Unamended Edition

constitution-tagged

Founding document

The Constitution of the United States is a marvel, a model for other nations. The wisdom of those who developed it is seen in its durability. For more than two centuries it has served us well.

The Constitution has built into it provisions for change. It has been amended more than two dozen times since it was first written. Additional amendments are likely—if the world stands and our nation endures.

In some ways the Constitution is for our nation what the New Testament is for the church. It is what we go by, our governing document.

Major differences

There are, however, some significant differences. First, the New Testament is inspired by God (1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 14:37; Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Peter 3:15-16; Revelation 1:1-3); the Constitution is not.

Second, the New Testament is more than a legal code. Though it definitely does contain law, which God expects us to obey, it is much more than law. It tells a story—of a God who loves us, a Christ who died and rose for us, and the eternal kingdom, the church, made up of Jesus’ redeemed people.

The New Testament also dares to prophesy the future, something the Constitution does not attempt. In addition, it has a divine power within it capable of turning a soul from darkness to the light (Acts 20:32; 26:16-18; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21).

Third, the New Testament has no provision for amendment. It is complete. It is final. Jude, the Lord’s brother, speaks of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Completed around the end of the first century A.D., the New Testament was designed by God to continue unchanged until the end of time, serving the needs of the church in every generation.

Therefore should we listen when self-styled prophets arise to give us, they claim, a word from God to supplement the Word of God?

God has already spoken.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Center of It All, Part 2

What the New Testament says about Him

The first four New Testament books announce: The Messiah has come! His name is Jesus!

Then Acts declares: Jesus is risen and working through His people, the church!

The next 21 books proclaim: Christ is in you, and you in Him!

And finally, Revelation: He who defeats Satan is coming again! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).

What is He to you?

Jesus is the theme of the New Testament.

But is He the theme of your life?

Is He central to your thinking, planning, and use of time and money?

May we say with Paul: “. . . it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Center of It All, Part 1

Question

What one word best sums up the New Testament?

Perhaps you said “love” or “grace” or “salvation.”

Great answers! But let’s explore further.

Consider the very first verse in the New Testament: “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).

Now look at the last verse: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).

The emphasis

He is referred to in all but a handful of the 260 chapters of the New Testament.

He is called Jesus about 975 times, and Christ about 569 times.

He is also called Son of Man, Son of God, Lord, the Lamb, the Word, Teacher, the Nazarene, etc.

Unquestionably, He is the Centerpiece of God’s great plan.

(Continued tomorrow)

name Jesus-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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