Matthew 1-3

"But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus,

for He will save His people from their sins.'"                                            Matthew 1:20-21, RSV

 As you embark on this noble task of studying through the New Testament in 90 days, let me encourage you to never lose sight of the reason for your study: The salvation of your eternal soul! And that salvation, we are told at the outset of the New Testament, will come through Jesus!

I started my study notebook today with seven categories. They are:

1.       Salvation - All verses pertaining to the words, save, saved, salvation, saves, etc...

2.       Grace - All verses pertaining to the grace given by God and Christ

3.       Faith - All verses pertaining to the faith that we are to have in order to be pleasing to God.

4.       In Christ/Through Christ/Into Christ - All verses describing the blessings that we have "in Christ", "through Christ", and that tell us how to get "into Christ".

5.       Love - All verses pertaining to this excellent virtue of God and men.

6.       Obedience - All verses containing specific commands telling us what to obey, how to obey, and why we are to obey.

7.       Other significant verses.

What will your list of things to study include? Since the study is yours, let me encourage you to customize your study (though we must never, never customize God's commands) to the areas that most interest you. You probably have never done anything like this before, so this is a very big deal. Let God's words guide you in the truth.

We all have a tendency to accept only the verses that support our already held beliefs, so let me caution you against that fatal error. We are trying to find out what God says and what He requires. We very much want to be with God and Christ for all eternity, so as you go through this study do your best to rid yourself of any preconceived notions you may have and let God's word lead you to an understanding of His will.

Please understand this truth: Eternal life is not only possible, it is guaranteed for every person who is willing to follow God's set purpose.

Enter your study prayerfully, asking your loving Father to guide you in His paths. He wants you to be saved, so be attentive to His warnings, His guidance, and His commands. As I have already mentioned, this study is yours - but please consider at least the categories pertaining to "salvation" and the blessings that are "In Christ". The truths these passages contain have the power to change your life and, very likely, your eternity! 

That's it! Are you ready for one of the most important undertakings that you will ever be involved with? Then, may God bless you richly!

 

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."     Colossians 3:17, RSV