The New Testament makes up about one-third of the Bible. It deals with God completing the things that He had promised in the Old Testament. The Bible, which consists of both the Old Testaments and the New, is the story of God at work in the history of mankind to bring about redemption.
Redemption is the need
Redemption first began to be needed after the Fall of Adam and Eve. The world was perfect – just the way God made it, and then sin came in the form of a temptation, and the First Couple yielded to it. They chose between God and Satan, and they chose wrongly. But, in spite of their sin, God showed mercy in offering them a temporary covering for their sin in the form of a blood sacrifice. Ever since, all men have also gone astray, and are in need of God’s redemption, too. This first sacrifice, performed by God Himself, was an early picture of what God would later do.
Redemption was promised
God, in the Garden, promised a permanent Solution to the sin issue. That Solution would be of the “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15, KJV), the first reference to a coming Savior. Every sacrifice of the Old Testament reminded the Jew, that the “Promised One,” was coming. Matthew 1:18, in reference to this verse declares: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” – the seed of the woman, or, the One we’ve been waiting for.
At the outset of Christ’s ministry, John the Baptizer (in John 1:29) introduced the Lord Jesus as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Though not understood, or desired by them in this capacity, Christ came as the Sacrifice to end the need of all others.
Christ, by Himself, accomplished all that God the Father had sent Him to do. On the Cross, just before He died, He reported to His Father in Heaven, and for our sakes, that “It is finished” (John 19:30). The New Testament (which is the same as the “new covenant”), is what this part of the Bible is about. Christ told the Apostles, while in the Upper Room, that the Lord’s Table was symbolic of “my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
In what way is Christ the end (the accomplishment) of all that was promised?
1. He was God’s Chosen Sacrifice for all sin.
2. He satisfied God as a payment for all our sin. We know that because He arose from the dead.
3. If Christ’s blood was not acceptable we would die in our sins.
3. He now sits at God’s right hand – as Lord over all.
4. He is the High Priest of every believer.
5. He will, one day, destroy the enemy, and reign forever.
Why are the Gospels different and why is there four of them?
The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are simply four different witnesses to the fact that Christ, the One promised since the beginning of time, had come. Each of the Gospels is written looking at Christ from a different point of view.
” Matthew – Christ as King of the Jews, as promised to David.
” Mark – Christ as the perfect Servant of God.
” Luke – Christ as the Perfect Man – written to the Greeks.
” John – Christ as the Son of God.
Why do the Gospels seem to differ, even when referring to the same event?
This is easily understood, when looked at from a legal view. In a court of law, a witness’ testimony may be thrown out, if two of them say the exact same thing about an event. No two witnesses ever see, or understand what they see, in exactly the same way. For this reason, plus the fact that God had a different theme for each of them, resulted in differing accounts. However, there is no contradiction between the Gospels in any matter. Simply, each of them record different parts of the whole. Therefore, to understand the whole event, the pieces need to be put together – they will fit, but, sometimes, a little more study may be needed.
What is the rest of the New Testament about?
” Acts – Known as the book of conversions it shows the church and its progression, how to be saved and enter the church (the kingdom) and their journeys, problems, successes along the way.
” Romans through Jude – Letters written to various individuals, or churches, that deal with further instructions for living, problems in the churches, and further revelation about God’s plan for His people.
” Revelation – A book of hope for 1st century Christians who were severely persecuted because of there love for Christ. Assurance and victory for those who refused idol worship and the ways of the Roman world. Revelation is rich in Old Testament symbols and imagery. The book of revelation for the most part should not be taken literal. The first few chapters written to specific churches in Asia, the second part is war and conflict between good and evil, with the final chapters dealing with the second coming of Christ, judgment and eternal life for all.