THE PAULINE EPISTLES are the thirteen letters written by Paul and preserved in the New Testament for the church.
We cannot be sure whether Paul wrote HEBREWS. It is not included in this study but will be studied separately.
THE PAULINE EPISTLES (A Complete Exegesis Of The Entire Epistles).
PAUL’S REASONS FOR WRITING THE EPISTLES.
Generally: The defence and confirmation of the Gospel” Phil.1:7
(1) To state dourly the truths of the Gospel, necessary for the establishment of the churches, (as -Romans)
(2). To give further teaching, so as to promote Christian growth. (Ephesians).
(3) To correct false teaching (as in Galatians),
(4) To teach the Christians should live (A section in the second, That C in most EPISTLES),
(5) To encourage converts to stand firm in precaution, and temptations,
(6) To give in instruction in church order and discipline. (esp the oral Epistle:).
THE DESTINATIONS OF THE EPISTLES
(1) Seven of the letters were written to churches, or groups of churches, that Paul had founded.
ie Galatians (probably of churches at Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe, founded on Paul’s, first missionary journey.
1 and 2 Thessalonians,1 and 2 corinthians, Ephesians and Philippians to churches found on Paul”s second and third Missionary journeys.
(2) letters written to churches not founded by Paul but possibly by his Convents: there is no evidence that Paul had visited Colosse and certainly had not visited Rome at the time of writing.
(3) Letters to individuals: Philemon – a Christian in Colossae, Timothy called by Paul to the ministry and working in Ephesus,
Titus was also a Pauline convert, working on the island of Crete.
THE USUAL FORM OF LETTERS IN PAUL’S DAY
1. the writer’s name and designation
2. the recipient’s name
3. grace or blessings from the gods or the true God.
4. Introduction often includes a) commendation. b) prayer.
5. The main body of the letter in pauls time often: (a) Doctrine, (b) Christian living
6. Personal greetings.
Paul usually writes in this form. he often uses a scribe or secretary but at times writes with his own hands.
The Possible Chronology Of The Epistles
NB, Scholars differ on this but, this is a general outline (Written during or between Paul’s Journeys)
Galatians – From Antioch in Syria A.D 48 before the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15
1 and 2 Thessalonians – from Corinthian AD 50 (During His Second Journey)
1 Corinthians – From Ephesus AD 54-55 during Paul’s third missionary journey.
2 Corinthians – From Macedonia AD55-56 during Paul’s third missionary journey.
Rome – from Corinth early AD 57 during Paul’s third missionary journey.
B. THE CAPTIVITY LETTERS (written from prison, mostly from Rome)
Colossians AD 60 – 61
Ephesians A.D. 60 – 61
Philemon A.D 6o – 61
Philippians’ AD. 61 – 62
c. THE PASTORAL LETTERS ( Letters of a pastor to pastors.)
1 Timothy from Macedonia after A.D. 62.
Titus. From Ephesus after A.D. 62.
2 Timothy From Rome AD 64 – 65.
(These places of writing are given according to the theory that Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment and travelled for a while before his final imprisonment and execution).
MAJOR THEMES OF THE PAULINS EPTSTIES.
THE THEME OF ALL: “IN CHRIST”
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF PAULINE TEACHING.
1. Justification by faith
2. the Doctrine of the Cross.
3. The Person of Christ.
4. The Church – the Body of Christ.
5. The Holy Spirit
6 The End of Times and Second Coming of Christ at,
The ministry at Samaria shows that racial prejudice had been dealt with to some extent. The conversion of Saul (Jewish name) or Paul (Roman name) of Tarsus was the provision of a new leader Saul, was born into a strict, Hebrew family at the beginning of the first century. His native city was Tarsus, a busy metropolis in Cilicia, situated in the North-East corner of the Mediterranean Sea. The University, of Tarsus, was noted for its courses in Philosophy and” Medicine. Paul was educated in a good Jewish fashion, learning the Hebrew language and the scriptures as well as the trade of Tent-making.
He was acquainted with Aramaic which they spoke at home and Greek the major language of Tarsus. At the age of 12, he was sent to Jerusalem to learn under Gamaliel (2:3). By conviction he was a Pharisee and by the time he went to manhood, he was a leader in Judaism. Act 26:10 shows that he was a member of the Sanhedrin. His normal life before conversion is recorded in –Roman which shows that: the was plaque by the consciousness of sin
His conversion was” distinctly a supernatural revelation of The fifteen Christ Saul was a Jewish born in Tarsus in Cilicia, a Roman province hence his Roman name Paul Although he was born in tarsus “he was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. In Tarsus (though)’ Outside Israel) his parents brought him up with the Experienced which1 he never forget all his life. Through this, experience Paul saw in one flash that all his arguments of Judaism against Stephen and the disciples were wrong. Parallel to, this reversal of thinking theologically was the (call to) Service in; the Gentile world. He started his preaching assignment immediately at Damascus to Paul maintained a reaching programme, especially among the Hellenistic Jews., Paul according to all his testimonies (Acts 9s15:22:21, ’26:17; Rom.-15:16′, Gal. “2:7-8; Eph. 3:1-7) was God’ s’ choice to the Gentiles His conversion, was part of the „ transition from the Jewish Centred church at Jerusalem to the Gentile church of the Roman world (Rom, 11:13).
THE BOOK OF ROMANS (PAUL, THE MAN BEHIND HIS EPISTLES).
The experience of the apostle on the way to Damascus is the power behind him. Always reflected in all his writings is that divine experience. He knows he is called God and that his authority is from God not from men (Rom.1:1-6 and Gal.1:12) He is a man with a compulsory task upon the (l Corinth, 9:16) His ministry s not a coincidence but God’s will. He has God’s grace upon him and must ‘channel ‘it to others. Paul in all his letters assumed a remarkable authority in addressing the churches though some have rebelled against such e.g. Corinth at Galatia.
