The New Testament Archive

The Inevitable Descent of the Early Christian Church

The Inevitable Descent of the Early Christian Church

People who profess to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and adhere to the teachings found in His Word are far more blessed today than members of the early Christian Church in that they are able to possess a copy of the scriptures for themselves. They do not have to rely on an ecclesiastical leader to reveal to them the treasures found in the Word of God which can easily be left to the misguided personal interpretations rendered by said leaders. Also, they do not have to wait to attend a church service to have the scriptures read to them, but they are able to read and study the scriptures for themselves. Furthermore, those who wish to study the scriptures, unlike those in the early Christian Church who were only exposed to certain portions of the scriptures, now have a more complete canon. Many homes have more than one copy of the Bible, and in some cases, different versions and/or translations of the Bible can also be found. And with the rapid increase in technological advances, a person... Read the rest of this entry »

Teaching Our Children About Jesus Christ

Teaching Our Children About Jesus Christ

Many religions today are struggling to keep their children in their faith. Young people are becoming increasingly secular. Parents have to compete with school, friends, the media, and the world in general for belief systems. However, religious education should always begin in the home. The parents have the greatest opportunity to reach their children because they can teach the gospel every day in an unchanging pattern of faith. Nothing can guarantee a child won’t stray, but parents must do all they can to prevent it and they have the primary responsibility for this, not the churches. From the time a child is very small, Jesus Christ should be a major part of a child’s life. Pictures of Jesus should be part of the décor of a child’s bedroom and should also adorn the home. Many families collect nativity scenes and there is no reason these sets should be packed away most of the year. Consider displaying a few of your favorites all year long. This tells your children Jesus Christ is... Read the rest of this entry »

The Vision of Stephen: Lessons About God

The Vision of Stephen: Lessons About God

After Jesus’ death, the apostles chose seven men to assist them in the work of running the church and teaching the gospel. One of these seven was Stephen, a man with a strong reputation for loving and following God. He, with the others, were set apart to their new role through the laying on of hands, which means the apostles placed their hands on Stephen’s head, gave him a blessing from God, and conveyed the authority from God to do his work. Stephen quickly encountered difficulties. He was falsely accused of blasphemy and brought before a council. They may have been surprised, as they leveled their accusations, to see that Stephen was transfigured. He had the face of an angel. They had no intention of finding Stephen innocent of the trumped up charges. However, Stephen maintained his courage and preached to them concerning the blessings God had given the people and the sins of his accusers. The listeners were angry but Stephen was accompanied by the Holy Ghost. He said: 55 But he,... Read the rest of this entry »

Peter and Cornelius: the Need for Continuing Revelation

Peter and Cornelius: the Need for Continuing Revelation

The New Testament tells the story of a man named Cornelius. He was neither Christian nor Jewish, but was a Gentile. Despite this, everyone was very fond of him. He was honest and caring, giving a great deal in both time and goods to the poor. Much to his surprise, an angel appeared to him one day. The angel said that God was pleased with Cornelius’ goodness and that He wanted Cornelius to hear a message from a man named Peter. Peter had been Jesus’ apostle and now headed the church. Cornelius promptly responded to this request by sending three men to speak to Peter. While this was happening, God began to prepare Peter. Peter was a prophet and received revelation in a somewhat unusual way. He was staying in a crowded and busy home and so he had gone onto a rooftop in order to be alone and to pray. While he prayed, he received a vision in which he was given a tray of food. This vision occurred just before dinner and Peter was hungry. However, the tray contained a variety of meats, some... Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Jesus Christ Called the Son of Man?

Why is Jesus Christ Called the Son of Man?

