ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE

ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE

The Old Testament was the Bible of Jesus and the Apostles and it is the foundation upon which the New Testament is built. Anyone today teaching, saying, or implying we do not need the Old Testament isn’t new. If you would read Church History you’d find there was a heresy put forward by a heretic named Marcion who is best known for believing the Old Testament Scriptures weren’t of use to the Christian and that the God of the Old Testament wasn’t the same God revealed in the New Testament. He rejected the Hebrew Scriptures and the God of Israel. His heresy known as “Marcionism,” believed that the message of the gospel and the New Testament was simply love and grace, that there was no law or wrath in the God Jesus Christ came to reveal. Because he viewed the Old Testament often portrays him in terms of law, judgment, and wrath, Marcion said that the God of the Old Testament was not the God of Jesus Christ, but instead was another god who had nothing in common with the God of the New Testament.

 

Don’t allow anyone to say or imply that we should jettison the Old Testament Scriptures from our New Testament faith. There are several reasons that the Old Testament is still valuable to the faith of a New Testament Believer.

 

  1. THE NEW TESTAMENT ITSELF SAYS THE OLD TESTAMENT IS PROFITABLE 2 Timothy 3:15 – 17.

The writers of the New Testament viewed the Old Testament Scriptures as documents of divine origin and inspiration (Luke 2:22-24; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19, 20; 2 Peter 3:2). The New Testament writers constantly quote the Old Testament. One estimate is that there are at least 845 quotes, citations, and allusions the Old Testament in the New (some say more or less). The undeniable truth is that the message of the New Testament has its foundation in the Old Testament Scriptures.

 

  1. IT IS A WRITTEN SOURCE OF WARNING AND INSTRUCTION 1 Corinthians 10:11; Romans 15:4

 

The Apostle Paul even said an Old Testament principle from the Law of Moses was also written for our sake in the New Testament when giving a defense of His Apostleship. He said in 1 Corinthians 9:7-10, “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 OR SAITH HE IT ALTOGETHER FOR OUR SAKES? FOR OUR SAKES, NO DOUBT THIS IS WRITTEN: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.”

 

  1. IT IS A SACRED ACCOUNT OF THE ORIGIN OF CREATION, MANKIND, AND MARRIAGE Genesis 1:1; 1:26 – 28; 2:24

It reveals God as a Creator, that the world didn’t just happen, that God made man and woman with dominion to rule in the Earth under Him. The institution of marriage was God’s idea and this one flesh relationship was designed to be between one man and one woman.

 

  1. IT RECORDS THE ENTRY OF EVIL (SIN, SATAN, AND THE CURSE) INTO THE EARTH GOD ORIGINALLY CREATED TO BE VERY GOOD Genesis 1:31; 3:13- 19; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22

The Old Testament accounts of Adam’s sin help us understand the entry of sin and spiritual death upon all men.

 

  1. IT LAYS THE FOUNDATION ABOUT COVENANTS, BIBLICAL PROPHECY OF CHRIST’S COMING, AND LAST THINGS OR END TIMES Genesis 3:15 -19; 9:1-18; 12:1-3; 15:1-7; 17:1-8; Exodus 20:1-31:18; Deuteronomy; 2 Sam. 7:4-16; Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:25-28.

 

It is in the Old Testament that we gain the foundational knowledge of God being a God Who promises by covenant. After the Creation and man’s Fall into sin, God made seven redemptive covenants in order to return and recover His original intention.

 

The Old Testament also provides many predictions of the future. The prophets predicted the culmination of God’s redemptive work in history starting with the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Isaiah 53:3-7; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9; Psalm 22:16-18), then His Return in the end times (Daniel 7-12). It is very difficult and most of the time speculative to try to understand Jesus’ teaching on the end times in Matthew 24 and the Apostle John’s Revelation without a foundation from Old Testament Scriptures.
It is the Old Testament that also gives us the predictions for Jesus’ birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection.

 

  1. IT DEFINES SIN, IMPUTES GUILT TO ALL MEN, AND POINTS TO ALL MEN’S NEED OF A SAVIOR Romans 3:19; 1 Timothy 1:8-10.

What is right and holy come from God from His nature and character. This was codified or revealed in His law in the Old Testament. The morality placed in the Law existed before the Law God gave Moses because it came from God’s character. His holy righteous character is the same before, during, and after the Law of Moses.
The sacrifices of the Old Testament were a reminder of the need for divine forgiveness from sin and transgression of God’s law (Hebrews 10:3) and in type pointed to man’s need of a Savior. Jesus became the all-sufficient sacrifice and Savior once for all.
Sin in the New Testament is defined as the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). The Law was designed to make all men aware that they are guilty of being sinners, are subject to wrath, totally unable to save themselves, and need a Savior. Sin existed before the Law, subjecting man to spiritual and physical death, but after the Law was given, it could be defined and labeled as transgression of a specific standard (Romans 5:12, 13). The New Testament itself tells us that The Law of Moses from the Old Testament also has a permanent role and is still good if it is used lawfully to reveal man’s sinfulness and behaviors contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:8-10).

