Madison Church

Navigating the Nuances of Faith: A Journey Through the Old Testament's Relevance and the New Covenant Shift

February 05, 2024 Stephen Feith
Madison Church
Navigating the Nuances of Faith: A Journey Through the Old Testament's Relevance and the New Covenant Shift
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark with us on a thought-stirring sojourn where the dusty pages of the Old Testament spring to life, revealing their enduring relevance in our personal growth and faith. We don't shy away from the tough questions as we scrutinize the complexities of scripture, challenging the simplistic narratives often taught. Our conversation takes you through the potent blend of history, ethics, and spirituality, examining the relationship between ancient texts and the moral quandaries of the contemporary world. It's a candid exploration that promises to deepen your understanding of faith amidst a tapestry of diverse beliefs and ideas.

The scriptures often come under fire for their seemingly archaic rules and the portrayal of a God starkly different from the compassionate figure of modern faith. Together, we navigate these turbulent waters, responding to critiques like those from Richard Dawkins and others who call into question the ethical implications of the Hebrew scriptures. We dissect the contrast between the mandates of old and the values we cherish today, such as the condemnation of slavery and the acceptance of tattoos, offering insights to equip you for the conversations that matter about the Bible's role in today's society.

Finally, we consider the transformative impact of Jesus' teachings on our contemporary understanding of God's word. The monumental shift from the Old to the New Covenant is not just theological discourse but a call to action, urging us to emulate Christ's example of unconditional love and self-sacrifice. This episode is an invitation to shift your perspective from the legalistic adherence to ancient texts to a dynamic, love-centered approach to faith and community. Join us as we dissect these profound themes, ensuring you walk away with a renewed vision for engaging with the scriptures and the world around you.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Madison Church to our online audience. I'm Steven Feith, lead pastor. We want to invite you to join us in person sometime soon. Got a lot of cool things coming up, including Easter Sunday, and I'm getting together with the team later this week to decide all of our fun plans. Every year we try to do something fun. Easter is March 31st this year, so we're just going to plan for an indoor Easter. I think that's safe in March in Wisconsin, probably not going to be able to do anything fun outside. Last year it was great. It's like 65 degrees Can't make that up. It's not going to happen again, though, so we want to invite you to in person.

Speaker 1:

We are in the third week of our series, mature Audiences Only talking about the Bible, and we're continuing talking about the intricate and perplexing aspects of the Bible. What I wanted to do in this series when planning it over a year ago, I wanted to go beyond the tripe Sunday school. The Bible tells me, so Just trust. Jesus answers. I'm a big believer that you grew up and your faith should grow up. You matured and your faith should mature. I'm a big believer in that kind of thing. Yet for so many of us, whether intentional or unintentional, maybe it's just ignorance. We grow up and we kind of leave our faith upstairs in the baby room. Then we grow up and we believe the things we believe because our parents told us to believe them. We trust our parents. They gave us a lot of good advice. They kept us alive for the most part. That's not all of your stories, but we trusted our parents. There were some trusted adults who maybe told us some things growing up. We trust them. Then you got to college, as many of you have, and many of you might be in college now. You meet other people and they grew up differently than you. The trusted adults in their lives didn't believe in Jesus. The trusted adults in their lives were atheists and they have really good points. The trusted adults in their lives were Muslims and they've got some really good points. You're sitting here and Jesus lost me. This I know before the Bible tells me, so it just isn't good enough.

Speaker 1:

In the first week of this series, we dived into the origins of the Bible itself. It's just crucial for us to understand that the Bible that we have today is not the Bible that the world got thousands of years ago. We believe what we believe because it was written, but understand that the world believed what had happened. Because of something that happened. Because something that happened, people felt inclined. They felt the pressure. We got to write this down so other people can find out about it. When you got your Bible, it came in a package Chapters, verses, footnotes, table of content. Some of you got pictures in yours. I'm a little jealous, mine doesn't come with any pictures, but that's how you got your Bible. We had to understand, first and foremost, that that's going to shape the way that we read the Bible is that we've got this final product. We have to remember, when reading the Bible, this is something that happened. And they felt so inclined they investigated it. This wasn't like God dropped it on their lap. There were people really engaged with the message of Jesus.

