UNDERSTANDING THE NEW TESTAMENT
By Henry Jaegers
As we begin this introduction to the study of the New Testament. I find it necessary to address theories held by many well-intentioned Christians concerning the Old Testament. First, the New Testament does not do away with the Old Testament. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are the Word of God. They are equally important, but the one does not do away with the other. I hear people say that they just believe in the New Testament, and do not agree with the teaching of the Old Testament. They say “that the Old Testament is just a lot of rules and regulations intended for Jews.” Second, Jesus said “I did not come to do away with the law, I came to fulfill it.” He didn’t say that he came to replace it, or as some believe, add to it to make it more complete. Again, these are thoughts many people hold to that are not scriptural.
There are some who think that when Jesus came, his purpose was to give greater understanding to the law and introduced more laws in order to make it complete. Third, here is the one we hear most often. In the Old Testament they were saved by keeping the law; in the New Testament we are saved by grace. This view comes from misunderstanding how law and grace complement each other. Again, this interpretation is based on improper understanding of the purpose of the law. This teaching is most dangerous because it disregards the idea of holiness, attached to the purpose of the law and encourages lawlessness. “Under grace” does not mean we are free to do as we please, and ignore the Law’s requirements.
On a positive note, let’s look at how the Old Testament and New Testament are complementary and how the teaching of law and grace are necessary.
In the Old Testament, the law and the prophets were the means by which God communicated to his people. The law is holy and just and good (Said the apostle Paul), and it reflected the perfection of God. The 10 Commandments are reflections of God’s perfection. It is like a standard whereby men’s actions are measured. Because man has sin, he is unable to keep the commandments of God perfectly (as required). God’s passing grade is 100% (He does not grade on the curve). In the book of James, chapter 2 verse 10, James states that “whosoever keeps the whole law, and offends in one point, he is guilty of all”. God gave us a law that man cannot keep because of sin. I often like to ask people the question, “why would God give us a law that He knew we could not keep?” The answer is, He did, and He did it on purpose. God knew that man could not possibly keep that law perfectly. This is important to know. It raises the question, “why then, did God give us a commandment we could not keep?”
As we read in the New Testament, Paul states that the purpose of the law was not given for man to keep in the sense of producing righteousness. Paul also stated that if righteousness came by keeping the law, then Christ is dead in vain. He also said that the law was given in order for the whole world to become guilty before God. So the law was given for the purpose of producing guilt. When sinful man is measured against the holiness of God, he falls short. That’s what Romans 3:23 means when it says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. That addresses three important facts; first, the glory of God refers to the commandment that man cannot keep requiring a perfect fulfillment; second the verse says all have sinned. That means all men. When measured against this standard, all men fall short. That’s what sin means; to miss the Mark or fall short. So we come to understand Romans 3:23 in a new way. Man when measured against the holy law of God, falls short. That includes the Christian in the New Testament era and the Jew in the Old Testamentera. When they stand before the holy law of God, they are all equally sinners in need of salvation.
Now this is taught both in the New Testament and the Old Testament. In order for man to find forgiveness, God has to make a provision. In the Old Testament we have the book of Leviticus that describes in detail what is necessary to claim forgiveness and to live free from the power of sin. That’s what the New Testament teaches as well. The Old Testament system in Leviticus was a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. The Levitical system was intended by God to be temporary, but necessary for the time. It was the way that God provided for guilty men to find forgiveness and freedom from the guilt. But later on there would be one who would come and fulfill all these ordinances and blood sacrifices and everything that the Levitical system contained. In other words, when Jesus came, these ordinances and such were no longer necessary. Christ performed all these ceremonies within himself and in that way he fulfilled the law. The law was later completely fulfilled when Jesus came, it doesn’t mean that the law was done away with. There was still sin, there was the law that produced guilt, there are men who were sinners who are guilty, and there was a way provided by God for men to be forgiven. In Matthew, chapter 5 verse 17. Jesus gave a very important lesson on this matter of fulfilling the law. He said ” think not that I am come to destroy the law; or the prophets: I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you; till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law; till all be fulfilled.” What Jesus was saying is that his coming did not do away with the law. The law required certain things to be fulfilled. For instance death on the cross needed to take place before salvation could be available. Until all required actions are completed, the law would still be in place. The coming of the Holy Spirit would also be part of that fulfillment. The non-Christian who refuses the offer of salvation is practically still under that law because the application of guilt produced by the Holy Spirit, which leads to salvation, has not yet occurred so Christ’s finished work, , would not apply to him. He is still under the curse of the law until he turns to Christ. All of the ceremonies listed in the Levitical system were all fulfilled in Christ. That means they are symbolic meaning that hey have finally been fulfilled. Man without Christ is essentially still under the law until he by God’s grace receives the gift of eternal life. Jesus final word on the cross as he gasped his last breath was ”it is finished”. The law’s requirements have been fulfilled and salvation’s work is complete. How shall we not respond with these wonderful words. “hallelujah what a Savior?”
So you can see the teachings of the Old Testament are perfectly in harmony with the new. The book of Hebrews in the New Testament verifies all of this, but for now this is all that we need to know. Be assured of this, the New Testament has not fulfilled the Old Testament, Jesus in his ministry has. He is our great high priest. So we don’t need the Levitical priests. His blood is the only blood that avails. It is pure and replaces the blood of sheep and goats. The Holy Spirit places within the heart of every Christian the means by which he can fulfill the perfect law of God. Without Christ, men cannot keep the law and have no desire but for the Christian, there is love for the law and the ability and desire to fulfill it made, possible through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who resides within the believer. The law is fulfilled when the Holy Spirit resides in our lives.
As we pursue the whole teaching of the Bible, we must keep the old and New Testament intact because they teach these three things.
First, that Jesus the Messiah is coming (The Old Testament).
Second, that Jesus the Messiah has come.(The New Testament)
Third that Jesus the Messiah is coming again.(All prophetical scriptures including Revelation and Matthew 24.)
It is proper to view the Old Testament Israelites as the Old Testament church (Before Christ’s arrival and the New Testament Church as such was established.) The “Greek word for church is the word “ecclesia” which interpreted means “a called out assembly.” That can also include the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, .however in its truest sense it refers to Christ and His followers and only converted Israelites. We must, of necessity, emphasize this distinction.
WHY THE OLD TESTAMENT IS NECESSARY?
To begin, let's talk about why we have an Old Testament and a New Testament. There are many who cannot tell you why because they may come from churches that never recognize it’s importance. If we fail to understand this basic truth, it will affect the way that I understand other parts of the Bible.
Jesus Christ is the central person in both the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament there are over fifty prophecies that talk about Him. The reason we know that it is Jesus they are talking about is the New Testament tells that it is so. To put it simply, the Old Testament says that He is coming; The New Testament says that He has come. The Jewish people understood the Messiah (or the Christ) is coming, but do not believe That Jesus is He.
Summarizing the Old Testament
For future purposes I thought it to be helpful for you to have a more detailed list of the major Prophecies mentioned in the Old Testament about Christ (The Messiah). Someday you may wish to find out where they are, so this is a guide to make it easier.
Genesis 3: 15. This verse gives three important prophecies. 1, He would be the seed of the woman. 2, Satan would bruise His heel. 3. He (Christ) would crush the head of Satan. This was fulfilled in Christ's Virgin birth, the crucifixion and the resurrection.
Genesis 12: 1-3. Genesis 17: 19 and 18:18, These are the promises given by God to Abraham about the messiah who would come through Abraham and the Jewish nation .
Genesis 21:12 and 22:18 confirm that it is through Isaac, (not Ishmael) the Messiah would come.
Genesis 28:14, God confirmed the covenant to Jacob that through his seed, the Messiah, would come. (Specifically, from The nation of Israel).
Genesis 49:!O mentions The tribe of Judah from which the Messiah would come and reign as king. The tribe of Judah is to be the tribe of the kings from whom would come Israel’s first King..
Deuteronomy 18: 18 and 19 prophecies of a leader and prophet like Moses would come.
II Samuel 7:12, 13, tells that God would establish the kingdom of David forever. We have many references in the New Testament about Jesus’ connection with this prophecy.
Isaiah 7:14 predicts His virgin Birth and the name Immanuel (Meaning God with us.)
Micah 5: 2 predicts the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem.
Isaiah 53 gives 12 specific details about His suffering on the cross. (Too specific to ignore.)
In Isaiah 40, and Malachi 3: 1, 4: 5, 6 (given details in study of John the Baptist) Predict the arrival Of John the Baptist
Finally In Daniel 9: 27 Daniel predicts the death of Christ at the end of the 69th week. The 70th week is yet to be fulfilled and it will include the final destruction of Satanic forces (The bruising of Satan's head). It speaks also of the arrival of Jesus as king of kings and lord of Lord's and the catching away of His church to reign with Him.
THE FOUR GOSPELS
The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are biographies covering the period of the time of Christ's earthly ministry. Mathew and John were two of the original disciples of Jesus and became His apostles. Luke was an eyewitness and goes deeper into the life of Christ than the others. It is the view point of many that Mark was not one of the earlier followers of Jesus and received most of his information from Peter. John the writer of his Gospel wrote three letters and the book of Revelation. He is the only known apostle to have escaped a martyrs' death.
We refer to the first three Gospels as "The synoptic Gospels” because they all cover similar events, yet if you were to read them carefully you would find them all uniquely different. The Gospel of John is different as is his writing style.
Matthew begins by presenting a genealogy tracing Jesus' origin back to David and Abraham. This is important, as we have previously studied, It shows Him to be the true Messiah and that He fulfilled the promises made to Abraham and David. This genealogy traces through his earthly father Joseph. It is interesting that this record confirms Him as the rightful heir to the throne of David. Matthew presents him as a king coming into His kingdom.
uke after three chapters introduces us to another genealogy unlike Matthew’s. His origin goes back to Adam and connects to the first promise about His being" Born of a woman." Interesting enough, the genealogy belongs to Mary and points to Jesus being a unique man not having an earthly father. His birth was free from the infection of sin. He is Jesus the perfect man, calling Himself often, "the Son of Man." What about the Virgin Mary? Do you think that she realized her part in that fulfillment?
Mark is different in his writing style. The other gospels contain more detailed in what they present. Mark hurriedly takes you through his gospel. I have found the Gospel of Mark to be a good review of what Matthew and Luke write. Most commentators interpret Mark as seeking to present Jesus as the perfect servant, highlighting Christ's works rather than His words. That evaluation is a fair one as we consider the purpose of all four. Mark presents Jesus as the perfect servant.
We now come to the Gospel of John. He begins his book with another genealogy with no human references. John presents Him as having his origins from Eternity and being equal to God. John presents Jesus as "the Son Of God" and gives us greater understanding of what that means in his gospel.,
There are four symbols used several times in scripture that describe these four Gospels. The lion being the sign of kingship in Matthew: The Ox being a beast of burden symbolizing servant hood in Mark. Luke presents Jesus as "The Man", symbolizing God identifying himself with human needs and interests. John presents Him as God incarnate in Human flesh. The eagle with it's strength and majesty symbolizes His Deity. Each of these beastlike characteristics describes a work of Christ's ministry.
However, as helpful as these symbols are in helping us to understand the significance of each book, we must not treat them as a divinely inspired. The reason I say this is, there have been teachers and theologians in the past who have interpreted the symbols differently. Sometimes we fail to realize that some things come from human interpretation and we must use them cautiously. An illustration of this can be found among certain groups of Christians. They have devised a theory of how to best understand the Scripture, and they actually believe that if you do not adopt this theory you are in error.
