Ephesians 2:14-16 describes in some detail how Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law. Further, we discover that God’s righteousness is revealed outside of the Law (Rom 3:21), that justification comes from faith not works of law (Rom 3:28), and that the growth of the believer comes from the Spirit, not from law (Gal 5:18).

If neither the Law of Moses or law in general (i.e., ethics) has anything directly to do with our justification, sanctification, or ultimate glorification, then of what value is the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible to us?

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Reason #1: It is written for our instruction.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

 

Reason #2: It is written to provide an example for us.

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12

 

Reason #3: It shows our need for a Savior.

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24-25

 

Reason #4: The New Testament writers based their teaching on it.

Sixty times in the New Testament we find the phrase “it is written.” These are generally Old Testament references given either for teaching or for reminder. Even in Jesus’ teaching, He assumes that His listeners had a good understanding of what had been previously written (e.g., Mt 5:21ff).

 

Reason #5: It helps us not to sin against God.

Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11

 

Reason #6: The eight reasons highlighted in Psalm 19.

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11

 

Reason #7: God’s covenants and promises are recorded there.

Genesis 12:2-3, for example records how God would make Abraham’s descendants a mighty nation (12:2-3a), and how all the families of the earth would be blessed (12:3b). These are the roots from which the tree of blessing in the New Testament grows.

 

Reason #8: It is very interesting, and a well-crafted (true) story.

Sure, there are some bits that are tough to read – especially the genealogies of Numbers and the ceremonial details of Leviticus, but the eleven chronological books that cover the four thousand year history of the Old Testament world tell a remarkable story. In chronological order they are: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. If you read these eleven books you have all the chronology of the Old Testament. The other books help provide additional setting and information.

 

Reason #9: They are God’s words.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Because they are God’s words, it is expected that they should be studied diligently:

 

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

 

Reason #10: We discover the character of God.

Make me understand the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate on Your wonders. Psalm 119:27

 

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