Old and New Testament

Old and New Testament

To understand the Bible, it is critical to understand the relationship that exists between the Old and the New Testament.

Context is king in determining what the Bible means by what it says. The first time Satan is mentioned in the Bible is right at the beginning of both the Old and the New Testaments (Gen.3 and Matt. 4). In both cases, he is taking God’s word out of context. This practice is the leading cause of false doctrine, and division in the church.

“And no wonder, for even Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.”  2 Cor. 11:14-15


Sometime around the turn of the 20th century, the enemy came in like a flood, and liberalism established a beach-head in many mainline denominational seminaries. In the spiritual battle that ensued, the prevailing wind of doctrine was that since the church age began in Acts chapter two, everything prior to that is Old Testament law. And, since Christ “fulfilled the law,” the Old Testament is practically obsolete and serves only as a history book. This doctrine in effect removes the entire New Testament from its context!

In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus Himself forewarned us:

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but who ever keeps and teaches {them,} he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


The Old Testament is commonly referred to as “The Law,” and the New Testament is known conceptually as “The Gospel of grace.” Simply stated, it’s because we have broken God’s law that we need His grace!

To be sure, grace is found in the Old Testament (Gen. 15:6 for example), and Law in the New (I will show you that in a moment). But, the predominant themes respectively are:  Law in the Old, grace in the New; in that order and for good reason. As I just mentioned, it’s because we have broken God’s law that we need God’s grace. Grace presupposes Law. The importance of understanding these two foundational Biblical principles, and their relationship to each other, cannot be overstated.

Without the New Testament, the Old Testament would be incomplete, and without the Old Testament, the New Testament would be utterly incomprehensible! Each is a guide to properly understanding the other. The Old Testament is the foundation upon which the New Testament is built, and the New Testament constantly refers back to the Old to establish its validity. Through fulfilled prophecy, each continuously points back and forth to the other as proof positive of its divine authenticity and its perfect unity.

The very first verse in the New Testament forces you to this inescapable conclusion. Matthew 1:1 shows us two things. First, that God always keeps His promises, and secondly, that the Bible is one book!

“This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”

This verse says in effect, “If you are starting here, you have to go back to Genesis brother!” Who would pick up any other book and start reading in the middle? Yet, people do that with the Bible, and wonder why they have trouble understanding it.

“Starting in Matthew is like walking into a movie half-way through. It’s like thinking you are telling a good joke when all you can remember is the punch line!”

Without knowing the covenant promises that God made with Abraham and David, Matt. 1:1 would be boring, yet to those who understand it in the context of the Old Testament, this verse explodes with excitement!

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God willing, Part 2 will be posted soon (God willing).

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