All Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV)
  1. The New Testament Scriptures explain the Old Testament (OT) to us, not the other way around.
    1. God’s Son has the final and decisive word about the Old Testament prophets:
      1. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son . . .” (Heb. 1:1-2a)
    • The OT prophets didn’t understand what they were prophesying about Christ’s sufferings and glories, but they learned that they were serving those who would understand their prophecies through the gospel. The apostolic gospel preachers were preaching the fulfilment of the OT.
      • “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (1 Pe. 1:10-12)
    • The 1st church devoted themselves not to the OT, but to the apostles’ teaching:
      • “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:41-42)
  2. The New Testament describes and demands the fulfillment of the OT.
    • All of it points forward to Jesus, and only He can give us understanding of it through His Spirit.
      • “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.””(Lk. 24:44-47)
    • Regardless of someone’s diligence in studying it to find eternal life, its ultimate purpose is to testify about Jesus:
      • [Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus says] “. . . and you do not have his [the Father’s] word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me . . .” (Jn. 5:38-39)
    • The mystery of the OT has been revealed to all the nations by the Scriptures of the prophets (or “prophetic writings”)
      • “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith . . .” (Ro. 16:25-26)
    • This mystery is that everything is being “gathered together” through Christ:
      • “. . . according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Eph. 1:7b-10)
    • Paul calls this mystery “Christ”:
      • “. . . the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 3:3-10)
      • The Gentiles are equal partakers of the promise of Christ through the gospel.
      • The purpose of the nations’ participation is to display God’s wisdom to the heavenly rulers and authorities (aka angels).
    • The apostles’ message is the indwelling of Christ in the nations as the hope of glory:
      • “. . . of which [the church] I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”(Col. 1:25-27)
    • Scripture foresaw this gathering or uniting together in Christ through the justification of the nations when God promised they all would be blessed in Abraham:
      • “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8)
    • This promise to the Jewish fathers, or patriarchs, is partly fulfilled through Jesus’s resurrection:
      • “And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’” (Acts 13:32-33)
    • The OT rituals were shadows of Christ:
      • “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (Col. 2:16-17)
    • All the promises of God find their fulfillment in Christ
      • “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.” (2 Cor. 1:20a)
  3. The OT itself was written for our instruction, encouragement, and hope:
    • “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Ro. 15:4)