Hebrews

Hebrews 1-6

God has used prophets and various ways (vision, dreams, even through the mouth of a donkey) to speak to people.  But now He speaks to us through Jesus.  Why does this book open with this?  False teachers during this time were preaching that we could only approach God through angels.

Then the author begins to quote from the Old Testament often.  One specific quote was from Psalm 102:

25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.

Greek Philosophers were teaching that the Earth was indestructible and permanent.  The Hebrew author says:

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

Oh, it will happen, my friends….in Revelation 21. 🌎


The last verse in chapter One should rock your world and fill your heart!!

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Is this where we get the lingo “Guardian Angel”?  I am so so so careful not to think of anything but the Trinity even though I obviously know there are angels.  However, as a Christian, angels: under God’s authority minister to us, serve us!  How amazing is that!!


So what do we know about them? (Other than my husband thinks I am one 😜👼🏼)

We know that angels are significant in God’s plan. Thirty-Four books in the Bible mention angels:

  • 17 in the New Testament
  • 17 in the Old Testament
  • Over 300 references to Angels in the entire Bible

The New Testament uses the Greek word “angelas”-meaning “one who is dispatched or a messenger”

Other terms they are called in the Bible:

  • Holy Ones (Psalm 89)
  • Watchers (Daniel 4)
  • Dominions, principalities, powers, and authorities (Paul’s Letters)
  • Cherubim (‘special agent’ angels) were guards in Eden and on the tabernacle,
  • Seraphim- musically talented
  • Living creatures (in Ezekiel and  Revelation)-they were the ones with the 4 faces
  • Ministering Spirits-Hebrews

Three are called by a name:

  1. Michael (Archangel, top-ranked)
  2. Gabriel (I call him the “Public Speaker”)
  3. Lucifer (his name before his fall)-means son of the morning, the light bearer, morning star,  or shining star.

We don’t know how many there are but they are referenced as a ‘multitude’ or ‘innumerable’ so I think A LOT!


Ok, off track…Back to Hebrews.

Chapter 2 continues to distinguishing Jesus from angels. The chapter includes Old Testament quotes in order to make these points. In addition, the writer of Hebrews warns against the dangers of ignoring the message of Christ and refers to the way Jesus became human in order to perfectly serve as our ultimate high priest. An angel could not experience true humanity—they cannot call us “brothers”. Christ became a man,  in order to completely destroy the Devil’s power of death and sin over us.


Now that he taught Jesus was superior to angels, the author needs to tackle another topic: Moses.  Moses was revered and honored among Jews (Hebrews).

Is there a scientific explanation behind Moses and the Burning Bush? | Office for Science and Society - McGill University

Moses' First Miracles – TravisAgnew.org

Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the moun… | Biblia imagen, Imágenes religiosas, Arte cristiano

 

Yes, Moses’ works were important but doesn’t compare to Jesus. Moses pointed to the great things that God would do, but Jesus actually did those great things.

Remember the audience of the book. The recipients of this book were NOT at Pentecost.  (maybe as very young children).  It was 35ish years ago.  They are just like the recipients of Deuteronomy, after the wandering in the desert, they did not have a 1st hand account, they had to TRUST the scriptures.  The Hebrews did not trust the Lord and 40 years of wandering was the consequence.  This author is warning the readers of the same possible outcome, figuratively.

The author is speaking to Christain Jews (already converted). This kind of doubt does not imply a loss of salvation. In the book of Exodus, “salvation” is represented by the Passover escape from Egypt. God did not send Israel back to the Egyptians when they doubted. Instead, He withheld from them the victory of entering the Promised Land (an abundant life, a Rest, A Sabbath from their hard work).


Chapter 4.  We as believers, read the Scriptures, believe them, obey them by trusting in Jesus.   Our ‘rest’ is our Peace because we have Hope.  We trust his Word.  There was a time God said to their ancestors:

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

And they did not… They wandered until the entire generation passed away.  They never got their ‘rest’ in Cannan like God had PROMISED them.  They did not trust God.  But now they have an opportunity to have the Rest their ancestors did not.  Believe in the fullness of the Scriptures.  Allow the scriptures to change you: your belief, your heart, and your behavior.  Can the Word do that?