Speaker 1:

And then last week, sarah emphasized the importance of reading the Bible in context. We talk about context all the time, but she went after Genesis 1 and 2. I knew I was going to be gone that week and it was the hardest talk in the whole series. So I was just like, hey, we'll just let Sarah deal with this and if it blows up, I won't have anyone here today. So it would be like a two week vacation, right? No, but she did great.

Speaker 1:

I listened to the message and she pointed out all of the right things, that when we read Genesis we're like six day creation, young earth, or is it old earth? My Sunday school teacher says this, my science teacher says this and understand that's a fairly recent conversation. In the entire history of the world, our scientific understanding, it's super new and for a lot of them and we're going to talk a little bit more about this today they just got out of slavery in Egypt. All they wanted to know was like is Ra really the sun, god, is he making this happen? And so God sets the record straight. So we want to keep the main thing, the main thing. And what happens when we don't keep the main thing, the main thing?

Speaker 1:

When we pull verses out of context, like Genesis one and two, you and I, we get in fights and then we get divisive and then we can't be unified anymore and Jesus tells us this is bonus. This is not my notes at all, but Jesus tells the world will know that you're my disciples by your unity. And so then you can see that these debates that we're having young earth, old earth if they're not causing unity, they're causing division. And if they're causing division, they're showing the world mixed messaging and so let's stop doing that. And as we progress into this week's discussion, we're going to go right into Leviticus. I want to flirt with Heresy today. I do not want to marry it, so you guys can just nod your head if I'm starting to get weird and I'll move on.

Speaker 1:

But we're going to grapple with the Old Testament text. You have an Old Testament in your Bible. I bet a bunch of you don't read it. It's confusing, that's fair. If you've been coming to Madison Church, you're like we might have done one or two series in 10 years here out of the Old Testament. So you're like we don't talk about it very much and there might be a reason for that, and it's pretty simple, I think.

Speaker 1:

Has anyone ever told you you're really going to love something and then you didn't? For example, everyone told me, like I was in middle school, read the Harry Potter books. They're going to change your life. I read it, was bored, didn't read it. Ever again. I've not read it. I know this is offensive to some of you, isn't it? I've never read the Harry Potter books. After the first one, I just didn't like it. I've never seen the movies either and, speaking of movies, in high school I did a lot of speech team and drama stuff and you know all the speech team and drama people. You know what they love Lord of the Rings and they loved that. Like directors cut and I hated it but fundamentally still do to this day, have not watched it since like I don't have 12 hours to kill watching Frodo do whatever he's supposed to do with the ring. Like I don't. So there's another one. I know I've offended everyone now in the room, but like you think about it and it's like that.

Speaker 1:

We talk about Jesus and faith and we talk about it and then we're like it's so great. And then our friends, our family members, people we know, they're like okay, like maybe there's something to it, and they open it up and maybe they read Genesis, maybe they read Exodus, like it's a little weird, I don't quite understand it. But then they get to Leviticus and it's just like me reading Harry Potter, watching Lord of the Rings. Can I be crass with you this morning? They get to Leviticus and like what the hell is this, don't they? What is there's rules on haircuts? Did you know that? How you're supposed to cut your hair. Do you know? If you're a woman, you're on your period, you're supposed to leave town. That's in the law. Like get out, you're unclean, get out here. You're not supposed to have tattoos, whoops. But that's what we do.

Speaker 1:

We sell it and then they read it and you and I, we don't know what to do about that. It's in there. Maybe we start giving Bibles and we just cut it out. That wouldn't be the answer. It's in there. What do we do with that? And that is what we are talking about today.

Speaker 1:

What is our relationship today with the Old Testament? And first I wanna begin by stating what were the ancient Israelites relationship with the Old Testament. The first five books of the Bible refer to as the Torah. We're talking about Genesis, exodus, leviticus, numbers and Deuteronomy. Well, first and foremost, it told their story. Right, sarah talked about that.

