NEW OR OLD --- WHICH?
Recently, it came to my attention that some are saying that the four gospels are not a part of the New Testament; they are of the Old Testament. Are the sayings of Jesus for us today or not?
I have emphasized, maybe over-emphasized, the concept of considering the context: who, what, when, where and how. Let me say more. Just because a statement is made to one person or group of persons, doesn't mean that it cannot be applied to others under certain circumstances. But don't press the circumstances.
Some of the remarks in the four gospels were addressed to certain people: to Mary, Elizabeth, Lazarus, Judas the betrayer. When that is done, then it can only be applied to them. Sometimes groups of people are addressed; scribes and Pharisees, the multitude, the Sadducees. Some of what is said to these groups can be applied. Many times Jesus addressed his disciples, later called apostles. We must be extremely careful in applying what was said to them to also apply to us.
All of that having been said, what about our question: are the four gospels part of the New Testament? Yes! It is said that he "... went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom ..." (Matthew 4:23).The sermon on the mount is introduced with a beatitude concerning the kingdom. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).Then all of the various parables that are introduced with the statement, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto ..." Jesus is laying the foundation of the kingdom throughout the four gospels and giving the qualities by which he would be know as "the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Then the mission and charge of the apostles in Matthew 28:19 and the promise of John 14:26 ASV "But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you." And remember, the Book of Acts is just a continuation of the gospel according to Luke.
There are more, but these are enough to convince the believer that the four gospels are a part of the New Testament. So call it what you will, when properly applied, it has many lessons for us today. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope"(Romans 15:4).
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