All of us are different and are gifted differently. There are some things God reveals to us that others have never seen before, but at the same time we must realize, because others do not have that understanding, they are not necessarily wrong, or believing falsely. Truth requires that we grow in our understanding of God’s revelation. Although it is firm, it allows for growth and development. The church at Berea in the book of Acts, we are told received the word of God with all readiness of mind, and if they same time, they checked out those who taught them to make sure they were speaking the truth. They serve as an example to us of not believing everything that we are told, yet at the same time having sufficient knowledge and understanding of God’s word that we can determine what is true and what is false.
A Word about Mark
As I was thinking about how to present this study, the Lord brought to my mind some wonderful things about Mark and the way that God had transformed his life and allowed him to be one of the gospel writers. Perhaps may be. We might not find this information among the major commentators, it occurred to me how significant and important the study in the life of Mark should be.
When Paul began his first missionary journey he was accompanied by a marvelous man named Barnabas. His name means”son of a consolation”, and that Julie was a description of his character. He had a great ministry of encouraging others, and perhaps that’s where the problem began. Barnabas, had a nephew, whose name was John Mark. Paul allowed Mark, as we know him, to be part of his missionary team, but because of his lack of maturity, it caused Paul to be reluctant about having him along. Barnabas did not agree. He saw potential in Mark that Paul did not , and the rift began over John Mark’s presence. The result was Paul Scholes Silas to replace Barnabas and Barnabas went on his way with Mark.
We didn’t hear much about Barnabas and Mark, and we don’t know for how long the separation lasted. But something did happen that was positive. Mark to believe it was because of the influence of Barnabas.
Tab over time, Paul began to change his mind about Mark and wrote in one of the letters “to send Mark, for he is profitable to me for the ministry. We cannot help but understand Barnabas’ part in helping Mark to grow. Maybe a good title for this incident would be called. ”the man who changed Paul’s mind.”
Mark, unlike Matthew, Luke and John was not an eyewitness to Christ’s ministry as the others were. Mark, it is said, received most of his information from Peter and wrote the information that he received in a verbal form Peter. The most amazing thing of all as how the Holy Spirit led Mark to write what he did without forgetting any of the major details that were given to him. His gospel contains most of the information given by Mathew and Luke. Thus by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it has become part of the gospel narratives.
Items to focus on.
Before we leave the four Gospels, there are a few things of importance to consider:
in the book of Matthew, chapters 5-7, We find a section called the Sermon on the Mount. These portions of Scripture focus on what a child of the kingdom should be like. Remember, that Matthew’s gospel in the gospel of the kingdom. So at the very beginning. We are taught how a true child of the kingdom manifests himself.
Later, in Matthew 24, 25, we have to chapters dedicated to the coming of the King. The teaching is found in these chapters give us the teaching given by Jesus concerning is coming again.
John’s Gospel is different than the other three in this way. The information that John gives to us is not found in the other Gospels. John deliberately focused on other aspects of Christ’s ministry. He talks about Jesust being the son of God and how his life clearly revealed. It. John’s reasons for writing his gospel are clearly found in John chapter 20 and 21. I am putting them together in order to clearly demonstrate the thought uttered by John. In John 20:30 we have these words ‘and in many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, and there are also many other things which Jesus did, the witch, if they should be written everyone, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written, but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (These verses are found in John 20:30; John 21:25; and finally, in John 20:31 and they are put together as a compos it producing unity in the purpose for writing. John’s Gospel.
THE BOOK OF ACTS
In order to appreciate and understand the book of acts, it is helpful to understand something about the author. Both the gospel of Luke and Acts were written by Luke, who is not one of the original apostles, but was an eyewitness of all that Jesus began to do and to teach. In his gospel Luke addresses a man known as Theophilus. Not much is said about him, but my interpretation based on information given was that he was a high ranking official who chose to be called Theophilus. The Greek meaning of the word Theophilus is one who loves God.