Another issue in Palinc writings was the question of inspiration. This is because He at times distinguished between his own opinions and want is the Lord’s command ( 1 Corint-7:6, 10,l2; 2 Corint 11:17). The answer to this problem is that the fact that Paul was always acknowledging his own writing Where this occurred. It always concerns such, issues with which there is no general agreement eg. Marriage.
It must be noted Paul, the intense love which he had for his converts, especially the Philippians Christian. Paul had this intense love for all the churches even in places where there is hostility. The fact that was a man of love can be seen in his hymn his love in 1Corlnt. 13. With God-given insight Paul guided his converts in all matters of doctrines and practice. he set a goal to be all things to all men and this faced a far-reaching effect in dealing with human problems. To be all. things to all men meant for Paul a genuine desire to see the Country person’s viewpoint.
Concerning his language and style of writing. Apostle Peter confirmed that there are many things too difficult, to understand in pauls writings. His language was not governed by the Hellenistic culture but by the needs of his readers. Sometimes he shifts away from literary Greek to the vernacular Greek called Koine or (common Greek).
Another thing amazing about Paul is his ability to endure hardness. According to him, he had passed through many hazards 2 Corin.11:22-33. This shows that Paul was not an armchair theologian but a missionary who encountered and survived more than he could bear.
Paul was also a man of deep spiritual experiences. This could be seen in 2 Corint.12:1 Some have suggested that this experience marked another major turning point in Paul’s life as he had experiences that could not be expressed in words, In addition to this is Paul’s deep insight into eschatological issues.
The book has been termed the “gospel” according to St. Paul. The origin of the church in Rome is not Known. But there, is indications that it may be those who were present on the day of Pentecost who came from Rome and helped to establish it (Acts 2:10). Priscilla and Aquila were also mentioned in connection with the church at Rome (Rom 16:3 & Acts 18:1-2). Paul in preparation for the next missionary Journey wrote to the church at Rome from Corinth. From Rom.15:24,28,32, Paul made his intentions known to the believers to this effect we Know that Paul had not visited these people before. When the writing was completed, it was sent to them by the hand of Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchrea (Rom 16:1-2). Chapter 16 shows that though Paul had not visited Rome, he had many friends there.
(THE GOSPEL OF GOO’S RIGHTEOUSNESS)
I. 1: 1-17 Introduction.
a. 1:1-7 – (about the author, his salutation, the destination of the letter)
b. 1:8-15 – Occasion (the reason for the letter)
c. 1:16-17 – The theme of the epistle.
II 1:18-3:20 -The need for Divine Righteousness
a) 1:18-32 – The decline of the Gentile world.
b) 2:1-16 – The Doom of the critic
c) 2:17-3:8 – The Dilemma of the Jews.
d) 39-20 – The Universal Condemnation.
Ill 3:21-8:39 – The manifestation of Divine Righteousness.
a) 3:21-31 – The medium of Righteousness – Faith.
b) 4:1-25 – The Basic;’ of Righteousness – Promise
c) 5:1-21 – The Attainment of Righteousness
d) 6:1-7:25 – The Aspects of practical Righteousness
e) 8:1-39 – The Results of Righteousness: Life in the spirit.
iv 9:1-11, 36 – Revelation of C Righteousness to the Jews
a) 9:1-33 – The election of Israel.
b) 10:1-21 – The salvation of Israel.
c) 11:1-36 – The Failure of Israel
v. 12:1-15:13 – The Application of Righteousness to church life.
a) 12:1-2. – Call to consecration
b) 12:3-8 – The use of Gifts.
c) 12:9-21- – Personal Relationships
d) 13:1-7 – Political Relationships
e) 13:8-14 – Public Relationships
f) 14:1-15:13 – fractional ( brotherly) Relationships
vi. 15:14-33 – Conclusion
a) 15:14-29 – Personal plans.
b). 15:30-33 – Request for Prayer.
vii. 16:1-27 – Postscript (sentence added to a letter after the signature)
a) 16: 1-24 – Greetings
b) 16:25-27 – Benediction (blessing given by a priest at the end of service)
The central theme of the book is the relation of the righteousness of God to man and its application to his spiritual needs. The theme, therefore, is basic to all Christian experiences for man cannot do any work with God until a proper relationship had been established,
The epistle shows that there is no distinction between Greeks Gentiles) and Jew. when it comes to the issue of Salvation, Major themes in Christian theology found in the book are justification, adoption and sanctification. In 1:16, he talks of the power of God unto Salvation. The need for that power is shown by the fall of the Gentiles (Chapter 1) and Jews (Chpt. 2), ‘hence he concluded that there is none righteous no not one (3-10). If then, all are helpless and condemned, relief must come from without by providing for all both legal and personal righteousness which can only be found in Christ. (3:25). Since the sinner cannot earn his salvation, this righteousness must be accepted by faith. Individually and racially man is restored to his right position before God through the grace manifested in Christ. Another issue dealt with in this book is put in form of a question “Shail we continue to sin that grace may abound?”. The answer is given in chapter 8 which talks of living in the spirit to avoid fulfilling the law of the Flesh.
Finally, the book closes with the ethical application of the salvation described already. the redeemed individual is mandated to live a righteous life. (14:8,9) .
THE FIRST AND SECOND CORINTHIANS.
(Acts 18:7-11) made us know that Paul came to Corinth during his 2nd Missionary journey. The city of Corinth was located on, a highway between the East and West. Several Sea routes also met at its two harbours. These two major factors made it become, a prosperous city hence it was made the Capital of Achaia. Corinth with, all its prosperity was noted for one sin – immorality. This may be due to the fact that Corinth was the centre for the worship of the goddess “venus and others” it was wrapped up in immorality. The population of Corinth was cosmopolitan comprising Greeks, Romans Jews and Orientals.
In Corinth, Paul stayed with Titus Justus. In this place, both Jews and Gentiles believed. He was here for a year and six months. In such a place as Corinth where there is moral decadence and intellectual pride, the church definitely will face a lot of problems resulting from its pagan environment. Many of the Christian was not disciplined, hence they gave Paul a lot of problems found, they were “scan is setting the bad example for the other heathen cities round them that would have repented. worsen the situation, they underestimated st paul they noted St. Paul’s authority as an apostle may be due to intellectual pride and pretence.
Paul might have had many opponents in the Corinthian Church. These include the Libertines who understood Christian freedom, like Christians today who think “Grace” has given them a licence to live their Christian life anyhow. the ascetics who live in seclusion and adopted a rigid approach to Christian behaviour (they are opposite to the Libertines). In restriction much in than the supernatural allowing their spiritual experience to cause disorderliness in the church. it had been suggested that this people’s ignorance might have arisen from the fact that the majority of the Corinthians Christian church were Gentiles who has no knowledge of the scripture, hence their way of life was the exact opposite of Christian principles.
This book has different topics discussed in it by the apostle. They include Schism (division in the church), finance, behaviour in the church and resurrection of the dead. in these, paul employed different forms of writing eg; logic, entreaty, scolding, poetry, narration, exposition etc. But Paul set not by dealing with a report he had from the household of Chloe (1 corint. 1:11). this has to do with contention and believers taking one another to heathen courts. the problem of Marriage and Immorality was dealt with in this book. Others include Disorderlyness in public worship, meats offered to Idoles spiritual gifts etc.
I. 1:1-9 – Satisfaction
II. 1:10-6:20 – Reply to report from “house of Chloe
a. 1:10-:23 – party spirit
b. 4:1-21 – Defence of Paul’s ministry
c) 5:1-13 – Criticism of Immortality
d) 6:1-11 – Criticism of Iawsunts
e) 6:12-20 – Reply in Libertinism
iii. 7:1-40 – reply to questions in the letter.
a. 7:1-24 – Marriage
b) 7:25-40 – Virgins
iv. 8:1-11:1 – Things Sacrificed to Idols
a. 8:1-13 – Evaluated by the idol
b. 9:1-27 – Evaluated by Freedom
c. 10:1-22 – Evaluated by relation to God
d. 10:23-11:1 – Evaluated in relation to others
V. 11:2-34 – Problems of Worship
a. 11:2-16 – the cohering of the head
b. 11:17-34 – The Lord’s table
vi. 12:1-14:40 – Spiritual Gifts
vii. 15:1-58 – The Resurrection” of the Body
viii. 16:1-24 – Collection and concluding Salutations
Tenney quoted Findlay as saying that the book of 1 Corinthian “the doctrine of the Cross? in its Social application”. Tenney went ahead to say “It reflects the conflict which took place when Christian experience and Christen ideals of conduct came into conflict with the concepts and practices of the pagan world. The problems discussed in it were by no means outdated, for they are still to be found wherever Christians Rome into contact with a Pagan civilization”, (Important for church leaders).
Each problem in the Corinthian church was solved, by applying some spiritual principles rather than psychological. For the divisions, the remedy was spiritual maturity (3:1-9), for Immorality, church discipline was applied until the offender repents and is brought back (5:1-5); for litigation, there should be people chosen as arbitrators within the Christian community (6:1-6). Concerning marriage, the believer married to an unbeliever should try by all means to bring that individual to christ, instead of abandoning him or her (7:16). For the virgins, self-control or lawful marriage is the solution (7:36,37). Concerning foods offered to idols and details of worship, the relation of believers is a government factor (10:31; 11:13,32). Concerning spiritual gifts, they are given by God Himself as he wills for the sole benefit of the church, not for selfish purposes (12:20).
It is believed think that the book was written after 1 Corinthians. The -reason for writing is in II Corinthians 1:8, This epistle differs in content, from,1 Corinthians in that the latter dealt with different issues in the church while the former concerns personal matters, Here in 2 Corinth., Paul made the feelings, desires, dislikes, ambitions and obligations known to his readers.
I. 1:1-2 – Salutation.
ii. 1:3-2:13 – Explanation of personal conduct
III. 2:14-7:4 – The defence of the Ministry
a) 2:14-3:18 – The nature of the Ministry,
b) 4:1-6 – The sincerity of the Ministry
c) 4:7-15 – The perseverance of the Ministry
d) 4:16-5:10 – The spirit of the Ministry)
e) 5:11-19 – The Sanctions of the Ministry
f) 5:20-6:10 – The example of the Ministry
g 6:11-7:4 – The Appeal of the Ministry
iv. 7:5-16 – Comment on Effects of letter
v. 8:1-9:15 – The Grace of Giving
vi. 10:1-12:13 – Personal Defense
vii. 12:14-13:10 – Preparation for the visit
viii. I3:11-14 – Concluding Salutation.
This book dealt’ mostly .with. St. Paul’s ministry. In it, Paul defends the criticisms he had received from the Corinthians church and the slanders and accusations which were raised against him by his enemies. In 10:2 he was accused of walking in the flesh. At 10:10, he was accused of being a coward. In 11:7-8 he was accused of debasing himself by engaging in tent-making business. his accusers claimed that Paul was ‘not originally- on apostle and as such,’ he has no right to teach (11:5: 12:11-12),
The area of North Galatia was Formally inhabited by the Phrygians but was later taken over by Gauls, These Gauls gave their name to this district hence we haya the term “Galatians” (Gal 1:2, 1 Cor. 16:1, Acts 16:6,18:23), All these references show that Galatians was a region or city with many churches. This book was written as a protest against the Judaizers who were trying to subvert the gentile Christians. Gal. 1:6-12. The issue raised In these verses were some of the things that led to the holding of the Council at Jerusalem in Acts 15. The problem here is that these Judaizers insisted that believers must keep the Law of Moses if they expect to be perfect. Then Paul heard that this teaching had penetrated the Galatian churches and that their liberty in Christ had been taken away, he wrote to them with deep feeling in order ta correct this error. In commenting on the book of Galatians, Guthrie said He wrote without Formal greeting or thanksgiving. Deeply moved by the state of affairs which has developed, (not that there was no greeting to all, see verse 3) but the way he used to greet the church before, now is not there). In addressing a specific and burnt situation the apostle set out what was destined to become the character of Christian liberty through the subsequent history of the church. If the issues raised in this book were the occasion of the council of Jerusalem, the book’ might have been written on the eve of the Jerusalem Council.
GALATIANS: THE DEFENCE OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY:
I. 1:1-9 – Introduction
a). 1:1-9 – The Ground of Liberty. (Salutation)
b). 1:6-9 – The challenge, to Liberty (Occasion)
II. 1:10-2:21 – The Biographical argument (An independent Revelation)
a). 1:10-17 – Independent of Human Teaching.
b) 1:18-24 – Independent of Judean Churches
c) 2:1-10 – Independent of Judaizing Brethren
d) 2:11-18 – Independent of Apostolic pressure.
e). 2:19-21 – Independent of selfish interest
III. 3:1-4:31 – The Theological Argument (The failure of Legalism)
a). 3: 1-8 – From personal experience.
b) 3:6-14 – From Old Testament Teaching.
c). 3:15-22 – From the Priority of promise.
d). 3:23-4:7 – From the superiority of matured Faith.
e). 4:8-11 – From, the danger of reaction.
f). 4:12-20 – From the contrast of motives.
g). 4:21-31 – From the contrast of bondage and liberty.
iv. 5:1-6:10 – the practical argument ( the effect of liberty)
a. 5:1 – Introductory statement
b. 5:2-12 – The consequences of legalism
c. 5:13-15 – The definition of freedom
d. 5:16-24 – Individual practice.
e. 5:25-6:10 – Social practice.
v. 6:11-18 – Conclusion.
a. 6:11-16 – The motive of Liberty (the Cross).
b. 6:17 – The Price of Liberty (Suffering).
This’ book’ deals With Paul’s exposition of the true Character of Christian freedom. The exposition hinges on the following:
(l) That Christian Freedom excludes circumcision and therefore Judaism has no place in Christianity (5:1-6).
(2) That those who were misleading those gentile Christians were guilty of putting an obstacle in their way (5:7-12).
(3) That Liberty must not be confused with Libertinism which will not happen if love is allowed to rule (5:13-15).
(4) That freedom in the spirit is superior to freedom of the flesh (5:16-26).
5) That spiritual Freedom led to an attitude of sympathy for the burdened (6:1-5), and of liberty (6:6-10).
The summary of the whole argument is In 3:13-14.
EPHESIANS (ACTS 19:1,17):
The city of Ephesus was located at the mouth of River Cayster on the Aegean-See. It was one of the oldest settlements on the West Coast of Asia Minor. It was taken over by the Greeks at an early date. It was a trading centre.
The temple of Artemis was one of the outstanding features of Ephesus. This Artemis was a local deity identified with the Greeks and with Diana of the Romans. This image had many breasts with the female face with a solid block instead of legs. This goddess was one of the great wonders of the world of that time. It was only a centre of religious worship Because of its outstanding and imposing structure and the regard for its Sacredness. it became an asylum for the oppressed and a depository for funds. The inhabitants of Ephesus and Asia were fanatical in their devotion to ‘Artemis (Act 19:3).
Ephesus was a free city which maintained its government. The final authority of the popular assembly (19:39), the legislative body rested on the leaders (ie the power to make laws). The Secretary or “town clerk was the officer in charge of keeping records and was responsible for presenting any business to the assembly (19:35).
Paul had some problems to face at Ephesus such as:
(1) Some of the disciples of John the Baptist only Knew his baptism and are holding on to it even after John’s death (l8;24-25).
(2) The problems posed by the Occult. These were the Jewish exorcists represented by the seven sons of Sceva and the others who burnt their occultic materials, which were proofs of widespread superstition and demonology in Ephesus (Acts 19:19) The power of Christ was here demonstrated to be greater than that of Satan(19:8,10,11, 20, 26:27).
The book, of Ephesians, was written as a general letter to be distributed through the Ephesians churches. The epistle was sent by Tychicus who was accompanied by Onesimus (Eph.6;2l). The book of Ephesians was written after many churches had been founded. The book was not written to those who were infants in the Lord but to those who were already mature in spiritual experiences and Wish to grow more. It is here the word ‘church is used in general terms to mean “the Universal” not necessarily a local church.
OUTLINES THE EPISTLE OF THE CHURCH
I 1:1-2 – Introduction
II. 1:3-14 – The Constitution of the church
a). 1:3-6 – By the Father.
b) 1:7-12 – In the Son
c) 1:13-14 – Through the Spirit.
III. 1:15-23 – The Consciousness of the Church.
IV. 2:1-10 – The Creation of the Church
V. 2:11-22. – The Concord of the Church
a) 3:1-13 – To reveal the wisdom of God.
b) 3:14-21 – To experience the fulness of God.
VI. 4:1-6:9 – The conduct of the Church.
a) 4:1-16 – Ministerial diversity in unity.
b) 4:17-5:14 – It’s moral standards.
c) 5:15-21 – It’s corporate behaviour towards the world.
d) 5:22-6:9 – It’s domestic standards.
VIII. 6:10-20 – The conflicts of the Church
IX. 6:21-24 – Conclusions.
This .book was written to inform the Gentiles of their new calling. It disclosed the Mystery or the body of Christ In which both the Jaws and the Gentiles are equal. Here the purpose ‘of God in establishing- the endure is revealed (1:4,5, 9,11,13,20, 2:4-6,10, 3:11). In these references, the divine plan of redemption was emphasized. Another major message is on the conduct of the believer. The word “walk” was used to describe the model of Christian warfare is in the heaven lies (1:3,10,20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12). Other themes include:
(a) The fact that the power behind the church is the Holy Spirit (1:13)
(b) That the Holy Spirit is our access to God (2:18).
