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Don Stewart :: What Was Jesus' View of the New Testament?

Don Stewart

The divine authority of the Old Testament rests upon the words of Jesus.

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, he explained to them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. . . Now he said to them, "These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:27,44).

We now come to Christ's view with respect to the New Testament. The divine authority of the New Testament also rests upon the authority of Jesus.

We will discover that He pre-authenticated it ahead of time so that we can be assured that it too, is the Word of God.

1. Jesus Hand-Picked His Disciples

To begin with, Jesus selected and trained certain disciples that would be the authorized teachers of His New Covenant. He chose well the men who would be His disciples and who would pass on His teachings to us - particularly the men whom He chose to record the account of His life.

2. There Was An Old Testament Precedent

There was already the precedent of written Scripture (the Old Testament) that would have been available to the disciples. Since God had given a written account of His words and deeds before the time of Jesus, it makes perfect sense that He would continue with a written account of the One to whom the Old Testament looked forward.

3. Some Permanent Form Of Jesus' Words Was Expected

Since Jesus' words were considered by Him to be absolutely authoritative on whatever issue He spoke, there would have been the need to eventually see them in some permanent form.

Jesus also made some special promises to His disciples that deal directly with this issue of the authority of the New Testament.

4. There Was Unfinished Revelation

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus plainly said that further revelation was to come. He told His disciples that the revelation that He had given them was unfinished at the time of His death

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear (John 16:12).

Therefore the disciples could expect to receive further revelation.

5. The Holy Spirit Will Teach The Disciples All Things

John records Jesus saying.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you (John 14:26).

Jesus promised that after He left this world, the Holy Spirit would come in His place and teach His disciples. We note specifically the promise of Jesus with respect to what the Holy Spirit will do. He will teach them all things and bring back to their remembrance all things that Jesus said and did. What we have is a promise from Jesus, to His disciples, of a supernatural gift of total recall. Everything that Jesus said and did would be brought back to them in a miraculous way. Therefore, we can be assured that the final outcome of their teaching and eventual writing (the New Testament) would be correct in all that it said.

6. They Will Bear Witness Of Jesus

Jesus chose certain people to receive further revelation and to preach and teach His truth after He left this world.

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, he will testify of me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning (John 15:26,27).

In the Great Commission He commanded.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

When the Saul of Tarsus was converted to the Apostle Paul the Lord testified that He would be with Paul in a unique way.

But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for my name's sake." So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:15-17).

7. They Would Have The Same Authority As Jesus

Since Jesus knew beforehand that they would be writing Holy Scripture, He gave to the words of these disciples the same authority as His words.

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town (Matthew 10:14,15).

Accepting Jesus' disciples was the same as accepting Him.

I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me (John 13:20).

He also said.

He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me (Luke 10:16).

Jesus prayed to the Father about those who would believe through the message of the disciples.

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message (John 17:20).

They were to tell the entire world.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19,20).

In doing so they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

8. They Would Be Guided Into All Truth

There is another promise from Jesus that was given to His disciples.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative, but whatever he hears, He will speak; and he will disclose to you what is to come (John 16:13).

This has to do with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It will be into "all truth" that He will "guide" Jesus' disciples.

Summary

Jesus made the following promises to his disciples while he was still here on earth. Jesus is going to leave His disciples. He has much more to say to them but it will come at a later date. Although He is going away, He will not leave them without a Teacher or Helper. He will send them the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be sent by God the Father to remind them of all things that Jesus both said and did. This contains a promise of total recall of all the words and deeds of Jesus that they personally experienced. Both the Holy Spirit, and the disciples, will testify about Jesus. These specific disciples will testify about Jesus because they had been with Him from the beginning of His ministry. In addition, the Holy Spirit will guide these disciples into "all truth" when they preach the message about Jesus.

The words of these disciples will have the same authority of Jesus. This will continue when the preaching and teaching of the disciples is recorded in a more permanent form (the New Testament). In a sense, Jesus authenticated the New Testament ahead of time by the various promises that He gave His disciples. Therefore, we can have confidence in what the New Testament says. Our confidence is based upon the promises of Jesus.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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