A Closer Walk
Is the Old Testament important to us, as New Testament Christians, attending New Testament churches? What does the Old Testament have to do with us? "Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved," 1 Corinthians 10:6 NASB. What things are being referred to by the Apostle Paul here? "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea," 1 Corinthians 10:1 NASB. By using the phrase “our fathers”, he is referring us to the ancient Israelites and their crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22) to escape their slavery in Egypt, and the pillar of cloud (Exodus 13:21) that led them during their wandering in the wilderness. Paul's references in 1 Corinthians are clearly to the Old Testament.
"Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction... ," 1 Corinthians 10:11 NASB. A second time in the same chapter Paul tells us that these happenings in the Old Testament are an example for us. And further, they were written for our instruction. In other words, we should learn from other's mistakes. "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself," Warren Buffet (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway). Our Father in Heaven thought it was necessary for us to know about the failings and shortcomings of Old Testament people, for our instruction. Maybe the Old Testament IS important for us New Testament Christians.
"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope," Romans 15:4 NASB. Paul tells the believers in the church at Rome that the Old Testament was written for our instruction. We can learn from Old Testament people because of their own stumbling and straying.
The New Testament contains numerous quotations from "the Scriptures". We know that people who lived during the time period covered by the New Testament didn't have the New Testament, because it hadn't yet been written. So Jesus and the Apostles were quoting from the Old Testament; and they refer to it, the Old Testament, as “the Scriptures”. If the Old Testament is not important, then the words of Jesus whenever He quotes the Old Testament would also not be important. As New Testament Christians we believe all the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are important. Each and every one of them.
The New Testament builds on the foundation of the Old Testament. Further, our Heavenly Father wanted us to have the Old Testament so He included it in the book we call The Holy Bible. Without the Old Testament we wouldn't know about creation; and that we are made in the image of God. We wouldn't know about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the men through whom God began the nation Israel. We wouldn't know about Moses, David, or Solomon; or Ruth, or Esther. Without the Old Testament we would not have the comfort of Psalms, or the wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Without the Old Testament our spiritual walk and growth would not be as rich as it could be. Yes, the Old Testament is important. And especially for us New Testament Christians, attending New Testament Churches!
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” 1 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV.