Thursday, April 19, 2012

How To Read the Old Testament

As believers in Christ, we are one with Him. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 21). The righteousness of the law has been given to us; it is not something that we earn through our own efforts:

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" (Romans 5: 17)

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8: 3-4)

God sent His Son to be our Paschal Lamb, to become Sin, that we may receive His justification. Yet not only have our sins been removed from us, we receive His nature:

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1: 4)

We have been cleansed of all our sin (corruption through lust), and we are given eternal life through the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 38) -- This Life is Christ Himself (John 14: 6)

Through His death and resurrection, we are not just freed from sin, but we are freed from the demands of the law:

"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; " (Ephesians 2: 14-15)

And to make sure that no one misses this point, Paul wrote again about the "ordinances" nailed to the Cross:

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" (Colossians 2: 13-14)

So, if we are no longer living under law but under grace, walking in the Spirit, then what's the Old Testament for, since the entire Law and Prophets have been fulfilled in Christ (Matthew 5: 17)?

Jesus explains to the two followers from Emmaus:

"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. " (Luke 24: 25-27)

When we read the Old Testament, we need to seek and see Jesus! His work, His person, His everything. We need to know as much about Him as possible, for He now lives in us, and He leads us into righteousness, as in Him we have been made the righteousness of God. In essence, John summed up our new identity in Christ thus:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

"As He is, so are we. . " We are as He -- it cannot be more simple than that.

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