The Significance of 1 Peter

As part of the requirements for one of my seminary classes, all students were required to follow a guided template in explaining the significance of certain books of the Bible. Below is the third one about 1 Peter.

The summary follows four main parts: The purpose of the book (including the argument), a short summary of the book, what I want the audience to know regarding knowledge and action, and finally how this book will affect my personal character development. Each of us will be different in how 1 Peter challenges us to grow and it is also dependent on the season of life we are in. Certain themes are more prominent in different seasons that help us grow and stick out more to us. God will speak into our lives through Scripture to tell us what He wants us to hear. You can read the same passage a year later and be reminded of a different truth that is important.

This post will focus on the significance of 1 Peter.


The Significance of 1 Peter to Your Life & Ministry

  1.  State briefly the purpose and argument of the book? (Give references to support your statements). What I want you to do here is (1) discern the importance of what this book teaches well enough to remember it; (2) the argument is trying to assess how the author develops and accomplishes his purpose.
    1. Purpose (Major Theme or Purpose): Peter explains his two main purposes for writing 1 Peter: to exhort, and to assure or testify to the truthfulness of the gospel they had trusted for their salvation (1 Pet 5:12). Peter encouraged his readers to remain faithful to Christ amid the suffering. Peter concludes his book by exhorting the readers to “stand firm” (5:9). First Peter provides the Christian with encouragement that there is grace for these trials (5:10). The theme of 1 Peter is suffering for the cause of Christ and for righteousness sake in the hope of glory (1:10-12; 2:20-25; 3:14-22; 4:1-2, 12-19; 5:6-11).
    2. Argument (What is the author trying to accomplish and how is he doing it?): Peter accomplishes his purpose and theme through the use of exhortation (5:10-12). First Peter is almost entirely a call to action to his readers and urges them to courage, purity, and faithfulness to Christ during the sufferings they are experiencing. Peter intentionally uses the word exhortation to convey that he has come alongside them to help, admonish, comfort, or encourage (4:12-19; 5:1-5). Peter writes a significant amount about suffering and gives a personal witness to the truth of the gospel and the hope of glory (1:3-4; 1:13, 21; 4:1-2, 7-11; 5:4, 10). From the opening section on salvation (1:3-12) to the closing promise of eternal glory (5:10), Peter shows his readers that their faith is validated by these trials (4:14-18). Peter also relays a number of theological truths to strengthen his audience’s understandings. These theological teachings include the regenerating power of Scripture (1:23-25), the distinct roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in salvation (1:3-12), unique nature of the church (2:9-10), and the substitutionary atonement of Christ (1:18-21; 2:24; 3:18). Peter refers to God 39 times throughout the book and describes Him in different ways (Father [1:2], judge [1:7], living [1:23], and faithful Creator [4:19]).
  2.  Give a short paragraph of how this book fits into the overall message or argument of the whole Bible. Support your statements with passages from the OT & NT. Give crossreferences from both Testaments—(like chapter and verse, 2:12 for example; “passages” means more than one)?
O.T. Present Book N.T.
Isaiah 25:8-12; Ezekiel

28:24-26; 40:1-5; Psalm

39:1-7; Proverbs 11:30-

34

There is hope in an eternal glory 1 Peter 1:3-13, 21; 5:4, 10 Matthew 5:17-20; 7:13-15;

19:17-19; John 14:2-4;

Titus 1:2; 2:13; Revelation

21:4-8; 22:3-7

Jeremiah 17:7-8; Isaiah

1:18; 43:1-7; 52:6; 55:7;

57:12;Habakkuk 2:4;

Genesis 12:3; 15:6; Psalm

32:1-2

The doctrine of salvation 1 Peter 1:3-12; 3:18-22 Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Peter

1:10-11; John 3:16, 36;

5:24; 8:31-32; Matthew

7:21; Romans 10:9, 13-14;

8:1, 16

Proverbs 3:4-6; 24:10;

Joshua 1:9; 2 Chronicles

15:7-8; Psalm 9:9; 23:4;

27:1; 34:9; Isaiah 26:3-4

Endurance for the times of suffering

1 Peter 1:10-12; 2:20-25; 3:14-22; 4:1-

2, 12-19; 5:6-11

2 Corinthians 4:8-9;

Philippians 4:6-7, 12-13;

James 1:2-4; Romans 8:28;

John 14:27-28

Deuteronomy 6:4-5;

10:12-19; Proverbs 10:12;

17:9, 17; Leviticus 19:18;

Psalm 59:16; 116:1;

Zephaniah 3:17

Keep fervent in love for others 1 Peter 3:8-9; 4:8-9 Luke 6:31, 35; Romans

12:9; 13:10; Mark 12:31; 1

Corinthians 13:4-8, 13;

Ephesians 4:2; 1 John 4:7,

18-19

 

3. What do I want my congregation, audience, or study group to apply after studying this book? What would I want them NOT to forget? What does it do for YOU?

a. KNOWING/MEMORY – Give four (4) PRINCIPLES (values; ethical standards; doctrines; main beliefs) that you gleaned from this book and that you and your congregation will think of and remember when the book is named. These should be appropriate to the text, so GIVE REFERENCES (chapters and verses) for each. 

