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The New Testament

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The New Testament is part of the Bible, a collection of 66 books that tell the story of God’s interaction with man through past and future history. The Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

While there are many characters and stories in the pages of the Bible, its central character is Jesus Christ. The Old Testament tells the history of Israel and that nation’s relationship with God until before the coming of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament recorded prophecies (future history), about a Savior who would come to save man from his sin (rebellion against God). In fact, more than 300 prophecies were recorded about Jesus Christ, from 400 to 1500 years before He was born!

The New Testament tells the story of Jesus and His disciples. If we consider the Old Testament to be the book of promises about Jesus, then we can consider the New Testament to be the record of those promises fulfilled.

The New Testament also records the acts and teachings of Jesus’ closest disciples – the people who would go on, in His name, to build His church (the wider community of people who believe in and follow Jesus Christ).

This short study will introduce you to the New Testament, how it can transform your life and bring you closer to the One and Only God of the Universe, and His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.

What Makes the New Testament Special?

Find and read each New Testament passage listed below. Read the statements, then, answer the questions considering what each New Testament passage says. 

The New Testament is the Word of God

(II Peter 1:20-21, II Timothy 3:15-17)

Just as the Old Testament recorded God’s interaction with early man, so too the New Testament claims to authoritatively reveal teachings from God about His own character, and what He wants us to know about Himself.

What would you like to know about God? What would you like God to reveal about yourself?

The New Testament is a Record of God’s Intervention in Man’s History

(John 1:1-18)

God’s greatest moment of intervening in human history was when God decided to become a man and live as one of us. By doing this, in the person of Jesus Christ, God identified Himself with us. He also acted to provide a remedy for the judgment of sin we have committed.

If God has intervened in human history in order to save us from the effects of our rebellion against Him, what does that tell you about how God feels about us?

The New Testament Contains Life-Transforming Truth and Power

(John 8:31-32, 36, Hebrews 4:12-13) 

Lies can lead a person to take a wrong path in life. The truth leads us in the right direction. The direction that the New Testament leads us in is the path to freedom from sin, and God’s expression of love for us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Once you have learned the truth of who Jesus is, how can that transform your life? How do you want God’s Word to transform your life? 

Why Is It Relevant For Me Today?

Find and read each New Testament passage listed below. Read the statements, then, answer the questions considering what each New Testament passage says.

The New Testament Deals with Issues Common to All People Everywhere

(Hebrews 2:17-18, 5:7-9)

The people in the Bible faced the same pressures and challenges of life that we face. In fact, they faced those same issues often in greater poverty, or under great oppression. In all of the circumstances, God provided wisdom through His word for dealing with the daily challenges of life.

What kind of wisdom do you need? How will applying the wisdom from God’s Word help you in your life?

The New Testament Expresses God’s Thoughts About the Important Issues of Life

God’s primary concern is with our eternal destiny, and the life that we live now reveals what path we will take to eternity. Issues of sin (rebellion against God), righteousness (right relationship and behavior toward God), and human relationships are paramount to God. These are expressed in the two greatest commandments to love God and your neighbor.

Why do you think God places such importance on our relationships with others, and with Him?

The New Testament Reveals God’s Plan for Man – and for Me

(John 6:29, I John 3:23-24)

God’s plan is that we know Him personally, and form an intimate relationship with Him. Through that relationship, God reveals His desires to us, and leads us down the path of life.

How might our plans and God’s plans be different?

How Can It Change My Life?


The New Testament Reveals Man’s Character – and Mine

(James 1:23-25, Luke 6:45)

God uses the revelation of His perfect character in comparison to ours to help us see our sin, and need for a Savior. When we know someone we admire, we sometimes want to be like that person, or adopt his or her characteristics for our own. 

What kind of character traits do you have that you think might not be pleasing to God?

The New Testament Reveals God’s Character

(Philippians 2:5-8, I John 4:8 compared to I Corinthians 13:4-8)

The most important part of God’s character, which he expresses to us the most, is His love. He did that by sacrificing Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. He does that constantly by expressing His compassion and mercy – even toward His enemies.

How is God’s character better than ours? How might we adopt His character traits for our own?

The New Testament Reveals the Way to Change My Life

(John 1:12)

By believing in Jesus Christ as God’s One and Only Son, and receiving Him as our Savior, allowing Him to have control of our lives, God will begin to change our lives, to make us like His Son.


Reading and thinking on God’s Word changes my MIND

(Philippians 4:8)

Dwelling on God’s Word changes the HEART

(Luke 6:45, Luke 8:15, Colossian 3:16)

Expressing God’s Word changes LIVES

(Hebrews 4:12)

Tom Terry is head of Global Broadcast Strategy for JESUS Film Project and serves as General Manager of The Better FM, an online radio station for Asia. Tom is also the author of several books, including Bible studies and "Like An Eagle," his biography about living in Mongolia for ten years.
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