We continue our study of the doctrine known as Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura, from the Latin, simply means Scripture Alone. Sola Scriptura is a term derived from the 16th century Protestant Reformation and is the perspective that the Bible is the sole, supreme and final authority for not only individual believers but also the church in all spiritual matters.
We are examining the importance of the Old Testament and the suggestion by a few within the church that believers should detach themselves from the Old Testament Scriptures. It is my contention that this would be an incredibly sinful thing to do.
Why? Because the Old Testament (OT) is not only God’s written revelation of Himself in general, but also the OT is important to the church when it comes to understanding our need of salvation. The Old Testament provides the foundation for all which the New Testament teaches, including the resurrection of Jesus Christ which is the primary truth upon which the church must commit. Let me provide three supportive Scripture passages from the New Testament of the Old Testament’s importance and value.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Within the context of Paul’s words to Timothy, the “All Scripture” to which Paul refers is the Old Testament. While the phrase “All Scripture” would eventually extend to the New Testament, we cannot ignore that the phrase continues to also apply to the Old Testament.
The Apostle Paul argues that the Old Testament Scriptures are profitable. How?
They are profitable for teaching. The word teaching refers to the Bible’s instruction or doctrinal content of both the OT and the NT (cf. 2 Tim. 2:15; Acts 20:18, 20–21, 27; 1 Cor. 2:14–16; Col. 3:16; 1 John 2:20, 24, 27). The Scripture provides a comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness. See Psalm 119:97-105.
The Old Testament is profitable for reproof. To reprove means to confront wrong behavior and/or wrong belief. The Scripture exposes sin (2 Samuel 11-12; Heb. 4:12–13) which leads to confession and repentance.
The Old Testament is also profitable to correction. Correction refers to restore something to its proper condition. The word appears only here in the NT, but was used in secular Greek writings of righting a fallen object, or helping back to their feet those who had stumbled. Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior, but also points the way back to godly living. See Psalm 119:9–11; John 15:1–2.
Finally, the Old Testament is profitable for training in righteousness. Paul was explaining that even the Old Testament Scripture provides positive training (originally used in reference to training a child) in godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior (Acts 20:32; 1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Peter 2:1–2).
Additionally, 2 Peter 1:21-22 says, “Knowing this first of all that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The Apostle Peter is likewise referring to the Old Testament as Scripture.
I Corinthians 15:1-4, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” The Scriptures to which the Apostle Paul again refers is within the immediate context, and at the time of its writing, the Old Testament. While now also applied to the New Testament canon, it continues to be applied to the Old Testament canon as well.
Ephesians 2:14-22 says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles (New Testament) and prophets (Old Testament) with the person and work of Jesus Christ being the cornerstone in which the whole structure of salvation and the church exists. The Old Testament Scripture is important for the church to understand what is contained in the New Testament Scriptures.
Take time today and read Psalm 119 and Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Bask in the blessing of these two magnificent Old Testament passages.
Soli deo Gloria!