      • The hope of glory.
        • I want the audience to remember that in spite of the pain and suffering that surrounds us, there is hope in the glorious future ahead. Believers have a secure hope (1:3-4) that triumphs over suffering (1:5-8) and a future full of glory (1:13, 21; 5:4, 10). The suffering is only for a little while and will result in glory.
      • Follow the example of Christ through suffering.
        • I would like the audience to remember that salvation became possible through the suffering of Christ. Redemption through the shed blood of the spotless lamb, Christ, was planned even before creation (1:18-21). As Christ endured, so believers should endure patiently as God will give grace to endure (2:20). Christ suffered for us, giving Christians an example to follow, yet committed no sin, entrusted Himself to God, so that we might die to sin, live to righteousness, and be healed (2:21-24). The trials are painful, but are just for a little while, and if we are to suffer for the sake of righteousness, we will be blessed (3:14). God calls us to cast our anxieties on Him because He cares for us (5:7).
      • The duty of submission.
        • I want the audience to remember that in the midst of a hostile world, believers can exemplify Jesus by living godly lives. Living like Christ includes submitting to those in government (2:13-17), to their bosses (2:18-25), and to others within the family (3:1-7). Submission may even lead to false accusations and unjust suffering (2:1320). Yet, Christ set the example of submission and He did not retaliate when He was reviled (2:21-25). Christ’s submission was not in vain though because He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father (3:22). Submission starts by submitting to God (3:7-12) and its effects are seen in all aspects on one’s life.
      • The doctrine of salvation and sanctification.
        • The audience should remember that as tenuous as our time on earth seems, a believer has a living hope that is secure in heaven (1:3-12). The future hope is certain and their present faith is protected by God’s power until that hopeful day comes. Christians can rejoice because of their position in Christ even though it may lead to suffering (1:1-12). Angels marvel at the salvation that believers in Christ enjoy (1:12). Christians have been born again not of perishable seed but of the imperishable seed through the living and enduring word of God (1:23). Believers need to continue to grow in the relationship with God (1:13-21), others (1:21-25), and in their inner life (2:1-12). Growth is not something that comes easily or automatically, but continually grows and through much obedience (2:1-3).
  1. DOING/ACTION – What you will lead others to do that is based on the text or passage that suggested this action. You are required to do two (2) of these and be sure to give references It must be supported by a particular text, so be sure to give chapters and verses, example 2:12.
    • Develop ways to help people see hope and focus on the future in tough circumstances (1 Pet 1:10-12; 2:20-25; 3:14-22; 4:1-2, 12-19; 5:6-11).
      • Develop a teaching series on the hope of heaven and how it differs from earth. This will provide basis for giving the audience reasons to long for heaven o Develop a quick reference guide that lists various Bible verses about heaven, the future, and suffering.
      • Write several blog posts on suffering, including waiting, patience, and enduring trials. A secondary focus will be to not only show the readers how to endure suffering, but how to see God at work, what he is doing, and focus on the hope of glory that lies ahead.
      • Teach and show these individuals how to keep a prayer journal. This will allow them to reflect on how God has worked in their lives. This will help create markers to see God’s faithfulness and all that He brought them through.
    • Develop a curriculum for people to better understand biblical submission (1 Pet 2:13-3:12).
      • Create and bring in speakers to talk about what biblical submission looks like and how to live in submission daily. A speaker will discuss the main areas of submission found in 1 Peter: Human institutions/authorities (2:13-17), employers (2:18-20), wives (3:1-6), husbands (3:7), and the church (3:8-12). In the same way, show how Christ gave the perfect example of submission (2:21-25).
      • Develop an easy reference guide that provides the main points on submission for each area. o Encourage small groups to talk about how submission is going in each person’s life and identify ways that leaders can help the individuals.

5. BEING/PERSONAL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT –What one (1) thing touched your heart, as you were reading/studying this book? Tell what it was and what text influenced you – Scripture reference(s) required. What you are going to do about it?