 

  1. IT PROVIDES THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OUT OF WHICH GOD’S REDEMPTIVE PLAN AND CHRISTIANITY CAME FROM

We have a recorded historical record of how God through His covenant dealings would redeem man and bring forth salvation. Jesus said, “… for salvation is of the Jews, John 4:22,” which meant the Savior, the Messiah, would proceed from the lineage of the Jewish people. Starting with Abraham, He would give them a land of blessing, inheritance, and destiny. He would bring forth a people, a nation. Through that nation He would bring forth a family. Through that family He would bring forth a seed, a redeemer, a second Adam, a new race, a new creation; and God in covenant with the second Adam, redeem the human race. Judaism didn’t come out of Christianity but Christianity came out of Judaism (Romans 11:11-27).
The Old Testament also gives us important historical facts to the history in the Middle East between 2000 and 200 B.C. The Old Testament aides our understanding of events in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece, all Gentile world powers with regard to their treatment of God’s Old Covenant people and nation of Israel.

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THE OLD TESTAMENT – WARNING AND LEARNING FOR US

 

Warning and learning from the Old Testament

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

 

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

 

An inaccurate picture of the Christian life can presented when we neglect the picture God gave us in the Old Testament. Both Testaments come from the heart of God for us. There are some misinformed preachers who leave the impression that there’s nothing to learn from the Old Testament but that is error. Some have even suggested to their congregation that we should disconnect our faith from the Old Testament. I always wonder what part of God’s moral law are they trying to get around or are violating when they say that. God has given us other people’s experiences and testimonies to learn from to help us and encourage us to walk in blessing Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11. The Old Testament was given for learning and warning.

 

Think of this, the Old Testament was the Bible of Jesus and the Apostles and it is the foundation upon which the New Testament is built. There’s things in the New Testament that we claim, like the blessing of Abraham (Gal. 3:13, 14, 29), that have their origin in the Old Testament. Reading the Old Testament gives a context to understanding what’s going on in our lives especially when it comes to walking in our destiny, possessing the promises of God, and the conflicts that go with the territory of being a Christian. For instance:

 

Do you realize the PROMISED LAND (Canaan’s Land), the land God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants in (Genesis 12; Genesis 17), called the land that flowed with milk and honey was also the LAND OF CONFLICT? God promised to bring them out of Egypt to bring them into this land (Deuteronomy 6:23). When this covenant promise was passed on to Moses God declared in Exodus 3:7-8, “7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” All of those people named with “ites” at the end of their names were enemies the people of God would have to face and conquer. That meant there were enemies and a conflict they’d have to engage in, not run from, fret about, or get beat up by, in order to possess their land (blessing/destiny).

 

When you get to the Book of Numbers, the theme of the book could be called preparation for service in route to the Promised Land. As Moses had proclaimed in Exodus 15:3, “The Lord is a man of war (or the Lord is a Warrior) after crossing the Red Sea, in Numbers the Lord can be seen preparing them for battle. He numbers them, teaches them how to camp and march, feeds them with warrior rations (manna), disciplines them to obey His delegated authorities, and leads them in battle. Though He redeemed them from Egypt they were brought OUT to then be brought IN to the Promised Land, their destiny. He did not save them to a life of ease, permissiveness, and independence; rather, He saved them for training, service, warfare, and conquest. A key phrase (used 14 times) “All that were ready to go forth to war.” If you think the goal of the Christian life is comfort, you probably won’t like to hear this, and are probably getting beat up on by the enemy. In this preparation (Numbers 1-20) which constituted their boot camp experience, the Lord showed them that no enemy could stand against them if they trusted His power and obeyed His Word.

 

Some Christians are mesmerized by the conflict they face in their daily lives and often wonder if they are out of God’s will in some way. The conflict you are experiencing could be that you’ve crossed over into your Promised Land, the land of your destiny, and the place of fruitfulness God has planned.  We need the Old Testament testimony to give us hope in our present battles. Let’s read the whole Bible and fight the good fight of faith.

