New Testament notes

BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT

There are 27 different books, Written over a time span of 50 years, from about 40 AD to about 90 AD.  The original language was Greek, a common language of the Middle East in the first century.

These 27 books include:
q. The story of the life of Jesus (first four books)
2. How Jesus’ followers spread the message about Jesus to other countries during the first century.
3. Letters written by Christians

Concepts in the New Testament:

Basic concepts: Jesus is the Messiah that the Old Testament promised. Jesus took care of the sins of the world by dying on the cross. Jesus rose from the dead, which shows he succeeded in his work.

 Continuing concepts: The New Testament accepts the truths about God which were already found in the Old Testament, such as that there is only one God, and that He is just but loving, and wants to restore His relationship with people; the New Testament gives more details about the nature of God, such as:

More about the nature of God. The Old Testament already spoke of God as Father, and of God’s Spirit, and of the Son of God. The New Testament provides the details that Father, Son, and Spirit together are One God. The term “Trinity” means “three-in-one.” The adjective form is “triune.” The God of the Bible is a “triune” God.  All three existed together in a loving relationship before the world was made, and in fact always did exist, and always will exist. When  someone becomes a Christian, he comes into a relationship with this three‑in‑one God, and the love that they have among themselves is extended to that person. For this reason, the Bible commands “Go, make disciples of all people everywhere; baptize them in the name of .the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”1

 More about Jesus. Only the Son came to earth to become a man, taking the name “Jesus.” Calling Jesus “Son” does not mean that he is younger than the Father. It means that there is a loving relationship between them, just like the kind that exists between Father and Son. It means that the Son has a place of honor, just like the eldest son, or “heir”, of a family, does, Of course, God the Father also has a place of honor. Therefore the Bible says, “Everyone should honor the Son, in the same way that they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent Him.” 
more about Jesus as God       more about what Jesus accomplished on the cross

Footnotes: 1) Matthew 28:19.  2) 2 John 5:23

Details of the New Testament

Relationship. The New Testament accepts the Old Testament truth that the way to be in relationship with God is through faith. Even for Abraham, the way to get close to God was not through good behavior or through doing rituals, but by simple trust.4

The New Testament adds the details that even though we are not qualified to be accepted by God, Jesus takes care of this problem by being qualified in our place. By his perfect life and by taking the punishment we deserve through his death on the cross, Jesus bridges the gap between us and God. Depending on Jesus places us into a relationship with God. Jesus said, “Whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me“.1

Eternal Life. The New Testament gives more details about the blessings that come with trust. Those who have become close to God because they trust Jesus receive a life with purpose, forgiveness of sins, freedom from the pressure to do evil, and hope for eternal life. The Bible says, “God so loved the world that he gave  his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life.”2

Effect on Daily Living.  Jesus lives in Christians. All Christians are related to one another as brothers and sisters in one family. That is why Christians get together often to praise and pray. Although Christians are not saved because of good behavior, yet after they become Christians, God changes their behavior. Christians have a new heart: they feel like they want to obey God, and God gives them power to fight evil within themselves and to do the good which they feel like doing. Providing this power to do good is a function of the Holy Spirit.

At the same time, it is not that Christians never sin. A Christian is not a perfect  person. They are not surprised when they sin, for they still have their old heart as well as their new heart, but they also do not make excuses: they repent of their sins, and ask for forgiveness. Making people aware of sin, and also aware of the certainty of forgiveness, are additional functions of the Holy Spirit.  A Christian is a person who lives in daily gratitude for forgiveness.

About Evil. The New Testament gives more details about evil. The Old Testament already mentioned the existence of evil spirits. The New Testament makes clear that the leader of the evil spirits is called Satan, or the Devil. Evil spirits are also called demons. They are not dead people. Rather, they are a different kind of being, invisible, like angels. When Jesus died on the cross, he ruined Satan’s plan to bring people to be with him in hell. A Christian actively opposes Satan, and the power of Jesus gives people freedom from evil spirits. The Bible clearly warns against certain activities that allow evil spirits to influence them. These activities include fortune telling, trying to contact the dead, and worshipping anything besides God.

Entering God’s family. The New Testament gives many details about the kind of life in which Jesus is the King, and in which the Holy Spirit gives power to love and obey God. Christians are members of the “Kingdom of God”, which has already begun, and which will go on forever. People become Christians when they hear and believe the message about Jesus. This message is called the “gospel”, because “gospel” means “good news”. The good news is that. Jesus has died as our substitute, so that our sins can be forgiven, and that by accepting Jesus, we have “salvation”: a relationship with God, in the Kingdom of God, that will never end. The Bible says, “This Gospel about the Kingdom will be preached in all the world, as a witness to all mankind, and then the end will come”.3

1 John 13:20               2 John 3:16          3Matthew 24:14    4Romans 4:3, quoting Genesis 15:6

More detail on New Testament books