  • The thing that touched me most about 1 Peter was to stand firm (5:9) through suffering and remember there is a greater purpose in the suffering. God will bring us through at the right time and we can trust Him and His timing as we humble ourselves to Him (5:6). God will use trials to make us into the type of people He wants us to be. The sufferings are also just for a little while, but there is an eternal glory that awaits us that we can have hope in (5:10). What I really appreciate about 1 Peter is how it shows us the way Jesus lived by setting an example for us to submit to God, knowing the pain that was before Him, and fulfilling His purpose (3:14-22).
  • What am I going to do: First, I will take time daily to thank God for Him and His will (3:1422). I think it is important to be thankful and grateful for what God is doing in our lives, and to look to those things instead of focusing on the hardships. Second, I will daily submit to God and make it a consistent and known part of my prayer life and thoughts (2:13-3:12). Doing this, it will help me to remember who God is and who I am, and as I submit to Him, I will be better prepared to depend on Him for the obstacles that lie ahead. Finally, I will remind myself to focus on the eternal glory that is before us (1:13, 21; 5:4, 10). To me, this will be writing down Scripture passages about the future, the hope we have, and the promises of God that way during the times of trial and uncertainty.

 

 

The Significance of James

As part of the requirements for one of my seminary classes, all students were required to follow a guided template in explaining the significance of certain books of the Bible. below is the first one about James.

The summary follows four main parts: The purpose of the book (including the argument), a short summary of the book, what I want the audience to know regarding knowledge and action, and finally how this book will affect my personal character development. Each of us will be different in how James challenges us to grow and it is also dependent on the season of life we are in. Certain themes are more prominent in different seasons that help us grow and stick out more to us. God will speak into our lives through Scripture to tell us what He wants us to hear. You can read the same passage a year later and be reminded of a different truth that is important.

This post will focus on the significance of James


The Significance of James to Your Life & Ministry

  1. State briefly the purpose and argument of the book? (Give references to support your statements). What I want you to do here is (1) discern the importance of what this book teaches well enough to remember it; (2) the argument is trying to assess how the author develops and accomplishes his purpose.
    • Purpose (Major Theme or Purpose): The purpose of James is to answer the questions that the Jews in the dispersion had. The people were in danger of drifting away from the true faith. James’s purpose in writing his readers is to help them determine the genuineness of their faith and help them understand what true faith is. James wanted to restore the true faith and genuine fellowship that characterized the church immediately after Pentecost. The theme is seen in James’ emphasis on genuine faith being evidenced in works before men (2:14-26). James suggests that God accepted religion is known by the fruit that it bears (1:26-27). In identifying true faith, James gives several tests to show what true, living faith is (2:26). These include love without favoritism (2:1-13), taming the tongue (3:1-8), and submission to God evidenced by serving others (4:1-12). In showing what true faith is, James provides a model of genuine righteousness and a theme of God’s hatred of hypocrisy is shown (2:1-13; 4:112). Finally, James warns against being double minded (1:8; 4:2-4). James exhorts his readers for a single-minded allegiance to God.
    •  Argument (What is the author trying to accomplish and how is he doing it?): The book of James is a General Epistle where James responds to the questions and answers that his readers had, most likely the Jews in the dispersion. His response to these questions contributes to the varied nature of the book. However, James continually reminds his readers what true and genuine faith is and accomplishes his argument by offering a series of tests to see if they are living out true faith, or if they have dead faith. These test include love without favoritism (2:1-13), taming the tongue (3:1-8), and submission to God evidenced by serving others (4:1-12). James argues that true faith will result in works, because without works, faith is dead (2:17) because it does not manifest a transformed and obedient life (2:20, 26). Also, James parallels Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to accomplish his purpose (1:2-5; 2:13-16; 3:1718; 4:10-11; 5:10, 12). James uses a number of imperatives to emphasize his point. One half of the verses in James (54 imperatives to 108 verses in James) contain a call to action. James also uses a number of metaphors, analogies and figures of speech to help the audience further understand his point (1:6; 1:11; 3:4; 4:14; 5:4; etc.).

 

  1. Give a short paragraph of how this book fits into the overall message or argument of the whole Bible. Support your statements with passages from the OT & NT. Give crossreferences from both Testaments—(like chapter and verse, 2:12 for example; “passages” means more than one)? 
O.T. Present Book N.T.
Isaiah 3:14-15; 10:1-2;

Amos 4:1; Micah 2:1-2;

Proverbs 14:31

Social Justice: God’s people are to care for the poor and disadvantaged James 1:27; 2:1-7; 5:1-6 Mark 12:40; John 12:5;

Romans 15:26; 1 John 3:17-

18; Acts 20:35; Matt 6:1-4

Habakkuk 2:4; Genesis

15:6; Genesis 12:3; Isaiah

26:3

True Faith is evidenced in a righteous life

James 2:14-26; 1:4, 5, 9, 20; 2:13-16;

3:17-18; 4:4, 10-11; 5:2, 10, 12, 15

Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John

3:14; Matthew 7:20;

Galatians 5:22-23; John 1:12; Matthew 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount)

Psalm 18:6; Psalm

107:28-30; Jeremiah

29:11-15; Jeremiah 33:3;

2 Chronicles 7:14

The Power of prayer James 5:13-20; 1:5 Luke 1:37; Luke 18:1;

