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The New Testament There Meaning And Promises

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Post  Bertie on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 3:56 pm

The Acts
Of The Apostles

Acts is a unique book in the Scripture. It is really volume 2 of Luke's work and tells the story of the beginnings of the church. It begins with the ascension of Jesus, records the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost, and tells the life of the early church. It is not, however, the story of the whole church, or even all the apostles. It focuses on the beginnings of the church, then on the work of Peter, and finaly on the work of Paul. Luke wanted to show how the church spread from Jerusalem all over Palestine and then to the Gentiles.

Luke reports a series of episodes in the life and faith of the early church to show how Christianity rose out of Judism and has deep roots in the jewish faith. He shows something of the struggle the disciples felt in moving out in a mission to gentiles. One of the major themes in the book is the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding and strengthening the church as it spread across the Mediterranean world. Another theme is the message that Christianity is not dangerous to the authority or power of the Roman Empire. (Luke-Acts may have been written as a legal document in Paul's defence.) More than one-half of Acts is devoted to the ministry of Paul and his travels to preach the good news.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©️ 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Post  Bertie on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 3:56 pm

John

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the trye worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him."
John 4:23

The Gospel of Mark is the Gospel that explains Jesus as a person of action, but the Gospel of John is the story of Jesus as a person of thought. By the end of the first century, many conflicting opinions about Jesus existed. Was he a man with an incredible awareness of God? Was He truly the Son of God in the flesh?

The Apostle John wrote the simplest Greek sentances using the most basic vocabulary of all the New Testament writers. But he wrote in figures of speech that invite some serious contemplation. Jesus is the Word. He is the way, the truth, and the life.

We should explore the meaning of these statements beyond their initial content. Our minds matter to God, He desires for us to know Him in truth, which comes through studying His Word. He promises that if we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him.

For Consideration

What questions or doubts do you have about who Jesus is and what He did on earth?
Why do you think Jesus so often spoke in parables?
How does God's promise to reveal Himself encourage you to seek Him more deeply?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©️ 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Post  Bertie on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 3:55 pm

Luke

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Luke 4:18,19

When somebody important dies, biographers talk to everyone who knew that great person. The most interesting biography will be the one with the best stories from the best source. Among the Gospel writers, Luke seems to have talked to the most people who knew Jesus. Readers look at Jesus through the eyes of Mary, the shepherds, Anna, Simeon, Zacchaeus, Mary and Martha, and many others.

In the Gospel of Luke, people who tell about Jesus report their own joy in knowing Him. For instance, Zacchaeus came down out of a tree to welcome Jesus gladly. The former swindler realized his errors because of Jesus, and he retuned four times the ammount he had cheated out of people.

What are the keys to pure joy in life? Knowing Christ. Loving and serving Him. And standing firm on His promise to restore His people to a right relationship with Him.

For Consideration

What do the stories about the birth of Jesus tell you about the joy of knowing God in Jesus?
Luke records many parables of Jesus about people responding to God. According to Jesus, how should a person respond to God?
How does Jesus physically demonstrate His promise to restore and renew His people?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©️ 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Post  Bertie on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 3:53 pm

Mark

"Then Jesus said to them. "Folow Me, and i will make you become fishers of men."
Mark 1:17

When authors like Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding developed English novels in the eighteenth century, they wrote long and complicated stories. These early novels appeared in multiple volumes which made them seem even longer. Readers wanted to spend months savouring novels, so authors offered long-winded talks about all sorts of subjects.

Times have changed. Long, tiring novels lay untouched and gathering dust. Action is what readers want. Writers trim words from their stories like butchers trim fat from a good steak. A modern story has to grab its reader and hold on till the end.

The Book of Mark is a thoroughly modern story in its form. The action starts in the fourth verse and continues until the last verse. This book reads with the kind of punch and energy of a news story. Jesus had not come to sit around-He ment action. And His call to His people implied the same: "Follow me, and i will make you become fishers of men."But dont worry. When God calls us to action, He promises to show us the way and provide the strength to succeed.

For Consideration

How could Jesus be so active and keep His focus on the will of God?
What do all the miracles of Jesus show about His attitudes toward His people?
How did Jesus show His disciples to become catchers of men?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©️ 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Post  Bertie on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 3:52 pm

Matthew


"And she will bring forth a Son, and you sahall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
Matthew 1:21

In 1799 Napoleon's army found a hunk of stone half-buried near the mouth of the Nile River that solved a very puzzling mystery. On this Rosetta Stone, ancient scribes had written a message in hieroglypics (Egyptian picture writing), demotic (Egyptian longhand), and Creek. Once scholars had translated the creek, they used it as the key to crack the ancient Egyptian writing. Everything we know today about Egyptian inscriptions started with the Rosetta Stone.

The Book of Matthew is like the Rosetta Stone of the New Testament. What did the Old Testament mean for Christians? Over and over Matthew wrote words like, "So the Lord's promise came true, just as the prophet said." Matthew links the old with the new through stories about Jesus.

In the very first chapter, Matthew shares the promise spoken by the angel of the Lord which summarizes the main message, " After her baby is born, name him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins," All the hope, the questions, the expectations of the Old Testament will be fulfilled in this incarnate Christ, the fruition of all of God's promises.

For Consideration

What does Jesus say about the law of Moses found in the Old Testament?
What did the Old Testament prophets have to say in anticipation of Jesus?
How are God's promises fulfilled in Christ?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©️ 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Post  Bertie on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 3:51 pm

THE GOSPELS

Matthew - Mark - Luke - John

The word Gospel is from the Anglo-Saxon godspell, meaning "good news." Ultimately the word comes from the Geek evangelion, also meaning "good news."Gospel can mean the good news preached by Jesus, or the good news preached about Jesus. These two meanings are the ones found in the Bible. Gospel can also mean the books that contain the memories of Jesus, the Gospels we find in our New Testament.

Gospels are not biographies. They are accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus, but they are also reflections on who Jesus is and what He means for the world. Each of the Gospel writers wanted to say something specific about the meaning of Jesus and each carefully selected materials and arranged them to carry his own particular emphasis. The Gospels contain a great deal of historical information, but that information is always used by the writers to show that Jesus is the Sun of God and Savior of the world.

There are four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called synoptic Gospels because they follow a commen synopsis, or outline. These three Gospels can be studied in parallel because they follow the same basic outline. The Gospel of John is entirely different from the other three. It does not follow the same outline, has a three year ministry for Jesus instead of one year, and contains long reflections about the meaning of Jesus instead of short sayings and parables.

Mark is probably the oldest of the Gospels. Tradition says it was written in Rome by John Mark and contains the memories of Peter. The Crucifiction and Resurrection are the keys to understanding who Jesus is-nearly one-half of the Gospel deals with these events. Mark does not have any birth narratives but begins with the preaching of John the Baptist.

Matthew begins by placing Jesus within the whole story of salvation. Jesus is Son of Abraham and Son of David, the fulfillment of all the promises to God's people. The teaching material in Matthew is organized into five great sections, the best known of which is the Sermon on the Mount. Many have said Matthew saw Jesus as a second Moses, giving a new Torah to God's people.

Luke's special interest is in the oppressed and out casts of society, especially women and the poor. His Gospel begins with the births of John the Baptist and of Jesus. It has the only story of Jesus between His birth and ministry, the episode in the temple at the age of twelve. Some of the best loved parables-the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Rich man and Lazarus-are found only in Luke's Gospel.

John has less narrative and no parables, but a series of long reflections on Jesus as divine Son of God. The Gospel begins with a great hymn on the "Word" who was always God and became flesh for the salvation of the world. That word is Jesus. John also contains a series of miracles as signs pointing to Jesus, and the "I AM" sayings, which express what Jesus means in a series of striking metaphors.

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Post  Bertie on Mon 08 Dec 2008, 8:54 pm

The
NEW TESTAMENT
of
OUR LORD AND SAVIOR
JESUS CHRIST

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