Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Prepositional Comparison of the Old and New Testaments

Prepositions, though short, are some of the most important words in the English language. Modifying a single preposition can drastically change a sentence. Just imagine telling your friend to meet on your house instead of in your house.

Recently, I watched a video from a Christian conference held in Anaheim, California. One of the points from the message utilized the modification of a single preposition to cleanly compare the Old and New Testaments. Understanding the difference between the two testaments is crucial for any young, Bible-believing Christian.

Here it is:

The history of God with man is found in the Old Testament. The history of God in man is found in the New Testament.

This guy is thinking about what I just said. You should think about it some more, too.
In the Old Testament, God was there with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, even appearing to wrestle with Jacob. As the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud, He was with Moses and the children of Israel fleeing from Egypt. He was also there in the tabernacle and eventually the temple, dwelling with the children of Israel. Through the many failures of their kings and the period of captivity in Babylon, God remained with His people, faithful to restore them.

Yet all this time, with was the best God could do. It wasn't until the New Testament that with could become in.

The age of the New Testament was the result of a fundamental shift in the way God interacted with man. No longer was He limited to helping man outwardly, but he could actually enter into man as the Spirit.

The history of God in man started with Jesus Christ, who said that the Father was in Him (John 10:38) and that the Father dwelt in Him (John 14:10).

Through Jesus' death and resurrection, the way was paved for God to enter into more people. The history of God in man has continued through the apostles and countless other Christians. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul asked the Corinthian believers, "Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?"

Thank God that now He can be not only with us, but also in us!


Anonymous said...

That is awesome coming from God who had once said, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever." Through all their failures God remained with man so He could be in man...forever!

Caitlin Barton said...

I like how simply you explain the difference between the Old and New Testaments in this post Leon. Would love another post with verses showing the difference of with vs in. Thanks!

Leon Dean said...

Thanks, Caitlin. Do you have any verses in mind?

Anonymous said...

"The age of the New Testament was the result of a fundamental shift in the way God interacted with man." Love this quote. This is such a clear way to explain the difference between the two testaments.

You can extrapolate this understanding into definitions of salvation. In the Old Testament salvation was mainly outward and consisted of deliverence from enemies. Most of David's prayers are along this line. You can pick this latent concept up in the New Testament too if you look for it. Like Acts 1:6. This is what the Zealots were all about. In the New Testament though, salvation is mainly inward and of God's divine life.

Todd Bringhurst said...

It is so sweet to be "in" Him, and He in us. That reality is so "in"tense. He is so rich, He is so sweet, He can fulfill all our needs.

In Christ our life,
Todd B.

Anonymous said...

Good post

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