Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
What is forsaking the wicked one’s way? Or an unrighteous thought? Why would I need mercy? Or God forbid, a pardon? Surely, I’m not that bad. I mean, really…I don’t even drink alcohol or smoke. Isaiah? This is OLD TESTAMENT stuff. The Old Testament doesn’t apply anymore, right? I’m a born-again Christian, so isn’t the New Testament more important?
Questions, questions, questions… Where, oh where, are the answers? Don’t worry. God may have high expectations from His children but He’ll never fail us. Our manual is His Word.
Here is a quick guide to the above questions and where to find the answers in the Manual (NKJV).
1: The Wicked Way:
1 Corinthians 6:9
The answers can be found in various places throughout Scripture. As I’ve grown in my Christian walk, I’ve discovered one thing about God’s Word. It’s the same.
Now, I’m not talking about translations. NIV, NASB, KJV, NKJV… I can get lost in all the acronyms. Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic… No way, not me! I’m not a theologian, I’m a writer.
I’ve learned to read the Bible as a whole. If I hear something, I don’t run to a book on a shelf to confirm it. I refer to Scripture and yes, that means the Old Testament, too.
The Old Testament proclaims God’s nature. Powerful, just, loving, pure, honest, and holy are a few traits on display throughout its pages. It also shows God’s wrath on occasion as well. Remember Jonah? What about Sodom and Gomorrah? Or the Great Flood?
The Book of Matthew is the start of something new, though. At least, that’s what a lot of people think. After all, the new covenant usually means the old way is gone, right? Well, yes and no.
The New Testament is amazing! It’s the story of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Yes, the old way is no longer necessary because Christ was the atonement for all of our sins, past, present and future. Yes, we don’t need a high priest to make our petitions to the Father since the Holy Spirit is within us, whispering our needs to Him every minute. A person’s transformed and the things of this world seem rather small in comparison to the mighty wonders of God.
The New Testament isn’t a solo book. Without the Old Testament, the view of God’s nature is incomplete. God is loving. He wants to bring all to Him but a valuable lesson lies within the pages of the older book. One that must never be forgotten. God is holy, mankind isn’t. An enormous gap separates the two. This fact will never change. Not for fancy doctrine manipulation or wishful thinking.
Check the Manual out. It’ll give you the answers you need to figure out which way to go.
Galatians 2:20-21 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."