June 1, 1991 Issue
by James Orten

Matthew - Mark - Luke  -  John

These books are called to me "The First Four Gospels" because they each tell the story of the gospel. "Gospel" means "good news" and the news is of how Jesus, the Son of God, came to the earth to save man. These books are intended to build or strengthen faith in Jesus Christ. See John 20:30-31. Each writer, in his own inspired words, tells the facts of Jesus' life on earth and his preparations for his coming kingdom or church. Such matters as his birth, life, miracles, death on the cross, and resurrection are explained. in several places, Matt. chapters 5-7, for example, Jesus gives a preview of the doctrine his church will have when it is established on earth.

Acts of the Apostles

This book tells people what to do to be saved and describes the establishment of the Lord's church in which they are to live and worship. It does this great task by recording the "acts" or preaching of the inspired apostles as they told people about Jesus and explained his doctrine. There are several examples of people being saved. See chapters 8, 10, and 16. For the first sermon ever preached to tell people what to do to be saved, read Acts chapter 2. This chapter also notes the establishment of the church. See verse 47.

Romans - I Corinthians - II Corinthians -Galatians - Ephesians 
Philippians - Colossians - I Thessalonians - II Thessalonians  
I Timothy - Il Timothy - Titus - Philemon - Hebrews - James 
I Peter - 11 Peter - I, II, & III John - Jude

All of these books are letters from inspired apostles or inspired evangelists to churches or individual Christians. They were written to tell Christians how to live good lives in Christ and how to worship God in the church. In some cases, they were also written to solve specific problems that had come up in churches.

Although these inspired letters were written to specific churches or individuals, they were also intended for Christians of all times. See I Cor 1:1-2.

Letters to individual Christians are I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and II and III John. All others are to churches. These letters, or epistles as they are also called, give guidelines for daily living that will bless all who follow them. They discuss such matters as husbands and wives (Eph. 5), appropriate dress (1 Pet 3:14), and how one should relate to the government (Titus 3:1). They give blueprints for how the church is to be governed (I Tim. 3) and how it must conduct its public worship (for one example, see l Cor. 14).


This book is a prophecy about the church. It tells about the trials the church will face through the years, but also about its final triumph. See Revelation chapter 1, verses 10-11 and l8-19. It is written in symbolic language that will likely be difficult for new students. Its wisdom becomes more apparent as one studies it and grows spiritually.

Other OPA Article Links:

Bible - Study Of

James Orten   
1991    OPA Main Page    HOME 

Hit Counter