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The Purpose, goal and benefits of the bible – Part 7


Holy bible

The Bible makes Jesus Known cont’

Their faith in Christ is always bound to the Word of God and the doctrine of the apostle (vv. 1, 3; 11:2, 23; Rom 6:17; Gal 1:12).

For this reason, believers can be described as people who submit to the Christ of the Bible as Lord and Saviour and who live under the Word of God. They submit without reservation to its authority, hold firmly to its teaching, trust its promises, heed its warnings and follow its commands. They are a people captive to God’s word, using Scripture to test all human ideas and accepting nothing that is contrary to the Bible.


Christ in the Old Testament: An overview
Jesus appears to two believers traveling on the road to Emmaus

“Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (Jn 5:39)
“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev 19:10)

One of the fundamental NT teachings is that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is the fulfilment of the OT. The writer to the Hebrews suggests that Christ is the heir of all that God had spoken through the prophets (Heb 1:1-2). Jesus Himself asserted that He had come to fulfil the Law and the Prophets (Mat 5:17).

After His glorious resurrection, He demonstrated to His followers from the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (i.e. from the three main divisions of the Hebrew OT) that God had long predicted everything that happened to Him (Luke 24:25-27, 44-46). To better understand the OT’s prophecies about Jesus Christ, we must say something about typology.


Principles of Typology. A careful study of the OT reveals elements (called types, from Gktupos) that are fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah (who is the antitype); i.e. there are persons, events or things in the OT that prefigure or foreshadow in some way Jesus Christ in the NT. Note two basic principles with respect to this pattern of prophecy and fulfillment:

• In seeing how an OT passage points forward to Christ, we must always begin by looking at the passage as revealing an event within God’s history of redemption, i.e., we must first examine an OT passage as a historical event and then see how it points forward to the coming of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah.

• We must recognise that the Messiah fulfilment of an OT passage is often on a higher spiritual plane than the OT event. In fact, the OT people involved in the story may not themselves have seen that what they were experiencing was prophetic of the coming Son of God.

For example, David probably did not realise when he wrote Ps 22 that his suffering was prophetic of Christ’s suffering on the cross. Nor did the weeping exiles going past Rachel’s tomb in Ramah (Jer 31:5) know that someday, their tears would be fulfilled in the deaths of all boys two years old and under in Bethlehem (Mat 2:18). Often, we are able to see an OT passage as prophetic of our Lord only in the light of NT revelation.

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