Why is Jesus Christ called the Son of Man?  While others in the Scriptures (particularly the Old Testament) who are called “son[s] of man” (Jeremiah 49:18, Ezekiel 4:16, Psalms 8:4), the word “son” is uncapitalized.  Elder James E. Talmage, a Biblical scholar, sheds light on the answer in his renown work, Jesus the Christ.  He says, “In applying the designation to Himself, the Lord invariably uses the definite article. ‘The Son of Man’ was and is, specifically and exclusively, Jesus Christ. While as a matter of solemn certainty He was the only male human being from Adam down who was not the son of a mortal man, He used the title in a way to conclusively demonstrate that it was peculiarly and solely His own. It is plainly evident that the expression is fraught with a meaning beyond that conveyed by the words in common usage. The distinguishing appellation has been construed by many to indicate our Lord’s humble station as a mortal, and to connote that He stood... Read the rest of this entry »

Why is Jesus Christ Called the Light of the World?

Why is Jesus Christ Called the Light of the World?

Jesus went to the temple during the feast of the Tabernacles. The temple was lit by four very large candelabra and their light could be seen for a great distance. Here, he rescued the woman about to be stoned for adultery and then  proclaimed to those who watched the event, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Darkness, in a spiritual sense, frequently refers to sin or to confusion about truth. Just as in life, the darkness can hide evil or distort what is real, in the spiritual world, it can distort truth and make it difficult to see or understand truth. However, God created both day and night, and He does not expect us to live our lives in darkness. He wants us to live out our lives in the light, and that light comes from the Savior. Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill prophecy and to fulfill a promise He made to us before we were born; He promised to come and redeem us from our sins. Prior to this,... Read the rest of this entry »

What Did Jesus Teach About Grace?

What Did Jesus Teach About Grace?

Jesus Christ did not actually use the word grace in His earthly ministry. Only two verses reference this word in the four gospels, and these were both spoken by others. Luke tells us the grace of God was on Jesus as a child. John taught: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17, King James Version of the Bible). Therefore, our understanding of the word grace comes from others. Let’s look at a few uses of the word grace in the Bible. Although these were spoken after the Savior’s death, they were spoken by His apostles. The first New Testament reference that gives real information about grace is found in Acts, chapter 15. Paul was listening to church members arguing over the issue of circumcision for gentiles. In the past, the gospel had not been taught to the gentiles, and so this was a fairly recent issue. Paul, deciding he’d heard enough or perhaps was tired of the debate, stood up and reminded them they had been instructed to teach the... Read the rest of this entry »

The Law of Sacrifice Part III – In Remembrance

The Law of Sacrifice Part III – In Remembrance

The evening before the Lamb of God was to be crucified for the sins of the world and hours before He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus was sitting with his Apostles in a “large upper room” (Mark 14:15). It was here that He first instituted the sacrament: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples,” (Matthew 26:26). Then He said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” 1 Corinthians 11:24). Then, “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25). Thus, the purpose of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is to look back and remember Jesus the Christ and what He has done for each of us. Everything points “to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice [is] the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal” (Alma 34:14).... Read the rest of this entry »

The Law of Sacrifice: Part II – A Great and Last Sacrifice

The Law of Sacrifice: Part II – A Great and Last Sacrifice

The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ “embraces, sustains, supports, and gives life to all other gospel doctrines.  It is the foundation upon which all truth rests and all things grow out of it and come because of it.”1 “The wondrous and glorious Atonement was the central act in all of human history.”2 Because of these statements, all things also point to Christ and His atonement.  Those who lived before Christ looked forward to Him and His infinite and eternal sacrifice.  Those who live after Christ look back to this greatest of all events and “remember what was done.”3 There were many different ways in which the blood sacrifices before Christ were types and shadows of the great and last sacrifice.  Note a few of the details: First, like Christ, the [sacrificial] animal was chosen and anointed by the laying on of hands. (The Hebrew title Messiah and the Greek title Christ both mean “the Anointed One.”) Second, the animal was to have its life’s blood spilt. Third,... Read the rest of this entry »

Who/What is God?

Who/What is God?

Before I say anything else, I want to make it clear that the real answer to this question is beyond the scope of this article; indeed, it is beyond the scope of mortality and all things temporal: for “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Furthermore, “it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned [all the principles of exaltation]. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:306-7). I am now able to attempt a basic answer to the above question. One of the most profound statements that will act as a beginning to our answer was made by the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said, “It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith. Salt... Read the rest of this entry »