A Concise Summary of the Bible – Part III: The New Testament By Rev. Brian A. Reed A simple summary statement of the New Testament is: _Immanuel’s death and resurrection paid for the sins of all who will receive Him as Lord and Savior – pass it on!_ __ The books of the New Testament: GOSPEL (4 books): Matthew, Mark, Luke, John HISTORY (1 book): Acts LETTERS (21 books): Through Paul (13): Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. Through an unknown Christian (1): Hebrews. Through James (1): James. Through John (3): 1, 2 & 3 John. Through Jude (1): Jude. Through Peter (2): 1 & 2 Peter. PROPHECY (1 book): Revelation. Book by Book Overview: MATTHEW: This Gospel is aimed at bringing Jews to know their Messiah Jesus. This makes it a helpful bridge from the Old to New Testament. The genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17) would be especially interesting to Jewish readers. Matthew’s Gospel also teaches us about Jesus’ command to share the Gospel with the whole world (Matthew 28:16-20). Key Verse: Matthew 16:16. MARK: This Gospel emphasizes our Lord’s servant heart. Mark tells us about miracle after miracle that Jesus did to help people in need. Note that Jesus is called “teacher” 39 times in Mark’s Gospel. Key Verse: Mark 10:45. LUKE: This Gospel highlights our Lord’s humanity. Luke shows Jesus reaching out to the poor, to women, and to all in sin’s grasp. Luke’s Gospel also emphasizes the work of God the Holy Spirit throughout Jesus’ life and ministry. Key Verse: Luke 9:51. JOHN: In John’s Gospel we have the clearest picture of Jesus’ full divinity and full humanity. Key Verses: John 20:30-31. ACTS: The Church from Pentecost to Rome. Key Verse: Acts 1:8. ROMANS: This book is a challenging summary of the Christian faith. Key Verses: Romans 1:16-17. 1 CORINTHIANS: Here is a window into the life of the New Testament Church, filled with questions from the church and answers from Paul. Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:2. 2 CORINTHIANS: This is a window into the heart of Paul. In it Paul shares about his response to the highs and lows of walking with God. Key Verses: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. GALATIANS: This Gospel is freedom from Old Testament law, but we are to use that freedom to serve the Lord. Key Verse: Galatians 5:13. EPHESIANS: In this book we are shown the Church as the Body of Christ. See our salvation, oneness, and walk for Him in this dying world. Key Verses: Ephesians 5:29-30. PHILIPPIANS: Joy! Count the number of times the words ‘joy’ and ‘rejoice’ are used in this book and then fill your life with joy in the Lord. Hear Paul’s passion for Jesus in Philippians 3:7-14 to live wholeheartedly for Jesus. Key Verses: Philippians 3:13-14. COLOSSIANS: “Jesus plus nothing” is the theme of Colossians. The Christians at the church in Colossae were adding other gods, angels and powers to their belief system, and the Lord inspired Paul to clearly state, “No.” Key Verses: Colossians 2:8-9. 1 THESSALONIANS: The new Christians at Thessalonica had an amazing conversion from idols (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10) but then were confused about how to live for Jesus while awaiting His return. Jesus’ second coming is mentioned at the end of every chapter. Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:7. 2 THESSALONIANS: Shortly after they received 1 Thessalonians, Paul was inspired by God to write 2 Thessalonians in order to correct a misunderstanding about the coming of the Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). Key Verses: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17. 1 TIMOTHY: Paul left Timothy in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3) to serve God as a minister there. This book is filled with practical instructions about how to minister. Key Verse: 1 Timothy 4:6. 2 TIMOTHY: Although Philemon comes last in the order of the books in the New Testament that God inspired Paul to write, actually 2 Timothy was the last book that Paul wrote. In it he says ‘goodbye’ to his faithful coworker and son in the faith (2 Timothy 1:2). Key Verses: 2 Timothy 4:6-8. TITUS: Another coworker of Paul received this book. Paul also calls Titus his “true child in a common faith” (Titus 1:4). The book of Titus also has very practical instruction about how to minister. Key Verse: Titus 3:14. PHILEMON: This short book (only one chapter) contains the ONLY statement against slavery in the Bible. This book accompanied a runaway slave named Onesimus, who had become a Christian, whom Paul was sending back to his “owner”, named Philemon. Key Verse: Philemon 10. HEBREWS: Hebrews contrasts the whole Old Testament system with all that we have in Jesus. The Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament. Jesus is the fulfillment of all that was prophesied and hoped for in the Old Testament. Key Verses: Hebrews 7:23-24. JAMES: Here we are taught that faith is not just words. Someone well said: “Faith alone justifies, but faith that is alone is not justifying faith.” James clarifies that true faith will be lived out in our daily actions. Key Verse: James 2:26. 1 PETER: After the events of the book of Acts, the apostle Peter wrote two letters. They are filled with practical teachings about living for our Lord Jesus. In 1 Peter we see Peter now teaching us the lessons Jesus taught him. Key Verse: 1 Peter 1:3. 2 PETER: This book teaches Christains how to stand and not stumble in our living for Jesus. Key Verse: 2 Peter 1:10. 1 JOHN: Peter and John were constant companions throughout all the days of Jesus’ ministry, and then they are also mentioned in Acts doing ministry together. So it is wonderful that their books should be one after the other in the Bible. 1 John uses powerful imagery of light and darkness, to teach us about God and evil, love and hate, truth and lies, belief and unbelief, eternal life and eternal death. Key Verse: 1 John 4:16. 2 JOHN: The tiny letter of 2 John (just one chapter with just 13 verses) teaches us to discern those walking in the truth and those who are not. Key Verse: 2 John 10. 3 JOHN: This is another tiny book, with just one chapter and 15 verses. It teaches us about life in the early Church, with some involved in traveling ministry and others proudly refusing to receive them. Key Verse: 3 John 8. JUDE: Jude was inspired by God through the human author Jude, who is believed by Bible scholars to have been one of the half brothers of our Lord Jesus (Matthew 13:35 where we read the name “Judas” which was a variant in the Bible times of the name Jude). Jude was a leader in the early days of the church, beginning at Pentecost (Acts 1:14). This is a practical letter calling us to contend earnestly for the faith. Key Verse: Jude 3. REVELATION: The final revealing of our Lord God’s Plan for our salvation. The message of the book of Revelation: God wins! Key Verse: Revelation 22:17.