The Importance of The Old Testament for the Christian Faith

by Derek Hill on February 5, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

The Old Testament is absolutely essential to having a true understanding of the Bible and God’s unfolding of the greatest love story of all time.  It is filled with many wonderful stories and characters.  The Old Testament is chalk full of prophecies that were either fulfilled in the Old or the New Testament.  When seeing the prophecies fulfilled, it reaffirms my faith even more in our Awesome God!  Why is the Old Testament so important?  Let us see what God has to say on this matter as we look at His Word.

Role Models

So many brave men, that we all can strive to be like, were written about in the Old Testament. Here are a few:

  • Noah trusted God’s word and built an ark to escape the raging flood. (Genesis  6 & 7)
  • Abraham had a faith strong enough to trust God when he was asked to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. (Genesis 22)
  • Joseph showed great forgiveness when he was sold by his own brothers to be a slave.  Joseph became the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt and when he encountered his brothers after rising to power he said, “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)  Later on, “he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them.” (Genesis 45:15)
  • Moses led the nation of Israel out of the clutches of Pharaoh in the book of Exodus.
  • David had faith enough to face the giant Goliath. (1 Samuel 17)
  • Elijah showed complete confidence in God when he defeated the prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 18:20-40)

The list goes on and on.  These were true warriors of God.  They rested in the promises of God and we all can learn from their stories.

Old Testament Prophesies Fulfilled

 The Importance Of The Old Testament For The Christian FaithThe Old Testament prophecies are necessary to further build our faith.  When you read and understand them, your faith is even more complete because the New Testament makes much more sense when you see the prophecies fulfilled.

Jesus is foretold by God in Isaiah 28:16.  “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not be in haste.”  Jesus, of course, was born and did live here and this verse about Him is proclaimed again by Peter in 1 Peter 2:4, 6: “As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious…For it stands in scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

The triumphal entry was prophesied in Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  Jesus fulfilled this at the triumphal entry in John  12:14-15: “And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

Jesus’ clothing was divided by casting lots in John 19:24.  “So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.’  This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, ‘They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”  This fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 22:18: “They divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots.”

The covenant to take away our sins is written in Isaiah 59:20 and Isaiah 27:9.  Together they say, “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, declares the Lord.  Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be atoned for, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin.”  The crucifixion of Jesus completed the covenant to take our sins away and that covenant is proclaimed in Romans 11:26-27: “And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

These are four of many scriptures that were fulfilled in the New Testament.  So you can see how God had a plan from the beginning to unfold His Holy love for us.  He told us what would happen in the Old Testament and He did, indeed, see His work finished and fulfilled in the New Testament.

Conclusion

When you pair up Old Testament prophecies with the character traits of Godly men, you have an excellent resource to understand the New Testament and to become more Christ-like every day.  Search the scriptures and see what God is trying to teach you.  Search for other Godly men, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, or Daniel.  When you sow your seed in the scriptures, you will reap a harvest bigger than you ever have imagined.  God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Have you read the Biblical account of Noah’s ark? You can read it here: Noah’s Ark Bible Story

Resource:  The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”; YouTube video “Books of the Bible Song (OT)”



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