Luke has written a careful, historical, treatise intended specifically for Theophilus, with the purpose that he would gain clearer understanding and have a more knowledgeable faith. It was designed to teach everything concerning Jesus from his birth to his ascension. That is the scope of Luke’s gospel.
Previously Luke explained to his friend Theophilus all that Jesus began to do and to teach. Although, not specifically stated, his purpose for writing Acts was to present information concerning Jesus beyond His ascension. He is now explaining all that Jesus is continuing to do and teach through the administration of the Holy Spirit. So we see Luke is presenting all the information that he has pertaining to the workings of the Holy Spirit, as displayed through his church.
As we begin studying Luke, one more reference from his gospel is mentioned in chapter 1 verse 4. In this verse they were reminded of Jesus last command to them. That command is found in Luke chapter 24, verse 49, which say :”and, behold, I send the promise of my father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” God also gave them. This promise as they obeyed his command, but you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Thus this command and promise is given at the outset of the book. To observe this promise in this command is all that was required.
You would think something is simple as this would not be hard to observe, but then there was Peter. He always seems to make something complicated and confusing about simple things. He being a strong personality and the motivated one convinced the rest of the apostles and disciples that something had to be done to replace Judas. This was Peter’s idea not God’s. But they proceeded and took a straw vote and chose Mathias to replace Judas. I guess we can’t blame Peter for being Peter, but we see that they prematurely chose Mathias. God didn’t seem to have any problem with this action, however, as we shall show in the book of acts, God had a better plan and a better person to do the job that they felt was necessary then. So we have an introduction to the book of Acts.
Now the book of acts begins to unfold. In chapter 2, we have the most important chapter in the whole book; that is the arrival of the day of Pentecost. What happened as they waited, God fulfilled his promise and as they were praying they began to speak in a different language as the Holy Spirit came upon them causing everyone in the surrounding area to understand the good news of God’s word. That day, at the preaching of Peter, conviction by the Holy Spirit came and 3000 souls were entered into the kingdom. From that time forward, we begin to see the Holy Spirit in action through the lives of Christ’s followers. Immediately they went forth, preaching the gospel everywhere and the church was growing. But when we get to chapter 6, followers were so busy preaching the word that other important needs were being neglected. To take care of these neglects, Stephen was selected to oversee the problem.
Therre rose opposition from the Jews and Stephen courageously and boldly spoke out, causing the opposition to become angrier and Stephen as a result, was martyred. But that was not the end. As the result of Stephen’s martyrdom something else happened. Saul of Tarsus who was in charge of initiating persecution toward the Christians was approached by God on the Damascus Road and he became a follower of Jesus. From that time all is history. The rest of the book of acts focuses mainly upon Paul, Silas, and Barnabas as they preached in the synagogues, people believed, persecution arose, and churches were established. Saul of Tarsus now became Paul the apostle. The one chosen by God to replace Judas.
We find now new churches being established in these churches became the focus on the rest of the book of Acts. Acts is the only Historical book in the New Testament
DIVISION OF BOOKS
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The remainder of books in the New Testament, are individual letters from the apostles designed to encourage, correct and inform.
Letters from the apostle Paul
Romans, I,II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Collossians, I, II Thessalonians, I,II Timothy. Titus, Philemon
Hebrews, James, I,II Peter, Jude
Writings of the Apostle John
I, II, III John. The Gospel of John, Revelation
ANALYZING THE INDIVIDUAL BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The purpose of this section is to help find important teachings from each book.
This book deals completely with the subject of Salvation.
Chapters 1-3 deal with the need for Salvation (Sin)
Chapters 4-8 The Doctrine of salvation
Chapters 9-16 The practical outworking of Salvation
The books of Hebrews Galatians and Romans have the wors “The Just shall Live by Faith” as a subject needing to be emphasized. Romans deals with Righteousness of God as revealed in the matter of sin, correct doctrine and responsible living.
I, II Corinthians
The church at Corinth was a church filled with many abuses and misunderstandings. Paul the apostle spent much effort to try and help them. They did not respond to him kindly and questioned his authority.
