Clinton church of Christ

Are we subject to the Old Testament or the New Testament?

July 21, 2009

John Allan

The Old Testament was God’s law for the Jews and even they are no longer subject to it. Christ did away with the old law when he was crucified.

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; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. (Ephesians 2:15-16)

In Colossians 2:14 Paul writes, “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. The book of Hebrews explains this subject very well. Let’s look at what it has to say. Hebrews 8:6-7 says that Christ had “obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant (testament), which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant (testament) had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second”. Farther down in the same chapter (verses 8-12), the Hebrew writer quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34. The prophet says that the time will come when God will make a new covenant with his people, this is the New Testament. For further study, read Hebrews chapters 8-10. These chapters show in great detail that we are no longer under the old law, but the new.

So then, why do we have a record of the old law? The Old Testament was given to us to show us many things. It shows us how we got here and what our purpose is while we are here. It shows us that God is a loving and merciful God and that He will keep his promises. It also shows that God can and does punish those who disobey Him, but if they repent and do his will he will forgive them. It tells of the promised messiah (Christ) who would come and set up a kingdom (the Church) that will never be destroyed.

Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. (Romans 15:4)

In addition to giving us hope, it was to prepare us for Christ, as can be seen in Galatians 3:23-25, “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster”.

We are not subject to the old law today, only the new. We have the Old Testament to build our faith in God and his promises. I’ll leave you with the message that Paul gave Timothy before he died in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Law.

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