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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.