Monday, 10 July 2017

How to Apply the Old Testament

Old Testament prophecies sometimes spoke in prose, sometimes in symbol...

of things now past, present or still-future...

of Messiah's birth, life and still-future second coming...

and sometimes all in the same passage of Scripture!

The prophets themselves didn't always understand how it would all look in fulfilment.

The disciples themselves had been raised on Old Testament prophecy - they'd even spent three years with the Messiah Himself - and yet they didn't understand one of the most important themes in Old Testament prophecy: that Messiah had to die.

Until after Jesus' resurrection - then they understood it. Then Jesus opened their eyes to understand the Scriptures.

Then they preached it from the rooftops! They taught it in their letters.

So, the most reliable way to "rightly divide" the Scripture - to distinguish between what's now past, what's present and what's still future in Old Testament prophecy - the only way to appropriately apply the Old Testament - is to do so in the light of New Testament theology - clear teaching in the New Testament.

The sermons in Acts; the Apostles' teaching in the Epistles; based on the eyewitness history recorded in the Gospels, and importantly, the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, the message which was begun to be preached by John the Baptist - that's how we can approach and apply the Old Testament! The same way we see them doing.

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