christ and the things of the New Law, over the law of Moses. Chapter 8 deal with the relationship of the old and new covenants. In vs. 6-8 we read, "...inasmuch as He (Christ) is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant (the old law) had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second, Because finding fault with them, he says, ĎBehold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah...í (a prophecy from Jeremiah 31:31-34)The writer concludes this point by saying, "In that He says, ĎA new covenantí, He has made the first obsolete." (Hebrews 8:13) Thus, the Hebrew writer points out that the old covenant has been made obsolete, that is done away with. And that is why we are not bound by the old law today. We cannot justify the way we worship or how we serve God by it. We find our authority in the New Testament.

The New Testament
As we study the New Testament, we note that the writers refer to it as the revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul, in Galatians 1:12, wrote of the gospel he preached, "...it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." This comes following an admonition to be faithful to the gospel of Christ rather than any other gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). The "another gospel" he was dealing with was the old law. The remainder of Galatians develops this point. 

The Hebrew writer begins his letter saying, "God...has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,..." (Hebrews 1:1-2). James speaks of the New Testament as "the perfect law of liberty" that we are to follow. (James 1:25). When Jude wrote of "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints,..." (Jude 3), he spoke of the New Testament.

Further more, we note that the books of the New Testament were addressed to believers in Christ. The gospels (Matthew through John), explain who Jesus was. Acts reveals the beginning of the church which Christ established and itís spread throughout the world. The rest of the Bible (Romans - Revelation) consists of letters written to churches and Christians explaining how they were to act as followers of Christ. These being inspired (see parts 2-3), of necessity would be the law we are to follow.

Among those who believe in the inspiration of the Bible, it is usually accepted that the New Testament is to be followed. Where the problem arises is in their desire to use the Old Testament in addition to the New Testament to justify their practices. But we have shown that this is not acceptable. We must follow the New Testament ONLY.

If that is the case, then what Is The Purpose Of The Old Testament To Us?  Why do WE need it? What purpose does it serve for us? The answer is found in the same New Testament that tells us the old law was done away with. 

Romans.15:4 reads, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Paul tells the church at Rome that we can learn from the Old Testament. What can we learn? We can learn about: Godís nature, why we need to be saved, and in many instances the reason behind God telling us to do certain things in a certain way. For instance, the church is patterned after the tabernacle that God instructed Moses to build in the latter part of Exodus. So we can use the old law to better understand the new law that we are under. 

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 says, "Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." Paul had just given several examples of the children of Israel as they rebelled in the wilderness on their way to Canaan (vs.1-10). He illustrates how God punished their haughty attitude. In vs. 12, Paul applies this saying, "Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." So he uses Old Testament examples to apply teachings in the New Testament. And that happens quite often. 

It gives us a better understanding of the New Testament. It is said that the New Testament quotes the Old Testament 283 times. In addition to this refers to people and events from the Old Testament many more times. How could we understand these messages of the New Testament without the Old Testament? Thus we can see that the old law is very important to us. It gives us a better understanding of the law that we are under. But we must be sure that we do NOT misuse it and try to bind it today. Let us rightly divide the word of truth.

 

 

 

 

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