QUESTIONS CONCERNING NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY
Last week we wrote under the caption “Questions For Christians About The Church.” This week, as a sequel, we write of “Questions Concerning New Testament Christianity.”
Christianity as it came from the mind of God is clearly set forth in the New Testament. The four gospel records—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—give us the account of the earthly life of Christ and His ministry, including His death for the sins of all mankind, His burial, resurrection, ascension, and promised second coming to receive all of His faithful followers.
The fifth book of the New Testament—Acts of the Apostles—tells of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles of Christ to guide them into all truth (in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to them before He left earth— see John 14, 15, 16), the establishment of the church on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, and the expansion of the church, particularly through the labors of the apostle Paul.
The books of Romans through Jude set forth the basis of man’s justification from sin and give divine instructions to Christians as to how they are to live in the light of their redemption, how the church is to be organized, and how it is to function in worship and work. These books also set forth many warnings about false teachers, false doctrines, and a general falling away from the simplicity of the original faith of the gospel.
The last book of the New Testament—Revelation—describes the opposition Christians faced in the early centuries of the church (and, in principle, the challenges they face in all ages) and the ultimate victory of the faithful people of God.
All Christians should have this general outline of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament in their minds, and they need to be constantly reading these books to make sure they are remaining faithful to the Lord in all things (cf. Matthew 28:18-20). To assist us in this matter, here are some basic questions that may help us to draw a line between what the New Testament actually teaches and what is often viewed as acceptable in Christianity today. Can you provide biblical references for your answers?
1. How was Jesus conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary?
2. Did the shepherds and the wise men all show up the night Jesus was born? How many wise men were there? Where do you find this?
3. Who baptized Christ and why was He baptized?
4. What was the principal message that Christ preached? (You may need to do some reading in Mark 1 before you respond too quickly.)
5. According to Christ, what are the two greatest commandments?
6. Does love for Christ demand that we obey Him?
7. What did Christ promise to build?
8. Why did Christ have to die? Was there another way God could have saved mankind without Christ dying?
9. What did Christ promise the apostles to assure them that they would be able to carry out His commission to preach the gospel to every creature in all nations and that their preaching would be without error?
10. When the church was established in the city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, what were inquiring sinners told to do in order to have the remission of sins?
11. On the day when the church was established, who were the members of the “Praise Band/Team”? Where do you find this?
12. Who was called to be the first “pastor” of the church in Jerusalem? Where do you find this?
13. Who was the first Bishop of the churches in Judea? Where do you find this?
14. Who was the first Cardinal? Where do you find this?
15. Who was the first Pope? Where do you find this?
16. Who is the true and only head of the church?
17. What is the organizational structure of local churches/ congregations?
18. Does Christ want His followers to be divided into different denominations?
19. Did Christ and the apostles ever issue any warnings about people departing from the truth?
20. In whose name are Christians to pray?
21. Christians are to do all “in the name of Christ.” What does this mean? How can we be sure that we are doing this?
22. What is the purpose of the Lord’s Supper? What does the bread represent? What does the fruit of the vine represent?
23. Should Christians be governed strictly and solely by the teaching of Christ and His apostles as set forth in the New Testament, or is it permissible to write creed books, catechisms, and church manuals to govern the people of God? Where do you find this?
24. Are Christians God’s own special people?
25. Are there many acceptable ways to serve the Lord? Where do you find this?
April 18, 2017
April 19: Green Hill Church of Christ, Mount Juliet, TN