Archives For Bible

An Introduction to Titus

January 18, 2020

The apostle Paul was not married and had no children, but he did have a son in the faith: Titus. Paul’s letter to Titus shows his love for this young man and desire that Titus lead well. Let’s do a brief introduction to the book of Titus. 

An Introduction to Titus

An Introduction to Titus

BIG IDEA

Live for God, teach the truth, and correct others with your living and your teaching. 

KEY VERSE

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An Introduction to 2 Timothy

January 11, 2020

The last words of someone’s life are the most memorable. Of all the things Paul taught and all the letters he wrote, 2 Timothy was his final letter. Let’s take a brief introduction to 2 Timothy. 

An Introduction to 2 Timothy

An Introduction to 2 Timothy

BIG IDEA

First, live a holy life in a fallen world. Second, teach others how to live a holy life. 

KEY VERSE

Continue Reading…

An Introduction to 1 Timothy

December 28, 2019

Church life is messy. Anyone who has worked in a church or served as a volunteer knows things don’t run smoothly.

One of Paul’s closest friends was Timothy. Later in Paul’s life he writes a brief “manual” about how this young church leader, Timothy, should conduct himself and lead the church. Let’s dive into this vibrant letter written to Timothy, to your church, and to my church.

An Introduction to 1 TimothyChart of 1 Timothy

BIG IDEA

Paul tells Timothy how rich and poor, leaders and slaves, and widows and couples should conduct themselves in the church community. Continue Reading…

Ruth is a book about love and loyalty to our Father in heaven and our family on earth. It is one of the best books for a new small group to study because it gives an overview of the Old Testament history as well as points to our Savior Jesus Christ. Here are some of my notes for a brief introduction of Ruth.

Chart of the Book of Ruth

BIG IDEA

When you work for God, God works for you. Continue Reading…

The big idea (and themes) of 2 Thessalonians is similar to Paul’s first letter to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica. But 2 Thessalonians provides some much needed clarification on a few topics. Here are some of my notes on the book as well as a chart I created for the book. Blessings on you as you study Paul’s second letter to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica. Chart of 2 Thessalonians

BIG IDEA

The Christian life consists of studying God’s Word, enduring suffering now, while also looking to the future return of Christ.

KEY VERSES

With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter. (2 Thessalonians 2:15, NLT)

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers 1 who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received 2 from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6, NLT)

Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Greek from every brother.
  2. Some manuscripts read you received.

Paul’s first letter written to the believers in Thessalonica, called 1 Thessalonians, is a rich and encouraging letter. Here is a brief chart and introduction notes on the book. Blessings to you as you study this fantastic book!

Introduction 1 Thessalonians

BIG IDEA OF 1 THESSALONIANS

Christians should live God-honoring lives now because Jesus could return at any moment. Continue Reading…

Is there someone that you love to hate? A person that no matter what he does, says, or how he acts, you struggle to be kind to him? You just hate everything he does because everything he does is from envy, jealousy, and pride? Well, Haman is that man! As you will see today in this blog post, Haman 1 is a man you can easily love to hate. Yet, there are some good principles you can learn from his life and apply to your life as a Christian.

Haman: Human Control or Heavenly Control?Photo Credit: “Haman Recognizes His Fate” by Rembrandt (1606-1669)

HAMAN
Human Control or Heavenly Control?
(Esther 3-7)

I. I ENCOUNTER GOD’S WILL WHEN I KNOW HIS WORD

All the king’s officials would bow down before Haman to show him respect whenever he passed by, for so the king had commanded. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. Then the palace officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” They spoke to him day after day, but still he refused to comply with the order. So they spoke to Haman about this to see if he would tolerate Mordecai’s conduct, since Mordecai had told them he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage. He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes. (Esther 3:2–6, NLT) 2

Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Haman was the “most powerful official in the empire” (Esth 3:1)
  2. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are from the New Living Translation

Rehoboam was the son of Solomon, and Solomon was the son of David. Rehoboam was raised in the ultimate luxury, the ultimate easy life. But when it came to the tough situations on life, he failed in his decisions, how he gave the news, and ultimately his faith. This story of Rehoboam is the beginning of what J. Vernon McGee calls, “a dark blot in the history of Israel” (First and Second Kings, p. 83). Let’s take a look at Rehoboam’s life and some of the lessons we can learn from him.

