New Testament Summary
Matthew: Matthew begins with the ancestry of Jesus to show His historical veracity, and then presents a highly detailed account of His unmistakable divinity. Matthew prioritizes our need to follow the Lord’s commissioning as the model of life lived to its fullest.
Mark: Mark closely follows Jesus’ life and ministry. The book starts by confirming Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah from 700 years before the birth of Jesus. This is an action-filled account on the miracles, works, teachings, life, and person of Jesus.
Luke: Luke, as a doctor, gives a thorough reckoning of the life, works, and death of Jesus. Starting with a detailed analysis of the Messiah’s heritage, Luke carefully relates key events with chronological accuracy. Emphasizing the Lord’s equally divine and human nature, Luke confirms that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
John: John declares that Jesus is God. He is the Word of God made into flesh. Everything that has ever been created was made through Him. In Him is light. John is the disciple closest to Jesus. He tells us of God’s love for us and His means of salvation. John gives extensive coverage to the Passion Week and the details of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances.
Acts: Acts charts the course of the early Church. We see the apostles step out in faith, experience Pentecost, and the rapid expansion of Jews coming to faith. Paul is converted. Dynamic leaders join Paul and Peter as the Gospel spreads to the Gentiles and into the world.
Romans: Addressed to the church in Rome, Paul explores fundamental doctrines confirming God wants to bless us despite our sinfulness: God desires to forgive, not punish; God is a righteous God; grafting together of Jews and Gentiles into the olive tree of Israel.
First Corinthians: Corinth was the center of commerce for the Grecian peninsula at the time of Paul. It suffered terribly from misguided religious and cultural practices. Paul guides the church toward living a righteous life while existing in a pagan society. His words expound spiritual gifts, the resurrection, and a definitive treatise on love.
Second Corinthians: Following Paul’s first letter, opposing forces have discredited the apostle. He sends Timothy to defend the faith, who turns the tide in the Lord’s favor. Paul writes to thank, encourage, and strengthen their faith, calling them to reconcile with God and be watchful for false apostles.
Galatians: Galatia was the region between the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Paul confronts a church that has been schooled in the Gospel, but returns to a works mentality. The apostle shows no tolerance for such thinking and strongly defends his teachings. He directs such foolish constituents to remember that we are only justified by faith in God.
Ephesians: Ephesus sits on the western coast of present-day Turkey. Ephesians is a wake-up call to grab hold of the richness of life in Jesus, finding our true identity as one new man in Him. Paul’s words of lofty proportions exalt the Lord and inspire the body of believers to walk worthy of our call—to serve the Lord.
Philippians: Philippi sits above the northern coast of the Aegean Sea. Paul’s letter of appreciation gives significant instructions on the unity of believers. Only in the excellent knowledge of Jesus can we adequately express who He is to the world.
Colossians: Colossae is located in southwestern Asia Minor, or Turkey. Focusing on the headship and preeminence of Jesus, through whom all things have been created, Paul tears down philosophical arguments.We are to set our hearts on things above and live peaceful, holy lives.
First Thessalonians: Thessalonica is found on the coast of the Aegean Sea in northern Greece. Upon receiving Timothy’s report, Paul’s sends a complimentary note of support against persecution. He maintains we need a strong work ethic as we live to please God. Paul briefly describes the coming of the Lord.
Second Thessalonians: Recognizing false doctrine being spread in the church, Paul weeds out the bad and gives appropriate teaching. He depicts Jesus and angelic hosts routing out evil; further personified as the lawless one who challenges God’s authority with deception. We must hold to our tradition of faith and stand fast against unrighteousness.
First Timothy: Timothy has taken leadership of the church in Ephesus. Paul urges him to love from a pure heart and fight the good fight of faith in a glorious Gospel. Find qualified leaders, don’t get sidetracked by those who depart, flee unrighteousness, and pursue righteousness.
Second Timothy: Writing Timothy from prison, Paul exhorts him to be faithful and unashamed of the Lord. He must be ready at all times to preach, testify, and endure hardships, a workman approved by God. He warns of perilous times ahead, describing a deceitful, vicious humanity.
Titus: Stationed on Crete, an island south of Greece, Paul charges Titus to set the new church in order; start by selecting mature elders. Titus is advised to teach sound doctrine based on obedience, accountability, and humility. Train the next generation to serve God.
Philemon: Paul’s request of a prominent slave owner is a plea for forgiveness of a runaway slave. This one-time thief and deserter has come to faith. Appealing for mercy for “his son,” Paul offers to pay the debt to assist in the redemption of one who was in sin, but now has found God.
Hebrews: Known as the faith chapter, Hebrews positions Jesus as Lord over the New Covenant. The fulfillment of Jesus as Messiah, our High Priest, even takes precedence over the covenant made with Moses. Jesus, though like us, is superior to the angels. He is the King of righteousness.
James: James is a man of action. He insists faith without works is dead. The deeds of a wise person are obvious, but we must watch what we say.We need to submit to God and curb our passions or they will lead to violence. To persevere requires patience, even in suffering.
First Peter: Peter was a fisherman. Jesus’ resurrection gives us living hope. Since He is holy, so are we. He is the precious Cornerstone for the church. Submit to loved ones and authorities. Be willing to suffer for His goodness. Don’t complain in trials. Know God’s blessings. Live your life for God.
Second Peter: God’s divine power provides all we need to escape corruption. As eyewitnesses to God’s Majestic Glory, with an indisputable authority in the Holy Scriptures, stand certain of our heavenly calling and election. Be alert for false prophets and scoffers. Be ready for the day of the Lord.
First John: God is light, love, and life. As children of God we exemplify love as an imperative. The Lord, the Word, and the Holy Spirit are all we require. God’s commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
Second John: Knowing the truth, we are responsible to walk in truth.We are commanded to love one another. And this is love—that we walk in obedience to His commands.
Third John: Instructs us to stay in fellowship with believers.
Jude: To be a disciple is to build yourself up on your most holy faith. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit to be strong so you can contend against the forces that attack the Body. Maintain
a posture of readiness. Give glory to God. Jesus will present you as faultless before His Throne.
Revelation: Revelation tells the story, as given to John on the island of Patmos, of the consummation of the Kingdom of God. We see the Church through our Lord’s eyes. We witness harsh tests, bitter trials. We gain insight about spiritual battles in the heavenlies. And finally, we see the triumph of Lord Jesus, who returns to lead us all to glory. Hallelujah!