The Gospel According to the Older Testament

Versus the "Roman Road" of the New Testament

Christianity, and specifically the claim from John 14:6, where Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life," is often seen as being narrow-minded or exclusive. Yet, Jesus opened the way for all people to be included in God's Kingdom—Jew and Gentile.

Jesus and the Apostles taught from the Older Testament—that was their Bible, they had no other.  The teachings and writings of the Newer Testament are commentaries on the Older Testament. When we read the New Testament, we must learn to read with "Jewish eyes" and make a habit of asking, "Where will I find this in the Old Testament?" This "good news message," that is the "gospel message," is an Old Testament idea that God planned out from the very beginning, "He (Jesus) will crush your (Satan) head, and he (Satan) will strike your (Jesus) heel" Genesis 3:15.

Jesus' declaration that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is in agreement with the first commandment that says, have no other gods (Ex. 20:3). Why do you suppose God would make such an exclusive claim? Because he is the one true God who can help us and save us! In fact, all of the commandments should be seen as holy promises that reveal God's love. 

Let us look now at one evangelistic tool known as the Roman Road from the New Testament (below, right) and compare those verses to what the Old Testament (below, left) has to say concerning our sin and God's salvation-solution for humankind.

These verses show us that our good works are not enough—no one is righteous. In fact, Isaiah 64:6 says our good works are like filthy rags! We cannot be forgiven of our sins without a sacrifice—it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life, Leviticus proclaims, and is echoed in Hebrews 9:22, ". . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." We need atonement, that is, "at-one-ment" with God; we need to be made right, our sin-debt requires payment. It must be satisfied, either by our individual deaths, or the death of a substitute, someone to take our place—his name is Jesus—"he will save his people from their sins" Matthew 1:21.

Our sin-problem requires divine intervention. The prophet Isaiah declared, ". . . he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors." And the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans said, ". . . while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God provided the solution, even before we committed our first sin!

This gospel message, this good news, is for all those who call on him, who trust in Jesus' atoning work on the cross. God's forgiven people are then commanded to go and tell others, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15), an echo of Isaiah 52:7, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation."

From Genesis to Revelation, the Good News message of the Bible is one story of redemption; it is an inclusive message of God's love and salvation for all people.

Prayer: "Father God, Help me to proclaim your good news today. Help me to be a peacemaker, holding out the Word of Truth to those I encounter. Amen."

Copyright 2009 S.A. Keith - All Rights Reserved.

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