Thursday, November 6, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
The letters to Timothy and Titus are different from Paul's other letters. These letters were written not to a church but to a person. They were personal. Timothy was Paul's young assistant who had accompanied him for years and acted as his liaison to a number of churches. Timothy whose name means “one who honors God” was Paul’s “beloved son in the faith.” Timothy’s conversion to Christianity was produced by Paul’s ministry during his first missionary endeavor (Acts 14:6-18) to Lystra, the home town of young Timothy. Though Lystra was a city full of false religions, Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois had raised him to be a Hebrew as they were (2 Tim. 1:5, Acts 16:1). Timothy’s father -being a Greek- refused for Timothy to be circumcised, but no doubt Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him the history of their faith (2 Tim. 3:15) and instilled a faithfulness to the Lord. Timothy had a good report of the Christians that were in that city, and Paul then took Timothy with him on his missionary journeys. Timothy was Paul’s “true child in the faith.” (1 Tim. 1:2)
The first letter Paul wrote Timothy may have been considered personal, but it included instructions to the church as a whole in Ephesus. Paul addressed Timothy, but also includes his apostolic credentials. This gives us the clue that Paul was addressing Timothy and to the churches in Ephesus.
Our purpose today is the same plea, to fight for and contend for the faith. What has been entrusted to us has to be kept. Timothy may have been young, but Paul trusted him with the Gospel. You and I are being handed the glorious gospel that saves sinners. The gospel of Jesus Christ that was preached to us and led to our salvation, must be cherished and held onto. Any corrupters of pure doctrine must be opposed. Embracing culture and loosening our grip on doctrine will shipwreck the church. We are a light set on a hill, we must shine with the radiance of the Gospel. The church and it’s doctrine will not be accepted by the world, it’s not our duty to water down the truth that saves. Truth that does not lead to deliverance is not truth at all. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ sets people free from the bondage of sin. If chains are not being broken, lives being restored and made holy, then we are preaching another gospel. The same Gospel that delivered us and freed us from sin, will be the same Gospel that will bring revival to our cities and world.
Part 2 to be continued on 2 Timothy
Monday, October 27, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Transformation is something all Christians should desire. Spiritual Transformation is a change in a person’s character that is effected on the basis of receiving the benefits of God’s actions in Jesus Christ. So what does transformation look like? This Sunday at Crosstown I'll be preaching study about this transformation which was a the theme from our readings in the New Testament Challenge this week. Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The Colossian church was experiencing the same sorts of problems that other early churches had encountered. Certain members were teaching that the observance of Jewish rulers about food, the Sabbath, and special festivals needed to be added to the Christian faith. Paul was very concerned for the spiritual condition of these Christians. He did not want them to be swayed by the teachings of others that would pull them away from the simplicity and sufficiency of Christ.
We too as Christians, whatever trials we face, can always seek to advance Christ’s kingdom and God’s glory. We too can be triumphant, and can learn to be content in whatever circumstances and say as Paul, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Luke is the longest of the four Gospels, and the only one with a sequel-the book of Acts. Luke, a physician, was not an eyewitness to the events surrounding Jesus but gathered reports from others to provide "an orderly account" of the events to someone named Theophilus. (Luke 1:3) Luke was a companion of the Apostle Paul during his missionary travels and has also been called Luke the Evangelist because of this very reason. Luke was not one of the Apostles but was likely a Greek by birth who was very well educated and (Col 4:11) who was possibly brought to faith in Christ by Paul during one of his missions
Little is known about Theophilus. We don't know if this Theophilus, which means friend of God or lover of God, was a given name or a name taken after conversion (which was a common practice). The title given to him by Luke "most excellent" indicates he held prominence and may have been a high ranking official in Roman society.
Since Luke was a Greek it appears that he wanted the Gentile Christian’s to understand that God offers salvation to all who would trust in the Son of God. This third gospel presented the works and the teachings of Jesus Christ in a way that the non-Jew would more easily understand and this is why this gospel was not intended specifically for the Jews. It seems evident, just as in the Book of Acts, that Luke wrote this to give an historical and factual account of Jesus Christ’s ministry for Theophilus, who was likely a converted Gentile
The fact that his main interest was in the redemptive plan of salvation of what God had planned from the beginning is testimony to the fact that the audience was those who were within the Body of Christ and were Gentile by birth. The style of Luke’s writing has an apologetic nature to it with highly accurate details and genealogies that we might expect of someone of a higher, Greek up-bringing and which the Greeks of the day would better appreciate. It seems that Luke is interested in those who the world neglects, especially the Jewish religious leadership of the day. Those who were being neglected like children, women, and the poor, were an emphasis in this gospel so it would appear that his audience also included those who were disenfranchised in Judea during the 1st century.
Luke gives us the purpose in the very beginning in Luke 1:1-4. As with Luke’s Book of Acts, one of the reasons for Luke’s writing this gospel was to stress the humanity of Christ which may be why he gave a highly accurate and vividly detailed genealogy of Jesus Christ and account of His birth. he gives us an exacting, accurate, and detailed account of Jesus’ earthly ministry and writes it in such a way as to be one of the most historically reliable accounts that stands up to ancient and modern historicity standards and scholarship.