While I was teaching in Myanmar/Burma in March 2019, some of my long-term, advanced students suggested that I go through the New Testament and provide basic notes, which they could then be able print as a study Bible. They specifically asked that I focus on issues that are a major area of confusion in the churches where they work. Therefore, the following commentary will focus on these five primary areas:
- What is the nature of God’s grace and how is it received?
- What is God’s plan of salvation and the clear message of the Gospel?
- What is the Bible’s teaching on the security and assurance of the believer?
- How is the believer to live the Christian life and be effective in witness/service?
- What does prophecy say about the last days and the order of end-times events?
These notes are purposely brief in nature. This work is not intended to be a complete commentary. All through the work I have kept in mind those who live in remote areas of our world, who labor to both understand and to teach others the Word of God. They do not have access to Bible school or seminary training. Neither are they able to afford the vast array of books available to pastors and teachers who live in more advanced countries.
I encourage all who utilize these notes to study them with an open Bible. Pray for the illumination of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:15–23; 3:14–21) as you study. Read the context of the passage carefully. Look up and compare the references that are provided. Above all, let the Word of God, and not these notes, guide your insight into God’s Word. As I always tell my students: “Never take my word for anything; search the Scriptures and prove what is true” (Acts 17:10–12; 1 John 4:1).
Stay tuned for the next book of the New Testament!
If you do not see the document below, click on the title to see it on the website.
It is important for us to understand that the authors of each of the Gospels had a particular audience in mind when they wrote. They therefore presented Jesus in a specific way that would appeal to that audience. Matthew wrote to a predominantly Jewish readership. He presents Jesus as the promised Messiah/King in the lineage of Abraham and David. Luke is focused more on the Greek-speaking world, specifically addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:1–4), and Jesus is presented as the Savior of all mankind, both Jew and Gentile. John has a wider focus than the rest of the Gospels, as he writes to the whole world, presenting Jesus as both Creator (John 1:1–4) and Savior (John 3:16–19).
The Gospel of Mark was apparently written by John Mark (Acts 13:5, 13; 1 Pet. 5:13), from the recollections of Peter. In this sense, it could be referred to as the “Gospel according to Peter, as recorded by Mark.” He writes with the Roman audience in mind. As a result, Jesus is presented as a man of power and action. He emphasizes the mighty deeds of Jesus—demonstrating His power over disease, demons, and death.