Proper Uses Of The Old Testament

Both Heb 7:12 and Gal 5:3 prove conclusively we are under the New Testament law (of Christ) exclusively. If one tries to bind any part of the OT law, he loses his salvation (Gal 5:4). But obviously there are still some proper uses for the OT law (Rom 15:4). Illustrations …

We don’t learn how to worship God today from Lev 10:1-2 (the NT never tells us to burn incense in worship), but we can learn from that story that if we don’t worship God the way He has specified today, God will be displeased.

The NT never tells us to touch or not to touch the ark of the covenant (most likely it has long since been destroyed … unless Indiana Jones finds it), but we can learn from I Chron 13:7-10 that if God tells us not to do something, we shouldn’t do it even if we think we are helping God’s cause by doing it.

John 3:14-15 compares our looking to Jesus on the cross for spiritual healing to the Israelites looking to the lifted up bronze serpent in the wilderness for physical healing, but how are we going to completely understand the analogy unless we are familiar with this Num 21:4-9 story?

Other examples: I Tim 2:9-10 tells us to dress modestly; the OT (like in Gen 3:7,10,21) helps define for us what modest is. I Tim 2:8 shows we should lift up holy hands in prayer; the OT tells us what that means. Revelation 20 talks about a 1000 year reign of Christ; the OT helps us to see 1000 is not usually used literally in the Bible, but mostly used to denote a large number. Jesus talks about the sign of Jonas in Matt 12:39-40; the OT book of Jonah helps us understand what Jesus is talking about there.  The NT instructs Christians to fast (Matt 6:16-18, etc.); the OT gives us more information about when, why, and how long to fast.

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