Philippians 4:6; Matthew

6:10; Acts 12:5, 7-11; Mark

11:24

Deuteronomy 6:4-5;

Psalm 119:113-115; 1

Kings 18:21; Hosea 10:12; Isaiah 29:13

Warning against being double minded

James 1:8; 4:4, 8

Matthew 6:24; Luke 11:3940; 1 John 2:15; Revelation

3:15-18; Luke 16:13

 

  1. What do I want my congregation, audience, or study group to apply after studying this book? What would I want them NOT to forget? What does it do for YOU?
    • KNOWING/MEMORY – Give four (4) PRINCIPLES (values; ethical standards; doctrines; main beliefs) that you gleaned from this book and that you and your congregation will think of and remember when the book is named. These should be appropriate to the text, so GIVE REFERENCES (chapters and verses) for each.
      • True faith is lived out in righteous obedience to God.
        • I want the audience to remember that while a Christian is saved by grace through faith and justified by faith, a Christian with true and living faith authenticates their faith by works (2:14-26). James stresses that holy living is a necessary outcome of Christian faith (2:17). Living faith is evidenced in treating the poor well (5:1-6) and not showing favoritism to the wealthy (2:1-4).
      • True faith prays for God’s will.
        • I would like the audience to remember that James offers great advice on prayer and what faithful prayer looks like. James advises those going through trials to pray to God to gain His wisdom about the trials and what we can learn through those trials (1:5-8). In prayer, we have to be single minded and pray for God’s will to be done. We can still share our desires and plans with God, but we must remember to ask God in faith believing that He can do what we ask, but also surrendering to His will (4:1317). Faith prays to God no matter what the circumstance is or how dire it is. Prayer is a way that God uses to prevail over the situation and it is a tool He has given to believers to use to talk to Him about all that is going on in life (5:13-20).
      • Seek God’s wisdom through trials.
        • The trials and tribulations that we face will require a dependence on the Spirit. While we are not guaranteed an easy life and the afflictions may be severe, believers can use their position as children of God to draw near to Him and persevering in faith (5:1011). God will use these experiences and sufferings for good. During these trials, wisdom is needed to see the good in the benefit of the suffering (1:5-8). We need to ask God to give us wisdom to see the good that can come out of this suffering. Also, wisdom is needed to know how to deal with the suffering correctly so that it produces maturity. God loves to give and this suffering will be used to bring perseverance and endurance to maturity (1:4).
      • Only God can control your tongue.
        • Worthless religion is seen in a person’s lack of control of their tongue (1:26). The tongue indicates how a Christian’s walk with God is. Like horses with bits and ships with rudders, the tongue is small but can cause such great damage (3:3-5). Just as the world contaminates a person, so the tongue can defile a person. However, no human can control their own tongues, only God can. True faith as it matures and sees how much a person needs God, submits to God their tongue for Him to control. By God’s wisdom from above, the Christian is enabled to give this battle to God (3:13-18).
  • DOING/ACTION – What you will lead others to do that is based on the text or passage that suggested this action. You are required to do two (2) of these and be sure to give references It must be supported by a particular text, so be sure to give chapters and verses, example 2:12.
    • Develop a program to help people incorporate prayer into their daily life (1:5-8; 5:13-20).
      • Develop a guide that helps people see how James encouraged believers to pray in different circumstances. This guide will help them understand how to pray for wisdom through trials and suffering (1:5-8), as well as for those who are hurting and in trouble (5:13-18). Another part of this guide can be used to confess sins and ask for God’s forgiveness (5:16). Also, this will help those individuals who are seeking God’s guidance for future plans and including Him in those decisions (4:13-17). Finally, it will include praising God for His blessings. o Teach and show these individuals how to keep or write a prayer journal. This will allow them to look back and see how God worked.
    • Develop avenues for people to engage the poor and practice social justice (Jas 1:27; 2:1-7; 5:1-6).
      • Challenge those around me to get involved and serve in mission programs that target the poor, homeless and widows. At the end of each month, a small toke of appreciation will be given to the person who served the most hours.
      • Create a blog post that has a list of various mission organizations in the area with a list of contacts and opportunities.
      • Have the individuals share what they have learned and accomplished through these volunteer opportunities.
  • BEING/PERSONAL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT –What one (1) thing touched your heart, as you were reading/studying this book? Tell what it was and what text influenced you – Scripture reference(s) required. What you are going to do about it?
    • As I am personally experiencing some difficult times in my own life, the concept that stuck out to me the most was seeking God’s wisdom during the trials and sufferings (Jas 1:5-6). I liked the concept of asking for God’s wisdom to see the good and benefit in these trials, as well as what is the best way to endure so that perseverance and endurance is mature and complete (Jas 1:4). I liked the reminder that James offers that it is not God tempting us (Jas 1:13) as is so often heard in our culture, but that God is a giver and loves to give (Jas 17-18). He will use these trials to help us grow and develop a faith that is alive because we will then be able to help others who are going through things that are similar.
  • What am I going to do:
    • First, I will take time daily to ask God for His wisdom as to how best to endure these trials and what is the good through these things that I need to be learning (Jas 1:46). Second, I will make a journal of my prayers and requests and see how God answers (Jas 5:1320). Finally, since true faith is shown and lived out by works, I will serve at a homeless shelter to help those in need (Jas 2:21-26). 
  • Give a short paragraph of how this book fits into the overall message or argument of the whole Bible. Support your statements with passages from the OT & NT. Give cross-references from both Testaments—(like chapter and verse, 2:12 for example; “passages” means more than one)?
SHORT PARAGRAPH
James contributes to the Bible’s story by helping provide a proper understanding of how faith is lived out in Christians life despite trials and tribulations (James 2:14-26; 1:4-8). James reminds all audiences of the God’s call to care for the poor, widows, and marginalized (James 1:27; 5:1-6; Amos 4:1; Micah 2:1-2; Matt 6:1-4). While James does  not make reference to the incarnation, crucifixion, or resurrection of Jesus, he does provide several parallels to genuine righteous living as Jesus preached on in His Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7; James 1:4-9; 2:13-16; 4:4, 10-11; 5:10, 12). James offers several exhortations for believers to pray through these trials, asking for wisdom and seeking God’s help through it (Jas 1:13-18; 5:13-20; Ps 107:28-30; Mark 11:24; Phil 4:6). James also reminds readers and believers that Jesus is coming back (Matt 24:36; Rev 20:4; Heb 11:19) and they need to be patient and stand fast until then (Jas 5:7-12; 1 Pet 5:10; Rom 12:12; Ex 14:14). James also provides many practical ways to live, like controlling the tongue (Jas 3:1-18; Prov 21:23; Eph 4:29; Ps 141:3; 1 Pet 3:10), loving others without showing favoritism (Jas 2:1-13; Rom 2:11; 1 Tim 5:21; Gal 3:27-28), and submission to God (Jas 4:1-12; Prov 3:5-6; Rom 8:7; 1 Pet 5:6). James provides an overall view of the gospel by reminding people of their sin (Jas 4:1-17; Rom 3:23; Ps 19:13-17; Gen 4:4-7) their need for saving faith in Christ (Jas 2:14-26; Eph 3:8-10; Gen 15:6), how to live a Christian life (Jas 1:27; 2:14-26; Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 5:17; Deut 6:45), and the hope of Christ return (Matt 24:36; Rev 20:4; Heb 11:19).

