Final Updated On
My guess is if you have grown up in a Christian household, or at least a household that went to church on Christmas and Easter, you likely have a particular level of respect for the Bible. You likely didn’t study it. But you believed it. No judgement, that is my story also.
You likely have been also taught that the entire Bible was certainly correct. Not a single error. And that the entire Bible, Old and New, have been equally helpful to enable us know God and reside as he desires us to.
And that is exactly where the dilemma comes in. Most Christians in the western globe are taught that the Old and New Testament are equal. But they’re not.
The Bible, when all correct, is not equally applicable to our lives.
I know for some of you that is a really hard pill to swallow. But hang with me. The New Testament > The Old Testament. The New Testament is a superior deal and we are no longer held to the laws of the Old Testament. That’s not to say the Old Testament is useless and we shouldn’t study it. It is nonetheless helpful and we must study it. But we have to have to study it in light of what Jesus has accomplished.
The Challenge with the Old Covenant
The Old Testament is primarily based about a covenant that God created with Abraham. It is the foundation of the Law the Jews followed, and it is how one particular earned their righteousness.
The dilemma with the Old Covenant?
In short… No one could reside up to it.
If you study by way of the Old Testament not a single particular person was in a position to reside up to the needs of the Old Testament. They all failed. The dilemma with the Old Covenant is that we, humans, have been not capable of fulfilling the needs.
That is of course till Jesus came along… But we’ll get there in a minute.
Of course God didn’t leave his folks hanging. He offered a way for when they fell quick. The sacrifice of an animal that took the location of the person’s sins. Some thing had to die so that their sin could be forgiven. And kill they did. Numerous animals have been slaughtered so the sins of God’s folks would be forgiven.
This had been going on for more than a 1,000 years by the time Jesus entered the image and changed almost everything.
For the sake of time I’m not going to go into how the Old Covenant worked or all the specifics about the Law. If you want to study far more on that verify out my short article: What’s the Point of the Old Testament Law?
What Jesus Mentioned
By the time Jesus came about the Law was ingrained in the Jew’s DNA considering that Moses walked down the mountain with the 10 Commandments. They have been sticklers for the guidelines. By the book sort of folks. So a great deal so that they added laws to the Law just to make confident they didn’t break the Law. Of course they nonetheless did, mainly because no one particular could basically reside up to the Law. But that didn’t hold them from holding other folks to the Law.
Jesus enters the image and entirely rocks their globe. He wouldn’t leave the Law alone, he kept pocking at it. Worse nonetheless he compared himself to Moses and sooner or later claimed to be God. Which is generally the worst offense against the Law you can commit… Unless it is true…
Jesus Fulfills the Law
Matthew five:17-20 is likely Jesus’ most quoted passage about the Law. But it is drastically misquoted and misunderstood. Normally the 1st sentence of this passage is employed as a proof text for the way Jesus didn’t do away with the Law. “Do not feel that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets.” And they are appropriate. Jesus didn’t abolish the Law… But he did fulfill it. It is in the subsequent sentence.
Jesus claims that He came to fulfill the law, a curious statement to the listening Jews. To fulfill the Law was not possible. It wasn’t one thing you could fulfill, it was one thing you comply with. Later in this passage He tends to make an outlandish claim, that for the Law to save you, you would have to comply with it superior than the Pharisees. There ain’t no one that could do that. Effectively except Jesus…
In other words he’s saying that there’s two bargains.. You can hold living beneath the Law, you can hold following the 613 laws.
If you do that you have to do it completely. Greater than anybody else. Even the very best of the very best are not superior sufficient.
The other deal?
A new covenant. A new commandment.
A New Commandment (to replace the rest)
If we flip more than to John 13:31-35 we see Jesus claiming to have a new commandment. This is not an addition to, but rather in location of. He didn’t say, Behold I give you the 614th commandment. No. Jesus ushered in an completely new deal. A new covenant.
He clarifies this by saying, “By this all folks will know that you are my disciples.” These listening would have been pondering, whoa, calm down Jesus. The Bible (the Old Testament) tells us that we are identified for our observance of the law. You are telling us that now we just have to comply with this one particular commandment?
In quick yes. We have the advantage of understanding the complete story. His followers didn’t. Jesus would certainly fulfill the law on the cross. He would fulfill it and replace it. No longer do we have to have the 613 laws for us to be righteous we are now marked by our really like for God and other folks. No longer do we have to have to sacrifice an animal every time we sin Jesus died as soon as for all.
This is exactly where some of you will point to the moral laws, such as the 10 Commandments, and accuse me of downplaying sin or disregarding scripture. Not what I’m performing. The Old Testament is nonetheless helpful and I would argue the New Covenant has larger expectations (and some similarities to the old). Extra on that final point in the subsequent section.
