T H E S I S # 10
Jesus often quoted the Old Testament; His quotations are His endorsement. Jesus appealed to Scripture to prove Himself to be the long awaited Messiah (“The Scriptures…. testify of Me.”); this appeal is His endorsement. Scripture is as true as Jesus is true.
Jesus was the only true person since the fall. You are not true, I am not true, nor are he or she or they. Being true is speaking truth (this in reference to spiritual truth) consistently and accurately, with no impurities to debase.
Our Lord Jesus alone occupied this place of purity of expression.
The rest of us are not there and won’t be there until we’re up there.
We are not true, nor are we honest (we do not speak inconvenient truths). We tend to boast our strengths instead of confessing our weaknesses. We know we appear to be what we are not, and we like it that way, no reason to correct their misconception. So we mask our venerable masks before walking out the door.
And what we do individually we do corporately.
Together we pretend. The congregation hides from outsiders its internal conflicts and dearth of spirituality. And denominations? A denomination is but a gigantic, political conglomerate of congregations. Graduates entering leadership make an unspoken pact with their lords to protect the way it is; their religious ambitions will never be fulfilled without the endorsement of those who molded them.
There is a dishonesty that weaves throughout evangelicalism, touching all parts. If all, even some, ‘Reverends’ were candid, Another 95 would never have been required.
Appearance is a god of the world and a god of christianity. How we appear to be, individually and corporately, is more paramount than what we are. But reality exhorts us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (There is no need for self-reprimanding…. falling short is to be expected; it’s simply what we do.)
But not so our Christ.
Jesus Christ was the “lamb without blemish and without spot”; if He were less His sacrifice of Himself would have been insufficient. A “lamb without blemish” speaks truth only. In “our great God and savior Jesus Christ” there was no impurity of deed or word. He said plainly, “I am…. the truth”.
Not only was (is) Lord Jesus true, he was honest. No pretence. No mask. No double standard. No political correctness, often saying what His friends and enemies didn’t want to hear. He took on the way it is. He called the hypocrites hypocrites and thieves thieves.
If we believe the words of “the truth” are true, we will be sufficiently impacted by Thesis # 10. “The truth” would never publicly read from, and thereby endorse, an Old Testament book that was not truthful….
Luke 4:17- 21: And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Lord Jesus thus certified the book of Isaiah. It’s as if He declared, “I certify as true this book!”
But how can a book written by a mere man be true? The answer is found in 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
Our Lord also quoted from Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, Zechariah, and Malachi, likewise confirming these nine books.
Our Jesus endorsed several other Old Testament books by simply referencing them. He spoke of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis, circumcision – as God instructed Moses in Leviticus, the “serpent in the wilderness” in Numbers, David eating “the showbread” in 1 Samuel, Elijah’s widow in 1 Kings, Naaman the leper in 2 Kings, and “the sign of Jonah” in the book of Jonah.
Also, New Testament writers, most being Christ’s apostles, often quoted from or referenced Old Testament books, further authenticating them. Of the thirty-nine ‘Old’ books, almost all were referenced by either Lord Jesus or ‘New’ writers.
And now the New Testament.
Are New Testament writings equally true and reliable? “Come now, and let us reason together”….
The church has for many centuries discerned the New Testament to be equal to the Old in trueness and reliability.
Deuteronomy 7:6: For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
God gave His “holy people” the Old Testament.
1 Peter 2:9: You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.
That’s us. It seems reasonable that God would give His church, His equally “holy people”, His equally “special treasure”, a new testament. The Old was centered on the coming Christ; a New was required to pronounce and accentuate the arrived Christ.
As the first “holy people” correctly discerned the trueness of the Old thirty-nine books, it is reasonable to assume God’s equally “holy people” (the church), could rightly discern the trueness of the New twenty-seven books. They got it right and so did we.
The New is in agreement with the Old. Much of what was prophesied in the Old has been fulfilled and recorded in the New – such as: Christ’s virgin birth, the town of His birth, His flight to Egypt when a Babe, His years in Nazareth, John His forerunner proclaiming “prepare the way of the Lord”, His healing miracles, His betrayal for thirty pieces of silver, the casting of lots for His clothes, offering Him vinegar on the cross, His burial with the rich, and His ascending into heaven. (Other prophecies, many regarding Christ’s return to earth, are yet to be fulfilled.)
When Jesus said, “The Scriptures…. testify of Me”, He was speaking of, and inadvertently endorsing, the Old, all thirty-nine books. Would He today similarly endorse the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, since they, too, testify of Him in the same manner? Millions worldwide – from every nation and culture, and from every day of every decade of every century since Calvary – who experienced a born-again transformation of their lives after hearing the simple New Testament gospel would undoubtedly agree their Christ would likewise endorse the New Testament.