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What is the New Testament?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:16-17
What is the New Testament? Book Cover

Who is Jesus? What was it like to follow in his footsteps? What was his message? To whom was it given? Who believed? What is the connection between the narrative and prophecy of the Old Testament and the gospel (good news) of the New Testament?

The New Testament, twenty-seven books written in Greek between AD 50 and 100, reveals the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s promise of a savior—Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John use eye-witness accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s promise of the one who would save us from sin and death. And the rest of the New Testament chronicles the spread of Christianity in the first-century world. Together, the Gospels and letters of the New Testament offer wisdom and hope for Christ-followers living in a broken world. And that hope will be fully realized when Jesus returns, as promised in the final book of Revelation.

The ministry of Jesus isn’t just something to be observed. There is a call to action found throughout the New Testament. Jesus called his followers to go into the all the world, making disciples (Matthew 28:19–20). The book of Acts records those first missionary journeys and church plants. Led by Paul and Peter, the earliest believers in Jesus as Messiah set out to share the good news of salvation and to equip local groups of Christians with truth for living transformed by Jesus.

And so, the church was born.

As we know well, throwing off the sin that so easily entangles us and running with Jesus is hard. We get tripped up by tradition. Beset by bad habits. Discouraged by doubts. Caught up in comparison. Worn down by worldliness. And the early church did too; we see it played out all through the New Testament.

Paul and the first evangelists didn’t just covert Christians and move on. They continued to equip and encourage. The letters that follow the Gospels were written to specific groups of Christ-followers within the first hundred years after Jesus’s life and resurrection. In them, we see that the Christian life is only successfully lived when it is empowered by the Holy Spirit and lived within the context of community. In these letters, we find the answers to questions we should never stop asking. What is church life supposed to look like? How are we supposed to engage with unbelievers? How do we admonish the wayward brother or sister in Christ? In what do we place our hope? What awaits us in eternity?

The fulfillment of this last question is breathtakingly displayed in the Bible’s final book, Revelation. In it, God promises that one day there will be no more sin and sorrow, only light and life—Revelation gives us the hope we need to press on.


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Understanding the Bible

Daily Question

What steps can you take so that your engagement with God’s Word leads to ever-increasing spiritual maturity?

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Comments (10)

Within Personal discipline is freedom. By setting up new habits that help me (or gently force me) to stay in Gods word, I can grow and learn to remember the Bible as a crutch, rather than my own limited abilities. Steps like reminders on my phone to read my Bible study for that day are helpful and in place.

When reading the Bible I try to think about how it attains to me, and how can I do better with His strength. It is also easy for me to think of other people who need this verse.

Pray daily. Commit to completing this study. Continue to discover my truth by giving my complete trust and faith in whatever God’s plan is for me.

Pray for “Revelation knowledge” before you begin reading. Get in a quiet place and open your heart to hear from Him. Imagine him sitting there with you. Look up the definition of words you don’t know and give yourself an oral narration of what you learned and how you will put it into action.

I can take some time out of my day to read my Bible. Nothing big it can just be 10 minutes, but just setting that time away to get closer to God. I can put on worship music in my car on the way to school and listen to it instead of my usual music type.

I am great about reading every day, but often times it is a quick read without really reading for understanding or seeing what God wanted to teach me. I can take the step of slowing down and focusing on a few verses to really dive into gaining knowledge and understanding which will help me mature.

The steps I can take so that when I engage in Gods word, it leads to ever-increasing spiritual maturity is that I need to first make sure my mind is convinced Gods word is my source of life. When I realize in my heart and soul that it’s the source for my life, I will be diligent in seeking time for it on purpose. Secondly, I want to make note of one daily thing I read and meditate on it all day and memorize it during the course if the day. This will help me walk in spiritual maturity.

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