By Kevin Rutherford


There are so many in the religious world today that do not know the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Some do not realize that the Law of Moses, as found in the Old Testament, is a law that is not binding on men today.  Consequently their religious beliefs are often made up of a mixture of the Law of Moses in the Old Testament and the Law of Christ which is revealed in the New Testament.

The Law of Moses in the Old Testament is referred to as “the handwriting of requirements” (Colossians 2:14-17).  Paul tells us those laws, ordinances, or requirements that existed under the Law of Moses have been wiped out, and were taken out of the way when Jesus died. Paul said, He nailed it to the cross.

In speaking of the Law of Moses to the church at Galatia, Paul said “the law was a tutor to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:23-25).  The purpose of the Old Law as revealed in the Old Testament was to prepare the people for a better law.  The better law is referred to as “faith,” and it is the one revealed to us in the New Testament. Now that the faith (New Testament Law) is here we do not need the tutor (Old Testament Law).

Paul wrote to the church at Rome about his sadness over the Jewish rejection of Christ (Romans 9-11).  In Romans 10:1-4 Paul tells us “... Christ is the end of the law...”  The Law and the Prophets pointed toward Jesus Christ (e.g. Isaiah 53).  Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17).  Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Law by dying on the cross and bringing into effect His Last Will and Testament.  At that point the Old Law was no longer in effect.

The writer of Hebrews explains all of this in great detail throughout his inspired book.  Hebrews 9:15-17 is very specific.  Here we are told the New Testament came into effect when Jesus died.  A person’s last will and testament is not effective until they die.  This New Testament is Jesus’ last Testament because we are told He would not die again (Hebrews 9:27).

In summarizing what we have learned we can say that the Bible clearly teaches us that the Law of Moses, as found in the Old Testament was to act as a tutor to prepare the Jews for a New Law (or Testament).  The Old Testament was nailed to the cross and the New Testament Law came into effect when Jesus died.

This conclusion might lead us to wonder what good the Old Testament would be to Christians.  The New Testament tells us there are many things we can learn from the Old Testament (Romans 15:4).  While the specifics of the Law of Moses are no longer binding on us today, there are many principles set forth in the Old Testament that are important.  In addition, the Old Testament teaches us much about the way God works with men.  Also, there are so many things in the Old Testament that point to Christ, the church, and many other things that came with the New Law.  An old, but applicable expression seems to sum it all up.  “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, while the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.”