 

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Faith Produces Good Works

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Our faith is seen by our works or they show what we believe. Belief with no deeds is no higher than what demons believe. I’d call that demon faith. There is something just as bad and it is dead faith. Our works after salvation justify us that the original belief in God we exercised was genuine. That is what the scriptures say of Abraham’s faith when he was willing to offer up his son Isaac. Rahab is also used as one whose works justified her. Both of their works gave evidence, or proof, that their initial experience of belief in God was valid.

To a person destitute of daily food, words alone don’t prove I care though I may say I care a thousand times. Faith like love always produces good works when it is genuine. Faith cannot be shown to be genuine or proven to men to be genuine if not accompanied by good works. If faith is there it will have some practical visible influence on one’s life.

The most certain proof of the existence of faith is good works. It shows without a doubt you are saved for faith always produces evidence of its existence which is good works. Faith without good works is as lifeless as a corpse or a body without a spirit inside. We know the spirit is inside, though you cannot see it, because we see the body alive outside. We can know faith or genuine belief is inside of a person by the good works we see outwardly.

We can know a person believes in tithing, because we see him tithe.

We can know a person believes in prayer, because we see him praying.

We can know a person believes in church, because we see them attending.

We can know a person believes in a church’s vision and mission because we see them working to bring it to pass.

We can know a person believes in the graces and gifts God has given them by seeing them serve and function.

We can know a person believes their body is the temple of the Holy Ghost because we can see them living holy.

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone James 2:17.” Faith alone saves (Rm. 3:28) but the faith that saves is not alone (James 2:14, 17, 20, 22, 26). It should issue forth good works.

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FAITH WORKS

Mark 11:22-26 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Jesus said to have faith in God and then listed some principles (Mark 11:23-26) of how faith works or how faith can be used. Faith in the Bible is not just talking about the Christian faith like other faiths (Jewish; Buddhist; Hindu…) but also as a law (Rom. 3:27) or principle to use. Jesus had just demonstrated using His faith in the previous verses (read vv. 12-21). Here are some wonderful things to know about the faith God has given us to use works:

1. Faith works by saying to REMOVE things v. 23.

2. Faith works by praying to RECEIVE things v. 24.

3. Faith works only when we forgive and RELEASE things toward others vv. 25, 26.

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FAITH DOESN’T END AT SALVATION

faith-doesnt-end-at-salvation

 

Some say the faith talked about in the Bible means the Christian faith as a religion like the Jewish faith, Islamic faith, Hindu faith, and in some places it does when you see it called “the faith;” but what about faith in the promises of God (2 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Peter 1:2‑4; Romans 4:16‑23). Some say we need to move beyond faith because Hebrews 6:1 tells us “… let us go on to perfection (maturity), not laying again the foundation… of faith toward God.” The foundation we are not to keep laying again is using faith to get saved again and again, or of repenting from dead works and turning toward God with faith and getting saved. Faith continues after salvation which is the door to the life and walk of faith. We go from faith to faith (Romans 1:17) and Jesus is called the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) indicating a development, a maturing. Faith is for more than getting saved and faith doesn’t end at salvation. There’s faith for:

 

HEALING

Acts 14:7 And there they preached the gospel. 8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: 9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

 

PROTECTION

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

DIRECTION

Proverb 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

WISDOM

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

VICTORY

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 

ANSWERED PRAYER

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

 

ENDURING LIFE’S TRIALS

2 Thessalonians  1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

 

God has never had a plan that didn’t work, and He plans for His children to “live” and “walk” by faith Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7.

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FIX YOUR BELIEVING

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Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

 

Believing God’s Word makes things possible that men say are impossible. Mark 9:23 says, “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” We receive from God through believing what He says in His Word. Some interesting things about believing:

 

  1. GOD ALLOWS MAN TO DECIDE WHAT HE WILL BELIEVE

 

We can believe wrong and believe a lie/He won’t force us to believe His Word.

