When you read from a red-letter Bible, which has the words of Yahshua in red, taken collectively, it tells the path a new Christian should walk.
The first red entry, found in Matthew 3:15, is in reference to baptism, where Yahshua answers John’s reluctance to baptize the beloved Son of God. As a new Christian, you should make your public declaration to follow Yahshua, and be symbolically buried and resurrected into new life with him.
The next words in red are the words that Yahshua used to overcome the temptations of satan, which teach several lessons. One: Every temptation was overcome by quoting Scripture. A new Christian should become a diligent student of Scripture, and hide it in their hearts, so when they are tempted, they will have the Bread of Life to overcome the temptation and be victorious. Two: We know that Yahshua was without sin, so that would mean that being tempted, in and of itself, is not sin. Only when you give into the temptation do you commit a sin. Three: Yahshua was a scholar of the only Scripture that existed at the time of his life, that which is commonly called the Old Testament today. By his example, we see that he was validating the truth of those words even in the New Testament era. This shows us that all of God’s words remain powerful and valid throughout time. Four: satan is easily defeated. After only three tries, he left, seeing that he was not going to succeed. When satan is repeatedly tempting you, stand strong, and know that by showing him decisively that you will not back down, he will go away and find easier prey. Each time you successfully resist satan, you become stronger and better equipped to deal with him when he next tries to tempt you to sin.
Continuing to the next red letter entry, the message of Yahshua’ ministry is made clear: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. I recently did an entire article on repentance, which can be accessed at my website listed at the end of this column if you missed it. The main point is that repentance means to turn away from sin and to work on maintaining a sinless character as much as possible. It also showed that repentance is linked to irrevocable salvation.
The next red letter entry is where Yahshua is calling his disciples, telling them to follow him, and become fishers of men. If we consider ourselves disciples of Yahshua, we should follow his example, not merely asking “what would Yahshua do” but actually doing what Yahshua did and taught. We would also work to reach out to our fellow man and share with them the peace that passes all understanding when we join our life with Christ.
In Matthew Chapter 5, Yahshua launches into his first full sermon. He starts the Sermon on the Mount by telling us the characteristics that we need in order to see the Kingdom of God: We must 1) recognize our spiritual poverty and need of a Saviour, 2) experience the sorrow of repentance, 3) be humble and self-disciplined, 4) hunger and thirst after righteousness, 5) be merciful if we wish to receive mercy, 6) be pure and undefiled in our hearts, 7) shun conflict and facilitate peace among ourselves, and 8) we are to expect persecution from satan and ungodly people when we live up to the standards that God has set for us.
As you can see, just those first few red letter passages give us a roadmap to follow to eternity with our Saviour, that if we knew nothing more of His life and example or the rest of the Bible, we would be well on our way to life everlasting.