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


This will be the hardest concept for people under “Judaism”.  The topic of High Priest.

The Priests were from the tribe of Levi.  The High Priest was appointed by God from the line of Aaron (Moses’ brother).  The qualifications were:

  1. Appointed by God to represent men before God; and God before men.
  2. Offer gifts and sacrifice for sin.
  3. Full of compassion for those who willingly or ignorantly sinned (unintentional sin on the Day of Atonement)
  4. The High Priest must offer sacrifices for his own sin before he offered sacrifices for the people
  5. The High Priest cannot be self-appointed.

The author quotes Psalm 102 and 110:

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father.”

And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

  • He was appointed by God
  • As a sacrifice for sin
  • He was tempted too, so he is compassionate
  • He is sinless
  • He is greater than any Levite- he comes from another order’-Melchizedek (we will get into this tomorrow)

Chapter 6 (MY FAVORITE FOR TODAY)

  • It is time to grow up (time to put down the baby bottle and eat solid food)
    • 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil
  • Just because you have strayed from Truths, does not mean you can’t come back.
    • It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance
  • Stop putting Jesus on the Cross every day.  Once was all that was needed.
    • To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

If a human High Priest is needed, and Jesus did not make a sacrifice for our sins, out of compassion, according to God’s will, then why was he on the Cross.  If they continue to make sacrifices at the Temple,  it is saying Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough. (I vote: Destroy the Temple!)


The chapter ends with the Faith of Abraham.

Scrath that.

The Chapter ends with the Oath of God.

16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

YOU have Faith.  God confirms your Salvation with a Covenant.  His Promise is Greater than ours.  He entered the Presence of God behind the curtain on our behalf.  He tore the veil for us.  Forever.


In that we have Hope.1We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

15+ Bible Verses and Anchors (Having Faith & Hope in God)

 

 

Book Overviews · Hebrews

Hebrews Overview for tomorrow

The author of this book is unknown. Suggested authors have included Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, or Apollos. The most common opinion is that the letter was written by Paul. (that’s not my opinion…what is yours?)

Much is unknown about the audience of Hebrews. Though it is addressed to both Jewish and Gentile Christians (since it mentions the Gentile Christian leader Timothy), much of the book emphasizes Christianity in relationship to Jewish teachings. Maybe that is why they titled it “Hebrews”. The theme of persecution is strong, and the temple sacrificial system appears to still be in practice, indicating a time before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. A likely audience was Jewish converts to Christianity, in Rome, during Nero’s persecution of Christians between AD 64 and 68.

The thirteen chapters of Hebrews address five main themes:

  1.  The superiority of Jesus.  Jesus is superior to the angels and is greater than Moses.
  2. The priesthood of Jesus.  Jesus Himself is The High Priest.
  3. The ministry of Jesus as the High priest.
  4. The many privileges believers have through Jesus.
  5. The behaviors that are important to living for Jesus. These include how believers treat others,  as well as how they are to relate to the Lord.

Just like Romans was a foundational book for the Gentiles, this is the counterpart to the Jews in Jerusalem.


Something to chew on…

Think about this for a minute, before Christ came all Jewish people were taught to make atonement for their sins through animal sacrifice.  It is an extremely important part of the religion and their way of life.  So Christ comes as the Promised Messiah to fulfill all the ritual acts they were doing, specifically handed down from God himself.  Before Christ, they lived a very legal life of order, sacrifice, hierarchy, priests…etc. So now that Jesus did come, and many Jews came to believe, what do you do with all they were taught their whole life? (some of you may be going through this personally as we read this New Testament together).

As long as there is a standing temple (and it won’t be for long), the Jews (even Christian Jews) will feel this human effort desire to make sacrifices to the Lord.  Makes sense, it would be really hard to literally change everything that was taught for 2000 years.  So God breathes this letter through an unnamed author,  confirming all the Law was a SHADOW of The Christ to come.  ALL of it. 

  • The tabernacle,
  • The Temple,
  • The animal sacrifices,
  • The feasts,
  • The Priests

Shortly after this book is written to the Christian Jews, the Temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed, so God is preparing them for what is to come since only sacrifices and priests are part of a Temple Worship. (that is why Jews do not currently make sacrifices.

God needs to eliminate the temple to focus ourselves on Christ, not on ritual.  See all that we learned in the Old Testament WAS a Shadow of Christ.  To partake in any exercise that we think earns favor with the Lord in Salvation eliminates our Faith in the Messiah.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6


Of course, I had to put this…

My dad just sent me this Jewish dad joke : dadjokes

1 Peter

1 Peter

This is going to be REALLY hard to keep short!  LITERALLY Every scripture could be an individual post.  Hey, maybe in 2021 we pick one book and do that?  Dissect EACH verse of one book?


Peter will discuss facing persecution for their faith.  In the first 9 verses, Peter uses the word ‘Faith’ a lot.  In chapter one (if you want to go back and find all the keywords) you will see Peter is pointing out the Holy Trinity too.

Paul suddenly mentions “the Prophets”.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 

The entire Old Testament pointed to Jesus’ suffering on the Cross for our Salvation.  Peter will quotes the Old Testament 25 times in this book (See if you can find them: LIke a where’s waldo picture 😂).  Without reading the Old Testament the New Testament would not make sense.

Before the Creation, God already had a plan to bring us back to Him.  This was a mystery…but all the clues were given in the OT,  but was revealed at the Birth of the Messiah (like that ‘aha’ moment in a suspense movie). 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

In this chapter, we are called “foreigners”.   This world is temporary for us.  But while we are here, we are to foreigners-set apart from the rest of the world, just as He was. 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”


THE BIBLE:

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 

(This is the power of the Word of God).  It is the food that saved you when you were starving to death.

24 For,

“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

And this is the word that was preached to you.

If putting the Word in your hearts nourishes you.  Stop eating junk food!  KEEP EATING READING and STUDYING.  What are you going to study in 2021, or are you going to go back to ‘junk food’-malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (our version of ‘Fake News’)

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Now that you have read the Bible.  You can now hear a familiar scripture,  or a song verse, or sit in church and know the context of the Sermon-10 times deeper than the Pastor will have time to get into it, what now?- Grow in your Salvation.  Keep studying.


We are just getting to Chapter 2 and I am already unglued and hyper.  I will try to write less and encourage you to read the whole book a second time.  It is worth it.

The Cornerstone | Cornerstone, Bible mapping, World religions

The Cornerstone:  We know that the most important part of a structure is the cornerstone.  When they were cut, the builders would lay them so carefully.  If it wasn’t perfect (I mean perfect), they would have to reject it.  The entire structure was leveled and balanced on it.  If it wasn’t perfect, the structure would fall.

The cornerstone, being the most important part of a foundation was examined, measured, and chosen VERY carefully.  MANY were rejected by the builders.

The Stones of Herod's Temple Reveal Temple Mount History - Biblical Archaeology Society

It was the plumbline to build something huge like this.

Istoria Ministries Blog: The Stone the Builders Rejected Is the Cornerstone

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

You are-

  • a chosen people,
  • a royal priesthood,
  • a holy nation,
  • God’s special possession,
  • called out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Your Cornerstone looks like this:

5th Sunday of Easter - 1 Peter 2:4-7


The rest of the book highlights that we are foreigners in this world- What do we look like?  What do we sound like? What do we do?  If you are a list maker, here is your list:

