The NT writers use many OT figures precisely as types of Christ, anticipating his great work of redemption. But, here’s the point: it doesn’t have to be one or the other. OT stories/figures can function both as a type of Christ and as moral examples of what true faith can produce in the life of God’s people.
For years, I have heard people say it. In books, in articles, in podcasts. Again and again, we are told that preachers cannot use OT stories as moral examples.
Why? Because it breaks the rules of Christ-centered preaching. If we talk about OT figures we can only discuss how they point forward to Christ. If we use them as a moral example then we have simply become moralists.
Or so we are told.
Now, it should be acknowledged that the motivation here is commendable. Yes, we want to preach Christ (though we need to define what that means more carefully). And yes we don’t want to advocate some sort of moralism from the pulpit.
But does that mean we are forbidden from using OT stories as moral examples? I think not. And here’s why: