Why The Old Testament?

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    The Old Testament consists of well over half of the Bible and was carefully protected and passed down through the generations to us. We know that we do not live under the Old Law (Old Testament). We know that the Old Law has been done away with and nailed to the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:14). Why then do we have the Old Testament? What purpose does it serve?

    1 Corinthians 10:11 teaches that the Old Testament was written for our admonition. Admonition is, “rebuke, warning, calling to attention.” The Old Testament contains great examples reminding Christians of the truth and justice of God. The Old Testament reminds us to remain steadfast (Hebrews 3:12-19). It reminds us to remain patient in suffering (James 5:7-11). Both of these passages and many others are written by New Testament writers using the Old Testament as admonition in how we follow God today.

    Romans 15:4 teaches that the Old Testament was written for our learning. Paul had just quoted an Old Testament prophecy in the verse before and then stated that the Old Testament was given for our learning. The Old Testament provides patience and comfort. The Old Testament gives us hope. The Old Testament shows how God is faithful to His people and fulfills His promises. The Old Testament looks forward in prophecy and teaches us about the hope we have in Christ.

    2 Timothy 3:14-15 teaches that the scriptures will make us wise unto salvation. It was the Old Testament scriptures that Timothy had known, studied, and been taught since he was a child. The Old Testament will give us wisdom to receive the salvation that comes through Christ. The Old Testament teaches about the fall of man, the rise of sin, the background of God’s plan of redemption, the necessity of a sacrifice. The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies about Christ, the Church, the coming Kingdom, and salvation. The Old Testament helps us understand parts of the New Testament such as the Levitical Priesthood talked about in Hebrews and the visions of Daniel as seen in Revelation. The Old Testament gives us wisdom to receive the salvation offered in Christ.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches that all scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. One must keep in mind that the direct context of this verse is dealing with the Old Testament (scriptures Timothy learned from a child). The Old Testament teaches us Doctrine. It teaches about the nature of God, man, and sin. The Old Testament contains reproof and correction teaching the need for repentance and the great punishment that will follow if we don’t repent (Admonition). The Old Testament contains instruction in righteousness. It teaches how to live a faithful Godly life. It teaches about faith and trust in God.

    We are no longer living under the commands and laws of the Old Testament, however we must not just throw it out the window. There is a great amount we can learn from a study of the Old Testament. God preserved the Old Testament for many, many decades meticulously copied by hand and passed down for many generations so that we could find patience, comfort, hope, and wisdom from the message contained therein. Let us never neglect a study of these precious scriptures.