I was saved about a year after I graduated from high school. Jesus saved me. I’ve read and heard many snarky replies to that simple statement. To half of our culture, it’s not understandable anymore. One thing that is definitely interfering with understanding is too much old testament and not enough new. I’ve noticed it in talking to people and reading articles, replies and rebuttals. Online replies and videos and articles repeatedly use the same old testament passages to defend everything from unbelief to same-sex marriage and abortion. Their defense is that old testament laws are archaic and ridiculous when placed next to our more ‘progressive’ understanding of the world, and they claim that the stories are full of death and destruction by God Himself. Would it matter if they didn’t read the whole story? How important is reading and understanding the story with any other book? All of history is full of death and destruction, but is that the whole story? How many stories would survive if they ended in death and destruction? Do we not yearn for some shred of redemption?
Everyone who has ever read a book knows what happens to that story when it is made into a movie. True fans can get very upset if the movie leaves out important characters or scenes or changes the plot entirely. The books of the bible collected into one volume are diverse types of literature, written by many men, inspired by one God. The stories are rich and full, and bloom into a deeper understanding over a lifetime of reading and experiencing life. This is especially true of the old testament, and those difficult stories and passages that confuse the world about God’s character. However, as important and foundational as the old testament is to understanding the character of God, Jesus and the Christian life, the new testament needs double the attention from individual Christians and the church.
1. Israel is to God the Father as the Church is to Jesus the Son –
The church is the bride of Christ. His words should be on our lips, and in our minds and hearts.
*See gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
2. The new testament covers the period of time in which we are now living –
All that we need to know as the church about how to live, how to be and what to do is right in the new testament. We are soldiers.
*2 Timothy 2 goes a long way to covering the many entanglements we find ourselves in with the culture. We should not entangle ourselves. Period.
3. The new testament contains the story of redemption that is offered to every man, everywhere, for a limited time only.
Act now. Time is running out. We have no assurances in the new testament that we can ‘heal our land’. Every reading of the new testament, from every angle, conveys the picture of a world that has smashed into the ice berg already and is going down at the head.
*For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Cor 6:2
4. Old testament heroes – old; New testament heroes – martyrs
Noah, Abraham, Methuseleh, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Job, Daniel, David, etc. Lived many years, wise, wrote, spoke, time to wander, to have many children, to build the temple, to restore the temple, to own lands, etc.
Jesus, crucified – Paul, martyred – Stephen, martyred – Peter, martyred – John, exiled – James, martyred –
*”And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held…” Rev. 6:9
This is our legacy. In the new testament, there is no basis for thinking our lands will be healed, our country restored and our buildings and heritage honored by the world. We have become too entangled with the world. Let’s get out of the hog pen and head back home. Christ is our heritage. Christ is our legacy. Christ is our leader.