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Old Testament Applicability

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by myles2chem, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. myles2chem

    myles2chem Newbie

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    How does one determine what parts of the Old Testament are directly applicable to life now? For example, does Leviticus 15 still hold true? If not, how does one explain Matthew 5:17-20? Thanks for your serious consideration of these questions.
     
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  2. th1bill

    th1bill Newbie

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    This truth upsets, to no end, the, so called, New Testament Christian but there is nothing in the Old Testament that is not applicable for the follower of Jesus today, as your passage in Matthew illustrates. The Leviticus 15 passages would be, only, common sense, take away the advances in medicine today.

    None-the-less, this passage, as every passage of the Bible Jesus commissioned and taught from is applicable, in fact and principle, today. You see there are two essential verses that are generally ignored by the Ear ticklers. The first is John 1:1-3 and it is here that we see the common acceptance of the, assumed, teaching that the God of the Old Testament is or was the Father and the (WRONG) gentler God of the New Testament is Jesus, the Son. Now, the second verse is Mal. 3:6a where we learn that God never, yes, never changes. From this teaching of heresy, the Jew gets the idea that the Christian has multiple gods, that is, after all, what the Ear tickling heretics teach when they fail to teach the truth from the pulpit.

    I hope this helps, if you wish you can contact me and we can discuss this as much as you wish.
     
  3. myles2chem

    myles2chem Newbie

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    I do not quite follow. Is this to say that all of the Old Testament is to be taken literally? Would the only exception be one of animal sacrifice, since Christ has washed away the sins of the believer? I believe that lessons can be learned from Old Testament scripture, but maybe not ones that are strictly in line with the original intent. It is often difficult, as in Lev 15, to apply the verses directly. Does anyone actually carry out the details of the Old Testament? I am not trying to dismiss it, I am trying to form a coherent stance within my Christian beliefs.

    It seems to me that the Old Testament, in particular, should be viewed from a cultural stance in many cases, as much as we are able. Are you in agreement with this?
     
  4. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Myles,

    Why don't you read this brief article, 'Why do Christians not obey the OT commands to kill homosexuals and disobedient children?'

    Here is explained why most of the OT is not applicable to Christians living under the New Covenant. I try to read through the entire Bible, OT and NT, every 2 years. As a NT believer, it is important for me not to demote the OT, but the rules and regulations of the Old Covenant for Israel are not applicable to me as a NT believer. As this article demonstrates, the Old Covenant is obsolete - not for NT believers.

    However, the creation of the world, God's revelation of his nature, the Psalms, and examples of how God acted in Covenant with his people, are important for me to understand. The Old Covenant sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ's sacrifice.

    However, my focus is on the New Covenant. We do not need to know what in the Old Covenant applies to NT believers as it is done away with, it is obsolete.

    Oz
     
  5. Bear.Fr00t

    Bear.Fr00t Fruit Inspector

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    Spend some time searching GotQuestion.org, this web site provides clear Biblical answers to questions such as you raise.
     
  6. myles2chem

    myles2chem Newbie

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    OzSpen,

    I tend to gravitate toward similar views to those you state, but I still am not completely comfortable meshing this with Mat 5:17-19. What do you make of these verses?
     
  7. ChrisHolland619

    ChrisHolland619 Newbie

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    If the Old Testament law is still applicable to a T, then men would not be able to shave their beards, cut their hair, and no one would be able to wear a shirt made up of more than one type of fabric.

    You're telling me it's a sin to cut my hair? Lol. Every pastor in America is guilty if that's the case.

    Absolutely not.
     
  8. myles2chem

    myles2chem Newbie

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    I am not sure who you are directing your comment toward, but the point is that what people apply to modern life from the Old Testament is often chosen to be whatever fits into the mold that they already have determined. That is, it isn't an honest attempt to find what still is relevant. I see this as a problem since it leads to a general lack of unity. Maybe it is not a problem to many others, but I think it is something worth addressing. I have never heard of a consistent way to view the Old Testament and how it applies. It would be nice if there were a strategy of sorts.
     