Speaker 1:

A lot Creation narrative isn't like. This is how God literally created the world. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it's their story. I am your God, you are my people, I created everything. So what was that?

Speaker 1:

But now today we're getting into the part where it wasn't just like I'm your God and you're my people. Now it's like you know, you're supposed to act a little differently than the rest of the world. You're supposed to be different. There's something about you that should be different, and so now there is a lot of confusion. When and how do we use the Old Testament in our modern lives? Cause, obviously, stephen has tattoos. We don't have slavery, which is a great thing, but there's a lot in the Old Testament that speaks against tattoos and gives you a lot of rules on slavery. So what do we do with that? Today?

Speaker 1:

And because of our confusion, because of the Sunday School answers that we don't really know what to do, it leads to accusations of hypocrisy, and I think, rightfully so. When we quote one thing out of Leviticus to say, well, you shouldn't do that, but then we ignore the rest of Leviticus, I don't get it. I personally and I study this stuff I don't get your hermeneutic. That's how you study the Bible and the rules that you study the Bible with. I don't get how you can pick a couple of them and then say these count, but the rest of them don't. So you can get whatever haircut you want, you can wear your favorite tri-blend T-shirt, that's really super soft. But this is wrong. I don't get it and as such atheist and I mentioned atheist in the first week and that's kind of a big part of this series is that people are smart, they're reading our Bible, they know what they're doing. They're walking away from the faith.

Speaker 1:

Richard Dawkins. In his book the God Delusion. He characterizes God of the Old Testament using scathing terms. I got the quote for you. He says the God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction. Jealous and proud of it. A petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak, a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser. A misogynistic, homophobic, racist. A bunch of words that I can't pronounce, that I don't think he can either. I think he just Googled a bunch of really bad words and then he put them in there. But, like, just look at the list. None of those are good. I don't know what half of them mean, but I know deep down in my heart these are not good things. And then he moves on. He says he is a bully.

Speaker 1:

Dawkins quote is startling for those of us who might have grown up in and around the church. How could he think of that? But for those outside of our faith, they agree with him. There's validity. For those outside of our faith. They say if you don't agree, have you ever read it? Because if you read it, you might agree too. However, I wholeheartedly believe Dawkins is wrong because of a misreading, and that's our why today, this book, the Old Testament, the letters and the things written in it they're thousands of years old. We're not one generation away, we're thousands of years away. There's so much context that needs to go in it and then also a big change around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Speaker 1:

We are not studying and talking about this stuff today. I did not do a bunch of homework, organize my notes, practice this talk so that you could know a whole bunch of extra stuff. Today about the Old Testament, I wanna clear up some confusion. So it has a positively significant, positive impact on your faith, whereas for some of your friends and family, it might have been the Old Testament that drove them away from faith. I hope that today, after our talk, that I've given you the tools to have a conversation that says you know the Old Testament doesn't have to drive you away. I hope that it can strengthen your faith as well.

Speaker 1:

And as we grapple with these complexities, we have to understand that we approach the Old Testament with not just understanding the historical context, but discernment, because there are multiple genres within the Old Testament, so you don't approach all of the Old Testament the same way, and so let's talk about the Old Testament and, more importantly, our relationship to what the early church referred to as the Hebrew scriptures. These books contain foundational narratives, laws, instructions for the Israelites, and that's what gets us confused. But let's back up now a step further so we understand how the Israelites had this relationship with it. They said okay, this is our story, these are the rules we're supposed to follow. Why did God give them rules in the first place? Well, they just escaped Egypt. They got out of Egypt, they got out of slavery and at this point, similar to last week, who created everything? Okay, god created everything.

Speaker 1:

What does God want us to do? Remember, they're enslaved in Egypt for 400 years. It's not like the story of their God is being passed on from generation to generation. Maybe parts of it are, but it's not quite like that. So they get out there. What are we supposed to do? We knew in Egypt we had to do this, this and this, and we had to do that on this day and we had to do this in the morning. We had to do this at night.

