A foreword to this: get your bibles ready. This is a lesson to address how we as Christians allow the world’s lack of understanding to affect our view of God. Specifically, how many of us casually accept that there was an “angry, Old Testament God,” and the “Loving God of the New Testament.” As with any lesson, this will only be providing some points of reference, but it is on the individual to test these spirits! The greatest goal of this teaching is to make you wonder for yourself what gold lies in the pages.
New Testament impression vs Old – there is a dualistic God not true! Matthew 5:17-8
This is a teaching from one of our Five Fold Teachers, Isaac Vickers
Most people speak of the Law of Moses with an air of contempt in our modern world. Mentioning the Old Testament gets even some christians on edge with thoughts and images of a vengeful God full of anger, hurling bolts of lighting and fire from heaven. The New Testament seems so much more… inviting. But why is it that these opposing views exist? I submit to you that it is because of a lack of understanding.
Why did we have the Law? Why was the new covenant made, specifically when there was already Law? The answers to this lie in Romans, and I encourage you to dig into the gold that awaits there, but for now we will focus on these verses. Romans 5:19-21
Ever since Adam, man has been on a road to redemption, and God had the master plan to take us there, and the Law was a stop along the way.
It is in Chapter 7 that we see where a problem with the Law arises, and Paul explains in Romans 7:7-12 that the issue is not with the Law, but God was not going to leave the issue of “us” unaddressed.
Now note, we are no longer under the Law* Romans 6:14
But God did not change. As we go further we see that though there was premise for condemnation, God chose over and over to love, forgive, and show us mercy.
James 2:13 Mercy triumphs over judgement, something we parrot quite frequently, was not only for the New Testament. How long has it been that way?
Since the beginning! Genesis 2:17 We know that God did not smite Adam and Eve for their disobedience, but what some may not know is that God was doing more than sparing them for the moment. 1 Corinthians 10:13 Puts into words something that was in the very first story of the Bible.
Even in anger, His heart desires mercy from complete destruction for us. Genesis 4:10-15
2 Samuel 12 is a dialogue that shows that we have long been our own worst enemies, and we do a lot more condemning that God.
These are two quick examples, but, for the curious, in reading Nehemiah chapter 9, you can get a pretty long list of how God showed His character through the generations. The New Testament is a repeat in every way.
Keep in mind David and consider Hosea and Gomer. Hosea was a prophet of God who was instructed to marry a prostitute. It was not a blissful marriage for Hosea to say the least, but we are going to focus in on this verse particularly.
The Law said that an adulteress was to be stoned to death, and that was the wife of a prophet of all people! But God actually called Hosea to deal with that mercifully to live out an example of the relationship He had with His people.
So where do we see this again? John 8:3-11 Isn’t it sad that God was so used to this relationship to begin with? Jesus was Mary’s defense while also standing as her judge. This is no different from how it was always intended to be, and even how it will be on our Judgement Day! John 5:22
By our own tongues we condemn ourselves, especially when we seek to condemn another. Compare David’s first response to the Pharisees condemnation of Mary.
Over and over we have known the punishments we deserve and God has shown mercy. Whether he passes people unscathed or spares them the full of what they deserve, God has always delighted in showing mercy. That is the God of the Old Testament and the New!