The First Epistle of Paul to Timothy
Part of the Pastoral Epistles, First Timothy was written by Paul between 58 – 65 AD, probably after Paul left Ephesus to Macedonia. Paul opens his letter like all others with thanksgiving and blessing, this time to Timothy (“honoring God”). But straight away Paul gives his first instructions against Gnosticism. It is believed by some scholars that this was the Encratites, who were a sect of off shoot Christians founded by Tatian who forbade marriage and abstained from eating meat. Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, “having knowledge”) originated from Judaism consisting of various systems and ideas about the Divine spark within that is trapped and can be released by the Torah and the Bible. Gnosticism goes against the teachings of the Bible and Christ, as salvation and knowledge comes only from Christ! Paul continues with instructions on social relationships and church offices. Paul warns the church of a coming Apostasy in the Church where people will be deceived and led astray!
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
The Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians
The Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians is believed to have been written by Paul about 53 BC after the First Epistle. Paul addresses the church with salutations from him, Silvanus and Timothy and blesses them all. Straight away Paul goes directly into the message he wishes to praise them for their faithfulness to God in hardship and trials, that their story was declared to the other churches! He furthermore declares that their hardships and tribulations are proof of God’s power and that in the coming Judgement these persecutors will be repaid for their evil, God will take his vengeance! God calls us “to be worthy of His high calling” in power and faith to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! But before Christ’s Second Coming and the Judgement, will be come a time of apostasy in the Church! Apostasy (/ ɒpəstəsi /; Greek: ἀποστασία, “a defection or revolt”) is the formal disaffiliation from, or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
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Books: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Women in the New Testament,
Articles: Who is Paul’s “Man of Sin,” Christian Courier , So What About the Pope?
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Boasts of the Roman Church About Sunday
First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians
After Timothy came back from Thessaloniki with a report on the state of the church there, Paul writes his first epistle to them from Athens, about 52 AD. Paul commends them on their faith and zeal for the Lord, for their testimonies have spread far and wide that so many others have heard them. He asks them to remember what they preached about Christ and to walk worthy of God’s calling. The church of Thessaloniki heard the gospel and accepted it, but as a consequence they were persecuted for their faith like all the other churches, by Romans and Judeans who persecuted Christ and the prophets before them, but God has brought his justice upon them! Paul sent Timothy from Athens to minister to the church and strengthen their faith. Furthermore, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy prayed for the church fervently for the Lord to strengthen them. However, the church had a misconception about Christ’s Second Coming. When Christ comes again He will not touch the Earth (Matthew 24) but will be in clouds of glory and those who are dead will be brought to life again and join the righteous living in the air and taken to heaven, just as when Christ first ascended to heaven after His resurrection.
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians
In the book of Colossians Paul writes from Rome to the church of Colossae and the church of Laodicea concerning their well being and spiritual growth. Paul proclaims the supremacy of Christ our Redeemer, stating that He is God, the Creator and Supreme Being of the Universe! Paul reminded them that the Holy Spirit rests upon His believers the, indwelling of the Spirit! We are to live rightly reconciled to Christ, walking in His ways doing what it good, right, and holy. Not listening to philosophy and walking in the traditions of men, but in the Spirit of Christ. Then Paul teaches new doctrines on Christian living within the church, the family unite and our associations with nonbelievers. We are to become a new person in Christ!
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians
The book of Philippians is another book written by Paul, this time to the church of Philippi around 49- 51 BC. The church of Philippi is the first Christian church and community to be founded in Europe in Greece. This church had accepted Christianity whole heartedly and lovingly gave tithes offerings to Paul to assist him in his ministry. In this book we see an emphasis on sola Christos, Christ only. Paul reminds them of Christ and his salvation for all of us! At this time Paul is imprisoned in Rome and has put his life in God’s hands and so he wished to strengthen their faith. He instructed them to be light bearers, to live as citizens of Heaven to walk uprightly and hate what is evil. Paul emphases that our goal is sanctification through Christ Jesus!
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
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Web: Bible Places: Philippi
Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians
The book of Ephesians is another epistle written by Paul to the church of Ephesus. It is believed that Paul wrote this letter while in Rome, around 62 AD. We see that Paul reminds the church of Ephesus of the redemption of Christ through grace, and grace through faith. He reminds them that salvation comes through Christ alone, sola Christos. He makes clear t0 the church their mission to carry the gospel in the love (agape) of Christ, that we should love one another in Christ. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, the wall (sin) that separated us from God, was broken down. Christ is the chief cornerstone of the church with the prophets and apostles and all members forming it’s foundation! To each Christian he has given spiritual gifts to spread the gospel! We should be imitators of God, walking in the ways of Christ, loving genuinely as Christ did. Walk in the light, be children of the light! Finally, put on the whole armor of God: the helmut of Salvation, the breastplate of Righteousness, the belt of Truth, the shoes of the Gospel, the shield of Faith and the sword of the Spirit.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
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The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians
The book of Galatians is the ninth book of the New Testament and was written by Paul to the Christian community in Galatia around 50-60 AD.Galatia is an area in the highlands of northern Turkey and named after the Gauls from Thrace who settled there in the 3rd century BC. Paul greets the church with grace and peace upon them in the name of Jesus Christ and the Father. The problem of the Galatian church seems to be it’s waywardness from gospel of Christ, listening to others or mixing paganism with Christianity. Beside the straying from the original gospel and teachings of Christ, was the questioning of the Mosaic and Ceremonial Law and whether the Gentile believers should keep them as the Jews. Since Christ is the Messiah who died on the cross as the “sacrificial lamb,” the Sanctuary Service was accomplished and ended. Therefore salvation was available to both Jew and Gentile, and a Gentile didn’t need to be circumcised in order to be a Christian. The Mosaic and Ceremonial laws such as the Sabbath, clean and unclean animals, hygiene, personal property, personal rights, provisions for the poor, tithes and offerings, etc. remained. Why? Well why would God have to change his ways?
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”