Just after Easter I attended the first session of the Living Faith course and the module I am currently doing is Reading the New Testament. Throughout the course I intend to do blog posts on the sessions, what was discussed and what I took away from it – with a particular emphasis on how it has impacted my journey towards ministry. So far I have been thoroughly enjoying the course; it has helped me explore my calling, which I feel is to really get to grips with the word and help others to do that too.
You can have no New Testament without the Old Testament. There can be a tendency amongst Christians to gloss over the Old Testament and try to only focus on the New Testament. This first session was all about how it is important to have an overview of the themes that run through the Bible; the threads that go through it rather than just looking at the stories – this helps unpack the Bible and understand its message.
Weddings are an event seen throughout the Bible and it is a perfect representation of the relationship journey that man goes on with God from Genesis all the way to Revelations. Just as a couple make vows to each other, so does God make a covenant with us; first with Abraham, then Moses, David and finally fulfilling his promise through his son Jesus Christ. The overarching story of the Bible is one of reconciliation; man constantly rejecting God, and God consistently saving his creation.
This is salvation history and it is the central theme of every book in the Bible. God wants to have a relationship with his people, but people have choice which often leads to sin, sin leads to slavery and the need for salvation. The Old Testament establishes this pattern – choice, sin, slavery and salvation; from Moses and the Exodus story to David and the promise of the Messiah. Jesus is the final answer to mankind’s need for salvation, through his death and resurrection he brings new life to us all; but again there is choice just as with Nicodemus we have to choose to born again in order to receive the new life that Jesus Christ promises.
In the coming weeks we will be looking at the New Testament and how it presents us with a picture of the promised Messiah declared in the Old Testament. Starting with Mark in part 2.