Old and New

“So, tonight, we’re going to study the book of Job.”

“Job. That’s in the Old Testament.”

“Yes.”

“I thought we were going to study something from the New Testament.”

“Is it true that your church doesn’t believe in the Old Testament?”

“No! I’m tired of people assuming that members of my church don’t believe in the Old Testament. It’s because we teach that one must follow the teachings of the New Testament. Teaching that one must follow the New Testament doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in the Old Testament.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. Explain your beliefs to me.”

“Well, the Bible talks about the Old and New Testaments or covenants. Jesus said that He came to do His Father’s will which He did by taking away the first covenant or testament so that He could establish the second one. The Old Testament is old because a second one was given. The New Testament is new, more recent because it came after the first one. The Old Testament was sometimes referred to as the law and the prophets because it contained the Law of Moses and the writings of the Old Testament prophets. The purpose of the Law and the writings of the prophets was to bring us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith. When Jesus died on the cross, the Old Testament had fulfilled its purpose and the New Testament was then enacted as the will of God. The New Testament provides us with God’s conditions for salvation. It governs the way we worship and conduct ourselves.”

“So, you believe that the New Covenant/Testament does away with God’s Law?”

“Yes.”

“All right. 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 say All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

“Yes, we believe that the Old Testament was inspired by God and that it is a part of His revelation to us but pointed to Christ and the New Testament. So, while we study the Old Testament and learn from it, the words of Christ and the New Testament are what will judge us in the last day.”

“Okay. You said that the Old Covenant does away with God’s Law?”

“Yes.

“In Hebrews 8:10, God said, ‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'”

“God was talking to the children of Israel.”

“Paul was writing to the Romans. He was talking to the Jews, yes but to everyone when he said, that not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified. The Law was made for man not the Jews. And Jesus said that He didn’t come to came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

“He fulfilled it at the Cross.”

“If dying on the cross abolished the Law, then why did Paul say, ‘Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself’?”

“It’s the same thing Jesus said, love your neighbor.”

“When the rich young ruler asked Jesus about what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life, Jesus said to him, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

“The rich young ruler was Jewish. He kept the commandments since he was a youth.”

“What about when James, the brother of Jesus said, ‘If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;  but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.  For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law’?”

“His letter was addressed to the twelve tribes.”

“Jesus said, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments.'”

“He could have been referring to the commandments to love God and love one another.”

“He also said ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.'” 

“Jesus fulfilled the law on the cross. Under the New Covenant, love fulfills the law.”

“The apostle John wrote, ‘Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.'”

“Again, he was talking about the two commandments, love God and love your neighbor.”

“What about Revelation 14:12 which says, ‘Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus’?”

“Again, love God and love your neighbor.”

“In Revelation 14:12 when the angel says, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’ He was clearly referring to the fourth commandment which talks about God, the Creator who made heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in six days and then rested the seventh day.”

“Really? I just see it as the angel telling us to worship our Creator and warning us about His judgment.”

“Paul asked the rhetorical question, ‘Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law’.” The Greek word he used means to make firm, to uphold or sustain, to make firm, fix.”

“I’m ready to study the book of Job if you still want us to.”

“I do. A couple of things I would like to say before we do that. The law wasn’t done away with when Jesus died. The law was never the means of salvation. That wasn’t its purpose. It was there to point out sin. Paul said that he wouldn’t have know what it mean to covet if it hadn’t been for the law. The law was external because it written on tablets of stone but now it’s written in our hearts. It is internal. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can live in obedience to it. Being under the New Covenant or under grace doesn’t make the law void.”

“Paul said that we are not under the law but under grace.”

“Yes, but what he meant is that we are not under the law as means of salvation. Salvation comes only and always by grace. But we are living in a world where sin exists and as long as sin exists, the law will too. The Bible teaches that whosoever commits sin transgresses the law for sin is the transgression of the law. Sin existed in the world and the law did too but it wasn’t written down. Joseph didn’t have the written law but he knew that adultery was a sin against God and man. So, he kept the commandment, you shall not commit adultery in his heart. Paul said that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

“He also said, But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

“Yes, but if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you are not under the condemnation of the law. The law has nothing to accuse you of. He said that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. The law isn’t going to condemn you for being loving, kind, good, faithful, etc. This is you fulfilling it. You are obeying the commandment to love God and your neighbor. When you walk by the Spirit, you are pleasing and glorifying God and as Paul pointed out, love does no harm to a neighbor and it’s the fulfillment of the law. The law is there for those who are not walking by the Spirit. They are under it’s condemnation and will continue to be until they stop transgressing it and begin to live in the and walk in the Spirit.”

He had to admit that she had some pretty convincing points and he decided that he would prayerfully consider them.

She could see that her words were having some impact and she silently thanked and praised God. “Let’s study the book of Job now.”

Sources: Britannica; Christianity.com; Timberland Drive;

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