"The Old Testament is not contrary to the New, for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transistory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind Christians, nor, the civil precepts thereof, of necessity to be received in any commonwealth, yet, notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral."
This article, in its present form was brought into being in 1563 under the leadership and authorship of 'Archbishop Parker. While it was of sufficient importance to be included in the Articles of faith then it is invaluable today. This article has been under severe attack by liberals or modernists in these days of apostasy. This very article is one of the great road blocks to apostasys taking over cornpletely.
They claim that the Old Testament has no message for today. They state that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is a tribal god like the gods of the Canaanites, Kenites, etc., and is in no way related to the Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Jesus Christ, however, Himself, declares Himself in John 8 to be the Jehovah of the Old Testament. (John 8:58). The Apostle John in the first chapter of his gospel declares Him to be the Creator of all things.
The so-called Modernist declares, as some did in Archbishop Parkers day, that the Prophets wrote only for their day and that their doctrine pertained only to their time. If this were true, many of the great promises of Isaiah, the Psalms and other great prophetic writings would have no meaning at all.
We need to look at this article under four subheadings. 1. The Old Testament is not contrary to the moral law. 2. The Old fathers did not lock only for transistory promises. 3. The ceremonial and civil laws of the Jews are not binding on Christians. 4. The moral law remains of lasting and universal obligation.
E. C. S. Gibson, in his treatise on Article VI says, "In the present day there is perhaps no probability of a revival of the view that the Old Testament is positively contrary to the New. He wrote that in 1896, but in 1962 we are face to face with that very situation. Modern criticism insists on the inferiority of the teaching of the Old Testament as compared with New, yet, not one single new truth is taught in the New Testament. Every principle stated by Jesus has its roots in the Old Testament teaching.
Our Lord does state that some things were permitted under the Old Covenant, see Matthew 19:8, because of "the hardness of mens hearts." But if the two dispensations are both from the same God and we believe that they are, they cannot be contrary the one to the other. That is the one main point which this Article is concerned with maintaining.
The unity that binds the two Testaments is the hope of redemption through a Messiah which is common to both. Jesus states this when He says, 'Abraham rejoiced to see my day and was glad." The experience of the Transfiguration of our Lord in Matthew 17 is another proof of this fact as is most of the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews.
Then we must keep in mind the early indication of the hope of a Messiah in the Protoevangelism, immediately after the fall, when the promise was made that the "seed of Woman should bruise the serpents head," (Genesis 3:15). The call of Abraham, the blessing upon Shem, the choice of Isaac rather than Ishmael, of Jacob rather than Esau, and the peculiar blessing upon Judah, (Genesis 49:9.12) "until Shiloh come" all prove the unity of plan and purpose of the Old and New Testament as a unity.
The choice of the house of David, the great promise of Isaiah 9:6, are also clear evidence of the expectation of a Messiah in the Old Testament. This expectation, we believe, was fulfilled in the Christ of the New Testament in every detail.
There are those who would teach that the doctrine of the future life is not taught in the Old Testament. It is true that they did not have the certainty of a physical resurrection as we have in the New Testament, but II Timothy 1:10 states, "life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel." It is true that many of the promises of the Old Testament relate to this life, but so do many promises of the New Testament.
Surely, the last verse of Psalm 23 has to do with a future existence "and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." The prophets speak of God making an everlasting covenant with His people. Job speaks of seeing God. again in a body devoured by the elements and worms (Job 19:25-26). Daniel in 12:2-3 speaks of a future retribution. This could not be without a continuation of life beyond the grave. In the same verse he speaks of an everlasting relationship of the righteous with God. "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
There are evidences all through the Old Testament of a belief in a resurrection of the dead and a hereafter. Jesus, also, speaking in Luke 20:37-38 says, "That the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the place concerning the bush, when he called the Lord, the God of Abraham, and God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live unto Him."
Then Paul in Hebrews 11:13-16 states that all the Old Testament leaders were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They sought a better country, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God has prepared for them a city.
One reference in the New Testament should be sufficient to prove this. When the first Council of the Christian Church was held at Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15 the ceremonial law was dispensed with as relating to Christians. Once and for all, it was decided that circumcision was not to be enforced on Gentile converts.
The epistle to the Hebrews is sufficient proof that all blood sacrifice ceased with Christs death on Calvary. Christ was Gods lamb, offered once for all, for the sins of the world.
The civil precepts of the Mosaic law were never imposed on any nation but the Jews. Therefore it cannot be supposed that they ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth.
No Christian man, however, is free from obedience to the commandments, or the Decalogue, which are called moral. Our Lord, Himself, states in Matthew 5:17, that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. In His special teaching on the Mount, the Moral law is enforced, explained and expounded (Matthew 5:21-48). This is also true in His reply to the question concerning "the great commandment" (Matthew 22:37-40). Paul also states this fact in his epistles, see Romans 13:8-10.