The Proper Relationship Of Old Testament And New Testament In The Christian’s Responsibility To “Obey The Bible” Or “Obey God” -- By: Brian H. Wagner

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 13:38 (Apr 2009)
Article: The Proper Relationship Of Old Testament And New Testament In The Christian’s Responsibility To “Obey The Bible” Or “Obey God”
Author: Brian H. Wagner


The Proper Relationship Of Old Testament And New Testament In The Christian’s Responsibility To “Obey The Bible” Or “Obey God”

Brian H. Wagner, M.Div., Th.M.

Ph.D. student, Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School

Instructor of Church History and Theology, Virginia Baptist College

In developing a proper Christian walk based upon the ethical teaching of Scripture, one must first address questions as to the identity of a “Christian” and the priority of biblical authority for the making of ethical decisions. According to this author, those who are truly Christian have “heard the word of truth, the gospel of . . . salvation . . . [and thereafter] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph 1:13). Moreover, this author believes that the Scriptures—both Old and New Testaments—were written by prophets and apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16), so that their writings were without error. They thus possess, even in translation, preeminence in authority in deciding matters of faith and practice. As the apostle Paul stated, “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, which you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written [i.e. Scripture]” (1 Cor 4:6).

If other positions or definitions of Christian identity or biblical authority would be assumed, it should be obvious that the outcome of ethical choices would be sometimes vastly different or even opposite. If a person, who does not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, is yet for some reason called a “Christian,” his ethical choices may be called the same title by default. However, these choices were not made by a regenerated mind, emotions, and will. Therefore, these choices will always have a wrong motivational basis, a lack of any personal everlasting value, and an inability to please God.1 Those ethics should not therefore be called, “Christian,” though they may be in someway derived from the same Christian Scriptures.

Though attention in this article will not be taken further to develop the supreme authority of Scriptures in making ethical choices, such a position will be seen as foundational to the integration of all the other competing authorities that desire to influence those choices (e.g. “tradition, reason, and experience”).2 The author agrees with Richard Hays as to the addition of experience to the familiar threefold aut...

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