Posts Tagged ‘christ jesus’


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 15:3-11For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.  For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The central theme of the gospel is given in these verses, a key text for the defense of Christianity. The three most important points are:

  1. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. Without the truth of this message, Christ’s death was worthless, and those who believe in him are still in their sins and without hope. However, Christ as the sinless Son of God took the punishment of sin so that those who believe can have their sins removed. “The Scriptures” refers to Old Testament prophecies such as Psalm 16:8-11 and Isaiah 53:5-6. Christ’s death on the cross was no accident or afterthought. It had been part of God’s plan from all eternity in order to bring about the salvation of all who believe.
  2.  He was buried. The fact of Christ’s death is revealed in the fact of his burial. Many have tried to discount the actual death of Christ, but Jesus did in fact die and was buried in a tomb.
  3.  He rose from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. Christ was raised permanently, forever; his Father raised him from the dead on “the third day” as noted in the Gospels (Friday afternoon to Sunday morning—three days in Jewish reckoning of time). This also occurred “according to the Scriptures.” Jesus quoted the prophet Jonah in Matthew 12:40 (see Jonah 1:17) to show the connection to “three days” as prophesied in the Old Testament. Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110 also foretell the resurrection of the Messiah.

There will always be people who say that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. Paul assures us that many people saw Jesus after his resurrection: Peter (Cephas); the twelve apostles; more than 500 Christian believers (most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote this, although some had died); James (Jesus’ brother); all the apostles; and finally Paul himself. The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact. Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection. Be filled with hope because of the knowledge that one day you, and they, will see the living proof when Christ returns. (For more evidence on the resurrection, see the chart.)

This James is Jesus’ half brother, who at first did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah (John 7:5). After seeing the resurrected Christ, he became a believer and ultimately a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13). James wrote the New Testament book of James.

Paul’s most important credential to be an apostle was that he was an eyewitness of the risen Christ (see Acts 9:3-6). “Abnormally born” means that his was a special case. The other apostles saw Christ in the flesh. Paul was in the next generation of believers—yet Christ appeared to him.

As a zealous Pharisee, Paul had been an enemy of the Christian church—even to the point of capturing and persecuting believers (see Acts 9:1-3). Thus, he felt unworthy to be called an apostle of Christ. Though undoubtedly the most influential of the apostles.

Paul wrote of working harder than the other apostles. This was not an arrogant boast, because he knew that his power came from God and that it really didn’t matter who worked hardest. Because of his prominent position as a Pharisee, Paul’s conversion made him the object of even greater persecution than the other apostles; thus, he had to work harder to preach the same message.

 

Lets Bring it Home: Paul was deeply humble. He knew that he had worked hard and accomplished much, but only because God had poured kindness and grace upon him. True humility is not convincing yourself that you are worthless

but recognizing God’s work in you. It is having God’s perspective on who you are and acknowledging his grace in developing your abilities.


Suffering

Romans 5:3-5
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1 Peter 4:12-19
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

2 Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Luke 14:27
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Hebrews 12:11
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Philippians 3:10
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Matthew 5:10
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Colossians 1:24
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Luke 9:23-25
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Psalm 119:71
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

Psalm 22:24
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

2 Timothy 2:3-4
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 5:10-12
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Job 13:15
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.

1 Peter 2:19-21
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:10
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Philippians 3:8-11
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 1:29-30
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Mark 13:13
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:13
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Hosea 5:15-6:3
I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me. “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

John 11:35
Jesus wept.

Mark 4:17
And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

Matthew 25:46
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 10:22
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

James 5:10-11
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 2:19
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Philippians 4:12-14
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Matthew 13:20-21
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

Matthew 5:1-48
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Habakkuk 3:16-18
I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Hebrews 12:10
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

Hebrews 11:36-38
Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Romans 6:4
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Acts 5:40-42
And when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Exodus 3:7
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings,

Revelation 21:8
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28-29 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Matthew 14:14 

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Matthew 4:24 

So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

Nahum 1:9 

What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

John 18:11 

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Matthew 25:41 

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

2 Timothy 2:12
If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

Ephesians 4:14
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

2 Corinthians 7:5-7
For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

John 15:1-5
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Lamentations 3:21-33
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Job 2:3-7
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

1 Peter 3:13-16
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

James 1:3
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Hebrews 12:2
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Romans 8:17-18
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 5:3
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

John 12:24
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 11:1-4
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

John 9:1-3
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Isaiah 45:7
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Psalm 126:6
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 94:17
If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

Psalm 94:12
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,

Job 2:7
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

Job 1:9-12
Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.