  • to abstain from sinful desires
  • Live such good lives among the pagans accuse you of doing wrong
  • Submit yourselves to human authority: (emperor, supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.)
  • For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (not with words or Facebook post)
  • Live as free people, but live as God’s slaves. 
  • Show proper respect to everyone: love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
  • submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate but also to those who are harsh.
    • Why? because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
  • Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,
  • Husbands, in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect
  • Suffering for Doing Good

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 


Let’s keep adding to your checklist:

  • Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (Now that we have read the Bible we CAN do this!!).
  • be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 
  • Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 
  • Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (This one will be hard for me, my husband likes to entertain, I want to be by myself)
  • Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others

Suffering for Being a Christian

Many of us have suffered because of decisions made in our past or current lives.  These are not sufferings, but consequences.  TWO very different things.  Please know that.  Not every trial we are faced with is a ‘from God’.  We create many of them on our own.  BUT God can still be Glorified from both of them.


If you have been marinating in Church for most of your life what are you doing with it?  Anything??  Ponder on that!  What are you supposed to be doing?

  • Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them— Who are you mentoring??

If you are newer in the Church, what are you doing?

  •  submit yourselves to your elders. (If they are versed in the Scriptures)
  • Humble yourselves:  Say “What does this mean? Can you explain this scripture or book?” 

ALL OF US:

 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

I think we think we can recognize the devil trying to devour us: like this…Watch Out!!! – Marty Payton

In REALITY, it might be more like this:

Illustration of a man with angel and devil on his shoulders


Peace to all of you who are in Christ. ❤️

 

1 Peter · Book Overviews

1 Peter Overview for tomorrow

This book was written by Peter in 62 A.D.  The last few books we read focused on the internal problems of the Church.  Now let’s look at what was going on outside the church.Christians were fed to lion and tigers as a result of their beliefs. | Persecuted christians, Christianity, Ancient rome

Nero was the emperor in Rome and he was a horrible ruler that not only killed members of his own family but also was an extreme persecutor of Christians. While Paul was writing this book, Nero was trying to make Rome a “cultural” capital of the world.  Nero wanted to advance construction projects in Rome, but he was out of acres.

Solution: set fire to the ‘old part of town’ to make room for new construction.  The fire burned for a week and the Christians were blamed for it.

Enduring Nero's fire – walklikejesus

Suffering (for Christ) is going to be a big part of this book.


Simon” Peter, also known as Cephas, was one of the first followers of Jesus. He was a disciple, one of Jesus’ closest friends, an apostle, and a “pillar” of the church. Peter was enthusiastic, strong-willed, and impulsive.  Whenever the aposltes are listed in any of the Gospels, he is always named first (Judas was always last)

Simon was originally from Bethsaida and lived in Capernaum.   He was married and he and James and John were partners in a profitable fishing business. Peter met Jesus through his brother Andrew, who had followed Jesus after hearing John the Baptist proclaim that Jesus was the Lamb of God. Andrew immediately went to find his brother to bring him to Jesus. Upon meeting Simon, Jesus gave him a new name: Cephas (Aramaic) or Peter (Greek), which means “rock”.  Immediately, Peter left everything behind to follow Jesus.

Peter was part of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, along with James and John. Only those three were present when Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus and when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain.  Peter and John were given the special task of preparing the final Passover meal.

It was Peter who boasted that he would never forsake the Lord, even if everyone else did—and later denied three times that he even knew the Lord.  From that experience, he would never do it again.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached a sermon to the crowd in Jerusalem (Acts 2), about 3,000 people became followers.  As they returned to their hometowns, churches began growing.

Jesus said that Peter would die a martyr’s death (John 21:18-19)—a prophecy fulfilled, during Nero’s reign. Tradition has it that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome.  He refused to die in the same way Jesus did.

The Crucifixion of Saint Peter - MatthewBrooksArt.com - Paintings & Prints, Religion, Philosophy, & Astrology, Christianity, Crucifix & Cross - ArtPal

Titus

Are you behind? Way behind?

