The Old And The New

“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him.” Hebrews 1:1-2 HCSB

As much as I desire to pick up the pace of this study, I find it necessary to listen to the pleading of Andrew Murray. He is calling for us to stop and secure in our minds the two stages in which God deals with man. He goes to great lengths to make his point and I cannot help but take notice. He goes so far as to say, “It is of the utmost consequence for our spiritual life.” He is clearly serious.

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with liberty in Christ. In short, it is because the more I grasp the relationship between the Old and New Testaments the more I realize what was missing from my understanding of how Christ sets us free.

We find deep observation of both in this study on the epistle of Hebrews. I continue with an excerpt from The Holiest of All by Andrew Murray titled The Son - More Than the Prophets:

We all know that there are two Testaments—the Old and the New. These represent two dispensations, two modes of worship, two sorts of religions, two ways in which God has intercourse with man, and man draws nigh to God. The one was provisional, preparatory, and intended to pass away. What it gave and wrought was not meant to satisfy, but only to awaken the expectation of something better that was to come. The other was the fulfillment of what had been promised, and destined to last forever, because it was itself a complete revelation of an everlasting redemption, of a salvation in the power of an endless life.

In both Old and New Testament it was God who spake. The prophets in the Old, and the Son in the New, were equally God's messengers. God spake in the prophets no less truly than in the Son. But in the Old everything was external and through the mediation of men. God Himself could not yet enter and take possession of man and dwell in him. In the New all is more directly and immediately divine—in an inward power and reality and life, of which the Old had only the shadow and hope. The Son, who is God, brings us into the very presence of God.

And wherefore was it that God did not, could not, from the very beginning, reveal Himself in the Son? What need was there of these two ways of worshipping and serving Him? The answer is twofold—lf man were indeed intelligently and voluntarily to appropriate God's love and redemption, he needed to be prepared for it. He needed first of all to know his own utter impotence and hopeless wretchedness. And so his heart had to be wakened up in true desire and expectancy to welcome and value what God had to give.

When God speaks to us in Christ it is as the Father dwelling in the Son. "The words that l say unto you, I speak not from Myself, but the Father abideth in Me doeth the works." Just as God's speaking in Christ was an inward thing. So God can still speak to us in no other way. The external words of Christ, just like the words of the prophets, are to prepare us for, and point us to, that inner speaking in the heart by the Holy Spirit, which alone is life and power. This is God's true speaking in His Son.