When we accept Christ, we are launched into an exciting new life – for many of us a totally new way of living. We begin studying our Bibles and learning from many teachers. New Christians are often encouraged to skip to the New Testament for study, and for the new Christian, this is good advice. However, the Bible can never really be understood in bits and pieces. Each part is inter-related to the others.
We could picture the Bible as a huge jigsaw puzzle. The teachings we receive are wonderful, but they are like groups of pieces put together, but not fit into the total picture. We receive nuggets of revelation, but again, they are just part of the whole picture.
Many Christians cannot truly understand the New Testament because they have not received teaching on the foundations which are laid in the Old Testament. A small part of a verse in the New Testament, may refer to a complete teaching in the Old.
For example, how can we understand what Paul meant when he wrote that we are kings and priests forever after the order of Melchizedek, if we have never understood what the functions of an Old Testament priest were, or even who Melchizedek was? How can we understand our rights and privileges as covenant children of God, if we don’t know what a covenant is?
Patterns for Living from the Old Testament is not a complete study of the Old Testament. It is not a complete study of any event or theme contained in the Old Testament. It is an introduction – a broad view – of the main events and themes.
Once we have a basic understanding of the times and teaching of the Old Testament, everything we read or hear fits into that elementary outline and the picture God has given us becomes more and more clear.
The best books are written in, underlined, meditated on, and digested. We have left space for your notes and comments. The format has been designed with a fast reference system for review and to assist you in finding areas again. The special format makes it possible for each person, once they have studied through this material, to teach the contents to others.
Paul wrote to Timothy:
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2b)