 

The Significance of Hebrews

As part of the requirements for one of my seminary classes, all students were required to follow a guided template in explaining the significance of certain books of the Bible. below is the first one about Hebrews.

The summary follows four main parts: The purpose of the book (including the argument), a short summary of the book, what I want the audience to know regarding knowledge and action, and finally how this book will affect my personal character development. Each of us will be different in how Hebrews challenges us to grow and it is also dependent on the season of life we are in. Certain themes are more prominant in different seasons that help us grow and stick out more to us. God will speak into our lives through Scripture to tell us what He wants us to hear. You can read the same passage a year later and be reminded of a different truth that is important.

Here is the first in this short series.


The Significance of Hebrews to Your Life & Ministry

  1. State briefly the purpose and argument of the book? (Give references to support your statements). What I want you to do here is (1) discern the importance of what this book teaches well enough to remember it; (2) the argument is trying to assess how the author develops and accomplishes his purpose.
    • Purpose (Major Theme or Purpose): The purpose and theme of Hebrews is that of the superiority of Christ over all the old systems and ways (Heb 1:1-4; 1:5-14; 3:1-6; 4:14). The author supports this theme on the basis of several interrelated purposes for writing. The author encourages the readers to progress in maturity to Christ (5:11-14; 6:10; 10:24; 12:1-2; 13:15-17, 20-22). In encouraging the readers to mature, the author exhorted the believers whose faith was wavering to not drift away from Christ or disown Him, but to persist in their devotion to Jesus (2:l; 3:12-14; 4:1, 11, 14, 16; 6:1, 8-9; 10:22-25, 28-31, 35; 12:1, 3, 12-17, 25; 13:13, 15). Knowing that persecutions are occurring and the believers are vulnerable, the author encourages and strengthens the readers to face these persecutions (12:3-15). The author also refutes these “strange teachings” that had endangered to weaken the faith of the readers (13:910). Finally, the author challenges the believers to have absolute commitment to Christ no matter the cost (13:13).
    • Argument (What is the author trying to accomplish and how is he doing it?): The book of Hebrews is often described as a homily and the author accomplishes their purpose through exhortations and warnings. The author establishes the superiority of Christ, in His person and work, and why belief in Christ should not be thrown away. The author displays several arguments that Christ is greater than all the servants and spokesman (4:145:10) that have gone before, including Moses (3:1-6) and angels (1:4-14). The author teaches the readers that Christ is exalted above all the heavens, sitting at God’s right hand, and He is the peoples mediator and representative (4:14-15, 8:1-13). The author uses numerous direct quotations and allusions to the Old Testament to support his argument to these Jewish believers. The author underscores and highlights the superiority of Christ against these old systems by using the words like better (13 times, 1:4; 8:6), perfect (12 times, 2:10, 5:9), once (8 times, 6:4; 9:7) or once for all (3 times, 7:27; 9:12) multiple times throughout the epistles. 

