We’re launching a series in the book of Joel, and I’m super excited about this series. Before we dive in, I wanted to speak to something that I’ve heard around town and the region. Usually, I don’t respond to rumors because there’s many of them, and there’s no reason to respond to every one of them. Still, this particular rumor has started to affect some people in our church who are just getting confused about what we believe about the Old Testament here at Westside. I’ve heard from a handful of people, good friends, pastors in our city saying things like, “I hear Westside doesn’t believe in the Old Testament anymore!” These rumors have started to breed confusion in people in our church. So, I want to reiterate what we believe. Not in a defensive posture, but in another way of teaching about how we view the entirety of scripture.
At Westside, we believe that all scripture, both Old and New Testaments, are God-breathed and profitable for us. Every time we go to the Old Testament, we must interpret it through the lens of Jesus. In a way, it’s like we work backward. Where do you start when you read a book? You start at the beginning. But, as Christians, we should begin in Matthew chapter 1, the description of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The One that the entirety of scripture has proclaimed. Then, read the gospels and then work backward and read through the Old Testament. Then you’re able to see the mark of Jesus everywhere throughout the old testament. To fully understand the work of Jesus in the New Testament, we must understand the Old Testament.