The Old and the New Testaments.
I WANT to show how absurd it is for anyone to say he believes the New Testament and not the Old. It is a very interesting fact that of the thirtynine books of the Old Testament, it is recorded that our Lord made quotations from no less than twenty-two. Very possibly He may have quoted from all of them; for we have only fragments reported of what He said and did. You know the Apostle John tells us that the world could scarcely contain the books that could be written, if all the sayings and doings of our Lord were recorded. About eight hundred and fifty passages in the Old Testament are quoted or alluded to in the New; only a few occurring more than once.
In the Gospel by Matthew there are over a hundred quotations from twenty of the books in the Old Testament. In the Gospel of Mark there are fifteen quotations taken from thirteen of the books. In the Gospel of Luke there are thirty-four quotations from thirteen books. In the Gospel of John there are eleven quotations from six books. In the four Gospels alone there are more than one hundred and sixty quotations from the Old Testament. You sometimes hear men saying they do not believe all the Bible, but they believe the teaching of Jesus Christ in the four Gospels. Well, if I believe that, I have to 28 The Old and the New Testament.
accept these hundred and sixty quotations from the Old Testament. In Paul's letter to the Corinthians there are fifty-three quotations from the Old Testament; sometimes he takes whole paragraphs from it. In Hebrews there are eighty-five quotations, in that one book of thirteen chapters. In Galatians, sixteen quotations. In the book of Revelation alone, there are two hundred and forty-five quotations and allusions.
A great many want to throw out the Old Testament. It is good historic reading, they say, but they don't believe it is a part of the Word of God, and dpn't regard it as essential in the scheme of salvation. The last letter Paul wrote contained the following words: "And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." All the Scriptures which the apostles possessed were the Old Testament.
When skeptics attack its truths, these find it convenient to say, "Well, we don't endorse all that is in the Old Testament," and thus they avoid an argument in defence of the Scriptures. It is very important that every Christian should not only know what the Old Testament teaches, but he should accept its truths, because it is upon this that truth is based. Peter said the Scriptures are not given for any private interpretation, and in speaking of the Scriptures, referred to the Old Testament and not to the New.
If the Old Testament Scriptures are not true, do you think Christ would have so often referred to them, and said the Scriptures must be fulfilled? When told by the tempter that He might call down the angels from heaven to interpose in His behalf, he said: "Thus it is written." Christ gave Himself up as a sacrifice that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Was it not said that He was numbered with the transgressors? And when He talked with two of His disciples by the way journeying to Emmaus, after His resurrection, did He not say: "Ought not these things to be? am I not to suffer?" And beginning at Moses He explained unto them in all the Scriptures concerning Himself, for the one theme of the Old Testament is the Messiah. In Psalm 40:7, it says: "In the volume of the book it is written of me." "What Book?" asks Luther, "and what Person? There is only one book—the Bible; and only one person—Jesus Christ." Christ referred to the Scriptures and their fulfillment in Him, not only after He arose from the dead, but in the book of Revelation He used them in Heaven. He spoke to John of them on the Isle of Patmos, and used the very things in them that men are trying to cast out. He never found fault with or rejected them.
If Jesus Christ could use the Old Testament, let us use it. May God deliver us from the one-sided Christian who reads only the New Testament and talks against the Old!