In this letter Paul reminds the Christian believers that God saved us and wants the church to be in unity. Notice the word “together” in these verses. “ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9) He tries to bring the believing Jews and believing Gentiles together in unity. “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6) He gives instructions for husbands and wives, servants and masters, and even for children. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1) Paul wrote this letter while in prison and knew well the armor of a good soldier. He encourages us to put on “the whole armour of God” in Ephesians 6:13-17. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Paul wrote this letter (with Timotheus - Philippians 1:1) to the church at Philippi. Paul was in prison, but this is not a sad book, as he rejoices in Christ, his Lord and Savior. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) Again, in 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Another positive verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” He wrote the letter to thank the church for helping supply his needs and gave them this promise, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Colossians is another prison letter from Paul and Timotheus. The Christians at Colosse are encouraged to “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Another good verse to live by is Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” The next verses give instructions to wives, husbands, children, fathers, servants, and masters.
Paul begins the letter to the church of the Thessalonians in thanksgiving. “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;” (I Thessalonians 1:2-3) He tried to comfort them regarding believers that had died. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him… For the Lord him self shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:13, 14, & 16-18) He also encourages them in how to live. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-22) These verses are short, but powerful.
It seems as though some of the believers stopped working after Paul told them that Jesus was coming to take His Church to heaven, so he quickly wrote another letter to the Thessalonians. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” (II Thessalonians 3:10-13) After God saves us, He has a work for us to do. We should not sit around, just waiting for the Lord to return, but be faithful in His work.
While the previous letters of Paul were written to churches, this letter was written to young Timothy. Paul is instructing his good friend, beginning with prayer. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-4) Paul further encourages Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (I Timothy 4:12-13) Paul gives Timothy instructions in church leadership, for bishops and deacons. He also warns him not to seek after the riches of this world. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation… For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Timothy 6:6-10)
Week 9 -- Do You Know???
1. Can you complete these verses?
“For by _______________ are ye saved through _________________;
and that not of yourselves: it is the ______________ of _____________:
Not of _______________, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“Children, ________________ your ___________________ in the
_______________: for this is _____________________.” Ephesians 6:1
2. Draw lines to match the Armor of God
Sword of the Spirit Salvation
3. Who can supply all our need in Philippians 4:19? ______________
____ Ephesians A) Paul’s letter to a dear young preacher ____ Philippians B) Paul’s letter “to keep the unity of the Spirit” ____ Colossians C) Paul comforts the believers about the
____ I Thessalonians second coming of Christ
____ II Thessalonians D) Letter of rejoicing to church at Philippi
____ I Timothy E) Paul tells the church to keep on working F) Paul exhorts, “Whatsoever ye do… do
all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”