 

  1. Give a short paragraph of how this book fits into the overall message or argument of the whole Bible. Support your statements with passages from the OT & NT. Give crossreferences from both Testaments—(like chapter and verse, 2:12 for example; “passages” means more than one)?

 

SHORT PARAGRAPH
Hebrews contributes to the Bible’s description of Jesus by helping provide a proper understanding of Jesus, specifically His superiority, sovereignty, and holy character. God created the world and everything in it. Much like the description of Satan in Ezekiel 28 (cf Isa 14), Adam and Eve (Gen 3:6) chose a path of sin in the garden when they disobeyed God. God made a covenant with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3; 15:18-21) that God promised him land and descendants that would lead to nations and kings, and a promise of blessing and redemption. This led to the nation of Israel forming, being led out of Egypt (Ex 14) and eventually turning away from God (2 Kings 17:5-17; Eze 16:47). God’s chosen people had fallen into sin and idolatry and humanity needed a Savior

(Luke 19:10; Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12). Eventually, Jesus was sacrificed, buried, and resurrected to bring redemption for the believers (Luke 24:2-3; John 11:25-26; 1 Cor. 15:3-4, 12-19). God promises the Messiah returning and a future Messianic kingdom on earth full of peace, prosperity, and justice for all who believe in Jesus (Eze 44:23; Rev 5:10; 21:3-4). Hebrews provides all audiences of the superiority of Christ to all elements of the old system (angels, Moses, written revelation, Aaron, the Levitical system of sacrifices, and the earthly tabernacle). Hebrews encourages readers to not be content with their current state or knowledge, but to progress in the faith, growing in maturity (Heb 5:11-14) and wisdom (Heb 6:1), enduring persecution (Heb 12:315), refuting the false teachings (Heb 13:9-10), and living committed to Christ (Heb 13:13). Hebrews walks through the Old Testament and shows the audience that Christ was meant and intended in those passages and how the Old Testament ways pointed toward Christ. Hebrews also offers encouragement to those struggling by providing examples of faith (Heb 11) and gives the reader hope for today (Heb 10:19-25) and for the future where those who persevere will be rewarded (Heb 10:35-39).

