New Testament Survey
Dr. John Amstutz
New Testament Survey Course Overview
God reveals Himself through the Word of God. In this ten-session series, covering the Gospels and Acts, the Pauline Epistles, though to Revelation, New Testament scholar Dr. John Amstutz illuminates the Word of God in an easy-to-understand format.
What You’ll Learn
- The Purpose of the New Testament
- The New Coventant
- The Background of the New Testament
- Synoptic Gospels
- Johannine literature
- Acts of the Apostles
- Pastoral Epistles
- General Epistles
- Apocalyptic literature
1. Introduction to the New Testament
The Bible, a unique book from God, reveals His nature through word and deed. It is both divine and human, just as Jesus was. The Bible’s purpose is to make us wise to salvation through faith in Christ and equip us for every good work. The New Testament is based on God’s eternal covenant, fulfilling the promises of divine headship, relationship, and fellowship. During the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments, there was a prophetic famine, but in the fullness of time, God sent His Messiah. The New Testament consists of historical, teaching, and prophetic books, initiating, illustrating, and consummating the New Covenant. It is just the beginning of knowing God fully and living with Him face-to-face in perfection.
2. Matthew, Mark, and Luke: Three Portraits of Jesus Christ
The lesson discusses the four Gospels in the New Testament, each presenting a unique portrait of Jesus Christ. Matthew emphasizes Jesus as the fulfillment of Israel’s hope and the Davidic King. Mark portrays Jesus as the suffering servant, focusing on His actions and miracles. Luke presents Jesus as the compassionate Savior, emphasizing His humanity and the good news for all people. The Gospels provide different perspectives on the life and teachings of Jesus, collectively revealing the multifaceted nature of the Son of God.
3. John: A Fourth Portrait of Jesus Christ
The Gospel of John, written in a world influenced by Greek philosophy, sets out to communicate the story of Jesus Christ to a non-Jewish audience. It differs from the Synoptic Gospels in setting, chronology, and content. John’s unique approach begins with the concept of the “Logos,” appealing to the Greek mind. The Gospel emphasizes divine signs and seven miracles that point to Jesus as the Miracle Worker, inviting people to put their trust in Him. John presents Jesus’ divine claims and purpose to reveal the fullness of the Godhead. Ultimately, the Gospel is evangelistic, urging readers to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Son of David, Son of Man, and Lord. The primary aim is to bring people to faith in Christ Jesus.
4. Acts: The Expansion of the Gospel
The book of Acts, written by Luke, serves as a key link between the Gospels and the Epistles. Addressed to Theophilus, it continues the ministry of Christ through His followers, the apostles, who bear witness to Him in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they spread the good news of the Kingdom of God through works of power, deeds of kindness, and words of forgiveness. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit enables believers to be powerful witnesses for Jesus Christ in this age, fulfilling the promise of the Father.
5. Romans: The Gospel of Grace
The lesson introduces the Apostle Paul, his dramatic conversion, and his mission to preach the Gospel of grace to both Jews and Gentiles. The Gospel is explained as the revelation of God’s righteousness and the gracious gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It emphasizes that all have sinned, but through Christ’s sacrifice, believers are justified and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. The response to the Gospel of grace is described as a transformed life of obedience, serving others, and showing love. This Gospel is meant to be shared with the world, bringing inner transformation to those who believe.
6. 1–2 Corinthians, Galatians: Living the Gospel of Grace
The three letters, 1 & 2 Corinthians and Galatians, written by the Apostle Paul to churches he founded in Greece and Turkey, discuss the Gospel of Grace and address various issues within these congregations. In 1 Corinthians, Paul addresses unity, purity, love, and truth, emphasizing Christ’s resurrection as the foundation of their faith. In 2 Corinthians, he defends his call and ministry, highlighting the evidence of transformed lives and the role of suffering for Christ. In Galatians, Paul confronts false teachings and emphasizes salvation through faith in Christ, reminding believers that living by faith and walking in the Spirit fulfill the true purpose of the law. Throughout these letters, Paul upholds the Gospel of Grace and its transformative power in the lives of believers.
7. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon: Letters from Prison
The Gospel of Grace is good news for those who acknowledge their sinfulness and need for a Savior. However, man-made systems of righteousness based on pride often oppose this Gospel. Paul, facing opposition, wrote four letters – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon – while imprisoned in Rome. In Ephesians, he emphasizes unity and spiritual blessings in Christ. Philippians encourages rejoicing and standing firm in the face of opposition. Colossians highlights the fullness found in Christ, making philosophy and religious regulations unnecessary. Philemon addresses the transformation of slavery through Christ, urging Philemon to receive his runaway slave as a brother in Christ. These letters illustrate the transforming power of the Gospel and its significance in various aspects of believers’ lives.
8. 1–2 Thessalonians: The Lord’s Return; 1–2 Timothy, Titus: Leadership
This session covers four letters written by the Apostle Paul: 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, and Titus. These letters address various challenges faced by early churches and provide instructions for strengthening and guiding them. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul offers comfort and assurance regarding the Lord’s return and encourages steadfastness in the face of persecution. 2 Thessalonians corrects misunderstandings about the timing of the Lord’s return and emphasizes God’s justice and salvation for believers. In 1 Timothy, Paul instructs Timothy on sound doctrine, appointing elders, and caring for the Church. Titus receives similar instructions to strengthen the churches in Crete. Lastly, 2 Timothy serves as Paul’s final words to Timothy, urging him to be faithful in preaching and ministry.
9. Hebrews through Jude: General Letters to Believers
This section of the New Testament, known as the “General Epistles,” addresses challenges faced by early Christian communities as the Gospel spread throughout the Roman Empire. The letters tackle issues such as persecution, false teaching, and the importance of faith and good works. The book of Hebrews emphasizes Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Covenant, while James encourages believers to live out their faith through deeds. Peter’s letters deal with suffering for righteousness, growth in grace, and false teachers. John’s letters focus on the assurance of eternal life and discerning truth from deception. Jude urges believers to contend for the faith against ungodly influences seeking division within the Church.
10. Revelation: The Consummation of All Things
The book of Revelation is a unique and powerful revelation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It unveils Christ as the Lord of the Church, Lord of History, Lord of Lords, and Lord God Almighty. Throughout the book, John receives divine visions, revealing the unfolding of events in heaven and on earth. The book showcases God’s righteous judgments and His triumph over evil, leading to the establishment of the New Jerusalem, where God dwells with His people in perfect harmony. The book concludes with an invitation to all to come and partake in the water of life freely, eagerly anticipating the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
New Testament Survey
Dr. Berin Gilfillan sits down with Brad Andrews to cover this course covering the New Testament.
About the Instructor
Dr. John Amstsutz
Dr. John L. Amstutz is a pastor, missionary, author, and professor. He serves as a missions consultant, serving on the Missions Committee for Foursquare Missions. He founded Central Valley School of Ministry in Central California, where he also serves as an instructor. He is the author of such books as Disciples of a Nation, Making and Multiplying Disciples, and Discipling and Multiplying Leaders.