Why 2 Testaments?
Watch Webcast 33:52
Section 6: Why Two Testaments?
WHAT IS A TESTAMENT OR COVENANT?
The Contents Page of the Bible shows it as divided into two parts: the Old and New Testaments.
The word "testament": means covenant, meaning an agreement, promise or pledge between two parties.
The teaching of the Bible is based upon covenants of promise that God made with faithful men in times past.
It teaches that
"Jesus Christ (came) . . . to confirm the promises made unto the fathers; and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy." (Rom. 15:8-9)
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:4)
WHY OLD vs. NEW TESTAMENT?
The Lord Jesus Christ is described as the Mediator of the New Covenant. - Heb. 9:15
The events surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ provide a natural means of division of the scripture, between those writings dealing with the Old Testament and the New Testament. However, it must be remembered that this division of the Bible into Old and New Testaments is man made.
The whole Bible is the revelation of God, and is one complete and indivisible book. Some claim that the Old Testament became outdated when Christ appeared nearly 2000 years ago, but that is not so. The New Testament constantly refers the reader back to the Old.
Christ, in preaching, told his listeners to "search the Scriptures" (John 5:39) by which he meant the Old Testament.
He appealed to those same Scriptures to expound the things concerning himself:
"Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them (the disciples) in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:27)
The Bible will never be properly understood if the Old Testament is neglected. The Gospel, itself, is based upon an Old Testament promise:
"God preached the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." (Gal. 3:8)
Much of the Old Testament is prophecy, today being fulfilled, or about to be fulfilled.
To illustrate this consider the following promises or covenants made by God in the Old Testament.
- In Eden following the sin of Adam and Eve - Gen. 3:15
- Promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the "fathers of old."
- Promise to David - 2 Samuel 7:12-17
- Promises of the Kingdom to the prophets - Isaiah 9:6-7
The Angel's Testimony in the New Testament in Luke 1:31-33:
v. 31 - relates to the "seed of the woman" promised to Adam & Eve
v. 32 - relates to the promise of the "Son of God" made to David
v. 33 - relates to "the seed" that was promised to Abraham
v. 33 - relates to the promises made to the prophets concerning the "kingdom" of the Messiah
Consider also Zacharias' proclamation in Luke 1:67-79.
Another example of how God's promises span the testaments is found in Paul's letter to the Galatians.
Suggest you review: Gal. 3:8-9 - Abraham, Christ, Believers
God's Promises are not yet complete. This is made evident through the prophecy of Jeremiah.
Suggest you review: Jeremiah 31:31-34