About Jesus Steve Sweetman
The Old Testament Is Our Example
What Iím about to say in the next few chapters Iíve intentionally left to the end of this book. Weíll now turn our attention to the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. The question should be asked, "how do we interpret the Old Testament as New Testament Christians"?
This question is vital because how you interpret the Old Testament will determine much of your Christian belief system and subsequent lifestyle. For example, how you view the Sabbath laws will determine what you do or donít do on the Sabbath. Or, how you interpret the tithing laws will influence your financial decisions.
I hope to shed some light on this matter because I believe itís one of the most misunderstood and confusing issues in Christian circles. Some of what I say may be controversial to some people and maybe new for others, but take the time to hear me out. Iím not saying anything that is original to myself, but is an acceptable hermeneutical approach for many Christian scholars.
Some people ignore the Old Testament altogether because they think it doesnít apply to post cross Christians. They say it was written to Jews, and theyíre not Jews.
Others say everything that is written between its covers applies to us and so we better obey or else. These people say that God doesnít change, and what He said back then still applies to us today.
Then thereís the vast majority of Christians that in my opinion simply pick and choose what they feel applies to them, almost as if it were a matter of personal preference. When it comes right down to it, theyíre confused so they make arbitrary decisions concerning what applies and what doesnít apply.
I think thereís a fundamental way to view the Old Testament that we can build our understanding on. In 1 Cor. 10:11 Paul says that what was written in the Old Testament was written for our example. So before we get thinking of what applies and what doesnít, think of what is written in the Old Testament as examples for us to learn from.
Take Abraham for example. Heís an example of a man of faith for us to imitate. Then thereís Jonah who ran from Godís will. We donít want to be swallowed by a big fish so we obey God. Itís as simple as that. If this is all the understanding you have about the Old Testament, then youíre on your way to good hermeneutics, but there are other things to consider that will help answer our question.