By Wayne Moore
The Holy Spirit revealed the New Testament. The night that Jesus was betrayed, denied, and forsaken, he promised his apostles that they would be guided into “all truth.” He said, “But the Comforter), Which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto” (Jn. 14:2). “Howbeit, when He the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall he speak: and He will show you things to come” (Jn. 16:13).
Paul said that he and those with him spoke words that the Holy Ghost taught: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:13). He further spoke of that revelation in Ephesians 3:3-5: “How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”
When John wrote Revelation, he explained that the Spirit spoke through the word. Seven times he said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22).
The New Testament teaches one how to receive forgiveness of sins – redemption, righteousness. The night that Jesus was betrayed, he said that the Spirit was to reprove the world of sin: “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Jn. 16:7-8). The New Testament shows how the Spirit did this.
After Jesus’ resurrection, he told the apostles that “repentance and remission of sins, should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Lk.24:47). To them he said, “For John truly baptized with water; but we shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). In Acts 2:4, “. . . they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” That day in Acts 2 the Holy Spirit reprove, convicted and convinced people of their sins. In Acts 2:14-36 is recorded the sermon Peter preached. Peter, speaking by the Spirit, preached that Jesus was approved of God, was delivered by God’s counsel and foreknowledge, was crucified, was raised from the dead, was exalted to the right hand of God, sat on the throne of David, received the promise of the Father, shed forth what they were seeing and hearing that day, and was made both Lord and Christ. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'” (Acts 2:37) “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost'” (Acts 2:38).
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” “And the Lord added unto the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Today when one today believes this message, repents, and is baptized, he receives forgiveness of sins.
The New Testament tells why it was written. In that first century nineteen hundred years ago, the writers told why they wrote. John said, “. . . these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (Jn. 20:30-3 1). One becomes a believer in Jesus by reading what is written.
I Luke, in speaking of those things which were believed among them, wrote to Theophilus that he “might know the certainty of those things” wherein he had-been instructed (Lk. 1:1-4). The word was first preached orally; then it was later written. Today we have what was written in that first century. As Theophilus could know, we can know if we read what the Spirit revealed. In Acts 1:1 the writer (Luke) said, “The former treatise have I made, 0 Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach until the day in which He was taken up.” We today can learn what Jesus did and taught by reading the hew Testament.
Jude tells the sanctified, preserved, called, beloved to “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The faith – the gospel – was once delivered unto the saints. It was once for all time delivered to the saints, not to a hierarchy.
Paul said, “. . . the things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor 14:37). “He made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:3-4). Understanding comes by reading what the Spirit revealed. Furthermore, Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). There is no unprofitable Scripture. The Scriptures show us the teaching we need, reprove us of our guilt, correct our errors, instruct us how to live, and complete us unto all good works.
John said, “And these things write we unto you that your joy’may be full” (Jn. 1:4). Also he said, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not” (1 Jn. 2:1). Peter wrote so that “ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance” (2 Pet. 1:15). Furthermore, he said, “. . . I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand” (1 Pet. 5:12).
Through knowing the New Testament we can become believers in Christ Jesus, know the certainty of truth, become acquainted with what Jesus did and taught, learn how to contend for the faith see the commandments of God, understand Paul’s knowledge, be furnished unto all good works, be filled with joy, learn not to sin, be put in remembrance of the grace of God.
The New Testament that the Holy Spirit revealed is final, complete, all-sufficient. Jude said, “Contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The faith is the organized body of truth. The faith, the gospel, was once for all delivered to the saints. It was not discovered; it was delivered. It was delivered to the saints, not to a hierarchy. Peter said, “According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. . . ” (2 Pet. 1:34). All that pertains to life and godliness! Partakers of the divine nature! Who could want more!
The word of God, the New Testament, is called “grace.” “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Tit. 2:11-12). Peter said, “I have written briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand” (1 Pet. 5:12). The grace has been preached, has been delivered, has been written, has brought salvation. What else is needed!
The word produces faith: “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). The word cleanses: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (Jn. 15:3). The word sanctifies: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). The word reconciles: “God . . . hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19).
The word saves. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15-16). Peter was to tell Cornelius “words whereby he and his household could be saved” (Acts 11:14). Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16). “. . . it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor 1:21). The Ephesians had “heard the word of truth”; it was the gospel of their salvation (Eph. 1:13). James said, ” . . .receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (Jas. 1:21). The word is able to save because it teaches of Jesus’ death for our sins, his burial, his resurrection, and his being seen (1 Cor. 15:1-5).
The word is the instrument that the Holy Spirit revealed through which one is born again: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Pet. 1:22-23). Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. . . Ye must be born again” (Jn. 3:3,5,7).
The word is able to build one up and to give him an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Acts 20:32). God has summed up all things in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:10). That includes revelation, Scripture, the word of God the New Testament. There is no Scripture past the first century. No one has added one truth to God’s word since then. One was complete in Christ then (Col. 2:10). One is complete now.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 8, pp. 226, 247-248
April 18, 1991