Listen, I have struggled to stay with it.  STRUGGLED!  But there is NO reason why you can’t say “I am going to read with them the last 2 weeks of 2020”.   Can you think of any reason?  Pick up your Bible and start where we are today.  We read Titus today.  It is 3 chapters.   Paul is in prison writing to a Gentile convert, names Titus who is on an island called Crete.  Paul is giving him some teaching tips for his churches (which are in their homes).  Over the next 12 days we are going to read:

1 Peter, Heb 1-6, Heb 7-10, Heb 11-13, 2 Timothy, 2 Peter; Jude, 1 John, 2/3 John, Rev 1-5, Rev 6-11, Rev 12-18, Rev 19-22

I will (god willing) put an overview out before you read the Peters, Hebrews, Jude, the Johns, and Revelation books the night before.

Pick up the bible

❤️😁❤️

Titus

The book of Titus

Skip down to verse 12 so that you can see why this letter is being written to the churches in Crete:

12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. 

Oh my! So this is what the Bible studies look and sound like.  Not good.


Paul orders the silencing of certain teachers because their teaching is deceptive: theologically, socially, and morally.

16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

(What is on the inside would show on the outside)

I noticed that chapter 2 was very similar to the letter to Timothy.  What are the characteristics of leaders?  So if we really want to be a leader in God’s eyes,  look at the list and see where you need refinement.  Set some godly goals for 2021-

Men-

  • be temperate,
  • worthy of respect,
  • self-controlled,
  • your sound be in faith, in love, and in endurance.
  • to be self-controlled.
  • by doing what is good.
  • show integrity, seriousness,  and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

 Women-

  • reverent in the way they live,
  • not to be slanderers,
  • not to be addicted to much wine,
  • teach what is good.
  • love their husbands and children,
  • to be self-controlled and pure,
  • to be busy at home, 
  • to be kind,
  • to be subject to their husbands

Slaves- (for the sake of today, look at financial responsibility or as an employee)

  • try to please them,
  • not to talk back to them,
  • do not to steal from them,
  • Show that you can be trusted

To all:

  • say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,
  • live self-controlled,
  • be upright and show godly lives

Chapter 3

How to live under civil authority: (rulers and government)

  • Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, 
  • to be obedient,
  • to be ready to do whatever is good,
  • to slander no one, 
  • to be peaceable and considerate,
  • and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Let’s pick the next scripture apart:

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 

The Greek word here for kindness is ‘chretotes’- (Christlike, in flesh).  The word love in this text is ‘philiantropia’-(to love humans).  These words were used to compare Jesus to Zeus.  Words used to characterize Zeus were-selfish and misanthrope.  Zeus hated humans.  So Paul expounds on the ‘contrast’ of Zeus and Jesus by saying:

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.


The first time I read this book I zoned out, nothing absorbed.  So I listened to it.  Nothing absorbed.  I stopped, prayed, took a deep breath…read it again.  AND LOVED IT.  The end of the book ends with:

14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.

 

 

Book Overviews · Titus

Titus Overview

This is a letter written to a church leader named Titus, a Gentile convert of Paul. It appears Paul and Titus took a mission trip to Crete around AD 62—64. Paul later left, with Titus remaining on the island as a church leader.

Paul sends this letter with Zenas and Apollos. It encourages Titus to select church leaders for local house churches, deal with offenders in the church and gives directions regarding certain church practices.

This short but amazing letter includes the

  • proper behavior of Christians, (I better sit down for this one)
  • submission to the government, (you better sit down for this one 😁)
  • proper treatment of all people,
  • and responses to false teachers

Most importantly he encourages good works.

 

 

1 Timothy

1 Timothy

Chapter 1

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

What a wonderful scripture on the heels of when we are correcting false teachings.

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

So when is it used properly?   It is not used for salvation teaching,  it is used to show that we are sinners.  No one reads the law and says “yup, I’m good”.  We read the law to shine the light that we are not good.

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 


Chapter 2-  Why is he addressing men and women separately?

