When we read the Old Testament (OT), we often wonder why and how it applies to Christians who live by the revelation of Jesus Christ and the New Testament (NT). Jesus Christ has brought in the new era of Christian living through the Cross. We as Christians acknowledge our fallen nature, and only through our faith, saved.
The significance of the Cross can only be exemplified by understanding the Old Testament. It reveals how humanity since creation has floundered and stumbled, incapable of seeing the Truth, revealed through God’s covenants and spiritual presence. Eden; God physical presence, through his covenant with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, through the Arc of the Covenant, His temple, his voice through the prophets, judges and kings. God has revealed his unending grace, love, patience and compassion.
Every book of the OT is a testimony to our loving LORD and evidence for our
judgement. Unless that testimony convicts our souls to the evidential reality of the broken human soul, we can never appreciate the gravity of our sinful state. How easy the human soul seeks excuses, desires and pleasures without accountability. The OT reveals to us the judgement that will prevail as to what happened to the Israelites.
God revealed in his nature and essence is shown in the OT. The NT reveals God in the flesh, as Jesus became man and set the example and standard that we are to follow. Follow what? Follow the absolute moral laws shown and revealed in the OT. The absolute moral laws are our guide and path to walk and live by, and only then can the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ cleanse us and sanctify and empower our souls with the strength of the Holy Spirit and be glorified in the presence of the Father on judgement day.
The significance of an objective and subjective view is critical in understanding the law. Today, the world governed by the subjective application of laws that govern our lives and laws to be followed and observed. Many of these laws are grounded in the absolute moral laws intrinsically linked to our Creator’s foundations. Other laws subjectively governed our lives that are ethically, racially and religiously biased. As Christians, do we succumb to these subjective laws that are bias?
If the absolute laws given by God governs our objectivity, we will never accept these laws that are contrary to the absolute laws given by God. Paul, who was once persecuting Christians, found his objectivity grounded in the absolute moral laws. He died in his faith to those laws and his salvation in Christ.
Jesus Christ spoke about the OT’s teaching as the foundations of the absolute moral law that He upheld in His ministry. The book of Leviticus is a book of moral standards that are within the law. It calls the Israelite’s to be a holy nation as a reflection of God, who brought them out of Egypt. This book contained the funnel through which the absolute laws brought the people to Yahweh. These laws are all bound within a moral framework, which governs the Israelite’s life in the promised land. The conditional laws are framed within situational context whereas, and the absolute laws were firm and unconditional. These same applications apply to us today. We bound by moral duty but judged by the moral absolute. A Doctor bound by an oath to save lives, but a teacher is not, but both are bound never to murder. In the same way for Christians are bound to love their neighbour as themselves. Subsequently, this is not a moral duty but a moral absolute, which applies to your enemy who hates and despises you.
Philosophers today argue on the premise of Moral obligation vs moral duty vs the moral absolute. In Dostoevsky’s “The Brother Karamazov”, Ivan Karamazov declares that if God does not exist, then “everything is permitted.” An Atheist like Richard Dawkins is unable to define the moral conscience in our objective choices. Unless we understand the question of the moral absolute and our intrinsic value, created in God’s image and likeness, we can never understand the internal spiritual mechanism that drives our conscience to evaluate and know the difference between good and evil and how our actions dictate these consequences. To avoid the question of God’s moral absolutes/absolute laws, in the OT, we are only creating automatons with high intellect but no intrinsic understanding of God Word to ‘YOU’ and what it means to be righteous in the presence of our Creator.
God did not only deliver a law, which merely directs their outward morals but, more importantly, and highly significant in today’s context, calls one to require a truly pure, morally sincere heart.
So much has been given to emphasize God’s message and understand the exegetical and hermeneutic contexts of verses, passages, chapters, and books. We seek to hear the Word of God, to hear His voice speaking to us through all the lessons we take. As we walk this journey seeking a ministry to do his will and glorify him, we forget that God has always been with us before our existence. His very essence is part of our intrinsic makeup. He is our Father, and we are His children. Like the story of the prodigal son who has led astray, we to have been led astray, tainted in pleasures and desires to seek a selfish existence without our Father. Buried in a sea of pluralistic and materialistic pleasures; God’s voice drowned out of our souls. Even in the church, we hear with our ears, see with our eyes but never with our hearts. So is it any different anywhere else?
Our soul is our conscience and our pathway to God. Unless we seek that objective link and is grounded in its very existence to God, we will continue to hear and see with our eyes and ears, but never with our hearts. Our heart and soul is the gateway to God’s Word, and the OT reminds us of that.
Look at the fallen evangelist, who once stood on pedestals of righteousness, proclaiming the moral laws of God. They were expounding in the absolutes and seeking that link revealed through the Cross. They gave sermons and talks on the moral laws and their absolutes to many who waited eagerly to hear and understand—travelling the world over and bringing God’s Word and moral laws to Christians and non-Christians, speaking with great authority and intellect and converting so many to Christ.
Only to find out later that they had lived secret immoral lives. Womanizing, rape, sexual assault and many other immoral acts. What happened? The answer lies in how we have become complacent with our psychological state’s sinful and subjective nature. We see, hear and talk but never through our hearts. Our hypocrisy blinds our self-righteous attitudes to be complacent within the comforts of our broken state, and we live in a lie.
As much as we continue to read, learn, and understand God’s Word in the NT and OT, we must constantly be reminded that God has been talking to us first. Unless we see the message and its implication in our lives, we will never be His.