Speaker 1:

But what do we do now that we don't serve those gods? Well, god comes to them and says I'm gonna let you know, I'm gonna tell you, but I want you to understand something that's a little different from me than the gods the Egyptians served. And God says I want a relationship with you. God says I want to know you and I want you to know me. Here's the first difference between our God and all of the other gods the world had. Our God reaches out and says I want to know you and I want you to know me. The Egyptian God, rah, couldn't care less, couldn't care less about you. But our God, the very first thing he does is reach out and he says this isn't lip service. I understand this. This is a rhoded, some of our theology today.

Speaker 1:

God says don't just check the box that you believe. Don't just check the box that you're the Christian. It's not just saying a prayer and you're good. That's lip service. And that's exactly the opposite of what Leviticus comes out for. God says I don't want you to just say you believe in me. God says you're gonna do things to prove it and I'm gonna do things to prove that I am God, and so it's a covenant.

Speaker 1:

It's a business arrangement, like your marriage, or if you do have a business with someone, you have arrangements. You know my son, he's got like six girlfriends Elijah does, it's the weirdest thing. But you know he talks about marriage and he's six and he has no idea what that means. Or like the legality of marriage, the potential permanency of marriage. You know, one day he's married to one girl and the next day he's married to another one. It's all lip service. But God says no, like, just like a real marriage, just like a real business arrangement.

Speaker 1:

This is going to have some rules and regulations. And so in Exodus 19, when this is coming out, god says now, if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure among all the peoples on earth, for all the earth belongs to me, and you will be my kingdom of priests, a holy nation. This is the message you must give to the people of Israel. So understand. God comes out and Leviticus and this is important, it's a baseline, it's the floor, it's the starting line. That's just the very beginning. We're just starting here. God says you wanna know how to make me happy? Here's where we're gonna start. You wanna know what makes me upset. Here's where we are going to start. There are over 600 rules that proceed to follow this conversation. And I say 600 and I know you know 600 is a lot, but I wanna show you that 600 is a lot, and so I've asked Lindsay and Dick to come up here and they're gonna help me out and they're gonna hang up the rules 613 rules that I found online. So they're gonna do that. You can watch them, but you can keep listening to me, because it's gonna take them a while to tape all of this up. Okay, this is gonna be a very effective illustration, I think. So let me tell you about the rules that they're hanging out.

Speaker 1:

Leviticus comes out.

Speaker 1:

What are some of the rules? There are sacrificial offerings. There are ways you have to atone. You're gonna mess up, and when you mess up, you gotta make it right. So here are all the rules on how to make a sacrifice to express devotion, atone for your sins and underscore your reliance on God.

Speaker 1:

There are dietary laws, regulations that not only promoted good health thousands of years ago, but it also set the Israelites apart from surrounding people. God was big into that right. He's trying to make his own people, separate them from the rest of the world. There are ritual and purity and impurity rules, instructions ensuring that the community's physical and spiritual health would be good, and wanted to make sure that you were all right with God when you approached God. That was a big cultural thing a long time ago. There are moral and ethical rules, guidelines fostering a just and compassionate society, reflecting God's holiness in every aspect of our lives. There's rules on festivals and holy days, times that set apart to come and encounter God, celebrate his provision, renew your covenant with him.

Speaker 1:

It wasn't just checking the box one time. It was. We gotta renew this membership. There are priestly duties in the tabernacle. If you're gonna work in the tabernacle, you're gonna be a priest. There are gonna be some rules for you to follow. There's a lot going on in 600 different rules here, but now I want you to imagine this is important. Okay, you can keep watching them, but listen to this. Okay, this was liberating To you. It is stifling To you. It chokes you out 600 rules that I need to follow. How can I ever well hold on? I'll tell you how you ever Imagine being a slave in Egypt and one year.

Speaker 1:

You didn't get a lot of rain, so there weren't a lot of crops. There aren't a lot of grocery stores 4,000 years ago. So people in your family starve to death the elderly and the young people, because they're most vulnerable. So they starve to death. There's not enough food. You wanna know why didn't it rain more?

Speaker 1:

The gods must be angry, the ha? Because the gods send the rain, and you know they're fickle gods. So if the gods didn't send the rain, they must be angry. Why are they angry? Your guess is as good as my guess. I don't know why they're angry.

