New Testament Survey
by David J. Stewart | February 2017
2nd Timothy 2:15,
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The New Testament can be divided into three sections:
- THE TRUTH EMBODIED OR INCARNATE (Matthew - Acts) “narrative”
- THE TRUTH EXPLAINED (Romans - Jude)
- THE TRUTH ENFORCED (Revelation)
The first four books of the New Testament are called the “gospels.”
The books of Matthew, Mark and Luke record basically the same stories, but in different words. (These three books are called the “synoptic gospels.”)
The book of John is unique in that it records things that the others do not.
- Matthew, the inspired writer of the book of Matthew, pictures (or presents) Jesus as a King.
- Mark presents Jesus as a servant.
- Luke presents Jesus as a man.
- In the book of Matthew, the genealogies of Jesus are traced back to David to show that He is a born from a kingly line; but Luke traces Jesus' genealogy back to Adam to show that he is a man also.
- John presents Jesus as the Son of God.
God gives us a fourfold view of Christ. Why? Simply to show us that “JESUS IS ALL WE NEED!”
One reason Jesus was a man is to set an example for us.
The more you know about Christ, the more you'll love Him. And the more you love Him, the better you'll serve Him.
Your achievements for God depends and will depend on how well you know Him. That's why God gives us different views of Christ.
God wants you to know Jesus as a King (Matthew), and as a servant (Mark), and as a man (Luke), and as the Son of God (John). It will determine your love for Him.
Jesus is most commonly called “Lord” and “Lord Jesus” throughout God's Word. Make Him your King. Let Him be your King!
Jesus is the only king in history that was born a King.
Herod even killed his own brothers in fear of them becoming king in his stead.
“Worship” comes from the Greek worthship. The wise men were wise in that they knew how to respond to the Son of God. They came to “worship” Jesus (Matthew 2:2).
Matthew 2 tells of the contrast of two kings:
Key words of Matthew:
The life of Christ in Matthew can be divided into two major sections:
- THE SERVICE OF THE KING (1-18)
- THE SACRIFICE OF THE KING (19-28)
When you trust Christ you become a member of the kingdom, a child of the King.
The stories in Matthew 13 are called the “Parables of the Kingdom.” Jesus teaches much of Heaven in Matthew.
Mark contains more activity and less preaching.
Key words of Mark:
Mark was written to show us how Christ lived for others.
Mark can be divided into two major sections:
- THE MIGHTY SERVANT (1-8)
- THE MANDATORY SACRIFICE (9-16)
Some lessons can be learned from the book of Mark:
- No man is forced to bear burdens alone.
- Jesus is willing to bear the burdens of anyone who will trust in Him.
- No matter how great my burden may be, He is able to carry my load.
- No matter how insignificant I may seem to myself, or how little my burden may seem, Jesus Christ is always willing to help.
Luke presents Jesus as a man.
Luke can be divided into three major sections:
- CHRIST AS A CHILD (1-2)
- CHRIST AS A MAN (3-21)
- CHRIST AS SAVOUR (22-24)
Key phrase: Son of Man
Jesus lived, not as God, but as a man who lived completely yielded to the Word of God. Jesus was as much a man as if He were not God.
Luke 2:40 - “waxed” means became.
Luke 2:52 - Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
- As a young lad, Jesus was not all that God wanted Him to be.
- Jesus had to learn and grow. How could He increase if He was complete. No, he needed to learn and study. Jesus gained favor with God.
Jesus increased in four major areas:
- stature (physically)
- socially (in favor of God and man)
Jesus actually needed to grow spiritually. This does not mean He had sin in His life. It is not a sin to be weak and unlearned, but it is a sin to stay that way when there is an opportunity to grow.
Anyone who doesn't believe that Jesus became flesh is an antichrist (against God).
In Luke, Jesus is found to have the same human weaknesses that we have today:
- Jesus depended upon food for nutrition and strength.
