Unlimited: Promised Beforehand
Mar 17, 2022 589
the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2)
Having mentioned the gospel, Paul now begins to describe what it is. The gospel is the great passion of Paul’s life, and his reason for being.
Paul first points out that although the gospel is a new thing that God has done, it was promised beforehand through the prophets of God, as written in the “Holy Scriptures.” Paul is of course referring here to Old Testament. What Paul is pointing out is that the Gospel is grounded in God’s previous revelation to humanity through the prophets of old.
The Scriptures of the Old Testament were a promise of the reality to come.
This suggests to us that we shouldn’t read the Old Testament independently of the New; but instead as lessons of the glory that was to be revealed through the coming of Christ into the world. The Scriptures of the Old Testament were a promise of the reality to come, though dimly seen and understood at the time. The New Testament is its perfect and glorious fulfilment.
We do not interpret the New Testament through the lenses of the Old. Instead, we always interpret the Old Testament through the lenses of the New. When properly understood in this way, everything in the Old Testament points to Christ, with a focus on the Cross. That is precisely how Paul understood the Holy Scriptures.
Think of your favourite character or story from the Old Testament. How does it point to the story of Jesus?