AN OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE

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Title 6


The Christian Age

Lesson Five Of Six

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The Christian Age

 

The Covenants

 

The Promise Of A Savior

Throughout the Old Testament there are various promises concerning a coming deliverer. This deliverer would be a king (2 Samuel 7:13- 14), a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15), and a priest (Psalm 110:4) from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and He would be a blessing to all families of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 53; Acts 3:24-26).

 

Jesus To Establish A New Covenant

God promised that He would make a New Covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-32). The writer of Hebrews confirms that it was Jesus who inaugurated this new covenant (Hebrews 7:22).

 

What Of The Old Covenant?

The writer of Hebrews answers this question: "For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives" (Hebrews 9:16-17). When the New Covenant came into effect, at Jesus' death, the Old Covenant was done away (2 Corinthians 3:7-11; Galatians 3:23-25; Colossians 2:14). A Christian should not attempt to follow or justify his actions by the Old Covenant (Galatians 5:4).

 

New Testament Law

 

The Law Of Christ

The Law of Moses came to an end at the death of Christ. This does not mean that we are under no law at all. The writers of the New Testament make it plain that we are under Christ's law (Romans 8:1-2; 1 Corinthians 9:21). This law is found in the Gospels and the Epistles (1 Corinthians 14:37). Further, we are told to do all things "in the name of the Lord Jesus," i.e., by His authority (Colossians 3:17).

 

The Inspiration Of The Bible

What we believe about the Bible will ultimately determine what we believe and practice. Here are a few passages that affirm the Bible's inspiration: John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 14:37; Galatians 1:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 3:15-16.

 

Authority

 

Is There A Pattern?

Is there a pattern of doctrine to which Christians must adhere? ďAs I urged you when I went into Macedonia- remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they TEACH NO OTHER DOCTRINE" (1 Timothy 1:3); "Hold fast the PATTERN OF SOUND WORDS which you have heard from me" (2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:3-4). It is clear from these verses that there is a PATTERN OF DOCTRINE that we must follow.

 

Does The Bible Condemn Deviations From The Pattern?

The Bible condemns divisions in doctrine and practice. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name [i.e., by the authority] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all SPEAK THE SAME THING, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you, but that you be perfectly joined together [i.e., united in doctrine and practice] in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10; Cp. Ephesians 4:1-6). Divisions are condemned. Unity is commanded, a unity that Jesus Himself prayed for (John 17:20- 21).

 

The Need For Authority

The main reason for the religious division that exists today can be traced back to an attitude of mind toward the scriptures. If one believes that the Bible is "just a good book" then the concept of authority for every word and action will be far from that person's mind. To such a person, matters of faith and practice become personal rather than scriptural. Since everyone has different views and opinions, religious division is inevitable. On the other hand, if one believes the Bible is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17) and the final authority on all religious matters then religious unity is a real possibility.

 
"In The Name Of The Lord Jesus"

We have already seen that there is a pattern of sound doctrine to which we must adhere. The following passages teach us to abide in the teaching of Christ and establish authority for all that we say and practice. "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9); "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). A Christian, then, is not at liberty to do what he wants, nor is he at liberty to invent forms of worship that he thinks might be pleasing to God. A sincere Christian will do only what the scriptures teach.

 

Spheres Of Authority

The New Testament teaches that we must have authority for "whatever you do..." (Colossians 3:17). This covers every aspect of our lives: family life, civil life, and religious life. In this section we shall focus on the religious sphere of our lives. Jesus is the founder and head of the church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23), and to Him all authority has been given in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Therefore, we must look to the New Testament for Christ's authority in all matters pertaining to the church.

 

QUESTIONS

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1. From the books of 2 Samuel, Deuteronomy, and Psalms we learn that the Messiah was to be a...

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2. From which tribe of Israel would Jesus come?

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3. What does God promise in Jeremiah 31:31-32?

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4.When did the New Covenant come into effect?

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5. What happened to the Old Covenant?

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6. Should Christians attempt to keep the Law of Moses?

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7. If the law of Moses has been done away, does that mean Christians have no law?

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8. Is the Bible inspired of God?

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9. Does the New Testament teach that there is a pattern of sound doctrine to which we should adhere?

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10. What does the New Testament teach about divisions?

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11. What does it mean to "do all in the name of the Lord Jesus"? For what must we have authority? (Colossians 3:16-17).

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12. In who's doctrine must we abide?

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We look forward to receiving your answers.