We most certainly DO need the Old Testament! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 declares, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (NKJV). “All Scripture” includes the Old Testament; we need it for all the things mentioned in this verse. In Romans 15:3 the apostle Paul quotes a verse from Psalm 69:9 and he goes on to say, in verse 4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” So, the Old Testament is not only “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”, but it teaches us “patience” and impart to us “comfort” and “hope.”

In 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 we learn another reason why the Old Testament is needed by us today. After citing several examples in the history of the Israelites from the books of Exodus and Numbers, the apostle Paul instructs us that these historical events were meant to serve as examples for us. In verse 6 he states, “Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (NKJV). He reinforces this in verse 11, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (NKJV). There are invaluable lessons for us to learn from the Old Testament and we would lose a great deal of instruction if we were to limit our reading and studying to the New Testament alone.

You may recall that precious scene in Luke 24 where the Lord Jesus, after His resurrection, drew near to two depressed and doubting disciples. They thought that all their hopes had been dashed when their blessed Lord was rejected, crucified and buried. The Lord Jesus needed to show them that their thinking was all wrong and He used the Old Testament to do this. In verses 25-27 He said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” In their reading of the Old Testament they somehow missed the many references that spoke of how their Messiah must suffer on the cross for mankind’s sin before He could reign in glory. The Lord graciously opened up the scriptures to them, as we see in verse 32, “And then said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures.”

I have often thought, “I would have loved to have been at that glorious Bible study to have the ‘Prince of expositors’ open up the scriptures to me!” The truth is, we can have those same Old Testament scriptures opened up to us! Christ sent the Holy Spirit, the AUTHOR and TEACHER of the scriptures, to do just that. John 14:26 informs us, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things…” (NKJV). In John 16:13 Jesus adds, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” The Old Testament is filled with scriptures that present Christ to the soul, by way of direct prophecies, such as Isaiah 53, or by way of types, as seen in portions like Exodus 12:1-13.

I trust enough has been said to prove that we surely DO “need the Old Testament.” If these words fall upon the ears of a true believer, may your appetite be whetted to search the Old Testament scriptures for all the reasons cited above. If you are unsaved, may the Spirit of God use them to reveal to you that Christ is the “savior of sinners.” Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” (169.3) (DO)