  9. ChrisHolland619

    ChrisHolland619 Newbie

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    There is a strategy, it's called Jesus Christ and the Spirit. We live by Him. Our law is love, faith, and grace. That's how we live our lives. If we do that, and abide in the Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit will come to life and we will be a temple for others to see Christ in.

    That's the law we live by now in Christ Jesus.

    "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20
     
  10. myles2chem

    myles2chem Newbie

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    That sounds nice. I do still think we should concern ourselves with what is actually right and wrong. It is the crux of the matter. It is bewildering to me that there doesn't seem to be more general concern in this matter. I rarely hear it addressed coherently, which is why I bring it up in this forum. I really do not want to just gloss over it. I will reach the best conclusion that I can, after hearing others opinions, and most importantly, seeing what clues the Bible gives. I appreciate everyone taking the time to comment and give Scripture that they believe relevant.
     
  11. David Pratt

    David Pratt Newbie

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    To Myles-2-Chem

    One of main reasons was the death penalty was enacted during the time of Moses was ensure the future lineage & earthly vessel for our Lord Jesus Christ & also the continuance of the saints & elect.

    That is why God the Father enacted a strict diet & laws for those who transgressed it. The population was low during the time of Moses. I'm guessing it was less than a billion.

    Could you imagine what would have happened if all the crazy beliefs people felt right in the heart do, was left uncheck & ran rampant?

    People having sex with animals, with their parents & siblings, excessive drug use, burning children alive, wars & rapes, men having sex [unprotected] with other men.

    When our Lord Jesus Christ arrived the population reached a level [besides a myriad of other unknown factors] for Him to arrive in fleshly body. Meaning if even when sin run rampant there is plenty enough people to keep the world going… with Their guidance of course.

    Including the sophistication of prison/dungeons So the death penalty was postponed until the Great White Judgment. Animal sacrifices were suspended because the Son of Man was the perfect sacrifice.

    All of the O.T. laws need to be examined with the with the N.T. but the main thing is this:

    the death penalty & animal sacrifices have been voided/postponed & divorces are now banned.

    After that, pretty much most of the laws are still in effect.

    However if you’re filled with the Holy Ghost it would be unnecessary to know the laws. It will be written in your heart. For example.

    The bible does not talk about internet porn, invitro-fertilization, & overpopulation [that I am aware of] … however… being filled with the Holy Ghost you know will know what will be pleasing to the Lord.
     
  12. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The NT builds on the Old. See how Paul especially, and Jesus, refer to the OT. After all it was the only written texts they had for a while. The NT sees Jesus as the fulfilment of what was begun and outlined in the OT. For example, animal sacrifice teaches about Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for humanity.

    Now, we have an inner 'law', the Holy Spirit making the life of Jesus real to us in so many ways, as was promised to Jeremiah - "....a new heart and a new Spirit...". We gain so much understanding of the NT when we can appreciate the significance of the OT foundations.

    John
    NZ
     
  13. myles2chem

    myles2chem Newbie

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    I have never heard that along with the New Testament comes the banning of the death penalty or divorce. The scripture I remember states that divorce should only take place if there is infidelity. Does the Bible actually state these things?

    I do appreciate the recurring sentiment that the applicability of the Old Testament should be looked at through the lens of the New Testament, as well as with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is a great method of increasing one's chances of reaching the most true conclusions. I am not convinced that any two Christians with these goals will reach the same conclusions, but hopefully over the course of a lifetime there will be a convergence of views as wisdom is gained.:groupray:
     
  14. loveabounds

    loveabounds Daughter of God

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    A lot of the OT is narrative...it tells a story, the story of God working through His people that lead to Christ. That's not applicable to our lives.
     
  15. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Myles,

    I'll get back to you on this one as I'm busy preparing a sermon for Sunday. However, much of the discussion revolves around the meaning of plerow (fulfil). When Jesus fulfilled the Law or Prophets, what did that mean for the continuing relevance of the OT to NT believers?

    Oz
     
  16. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Jesus spoke those words prior to his death. He committed no sin under the Jewish law. He fulfilled its righteousness, the only person who ever achieved that "Who can accuse me of sin?" Post resurrection we now live from within, God's laws written on our hearts, a love response to our Abba. Mere law can never be enough. God now works from within, in harmony with His life and character.

