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LESSON 1 – CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE STUDY
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LESSON 1 – CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE STUDY
God created heaven and earth for His own glory. His creature man listened to God's great enemy and fell into sin. God's plan of redemption is to restore man to fellowship with Himself. Both creation and redemption bring glory to the Son. God created all things through His Son, Colossians l:16. He sent His Son into the world to save men. The Son humbled Himself to become Man, Philippians 2:8. But the Father declared that all men shall honour the Son as they honour the Father, John 5:23. God has shown us in the Holy Bible all He wants us to know about Christ at this time. The Old Testament tells us much about Christ, in picture and in prophecy. (I have tried to show these truths in my book Christ in the Old Testament.) We rightly expect to find still more in the New Testament. Before He died, the Lord Jesus told His disciples that lie would ask the Father to send the Spirit of God. The Spirit would be with them and in them forever! God's Son always gave honour to the Father, but the Father and the Spirit honour the Son, John 8:49,54; 16:14. God announced to angels and men that Jesus was His Son, the day He was born, Hebrews 1:5. This Infant's mother Mary held Him in her arms, but God declared that He was His Son. Now at the end of His life, He said that He would send Another Comforter or Counsellor, like Himself. The Lord Jesus called Himself the Truth, and the other Counsellor would be the Spirit of Truth, John 14:16-18; 15:26; 16:7. Let us notice what God the Spirit was coming to do: John 14:26; 16:13-15. He would hear, 16:13; receive, (all about the glory of Christ), 16:14-15. He would speak, 16:13; show, things to come, 16:13; what He received about the glory of the Son, 16:14; the things of Christ, 16:15; guide, into all truth, 16:13; teach us all things, 14:26; remind us what Jesus taught, 14:26. He would glorify Christ, 16:14; be a Witness to Christ, 15:26. The Spirit also searches the deep things of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10; and knows, 2:11. He reveals the things of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10; teaches and gives the right words, 2:13. Words? Yes, the Spirit guided and controlled the eight or nine writers of the New Testament, in the very words, which they wrote. Each of these writers reveals his own individual style, but the Spirit taught them which words to write. The Lord Himself said that man shall live by every word of God, Luke 4:4. We can see the importance of words in the book of Hebrews. For example, in Hebrews 2:8, we learn the importance of the word all. God put all things under the feet of Christ, and this means that nothing is left out. (We do not see this yet but we will when God s time comes). Again, in Hebrews 8:13, just one word from God, new, meant that the entire old covenant was ready to disappear. Fifty days later the Spirit did come, and began at once to glorify the Son. Over the next 65 years, He led eight men to write 27 books, the New Testament. The apostles could: write, what the Spirit showed them, John 16:14-15; what they learned from the Spirit, John 14:26; speak, what the Spirit gave them, 1 Corinthians 2:13. God has preserved these books for nineteen hundred years, and His servants have now translated them into more than three hundred languages. We will search the New Testament for the glories of Christ, on this plan:
a. The four Gospels and Acts.
(1) What Christ said about Himself;
(2) What men said about Him;
(3) What the Spirit added, through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
b. The Epistles and Revelation
What the Spirit revealed through James, Paul, Peter, Jude, and John.
Note: We firmly believe that the Lord Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Sometimes the word Lord is used for Jehovah. But in this book, we will study verses about Christ, not those about God, except in Revelation.
a. THE FOUR GOSPELS AND ACTS
We will study the four Gospels together, following the order of events as they took place. (For this purpose, I have received much help from A.C.Wieand A New Harmony of the Gospels, Wm.B.Eerdmans). We cannot be certain about the exact timing, but this is not very important. It is interesting however to think of God revealing ever more truth about His Son. The Lord Jesus taught His disciples in this way, as they were able to understand, Mark 4:33; John 16:12. Many teachers believe that the Lord gave three years to healing and teaching the people before He died. We can be sure that there were at least two years, because there were three Passover feasts:
- near the beginning of His public work, John 2.13;
- about the middle, John 6.4;
- when He died, John 13.1
We can divide the complete record in the four Gospels as follows:
1. The birth and childhood
- The Early Ministry
- The Ministry in Galilee
- The Ministry in Judea and Perea
1. HIS BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
For this chapter we will go back to the time before He was born, and on to what we know about His childhood. Before the Lord was born, Luke and Matthew describes Christ as King, and he tells us about the ancestors of Joseph back to David and Abraham, Matthew 1.1-17. Jesus was legally the Son of Joseph. Luke presents the Lord as the Perfect Man, and lists Mary's ancestor’s right back to Adam. Jesus was fully, physically and bodily the Son of Mary, Luke 3:23-38. John's Gospel, chapter 1, goes back still further, to the eternity of the past. The Spirit tells us that the Logos was in the beginning, He was with God, and He was God, verse 1,2. He created all things, verses 3,10. Light and life were in Him, verse 4: light for all men, verse 9 life for believers, verses 12-13. He became a Man, lived among men; the apostles, at least, saw His glory, verse 14. Men did not receive Him, verses 5,10-11. Christ was full of grace and truth, which came by Him, verses 14, 17; the apostles received grace from Him, verse 16. No one can see God, but the apostles saw God in Christ, even though the Son is always with the