Under Gods Command

PAUL ADDRESSES CHURCH PROBLEMS (1:1-6:20)

1 Corinthians 02:09 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

We cannot imagine all that god has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity. He will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1), and we will live with him forever. Until then, his Holy Spirit comforts and guides us.

Lets Bring it Home: Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us gives us hope and courage to press on in this life, to endure hardship, and to avoid giving in to temptation. This world is not all there is. The best is yet to come.


Under Gods Command

Paul Addresses Church Problems (1:1-6:20)

1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Through various sources, Paul had received reports of problems in the Corinthian church, including jealousy, divisiveness, sexual immorality, and failure to discipline members.  Churches today must also address the problems they face.  We can learn a great deal by observing how Paul handled these delicate situations.

(1) Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, Paul’s purpose for writing was to correct those problems and to answer questions church members had asked in a previous letter.  Paul was given a special calling from God to preach about Jesus Christ.  Each Christian has a job to do, a role to take, or a contribution to make.  One assignment may seem more spectacular than another, but all are necessary to carry out God’s greater plans for his church and for his world.

(2) To the Church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ-their Lord and ours:

A personal initiation makes a person feel wanted and welcome.  We are “called to be holy.” God personally invites us to be citizens of his eternal kingdom.  But Jesus Christ, God’s Son is the only one who can bring us into this glorious Kingdom because he is the only one who removes our sins. Sanctified means that we are chosen or set apart by Christ for his service.  We accept god’s invitation by accepting his Son, Jesus Christ and by trusting in the work he did on the cross to forgive our sins.

(3) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace is God’s free gift of salvation given to us in Christ.  Receiving it brings us peace (see Romans 5:1). In a world of noise, confusion, and relentless pressures, people long for peace.  Many give up the search, thinking it impossible to find, but true peace of heart and mind is available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.

Lets Bring It Home:  Be available to God by placing your gifts at his service.  Then as you discover what he calls you to do, be ready to do it.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 29:2  When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

It is time to mourn in all nations, for wicked men are ruling and turning God’s wisdom upside down. How can God’s saints rejoice, when they see equity, righteousness, truth, and wisdom compromised and corrupted on a daily basis? King Solomon, writing to his son as a future king of Israel, made this observation and rule about political policy: the good people of any nation are seriously affected by the morality of their rulers.

The proverb does not apply to all men: the wicked love wicked rulers, for they promote and protect their sins. Many nations have loved and do love atheistic and profane rulers. The people of this proverb are God’s saints, especially those of Israel. Solomon taught his son godly motivation by looking out for noble citizens and honoring them.

Many nations have never had a righteous ruler, so they never had this reason to rejoice. However, even in nations that did not know better, even where there were few saints living, a considerate king that protected and provided for his people was a joyful thing. Violent tyrants, such as Herod the Great, who slew the children under two around Bethlehem, caused great mourning among even calloused citizens (Mat 2:16-18).

The political observation is true. When King Ahasuerus promoted Haman in Persia, the capital city of Shushan was perplexed at the rise of that wicked man (Es 3:15). But when righteous Mordecai replaced him, it rejoiced and was glad (Es 8:15). Israel rejoiced when Solomon took the throne, but they rebelled when his son Rehoboam succeeded him.

America in the 21st century appears to be a Christian nation under righteous rulers. But God’s saints mourn, because the wicked rule. They protect infanticide, child rebellion, pornography, labor rebellion, sodomy, Islamic moon worship, adultery, evolution, treacherous divorces, national indebtedness, and lascivious entertainment. Saying or singing, “God Bless America,” does not prove anything but ignorance or hypocrisy.

David cried rivers of waters, when he saw men turning from God’s law (Ps 119:136). But a day is coming in which the Son of David will put down all authority and reign supreme in righteousness under God (II Sam 23:1-7; Ps 45:1-7; Is 9:6-7; Jer 23:5-6). Have you believed the gospel to be one of the few that will admire Him in that day (II Thess 1:10)?

What are the lessons? There is no cause for political joy in nations today (Ps 9:17; 33:12; 144:15). Let all in authority be righteous, even fathers, for the example and joy of their subjects (Col 3:21; I Tim 4:12,16). Let all saints give thanks and pray for their nation and rulers, for peace is possible, even in the midst of Babylon (Jer 29:4-7; I Tim 2:1-2).


Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:1-2 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge.  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.    

It was important for Timothy to preach the gospel so that the Christian faith could spread throughout the world.  We believe in Christ today because people like Timothy were faithful to their mission.  It is still vitally important for believers to spread the gospel.  Half of the total number of people who have ever lived are alive today, and most of them do not know Christ.  He is coming soon, and he wants to find his faithful believers ready for him.  It may be inconvenient to take a stand for Christ or to tell others about his love, but preaching the Word of God is the most important responsibility the church and its members have been given. 

