Saturday, December 14, 2019

"Old Testament and New" Part 6 - The Continuity and the Distinction

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe

 "Old Testament and New"

Part 6  - The Continuity and the Distinction

    Every word, sentence, verse, chapter, and book of the Bible concerns the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).

   Note that the Lord Jesus spoke these words when only the Old Testament existed.  Thus, even though He is not directly named in the Old Testament writings, He dwells therein through prophecy, type, metaphor, symbol, and even a few Christophanies (pre-incarnate appearances of Christ in the Old Testament).  Our Lord serves as the theme of the Old no less than than the New, where He bursts forth in the bright sunlight of name, advent, life, teaching, death, resurrection, and indwelling of the church during the present dispensation of God's revelation in His Son.  "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

   The Old Testament promises that Christ will come.  The New Testament assures that He has come (and will come again).  From hope in a Messiah to the Holy Spirit's indwelling, both the continuity and distinction of the Scriptures must be maintained in our understanding and response to God's truth.  As the saying goes, "All Scripture is written for us, but not all Scripture is written to us."  The Old Testament speaks primarily to and about an earthly nation, Israel, and God's historical dealings that led to a Savior who would ultimately impact the entire world.  The New Testament concerns this Savior's birthing of a Heavenly people, the church, and His working through her to proclaim saving grace offered to the hearts of individuals throughout the world.  Of course, the church was foretold in the Old Testament, and Israel is promised future redemption in the New (Isaiah 11:10; Romans 11:25-29).  Still, we maintain the distinction in order to understand the Bible, and respond to its mighty revelation of grace and truth presently offered to all who trust in the Christ who redeems and inhabits human hearts.  "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).

   We "search the Scriptures" to seek the living Word, the Lord Jesus, of whom the written Word, the Bible, bears witness.  We discover the same Christ, but revealed in different dispensations and applications.  Recognizing both the continuity and the distinction prepares us to rightly interpret the Bible, and rightly respond to the illuminating and encouraging light of promises made, promises fulfilled, and promises in the process of being fulfilled.  

"Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old."
 (Matthew 13:52)
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth."
 (II Timothy 2:15)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(I Corinthians 2:14).


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