I think we can all agree the Bible is a big, complex, and quite honestly, confusing collection of writings. It’s also what Christians all over the world use to guide their faith and lifestyles. At least their understanding (or misunderstanding) of it.
This combination of strict adherence to its teaching and the lack of understanding what it’s actually communicating can lead to very unhealthy environments with regrettable consequences.
So here I want to give you a short, 30,000-foot nugget of what the old testament vs new testament is all about. It will help you better understand the main point of the biblical story.
The old race was hopeless
The Old Testament sets us up by detailing the story of a hopeless race called humans. They were given the choice to partner with their Creator by bearing the image of God, ruling creation, multiplying and being one by eating from the Tree of Life.
The created race was shown ultimate dignity and love by being created with choice. They could choose to fulfill their designed purpose or they could chose to attempt to image God and rule the world individually apart from Him and each other (which is actually impossible).
They chose to believe it was possible and they lost access to the Tree of Life. That was it. It was over.
The whole Old Testament is about Adam’s race never being able to partner with God again. It even zeros in on a particular chosen family and nation to show how even though God is the perfect partner, they are not. The human race would never be again.
Creating a new race
But throughout the Old Testament, there is a promise that something new would happen. The chosen family wasn’t exactly sure how it was all going to work out. But they held on to a hope that life as God’s partners in His presence would be restored once again.
What the New Testament is about is the revealing that what was needed was a new race to be created on the planet. The old Adam was hopeless. A new Adam, a New Humanity, was needed.
This is what Jesus was. He was a new race of human with the same commission given to the first Adam – bear the image of God, rule creation, multiply and be one by eating from the Tree of Life.
That new Adam was a new kind of human. He was the New Humanity. His DNA had not been infused with the life of the enemy.
God had brought a new species to the planet and anyone from the old humanity could become a part of the new humanity simply by believing in who He was and what He had done for them.
That new race that God brought to earth was named “Church.”
Here’s how T. Austin Sparks, author of The Great Transition from One Humanity to Another, condensed what the New Testament is all about…
The New Testament in its entirety is occupied with one thing (there are many things about the one thing contained in it) but this is the one thing: the transition from that one humanity, kind of being – mankind, to Another.
The New Testament authors are showing and explaining God’s eternal purpose, Jesus’ identity, the identity of those who believe in Him and the way the new species acts because of who they are.
Believing in the work of God
The work of the current age is to believe what God has done and who we are (John 6:29).
The more we come to know (like truly understand, not just frontal lobe awareness) these things, the more we naturally behave like the new species behaves. We are rehearsing now what will be ultimate reality at the coming of the new creation.
When we don’t behave like the new species that we are, the problem does not lie in how hard we tried to follow sets of rules or adhere to specific principles (that’s legalism), but in what we’re believing about ourselves.