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The Value of the New Testament — Steve Miller

The New Testament contains 27 books which can be divided various ways. For example: 1.  Gospels: 4 books (Matthew-John). 2.  History: 1 book (Acts of Apostles). 3.  Letters:  21 books (Romans-Jude). 4.  Prophecy: 1 book (Revelation).  One overview that links faith, hope and love is: 1.  Faith: 5 books (Matthew-Acts of Apostles). 2.  Love: 21 books (Romans-Jude). 3.  Hope: 1 book (Revelation).

The Bible is from God. The words of God are special revelation. The Bible itself bears record that it is from God Almighty. Paul revealed to Timothy how the message they preached was inspired of God.  The Old and New Testament give us a complete book from God(2 Tim 3:16-17).  Likewise Peter reveals that the message of God was given through chosen men (2 Pet 1:20-21).

A chief value of the New Testament message is that Christ has come, and will come again. Why is part of the Bible designated as “old” and the other part as “new”? The Old Covenant served its purpose and was fulfilled. The writer of Hebrews referred to Christ when he said, “But as it is, Christhas obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second” (Heb 8:6-7). The new and living way is better than the old. “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive” (Heb 9:15-17). The death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary had to occur in order to bring about the better covenant which we are under today (Gal 2:19; 3:16, 29; Eph 2:15-16; Col 2:14).

Moses said, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him” (Deut 18:15-19). Peter cited Moses in Acts 3:21-26.  We must listen to Jesus as His words are presented to us in the New Testament of which we will be judged since we are living this side of the cross (John 12:48-50). “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb 1:1-2).

Man cannot overestimate the value of the New Testament when it comes to knowing God through His Son Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God; the only God,who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:1, 14, 18). The summary truth is what Jesus said to Thomas:  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  Jesus declared: “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39, NLT).  He ties together for us that both the Old and New Testaments have Christ at the center of their unfolding story.

The following points and references are deeply detailed in Scripture and are just the beginning of the study of the New Testament’s value:

Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies (Matt. 1:21-25).

Plan of Salvation (John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38).

Establishment of the church (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2).

Organization of the church (Phil. 1:1).

New Testament worship (John 4:24; Acts 20:7).

The work and mission of the church (Mark 16:15; Gal. 6:10).

The New Covenant (Matt. 26:28).

The life of Christ (1 John 5:20).

The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

The authority delegated to Jesus (Matt. 28:18).

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Rom. 8).

Christian living (Col. 3).

Congregational beginnings and plantings (Acts 18:1-8).

Final revelation (Jude 3).

The New Testament books have been summarized in various ways.  Notice the listing below of the books and their relationship to the Son of God, and how they serve as a great reminder of the value of the New Testament and its meaning:

In Matthew He is the King of the Jews. 

In Mark He is the Servant of Jehovah.

In Luke He is the Perfect Son of Man.

In John He is the Son of God.

In Acts He is the Ascended Lord.

In Romans He is our Righteousness.

In 1 Corinthians He is the First-fruits from the dead.

In 2 Corinthians He is made sin for us.

In Galatians He is the end of the law.

In Ephesians He is our armor.

In Philippians He is the supplier of every need.

In Colossians He is the Pre-eminent One.

In 1 Thessalonians He is our returning Lord.

In 2 Thessalonians He is the world’s merciful judge.

In 1 Timothy He is the mediator.

In 2 Timothy He the Bestower of Crowns.

In Titus He is our great God and Savior.

In Philemon He is the Father’s partner.

In Hebrews He is the rest of faith and fulfiller of types.

In James He is the Lord of Sabbath.

In 1 Peter He is the theme of Old Testament prophecy.

In 2 Peter He is the long-suffering Savior.

In 1 John He is the Word of life.

In 2 John He is the target of the anti-Christ.

In 3 John He is the personification of truth.

In Jude He is the believer’s hope.

In Revelation He is the lovable King and Lord.

Steve serves as one of the ministers at the Gold Hill congregation in Fort Mill, SC, and is the author of Between Sundays.