At the time, men were literally “fighting” issues.  To the point of fist fights. Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

There was also a movement called “the new Roman woman”.

The Frigidarium' . From International Art: Past and Present by Alfred Yockney. [Virtue & Company, London, circa 1915]. Artist Sir Lawrence...

As women grew independent of men, they began to have lavish sexy hairstyles, jewelry, and “self-promorint” wardrobes.  Paul invites women to keep Christan virtues.  A sect of women were preaching to rid themselves of domestic obligations, interpreting scripture, and contradicting Paul’s teachings.  Paul compares such women to Eve, who listened to Satan.


Chapter 3

Church leadership had become a problem in Ephesus.  Charges were bring brought against church officers, fights were breaking out, and men all want to be “in charge” for self promoting reasons.  Paul lays out the characteristics of an Overseer for a church so they are aware they are held to a higher standard:

  • is to be above reproach,
  • faithful to his wife,
  • temperate,
  • self-controlled,
  • respectable,
  • hospitable,
  • able to teach,
  • not given to drunkenness, 
  • not violent but gentle,
  • not quarrelsome, 
  • not a lover of money.
  • He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him
  • He must not be a recent convert (needs spiritual maturity)
  • He must also have a good reputation with outsiders

Deacons under them: 

  •  are to be worthy of respect,
  • sincere,
  • not indulging in much wine,
  • not pursuing dishonest gain
  • they must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 
  • They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
  • must be faithful to his wife
  • must manage his children and his household well. 

This is all spelled out for Timothy who his his protege while he is in Prison

14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.


Chapter 4

Paul prepares Timothy for spiritual warfare.  One scripture popped out at me:

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

I grew up in an Italian family.  Steeped in superstition, “saint” worship, traditions (not comemortive), and false teaching.  To this day, if I showed my mom that scripture I would hear “Well, that is how I was raised”.  Sadly, she has never seen or read a Bible and has no desire because she was raised on old wives’ tales and they are “truth” to her.

16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.


Chapter 5

Throughout the OT, widows were always cared for.  I remember how in the book of Ruth, Boaz gave instruction to leave the edge of the crops fields unharvested so women could come and glean the extra.    Widows were to be cared for by the church however, it is a family obligation first (if they have one).  Do you remember back in Matthew 15 Jesus called the Pharrisees Hypocites for not honoring theith mother and father.  Their “loophole” was Corban.

“Corban”- Whatever money might have been used to provide for aging parents could be dedicated to the temple treasury instead (BUT you can keep it in your wallet and use it if you needed) . Saying, “It is Corban” would exempt a person from his responsibility to his parents. 


Elders of the Church should be treated fairly.  The Church should care for them:

“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain”. (They have to eat too!!)

But…Paul also sets down the Rules when they are not living a Christian life either as leaders of the Church.


Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses

Oh I bet this has been taken out of context many times:

Don't flip out, it's just a game | The Journal

This is not a “red solo cup, I lift you up” moment.

Timothy was ill.  It is suspected that the water was the cause of it.  It usually was, and many people dies of disentary.  Just wanted to clarify this scripture for my husband (and Karen Snyder).


This week at work I have been talking about “Contenement” a lot.  Then it was in yesterday’s scripture.  Then today I read:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

 

1 Timothy · Book Overviews

1 Timothy Overview

Why are these called the Prison Epistles ?

1 Timothy was one of only four letters in the New Testament written by Paul to individuals. The others are 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

  • Timothy was the only person to receive two individual letters from Paul in the New Testament.
  • Timothy was from Lystra (modern-day Turkey).
  • He was the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were also believers (it will be mentioned in his 2nd letter).
  • They had raised him to know the Old Testament.
  • He was converted to Christianity by Paul in Acts 16:1–5.
  • We learn that believers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy.
  • Paul wanted to take him on his missionary journey, but Timothy was not circumcised. Paul circumcised him and they traveled together on Paul’s second missionary journey.

