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Tyler S.

How to interpret the Old Testament/covenant?

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As the church of gentile Christians living in the ministry of Paul, how should we interpret and keep the Old Testament/covenant? I see many songs and preachers nowadays valiantly proclaiming such encouraging verses as, for example, Exodus 14:14 or Lamentations 3:21-24 to ease peoples mind and praise the lord. If the Old Testament/covenant was written to the Israelite Jews...then how can many of us today, as Christians of the church age, use these verses to worship and encourage and ease minds if these promises were never meant or written to US? Thanks for any advice or responses!

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Just now, Your closest friendnt said:

the pastor say something the people need to follow. 

That's how it is....

 

Well blindly following the teachings of a pastor can be a slippery slope and can lead you away from the literal word...but it’s less about that and my question was more along the lines of: will the lord fight for ME and I need only be still? Or will he fight for the Jews and THEY need only be still? I’m asking if God’s word as written in the context of the old covenant can still apply to our lives today because so many people use it to win people over or encourage others. Thanks!

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7 minutes ago, Tyler S. said:

Well blindly following the teachings of a pastor can be a slippery slope and can lead you away from the literal word...but it’s less about that and my question was more along the lines of: will the lord fight for ME and I need only be still? Or will he fight for the Jews and THEY need only be still? I’m asking if God’s word as written in the context of the old covenant can still apply to our lives today because so many people use it to win people over or encourage others. Thanks!

They don't have the same things in their minds as your suggestions, 

They see from their point of view. 

They feel they are overtaken by their situations and they need Jesus. 

It is just a cry for help. 

That's how I see it, not to side with them, but as to bite my tongue and live them alone. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tyler S. said:

As the church of gentile Christians living in the ministry of Paul, how should we interpret and keep the Old Testament/covenant? I see many songs and preachers nowadays valiantly proclaiming such encouraging verses as, for example, Exodus 14:14 or Lamentations 3:21-24 to ease peoples mind and praise the lord. If the Old Testament/covenant was written to the Israelite Jews...then how can many of us today, as Christians of the church age, use these verses to worship and encourage and ease minds if these promises were never meant or written to US? Thanks for any advice or responses!

Hi,

Zola Levitt told the story  of a pastor about to introduce him to the congregation where Zola was invited to speak as a guest. The pastor about to speak to the congregation from the pulpit  his introduction of Zola, turned to Zola and as an aside asked; "Just what do they call your people?"  Zola  stated; "They used to call us Christians."

With that, may I suggest that whether one is Jew by birth or not a Christian is a Christian and not a gentile Christian nor a Jewish Christian.  "We" are one in Christ Jesus.

The Bible is not two separate books, but instead is one reveal of Jesus who is God, Lord, and savior by whom all that has been created has been made, and that nothing that has been created exists that has not been by Jesus. The Bible is inspired by God, written by perhaps 50 different human authors under the inspired guidance of God the Holy Spirit over a long time period of many hundreds and a few thousands of years, meshing in it's message perfectly under inspiration of God.

The New Testament flows out of the Old Testament it does not stand alone. Without the Old Testament the New has no foundation on which to stand. Our Lord  Jesus spoke only the Bible He read and He spoke to Jews who knew the Bible. All his talks and sermons quote the Old Testament which did not include any of the writings of Paul James Matthew Peter etc. It contained no accounting of Acts, no circular messages to the Churches, and no Book of Revelation. Without the old Testament the very record of sermons in the new testament recorded as being made by Jesus make  little sense, as He addressed- Jews. He came for  Jew first. Gentiles are grafted in, but are not a replacement for Israel nor for the Jew.   And neither is the New testament.

The greatest revival, the largest revival, is yet to come and it will have 144,000 of the finest Jewish salesmen ever known; all telling of the Lord Jesus and turning all of Israel to repentance and accepting knowledge of Jesus as Lord.

The Bible is not two books, it is one reveal (of Jesus). It is in it's entirety the word of God containing the full armor of Christianity for the soldier of Christ Jesus to learn, wear, and through which, to make application of that which God wills for His children to know to applying all that each Child of God does to God's praise and to His Glory alone.

Praise God for His mercy and grace by which any that are saved out from the curse of our sin nature due to the sin by Adam to be found acceptable, washed white as snow in the sight of God by the shed blood of Jesus and therefore fully perfected and acceptable  to be with God eternally.

All of the Bible is meant for "us".

 

Edited by Neighbor
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3 hours ago, Tyler S. said:

As the church of gentile Christians living in the ministry of Paul, how should we interpret and keep the Old Testament/covenant? I see many songs and preachers nowadays valiantly proclaiming such encouraging verses as, for example, Exodus 14:14 or Lamentations 3:21-24 to ease peoples mind and praise the lord. If the Old Testament/covenant was written to the Israelite Jews...then how can many of us today, as Christians of the church age, use these verses to worship and encourage and ease minds if these promises were never meant or written to US? Thanks for any advice or responses!

