THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament is the capstone of God’s revelation to man. Without it the story of redemption is incomplete. Everything set forth in the Old Testament in prophetic predictions, promises, types, and shadows comes to majestic fullness and fruition in Christ, the gospel, the church, and the New Testament as they display in radiant splendor God’s “eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11).
The ordinances of the Old Testament were but “a figure for that time then present, in which both gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscienceconcerned only with foods and drinks, various washings and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation [the Christian age, hf]” (Hebrews 9:9-10). The Old Testament worthies, as faithful as they were to God and the law under which they lived, “did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us [of the gospel age, hf], that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:39-40).
In the New Testament we have the record of the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, coronation, reign, and promised second coming of Christ. In the New Testament we have the gospel plan of salvation clearly set forth. In the New Testament we have the account of the beginning of the church and the record of its early growth. In the New Testament we have instructions as to what the church is to be and how it is function until the end of the ages. In the New Testament we have how we are to worship the Lord. In the New Testament we have the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of His inspired apostles, and the complete revelation of what we are to teach, believe, and practice religiously until the end of time. In the New Testament we have divine instructions, both positive and negative, as to how we are to live as Christians. In the New Testament we have in beautiful apocalyptic language the ultimate victory that the faithful people of God will experience. In short, in the New Testament we have “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
The New Testament is “the revelation of the mystery [that which had previously been kept hidden, hf] which was kept secret since the world began but NOW has been made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith” (Romans 16:25-26, all emphasis here and following mine, hf). In the New Testament we have “the wisdom of God in a mystery [that which previously had not been revealed, hf], even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory . . .” (I Corinthians 2:7).
Of the New Testament revelation, the apostle Paul wrote: “. . . how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery as I wrote before in a few words, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages [Old Testament times, hf] was NOT made known to the sons of men, as it has NOW been revealed by His Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:3-5). The New Testament affirms that “NOW [in the Christian age, hf] the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by THE CHURCH [a New Testament reality, hf] to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). The Old Testament never made known these divine realities!
Christ is the “Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promise” (Hebrews 8:6), “the Mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15). The blood of Christ is the “blood of the new covenant (testament), which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). With His blood Christ purchased the church (Acts 20:28). All who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ are in the church and in covenant relationship with God. Those outside the church are outside that covenant relationship and are therefore lost.
We are New Testament Christians (there are no genuinely any other kind!) and we constitute the New Testament church. We are to hear Christ, not Moses and the prophets (Matthew 17:1-5; Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 12:25). We are committed to observing all that Christ has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20) and to abiding in His doctrine and the doctrine of His apostles (II John 9; Acts 2:42). Unlike certain first century Jewish Christians who were being tempted to revert to the ordinances of the Old Testament, “we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39), because only in Christ and the testament sealed by His blood is there salvation!
August 11, 2015
August 21-27: Polishing the Pulpit, Sevierville, TN (I will make six presentations and be a part of one “pass it on” session). PTP is for every member of the Lord’s church. Thirteen concurrent sessions run each hour, featuring 190 different speakers, with 700 separate topics spread over seven days. Join us for this inspirational event in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at which 4000 people are expected to be in attendance!