Father, verse 18. The first 18 verses of John's Gospel show us some of His greatest glories. For 400 years, God had not spoken directly to men, ever since Malachi the prophet. Now He begins a new age. The first event was the angel Gabriel's message to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. He promised that John would turn many to the Lord their God. John would go before the Coming One in the power and spirit of Elijah, and prepare the people for the Lord, Luke 1:16-17. Zechariah was a priest and knew what the prophets said in the Old Testament. Isaiah told Israel that one would come to prepare the way for the LORD, Isaiah 40:3. Malachi said that God would send Elijah to restore the hearts of the people, Malachi 4:5-6. Gabriel used words like these to show that John would be the forerunner of Messiah, Luke 1.11-17. So the Coming One was Jehovah Himself Six months later, God sent Gabriel again to tell Mary what would happen to her, Luke 1:26-37. She was not married, but she would have a son by the Holy Spirit. His name would be Jesus, the same as Joshua, the great Deliverer of Israel in the Old Testament. This name in Hebrew and Greek means "Jehovah the Saviour." He would rule on David's throne forever. The Holy Spirit came on Mary and so the Holy One would be born. His name would be the Son of God. Gabriel gave three names to Mary's baby: Jehovah the Saviour (Jesus), Son of the Highest and Son of God, Luke 1.31-35. All these tell us that Christ is God. Mary went at once to visit her relative Elizabeth, who was soon to be the mother of John the Baptist. The Spirit filled Elizabeth, and she called Mary the "mother of my Lord," Luke 1.43. Mary then gave thanks to God, her Saviour, Luke 1.46-55. She accepted the fact that she would be the mother of the Messiah and so all men would call her "blessed." She did not say any more about her Son, but she knew that God was about to fulfil His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God had said that their Descendant would bring blessing to all men, Genesis 12:3; 17:19; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 27:29; 28:14; Numbers 24:17. The Christ should be of the tribe of Judah, Genesis 49.10. He would be a Descendant of David, Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32-33. Mary returned to Nazareth and it was plain to all that she would soon have a baby. Without doubt, she had told Joseph about the message from Gabriel, but he could hardly believe her. Everybody in town knew that they were not married, so they could only think that she was guilty of the sin of adultery. Joseph was a righteous man and must keep the law. This meant that Mary should die by stoning, Deuteronomy 22:23-24. However, Joseph thought of breaking off their arrangement to get married, on the basis of Deuteronomy 24:1. Lord appeared to him and told him that Mary was not guilty of sin. She was going to have a baby "by the Holy Spirit," Matthew 1:18-25. Joseph was only the "legal" father, not the real father of the Lord. He was to call the Baby's name Jesus, Jehovah the Saviour, because He would save His people from their sins. So the angel confirmed what he told Mary, and explained the reason for the name Jesus. The Spirit added in Matthew l.22-23 that this was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah 7.14. It is very important to understand that Jesus was not the physical son of Joseph. If He were, He would be a man, with a sinful nature, like all other descendants of Adam and Eve. No man has ever lived without sin, Romans 3:23; 5:12. If Jesus sinned, He would die for His own sin, not for ours. Even if He never sinned, Joseph's son would have only one life, equal to one other man, so He could not die for all men. Satan could say that God made one of His creatures, an innocent man, die for guilty men. No, God Himself came as a Man to be our Saviour. He wants our love for Himself, but if He sent another, we would love and worship the one who saved us. Elizabeth's baby was born soon after Mary went back home to Nazareth. His father called the baby"John," as Gabriel told him. Then the Spirit filled Zechariah and he gave praise to God, Luke 1:68-79. God was sending the Redeemer, verse 68, a strong Saviour, a Descendant of David, verse 69. He was fulfilling His promises through the prophets, and would save His people from their enemies, verses 70-71. He remembered His oath and His covenant, verses 72-73, so His people could serve Him in righteousness, verses 74-75. The little boy in his arms would be a prophet of God, and prepare the way for the Lord. Zechariah may have been thinking of the Romans when he spoke of Israel's enemies, verse 71. But the people really needed salvation from their sins, verse 77. God in mercy was sending the "Dayspring," verse 78, the Messiah, who would later appear as the "Sun of Righteousness," Malachi 4:2. would give light and life to those in darkness, and peace to Israel, verse 79. The Spirit gave Zechariah these thoughts. You might like to compare them with what Gabriel said about Christ in Luke 1.16-17,32,35. This chapter gives great glory to the Lord even before He was born.
TEST LESSON 1: CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
True or False
1. God created the heaven and earth for angels to visit - TRUE .................. FALSE ..................
2. There were eight or nine writers of the New Testament - TRUE .................. FALSE ..................
3. The Spirit came and He glorifies Christ - TRUE .................. FALSE ..................
4. There are 36 books in the New Testament - TRUE .................. FALSE ..................
5. Matthew write about Jesus as the king of the Jews - TRUE .................. FALSE ..................
Fill in the blank in the space provided.
6. .................. was .................. God and He was ...................
7. John came in the .................. and .................. of ...................
8. .................. was a descendant of ...................
9. .................. gave thanks to .................. her ...................
10. Jesus'.................. in Hebrew means Jehovah the ...................
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Created by Harold Smith
Updated May 2012 by Shelly Allen