The Old Testament is full of examples of faith. Faith of
individuals...and the faith of God.
However, the New Testament uses the word faith considerably more than the Old
Testament. The reason for this lies in an understanding of the Old
Testament vs. the New.
The Old Covenant vs. The New Covenant
The Bible often talks about the Law of Moses (given to the children of Israel*
by Moses after they were led out of Egypt). This is recorded primarily in
Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. The Law of Moses
is often referred to as the Old Covenant (a covenant is an agreement).
* Note: The Bible calls the descendants of Israel the
"children of Israel." They are also referred to as the "Israelites" or the
But God foretold in the Old Testament that there would be a new covenant.
The book of Jeremiah was written about 800 years after the Law of Moses...and about
600 years before the birth of Jesus. The Lord says, through the prophet
days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the
house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made
with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the
land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,"
declares the LORD." Jeremiah 31:31-32 (NAS)
This new covenant is recorded in the New Testament. The new covenant came
into effect when Jesus died on the cross (see
Hebrews chapter 9). In
referring to the Law of Moses and the New Covenant of Christ, Paul says to the
churches in Galatia:
the Law (of Moses) has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be
justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a
tutor." Galatians 3:24-25 (NAS)
Galatians 3 says that now that "faith has come"
in the new covenant, the Jews were "no longer under the tutor" (the Law of Moses).
We will learn in this lesson how the concept of faith plays a vital role in
this new covenant...and, accordingly, why it is necessary for the New Testament
to speak much more about faith.
Click on the next question to continue...