Summary: The first sermon detailing how to be successful in completing the New Testament Challenge
This Sermon and Series based upon a series by Nelson Searcy and the Journey Church
The New Testament Challenge
This is an exciting time at Hickory Creek
God has done some amazing things last year and I am looking forward to some of the amazing things He is going to do this year.
One thing I am really excited about is the New Testament Challenge that we are beginning today.
Over the next 9 weeks we are going to
read through the entire New Testament,
learn about some of the primary teachings of the New Testament, and
become more familiar with the background and writing of the New Testament
and have God work in our lives in amazing ways.
I am excited to see what God is going to do in each one of our lives over the next 9 weeks.
Now, one of the things I want to do through this New Testament Challenge is just to get everyone familiar with what the New Testament is.
If you have every read the Bible you may have noticed that the Bible has 2 major parts to it.
The first is the Old Testament. That is the first 39 books of the Bible. It tells the story of Creation, man’s fall into sin, God’s covenants with Abraham and His covenant with Moses and the prophecies of the coming Messiah who would bring salvation to the world.
The New Testament is the second part of the Bible. This is where we will be focusing. It records the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, His birth, His life, His death and resurrection as well as the beginning of the church and many practicalities of living the Christian life, as well as prophecy concerning what is yet to come concerning Christ’s return to this earth.
Now, you will notice that the New Testament is not just one long book, but really a collection of books. Twenty seven (27) to be exact.
Twenty seven books written by 9 different human authors during roughly the last half of the first century after Christ’s birth.
The men who were the human instruments recording the New Testament were all apostles or close associates of an apostle recording the teaching that the apostles had given.
Now perhaps you are thinking, “How could these books written by these men so long ago have any value for me?”
It has value for you and me and everyone, because while there were 9 different human authors, there is really only one Author and He is a Divine author.
Ultimately it was God, Himself who was the author of the Bible, using these faithful men to record His word to us.
2 Peter 1:21 - For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Now it is more than I can do today to talk about the abundant amount of evidence that supports the fact that God is the ultimate author of the Bible, but if you would like to know more about how we know that, then I encourage you to come out to our Back to the Basics Seminar where we talk about the evidence that supports that claim in detail.
Now if you have ever read the New Testament, then you know that there are some different kinds of writing.
There are some books that tell a story.
The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John ) tell the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection.
Acts tells the story of the early church
It focuses largely on Peter and then Paul
After the gospels and acts you have letters
written by Paul and a few others to various churches and individuals.
These books are more proclamational, in that they tell you
what to do or what not to do,
how to live or how not to live,
what is true and what is not true.
And then finally, you have the book of Revelation
that is apocalyptic in nature talking about things to come related to Jesus’ return and the kingdom of Heaven
God has communicated in all of these ways through these different men so we might be able to know Him and how we can be in relationship with Him and that we might live life well in a way that glorifies Him.
So that is a bit of background of the New Testament.
Now while I am very excited about beginning this myself and the work God is going to be doing in my life, I still think that it is important, as with anything we begin, that we
Count the Cost of this Challenge
The Bible says in Luke 14:28
28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?