This is the fourth post in a series discussing the biggest problem in the world today. Here the discussion was started, here I looked at what secular society says the biggest problem in the world is, and here I looked at what the Old Testament indicates.
This post will discuss what the New Testament teaches regarding what the biggest problem in the world is. First, we need to ask a question: why do we have the New Testament in the first place? What is it’s overall purpose?
In order to find those answers, we need to break down each book asking what their purpose is individually. Check it out:
Why was the New Testament written?
Matthew – written to Greek speaking Jews to show them Jesus fulfilled OT prophesy to prove He was the Son of God.
Mark – written to Romans and emphasizes the actions of Jesus to prove he was the Son of God.
Luke – to reaffirm the beliefs of Gentiles, and to help them more fully understand who the authentic Jesus was.
John – written so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
Acts – written as a historical record of the birth and spread of the church thereby strengthening the faith of early Christians; possibly compiled in preparation for Paul’s trial in Rome to give a defense for following Jesus.
Romans – written to Jews and Gentiles in Rome; emphasizes how true righteousness comes from the life of Jesus (not our own), and justification before God comes by faith in Christ
1 & 2 Corinthians – written to the Corinthian church calling for unity in Christ and for the holy lifestyle that goes along with following Jesus; rebukes false teachers who were distorting the real gospel of Jesus
Galatians – written to the Galatian church to rebuke Judaizers who were distorting the real gospel of Jesus.
Ephesians – written to believers at large to explain God’s purpose for the church (i.e. to glorify the Father by revealing Christ to the world).
Philippians – written to thank the Philippian church for their help in advancing the gospel of Christ and to encourage them in to continuing maturing in their knowledge and understanding of Jesus.
Colossians – written to the church in Colossae to emphasize the supremacy of Christ over the human wisdom behind false teachings that had cropped up in the church.
1 & 2 Thessalonians – written to the Thessalonian church to encourage their faith in Christ, urge them to live holy lives, and to proclaim Christ’s return.
1 & 2 Timothy – written to Timothy to encourage vigilant defense of the gospel of Christ against false teachings and to instruct him in caring for the Ephesian church.
Titus – written to Titus while he was on the island of Crete instructing him to spur the Cretans on toward holy living in Christ.
Philemon – written to Philemon instructing him to welcome back his slave Onesimus, who’d apparently stolen something from him and run away.
Hebrews – written to Jewish converts who were familiar with the OT emphasizing the supremacy of Christ over the prophets, angels, Moses, Aaron, and the priests.
James – written to Jewish believers giving practical instruction on living a Christ-centered life.
1 & 2 Peter – written to Christians scattered throughout the land after Pentecost; includes a call to holy living in Christ, submission to authority, and Jesus’ return.
1 John – written to refute teachings that were distorting the gospel of Jesus and to emphasize the believer’s assurance of salvation through Christ.
2 John – written to a Christian woman instructing her to close her home to false teachers so that those distorting the gospel of Christ would not receive aid.
3 John – written to the believer Gaius to commend him for welcoming itinerate teachers sent out by John, and to indirectly warn the church leader Diotrephes who was speaking maliciously against other church leaders.
Jude – warning against false teachers (early Gnostics) who were distorting the gospel of Jesus.
Revelation – an apocalyptic writing meant for the church at large; emphasizes the sovereignty of God over the world and the impending return of Christ.
What is the overall theme of the New Testament that emerges from this study?
- The gospels provide an account of, defense of, an affirmation for belief in Jesus Christ as the embodiment of God on earth who died to pay our sin debt.
- The NT chronicles the activity and spread of the early church – people united in spreading the Good News about Jesus’ sacrifice to permanently reconcile man to God.
- The NT also chronicles the divine activity of the Holy Spirit who worked to lend credibility to the claims made regarding Jesus.
- Epistles (letters) written by early church leaders address specific situations and problems surrounding the first century church, and serve to rebuke bad behavior and false doctrines distorting the teachings of Jesus, or to encourage early Christ followers to continue in their faith.
Theme verse of the NT:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
-Jesus, John 14:6
Overall, the whole of the NT points backward to the person of Jesus, or forward to His divine return. Everything in the Bible leads up to or centers around Jesus Christ. He’s the hero in the story!
So what’s the big deal with Jesus? What did He come here to do?
Answer that, and you’ve found the answer to the biggest problem in the world.