 

John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he (Thomas) said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

He didn’t force Thomas to believe but he was basing his belief only on what he could feel and see. We are not blessed when we believe like that. John 20:29 says, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

 

 

  1. EVERY PERSON BELIEVES SOMETHING

 

Romans 3:3 says, “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Even unbelief is a belief for those that in this verse, “…did not believe…” the Gospel. They did believe something. It is a belief in sense knowledge over spiritual knowledge. Unbelief is a belief in something other than God’s Word. All of your life you will believe something; and without knowing it, you may have more belief in your doubts than in the Word of God.  You can be an unbelieving believer. Think about these:

 

  1. Even an atheist believes something. It is a belief that there is no God.
  2. Even discouragement involves a belief. It is a belief that there is no hope and every loss is final.
  3. Even frustration has elements of belief in it. It is a belief you have been stopped and it is all over because your goal has been blocked or forward progress cannot be achieved.
  4. Even anxiety is a belief. It is a belief about the future: that something bad will happen or something good will not happen.
  5. Even fear is a belief. It is a belief in a lie or false evidence appearing real.

We are believing something all the time but it may not be the truth of God’s Word.

 

 

  1. EVERY PERSON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HE BELIEVES.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (the saved).

 

Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (the unsaved).

 

Jesus delegated authority (Matthew 28:18) and responsibility to all who believe (Mark 16:15) but along with that is accountability where we will give an account to Him.

 

 

 

  1. YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL IF A PERSON’S BELIEVING IS RIGHT BY WHAT HE SAYS AND HOW HE ACTS.

 

2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

 

Faith, though it is an invisible spiritual force, can be seen in our words and actions.

 

Examine yourself (2 Corinthians 13:5) to see if you truely believe God’s Word or are simply mentally assenting; that is, agreeing His Word is true but not actually exercising your faith in it.

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FIGHTING GOD APPROVES OF

 

          fighting-god-approves-ofWhen a person is born again into the Christian faith and is given by God the measure of faith (Rm. 12:3) they must realize that there is a fight to faith. 1 Timothy 6:12 says, “Fight the good fight of faith…” and the word used for fight means to contend for a prize; to contend with an adversary or compete for a prize; to endeavor to accomplish something even to struggle for it. The word implies conflict, opposition, struggle, and resistance. This fight has nothing to do with overcoming any reluctance on God’s part to give us something provided in Christ or promised but it is a normal part of being a Christian and receiving things by faith. It is a “good fight,” one that is honorable and approved by God for us to be involved in and good because Jesus won the victory allowing us to win in life’s circumstances. What do we fight the good fight of faith for?

 

  1. WE EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE CHRISTIAN FAITH Jude 3.

The faith is the Christian faith: its truths, purity, standards, and power once handed down from Jesus to the Apostles, prophets, and early believers requires a fight to keep them intact. We have to contend to keep them from being tarnished, diluted, compromised, adjusted or adapted down to the rottening values and corruption in culture.

 

  1. WE FIGHT TO FINISH OUR COURSE 2 Timothy 4:7.

What we are called to do, gifted to do, and God planned for us to do requires a fight to continue to be faithful and to keep our focus on our assignment. The race, the prescribed course God has set before us we have to finish. Jesus finished the work God gave Him to do (Jn. 17:4) and there is a fight to being a finisher. Paul maintained his fidelity to the plan God had for his life, he kept the faith, and was a finisher.

 

  1. WE FIGHT TO BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS IN HIS WORD 1 Timothy 6:12.

We fight to hold on to what we believe from God’s Word over the contradicting circumstances or what we think, feel, and see. We believe and say what God’s Word says whether it is a FACT of our redemption that is already accomplished or a PROMISE that is not a fact yet but is feasible, can happen, or potentially possible.

 

FACTS of our redemption are spiritual realities that won’t be altered by our faith whether we believe them or not nor will they be any more a spiritual reality when we get to Heaven than they are now. They are like what is stated in Ephesians chapter one in vv. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 which says we are blessed, chosen, His children, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, and washed in His Blood. The conditions in our circumstances, as well as our thoughts, feelings, and what we see may seem to indicate we are cursed, passed over, abandoned, rejected, bound, guilty, and not cleansed. The good fight of faith is we acknowledge and give full recognition to the facts of our redemption continuing to believe and say what God’s Word says. Our faith in these facts energizes our life with strength, hope, and joy.

 

PROMISES we believe are ours because we have a covenant with God but differ from FACTS because they are potential. Something that can but has not yet come into being, they are obtainable, attainable, available, capable, and possible. The fight of faith involves laying hold of the hope set before us in a promise (He. 6:18) and then hold fast to the profession of what we hope for without bending (Heb. 10:23). The Bible says we are to be, “…followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” We fight with speaking what we believe and we believe God’s Word. You can always tell how the fight is going by our words. The battle is always won or lost with our words. Our thoughts, feelings, and what we see in our circumstances may contradict the promise we are believing but we fight the fight of faith. God’s working, satan’s fighting, and we’re holding fast.

 

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