THE OLD TESTAMENT
QUESTION – Brian Angels (Ghana): Dear Pastor Chris, God bless you for the wonderful work you are doing. Pastor, there are times that I hear that certain laws in the Old Testament have been canceled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. So why is it that preachers still take stories from the Old Testament? Did Jesus cancel the law of clean and unclean food? How about first-fruit and so on?
ANSWER: Yeah, very, very interesting indeed. You said at times, you hear certain laws in the Old Testament have been canceled by Jesus. No, not certain laws but all the laws have really been canceled by Jesus Christ. We read earlier that love is the fulfilling of the law [see?] All of those commandments, now with walking in love, you fulfil them. But beyond that, in Ephesians 2:14-15 “For he is our peace [he is talking about Jesus Christ], who hath made both one [both meaning Jews and Gentile], and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished [notice in verse 15] in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain [that means out of the two] one new man, so making peace;” So, He’s abolished through His death [in His flesh it says] the enmity. He says: “…even the law of commandments contained in ordinances” [Ephesians 2:15] so the law of commandments contained in ordinances has been abolished. He’s done it; so, He has abolished all of them – that’s what He did – not some of them but all of them. He fulfilled them and abolished them; that’s what the Bible says.
Hebrews chapter 7 is another scripture that gives us an interesting light on this [in verse 12]. You know that Jesus has become our High Priest, and He was not made a Priest in the order of Aaron or the Levitical priesthood. He was made a Priest in the order of Melchizedek and now that means an eternal priesthood; so, there is a new priesthood, not the priesthood that they had in the Old Testament but a new priesthood of Jesus Christ. So, Jesus is our High Priest. Now, the importance of that is now what I want to read to you in verse 12: “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” So, if Jesus Chris has become our high priest, He is not the High Priest of the law. He has a new law. See, the Bible says, “if you change the Priesthood, you must change the law” and since the priesthood has been changed and Jesus Christ has become our High Priest, the law has been changed as well. That’s why Jesus said, “A new law I give to you, a new commandment I give to you that you love one another” [John 13:34], so love has replaced all of that in the Old Testament.
You said, “There are times when I hear that certain laws in the Old Testament have been canceled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. So why is do preachers still take stories from the Old Testament?” Because of this – Romans 15:4: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”, which means those things that were written in the Old Testament were written for our learning. So, we can learn from them. That’s what it is talking about. We can learn from those things; that’s why preachers still preach from the Old Testament.
Now you said, “Did Jesus cancel the law of clean and unclean fruit?” Yeah, Roman 14:14: “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.” So, nothing is unclean of itself anymore. The ceremonial uncleanness of certain foods is all canceled. But now, he says anybody who says something is unclean, to him it is unclean. So it’s up to you. That’s what it is saying. You choose what is clean for you or unclean for you, not because God said so [because], that law has been abolished.
How about first-fruit? First-fruit didn’t come because of the law; first-fruit came before the law. If you go into Genesis, the Bible tells us from the very beginning how that Cain and Abel were to bring their firstlings unto God (firstlings – that means first fruits in terms of animals) [Genesis 4:3-5]. So, that’s what they did; it was revealed first. In fact, it was revealed before tithing. So it wasn’t of the law. It was only put in the law because it was something that was an act of faith that was revealed in the scriptures. So, Jesus didn’t cancel it because He only abolished the law and first fruit was not of the law. It was included in the law.