Article by Armante Ledain
Student of CCA Advanced Biblical Studies and Ministry School
The New Testament’s books were written in Greek, mostly as letters or epistles to specific audiences and individuals, with the main objectives to exhort, teach, and to illuminate the minds of believers about their faith in Christ. With Pentecost, the Church was born; Gentiles without the knowledge of the Old Covenant started to come to Christ and with Jewish and Roman persecutions, the new disciples were dispersed throughout Asia Minor and part of Europe. They were of great need of guidance and basic training in godliness; but the order of the day was not an assimilation into Judaism, nor was it to follow the mystical and pagan religions, very prevalent at that time. So, the Christian Faith had to have its own foundational doctrines to instruct and train the followers of Jesus Christ, so that the work of God could be carried out by them in all parts of the world.
Though the New Testament is composed of only 27 books, as opposed to 39 of the Old, the number of authors is a lot less, only 9 as opposed to 31 in the Old Testament. The Gospels, the book of Acts and the Epistles were written by different individuals, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and these books were accepted as Holy Scriptures by the totality of the church by the middle of the third century, with the same authority as the Old Testament. As it is for the books of the Old Testament, the central subject of each book of the New Testament remains the person and ministry of Jesus Christ, presented in different aspects. Jesus himself, while talking to the Pharisees who rejected him, predicted these writings to come and their divine authority, as he promised to send prophets, sages, (wise men) and scribes (Matt.23:34). The following constitute these writings highlights and their main topics regarding Christ’s person and ministry.
In the four Gospels the Lord Jesus Christ is presented differently
Matthew, writing to the Jews, introduced and showed him as the real king of the Jews,
Mark, writing to the Romans, painted the picture of Christ as the Servant of God,
Luke, addressing a predominantly Greek audience, depicted Jesus as the Son of Man, while
John, on the other hand, having the church in mind, which was then made up of Jewish and Gentile believers, showed Jesus as the Son of God.
In the Book of Acts
Luke, the writer of this historical book, shows the fulfillment of Jesus’ promises to always be with the believers to carry on the work of the Great Commission. The Spirit, as promised, was now able to indwell believers and empower them to spread the Gospel from Jerusalem unto the extremities of the earth.
In the book of Romans
Paul explains the major concepts which constitute the foundation of the Christian Faith. So, he masterfully defined righteousness before God, substitution, provision, justification and faith. He also portrayed Jesus as the Second Adam, whose righteous life and substitutionary death have provided justification for all who would place their faith in Him.
In the first book of Corinthians
Jesus is our Wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. According to Paul born again believers are the body of Christ with individual gifts and they ought to be good examples for those who are in the world
In the second book of Corinthians
Jesus is the source of the believer’s comfort, for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. He is our comfort, our triumph, our light, our reconciliation, our substitute, our gift from God and our strength.
In the book of Galatians
Paul explores the concepts of faith and grace of God. He goes back to the Abrahamic covenant of promise, and expounds on the new testament’s covenant of grace and faith, and the purpose of salvation. He presents Abraham, as an example of faith, who through his changed life by faith became a blessing to all nations.
In the book of Ephesians,
the Apostle Paul explores the following major themes: Jesus as the head of the church, and the believers hope and unity as co-heirs with Christ. Jesus is the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. In Jesus, Christians have been given hope and made alive, to grow and make a difference in this world by their good works and life style, “for by grace you have been saved through faith and it is the gift of God”.
The book of Philippians
Shows Jesus as a powerful model and example for believers. Paul paints several points about Jesus. The real life is in Christ, He is the model of true humility. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ. He alone is capable to transform our lowly bodies that they might be transformed as His glorious body.
The book of Colossians
In this letter, Jesus is shown as the pre-eminence of all things, as the Head and Creator of all. He is also our Representative and Reconciler before God the Father. He is the head of all principality and power. In Him we see the face of God: “ He is the image of the invisible God”, He is the Author of reconciliation and our Redeemer and Reconciler and He is the basis for all believers’ hope
1st and 2nd Thessalonians .
Christ is our blessed Hope, the one who’s coming back for his church, the Deliverer. Paul’s motivation is to let us see Jesus as the believer’s hope of salvation, both now and when He returns on earth. He will deliver us from the wrath to come, and one day we shall be caught up in the air together and shall always be with Him.
In 1st Timothy
Paul describes Jesus as the Mediator, the Savior, and explains the concept of mystery of the faith (spiritual faith) and love. “Christ is the Mediator between God and mankind, manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory”. In this letter, Paul also deals with church admimistration, leadership and hierarchy and the part that weathy people have to play, in their service to God..
In 2nd Timothy
Christ is the source of salvation, and the one who’s coming back. Paul also makes clear the role of Scripture in God’s servant life and ministry as he brings some focus on the conditions of the world in the last days and what believers ought to do during those difficult times.
The book of Titus
Paul focus on unity, redemption and good works. Jesus is one with the father and is our great God and Savior, the blessed hope who has yet to return to earth in a glorious appearing. In the meantime those who received God’s grace must show a life set apart to God by their good deeds.
The Epistle of Philemon
Depicts Jesus as Intercessor, Substitute, Forgiver, and Advocate. Although Onesimus was guilty of a great offense, Paul’s advocacy before Philemon, (Onesimus master) is parallel to Christ work of mediation before the Father on our behalf
In the Book of Hebrews
We can see the development of the following themes as applied to Jesus: perfection, superiority, compassion, sacrifice. The author shows Jesus as the one who is better than the angels, for even the angels worship Him. He is superior to Moses for He created him. His priesthood order is greater than the Aaronic priesthood for His sacrifice was offered once and for all, and He cut a better covenant than the law for He mediated a covenant of grace based on his perfect attributes.
In the book of James:
The following topics are explored: the coming of the Lord, Christ the teacher and the pastor, God’s wisdom, and the power of prayer. Seeing that in the time of James, the believers thought that the coming of the Lord was at end and persecution of Christians was fierce, James’ letter deals with the coming of the Lord, and encouraged Christians to stay fast in their faith and live a holy life with wisdom, faith and joy, for the crown of life is reserved to those who will endure to the end.
Peter presents Jesus as the manifestation of God’s Love, as our hope and redemption, our healer, and the overseer and guardian of our soul, and as the Great Shepherd. The following sentence typified his letter to the believers of the Diaspora under persecution: “Jesus’ death provided redemption for all who trust in Him, who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes we are healed”. Peter also lifted up Christ as the Overseer and Great Shepherd of all believers and of all the churches.
In second Peter: His glory, His power, His rewards
Peter shows Jesus as he source of full knowledge and power for spiritual maturity, he also recalls the glory of Jesus‘ transfiguration on the holy mountain. As an eyewitness, he should know for he was there to live this glorious experience. While reflecting on that unforgettable experience Peter however point out to the believers that the Scriptures as a source of greater assurance . In his letter, Peter anticipates the Lord’s glorious return to earth rewarding those who kept the faith.
The major themes found in this epistle are Love, Christ our Advocate, the deity of the Lord , the true anointing, and righteousness as a must for believers in Christ. John was another one who was a witness of Jesus’ life and ministry, as well as to his transfiguration. He encourages the persecuted believers by telling them of the love of God for them and reminds them of Jesus’ present ministry among them. The savior’s blood continually cleanses us from all sins and He is our righteous Advocate before the father. John also make mention of him as the means of eternal life and as the true God with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
2John: Love, mediator
Firstly, John insisted for the believers to keep Christ’s commandment to walk in love. Secondly, he expresses his desire for them to know that the Jesus he knew had flesh and blood and bones, and not to listen to false Antichrist messengers. John finally warns about not loosing the fruit of our labor by keeping steadfast in the doctrines of Christ to maintain our fellowship with God.
3John: Missionary, model
Jesus is the means and motivation for taking the good news to the world. Mission work is important to God and believer should not hesitate to provide necessary funds and provisions to missionaries. In addition one should serve with humility and love, not looking for selfish interests and human praise, but sincerely desiring to meet the need of those who will benefit from our ministry and help.
Jude: mercy, keeper, love, Pastor
Jude encourages the believers to build themselves up in the faith and to keep themselves in the love of God. The key is to keep looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life for He is the one who can preserve us and keep us
Revelation . The coming Supreme Judge
This book ends the story of Jesus Christ and of the salvation of man by grace through faith, which began in Genesis, the first book of the bible. Revelation as the last book of Scripture shows the fulfillment and triumph of God’s purpose conceived before the foundation of the world. John reveals in this book, that Jesus Christ, the posterity of the woman, is the same one who will return in power to judge His enemies, be it angelic, demonic, or human. He shall reign on earth as Lord over all nations for a millennium, and turn his reign to his Father, so that God the Father may be all in all for ever (1Cor.15:28).
Mrs Armante Ledain is married to Roland Ledain and they are parents of five children: Riccardo, Sylvie, Rolanda, Rinaldi, and Roody.