The important question that every follower of Jesus must settle in his or her mind is: what is the value of the Old Testament? Do we need to read and accept it as part of God’s Word? (See How much of the Bible do we need to read? Part 1)
# Let’s consult the Holy Spirit.
We do this because He is our Counsellor. He also knows God intimately, ‘The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God…. In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God.’ He tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16, ’All Scripture is God-breathed….’ The Holy Spirit inspired Old Testament is an important part of the Bible, for various reasons:
# Scripture says so in the New Testament.
- ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in many ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son whom He appointed as heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.’ 1
- God spoke to the forefathers through the prophets, but what does that have to do with us? He speaks to us through the Son in the New Testament.
# The New Testament testifies to the need of the Old Testament.
- It tells us ‘…everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.’ 2
- Romans 15:13 says, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’
- So the Old Testament is very important to fill us with endurance, encouragement and hope, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
# Don’t forget the heroes of faith.
The Old Testament is the source of the Faith Heroes in Hebrews 11. They were ordinary men and women like us who did great feats and overcame great odds. They are examples of endurance, encouragement, hope, perseverance and trust in the Lord. We can be greatly encouraged if we read the detail of their lives in the Old Testament.
God uses the Old Testament writings to encourage us while we are subjected to the pressures of life with its concerns and cares. We have to stand strong, like Abraham, while we wait for our new heavenly home, ‘For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.’ 3 We need the Old Testament!
- Hebrews 1:1-2
- Romans 15:4
- Hebrews 11:10