Rehoboam Touogh Lessons from a Tough Situation

Photo Credit: Hans Holbein (1498-1543)

Rehoboam
Tough Lessons from a Tough Situation

I. TOUGH DECISIONS REQUIRE. . .

A. Time to Think about Them

Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt, for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.” Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away. (1 Kings 12:1–5, NLT)

1. Rehoboam Takes Some Time to Think Continue Reading…

I. An Introduction to the Woman Lydia

Lydia was a common female name in the first century. Let’s take a brief look at who this woman was in his context in biblical history.

A. Thyatira

Lydia was from the city of “Thyatira” which was a city well known for its purple dye.

B. Purple Dye Business

Lydia Was part of a larger network of people that extracted this purple dye from shellfish, a murex (a predatory tropical marine mollusk), or from the root of a Eurasian plant. She probably was in charge of a “branch office of her guild in Philippi” (Wiersbe, Be Daring, 46). This purple cloth was something that the wealthy and royalty prized (Larkin, “Acts” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, 529). It was used on the official toga at Rome and in the Roman colonies (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the NT).

C. A Worshipper of God

Lydia was a “worshipper of God” (Acts 16:14) which was a term used in the book of Acts to describe Gentiles [define Gentile] who worshipped Yahweh (the same term is used of “Cornelius” in Acts 10:2, for “those in Thessalonica” in Acts 17:4, and “those in Athens” in Acts 17:17).

D. One of Several Significant Women in the Book of Acts

Lydia is one of several significant women in the book of Acts. It says that many “prominent women” were persuaded by what Paul and Silas were saying and they joined them (Acts 17:4). Many “prominent Greek women” came to know Christ through the preaching of Paul and Silas (Acts 17:12). After Paul preached a woman named “Damaris” believed in Jesus (Acts 16:34). And of course the most well known woman in the book of Acts is Priscilla who had a significant traveling ministry (Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Rom 16:3-4; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19).

E. A Wealthy Woman

In conclusion, it is clear that Lydia was a wealthy woman. She sold expensive purple cloth, she had a house, she had servants that lived in that house, and she wanted to host people in her home, which indicated she was a woman of means who could provide them with food/accommodations.

F. A Co-Church Planter

It is likely that the church that was planted by Paul and his companions was encouraged and supported by this woman Lydia. We will look at this more in detail later.

G. Lydia Life Lesson: Women make significant contributions to business and ministry.

The seminary that I graduated from, Dallas Theological Seminary, recently had some of their students do some research on how local churches define women. They had the students approach local churches that were teaching women’s studies classes and teaching “what it meant to be a Christian woman.” One of the things that the students discovered was that a lot of the churches were using passages in the Bible that talked about marriage as their primary passages to describe “what it meant to be a woman.” In my opinion this is incorrect because a woman is not primary defined by whether or not she is married, she is defined based on being made in the image of God. “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:26-27, NLT). In addition to being made in the image of God, women are also defined by their spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit gives them “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Cor 12:7, NLT). And, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10, NLT).

I’ve already shown you how Lydia was a successful business woman and that other women in the book of Acts were converted. In the next three sections I want to show you how Lydia had a significant ministry. But first let’s first look at how she became a Christian. Continue Reading…

Paul of Tarsus was one of the most zealous persecutors of the Christians shortly after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:5-6).

Historical Evidence for the Life of Paul

Photo Credit: Jan Lievens (1607-1674)

When some people were furious at a Christian man, Paul held the coats of those people while they stoned the man to death (Acts 8:1). Yet Jesus Christ appeared to Paul (Acts 9:4-6) and told Paul that he would now be God’s chosen instrument to share the Good News about Jesus with the Gentiles all over the world (Acts 9:15-16). Continue Reading…