Jesus Christ Teachings
It is both unique and beautiful that Jesus’s teachings were basically centered around His own person and His own words.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye
continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
For the sake of newer believers, and as a refresher to the older ones, it is good to give a brief overview of the structure of the Bible. The Bible is broken down into two main parts, the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament tells of God’s dealings with His chosen people Israel. It is packed full of prophetic promises of God eventually making a new covenant which will include the Gentiles as well as Jews. When Jesus came and died for the sins of the world, He cut a new covenant, which is where the New Testament begins.
The New Testament begins with the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The four gospels tell the life story and teachings of Jesus during His earthly ministry, documented by four different men. These teachings, which are the words that came from Jesus’ mouth, are the foundation for the rest of the New Testament. The fifth book is Acts, which is the chronicle of how the early church was founded and spread throughout the region and eventually the Earth.
The rest of the New Testament writings are called epistles. These are letters written from church leaders to the churches spread abroad. Jesus Himself does not teach again until the book of Revelation. Amazingly, all of the epistles build perfectly on all of Jesus’ teachings and never contradict them, even though the apostles who wrote them did not have a Bible to read. This is proof of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on these men. They were founded on Christ’s teaching, therefore, they taught things which always coincided with the words of Jesus and thus added greater dimension to His words. Their words were never intended to replace or diminish Jesus’ words in any way, but were to magnify and intensify them. Once a person really knows Jesus’ teachings, they will be amazed how reading the epistles of Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude will continuously bring Jesus’ words back to memory.
We must always remember that Jesus Christ is preeminent. As Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” So I want to point out the difference between the words of Christ and all of the other words in the Bible. All Scripture is profitable and all Scripture is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim 3:16). But the words in red, the words of Christ, are preeminent, which means they come before. Jesus’ teachings are to be first. Paul’s teachings build on Christ, as do those of Peter, John, James, and Jude. Jesus did not build on the book of Romans. Instead, Romans builds on Christ. This does not make Paul or the other New Testament writers less inspired or less important; it means they come after and build on Jesus. The reason this matters is that many people start off by randomly reading wherever they open to in the Bible and read a little here and a little there, trying to make sense out of it all without having a fuller grasp on the outline and progression of the New Testament writings.
This may become an open door to deception at worst and incomplete understanding at least. Every new believer should shut themselves up in a room with a Bible and learn every word Jesus spoke before doing anything else with his spiritual life. A real “Christian” is one who has committed to fashioning his life after Jesus. If he is sincere in his commitment, then Jesus’ words and life just became the foremost concern and element of life itself. Once they have learned Christ, they will have laid the right foundation and built a firm, solid Christian life that will not fail. Now they can add the rest of the New Testament to build on Christ, and all the doctrines fall right into place. To simply flip aimlessly through the Bible without direction, or to not make study a serious matter, is a recipe for certain failure.
Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom”
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. —John 15:7
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. —John 8:31-32
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our
abode with him. —John 14:23