OT Saints compared to NT Saints
As I study the New Testament and the Old Testament the Holy Spirit has impressed upon me so many truths. And probably an even greater number of truths that I have yet to grasp. That is actually a good thing as long as I continue to study God’s word as directed to do so in II Tim 2:15 so that I can handle, understand and apply its truths. God’s word never gets old as long as our desire remains to learn more of Jesus and His mission for us. According to God’s word not even the smallest word of the Greek and Hebrew in God’s word will be lost (Mat 5:18) from our view until all of God’s word is fulfilled. So that means that until Jesus returns a 2nd time mankind and/or satan cannot change or remove any of God’s truths for our lives. Our God protects the bible so we have His truths to make our eternal decisions on. What a powerful truth to have. With that in mind what does God say about the OT vs. NT believers and the responsibility each had and has.
One question I have had as I study God’s word is just what are the differences between the OT vs. the NT saints (Born Again Believers). Just recently the Holy Spirit nudged me with thoughts of some of the differences and I believe wants me to share them with as many as will listen. The differences point to the NT saints having been blessed with so much more and along with that I believe comes greater responsibility and accountability.
In James 3:1 teachers and leaders are challenged with the fact that they are held accountable for what they teach and how they lead. I believe that same principle applies to us as NT saints. In that verse teachers and leaders are told that they will have a stricter or greater judgment because of what they have been entrusted with. All NT saints have been blessed with much more than the OT saints and along with the increased blessings come increased responsibility and accountability. We are all teachers and leaders to someone who is watching us whether we accept that fact or not. Our children mimic our deeds and our priorities. Many adults around us are watching carefully our lives because we have professed to belong to Jesus and do not love this worlds’ focus and priorities. If they are not doing so than that is an issue for another daily.
Some extremely important points of truth need to be kept in mind when studying this topic. First and most importantly is that the OT saints or believers were saved by the same Gospel that NT saints are. It is by grace through faith and no works that both are saved. Secondly the OT truths are confirmed with NT happenings. So when reading the OT truths they will and are verified and fulfilled with the NT truths. The biggest being the coming of a Savior, Jesus.
The following are some differences as I see them;
- Offering for sins and Mediator
- OT = Only the Priests from the family of Levi and only the High Priest had direct access to God for requesting forgiveness of sins and the High Priest only once a year and only in one place in the Temple. Anyone other than the High Priest who entered the Holy of Holies would die.
- Heb 9:6-8 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
- NT = saints have direct access to God 24/7 anywhere they are (I Thes 5:17). We do not need to go through a Mediator other than Jesus who sits today and every day at God the Fathers right hand making intercession for us.
- I Tim 2:5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus,
- I Tim 2:8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
- Jesus as the NT High Priest offered His life ONCE for all who will accept His sacrifice.
- Heb 9:11, 12 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
- OT = Had the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch authored by God and recorded by Moses.
- NT = saints have the completed OT and NT of 66 books to study and grow in faith by (II Pet 3:18) authored by God (II Tim 3:16, 17) and recorded by 40 different scribes (II Pet 1:20, 21) who were privileged to have their lives used to record God’s truths.
- OT = saints, by grace through faith, were saved as are NT saints. The OT saints offered animal sacrifices out of obedience to God. That practice pictured and foretold the NT sacrifice that the perfect Lamb of God made for all believers both in the OT and the NT. (Hebrews 11)
- NT = saints, by grace through faith, are saved. (Eph 2:8-9, Gal 2:16-20, Titus 3:5)
- Eph 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
- The Holy Spirit
- OT = saints had moments of the Holy Spirit indwelling and moving them to accomplish God’s will.
- NT = saints have the Holy Spirit living in them 24/7.
- Acts 1:5-8 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Acts 2:4a And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
- Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
- The Church
- OT = had the Jewish temples to meet in and worship God as a group. Some were converts to Judaism but the vast majority were Jewish by heritage. The priests were from the tribe of Levi. Jesus and His Church that we see started in Acts chapter 2 were not yet in place.
- NT = saints have Jesus as the Head of the worldwide Church which included all believers from every race and nation who placed their faith in Jesus.
- Col 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
- Spiritual Gifts
- OT = Did not have special Spiritual Gifts given to each believer.
- NT = saints have all been given Spiritual Gifts so they can perform the mission Jesus has for them. Every NT believer has at least one spiritual gift so they can perform for Jesus the life He has planned for them.
- Eph 4:7, 8 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
- I Pet 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
When you look at the blessings given to the OT and the NT saints it’s obvious we as NT saints have greater blessings. With greater blessing comes greater responsibility and accountability. How are you doing this morning with that?????