Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“To the law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
In the Old Testament, the way God’s people “confessed Christ”, if you will, was to walk in the light of God’s Law. The Law of Moses came from God as a witness, or a testimony, of His Son before He sent him to live on earth. In Moses’ Law, there were many symbolic rituals that foretold of the sufferings of Christ and of the glory that he afterward would receive from God. This means that those who faithfully kept the commandments of Moses’ Law were acting as prophets every time they participated in the ceremonial works of the Law because the Law itself foretold the coming of the Messiah.
In this New Testament, the way God’s people “confess Christ” is to walk in the light of the Spirit. The Spirit was sent to earth by God as a witness, or testimony, of God’s Son after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father (1Jn. 5:6b). The Spirit “confesses Christ” through God’s people when they receive it into their fleshly temples. That “confession” of the Spirit is God’s testimony that Jesus was the Messiah that He sent. It points back to Jesus, the same way that the Law once pointed ahead to him. The holy Spirit also bears witness to the eternal glory of Jesus and to his return for those who love him. This means that those who live and worship in the Spirit are also acting as prophets because they are participating in the Spirit that testifies of the second coming of Jesus. Under the Old Covenant, God’s people prophesied with actions when they lived and worshiped as the Law commanded, with animal sacrifices, holy days, and the like, for such things were “shadows” of the coming Christ. In this New Covenant, God’s people prophesy with their actions when they worship as the Spirit leads, feasting in the Spirit with Christ and offering up spiritual sacrifices (Rom. 12:1; Heb. 13:15), for worship “in spirit and truth” is our testimony that the one true Messiah has come and that he is coming again.
The Law was the only instrument on earth that could prepare the souls of men for the first coming of the Lord, and the holy Ghost is the only instrument by which we can prepare our souls now for the second coming of Jesus to earth. In both covenants, the thing God ordained to bear witness of His Son is also the thing that cleansed us and made us His people.
A believer in the true God who lived under the Law was wise to believe in that Law and to trust his soul to its guidance. The way of the Law was at that time the way of salvation for those who lived under the Law. This is the truth that undergirded Moses’ words from Deuteronomy 32:47: “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life!” In this New Testament, a believer in the true God is wise to believe in the holy Ghost and to trust his soul to its guidance. The way of the Spirit is now the way of salvation for us who live under grace. This is the truth that undergirds Paul’s clear and compelling words from Romans 8:9: “As many that are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).