Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Old Testament, what it means for us today

The Old Testament is about God in relationship with Israel - with His people. As a sociologist, I like to imagine that God used this group to show the dynamics of His relationship with His Creation which once near to Him were now banned to a corrupt and fallen world; banned through their own doing. All things in this fallen world are not good, not the kind of good that God is. Man may think he is good and beautiful but he has forgotten what good he was/had.  Throughout the Old Testament, we are reminded of that and we are encouraged to persevere in faith, follow our heart in a relation with God as did David. We are nothing and we can do no good in this fallen world that will please God. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” Isa 64:6. Before Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin, there were sacrifices made – atonement for sin and soon that was not enough to please God.  Yet, God did not abandon us and once we are brought to our humble knees by this realization which is that through His Son we have been healed! In this revelation, God becomes everything to us again, as He once was and we are no longer self centered, self driven and self determined. We must know and embrace the word of God as it is written for He sent His word to heal us – ultimately to save us from death and grant eternal life.
God has to let this fallen world run its course – program until all evil and death have been destroyed or vaulted up in the abyss. Until then, we will suffer in this fallen world but Praise and Thanks be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who died for us so that we may live eternally.  In 2 Peter, we read to add goodness to our faith; which reminds us that we do have an understanding of ‘goodness’ but the realization is that we can never do enough ‘good’ to give God the ‘goodness’ He deserves; so in trying to do good in our understanding of ‘goodness’ will not please God.  What does? Knowing that Jesus Christ came once and for all to save us from the sin of death.  With this knowledge, we can move forward in faith (kindness and brotherly love) as we share this knowledge, “... knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in faith” 2 Peter: 8. “Therefore, my brothers be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” 2 Peter: 10.
The Old Testament has meaning for Christians today as related above. We are His people, grafted in through our accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah. In that acceptance, we are in this knowledge as explained above. With that knowledge, should we forget to read and or not care to read the Old Testament. No, we should read it more often to better understand how in this fallen world, God = Jesus Christ, saves!

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