Genesis 1:1 - 31
ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
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I would say that the Old Testament will always have relevance for Christians for the following reasons: It furnishes context and a frame of reference for the understanding of the events and teachings of the New Testament, and the entire relationship between God and humanity since the beginning of the world. It shows that Christianity is not just a set of abstract beliefs or teachings, but of God acting in and through real, documented historical events (culminating in the incarnation of Christ and the establishment of the church in the New Testament). It proves the divine origin of the entire Bible by its recording of prophecies that had their fulfillment subsequently documented through historical events in both the Old and New Testaments. It contains prophecies (particularly in the book of Daniel) of end-times events that have yet to be fulfilled. It provides timeless, living examples of the way in which believers in God should act (or not act) through its accounts of the individuals included in its books. It also gives timeless written guidance for human conduct, both with regard to the manner in which God should be praised (Psalms), and in which humans should act (the Mosaic Law; Proverbs).
Jesus said in Matt 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." So does that mean that Christians must follow every one of the OT laws, decrees, statutes, commands and precepts? Read on! What we need is for Someone to come along and fulfill all of the OT laws, decrees, commands and precepts found in the OT for us. Someone did! His name is Yeshua ha mashiach or better known as Jesus the Messiah. This explains why Christians don't take a ram or bull to our pastor for him to slaughter on the altar for our sins, nor do we travel to Jerusalem for any of the Jewish festivals. This also explains why we can eat pork (that and Acts 10:15!) Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes." All we need to do is believe in Jesus! What great news. But what of Christians that attempt to follow the Old Testament's laws,commands, statutes, decrees and precepts. Won't Go look down with favor on them? Galatians 3:2-3 "Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Actually those who want to follow the Old testament laws, commands, statutes, decrees and precepts are under God's curse! Galatians 3:10-11 "But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under His curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law. So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life."
Romans 15:4 tells us that, "Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction," and continues, "...through perseverance and the encouragement fo the scriptures we might have hope." This is a reference to Old Testament scripture. The Old Testament teaches us about the nature of God, how He created man, what He expects of man, and how He wants us to respond to Him. From before the beginning of time (from all eternity--II Timothy 1:9), God had a plan for man's salvation. The OT reveals how God works that plan out in history to bring His One and Only Son into the world to redeem all humanity from the penalty of sin (Hebrews 9:14-15). I Cor. 10:1-12 reminds us of OT events and tells us that God was not pleased with most of them. Verse 11 tells us, "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." We need to read the Old Testament and learn from it! In obedience to God's commands, we have hope!
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