Summary: First in a Series going through the New Testament
THE FOUR GOSPELS -- SERMON ONE
Introduction: In this twelve lesson study we will seek to perform an impossible task. We will attempt to complete a survey of the New Testament. We begin our study with the first lesson being on the Four Gospels. The subject of the New Testament is redemption. In the Old Testament we begin with the fall and see how man lost it all in Adam. But in the New Testament there come one in the divine person of Jesus Christ who redeems everything we lost.
The purpose of the New Testament is to make us wise unto salvation and service, and to reveal what God has done for us and with us in Christ that we might be conformed to the image of his dear son. The Old Testament reveals human need. The New Testament supplies that need.
In the gospel accounts we find Christ’s gospel of redemption that is provided through his death, burial, and resurrection. The book of Acts is the promulgation, the sending forth of this gospel to the world. In the Epistles the gospel is exposed in its doctrinal and practical aspects, and in the Revelation all of God’s redemptive purposes are culminated for all time.
I. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. The Critics
1. It is often argued by critics of the Bible that the New Testament was written in a style which no literary man
of that time would have permitted himself to use.
2. The New Testament is written in Koine Greek (the vernacular) which was just everyday, common language.
3. It was not written in the classical Greek of that day and scholars had a field day ridiculing its authority.
B. The Comeback
2. The gospel has never been for the proud, arrogant know it all. It’s for that one that knows he’s a sinner and knows that he’s nothing apart from the grace of God
3. In 1899, two men B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt were excavating in Ancient Tebtunis (southern Egypt). They
discovered a crocodile cemetery. In disgust, a workman flung a mummified crocodile against a rock. Out
popped some papyrus. Other crocodiles were opened, and it was discovered that they had been stuffed with papyri to help hold their shape. All kinds of documents were included in these findings, including ancient classics, royal ordinances, petitions, contracts, accounts, private letters, and for the most part they were dated in the first and second century A.D. Before the papyri were found nobody had ever read a manuscript of a first century scribe that had been written in the language of the common people of Egypt and Palestine. In making a study of these papyri, it was discovered that they were written in the same exact language of the New Testament. The New Testament books were written in the dialect of the middle class in the vernacular of the home and shop. They were written by both the learned and unlearned to working men in the tongue of the working man. Christianity from its beginning spoke the tongue of the peasant. It’s no wonder that Mark 12:37 reads “the common people heard him gladly.”
II. WHY ARE THERE FOUR GOSPELS?
A. The Inspiration of the Gospels
1. We know that each of these gospels was written by the inspiration of God, yet we are told in other portions
of the Bible that there is only one Gospel.
2. Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which
we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
3. God did not place the four gospels just to take up space; neither did God have men write the four gospels in
order that one might be able to corroborate the others.
4. The Word of God does not need to be corroborated. If Luke declares a thing to be true, then Mark does not
have to affirm that Luke was correct.
B. The Inspection of the Gospels
1. The Reason for having the Gospels is to reveal how God accomplished the work of redemption, and to give
2. The Question is why have four instead of one. There has to be a reason. God is a God of order. The Holy
Ghost has done nothing at random in producing the Scriptures and the answer to the questions lies in the
word of God.
3. In the Tabernacle that Moses set up in the wilderness, and in the Temple that replaced the Tabernacle, the
Holy of Holies where God dwelt was separated from the other parts of the structure by a great veil or curtain.
a. This veil remained closed, barring the way of approach to God’s presence, except on the annual Day of