    John
    NZ
     
  17. jesusfreak220

    jesusfreak220 Regular Member

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    I am by no means a scholar. The only Greek word I know is probably agape. I cannot tell you clearly that because this word means this instead of it's usual translation as that we are supposed to do XYZ.
    I can tell you that we cannot simply disregard the OT without considering it. Sacrifices cannot be done today because we have no temple and no priests of Aaron. We don't need sin sacrifices because Jesus died for us on the cross and wiped away all of our sins with the one perfect sacrifice. Rules regarding killing people for breaking OT laws cannot be carried out because they violate our government and we are called to obey our government (Romans 13).
    I personally eat biblically kosher. I don't see any compelling evidence that those animals which were once unclean-were not made for food-have been changed and made clean. This is something I prayed about and have eaten this way since I was 17.
    Many of the rules that G-d instated in the OT were designed to separate the Hebrews from those around them. Some of those rules today seem ridiculous to us now. We are still called to be different from this world (Romans 12:1-2). For us today, maybe that looks different than it did in the OT but I encourage everyone to pray about the rules that are still possible, research the possible reasons behind G-d creating those rules, and ask G-d if He still finds them to be applicable in YOUR life. Eating kosher has given me many outlets to bring up my faith in many situations. (When I'm not sure if something has pork in it, I ask. Those who I'm eating with then ask me why I want to know and I get a chance to share about the amazing Father I serve.)
    Also, I just want to be clear that I do NOT believe that following any law, any rule, OT or not, will help gain ANYONE entrance to heaven. For me, if I eat bacon, it's a sin because G-d told me not to. It's like when G-d told Jonah to go to Nineveh. For him, not going was a sin. For the others, it wasn't sin not to go because G-d never told them to. So if I violate this, it's sin and I must repent and get right with G-d just as if I had committed any other sin. But eating kosher doesn't get me any closer to heaven. It's simply a sign of my obedience to G-d.
     
  18. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Myles,

    I understand some of the hesitation with Matt 5:17-19, which states.
    There seems to be three issues in this passage to help us gain a biblical understanding of how the OT relates to NT believers. Was the Law or the Prophets abolished when Jesus fulfilled them? Note that it states 'Law OR the Prophets' and not 'Law AND the Prophets'.

    1. There's a time factor here that we need to consider. These words are dealing with issues prior to Jesus' death. While Jesus was on earth he kept the Law (of Moses). Remember what happened according to Matt. 8:4? He told the people to offer the sacrifice that Moses commanded. Jesus Himself went to Jewish festivals privately as we are told in John 7:10. What about the Passover lamb? According to Matt. 26:19, Jesus and the disciples kept the Passover.

    BUT, we need to understand that prior to his death, Jesus violated the false traditions of the Pharisees. The Pharisees had developed these extra traditions around the Law (see Matt. 5:43-44). What did Jesus say to them according to Matt 15:6?
    So, there is a time factor involved in Jesus' keeping the Law and fulfilling the Law or the Prophets. It was BECAUSE OF the cross that Jesus FULFILLED the Law. We know this from verses such as Gal. 3:28:
    2. We know from some (not all) references in the NT that the aspect of the Law that was done away with, dealt with OT ceremonies and types. These types from the Law of Moses were fulfilled through Jesus, our Passover lamb (see 1 Cor. 5:7). Jesus fulfilled the laws that predicted his first coming (see Hebrews, chapters 7-10). So, I think we can safely conclude that Jesus did away with the ceremonial and typological aspects of the Law of Moses. This Law was not destroyed by Jesus but it was fulfilled in Him.

    3. In our discussion here, there can be confusion over the morality taught in the Law or the Prophets and its application to Christians. Which of the OT moral law still applies to the NT believer? We need to understand that:

    • According to Rom. 8:2-3, Jesus fulfilled the moral demands of the Law on our behalf and those OT moral requirements were for the national and theocratic nation of Israel. Therefore, God's moral principles from the OT for Israel no longer apply to us because Jesus has fulfilled them for us.
    • To be specific (and this may alarm some), NT believers are NOT under the commands as expressed in the Ten Commandments. Why? Because they were for the Jews as is clear from the context of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:12 which states,
    So this command (as well as the rest) of the Ten Commandments were for the people in the land of Israel, a theocratic kingdom. It is not for NT believers.

