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What Is the Story and Meaning of the New Testament?

The New Testament is all about Jesus, but at the same time it’s all about you and me. It’s the most magnificent love story of all time. This love story is both deep and wide. Deep with love and wide through promise.

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Published May 21, 2020
What Is the Story and Meaning of the New Testament?

According to Guinness World Records, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. What makes it so popular? It’s more than just a book divided into two parts called testaments.

The Bible is full of captivating stories with deep meaning for our lives. There’s the Old Testament and the New Testament. Both have their value and place in history but here we’ll focus on the New Testament.

What is the story and meaning of this thing called the New Testament?

The Basics

The New Testament begins with four books known as the gospels. These four books focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Three of the four are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels. This is because they’re similar, or parallel, to one another and provide a comprehensive synopsis of Jesus’ life and ministry.

The Gospel of John is written in a unique way and contains many different stories than the other three. The remaining books reveal events following Jesus’ resurrection and return to heaven.

Basic details sound bland until we get into the meaning of the New Testament.

The Story

The New Testament is all about Jesus, but at the same time it’s all about you and me. It’s the most magnificent love story of all time.

This love story is both deep and wide. Deep with love and wide through promise. God, or the LORD, created humanity in his own image and when sin entered the world it broke his heart. Because of his great love, he promised to send a savior, one he called Immanuel (God with us).

To do this cost God deeply, but his love is deeper still. He sent his son Jesus to become human, bear all the judgment humanity deserved, and reveal a great mystery.

Revealing the Plan

How God would redeem humanity was skillfully planned from the foundations of the earth (Revelation 13:8). Little by little he revealed key parts through his prophets in the Old Testament.

In Isaiah, it states that he would be born of a virgin and be God with us:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). 

In Micah, it states that he would be born in Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times (Micah 5:2).

In Ezekiel 34, it states that he would be the Good Shepherd and God with us:

For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them…

I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…

I will place over them one shepherd… 

I will make a covenant of peace with them…

They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them…

Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them…”

In Zechariah, it states that he would be pierced and release a spirit of grace:

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zechariah 12:10).

There are many more prophecies God gave through his prophets and Jesus fulfilled every single one of them.

A Mystery Revealed

There are many mysteries in the Bible to uncover. One such mystery is how wide and complete the salvation Jesus secured for whosoever wills to be saved (John 3:16).

The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26-27).

No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

This mystery is established in the unbreakable New Testament.

Not Just a Title

The term New Testament isn’t just a title for a portion of the Bible. The words “new,” and “testament,” both have distinct meanings and applications.

Many have looked at the term “testament” and thought of it as a last will. And to a certain extent this is true. However, a more appropriate word is “covenant;” both in translation and application.

The New Testament is the new covenant that God himself cut for humanity. This new covenant replaces (or supersedes) the old one. Where the old one was based on the law and works (our following of rules etc.), the new one is based on God’s works alone (a gratuitous contract).

Jesus decreed it.

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).

This new covenant changes everything for us.

The Mystery of Grace

God took all the risk and offers us grace and a gift.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17).

The gift here reveals God’s gratuitous contract.

The term is “gratuitous contract.” It is a legal term for a binding contract that is made for the sole benefit of the person on the receiving end. The person making it does so without any promised benefit or advantage to them. It is a gift…We have been offered righteousness as a gift, a gratuity, a gratuitous contract.

This gift is secured solely in Christ.

For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant (Hebrews 7:17-22).

With all God did for us we have but one thing to do — choose.

©iStock/Getty Images Plus/pamela_d_mcadams


Danielle Bernock is an international, award-winning author, coach, and speaker who helps people embrace their value and heal their souls through the power of the love of God. She’s written Emerging With Wings, A Bird Named PaynLove’s ManifestoBecause You Matter, and hosts the Victorious Souls Podcast. A long-time follower of Christ, Danielle lives with her husband in Michigan near her adult children and grandchildren. For more information or to connect with Danielle https://www.daniellebernock.com/

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