They Are Written for Our Learning

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Let no modern Christian ever think that he can ignore the Old Testament and base all his faith and practice on just the 27 books of the New Testament, as vital as they are. Even the apostle Paul, who wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else, depended heavily on the Old Testament Scriptures for his exposition of the New Testament doctrines he had received “by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).

For example, in the longest and most doctrinal of all his epistles—that is, Romans—he actually quoted from the Old Testament no less than 60 times, even though the epistle had been specifically addressed to Gentiles (Romans 11:13).

In his letter to the Gentiles at Corinth, after an extensive discussion of the Old Testament account of the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness, he said: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

In this passage, the word translated “examples” is the Greek tupos, from which we derive our word “types.” Thus, the experiences of the Israelites were actually revealed by God to be “types” of Christ and our relation to Him. Therefore, in addition to the many explicit prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament, many other Scriptures can be profitably expounded as “types” of Christ. Indeed, in all the Old Testament Scriptures, as Christ Himself taught, are “things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). HMM

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