  1. What do I want my congregation, audience, or study group to apply after studying this book? What would I want them NOT to forget? What does it do for YOU?
    • KNOWING/MEMORY – Give four (4) PRINCIPLES (values; ethical standards; doctrines; main beliefs) that you gleaned from this book and that you and your congregation will think of and remember when the book is named. These should be appropriate to the text, so GIVE REFERENCES (chapters and verses) for each. 
      • Jesus is superior to everything. He is sufficient.
        • I want the audience to remember that the works and legalism of the old ways did not save, but by the work and grace of Christ, He is sufficient. Christ is superior to angels, Moses, the Law, and everything else in this life (Heb 1:4-14; 3:1-6; 5:1-10; 7:1-28). The sacrifice of Jesus is superior, unique, final and sufficient. While the sacrifices of the old system could only clean the outside, the sacrifice of Christ was able to take away sin, remove guilt, and was sufficient for all time (Heb 9:11-10:18).
      • Live honorably in every dimension of life.
        • I would like the audience to remember that Hebrews offers several short but practical exhortations for believers to live by. By remembering this section, the audience has a place to look at how we should live, but also be reminded how Christ lived and taught believers to live. Whether it is the love of money or some other counterfeit god, love for God leads to right living in all areas of life, including money, marriage, and hospitality (Heb 13:1-6). Christ will equip the believer to do everything God has called them to do.
      • Through faith in Christ, we should persevere and endure even when life is tough
        • The trials and tribulations that we face will require a dependence on the Spirit. While we are not guaranteed an easy life and the afflictions may be severe, believers can use their position as children of God to draw near to Him and hold on to the faith they have professed (Heb 10:19-25). In times of trouble, believers can go before God in confidence, draw near to Him, and receive mercy and grace to help during these times (Heb 4:16). Because of these troubles, believers should not turn away from Christ and abandon their confidence in Him, but remain faithful (Heb 10:32-39).
      • There is hope with Christ, who is the great High Priest and mediator for you.
        • Christ is the perfect high priest whose priesthood is eternal and unchanging. By divine decree, Christ was made priest and became God’s guarantee of a better covenant. Christ is everything we need in a priest and He did this through His oncefor-all sacrifice of Himself (7:20-28). We can draw near to God’s throne of grace, where Jesus, our great and compassionate High Priest, is ready to help us. He knows our temptations and what we go through because He was tempted in all things, yet did not sin (4:14-15). Christ is before God mediating for all believers (Heb 9:15).
    • DOING/ACTION – What you will lead others to do that is based on the text or passage that suggested this action. You are required to do two (2) of these and be sure to give references It must be supported by a particular text, so be sure to give chapters and verses, example 2:12.
      • Develop a simple and easy reference chart to help identify the warnings in Hebrews and offer encouragement.
        • This chart will provide the five warning passages in Hebrews by giving a brief and simple description of the warning, i.e. drifting (Heb 2:1-4), unbelief (Heb 3:74:13), falling away (Heb 5:11-6:20), defection (Heb 10:26-31), rejecting our privilege (Heb 12:25-29). Then, contrast these warnings with the exhortations to defend against these warnings for the person to use as a simple reminder that God cares and is with them. This could be handed out at church to be used as a bookmark or desk reference.
      • Develop a program on God’s discipline and the faith and perseverance needed to endure (Heb 10:32-12:14). o Do a Bible study on the individuals listed in Hebrews 11 and the faith modeled in their life for those going through trials and tribulations.
        • Create a group for those going through trials and tribulations to have open dialogue. Also, be available for individual meetings with these people.
        • Teach and show these individuals how to keep or write a prayer journal. This will allow them to look back and see how God worked.
        • Have the individuals deliberately spend a time of being quiet before God and listening. Then, have them look at this section and the hope that is offered in these verses to overcome (Heb 10:19-25).
        • Shepherd individuals to see if these hardships are related to unconfessed and unrepented for sin. Have the individuals repent if there is. But also, remind them that hardships of life are part of God’s loving discipline (Heb 12:4-14), and there is a reason for it.

4. BEING/PERSONAL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT –What one (1) thing touched your heart, as you were reading/studying this book? Tell what it was and what text influenced you – Scripture reference(s) required. What you are going to do about it?

  • As I am personally experiencing some difficult times in my own life, the concept that stuck out to me the most is that Jesus understands the temptations we face (Heb 4:14). He knows the pain and hardships and the difficulties we face, the struggle to endure much like the Hebrews (Heb 10:32-39), yet we can come before Him with confidence and find grace and mercy to help us (Heb 4:16). I can relate to the way the people in Hebrews were feeling as I go through my own trials, but I love how the writer continually offers hope and encouragement. The author gives so many reasons why we must endure, even if we don’t know why it is happening.
  • What am I going to do: First, I will take time daily to think about, dwell on, and look forward to the return of Christ and the new heaven and earth (Heb 12:28). Second, I will make a journal of the various inspiring passages in Hebrews to look at it that speaks of Jesus’ endurance (Heb 12:3), the Father’s love in discipline (Heb 12:7-13), coming before God to find help (Heb 4:16), and others. Finally, as I think of God’s love, I will ask God to make me more aware of His abiding presence and to be more alert to the splendor of His love. I will daily write down ways in which I am reminded of the love of God. For example, His endurance through trials, a Scripture reading that speaks to my spirit, the laugh of a baby, a powerful worship experience, protection from an accident, and so on.

FIRST TIMOTHY BIBLICAL ARGUMENT – Presentation continued (pt. 5)

This post will focus on the final section of 1 Timothy 6:11-21. This focuses on Paul’s presentation of the material by giving a brief summary of the sections and provides brief concluding thoughts on 1 Timothy’s overall contribution to the Bible (section limited due to requirements, not exhaustive by any means).

For whatever reason, WordPress does not like the formatting of the original document I produced. I have tried to correct it as much as possible, however, I see the spacing is off between the bullet points.


Presentation Continued

VI. The Final Charge to Timothy (6:11-21)

A. Fight the Good Fight of Faith (6:11-16)

Paul calls Timothy a “man of God” and stirs him to remain faithful pursuing the things of God and not the things these false teachers have pursued. Timothy is to strive for that which is right, good, and holy, such as “righteousness, godliness, love, steadfastness, and gentleness” (6:11). Paul gives the analogy of a fight, and tells young Timothy to keep fighting “the good fight of faith” (6:12). Paul orders Timothy to take hold of the eternal life which he was called by God when he publicly confessed his belief before the “many witnesses” (6:12). Paul charges Timothy in the presence of God, who sustains and gives life to all things, and in the presence of Christ Jesus to remain faithful and above reproach until Jesus Christ comes. While we do not know when Christ will come, Paul says that it will be at the proper time, and praises God in describing various qualities of the Triune God.