(c) He is the source of the revealed truth (3:5)
(d) The secrete of the universal power (3:16)
(e) He is the bond of unity (4:3 – 5).
(f) The mentor of thinking and of speech (4:30)
(g) The armourer of the conflict (6:17).
PHILIPPIANS (Acts 16:1-40)
Philip II, king of Macedonia (359-336 BC) was the father of Alexander the Great Named the town after himself, hence we have Philippi from where we have the Philippians. Philippi was important to the town of Macedonia on the great highway from East to West. In Paul’s time, it was a Roman Colony, It was established as a military Colony, with special privileges of citizenship.
This church was the first in Europe. In Acts 16 we were told of how the church in this town started:
1) Lydia, a trader in purple cloth who believed with all her household.
2) The “Soothsaying got whose spirit of divination was cast out by Paul and what the triumph of Christ …Over the powers of darkness”.
(3) The Bailor who through an earthquake was shaken to the realization of his spiritual need, demonstrated the power of the gospel to transform a whole family. Others mentioned in the Epistle are Epaphroditus, Eudia, Syntyche and Clement. At the outset of his Ministry in this place, the church had supported Paul. What was happening In Jerusalem then was (famine) and Paul’s imprisonment, these aroused their sympathy to contribute to Paul’s needs.
The gift was seen ‘through Epaphroditus, who later took seriously ill. The response of Paul to this contribution which he sent back through the same Epaphrodltus is the Epistle itself. In this church there seems to be no heresy/division of any form hence Paul only wrote to encourage them to continue in the truth instead of any kind of rebuke, except for the case of two women (Euodias and Syntyche) who were having some difficulties coping with each other (4:2),
I. 1:1-2 – Salutations
II. 11:3-11 – Thanksgiving for personal Fellowship.
III. 1:12-2:18 – Encouragement in personal Circumstances.
a) 1: 12-26 – Paul’s personal courage,
b) 1:27-30 Paul’s Encouragement to the Philippians.
c) 2:1-11 – Christ, the model for Service.
d) 2:l2-18 – The Objective of service,
iv. 2:19-30 – Personal Relations with Messengers
v. 3:1-4:1 – Personal warning Against Legalism
a) 3:1-16 – Personal Example.
b) 3:17-4:1 – Exhortation to the Philippians
vi. 4:2-23 – Concluding Counsel and Greetings.
a. 4:2-3 – Unity
b. 4:4-7 – Joy
c. 4:8-9 – Thought
d. 4:10-20 – Thanksgiving
e. 4:21-23 – Salutations
MESSAGE / THEME:
This book is Christocentric. In it, Paul speaks of how his own life is totally bounded up by Christ who should be a model for Christians today. The theme could be further divided into two;
1) the Gospel, and
In this epistle, Paul mentions the word “gospel” nine times;
(1) He speaks of the fellowship In the gospel (1:5).
2) The confirmation of the gospel (1:7).
3) The progress of the gospel (1:2).
4) The deference of the gospel (1:16).
5) Being worthy of the gospel (1:27).
6) Striving for the faith of the gospel (1:27).
7) Service in the gospel (2:22).
8) Labour in the Agape (1:3).
9) The beginning of the gospel.
In chapter 2:8, Christ became obedient to death, yea, the death of the gospel and 3:9 “driving righteousness …..which is through faith in Christ. The former is the good news that Christ died for men; the latter assures men that they can possess His righteousness before God, upon these two things hang the Gospel.
The second aspect deals with Joy, which seems contradictory considering the fact that Paul, was in prison in Rome and the Philippians might not be, feeling happy about it. Yet in this condition, Paul tells them that there is joy in his heart upon every Remembrance of them (1:3,18, 2:2,17,4:10).
In chapter 3, we were given an insight into the driving force of Paul’s life. To him all of his life is summoned up in Christ, he wants to gain Him, to know him and to be found in him. All these occupied Paul’s attention which is equally the standard set For every believer who professes to be in Christ.
The city of Colossians lay about100 miles inland From Ephesus. The city was on the trade route from the east, along which oriental religions, as well as oriental Merchandise, were transported to Rome. This peculiar location was responsible for some of the heresies found in that church which made Paul write this epistle. The Colossians were Phrygian Gentiles who had a religious background that was highly emotional and mystical.
Such Errors include voluntary humiliation (2:10, 20-21). The worships of angels (2:18). Abstinence from certain foods, drinks, and the observance of feasts and ceremonial days (2:16), According to M.C. Tenney “The answer to these heresies lay not in extended argument, but in a positive presentation of the person of Christ. Paul pointed out that all philosophical spiritual powers, ceremonial observances and restrictions were secondary to the pre-eminence of Christ”.
OUTLINE: COLOSSIANS (CHRIST’S pRE-EMIIMENCE)
i. 1:1-2 – Salutation
ii. 1:3-2:7 – Christ Pre-eminent in Personal Relationships
a. 1:3-8 – In personal contacts
b. 1:7-23 – In personal presentation
c. 1:24, 2:7 – In personal purpose
iii, 2:8-3:4 – Christ Preeminence in Doctrine
a. 2:8-15 – False Philosophy versus Christ
b. 2:16-19 – False worship versus Christ
c. 2:20-3:4 – Fulse Asceticism versus Christ.
iv. 3:5-4:6 – Christ Pre-eminent in Ethics
a) 3:5-11 – “Put off”.
b) 3:12-17 – “Put on” . .
c) 3:18-4:1 – In family Relationships
d) 4:2-6 – General
v. 4:7-18 – Concluding Personal Greetings.
In this epistle, Paul dwelt much on the pre-eminence of Christ. Here Paul gave Christ an excellent description that can only apply to a deity (1:13). He summaries this description with an astonishing statement that “in him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9). In creation, redemption, in the church, and in personal life, Christ must be preeminent.