- Jesus needed sleep (He fell asleep during the storm at sea)
- Jesus got thirsty (He cried out on the cross that He was “thirsty”)
- Jesus needed to pray (as a man He had no power of His own)
Albeit, Jesus didn't lay aside His deity when He became a man. The Bible says that “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). When Jesus as a man performed miracles, “works which none other man did” (John 15:24), God was revealed in Him. Colossians 2:9, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” As a man, Jesus walked very closely with His biological heavenly Father, laboring in continual prayer and fasting. Christ had the full amount of the Godhead in Him. John 3:34, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” Christ was 100% God and 100% man.
Luke presents Christ as the Son of Man (making Jesus human - Luke 2:7). John presents Christ as the Son of God (making Jesus God - John 10:33). Jesus Christ did not leave His deity in heaven, for deity was born in Him. The Word is God, and the Word became incarnate (flesh). John 1:1 and 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus' name is called “THE WORD OF GOD.” Revelation 19:13, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Jesus Christ is the Living Word. The Holy Bible is the Written Word.
Philippians 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The Bible says Jesus, being in human form, humbled Himself. The Bible also says that God was manifest in the flesh, that is, in the human incarnation of Jesus. Jesus was BOTH human and divine in nature.
As a man, Jesus does need to pray. Christ prayed much in Luke. The book of Luke is primarily to show us about the prayer life of Christ, and to teach us how to pray. If Jesus needed to pray, then SO DO WE! Jesus prayed constantly.
Some lessons on prayer can be learned from the Gospel of Luke:
- We ought to pray on special occasions.
- It is possible to pray while being involved in another activity. “All of our failures are prayer failures!” —Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980)
- You can be alone with God in a crowd. You don't have to be by yourself to pray alone to God. You can be anywhere and yet be alone with God. Luke 9:18, “And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?” Jesus was “alone” praying the Bible says, but His disciples were with Him. Learn to pray to God with people around you. JESUS DID! Withdraw yourself while people are around and pray with God (in your own little world).
- Jesus prayed completely alone sometimes (Luke 22:41).
- Have a designated place to pray.
- Jesus prayed alone on the Mount of Olives and prayed with God. (Jesus will return on the Mount of Olives in the Second Coming.)
The hardest thing about prayer is concentrating.
Prayer for Power
Withdraw anywhere and pray. Keep your mind on prayer (Luke 9:29 and 1st Thessalonians 5:17).
Dr. R. A. Torrey said, “I would rather teach one man to pray, than ten men to preach; for one man who has learned to pray can accomplish more for Christ than ten men that can preach.”
Jesus never sinned, but He needed to pray. He couldn't achieve God's will without prayer. If Jesus was self-sufficient, then why did He pray? It is because He needed God's power.
If you have trouble following Christ in your prayer life, then you'll have trouble following Him in all other areas.
As you become more like Christ, the more your prayer life will grow, the more will your hunger for prayer grow.
Prayer Can Prevent Temptation
God says, “pray, that ye enter not into temptation” ...
Luke 22:40-42, “And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed.”
Don't wait until you struggle with sin, but instead pray at the beginning of your day for guidance. JUST PRAY!
Lord, Teach Us To Pray
The most important thing you can do about your prayer life is pray about it (Luke 11:1). Prayer is “asking” and the disciples asked (prayed) that Jesus would teach them to pray. It is God's will to teach us to pray (1st John 5:14-15). Ask the Lord to teach you to pray, how to do it right, and how to get your prayers answered (Luke 11:2-10).
Ask God to help you remember to pray. Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6-7). We should plead as we pray.
How do we know when to stop praying?
When God answers our prayer.
When He shows us it is directly against His will.
Jesus had an influence on His disciples. They wanted what He had. They said, “Teach us to pray.”
LESSON: Pray about my prayer life!!!
Jesus Gives Us a Model Prayer
Luke 11:2-4, “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
Matthew 6:5 - You are a hypocrite if you pray in public without prayer in private. There's nothing wrong with prayer in public, just so long as that's not the only place you pray.
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”