Just an Observation...


...and surely a very fallible one at that.  However....

I've noticed that the more people read the WHOLE Bible systematically (yes the Pentateuch and Prophets too, not just the Psalms), the more they appreciate the gravity of sin and its remedy: grace.

By contrast, I've also noticed that the more one jumps around the Bible looking for "breakthrough narratives," and the more topical one tends to be with the Scriptures in personal devotions, the more one is intolerant of the whole counsel of God. 

Again, this is just my experience; you may not have noticed this at all.  But what I'm saying is that if one doesn't make a practice of reading Isaiah or Ezekiel or Leviticus or 1 John or Revelation or Romans or Psalms or Matthew ALL THE WAY THROUGH and just kinda cherry-picks the popular verses, the less likely one seems to be to tolerate the preaching of the Laws of God, any ethical standards, or any sense of an absolute.  On the contrary, this situation seems to produce a love of "grace" without that grace being suitably and contextually magnified by the reason it came: our inability to keep the Law and our utter sinfulness and wickedness before a Holy God.

As Ray Comfort said, "nothing magnifies Calvary like Sinai."  Because for the most part the Old Testament precepts (not its narratives) are ignored, our understanding of mercy and grace tends to be more circumstantial: jobs, relationships, encouragement during difficult moments, etc.  Sure, there is much grace there (thank you Lord!), but the best grace saves the soul from hell.

It's worth pointing out again that Jesus didn't come to abolish the Law; He came to fulfill it (Matt 5:17).  In fact, He came because the sin that became known because of the Law (Rom 3:20) had us all trapped and bound (Gal 3:22).  It still holds the whole world accountable to the holy standards of God! (Rom 3:19)

Like John the Baptist (one of if not THE greatest of the Old Testament prophets) "prepared the way for the Lord" (Luke 3:4), it is the preaching of God's moral laws that paves the way for a biblical and powerful uplifting and understanding of the grace God demonstrated in Jesus Christ...

Gal 3:19-26 ESV:

Why then the law?  It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. (20) Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.  (21) Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not!  For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.  (22) But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  (23) Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  (24) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. (25) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, (26) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Let's read all the Bible....not just parts of it...in church and at home.  Let's take our time and read not only John and Romans, but also Jeremiah and Ruth.  Page after page of the Old Testament points to our desperate need for Christ.  Verse after verse demonstrates the holy character of God.  How does one truly understand the love of God in Christ Jesus without understanding his own unworthiness?  How does one truly repent without a thorough explanation of his own lawlessness?  (1 John 3:4)  No, we are not "under the Old Covenant," but it's almost impossible to truly appreciate the New without it.

So please understand we don't preach the Law or quote the Old Testament to cause pain or hurt others' feelings; we do it because it is the best way to point people to their need for a Savior:

1Timothy 1:8-11 ESV - Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, (10) the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.