April 17, 2017

Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Too many Christians forget that the whole Bible points to and talks about Jesus. In some churches it’s rare to have messages from the Old Testament at all. We forget that even for years after Pentecost the Old Testament was all they had. The New Testament helps us understand many things about the Old Testament, but the Old Testament provides the foundation for the New. Too many Christians think the New Testament replaced the Old, just as some think the Church replaced the physical descendants of Abraham in God’s plan. Such thinking is a deception of the devil! It is very true that the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New, but that doesn’t negate the Old. Some things, like the sacrificial system and the dietary laws, are rendered obsolete, but that doesn’t mean that the Old Testament is no longer valuable. Peter preached from it on the day of Pentecost, Philip used it to explain Christ to the Ethiopian, (Acts 8:26-40) and here Jesus Himself used it to explain Himself to these two men. In my observation the two New Testament books that help most in understanding the Old are Hebrews and Romans, and the Old Testament book that talks most about Christ is Isaiah, but each relates to the other throughout. We need to be familiar with the whole Bible to understand how it all relates to our daily lives today. If we relate to it on strictly academic terms, as many do, it is no more than interesting, and sometimes obscure, literature. It is only when we receive it as the Word of God that we get the full benefits, from Genesis to Revelation.

I wasn’t more than 11 when I read the Bible through for the first time. I still have the first full Bible I owned, that my parents got for me at some point after I was baptized at seven. Thankfully it was the RSV translation, so I wasn’t totally stuck in KJV archaisms. It was interesting to me that when I did a dramatic reading in a college speech class using that translation, the teacher was surprised that it sounded as majestic as it did, because he had been raised on the KJV. In any case, my parents never denigrated the Old Testament, and I am grateful. In my preaching over the years I most often have used both Old and New Testament passages in each message, and still do. As I teach believers I desire to instill in them a love for the whole Bible, because every bit of it is filled with more riches than we can grasp in a lifetime.

Father, thank You for the privilege of teaching, sharing Your Word. Help me do it faithfully and effectively, not distorting or diluting it in any way. May it accomplish in and through me everything for which You send it, (Isaiah 55:10-11) destroying the works of the enemy (1 John 3:8) and leading many to life in Christ, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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