“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17).
As they appear in the Greek text, this English phrase is but two words—an adverb (kathos) and a verb (gegraptai). Though few in number, they are mighty and impactful. In addition to their enduring testament to the preciseness of God’s word (see yesterday’s blog), they also are an indissoluble link between the Scriptures’ Old Testament and New Testament.
Like a wondrously, custom-tailored glove for a unique hand, the Old and New Testaments fit perfectly together as only a divine composition can. In the Old Testament there is purposeful foreshadowing of such things as the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), the Lamb of God (John 1:29), the Christian’s Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7), the unique king-priest (Hebrews 7:1-3), immersion to remove sin (1 Peter 3:20-22), a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5), humanity’s day of atonement (Hebrews 9), and much more.
There is no competition between the old covenant God gave to the Jews through His servant Moses and the new covenant He gave to all humanity through His Son Jesus. The Law was not voided by Christ (Romans 3:31); it was fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). The Law serves as the moral and spiritual foundation of the gospel (Romans 3:31).
What Christ gave in the Law’s place is vastly superior. Because the Law was a yoke which was onerous and impossible to bear (Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1), Jesus removed it so we could have His yoke which is easy (Matthew 11:30). Because the Law made slaves of God, Jesus removed it so we could become sons of God (Galatians 4:1-7). Because the Law made us spiritual debtors who could not possibly repay our creditor (Matthew 18:22-27), Jesus paid our debt in full (Colossians 2:14; John 19:30). Because the Law separated humanity into two groups of people—Jews and Gentiles, Jesus broke down this wall which isolated them and made them one (Ephesians 2:14-15).
“As it is written” is an indissoluble link between the Old and New Testaments.