Hi again Tyler S, this is an important question which gets a lot of attention at Bible Colleges and the like, so well done on posting it.

It is exactly the issue that necessitated the first council of Jerusalem (Acts 15, Galatians 2)

Before the written NT this is what Paul advised Timothy, that the Scriptures, all of them are able to make us wise unto salvation, and are profitable for the reasons given.

2Ti 3:14-17
(14)  But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;
(15)  And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works
.

Here also, before the written NT, the doctrines and lessons of the OT continued to be advantageous.
Rom 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.

The OT account of Moses and the exodus of Israel serves as an example to NT believers.
1Co 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.

As for the keeping of OT civic and ceremonial laws, and trusting in the observance of all the OT law for salvation we can go here, 

Heb 7:11-19
(11)  If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
(12)  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
(13)  For he of whom these things are spoken pertains to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
(14)  For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
(15)  And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there arises another priest,
(16)  Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
(17)  For he testifies, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
(18)  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
(19)  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
 

The apostles had to stand firm against the Judaisers who wanted everyone to continue observing OT law.

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On 7/14/2018 at 12:40 AM, Tyler S. said:

As the church of gentile Christians living in the ministry of Paul, how should we interpret and keep the Old Testament/covenant? I see many songs and preachers nowadays valiantly proclaiming such encouraging verses as, for example, Exodus 14:14 or Lamentations 3:21-24 to ease peoples mind and praise the lord. If the Old Testament/covenant was written to the Israelite Jews...then how can many of us today, as Christians of the church age, use these verses to worship and encourage and ease minds if these promises were never meant or written to US? Thanks for any advice or responses!

Keep it simple:

1) The Bible teaches that the whole Bible is available for teaching, instruction, praise, song, etc.

2) The Bible address more than Christian believers. We give a gospel of John to an unbeliever since Jesus speaks to unbelievers within, right?

3) The Bible speaks to Gentiles, Jews, Gentiles and Jews inside the body of Christ, and unbelievers.

4) The Mosaic Law is for only one of those four people groups to follow. The Law is available for all four groups to learn about and from, but not to do.

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How do I interpret the Old Testament?

I interpret it as a vital and necessary part of understanding the New Testament.  

You'd be surprised how much of the Old Testament dovetails with New Testament.  Case in point.  I teach a Thursday night community Bible study during the school year.  After about a six weeks, the group [made up of people who had no foundation in the Bible] wanted to just "start at the beginning" and go verse by verse.  I knew that that would be OK because there is hardly a passage, story, or lesson in the Old Testament that doesn't have reference, further information, or complimentary passage in the New Testament.

We have been going for about 3 years now.  We are currently starting 1 Kings.  By the time that we get to the New Testament, we will have looked at much of already.  And while we study the New Testament, we will be do the same thing but in reverse.  Reminding ourselves of the foundations in the Old Testament that apply to what we will be reading then.

It's a highly intensive study and I can't imagine not holding the Old Testament in as much esteem as the new.

 

 

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Deuteronomy 22:20-21 instructs husbands to have their wives stoned to death if she tries to pass herself off as a virgin but isn't a real one. Obviously we're not supposed to follow laws like that.

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4 hours ago, ambc said:

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 instructs husbands to have their wives stoned to death if she tries to pass herself off as a virgin but isn't a real one. Obviously we're not supposed to follow laws like that.

You are right, but do not ignore the writing of that law and many others.  We as Christians are to read the Old Testament which includes the Law and the harshness of its consequences.

In fact, reading from Genesis through Malachi is vital.  I cannot stress that enough.

Why were consequences so harsh for people in those days under the Law?  God was going to raise a Messiah from the Israelites - his chosen people.  They MUST be a holy people.  Holiness was the most important thing.  They had to display holiness from disposing of fecal waste and mold in a specific way to refraining from immorality with rigid consequences.

Why?  Because God literally lived with them.  He told them that he was going to physically and literally live with them.  He was literally manifest in a cloud by day and fire by night.  He literally lived among the people and his literal abode was on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant.  God cannot dwell with unholiness - so witchcraft, adultery, rape [which God said he equates with murder], rebellion, and more was punishable by death.

Those things are still sins, and God lives in our hearts while at the same time exists everywhere.  But God does not live manifested like he was to the Israelites with us today.  We see no cloud or fire or have an Ark which cannot be touched or approached.  God is with us via his Son and his Holy Spirit.  Sin is to be punished.  Jesus Christ took that punishment.  Sin can be repented of, and still bear a consequence.  But we are not to kill those who sin today like God had people killed then when his physical presence was in their midst.

The law and severe consequences are just a small part of the Old Testament.  There is so much more.

 

 

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