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THE HOLY BIBLE IS A LARGE BOOK. WE NEED A PLAN TO READ IT. NOTICE THAT THE BIBLE IS DIVIDED INTO TWO SECTIONS: THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE OLD TESTAMENT IS WRITTEN TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND THE NEW TESTAMENT IS WRITTEN TO THE GENTILES WHO IS EVERYONE WHO HAS ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR.


THE OLD TESTAMENT INCLUDES THE "LAW" WHICH GOD GAVE TO MOSES AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE. THE NEW TESTAMENT INCLUDES THE NEW COVENANT OF "GRACE" WHICH GOD HAS GIVEN TO THE GENTILES (MEANING US).


KEEP THESE TWO THINGS IN MIND WHILE READING THE OLD TESTAMENT:

THE OLD TESTAMENT (OR COVENANT) FORESHADOWS THE LIFE OF CHRIST AND GIVES US INSIGHT INTO HIS LIFE. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN GOD ASKED ABRAHAM TO SACRIFICE HIS ONLY SON UNTO HIM - ABRAHAM OBEYED. GOD STOPPED ABRAHAM'S HAND. THIS WAS A PICTURE OF WHAT GOD WOULD ASK JESUS TO DO WHEN HE ARRIVED ON EARTH AS THE MESSIAH. IT FORESHADOWS CHRIST'S DEATH ON THE CROSS.


THE OLD TESTAMENT (OR COVENANT) INCLUDES THE 'LAW' (THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) WHICH GOD GAVE TO MOSES. THE LAW WAS GIVEN TO US TO BRING US TO THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WE CAN'T KEEP GOD'S LAWS, THERFORE WE NEED A SAVIOR. JESUS CAME TO FULFILL GOD'S LAW AND TO OFFER 'FORGIVENESS' FOR OUR SINFULNESS AND DRAW US TO HIM.


THE NEW TESTAMENT (OR COVENANT) DIFFERS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THAT IT INCLUDES 'GOD'S GRACE' WHICH OFFERS US FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS INSTEAD OF DEATH IF WE DISOBEY THE LAW. FOR EXAMPLE: WHEN KING DAVID KILLED BATHSHEBA'S HUSBAND SO HE COULD MARRY HER, HIS FIRST BORN SON DIED AS A PAYMENT FOR DAVID'S SIN. YET THE APOSTLE PAUL WHO MURDERED THOUSANDS OF GOD'S PEOPLE WAS GIVEN FORGIVENESS LIKE MANY OTHERS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT, FOR UNDER THE NEW COVENANT GRACE REIGNS.


REMEMBER THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTREY - THE LAW REQUIRED THAT SHE BE STONED TO DEATH, BUT JESUS OFFERS HER FORGIVENESS OF SIN AND SETS HER FREE.


SO WHEN READING THE OLD TESTAMENT, KEEP IN MIND THAT MANY THINGS WRITTEN THERE DO NOT APPLY TO US WHO ARE UNDER THE NEW COVENANT OF GRACE.


ALSO REMEMBER THAT THE GOSPELS (MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN) TELL US ABOUT THE LIFE OF JESUS, BUT THESE BOOKS WERE WRITTEN ABOUT JESUS' LIFE BEFORE THE CROSS. THE NEW COVENENT GOES INTO EFFECTIVE AFTER CHRIST'S DEATH AND RESURRECTION.


IT IS IN THIS NEW COVENANT OF GRACE WHERE OUR SALVATION BEGINS.


IF YOU ARE A NEW BELIEVER IN CHRIST, START READING THE SCRIPTURES BEGINNING WITH THE BOOK OF ROMANS WHICH ARE THE LETTERS OF PAUL WHO PREACHES THE GOSPEL OF GRACE MEANT FOR US. THIS IS OUR COVENANT WITH GOD.




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