Redemption is also emphasized. in Christ we have forgiveness of sins 1:14, Through his bloody, we are reconciled unto God (1:20,22). The bond written against us has been cancelled on the Cross’ (2:14). In 2:20 & 3:1, we died with Christ and had been resurrected with him and we should set our hearts in heaven where Christ is sited at the right hand of the Father.
EPISTLES TO THE THESSALONICANS
From 146 BC, Thessalonica was the seat of the Roman governor of Macedonia. It was the capital of Macedonia. It was a great sea Port and the centre of the Via Egnatia (the Roman highway to the East). After Corinth, Thessalonica was the second largest numerical city in European Greek. It has its’ own system of government with Magistrates called “Poitarchs”. Acts 17:1 shows that they were the rulers of the city, there is a Jewish Colony there. This city itself was founded by a man called Cassander who named this city in honour of his wife who was a half-sister to Alexander the Great or was a daughter of Phillip II of Macedonia. The modern name for this city is Salonika in Greece.
The problem in the Jewish Synagogue had its major premise (the bases of an argument) on the fact that the Messiah of the Bible must die a rise again. This idea was strange to the Jews who thought that the Messiah will be a physical King, He went ahead to argue that it was Christ who titled the description of the Messiah, therefore, should be received by all Jaws,
The 1 and 2 Thessalonians are regarded as the earliest writings of the NT. The first letter was written upon the report that Timothy taught. It was written in Athens. It was written primarily to praise the Thessalonians for their steadfastness despite the Jewish persecution. Secondly, to correct certain errors acid misunderstandings that had grown up among, them. The main theme of this epistle is the doctrine of Christ’s second coming. Christians were worried over their beloved ones who died before Christ’s return they probably that these ones are lost hence the need to write to them to explain the issue of resurrection at Christ’s coming. Apart from this, some of them resorted to idleness believing that the return of our Lord was imminent hence he wrote to ”encourage them to work with their own hands. In addition to the issue of dates and seasons for the Parousia.
I. 1:1-2 – Salutation
II. 1:3-12 – Expectation in persecution
a) 1:3-4 – Thanksgiving for Growth
b) 1:5 – Explanation of purpose.
c) 1:11-12 – Prayer.
III 2:1-17 – Explanation of Events.
a) 2:1-2 – Alarms Quieted
b) 2:3-7 – Apostasy predicted
c) 2:8-12 – Antichrist Revealed
d) 2:13-17 – Attitude of Faith Encouraged.
IV 3:1-15 – Exhortations to Readiness
a) 3:1-5 – To Prayer.
b) 3:6-15 -. To Industry
V 3:16-18 – . Benediction, and Salutation
In this book, Paul undertook to provide definite criteria by which might recognize the approach of the “day of the Lord” Paul talked about the hinderer (2:6-7). Paul knew who this hinderer is and likewise the Thessalonians but today there is no general agreement as to know who the person is. Some are of the opinion that it is the Holy Spirit who is the power behind the church and is said to be restraining the activities, of Satan from its full manifestation. Others said it is the church herself who is seen as the salt and light. Salt preserves and light illuminates. Once these two things are removed, there will be corruption (bitterness and darkness). In this book, three major events will presage his coming;
(1) A sudden acceleration of apostasy from godliness (2:3)
(2). The removal of some, restraining influence (2:6-7)
(3) The complete unveiling of the incarnation of evil who will be empowered by Satan and who will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God (2:4,9).
Finally, is the expansion of 1Thess, 4:11. This goes to those who have stopped working and were waiting for the appearance of the Deliverance. He exhausted them to earn their own living and to mind their own businesses
Pastoral Epistles (Background) Philemon
The Pastoral Epistles belong to this stage of Pauls’s ministry. At this time Paul’s ministry on earth was drawing to a close 2Timothy 4:5-9. The tone of the above reference shows the words of a man who had received the sentence of death. This further shows that 2Timothy was probably St. Paul’s last writings. From the foregoing, we may infer that Titus was written before 2Timothy. 1Timothy and Titus are very similar In content. Both of them are instructions given to those young Pastors, ie. Timothy of the church of Ephesus and Titus of Crete. In both epistles, Paul was counselling those pastors concerning their pastoral duties.
Paul’s Epistles can be classified into three:
(1) The travel Epistles: These were written during Paul’s missionary journeys when he was moving from one city to another. They include;
(b) 1 & 2 Thessalonica is
(c) 1 & 2 Corinthians
(d) Romans )
2. The Prison Epistles:
These were written during Paul’s imprisonment. They include:
(3) .” the third category is the Pastoral Epistles:
Out of these three, only the second Timothy was written from Prison when Paul was brought before emperor Nero the second time which led finally to his execution. 1Timothy and Titus were written from Laodicea and Nicopolis of Macedonia respectively.
From the Greek word Timos (honour) and Theos (God) comes the meaning “one who honours God”. II Timothy 1:5 and Acts l6:1-3; Timothy’ was born in Lystra to parents of mixed race. His Father was a Greek while his mother was a Jewess. He was taught the scriptures right from childhood. Paul came In contact With him on his second missionary journey and since then he has been with Paul. He accompanied Paul during the evangelization of Achaia and Macedonia. He helped Paul during his preaching at Ephesus; A city that he became acquainted with and was later appointed to be a bishop there. He was with Paul during his first imprisonment in Rome (Col.1:1, Philemon 1). After the release of Paul from his imprisonment, Timothy travelled with him. while Paul continued the journey to Visit the churches in Macedonia, he left Timothy at Ephesus to straighten up some issues that had developed.
When Paul was, about to suffer martyrdom, Timothy rejoined him ( 2Tim. 4:11,21). Timothy himself was imprisoned but was later released (Heb. 13:23). Although Timothy was faithful, he was not bold. He was a young man when he was given this assignment ( 1Tim. 4:12). He was timid (2 Tim.1:6-7) and was subject to stomach trouble ( 1Timo 5:23 ). This epistle was written to encourage him to continue in the work committed into his hands.
