Sunday, March 7, 2010

Don't forget the Old Testament

As I've been going through seminary I am constantly learning just how important the Old Testament is to the New Testament. It seems to me that the Bible should just be called "part 1" and "part 2" instead of "Old" and "New" because the way it sounds right now it's as if the "Old" is outdated and unimportant. But not to the New Testament writers, and obviously not to God. I know that the current titles of the 2 sides are because of the Old Covenant and New Covenant initiated by Jesus... but even in that Jesus is not discrediting the Old stuff - he's fulfilling it! In fulfilling it he does make the old sacrificial system obsolete and no longer necessary, but our understanding of the death of Jesus, for example, has to come out of an understanding of the Old Covenant sacrificial system where something died in my place.

All that to say, I've been going through Romans in preparation for Mexico - yes, all Mexico participants are going through ROMANS in 40 days. Kind of nuts but also really cool. Sad to say, I'm a full week behind and planning to play catch up this coming week. So while I should be reading Romans 7:13-25, I'm reading in Romans 4:1-12. But nonetheless, as I was reading and answering some of the questions in the devotional, this whole thing with the Old Testament came to mind. Paul basically translates salvation in the Old Testament for us, saying that even Abraham was saved by faith. It wasn't because he got circumcised... that came after God "counted his faith as righteousness". It wasn't because he was Jewish either... the Jewish nation started with him, therefore while he was the first Jew so to speak, he was not a Jew by heritage. All this to say, Abraham started a spiritual lineage of salvation by grace through faith that continues today. Christ died in our place for our sins, just like the old system of a lamb (or other animals) being slaughtered in place of the sinner.

You and I, through faith in Christ, join in this spiritual inheritance and spiritual family - not because our parents told us to, not because we go to church enough, and certainly not because we have first cleaned ourselves up. It's all because we have been given grace by God and received this free gift of eternal life through Jesus by faith.

Just some thoughts

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