Thursday in the Twenty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

1 Corinthians 10:1-5

The Old in the New Revealed

I have written in these pages before a line I learned from my father years ago: “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; the Old is in the New revealed.”  This short passage shows us this.  Now Paul is setting up an argument that, as God overthrew the ancient Israelites in the desert for their faithlessness to Him years before, He may indeed do the same with these Corinthians who best heed the warnings from the Old Testament Scriptures.  But I will save that for tomorrow.  Today I wish to capitalize on the way that Paul reads the Old Testament, which is the way we should read the Old Testament; that is, in the light of Christ.

When I attended a left-of-center seminary years ago, we were taught to understand the Scriptures according to a model called the “historical-critical” method.  We were to discover what the words which the prophet said, written in the text, meant to the original hearers.  After divining that, we were then to preach what that message means to our listeners today in our sermon.  Let us call this the “find out what it meant and then preach what it means” method of Scripture interpretation and sermon preparation.  And when dealing with the Old Testament, how the New Testament writer understood the Old Testament passage was, well, not irrelevant, but certainly peripheral.  Well, as you can plainly see, not allowing the New Testament to reveal the Old Testament’s inner meaning is to empty the Old of any Christological value, and simply leads to moralistic preaching.

If we will read the Scriptures aright, we must read them according to Christ.  Our reason for adopting such a model is our Lord’s teaching the men on the road to Emmaus: “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).  And so the lamb which the Israelites sacrificed over Passover prefigured our Lord’s sacrifice; the Passover itself signified our Lord’s saving his people from coming judgment; crossing of the Red Sea under the cloud mentioned here was a type of baptism; the manna and water typify communion; the Rock, the presence of Christ.  The Book of Hebrews applies this “typological” method throughout as it deals with the Old Testament, as do many places scattered throughout the New.  This does not give us the right to make things up and see “types” in the Old Testament that aren’t there; however, we do intentionally strive to see how the Old Testament preaches Christ to us and make such our mindset when we read it.  Otherwise, the Old Testament is a dead letter, and we know that’s not true.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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