By Ron Cosby
The proper way to use the Old
Testament is as our example (Rom. 15:1-4; 1 Cor. 11:1-13).
Thus, we must first determine what the New Testament teaches
on the subject. This is accomplished by proper consideration
of the New Testament itself. Then, one may seek to find Old
Testament illustrations on the subject.
For instance, the New
Testament teaches that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5).
When Bible students search the Old Testament, several
excellent examples illustrate God's abhorrence of
covetousness. King Ahab coveted Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kin.
21:1ff). Because of Israel's inheritance law, Naboth would
not sell the vineyard. Greedy Ahab killed Naboth and took
his land. Thus, by this event, we see the wickedness of
Now, consider how we might
misuse this same event. Suppose I contend that it is sin for
“brother Smith” to sell his land. To prove my contention, I
quote the words of Naboth: “Jehovah forbid ... that I should
give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee” (1 Kin. 21:3).
Is this a proper use of the Old Testament? Don’t think so. I
must first determine by the law of Christ, not the law of
Moses, whether or not it is sinful to sell property. Where
is the New Testament teaching that forbids a Christian to
sell his inheritance? There is none. Thus, for me to
conclude that the Lord forbid “brother Smith” from selling
the inheritance of his fathers is an erroneous conclusion.
Consider the following
perversions of Old Testament concepts.
1) Since David married several wives, some conclude that
polygamy is not sin.
2) The use of mechanical instruments of music is acceptable
in Christian worship because David played a harp when he
3) The ceremonial priesthood for Christian service and
worship is right in God’ s sight because priests mediated
Shall we pick and choose
which one of these we want? For those who desire to worship
as Heaven said in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), all
such erroneous practices will be strenuously avoided.
However, the religious world has failed to properly divide
Old Testament doctrine from the Law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).
They seek to follow the saints of old instead of Christ.
Some practice polygamy. Many use the mechanical instrument
of music in Christian worship. Others have their
priesthoods. According to the teaching of the New Testament,
such practices should be cast aside.
For the cults, the
denominations or the church to seek justification by
practicing Old Testament law displeases God (Acts 15:10;
Gal. 5:1, 6).
- Ron Cosby; - via the
Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere Church
of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for
this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: