DEV 17PN New Testament Survey
Session 17: New Testament Survey
In this session, you will be introduced to an overview of the New Testament and be given a summary of each book.
Heart of a Leader
- What are you learning about abiding in Christ? How are you practicing abiding through His Word, prayer, obedience, PCS, relationships and fellowship?
- In what areas of your life do you find it challenging to obey God?
- What unresolved conflict do you have?
- In what areas are you believing God by faith, beyond your own ability?
Celebration of Faithfulness
- Share what has happened since the last meeting. Ask them to relate it to goals from the last meeting.
Iron on Iron: Sharpening Myself and Others
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”
- What is going well?
- What is not going well? What obstacles are you facing?
- What are possible solutions from the other group members?
- What do you need to do to add the missing characteristics into each group?
- Where will you start a new group or church this month?
Discovery Bible Study – Survey of the Bible
Section 1: All Books are About Jesus the King
New Covenant: Luke 22:20
Peter’s Testimony: 2 Peter 1:12-21
John’s Testimony: John 19:35-37; John 21:24-25; 1 John 1:1-4
Luke wrote scripture: Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1: 1-2
Paul wrote scripture: 2 Peter 3:16; Romans 1:1-6
- What caught your attention? (or What did you like best?) Why?
- What is most amazing to you as think about the New Testament?
Section 2: New Testament Survey
UNITY of the 27 Books that COMPRISE the NEW TESTAMENT
A. The Four Gospels
- Matthew – The gospel of Matthew was written by the Apostle Matthew. It emphasizes Jesus as the promised Messiah. It shows many of Jesus’ ministry activities but includes large sections of Jesus’ teachings: the Sermon of the Mount, Kingdom parables, and discussion on the end times. It closes with Great Commission.
- Mark – The gospel of Mark was written by John Mark from sermons stories shared by the Apostle Peter. It emphasizes Jesus as God’s Son but shows that the disciples, the crowds and the religious leaders did not understand who He was until after His death on the cross.
- Luke – The gospel of Luke was written by Paul’s co-worker Luke to a man named Theophilus. It emphasizes Jesus as a real human. He shows Jesus’ compassion on the poor and the outcast while showing how Jesus fulfilled His purpose to “seek and save the lost”.
- John – This gospel was written by the Apostle John. It emphasizes Jesus as Lord and tries to persuade people to believe in Him. John highlights seven signs (miracles) and seven “I am” statements that show His divinity. It includes the most used summary of the gospel (John 3:16).
B. Acts of the Apostles
Acts is written by Luke and is a continuation of the story found in the gospel of Luke. It covers the first 30 years of the church and shows how the gospel spread from Jerusalem all the way to Rome. Acts 1-12 specifically tells of the Apostle Peter’s experience in preaching the gospels. Acts 12-29 specifically records the Apostle Paul’s journey of spreading the gospel during three missionary journeys.
C. Letters to the Churches
- Romans – The letter to the Church in Rome was written in 57 AD at the end of Paul’s third missionary journey. It provides a systematic explanation of the gospel. It shows that being right with God has always been by faith and explains the freedom that comes with being righteous by faith. Paul explains that Israel has rejected the gospel for a period of time as the gospel spreads to the Gentiles. Chapters 12-15 instruct us how the gospel impacts our everyday lives.
- 1 Corinthians – The first letter to the church in Corinth was written in 55 AD while Paul was in Ephesus. He instructs the church at Corinth to resolve conflicts in the church and corrects church members who are still living worldly. It deals with issues that were dividing the church like marriage, worship, spiritual gifts, food offered to idols and the resurrection. Paul appealed to the Corinthians to be unified and give themselves fully to the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians 15:58).
- 2 Corinthians: The second letter to the church in Corinth was written in 56 AD while Paul traveled in the province of Macedonia at the end of his third missionary jorney. Paul defends his apostleship and shows how to overcome Satan’s testing of the church. He continues addressing issues from the first letter as well as writing about ministry work, holy living and giving.
- Galatians: The letter to the churches in the province of Galatia was Paul’s first letter. It was written after Paul finished his first missionary journey. It emphasizes the freedom that Jesus’ followers have from the Law through the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul also defends his ministry and corrects those who try to mix the grace of Christ with the requirements of the Law.
- Ephesians: The letter to the believers in the city of Ephesus was written while Paul was in prison in Rome about 60 AD. It highlights believer’s new identity in Jesus. It also instructs believers how this impacts the church, individuals and families. Paul encourages the Ephesians to increase in faith and stand strong against Satan.
- Philippians: The letter to the church at Philippi was also written while Paul was in prison in Rome about 60 AD. Paul praised the believers for their continued financial partnership in his work. He expressed joy at how many people were hearing about Christ and challenged the Philippians to live a life of thankfulness (Philippians 4:4). He wanted them to always be joyful while living in unity, humility and being like Christ.
- Colossians: The letter to the church in Colosse was the third letter written while Paul was in prison in Rome around 60 AD. This is unique because it is a church started by one of Paul’s co-workers. The church was being influenced by false teachers that were trying to require strict rules on them. Paul explains Jesus Christ’s position as LORD (Colossians 1:13-23), and explains that His followers are complete in Him. He explains that believers must leave their sinful lives behind and live holy, godly lives.
- 1 Thessalonians: The first letter written to the church in Thessalonica during Paul’s second missionary journey around 50 AD. Paul encourages new believers in their faith and challenges them to live godly lives. He also addresses believers who have died and the resurrection.
- 2 Thessalonians: The second letter to the church in Thessalonica was written about 6 months after the first letter (about 51 AD). Paul wrote to clarify questions about the resurrection and to reassure them about the second coming of Jesus. He warned them about being lazy and urged them to follow his example of working hard.
D. Letters to Ministers of the Gospel
- 1 Timothy: This is the first letter written to Paul’s younger co-worker named Timothy after Paul was released from the prison in Rome around 62 AD. Timothy was working with the church in Ephesus and Paul wrote to advise him how to handle various issues. He instructed Timothy on dealing with false doctrine, public prayer, roles of women, and requirements for church leaders. Paul urged Timothy to model a godly life as an example to be followed.
- 2 Timothy: The second letter to Timothy is Paul’s last letter he ever wrote. Paul wrote had been arrested again and wrote from prison around 66 AD. Even though Paul had been abandoned by everyone else and was facing death, he pointed Timothy to place his hope in Jesus. He instructed Timothy to pay attention to sound doctrine and emphasized the importance of older believers passing on what they know to others (2 Timothy 2:2).
- Titus: The letter to Titus was written in the 60’s sometime after Paul was released from the prison in Rome in 62 AD. Paul and Titus had just finished planting churches in all the towns on the island of Crete. Paul writes to instruct Titus how to organize the new churches and giving requirements for church leadership. All believers were to live godly lives.
E. Public Letters
- Philemon – Paul’s letter to Philemon was the fourth letter written while he was in prison in Rome about 61 AD. He tells Philemon, how he met one of his escaped slaves named Onesimus. Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus because Onesimus has confessed his belief in Jesus and has become useful in Paul’s ministry.
- Hebrews – This letter was written sometime during the 60’s. It was written to encourage Christians who were facing persecution. They were being tempted to return to their old Jewish lifestyle. It shows how Jesus is by very nature equal to God and that He accomplished complete salvation for us. When faced with trials, we should look to the examples of faithful people who came before us in our everyday lives.
- James – The letter of James was written by Jesus’ brother James in the 40’s. He was leading the church in Jerusalem and wrote to all of the Jewish believers who had been scattered during the persecution during the 30’s. It has many short teachings about joy in trials, prejudice, real faith, sins of speech and relating to other believers.
- 1 Peter – The first letter from Peter was written in the mid-60’s to believers in the northeastern provinces of the Roman Empire. They were facing a lot persecution for their faith and Peter encourages them to stand strong. Peter explains how believers should live holy lives in the face of their trials.
- 2 Peter – The second letter from Peter was written shortly before his death about 67 AD. He reflects on witnessing Jesus’ glory during the transfiguration (Matthew 17). This assurance of the truth of the gospel gives hope in the face of false teaching about Jesus. Peter warns that Jesus will keep His promise to return and the judge the world, so believers should live lives of holiness and godliness as we wait.
- 1 John – John’s first letter was written the last part of the first century to believers in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). He was the last eye witness of Christ still living and he wrote to assure believers of the truth they had been taught. The test of real believers would be found in their love, their obedience to Jesus and their sound doctrine.
- 2 John – John’s second letter was written to a church around the same time and warns believers about false teachers. These false teachers were taking advantage of Christian hospitality and using it as a way to spread their lies. Agreement on doctrine about Jesus is how they would be able to have meaningful fellowship.
- 3 John – John’s third letter was written to a believer named Gaius. He encourages Gaius in his example of living out the teachings he was given.
- Jude: This letter was written by Jesus’ brother Jude sometime in the 60’s AD. Jude tells the church to follow true teaching and live in God’s love.
- Revelation – This is the last known letter written by the Apostle John while he was in exile on the island of Patmos for preaching the gospel. He wrote to seven churches in the province of Asia (modern day Turkey). It has personal messages to each church from Jesus Himself and then a series of visions. The visions include symbolic expressions of judgement on the wicked, persecution of the church, and the final victory by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This final victory ends human rebellion and ushers in a new heaven and a new earth.
- What caught your attention? (or What did you like best?) Why?
Preparing for Mission (20 mins)
27 BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Gospels Matthew Mark Luke John
Letters to Churches
Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians
Letters to Movement Leaders
1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus
Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Revelation
I will ____________ by __________