1 TIMOTHY (1 Tim. 1:3-4):
This epistle was ‘Written to, Timothy to counsel him to correct certain errors that have developed in the church and to charge those men who were teaching another doctrine to stop it. The heresy in this church is similar to that found at Colosse, having elements of both Greek speculative Philosophy and Jewish Legalism.
This Epistle also shows the close relationship between Paul and Timothy. Physically, Paul was old enough to be Timothy’s father but more importantly, Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy.
I. 1:1-2. – Greeting
II. 1:3-20. – Paul and Timothy
a) 1:3-11 – Timothy’s Task at Ephesus.
b) 1:12-17 – Paul outlines his own experience of the gospel.
c) 1:18-20 – Paul issues a charge to Timothy.
III. 2:1- 4:16 – Regulations for worship and order in the church
a) 2:1-8 – The importance and scope of public prayer.
b) 2:9-15 – The status and behaviour of Christian women
c) 3:1-13 – The “qualifications of church officials.
d) 3:14-16 – The hope of the church.
e)- 4;1-16 – Threats to the Safety of the church.
IV. 5: 1-25, – Discipline within the church.
V. 6:1-19 – Various instructions,
a) 6:1-2. – Concerning slaves, and their masters,
b). 6:3-5. – Concerning False Teachers.
c) 6:6-10, – Concerning true perils of wealth.
d) 6:11-16 – Concerning the aims of a man of God
e) 6:17-19 – Concerning Wealthy men.
The experience of Paul which he narrated to Timothy In this book serves as a pattern for anyone being called into the ministry. The frequency at which Paul reminded Timothy of the responsibility of His calling shows the importance of keeping the vision afresh to avoid quitting (1:18, 4:6,12,16, 5:21, 6:11,20). In the section dealing, with personal admonitions (4:6-6:19) . Paul Outlines the relation of the preacher to his own ministry and to the groups in the congregation, showing how to deal with each one of them. The final appeal to Timothy as a man of God is a classic (standard). In five imperatives (commands: “flee”, “follow”, “fight”, “lay hold” and “keep”), Paul sketched the elements of personal ministerial life (6:11,12,14)
when commenting on 2 Timothy “The general tone of the Pastoral Epistles reveals a church that was fighting for its life against the corrupt indifference of a decadent Paganism. Paul, the representative of the passing generation of missionary pioneers, was delegating his responsibilities to the young and more vigorous assistants, some of whom like Titus and Timothy, were worthy successors. 2 Timothy was his last message to his helpers and friends before he passed off the scene.
Quoting M.C. Tenney, Ralph Earle has this to say about 2 Timothy; “It is an Intermingling of personal sentiment and of administrative policy, of reminiscence (recalling past experiences, or reminding someone of something) and of instruction, of sadness and of confidence.
I. 1:1-2 – Greeting
II. 1:3-5 – Thanksgiving
III. 1:6-14 – Encouragement from experience-
a. 1:6-10 – Timothy’s gift,
b. 1:11-12 – Paul’s Testimony
c. 1:13-14 – Timothy’s responsibility,
iv. 1:15-18 – Paul and His Associates.
v. 2:1-26 – Directions to Timothy
a) 2:1-26 – His main Task,
b) 2:3-13 – Encouragement and Exhortations
c) 2:14-26 – Advice On the treatment of false teachers
vi. 3:1-9 – The last days.
vii. 3:10-17 – Further Exhortations to Timothy.
viii. 4:1-16 – Paul’s farewell message.
a. 4:1-5 – A final charge.
b. 4:6-8 – Paul’s confession of faith.
c. 4:9-13 – Some personal requests.
d. 4:13-15 – A particular Warning.
e. 4:16-17 – His first defence.
f. 4:18 – His”assurance for the future.
ix. 4:19-22. – Conclusion.
MESSAGE / THEME:
The main purpose of this book is to strengthen Timothy for, the task which Paul was about to relinquish. In it, Paul reminded Timothy of the Pastoral pattern by telling him of his own personal experiences (2Tim 1:9). With this calling in mind, he urged Timothy to undertake his problems as a Soldier who goes to war (2:3), trusting his general to plan the campaign and serving wholeheartedly and uncomplainingly in the ranks where he is needed.
The dexterities of the last days were a piece of prophecy picturing the conditions of things to come. The only solution according to Paul for the influx of evil is the knowledge of the scripture (4:7-8). This is another classic that should be studied by every minister of the gospel.
Titus was sent by Paul to create to rectify the errors in the church. The conditions of things at certain churches were discouraging. The church was unorganised and members were living a loose life. In chapter 2, there were indications that the men were loosed and careless and the’ elderly women were gossips and winebibbers ( drunkards) and the young women were idle and flirtatious (attraction of the opposite sex).
(The problem in this church has been caused by a combination of the ethical laxity which came from the natural tendencies of the Cretians ( 1:12,13,14). The situation was made worse by the arguments over Jewish fables and commands being perpetuated by the Judaizers in that church (1:10). These Judaizers were described by Paul as;
1) godless( 1:16)
2) Unruly ( 1:10).
3) divisive (1:11)
Titus like 1 Timothy was written to counsel a learner who was working out the problems of a difficult pastorate. In Galatians 2:1,3, we are told that he was a Gentile convert of the early days of Antioch whose conversion was very .convincing among the uncircumcised believers. In 2 Corin 7:6-16, he acted as Paul’s representative in bringing the trouble in the Corinthian church to an end. He was travelling, around Macedonia collecting the funds being raised by St. Paul (2 Corin. 4:16,19, 23). The last time he was mentioned in the N.T., it states that he had gone to Dalmatia (2 Timo 4:10). No doubt he is a man of stronger character than Timothy.
