Some people have been told, and believe, that members of the church of Christ do not believe in the Old Testament (OT). However, this statement is false. We believe that the OT was inspired of God, just as Peter said, “… knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We study the OT. Paul admonished, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). Many good moral lessons can be gleaned from the OT. Likewise, numerous illustrations of New Testament (NT) points and principles are found from Genesis through Malachi.
However, as disciples of Jesus Christ, not Moses, we do not recognize the OT as our standard of authority in religious matters. The Holy Spirit revealed, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17). Therefore, we look to the NT of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as our rule of faith and practice (Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:15).
The law of Moses, including the ten commandments, was nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:14-15). Read 2 Corinthians 3:3-14 and notice the contrast between “the ministration of death written and engraved on stones” and “the ministration of the Spirit” written “on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”
Now, before some think ill of us and say we do not believe in the great morals expressed in the ten commandments, please note that nine of the ten are repeated in some form or fashion in the NT:
- Matthew 6:24.
- John 4:23-24.
- Matthew 5:33-37.
- Ephesians 6:1-3.
- Galatians 5:21.
- Hebrews 13:4.
- Ephesians 4:28.
- Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:5.
The only one missing is the command to keep the Sabbath!
While we believe in and study the OT, we are a people who are devoted to serving Christ according to His will revealed by the Holy Spirit through the apostles and prophets recorded in the NT–using it as our standard of authority (Jn. 14:26; 16:13).
Steven F. Deaton