Question: I hear a lot of helpful messages from the NT pertaining to evangelism but I am left wondering what’s the importance of the Old Testament?
Answer: Great question! It may be helpful for you to think of the Bible as God’s story to us. Most of us would never pick up a novel and read the last chapter first because we’d miss all the crucial background and we’d have a hard time understanding the characters. Similarly, the New Testament by itself is incomplete. The OT teaches essential truths about God, humanity, and salvation.
1. God—The OT is our first introduction to God and teaches us about His perfect holiness (Lev. 11:44) and His covenant loyalty to His people.
2. Humanity—We learn about our creation by God as good and perfect beings who became corrupted by sin in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 1–3). Sin separated us from a holy God but He promised a Savior would come to deliver us (Gen. 3:15).
3. Salvation—Throughout the OT we see the need for substitutionary sacrifice and the shedding of blood as payment for sin. Finally, we learn that faith in God’s promises is and always is how one is justified before God (Gen. 15:6).