Speaker 1:

Next year, let's sacrifice more. So they give you more grain, more wheat, whatever it is. They're gonna sacrifice more, and if it's a drought that lasts several years, we're gonna start getting desperate here. Well, the gods are still angry. We're giving them a ton of all of our crops. We're bringing treasures to the temple. They're still angry. So what are we gonna start doing? We're gonna start sacrificing children, what's most important to me, my children. So we're gonna start bringing them to these Egyptian temples and we're gonna start sacrificing them, and maybe these fickle gods won't be so mad at me anymore and they'll send the rain and we won't starve to death anymore.

Speaker 1:

So when God comes out and says you are my people, and here's what makes me mad and here's what makes me happy, there's no more guessing. When the rain doesn't come, it's not because God's mad at you. When good things happen, it doesn't necessarily mean God is happy with you. There's some of that going on. There's definitely some of that going on, but it's not like it was going on in Egypt. And understand, right from the very beginning, god makes a note in his little rules. He says you don't sacrifice people, you don't kill them. Egypt might do that, the Canaanites might do that, all of these people around you, they might kill kids and sacrifice them to the gods because their gods are mad, but you don't.

Speaker 1:

I want to go back to that quote by Dawkins. Well, all of a sudden, that doesn't seem very historically accurate, what he just called the God of the Old Testament. Because for the first time in the known history of the world historical evidence that we have by Leviticus and surrounding nations this is the first time in human history that people say their God says you don't sacrifice kids. And it would be hundreds and in some cases a thousand years later before the rest of the world would catch up, because even in the time when Jesus was walking around, egypt is still sacrificing children, god was way ahead in terms of compassion, in terms of progress. That's Leviticus.

Speaker 1:

We can see God clarify right from the beginning there's going to be a greater treatment of people in our society. Our God won't punish you because he woke up in a bad mood today, just like some of the other gods would. And when people would do these things and keep up their part of the covenant, god would bless and protect them. And then at the end of Leviticus, there's a promise. He says I will walk among you, I will be your God and you will be my people. I will walk among you, we will have a relationship. And when they didn't know what they were supposed to do, or when they didn't do what they were supposed to do, which was quite often, god, let natural consequences happen to them all the time. And in some cases, god interjects and gets involved to understand that Leviticus was God meeting these people where they were at. The story doesn't end in Leviticus.

Speaker 1:

You've probably noticed that this is the third book of a lot of books in your Bible, so we don't stop reading there. But here's what God is doing. You know, when a five-year-old asks you where babies come from, the answer is different than when an 11-year-old asks you where babies come from, and that answer is different than when a medical student who is studying reproductive health asks you where babies come from, the answer changes. It's not necessarily a lie. Well, you know, when two people Timmy, love each other, dot dot, dot and it's in the belly, and then it came out of the belly, boom done. And then when an 11-year-old asks you throwing a little bit more details that I can't throw out there because we will get thrown off YouTube and then when the reproductive doctor is doing it, it's a lot more. It's smaller, more detailed than that and everyone is telling the truth. The message changes depending on who's receiving it and for these Israelites who just got out of slavery in Egypt, god meets them where they're at and he gives them the five-year-old answer or the 11-year-old answer.

Speaker 1:

It's certainly not the final answer, as we're going to find out, the Old Testament era was marked by direct and divine commands to a specific people in a specific time, and that's the only thing you heard me say today. I'm glad it is. Remember that these Old Testament rules were for a specific people at a specific time in history, and the emphasis was on rituals and sacrifice and obedience, as that reflected the culture all around them and God was setting them apart. Now this is a good time for you and me, because I know there's a lot of information. Let's talk about Jesus for a second, because Jesus has some things to say about the Old Testament as well.

Speaker 1:

When Jesus arrives, there's a significant shift in the Bible, in the story, in the narrative of the Ark of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus is a major, major turning point and it underscores not just the change in covenant but this deeper desire that God wants to know you and wants you to know him. He wants a personal relationship with you founded on love rather than legalistic observations. He's moving us now beyond. We're having a more grown-up conversation, as it were.

