The Importance of the Old Testament

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The Importance of the Old Testament

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Why was the Old Testament so important to the writers of the New Testament, and why is it important to mankind today? Let's briefly summarize some of the things it reveals to us.

• It reveals God—that there is a Creator, that the world didn't just happen, and that He is in control over everything at all times (Genesis 1; Isaiah 46:9-10).

• It reveals that this God is a God of love who is deeply concerned about every person who has ever lived, and that He wants to share everything with all of humanity (Psalm 8:4-8; 86:5; 100:1-5).

• It reveals that God's love is defined by His laws—by the two great laws of "Love God with all your heart, soul and mind" and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:29-31; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). The Ten Commandments, and the statutes and judgments based on those commandments, show us how to live God's way of love.

• It reveals that sin brings suffering—that when we sin, there is a penalty. And if an entire nation sins, it eventually will reap the results of those sins. On the other hand, if an individual or a nation repents of sin and asks God for forgiveness, He is ready and willing to forgive (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Psalm 103:8-13).

• It reveals the plan of God—that there would be a Savior who would pay the death penalty for your sins and my sins; that this Savior, the Messiah, would establish the Kingdom of God on earth; and that there would be a resurrection of the dead to eternal life (Isaiah 53; Daniel 2:44; 7:27; 12:2-3; Job 14:14-15; Ezekiel 37).

• It reveals that there would be a new covenant under which God would give people the gift of His Spirit, which would remove our heart of stone and replace it with a heart that would love and obey God (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27).

• It reveals that humanity is created in God's image, created to be like Him and to share rulership with God over the entire universe (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 8:6, Hebrews 2:6-8).

These are some of the wonderful truths that the Old Testament reveals. It's no wonder that Satan has blinded the minds of people into thinking that it's obsolete, irrelevant or something that God had to discard because He had a better idea. The New Testament is built on the foundation of the Old. Together they form one complete story—the story of God's deep love for mankind and His plan for humanity. GN

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