Devotional #2 - The Holy Bible
OLD TESTAMENT / NEW TESTAMENT
Have You Ever Wondered?
1. Why is there an Old Testament and a New Testament in the Bible?
2. Did God change His mind and decide to treat the Church differently than Israel?
3. How does the NT (New Testament) and the OT (Old Testament) work together?
This Is What God Says: (Scripture Reading)
Deuteronomy 26:16 - 27:1 ; Romans 7:6,7
This Is How We Understand It:
“Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.
That’s the way it was in the Old Testament (OT). God gave Israel His law to live by and that was it! You either walked according to God’s law or you didn’t. No, it wasn’t just the 10 commandments that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai; He gave them over 600 laws to keep. The fact is, God knew that the people of Israel weren’t perfect. He knew that they would fail to keep the whole law, and so He also gave them an opportunity to find atonement for their sins.
Jehovah God instituted for Israel a system of sacrifices or offerings. For certain sins they could offer up to God “meal offerings” which consisted of grain and oil. For other sins they would offer “meat offerings”. For these they would sacrifice a goat, bull, or lamb on the altar, shedding its blood so that their sins could be covered until the next time they made sacrifices. Like it says in Hebrews 10:4 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” This is the way it was until Jesus Christ came over 400 years after the book of Malachi was written, the last book of the OT.
Jesus Christ is introduced to us at the beginning of the New Testament (NT). “And you shall call his name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21) And you know what? This was God’s plan all along.
In the OT God chose Israel to be His special nation through which the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come. He gave them His law to show Israel that they could never be perfect enough to enter into God’s heaven, and He gave them the system of sacrifices to remind them that blood had to be shed by someone to atone or "pay" for their sins. For neither the Law nor Sacrifices could save a soul from their sins. Let me say that again. Keeping the law and making sacrifices will not save you.
In the NT God sent His Son Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, to offer up His body and shed His blood as the Final Sacrifice. Not only would Jesus save Israel from their sins, but He would also be the Savior of the whole world. This is what many Israelites failed to understand. God had a plan that would join all believers around the world under One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism - The Church. And if any in Israel would place their faith in their prophesied Savior, they too would be included in God’s new Church.
So, as you can see, the Old Testament and the New Testament fit together very well. God was preparing and revealing His plan of salvation in the OT through The Law and The Prophets, and then in the NT He offered salvation to the world through Jesus Christ. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son...” (Romans 8:3)
The OT shares with us:
1. The beginning of Creation
2. The history of God’s chosen people
3. The Law of God (which man could not keep)
4. The promise of a Savior
The NT shares with us:
1. The birth and life of our Savior - Jesus
2. The beginning of "The Church"
3. How believers are to live by the power
of God's Holy Spirit
4. Teaching on the end times:
Judgement for Lost Sinners
Rewards for Faithful Believers
Think About It:
1. If you were asked to summarize the Bible’s message in just one sentence, how would you answer? How about this: “The Bible’s message in both the OT and NT is... A holy God reaching out in love, and by His mercy and grace, saving sinful, rebellious people for His heavenly, eternal kingdom, and for His glory, honor, and praise.
2. Can you think of another answer to question #1? Is it mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament?
3. Read Romans 7:6,7 again. Can you explain what the law could do for Israel?
4. God told Abraham that through his seed (Jesus coming from the nation of Israel) “ALL THE NATIONS of the earth shall be blessed. Israel forgot about that part of the Abrahamic Covenant. You see, God’s salvation was to be for everyone in the whole world, not just for Israel.