    • This should not alarm us as all but one of these 10 commandments is expressed in the NT in a different context. The one commandment not to be obeyed in the NT is the keeping of the Sabbath. The moral principles of the NT are no longer for a theocratic Israelite nation. What does Paul state about those who honour their parents? 'It may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth' (Eph. 6:3 NIV). I find the NIV to be a more accurate translation of the Greek here than the ESV.
    • We also know that Christians are not under the commandment to worship on the Jewish Sabbath (as in Ex. 20:8-11, which was for the theocratic Israel). We know that after Jesus' resurrection, the resurrection appearances and His ascension (all of which happened on what we call Sunday), Christians worship on Sunday instead. We know this from Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2. What was Sabbath worship according to Paul's NT teaching in Col. 2:16-17? It was one example of an OT 'shadow' of the 'substance' which belongs to Christ.
    • There is an interesting NT comparison of the O T 10 commandments and what we have in Christ in 2 Cor. 3:7, 13-14. What the OT offered was 'carved in letters on stone' but NOW 'only through Christ is it taken away' (ESV).
    • It would be an error to reject the moral principles that are in the 10 commandments, that are based on the unchanging nature of God. All of these principles, except the Sabbath (which has been changed to worship on the first day of the week), are restated in the NT. We must be careful to emphasise that NT believers are no more under the Israelite's 10 commandments than they are under such Mosaic laws as circumcision (cf Acts 15; Gal 3) or to sacrifice a lamb in the temple.
    • However, we are bound by similar moral laws to the 9 commandments such as laws against adultery, lying, stealing, murder. Because there are similar laws in the NT does not mean we live under those OT laws. I live in the state of Queensland. The adjoining state is New South Wales. However, while many of the laws are the same in both States, that does not mean that I'm living under the law of NSW. I'm a Queenslander. The comparison is to show that while there are OT and NT laws that are in agreement, often the penalties are different. Take adultery as an example. The OT law required capital punishment for this sin (Lev 20:10). In the NT, the punishment for adultery is excommunication from the church with the possibility of restoration if there is repentance (see 1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Cor 2:6-8).
    Therefore, as for the requirement of NT believers and what is in the OT, Jesus fulfilled the OT and we do not follow the OT moral, ceremonial or theocratic national laws. We follow what is fulfilled in Christ and what is affirmed as NT morality.

    Verses 18 and 19 are covered with the above explanation.

    We need to remember that even though Jesus didn't come to destroy the Law or Prophets, he said it was OK for the disciples when they broke the Jewish Law by working on the Sabbath (Mark 2:24). Jesus showed how he did away with the ceremonial law when he said that all meats were clean (Mark 7:19). We know that Jesus' disciples rejected a considerable portion of the OT law including circumcision (Acts 15; Gal 5:6; 6:15). What did Paul state? 'You are not under law but under grace' (Rom 6:14 ESV). And as mentioned above, the 10 Commandments were engraved in stone but the stone has been 'taken away in Christ' (2 Cor 3:14).

    [Note: In this explanation of Matt 5:17-18, I have been greatly helped by the exposition by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe 1992. When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, pp. 329-331].

    Sincerely, Oz
     
  19. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    jf,

    So that I can understand your perspective better, why is eating bacon a sin for you because God has told you so? How do you know from God that eating bacon is a sin?

    Oz
     
  20. jesusfreak220

    jesusfreak220 Regular Member

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    For me, Oz, eating bacon is a sin. When I prayed about the kosher rules, I felt like G-d was telling me it still applied. My opinion is that when G-d created those animals, He had other purposes for them. It's like paper. I can eat it but it's not food. To me, bacon (or any other unclean animal) is the same way. I can eat it but it's not food. Does that make it clearer?
     
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