Timothy would be with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment. When 1 Timothy was written, however, Timothy was in Ephesus, serving as a leader among the various house churches that existed then.  Paul wrote to him, to encourage his faithful service to Christ. Timothy will serve some time in jail for his faith but will be released (Hebrews 13:23).

This letter will read differently since it is written to an individual.

  1. Written to a co-worker instead of a Church
  2. The letter will be easier to read (less complicated)
  3. He will use strong Greek terminology since it was his native language
  4. It will describe ‘overseers’ and ‘bishops’- the character needed to serve as a leader
  5. Reminders of basic truths about dealing with false teachings.
  6. Most of the scriptures will be an amplified or clarified version that was already spoken.

The name Timothy means “one who Honors God”

Outline:

  • Law and Grace (Ch 1)
  • Prayer and Worship (Ch 2)
  • Leadership (Ch 3:1-13)
  • True and False Religeion (Ch 3:14-5:2)
  • Widows, Elders, and Slaves (Ch 5:3-6:2_
  • Money and Wealth (Ch 6)
Philippians

The Book of Philippians

From the very first verse, we know that this is an established organized church because it uses the terms overseers and deacons. “To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons”.   

Paul expresses his wishes on the church:

  • that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
  • so that you may be able to discern what is best
  • be pure and blameless for the day of Christ
  • be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ

That should be our desire too.


MY TREASURE BOX" : BIBLE PEOPLE: EPAPHRODITUS

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.  

Paul was in chains FOR Christ.  How can he carry out his mission work?  Paul tells the Philippians that his chains would spread the Gospel in 2 ways:

  1. People were beginning to understand why he was in prison and they began to spread the Gospel in boldness.  He is not in chains just because of Christ but he was in chains FOR Christ.  The scriptures say even the prison guards were hearing the Gospel!
  2. Because Paul was imprisoned, others began “replacing” him and preaching the Gospel for notoriety.  Who cares what their motive was, the Gospel was being spread.   So who cares??

18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.


Paul is on trial.  He knows he may walk away but he also knows he might be handed a death sentence.  He is at peace knowing that regardless of the outcome Christ will be exalted.

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

When I first read that verse it really hit me.  While here, we live for Christ, but our real reward comes when we die.


Chapter 2 starting in verse 5 is called “The Christ Hymn”.  This is one of the most quoted scriptures in the Bible in churches today.  The hymn follows a pattern of increasing humiliation followed by an increasing exaltation.

Paul follows the hymn with a reminder to obey God even in his absence.  Timothy and Epaphroditus are models for them to follow in Paul’s absence.


Chapter 3- As usual, every city had Judiazers coming in speaking against Faith and relying on their hierarchy and genealogy.  Paul confesses he was one of them once.  HIs Hebrew pedigree is outstanding.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But all of that is garbage (actually if you research the word the Greek root word is where the word ‘rubbish’ comes from and Paul actually was using a word that meant “fecal matter”.)

He calls the body of believers to “join together”.  Be in community, following those who are models of being a Christain.  (who are you following?)

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 


Chapter 4

In his final exaltation, he tells them not to be anxious.  He knows that him imprisonment has caused them great stress.   Look at the big picture.  They are being persecuted under Nero.  It is Nero that has him in Chains.  Paul is a Peace.  Paul has Joy…he tells them not to be anxious about it!  Why?  Because in chapter 1 he had said: 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

So what should they do?  Nothing?  No, they should BEG GOD.  The Word supplication is a powerful word.  I like the ESV version of this scripture:Philippians 4:6-7 Peace of God - Free Bible Verse Art Downloads - Bible Verses To Go

Supplication means to plead or beg humbly.  Don’t just make a quick prayer request.  Ask in repetition.  Pray on your knees!


Ok, read every word.  Don’t just underline the scriptures you see on coffee mugs.  Read WHY we have that scripture.  For example:1

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Read that scripture in the context God created it!

 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

WOW!! We can be CONTENT.

Philippians 4:13 - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net