September 22, 2021
Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians,
Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
Hooray for the Gospel! (Romans)
-Paul’s beginning declaration: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (1:16)
-1:19-20 points out that God had revealed Himself to all men before Jesus came through His creation.
-Instead of accepting the truth of Who God is, men:
- Exchanged God’s glory for images of men and animals (1:23)
- Exchanged the truth of God for a lie and served created things rather than the Creator (1:25)
- Exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural relations (1:26-27)
- Became filled with unrighteousness (1:29)
Our Need & God’s Answer:
- We all need to be made right with God because we have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). Sin separates us from God.
- We have been justified through faith (5:1). We have peace with God through Jesus Christ (5:1).
- God’s gift is eternal life (6:23). That gift cannot be earned. It is free. God gives it to us. Death is earned, but life is a free gift.
-Paul points out one important duty that every Christian has—to edify, or build up, other Christians. (13:8; 15:1-2)
Unity in the Body (1 Corinthians)
Paul wrote to the Corinthians for several reasons:
-1:11–13: There were divisions in the church.
-2:1–5; 15:1: He wanted to remind them of his preaching.
-3:1–3: They were acting worldly and fleshly (carnally)
-4:18–19: They were arrogant & did not behave like Paul was coming back.
-5:1–2: They allowed an immoral relationship between church members.
-7:1; 8:1; 12:1: He wanted to answer questions in their letter to him.
-11:21–22: They misused and abused the Lord’s supper.
*Paul’s unity-building ingredients:
- 3:1–9: Follow Christ, not men.
- 5:1–5, 11–13: Do not associate with immoral people; do not allow them to remain in church.
- 8:9–13: Help the weaker brother.
- 10:31–33: Work on pleasing others.
- 12:4–6, 12–13: Use your gifts to work together.
- 12:14–21, 25–26: Have mutual concern for each other.
- 13:4–7: Love each other.
- 14:29–33, 40: Be orderly in worship.
Ministry Life (2 Corinthians)
- Prayer for ministers (1:11)
- Joy based on unseen future instead of present circumstances (4:16-18)
- Being used as a minister of God’s reconciliation (5:11, 18-20)
- Principles for giving for ministry purposes (8:2, 7, 9, 13-15; 9:7, 11-13)
Stick with the Gospel (Galatians)
-Paul addresses a people who were turning to a different gospel because of the influence of false teachers (1:6-7).
-He affirms that salvation is through faith in Christ alone (2:16, 3:13, 26-27).
-9 evidences of the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer’s life (5:22-23):
A New Identity (Ephesians)
-Paul tells the Ephesians that Jesus Christ makes a big difference in our lives.
- being apart from God and full of sin is like being dead (2:1).
- being forgiven by Christ is like being raised from death to life (2:5-6)
- our status changes from “alien” to “citizen” of God’s kingdom (2:11-13)
-Light/darkness contrast: As Christians, we were once in darkness, but now we are light in the Lord and should live as children of light (5:8).
-Inventory of the “Armor of God:” belt buckle of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes fit for walking forward with the Gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit (6:14-17)
Unshakeable Joy (Philippians)
-Although Paul wrote this letter from prison, he referred to his joy despite his circumstances—Being a servant of Jesus brings joy to our lives no matter where we are or what bad things happen to us. Unlike mere happiness, true joy doesn’t decline with deteriorating or trying circumstances.
- 1:4: Paul always prays with joy.
- 1:18: Paul rejoiced because Christ is preached.
- 2:2: The Philippians could make Paul’s joy complete by having the same mind, same love, and being of one accord in one mind.
- 3:1: Rejoice in the Lord.
- 4:4: Paul repeated the command to rejoice in the Lord.
- 4:10: Paul rejoiced in the Lord greatly that the Philippian believers’ care for him had flourished.
-Another theme Paul conveys to the Philippians is that of the humility of Christ and our privilege to imitate it. (2:1-11)
Congratulations & Encouragement (Colossians)
-First, Paul congratulates the believers at Colossae:
- On their faith, love, and hope (1:3-5)
- For receiving the Gospel (1:6)
- On their inheritance (1:12)
- On their rescue from darkness (1:13)
-Paul also encourages believers to keep serving God with a view of eternity:
- 3:1: seek eternal things
- 3:2: fix our desires on things above
- 3:5: put to death our sinful desires
- 3:12: put on the good things from above
- 3:17: do everything in the name of Christ, giving thanks to God
Keep it Up! He’s Coming! (1 & 2 Thessalonians)
-Paul commends the believers at Thessalonica for joyfully receiving God’s Word and for setting the right kind of example to other believers (1:6-8)
-These letters also address truth regarding the second coming of Christ.
-Hints for everyday Christian living:
- 1 Thes. 5:12: Respect those who work hard and are over you in the Lord
- 5:13b: Be at peace with others
- 5:14: Warn the unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, and be patient with all
- 5:15: Don’t pay back evil for evil
- 5:16: Rejoice always
- 5:17: Pray without ceasing
- 5:18: Give thanks in all things
- 2 Thes. 2:15: Stand firm in God’s truth
- 3:6-10: work and don’t be idle
Take the Lead (1 & 2 Timothy)
-Paul wrote to a young pastor, Timothy, to encourage him in his leadership and to give biblical parameters of God’s design for church leadership.
In addition to listing out God’s requirements for the lives of pastors (1 Tim. 3:2-7) and deacons (3:8-12), Paul gave the following advice:
- 1 Tim 4:12: Be an example
- 4:13: devote yourself to reading, preaching, and teaching
- 4:14: Use your spiritual gifts to help others
- 2 Tim. 1:13: Hold fast to sound teaching
- 3:16: Use God’s inspired Word to teach, reprove, correct, and instruct
Stand for the Truth (Titus)
-With a more confrontational tone, Paul wrote this letter to Titus to help him set up biblical structure in the churches at Crete—a place known for lying, evil, and laziness.
• 1:5: Reminded him of his job and gave direction on how to carry it out.
• 1:10–16: Warned him about rebellious people and instructed him how to deal with them.
• 2:1, 15: Urged him to teach sound doctrine with authority.
• 3:1–2: Instructed him to remind the Cretans to be subject to the government and to live in peace with all men.
Repentance, Forgiveness, & Restoration (Philemon)
-Paul writes to Philemon (a slave-owner) to receive and restore Onesimus (his former slave) who had received Christ’s forgiveness.
-A primary application of this letter is to be willing to forgive others when they wrong us.
*Study from Route 66: Travel Through the Bible by Mark Reed, Positive Action for Christ, Inc.