Second Corinthians found Paul encouraged by the apparent progress since his last visit to them. All outward evidences reveal a willingness to receive Pauls admonitions and instructions
The church at Galatia started out well in their salvation journey, but soon they faced antagonizers in the church who insisted that salvation by Faith was proper but it should involve compliance with the Mosaic Law. Paul’s message led to proper understanding the meaning of Being justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
The church at Ephesus was one of the “Great churches” mentioned in the book of Acts. The church was established through much tribulation and her perseverance left them strong. Paul’s word of encouragement to the was to press on and be partakers of all of the blessings in Christ There was mutual encouragement from them and by the Apostle Puul.
We remember the Philippi an Jailor and his conversion. He and his house together formed the beginnings of this grateful church. While paul was facing imprisonment, the saints at Phillippi sent many gifts expressing their love for him. This letter from Paul was an expression of Gratitude by Paul. The church demonstrated their love which their name proclaims.
It is doubtful that Paul ever came to know the church at Coiosse. It was through a man named Epaphras tthat the Gospel came. He came to know Paul and some think that he shared imprisonment at the same time as Paul. Ephaphras becamr the minister at Collosse, and expressed some concern over a heresy that was invading the church. Paul admonished them In their faith by stressing the importance of focusing on God’s supremacy and pre-eminence. Although he never visited them, Paul gained a great love for them through their response to his ministry.
I, II Thessalonians
as you read about this church you could wish that all churches had their qualities. What was astounding was the way that thy heard the word of God and how it took root in them and resulted in a cleatcu witness for Christ. Paul spent much effort in helping them over their confusion regardimg the Coming of Christ. At one point they thought that Christ had come already and they missed it. Pauls teaching on this matter has helped believers to clearly understand the events surrounding Christ’s coming. These books give us clear understanding of end-time-subjects.
Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.
These are the letters from Paul called “The pastoral Epistles”.
These books contain the qualification of leaders and servants in the church. Pastors, Deacons are given serious responsibilities’ and are told how they as leader ought o behave. The importance of preaching and teaching sound doctrines, God’s servants are to be blameless in their devotion and in their conduct. These books supply us with information of what God wants His church to be.
Some think that Paul the apostle was the original writer of this book, however, unlike the rest of Paul’s books, this one does not have his signature. The teachings are similar, along with writing style. However, no-one knows exactly who the specific author is.
This book was written for Hebrew converts and its significance centers around Jesus Christ being superior to all things they might have once trusted. For instance, we see he is greater than the prophets, he is greater than Angels, he is greater than Moses, he is greater than Aaron, and the whole Jewish priesthood. He is greater than them all because these Old Testament types found their completion in Jesus Christ. In the latter part of Hebrews we have the significance of faith and God’s hall of fame to those who in the past were faithful. The challenge of the book is an encouragement for those who claim faith in Jesus Christ to demonstrate that faith by living faithfully.
the book of James is full of many practical illustrations concerning this matter of faith. It is a good book to follow the book of Hebrews because of its emphasis on faith. The main theme of James is how faith and works go together. James addresses a false idea that you don’t have to worry about good works. James demonstrates that true faith is proven by its works. He mentions that ”faith without works is dead”. He is right. Faith without works is not faith, it’s merely wishful thinking. Good works validates our faith and authenticates those who are true believers. The most important thing about faith is what our faith is in (or the object of our faith). If what our faith trusts in is not true or authentic, then our faith is not either. Faith is only as reliable as its object. Hebrews 11:6 says “but without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
This first book of Peter is sent to Saints scattered throughout Asia because of persecution, suffering greatly for their faith. Peter’s admonition to them is to press on and not give up. He expresses to them the importance of faith during a time of intense suffering. His message of encouragement is found that as Christ suffered, so we his followers should not be surprised if we suffer the same thing. We know from Peter’s later experience that he knew exactly what he is talking about. Perhaps these words found in the book could serve as the theme. “Brethren, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial. That shall try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice inasmuch as he are partakers of Christ’s suffering, that when he shall be revealed, ye may rejoice also.” (I Peter 4:12)
in this second letter of Peter his emphasis focuses upon growing in grace and being grounded in truth. The reason for this is that there are many pretenders and false teachings arising at this time. Being scattered, they will be exposed to new gods and teachings and they must be knowledgeable and discerning to be able to spot them. This book is clearly related to the book of Jude. In that Christians should be diligent in the knowledge of God’s truth, making it a strong priority in their lives. False teachings are deceptive and satanic fully motivated, and unless we are properly guarded in truth, we are easy preys for the enemy. They are to be grounded in truth, and growing in grace.
