Thursday, February 09, 2017

T.C. Hammond: The Value of the Old Testament

On Article 7 – From the Vault of the Australian Church Record, November 10 1955

There are three important declarations in Article Seven. (1) The Old Testament is not contrary to the New. (2) The Fathers looked for more than transitory promises. (3) The moral injunctions in the Commandments of Moses are binding on all Christian men.

Popularly, at present, the first opinion condemned, viz.: “The Old Testament is contrary to the New” finds expression in the oft-repeated declaration “That belongs to the Old Dispensation.” There is often an underlying suggestion that a change of dispensation involved somehow a change in God’s revelation. We need to be on our guard against such popular misrepresentations. In the excitement of the Reformation period old errors reared their heads again. Rogers in his work on The Articles refers to “the new Libertines” who are identified with the Anabaptists. Bollinger tells us that the Anabaptists reject the Old Testament and do not receive the testimonies which are adduced from it either for the confirmation of Christian faith or the refutation of errors and false dogmas, as they say the Old Testament is abrogated.

The Article rejects the idea that in the Old Testament we have “a covenant of works,” while in the New Testament we have “a covenant of grace.” Salvation in the time of Abraham and Moses was entirely of grace just as it is in the new revelation in fullness of Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Paul emphasises this in the Epistle to the Romans. “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness (iv:3) “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (iv:5). Read More

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