April 26, 2021
Being called by God is determined by him and those who respond to his call by seeking him with all their heart are his chosen, those he has elected to be with him.
We know this because Jesus teaches that his brothers and sisters and those he calls his friend are his disciples. Christ disciples are those who have responded to God’s calling, who seeks God with all their heart by following Jesus as his students obeying his Father’s will from his teachings and commandments.
To be a disciple of Jesus the only means to learn his teaching is from the Bible and being taught by the Holy Spirit.
When reading the OT and the NT you need to seek what God is revealing about himself and his will for you and what he teaches about the heart of those who believe in him and those who do not.
There is a big difference between what we read in the OT and the NT in how we apply it to ourselves as a follower of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit wants us to know about the faith of those who loved and obeyed God in the OT and how they listened and obeyed him.
Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews goes on to tell of Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and many other OT heroes of how they lived a life of faith in God and why.
Hebrews 11: 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Those who believed in God in the OT were those whose faith was in an eternal life with God and were commended for their faith.
Hebrews 11: 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Paul teaches that we can also learn from the OT examples of those who did not obey God and the consequence of their sinfulness as a warning for us.
1 Corinthians 10: For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did--and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
In the OT, we learn what people of faith did which God commended because their faith was driven in having an eternal relationship with Him. It also teaches of those who disobeyed God and the consequences for sinning as examples and a warning.
Just like people of faith in the OT our faith is proven by our actions in what God will test us in, which will be unique to each person as it was for the OT saints.
Hebrews 12: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
The stories of faith by the OT saints are examples of their perseverance that becomes our witness of our faith perseverance like theirs in the race God has given each one of us to run, which God commends when it is out of love for his Son as his disciple.
The acts of faith by OT saints were their obedience to God out of love for Him because of the old covenant they had with him.
Our act of faith is our obedience to a new covenant we have in Christ, not for the old covenant. Jesus does not teach his disciples to copy what the OT saints did in obedience to the old covenant. He wants his disciple to follow his teachings and commandments that promises a greater and new covenant with God of eternal life by faith and not works.
In the OT to love God was to destroy his enemies, but in the NT our love for God is to love our enemies.
Our faith is still motivated by the same love the OT saints had for God but now to obey the law of his Son under a new covenant which is to obey his teachings and commandment out of love for him that God will test to see if it is true to Jesus.
That is why our faith must be built on the author of our faith.
Hebrews 12: 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
So, fix your eyes on Jesus’ teachings because he is the author and perfector of our faith. Jesus does not want us to copy OT saints, but he wants us to have the same faith as them because of their love for God.
Paul tells us to follow his example because it examples Christ.
1 Corinthians 11: 1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
To example Jesus is to know him and this is how we know and him.
1 John 2: 3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
To walk like Jesus is to know him from the NT and not the OT because there has been a change in the priesthood to a new covenant with God.
Jesus teaches that following the OT does not give eternal life, it was given to testify of him.
John 5: 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You diligently study the Scriptures (OT) because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
Do not test yourselves by what OT saints did you need to test yourselves to see if Christ Jesus is in you.
2 Corinthians 13: 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
Are you in Christ? Then as his disciple you should know how to walk like him.
Be safe in Jesus,