I. WHAT IS THE OLD TESTAMENT?
A. Ephesians 2:15
The Old Testament amounted to “commandments contained in ordinances”. It was a set of rules.
B. Luke 24:44
More than that, it consisted of “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms”, so it was law, prophecy, and poetry, among others things.
C. Deuteronomy 27:26
When the commandments are considered, it must be understood that considerably more than the Ten Commandments were involved.
D. John 1:17
Christ brought “grace and truth” where the law was lacking!
II. WHOM DID THE OLD TESTAMENT APPLY TO?
A. Malachi 4:4; Psalm 78:5
The Old Testament was addressed to the Israelites, in particular.
B. Exodus 12:49
It applied to foreigners only if they chose to dwell in Israel.
C. Acts 14:16; Romans 2:14
Gentiles were exempt from that law and would be judged separately.
D. Obadiah 1; Jonah 1:1-2
This is not to say that God had no expectations of Gentiles. Otherwise, prophets would never have been sent to Edom or Nineveh, peoples who needed to repent of sin.
E. Romans 5:13
Because Gentiles sinned, they must have been accountable to some law from God. It just wasn’t the one He issued to the Israelites.
F. Matthew 28:18; Romans 1:16
Christ has universal authority. Jews and Gentiles alike must respond to the gospel.
III. WHEN DID THE OLD TESTAMENT APPLY?
A. Deuteronomy 5:3; Galatians 3:19
Despite the common presumption that the Old Testament begins at Genesis 1:1, it clearly did not begin until the time of Moses in the book of Exodus. “It was added” means it didn’t start from the beginning.
B. Jeremiah 31:31-34
The Old Testament anticipated its own termination, foretelling “a New Covenant”; that is to say: To Be Continued.
C. Hebrews 9:10
The regulations under that Covenant would last only “until the time of reformation”.
D. Luke 16:16
By the time John was preaching, “the Law and the Prophets” were on their way out.
E. Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 9:16-17
Christ’s death put the final nail in the coffin of that former Covenant. Whereas Christ was put to death on the cross and rose to live again, the Old Testament was put to death on the cross, and there it remains to the Present, never to be revived.
F. John 12:48
In the end, it will be the words of Jesus that judge every soul.
IV. WHERE DID THE OLD TESTAMENT APPLY?
A. Daniel 6:10
When it was applicable, it applied to Israelites everywhere, even the captives in Babylon.
B. Psalm 122
Of course, for centuries, Jerusalem was central to the Covenant.
C. John 4:20-23
After Christ came, however, no one location would excel any other.
V. HOW DID THE OLD TESTAMENT APPLY?
A. Hebrews 10:28
It applied very, very strictly! Of course, it would be worse to forsake the superior Testament of Christ.
B. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
It applied through the instruction of parents to their children because it was intended for the house of Israel, specifically.
C. John 6:45; Matthew 28:19
Although parental instruction toward their young remains important (Ephesians 6:4), the need to teach goes much further now than the family. We must share the gospel worldwide.
VI. WHY DID THE OLD TESTAMENT APPLY?
A. Colossians 2:16-17
It served to foreshadow what would be in Christ’s Covenant.
B. Galatians 3:19, 23-24
It identified sin and codified righteousness, so that the need for salvation in Christ could be understood.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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