We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
God’s Masterwork, Volume 5: God With Us—A Survey of Matthew-Acts
Do you ever struggle to understand how the Old and New Testaments fit together? If we think of the Old Testament as pages of promise, then how does the New Testament complete and fulfil God’s plan for us?
No fulfilment can surpass Jesus Christ, who burst onto the scene—and eventually left it—in a most dramatic and unexpected fashion. Follow along with this series and learn what each of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—teaches us about Jesus, and be encouraged by the first Christians who boldly proclaimed the name of Christ in the book of Acts. Throughout the series you’ll discover at the centre of your hope stands a person—One who has come and One who will come again.
Matthew, a tax collector by trade, wrote his book to emphasize Christ, the King. The book includes numerous facts and expressions, which would have appealed to the Jewish reader. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and the presentation of Jesus as Messiah are clearly emphasized. When we understand the book of Matthew we bow before King Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel.
Although the shortest of the four Gospels, the book of Mark wastes no words portraying the Saviour as a servant to others. The tone is practical, which appealed to the Roman mindset. We want to observe the Servant at work in this account of His life, noticing especially how clearly the key verse of the book (Mark 10:45) outlines the two major phases of His earthly existence and ministry.
Dr. Luke, Paul’s travelling companion, was probably the only Gentile writer of any part of the New Testament. His Gospel focuses on providing a complete account of the life of Jesus. Certainly, none of the other three evangelists gave us a more detailed or descriptive analysis of the Saviour’s birth, childhood, and manhood.
The fourth Gospel is considered a primer on the essential basics of Christianity. In the book of John, Christ is clearly and pre-eminently exalted as deity. In simple (yet profound) terms, Jesus is set forth so that all may believe He is indeed the Son of God. Hopefully, this lesson, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the 21 chapters in John, will help all of us realize eternal life begins with Christ.
The Church is like a mighty army marching through time deliberately, confidently, victoriously…spurred on by the promise of its Founder that the gates of Hades will not overpower it. No other book in the Bible underscores the richness and courage of our heritage better than the book of Acts. And no other book affirms more clearly our God-given power to persevere. We may be small in number, but no remnant was ever surer of its destiny.