Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Should Christians Follow the Bible or Jesus? (part 2)
Isn't this picture so sweet?
Could you not see this on the wall of a children's worship room in a church building?
It has everything, doesn't it? The good old commandments of the law and friendly Jesus, together forever?
The best of both worlds, the "total package", everything we're supposed to teach our children? Isn't that how it is supposed to work?
My last post claimed that we should choose Jesus over the Old Testament (Law, covenant). Here is a little more explanation of my position.
It is hard to imagine how the New Testament could be any more explicit that followers of Jesus are not to look to the law for guidance regarding salvation. Think of Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, being able to boast in his knowledge of the law as a Jew, stating that we are dead to the law through the body of Christ (Romans 7). He also added, "What the law was powerless to do...God did by sending his own Son..." (Romans 8:3). Moreover, Paul writes to the church of Corinth about this former "ministry" that came with a fading glory that keeps a veil over hearts and dull minds and brought only condemnation, and contrasts it with Jesus who brings hope and righteousness and removes the veil (2 Corinthians 3).
Could we consider the multiple times Jesus says, "You have heard..., but I tell you...", or how many times Jesus publicly, deliberately violated the Sabbath rules just to make a theological point? Think about Jesus asking the people what Moses taught about divorce just to turn around and tell them that Moses only did that because of their hard hearts. In fact, Jesus clarified that what Moses wrote is not how we are to view divorce at all. (Mark 10)
Perhaps, nowhere is the Bible more direct about this point than in the book of Hebrews. The old covenant is labeled "inferior", "outdated", "obsolete" (depending on translations), and there are entire sections of this letter devoted to illustrating how it did nothing but find fault in people and could do nothing to cleanse or redeem anyone! Hebrews is equally as clear that Jesus is the new priest over a "new covenant established on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).
These are only a few examples. So, what do we tell our kids about the Bible? Marc, would you really tell your children to ignore the Old Testament? Well, I've already addressed that in my previous post. However, here is what I will tell my daughters. If something you read in the Old Testament (or anywhere for that matter) points you to Jesus, then embrace it. If what you read points you to a rule or law, which will either condemn you or fill you with pride because law-keeping is a human effort that compares one person's "works" with another's, then disregard it. Our standard is never the law, but always Christ. Because of that, we are always dependent upon God's awesome grace.
The value in the Old Testament is that it does indeed point us to Christ and reveal Him over and over, so be on the lookout for Jesus at all times.