Law

Love God. Fear God

Mon, 26/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Fear

There are lots of ways the New Testament is different from the Old. That's why it's called "New". A testament is another word for "covenant", and the book of Hebrews describes this by repeating the adjective "better".

But there are also lots of ways that the New Testament simply builds on the Old, transforming it, fulfilling it, colouring it in, but not replacing it. In fact, this is so much so, that when we read the Old Testament we rarely have to ask: "What is the complete contrast for us?", but far more often ask "What do the lessons here look like for us today?"

Blog Category: 

Jesus in the Old Testament

Mon, 19/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It's funny how an issue looks different depending on who you're talking to.

When I was at college, my third year dissertation was looking at the faith of the Old Testament saints. How much about God and the gospel did Abraham know? Is he an example that it's possible to be saved without explicitly knowing about Jesus? Or did he know more than we give him credit for.

Blog Category: 

From Balaam to Balak

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Plains of Moab

Since visiting Israel, I've had a fresh alertness to, and interest in, the geography of the Bible. Things that a first-century reader would instinctively pick up.

Blog Category: 

Lampstands

Mon, 20/05/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I often hear it said that if you join a local church, you haven't just joined a branch of the church, or a part of the church. You are a member of the church. Each local church is the church. At the same time, the church throughout the world is one.

One thought just struck me that makes this clearer.

In the book of Exodus, the people are told how to build a tabernacle, a tent in which God can live. One of the pieces of furniture in that tabernacle is a golden lampstand. It symbolises that God lives amongst his people.

Blog Category: 

Sabbath Rest

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: milinkapoor

I'm taking a 3 month sabbatical starting in May. This is something many Christian ministers find helpful. The Diocese of Rochester, within which I serve, used to recommend this every 7 years (although I see that their guidance now says 10 years).

Blog Category: 

Fearing and Loving God

Tue, 27/09/2016 - 15:13 -- James Oakley

Sometimes I hear it said that Old Testament ethics can be summed up in the command to fear God, and New Testament ethics can be summed up in the command to love God.

Related, it is sometimes observed that the Old Testament summary of the law is ten sentences that prohibit ("Thou shalt not" - those making this point usually do so quoting the old fashioned way of putting that), whereas the New Testament command is two sentences that are about love ("Love the Lord your God with all …; love your neighbour as yourself".)

Blog Category: 

Manna-eating worms

Tue, 16/12/2014 - 12:39 -- James Oakley

I owe to my friend John Goulding the following observation:

In Jonah 4, God provided a plant to shield Jonah from the heat. The verb "to provide" is a key-word in Jonah - it's מָנָה (manah). The worm that ate the manah / the provided plant was a תּוֹלָע (tola`). That's not a common word in the Old Testament (39x). 27 of those are in the book of Exodus, where the usual meaning is (by metonymy) the purple die made from a particular type of worm. But one is Exodus 16:20.

Blog Category: 

The covenant in my blood

Thu, 06/02/2014 - 13:04 -- James Oakley

Two very important things happen in Exodus chapter 24. Both are designed to encourage the people of Israel that God is serious about having them as his people.

Blog Category: 

The Ultimate Plan

Tue, 04/02/2014 - 12:55 -- James Oakley

Exodus chapter 19 is a very important chapter.

Many of us know well the story of the Passover, the Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea.

Exodus 19 tells us where this was heading - the ultimate plan. God says, in verse 4, "I brought you to myself". God brought them out of Egypt, so that they could gather around God's presence at Mount Sinai.

Blog Category: 

Pages

Subscribe to Law
Additional Terms