Saturday, January 14, 2012

honor upon the Scripture

I was reading a chapter to Seth this past week from the Genesis volume of Nancy Ganz's Herein is Love series(highly recommended here) in which she is writing about Eve's temptation. And by way of contrast, she loosely quoted from Matthew 4:4 of Jesus' own temptation encounter with Satan.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

And for the first time, it occurred to me that Jesus made it very clear in his quotation of the Mosaic Law(Deut. 8:3) that He intended to obey that Law and His example is for our imitation.
By every word not only implies the Old Testament and the Law contained therein, but at the time of Jesus' words, that was the only written Word of God that had been given thus far. So instead of denying it was no longer applicable now that the New Covenant was being inaugurated, Jesus reinforced the biblical position of the Law of God as the eternal Word of God, necessary to resisting the lure of sin. (Is. 40:8)

Matthew Henry writes it more clearly:
He answered and said, It is written. This is observable, that Christ answered and baffled all the temptations of Satan with, It is written. He is himself the eternal Word, and could have produced the mind of God without having recourse to the writings of Moses; but he put honour upon the scripture, and, to set us an example, he appealed to what was written in the law; and he says this to Satan, taking it for granted that he knew well enough what was written.

Later Paul also, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives honor upon the Scripture by writing in 2 Timothy 3 encouragement to Timothy with these words:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Not only does he tell Timothy that the childhood training in the Law of God and the rest of the holy old covenant Scriptures is able to make you wise for salvation, but he reiterates the usefulness of all Scripture(including the OT) in equipping completely God's people to do His good works.

If you have been taught like I once was, to set aside the commands of the Old Testament in favor of the New, I encourage you to follow Christ's example set out for us and see it as the life-giving eternal Word of God equipping you to serve faithfully and wisely in the kingdom of God.

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