OUTLINE (The book of sound doctrine)
i. 1:1-4 – Salutation.
ii. 1:5-16 – The administration of sound Doctrine.
a. 1:5-9 – The appointment of elders.
b. 1:10-16 – The Exposure of False Teachers.
iii. 2:1-15 – The preaching of Sound Doctrine.
a. 2:1-10 – Application to;
> Aged men
> Aged women
> Young men
> Young women
b. 2:11-15 – Definition of Doctrine.
iv. 3:1-11 – Councellint by sound Doctrine
v. 3:12-15 – Concluding Salutations.
MESSAGE / THEME:
In Two different passages of this book, Paul laid out the closest approach to the doctrines (2:11-14, 3:V-7). These doctrines are as follows:
1) The personality of God (2:11,3:6).
2) The Qualities of his love and Grace (2:11; 3:4)
3) His title as Saviour (2:10, 3:4).
4) The Saviour hood of Christ (2:13, 3:6)
5) The Holy Spirit ( 3:5).
6) The implication of the Triune being of God (3:5-6)
7) The essential deity of Christ (2:13)
8). The Vicarious atonement of Christ (2:14) .
9) The Universality of Salvation (2:11).
10. Salvation by grace not by works (3:5)
11). The incoming of the Holy Spirit (3-5).
12). Justification by faith (3:7).
13). Sanctification (Purification) of His own people (2: 4)
14). Separation from evil (2:12)
15). Inheritance of eternal life (3:7).
16). The Returning of Christ (2:13).
The foregoing points to the main issues in the NT. theology.
This book is a good Summary of the doctrinal teachings of the church, especially under its institutionalised stage. The word ‘Sound’ implies a recognised standard of doctrine to which correct life and teaching must conform.
Philemon was of the church at Colosse in whose house was the meeting place of Christians. He was a businessman at Colosse and owned a slave called Onesimus who absconded with some of his master’s properties. When Onesimus absconded from his master, he went to Rome. It was in Rome he came in contact with Paul who influenced him greatly after he was converted.
Paul who knew Philemon before now saw the necessity of reconciling Onesimus with his master Philemon. The note of reconciliation and an appeal for forgiveness on behalf of Onesimus is this epistle. Paul agreed to pay for the financial loss that Onesimus had caused ( 18:19). Tychicus was sent in the company of Onesnms to Decelles in the letter.
OUTLINE (CHRISTIAN FORGIVENESS).
i. 1-3 – Salutation
ii. 4-7 – The Fellowship
iii. 8-20 – The Favour
iv. 21-25 – The farewell.
This letter contains the truest picture of Christian forgiveness and its meaning. The elements of forgiveness are
a) the offence (11,19) ;
b) Appeal for compassion (vs.10).
c) Intercession (10,18,19)
(d) Substitution (18:19)
e) Restoration to favour (vs. 15) ;
(f) An elevation to a new relationship (vs.16).
All aspects of divine forgiveness of sin are made manifest here.
It is a practical lesson in our Lord’s prayer “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors”.
THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS:
The Epistle stands as a lonely mountain peak among the books of the NT. Its author is unknown, it cannot be classified with the Epistles of Paul or the general Epistles – Ralph Earle.
The Greek Bible has the title “PROS EBRAIOUS”, meaning. “TO HEBREWS”. The Church fathers of the second, third and fourth Centuries did not know the author of this book. The following will prove this;
Clement of Alexandria (195 AD) was of the opinion that Paul wrote the Epistle in the local Hebrew dialect (Aramaic) for the Jews and that it was Luke who translated it into Greek for the gentiles. But the objection to this theory is that the book doesn’t seem to be translated from Hebrew (Aramaic). Its standard of the Greek language is almost classical.
Origin (22.0 AD) said who wrote this Epistle, “Only God Knows”.
Clement of Rome (AD 95) quoted many times from this Epistle
but never attribute its authorship to Paul.
Tertullian (AD 195 of North Africa) said that Barnabas wrote and under his influence, the church council agreed and settled that it was Paul.
Martin Luther thought that Apollos wrote it considering the description of whom Apollos is in Acts 18:24 which fits the nature of this epistle.
John Calvin was quoted as saying that I, Indeed, can adduce reason to show that Paul was its author. the manner of teaching and the style, sufficiently show that Paul was not the author and the writer himself confesses In the second chapter that he was one of the disciples of the Apostles, which is wholly different from the way In which Paul spoke of himself”. The Catholic view is that Paul was the author, while Protestant denies Pauline authorship.
Other suggestions by theologians include BARNABAS, LUKE, CLEMENT, SILVANUS, APOLLOS, PHILLIP, and PRISCILLA.
In conclusion, the thoughts of origin on this seem to ‘be-the safest ground. That is the fact that the thoughts were
Pauline but the style is not his. Origen supposed that one of the disciples of Paul with the down from memory what heard.
Origen, therefore, did not quarrel with any church that regards it as Pauline but Origen adds his famous caution. But who wrote the Epistle? God only knows certainly.
BACKGROUND TO THE BOOK.
In the early church, there is a great difference between the Jewish Christians and the gentile Christians. the Christian Jews believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and still held unto some observances of the law, whereas the Gentile Christians only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. So there was the problem of uniting these two groups of Christians together as the Jewish Christians insisted on not having anything to the with Gentile believers. Another problem was the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The effects of the fall were great. Judaism as a system of worship and Judaism as a political system became merged. When Jerusalem was, therefore, overthrown the Jews lost their lands, temple, and government. Judaism became primarily the worship of God through the study of the law, thereby strengthening Legalism.
Another issue at stake at that time was how the OT should be interpreted in the revelation of Jesus as the Messiah. Some Jews were confused as to how to interpret the overthrow of Jerusalem, whether it was God’s judgment on those who rejected Jesus Christ or not.
I SHALL STOP HERE FOR NOW, TILL THE NEXT UPDATE.
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