Making sense of the Bible 4
I trust the previous outline was helpful. You may well be asking – "what is in it for me?" or "what relevance does it have for today?"
If you were born Jewish, I might write about Torah laws. But most of my readers are not Jewish, rather Gentiles, so what applies to us? In this brief introduction, I don't have space to give lots of proof texts. They are many and available on request.
Old Testament notes:-
1 Torah was given to Israel through Moses.
2 The Old Testament has many moral lessons to be learnt as well as comfort . Comfort through relating to the struggles of God fearing people.
3 The prophecies concerning the Messiah are important to verify the claims of Jesus, and they give clarity to His person and mission.
4 Most of the general prophecies in the O. T relate to Israel in the past and the future.
New Testament notes:-
1 Jesus came to His own people, the Jews.
2 These privileged people rejected Him.
3 The Gospel goes out to all the nations.
4 He is believed on, in the world.
5 He will return, vindicating His honour and His people.
So where do we Gentiles fit into the plan of God? After the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit directs the apostles to reach out to the unlearned, uncircumcised Gentiles who are without God, without hope ( Acts 10 , Ephesians 2). Acts 15, along with the teachings of Paul (Apostle to the Gentiles), tell the terms of inclusion into the new Christian community. (Not converts to Judaism, not second class Jews as some taught). This community became known as the church or assemblies. This created some conflict and confusion about Law keeping, rituals, status, authority etc . That is why a careful reading of the letter to the Romans and the ones following is so important.
The new terms of "grace' – a big subject for another day.