This book has become a favorite among believers because it deals with the subject of forgiveness, walking in the light, fellowship with God, fellowship with one another, and the importance of love toward one another. The title of the book could be called “unouded communion” or “unbroken fellowship. “ There are many promises of assurance in this book, like assurance of salvation and assurance of answered prayer.” It is a book designed to keep Christian’s faithful in their daily walk with God.
Although this book has the same author. It has quite a different theme. During this time that the book was written there was a practice that faithful Christians would be spread out to various areas and Christians living in the areas were admonished to take care of them in their need. However there are also false teachers who caught onto this practice and began doing the same thing as the other Christians. John is warning the churches about this invasion by false teachers and posing as faithful missionaries as well. John is warning the churches that this is happening. In this word john is calling them to be discerning and wise and dealing with all of these.
in this book we are introduced to a man named Gaius. He is a very brave man, and does a very courageous act. We remember how John addressed him. He prayed that he would be strong in his body like he is in his faith. That tells us a lot about Gaius. But the one purpose in writing this book is John’s commendation of him in preventing further corruption in the church. There was one man named Diotrephese who was trying to prevent the true program from going forth. He was hindering the true Christian from being provided for. It was Gaius who stood up and rebuked him and prevented further damage from taking place. Perhaps there comes a time when our physical strength , is weak, but in spite of this faith still can triumph. We learned this from this book.
John MacArthur entitled this book “beware of the Pretenders”. The title is a good summary of the book of Jude.” The writer warns the people that there are certain men who have secretly crept in among them who are imposters. How they got into the church we are not told. We know they were using the same tactics of Satan in pretending to be true. Perhaps they spoke the right language, or claim the right doctrine, and prayed fancy prayers; but whatever means they used, they were successful and they were beginning to damage the image and testimony of the church. Perhaps they may have even taken over the board meetings and the leadership of the church further hindering their being identified. The call to the true believer is to remember the words spoken by the apostles, and faithful teachers and hold fast to them. The promise by God is, although these may continue for a while, God has a determined end for them in mind.
The book of Revelation is the final book in the Bible. It is appropriately the final book because it speaks specifically of the end times and what shall take place prior to the arrival of the Lord for his church. If we were to give one versed to focus on that describes this book. It is Revelation chapter 1 verse seven says this “behold, he, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him; and all nations of the earth shall wail because of him.” For the Christian, who anticipates and lives his life in light of Christ’s return, this period of time is called the “Blessed Hope”. It will be the fulfillment of the great expectation that Jesus has come. For those who live in denial and reject the truth, it will be a time of intense sorrow and anguish. The whole book of Revelation centers on the coming of Christ. In chapters 2 and 3 we see seven churches addressed. These churches someday will be the bride of Christ when he comes in chapter 19. In chapter 2 and 3 three, the church is not yet ready for the arrival of the bridegroom, but after the events of chapters 4 through 19 are finished, events will happen that will purify the church and make her ready for Jesus when he comes. Chapter 20- 22 deal with events that will take place after the arrival of Christ. Two events follow the return of Christ. The first will be the judgment of the unsaved dead, and the second event, describes the eternal bliss of the faithful at home forever with their Lord.
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