Lets Bring it Home: Be prepared for, courageous in, and sensitive to God-given opportunities to tell the Good News.  Be prepared in season and out of season means to always be ready to serve God in any situation, whether or not it is convenient.  Be sensitive to the opportunities God gives you. 

Paul told Timothy to “correct, rebuke, and encourage” It is difficult to accept correction, to be told we have to change.  But no matter how much the truth hurts, we must be willing to listen to it so we can more fully obey God.


Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:14-15 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.      

Besieged by false teachers and the inevitable pressures of a growing ministry, Timothy could easily have abandoned his faith or modified his doctrine.  Once again Paul counseled Timothy to look to his past, and to hold to the basic teachings about Jesus that are eternally true.

Timothy was one of the first second-generation Christians: he became a Christian not because an evangelist preached a powerful sermon, but because his mother and grandmother had taught him the Scriptures when he was a small child (1-5).  A parent’s work is vitally important.  At home and in Church, we should realize that teaching small children is both an opportunity and a responsibility.  Jesus wanted little children to come to him (Mathew 19:13-15).  Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, do you part in leading children to Christ.

For Timothy, the “holy Scriptures” was the Old Testament.  The Old Testament is important because it points to Jesus Christ.  At the same time, faith in Christ makes the whole Bible intelligible.

Lets Bring it Home: Like Timothy, we are surrounded by false teachings.  But we must not allow our society to distort or crowed out God’s eternal truth.  Spend time every day reflecting on the foundation of your Christian faith found in God’s Word, the great truths that build up your life.


Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 2:8-10  (8) Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my gospel, (9) for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.  But God’s word is not chained.  (10) Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 

False teachers were a problem in Ephesus.  At the heart of false teaching is an incorrect view of Christ.  In Timothy’s day many asserted that Christ was divine but not human-God but not man.  These days we often hear that Jesus was human but not divine-man but not God.  Either view destroys the good news that Jesus Christ has taken our sins on himself and has reconciled us to God.  In this verse, Paul firmly states that Jesus is fully man (“descended from David”) and fully God (“raised from the dead”). This is an important doctrine for all Christians.

Philippians 2:5-7 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!

The incarnation was the act of the preexistent Son of God voluntarily assuming a human body and human nature.  Without ceasing to be God, he became a human being, the man called Jesus.  He did not give up his deity to become human, but he set aside the right to his glory and power.  In submission to the Father’s will, Christ limited his power and knowledge, Jesus of Nazareth was subject to place, time and many other human limitations.  What made his humanity unique was his freedom form sin.  In his full humanity, Jesus showed us everything about God’s character that can be conveyed in human terms.

Paul was in chains in prison because of the gospel he preached.  The truth about Jesus is no more popular in our day than in Paul’s, but it still reaches receptive hearts.  When Paul said that Jesus was God, he angered the Jews who had condemned Jesus for blasphemy; many Jews, however, became followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24).  He angered the Romans who worshiped the emperor as god; but even some in Caesar’s household turned to Jesus (Philippians 4:22).  When Paul said Jesus was human, he angered the Greeks who thought divinity was soiled if it had any contact with humanity; still many Greeks accepted the faith (Acts 11:20,21).  The truth that Jesus is one person with two united natures has never been easy to understand, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

Lets Bring it Home: The truth of God’s Word is being believed by people every day and changing their lives for eternity.  Despite the opposition, continue to proclaim Christ.  Some will listen and believe.


Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 2:3-7 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 

 As Timothy preached and taught, he would face suffering, but he should be able to endure. Paul used a comparison with soldiers, athletes, and farmers who must discipline themselves and be willing to sacrifice to achieve the results they want.

Lets Bring it Home:  Like soldiers, we have to give up worldly security and endure rigorous discipline. Like athletes, we must train hard and follow the rules. Like farmers, we must work extremely hard and be patient. But we keep going despite suffering because of the thought of victory, the vision of winning, and the hope of harvest. We will see that our suffering is worthwhile when we achieve our goal of glorifying God, winning people to Christ, and one day living eternally with him.


Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 2:3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus

 The body of Christ contains all believers who have ever lived, not just those who are alive now. When we suffer, we share in a common experience, not just with those alive today, but with all those who have ever suffered for the sake of the gospel. All the martyrs, missionaries, and pioneers of the faith had to face what we face.

Lets Bring it Home:  Let us have the same courage, commitment, and willingness to renounce worldly pleasure in order to serve God. Can you face the challenge? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).