The Gospel of the Old Testament

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the Gospels in that they tell the story of the life of Jesus.  Jesus preaches in Mark 1 “repent and believe in the gospel.”  More than those four books, gospel means good news.  Jesus died for our sins; he is the way, the truth and the life; he brings the New Covenant, and we are no longer under the Law; all things things are part of the gospel message.  Paul says the Law is bad news; it cannot make us righteous, only more guilty.  But there is more to the Old Testament than the Law, and it’s not all bad news.

The Bible has many stories and characters, but only one message.  (Have you read this?)  The Old Covenant was about keeping the Law and bearing the mark of circumcision.  Paul has many analogies about the difference between the Law and the Gospel; the Gospel brings life, the Law only brings death.  But my point is that there is plenty of good news in the Old Testament as well.  It is part of God’s message. Continue reading

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Bible Survey: The Covenant of Circumcision

Here’s the deal: it’s been one year since I started Bible Survey, and I have now posted 10 times.  I refuse to quit.  Bible Survey is a project that I’m working on in addition to blogging theology, working full time in the ministry and being a husband/father in my family.  The goal is to work systematically through the Bible not doing a verse by verse commentary but an overview of the major points.  There’s a lot of important business in the Bible dealing with Abraham and his family (that’s right; I’m still in the first 25 chapters of Genesis) but afterwards I think the pace will really take off.  I’m hanging in there; I have the rest of my natural life or until Christ comes back.  Whichever.

In Genesis 17, God gives Abraham the covenant of circumcision.  If you don’t know what circumcision is, I’m afraid this post doesn’t get that plain.  If you’ve always wondered exactly what God is doing and what circumcision means, I think I can help with that.  What’s the purpose for circumcision?  Should Christians be circumcised?  What’s the difference between Abram and Abraham?  What does the name Clark mean?  No, really.  All of these answers and more when you follow this link to Bible Survey.