Appendix D   Why a New Testament?

Jesus told the disciples that he must go away. He was their teacher, what were they to do?

John 13:33-35 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

He comforted them by telling them not to worry.

John 14:1-2 "Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father's house are many homes. If it weren't so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. He promised not to abandon us, but to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.

He promised to send them a Counselor, a guide, to dwell within them.

John 14:16-18 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.

Later the Holy Spirit helped the disciples remember what Jesus said and it taught them what they needed to know.

John 14:25-26 I have said these things to you, while still living with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.

It was necessary for Jesus to go the Father, so he could send us the Holy Spirit. Jesus completed his mission on earth, went to the father and sent us the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I don't go away, the Counselor won't come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

The Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised came on the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.

Subsequently, Peter offered the Jews the opportunity to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38-39 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself."

The Holy Spirit guided and directed the writing of the Scriptures.

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit saw that Jesus's signs were written down in the New Testament to help us believe so that we can have eternal life.

John 20:30-31 Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

If we didn't have Jesus's words for us to read in the New Testament, how would we know what they are?

John 14:23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him."

What we call Scripture, the Holy Spirit's writings, are inspired by the God and can train and equip us for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Peter assures us that he is writing the truth not fables, he was an eye witness.

2 Peter 1:16-18 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

Peter confirms that Paul's writings are Scripture. He also warns us of the danger of handling them incorrectly

2 Peter 3:15-16 Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you; as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

A sharp sword is dangerous, so is God's word. Don't misuse it or twist it to say what it doesn't say.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The Old Testament is Scripture too. When Christ said this the New Testament had not been written.

Matthew 26:52-54 Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I couldn't ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?'

The Old Testament can help us better understand the New Testament and can provide wisdom, patience, encouragement and hope.

Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through patience and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

We all need to study the Bible and to be ready to answer questions abut our beliefs.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. KJV.

If we are sincerely trying to follow Jesus we can ask in faith for guidance and wisdom to know what to do and how to do it.

James 1:5-7 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.

It is a good idea to seek God's help and guidance in everything we do.

Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Don't be wise in your own eyes. Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

A blessing is promised to those who read the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand.

When we sin, and all do, Jesus is the sacrifice for our sin. We are getting a really good deal.Our lawyer paid our fine and is the judge at our trial.

1 John 2:1-3 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments.

Now that Christ has ascended to the Father and because of our relationship with Jesus, we can approach Him boldly and receive mercy, grace and help.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. For we don't have a high priest who can't be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.

Conclusion:

The preceding verses indicate why Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, both the Old and the New Testaments. These verses are but the tip of the iceberg, there are many books written about the authenticity of the Scriptures and about how the early church leaders selected the books to go in the New Testament from the ones then commonly accepted as scripture, while rejected some spurious books. For further discussion of this see Appendix B, "Why Believe the Bible" and Appendix C, "A Challenge" and their references.

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