Speaker 1:

The concerns of those people were watching Jesus, the way he lived, the way he taught, and he's a Jewish rabbi. And they're saying you're not following all of these rules, jesus, like you're on the Sabbath and you're doing things like that. What gives to Jesus? And so they accuse him. He's throwing out the Old Covenant, he doesn't care about the rules and regulations anymore and he corrects them. He says don't misunderstand why I have come.

Speaker 1:

I did not come to abolish the law. He didn't come to just like hey, you know what God was just kidding? This was just ignore this brief moment in history. He didn't say that. He said I came to accomplish their purpose. Aha, remember, they serve a purpose. The purpose is this will make Scott happy, this will make Scott angry, and when you do these things, you are set apart and I am your God and you are my people.

Speaker 1:

And the system isn't working well, because even if you followed all of these perfectly, you still weren't there. And all of us look at this and we're like well, there's no way I could follow all of those perfectly every single day, no matter my mood, if I'm sick, all of that. And so the system is imperfect. And so Jesus comes and he says I've come to accomplish their purpose. He is starting to flirt with the idea that there is a new covenant, a new agreement coming, and so he affirms all of this law, the prophets, what has happened. But he invites us into a renewed understanding, he calls us into a relationship and then Jesus goes off and he says something quite interesting that I know we've taught on a lot, but I brought all the props. Like I said, I was gone for a week so I had a lot of time to think about this one.

Speaker 1:

But Jesus then goes and he says about this. He says you know, out of all of this stuff, these rules are written you must love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments Love God, love people. You've heard of that before. Whether or not you're new to church or Christianity or whatever, you've heard that. Love God, love people. Jesus says the entire law, all of that is about those two things my golf umbrella. Jesus throws out this caveat. Now he says everything that was written in Leviticus, all of these rules, right, it's all about loving God and loving people. There's an umbrella here. You might not have understood it living in Levitical times, you may not have understood it pre-Jesus, but Jesus says since you're confused and you're missing the point, all of this was about loving God and it was all about loving people.

Speaker 1:

Because of what Jesus did, the Old Testament doesn't continue to have the same role in our lives as it used to have in our lives or in their lives. We have to read the Old Testament different than the New Testament. The Old Testament is no longer the rule of our life for how you and I should behave as followers of Jesus. Don't take my word for it. Listen to the author of Hebrews, who writes when God speaks of a new covenant, he means he made the first one obsolete, is gone. Remember, jesus didn't cancel it out. He fulfilled it and in fulfilling it, it is now gone. Funny thing about this.

Speaker 1:

Now, okay, in graduate school, my first run at graduate school, I was taking classes and part of my program for a master's of theology I had to take some Old Testament classes. I'm a New Testament guy. That's where I was leaning into. My emphasis was always New Testament, but I had to take it for a part of a well-rounded education or whatever. And this university was still using paper and pen to register for classes. This was only 10 years ago. Okay, I'm not that old yet, but I'm writing it down.

Speaker 1:

So you write like BI, like biblical introduction, theological history, whatever, and then you write like 530 or something, and then you turn that in. Then they send you an email so they can use technology somewhere. They send me an email and they say with my schedule? And I see on there like, yep, you're signed up to take introduction to Leviticus and Numbers. It's like, no, I was signed up to take Proverbs because Proverbs, in my opinion, was as close to New Testament book as you could get in the Old Testament. So I want to take Proverbs. So I go in and I start talking to them and I said, well, no, I want to take Proverbs. And I said, sure, that's fine, it'll be just 50 bucks to re-register you. So they're like fine, I'll just take Leviticus.