This is eventually why the Jews attempted to kill Jesus. Since he was replacing their DNA, the only point they knew. The Law. He introduced one thing new. And they killed him for it. Of course that couldn’t cease him. In truth that was the strategy all along. The final sacrifice for all sins of all time.
The New Covenant
So what is this new covenant? This one particular is really unique from the old. In the old covenant your righteousness was primarily based off your adherence to the law. Beneath the new covenant our righteousness is primarily based off Jesus fulfilling the law.
The Old Covenant had 613 laws. The New Covenant has one particular. John 13:31-35. Like one particular an other as I have loved you.
But not quick.
Jesus replaces the difficult old covenant with a new, superior covenant. Romans eight:three-four summarizes this very best.
Although the New Covenant is uncomplicated it is not quick. There may not be 613 guidelines to comply with, but the new rule is not quick. Although the cost of entry is free of charge, and for actually every person, there’s an expectation as soon as you are in. Just go study Matthew five-7 to see how Jesus expects his followers to act. What you will see in numerous approaches is an elevation of the Old Covenant laws that pertain to our remedy of other folks. Jesus created the entry to the New Covenant quick, but he expects a lot out of his followers.
But fortunately there’s hope. We no longer are held down by our errors and dependent on continual sacrifices. Very best of all beneath the New Covenant we have God not only with us, but in us, assisting us. We are not alone.
The Rest of the New Testament Agrees With Jesus
Do not think Jesus? Fine. Not the location I’d want to be… But the rest of the New Testament agrees with Jesus replacing the Old Covenant also. Not adding to, but replacing.
Definitely you can take all of Hebrews, but Hebrews eight:six is the pinnacle. This is a brilliant book written by _______… Effectively we do not know who. Possibly they also feared for their life for writing such damning words about the Old Covenant. They create the similar factors that got Jesus killed. Why threat it? It is foolish… Unless it is correct.
I like how Wayne Grudem explains this in his book, Christian Ethics:
It is critical to comprehend that the author of Hebrews is not saying that some old covenant laws are no longer binding on Christians (such as sacrificial laws or purity laws, for instance), but that the old covenant itself, that entire technique of laws that defined the connection with God and his folks, is no longer in impact.
Let’s appear at one particular more…
Paul Believes It Too
At one particular point in Paul’s life he claimed to comply with the Law superior than anybody else. And then abruptly he met the resurrection Jesus. And right away left the Old Covenant behind. Why? Since the new deal is so a great deal superior.
New Testament scholar Thomas Schreiner puts it this way:
Paul argues that the entirety of the law has been set aside now that Christ has come. To say that the ‘moral’ components of the law continue to be authoritative blunts the truth that the whole Mosaic covenant is no longer in force for believers.
The New Testament is in agreement. The old is out and the new is in.
But this is exactly where the issues start off. The old keeps coming back. Christians hold attempting to place the old commandments back in location.
Cease Mixing the Old and the New
Beneath Old Covenant there have been a lot of guidelines you had to hold in order to stay righteous. 613 to be precise. If you have been to thumb by way of the Torah (the 1st five books of the OT) you would locate a entire slew of laws.
Most of them we got no dilemma not following any longer. We have broken numerous of them without the need of even understanding. Consuming bacon, mixing fabrics in our clothing, only worshipping on the Sabbath (which is Saturday FYI), and so on… But we have this habit of reaching back into the Old Covenant and choosing and deciding upon particular teachings, sayings, and narratives to help our view.
This is not new. This began minutes soon after Jesus ascended into heaven. The 1st Christians began telling new Christians they had to consume a particular way, and they had to be circumcised. Which as you can image was a deal breaker for many… They have been mixing the old and the new. But Jesus fulfilled and replaced the old.
This has triggered remarkable harm more than the years. The Crusades only existed mainly because of this mix and match style of theology. They weren’t following the New Covenant way of living Jesus set up. Possibly we are not killing folks these days (hopefully), but we are nonetheless causing harm by mixing the old and the new.
Cease placing roadblocks that make it tougher for folks to come to Jesus. Cease adding laws to the New Covenant. And cease seeking to an inferior covenant when we have one particular that is a great deal higher. What Jesus achieved for us is so a great deal superior.
Let me finish with Andy Stanley who just wrote a terrific book that covers this subject a great deal superior than I ever could. It is known as Irresistible… So, when I think there is a great deal we can study from studying and preaching on the Old Testament, we have to now take our cue from the promises fulfilled in Jesus—the new. The way we treat other folks is not primarily based on 10 Commandments, but on one particular command offered by Jesus—“Love one particular one more. As I have loved you, so you have to really like one particular one more.” (John 13:34 15:12). We have to have to ask: what does this really like need of me? And this informs our apologetic strategy to reaching folks. For me, it begins by introducing them to Jesus and the miracle of his resurrection. That is one thing we’ve under no circumstances observed just before in human history. It is brand new. And that is what tends to make Christianity irresistible.
So let’s right here from you… What’s your thoughts?