Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Testament Lessons 11-20

New Testament- Lesson 11


Author- Apostle Paul
During his first missionary journey (46-48 AD), Paul and Barnabas established several churches in the Roman province of Galatia.  Some Jewish Christians came in and began teaching that Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. They discredited Paul as an apostle and challenged his concept of the gospel.

Written to Churches in southern and probably northern Galatia in 55-60 AD.

Theme- Paul writes to verify his apostleship and counters the claims of legalistic Judaizers who were telling the Galatian believers that they must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses to be saved.

Key Words- Justification by faith; freedom from the law.

Key Verse- Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

Galatians is referred to as "Luther's book" and the Magna Carta of Christian Liberty [The Great Charter]


New Testament- Lesson 12


Author- Apostle Paul
Ephesians is one of Paul's four "prison epistles/letters" (others-Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon); written during Paul's imprisonment at Rome. The epistles to the Colossians, Philemon and the Ephesians were carried to their destination by Tychicus and Onesimus.

Written to the believers in the church at Ephesus & other churches in Western Asia Minor [modern Turkey] in 61-63 AD.

Paul founded the Ephesian Church, though there were Christians in Ephesus before he arrived. The Apostle John and Timothy also pastored there.

Themes- Salvation by grace through faith alone, the spiritual blessings of Christians in Christ, exhortation to walk worthy of the calling in Christ; spiritual warfare is a daily experience.

Key Word- Building the body of Christ

Key Verses-

1. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3)

2. 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. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)


New Testament- Lesson 13


Author- Apostle Paul
During his second missionary journey, Paul established the Church at Philippi.

Written to the believers at Philippi in 61-63 AD. Philippi was a major city of Macedonia on the road from
Rome to Asia.

Themes- Paul writes to encourage the Christians at philippi to live joyfully in every circumstance. He also thanks the Philippians for the gift they had sent to him upon learning of his detention in Rome.

Key Word- To live is Christ

Key Verses-
1. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

2. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

Philippians is also called the New Testament letter of joy. The word joy or similar words are mentioned 16 times.


New Testament- Lesson 14


Author- Apostle Paul
Written to the believers at Colossae in 61-63 AD; a Church perhaps planted by Paul's coworker Epaphras; one of the prison letters of Paul written from Rome. During Paul's 3 year ministry in Ephesus, Epaphras had been converted and carried the Gospel to Colossae. Heresies invaded the Church later, so Epaphras visited Paul in Rome and Paul penned the letter in response.

Theme- Christ is supreme over every human philosophy; Paul refutes Colossian heresies and exalts Christ.

Colossian Heresy- Philosophies of men, angel worship, ceremonialism [permissible foods, festivals], ascetism [harsh treatment of body to control lusts]

Key Word- The pre-eminence of Christ

Key Verse- For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:9, 10)


New Testament- Lesson 15

1 Thessalonians

Author- Apostle Paul
First Thessalonians is considered one of Paul's earliest epistles, if not the first. Every chapter ends with a reference to the second coming of Christ

Written in 52 AD to the largely Gentile Church in Thessalonica founded by Paul on his second missionary journey. Thessalonica was the capital and largest city of the Roman province of Macedonia.

Theme- Holiness in view of the second coming of Christ; Paul praises them for their steadfastness under persecution and for their spiritual maturity.

Key Word- Holiness in view of the second coming of Christ.

Key Verses- And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12, 13)

The 2 letters to the Thessalonians are often designated as the "Eschatological" letters of Paul.


New Testament- Lesson 16

2 Thessalonians

Author- Apostle Paul

Written to the Church at Thessalonica, 6 months-1 year after the first letter i.e. 53 AD.

Theme- Paul corrects a misunderstanding concerning the Lord's return and exhorts persecuted Thessalonian believers to be steadfast and to work for a living.

Key Word- Understanding the day of the Lord.

Key Verses- 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. (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17)


New Testament- Lesson 17

1 Timothy

Author- Apostle Paul

Written to Timothy, Paul's "true son in the faith"; also for the Church in Ephesus.
Written from Macedonia in 58-59 AD, following Paul's first imprisonment in Rome.

Theme- Paul instructs Timothy regarding the care of the Church at Ephesus

Major problem in the Ephesian Church- A heresy that combined Gnosticism, Decadent Judaism & False Asceticism

Key Word- Faithful, efficient minister of God.

Key Verses- These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14, 15)

1 Timothy, 2 Timothy & Titus are collectively called the "Pastoral Letters".


New Testament- Lesson 18

2 Timothy

Author- Apostle Paul
Written to Timothy, Paul's disciple in 66-67 AD. It was during Paul's second imprisonment that he wrote this epistle from Rome. Shortly after this letter was put to death by the Roman Emperor Nero.

Theme- Facing imminent death, Paul encourages Timothy to faithfully carry on the ministry; he exhorts Timothy to persevere, keep on preaching and to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.

In contrast to his 1st imprisonment, when he lived in a rented house in Rome, now he languished in a cold dungeon, chained like a common criminal. He was lonely; many had deserted him, only Luke was with him; he desired Timothy to join him.

Key Word- Endurance in the Pastoral ministry.

Key Verses- You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:1-3)


New Testament- Lesson 19


Author- Apostle Paul
Written to Titus, a trusted Gentile [Greek] co-worker of Paul in 63-66 AD; Paul's true son in the Christian faith. Following Paul's release from his 1st Roman imprisonment, he and Titus worked in Crete after which he asked Titus to be there and take care of the Church there till a replacement arrived.

Theme- Paul instructs Titus concerning the care of the Church on the island of Crete. In New Testament times, life in Crete had sunk to a deplorable moral level. Dishonesty, gluttony and laziness were prevalent.

Key Words- Be zealous for good works and sound doctrine.

Key Verse- This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. (Titus 3:8)


New Testament- Lesson 20


Author- Apostle Paul
Written to Philemon and the believers in the Church at Colossae in 61-63 AD.

Theme- Paul urges Philemon to show grace to Onesimus, his runaway slave.
One of slave owner Philemon's slaves, Onesimus, had stolen and run away, which under Roman law was punishable with death. But Onesimus met Paul and through his ministry became a Christian. Now he was willing to return to his master, so Paul writes this personal letter to Philemon asking him to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ.

Key Word- Forgiveness, Acceptance

Key Verses- For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave; a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (Philemon 1:15, 16)

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