Speaker 1:

So we were poor, and so I was like I didn't really have 50 bucks, and if I did have 50 bucks, I was gonna want to spend it on something else. And then, so what happens here then, though, is and now I'm gonna take down their hard work I start taking this class in Leviticus, and they make us read it all multiple times, in different ways different chapters, different verses. They make us do it all, and I walk away from Leviticus, honestly, understanding more about Jesus in the New Testament than I did before, ironically enough, because as you begin to study all of these rules and all of the things that these people were supposed to do, it set them apart. You were supposed to do this or you didn't do that. All of these things. Remember, jesus didn't come to cancel it. Jesus takes all of this and he takes it to the cross and because of his life and his death, he didn't cancel it, but he fulfilled it. It's done. We can ship it. Now we can have a new arrangement because this is complete. The covenant's over Sign. You sign boom. We're gonna do this now together. There's a new covenant.

Speaker 1:

Now the question you would be asking yourself you're one of Jesus' disciples. It's all about the umbrella. Love God, love people. We're good Jewish kids. We know that. 613 commandments. Jesus is doing some weird things with that, but we'll go along with it. And then he says I come to fulfill it. What you have to begin to think is, if that's fulfilled, what are we supposed to do? Remember that's where all this was birth.

Speaker 1:

What makes the gods angry? What makes God angry? What makes God happy? Jesus doesn't leave them hanging. Right before his death, jesus says to them I am giving you a new commandment. We'll hold the phone. You know who can give new commandments God. So if there was any question in your mind of who Jesus thinks he is, he's saying right now, I am God and I am giving you a new commandment, and this isn't the golden rule Treat other people as you wanna be treated.

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Jesus says just as I have loved you, you should love one another. It's like the platinum rule. This is it now New? Never before. It wasn't in Leviticus. It's not anything you've ever studied before. I'm telling you, here is a new rule. He doesn't give you an umbrella. He doesn't say here are a bunch of rules and under the umbrella is love God, love people. Instead, what he gives us is a filter. What makes God happy? What makes God angry, as Jesus has loved you. So you love people. And this filter love people as Jesus has loved you. This should dictate what you say to people, should dictate how you treat people, not how you wanna be treated, not how you think they should be treated. How does Jesus treat you? Now extend that to everyone else.

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Murder isn't wrong because it's in the 10 commandments. Murder is wrong because of the filter, because you can't love someone and kill them. I'm gonna stand on that. We can have a philosophical debate some other time. You can't kill someone and love them, but not only that. Think about this.

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Leviticus was a baseline. There's a starting point. Hope you didn't forget that Baseline. Don't murder people. It's a good start. What Jesus calls you to is so much more than don't murder them. Jesus said don't murder them. Well, that's kind of low. How about you die for them? Isn't that what I did for you?

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And so now, as we're people in the New Testament under a new covenant, we engage people that way. That is the covenant. Jesus died for our sins. We find forgiveness and redemption in him. And now how are we to act? What makes God happy, what makes God angry? It's when our filter is broken and when we don't love people as he has loved us, and when we mess this up, when we get confused about the covenant. We're trying to quote a few things in the Old Testament, a few things in the New Testament. We're building this hybrid, weird little covenant that's extra, that's not biblical. People get hurt.

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Andy Stanley from his book Irresistible writes the most shameful and embarrassing chapters in church history were not the result of anything Jesus or the apostle Paul taught. Our most embarrassing, indefensible moments resulted in Christians leveraging old covenant, leviticus concepts and remember. This is the why Because people you love and people I love are far from God and because of our misunderstanding of old covenant and new covenant in our relationship with the Old Testament pushes them further away from a God who has gone out of his way to bridge the gap between them and him. We do not have the same relationship with the Old Testament as we have in the New Testament. That is absolutely critical to understand. It is a part of the story.

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I'm not saying throw the Old Testament out. I'm not saying it's not inspired. Keep it in there. We need the reminders, we need the inspiration. What I'm saying is don't go back there and use it as application, because it's lazy and it makes us indefensible. Here, when we say, well, you know what you shouldn't murder, because it's written in Leviticus. No, no, no, no. What did Jesus say? He said love people like I have loved them. Use that filter instead. There is a story and we're part of that story, and the Old Testament is part of that story and the New Testament is a part of that story. But as a people who live after the resurrection of Jesus, we are under a new covenant, so let's let the Old One go.

Understanding the Old Testament Relationship
The Complexity of the Old Testament
Evolution of God's Relationship With People
Understanding the New Covenant's Importance