B. Instructions for the Wealthy (6:17-19)

Timothy is given instructions by Paul to teach the rich to be humble and not prideful in their riches. Their hope should not be set on uncertain riches, but on God, “who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (6:17). Paul does not want the rich to get the wrong impression from his earlier statement about money (6:10) by saying it is not wrong to be wealthy, but to be rich in good deeds and use that wealth to help those in need and be generous. In doing so, they will be laying up treasures in heaven for the future life which is true life.

C. Guard what has been Entrusted (6:20-21)

The epistle closes with one more reminder to Timothy to guard what has been entrusted to him, which is the gospel in his life and in the lives of the Ephesians. Paul says that those who have sought this false knowledge, were more concerned with godless chatter and contradictions than real faith and have thus strayed from true faith. Paul concludes by praying for grace, including all that is good, for Timothy and all who are in Ephesus who hear this letter.

Canonical Contribution and Summary

The key passages in 1 Timothy focus on godliness dealing with the conduct of those within the church, the leadership of the church and the ungodly false teachers outside the church. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Paul urges Timothy to be on guard against the false teachers and false doctrine providing instructions to defend the church from their evil ways. First Timothy is the first of Paul’s Pastoral Epistles where in this case, Paul goes to great lengths to provide Timothy with guidelines for qualified church leaders, the role of women in the church, and the appropriate rebuke of sin for those in leadership. Paul, however, devotes time and space to instruct the people in the church on right conduct, public worship, true salvation, and the role of the wealthy. In this personal letter, Paul urges Timothy to use the spiritual gifts he has been given, “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12), stand strong in the true gospel, and pursue godliness instead of the greed and babbling of the false teachers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brannan, R. “Timothy, First Letter to.” In The Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by J. D. Barry, et al., section T. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.

Constable, Thomas. “Dr. Constable’s Notes on 1 Timothy.” Soniclight. 2015. Accessed July 15, 2015. http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/1timothy.pdf.

Earle, Ralph. “1 Timothy.” In The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians-Philemon, edited by Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 11, 339-390. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Fee, Gordon D. 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1989.

Henry, Matthew. “Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary: 1 Timothy.” Biblehub. 1706. Accessed July 18, 2015. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/1_timothy/4.htm.

Lewis, Robert M. “The ‘Women’ of 1 Timothy 3:11.” Bibliotheca Sacra 136 (1979): 167-170.

Litfin, A. D. “1 Timothy.” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, edited by  J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2, 726–748. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985.

Malick, David. “An Argument of the Book of 1 Timothy.” Bible.Org. 2014. Accessed July 17, 2015. https://bible.org/article/argument-book-1-timothy.

Swindoll, Chuck. “1 Timothy.” Insight for Living. Accessed July 15, 2015. http://www.insight.org/resources/bible/first-timothy.html.

Wallace, Daniel B. “1 Timothy: Introduction, Argument, Outline.” Bible.Org. 2004. Accessed July 14, 2015. https://bible.org/seriespage/15-1-timothy-introduction-argument-outline

FIRST TIMOTHY BIBLICAL ARGUMENT – Presentation continued (pt. 4)

This post will focus on 1 Timothy 5:1-6:10. This focuses on Paul’s presentation of the material by giving a brief summary of the sections.

For whatever reason, WordPress does not like the formatting of the original document I produced. I have tried to correct it as much as possible, however, I see the spacing is off between the bullet points.


Presentation Continued

V. Instructions Regarding Various Groups in the Church (5:1-6:10)

A. Proper Treatment for All Ages (5:1-2)

Paul recognizes that Timothy is a young and inexperienced pastor that needs to learn pastoral skills. In relating to men and women, both old and young, Paul offers Timothy guidance for how to communicate properly with the various age and gender groups of the church. As a young man, Paul encourages Timothy not to sharply rebuke a man or a woman, but to appeal to them as one would to one’s own father, mother, brother or sister. In addressing the sister, he is to do so in all purity which speaks to Paul’s earlier instructions of living above reproach and with integrity.

B. The Care for Widows (5:3-16)

    1. Instructions for Older Widows (5:3-10)

Paul instructs Timothy to give priority toward the care of widows, especially regarding the church’s provisions for them, although certain qualifications had to be met. A widow who has a living family should be cared for by those family members or relatives, otherwise they will be perceived as denying the faith and is worse than unbelievers. Paul urges the widow’s relatives, specifically the children and grandchildren, to practice piety and relieve them if possible because this is pleasing to God. Paul identifies a true widow as one who has been left without family to care for her, depending on God as her hope which is expressed through continued prayers to Him. Regarding the independent and “self-indulgent widow” (5:6), Paul describes them as being spiritually dead. However, Paul instructs Timothy to teach these self-indulgent women the truths about dependence on God so that they might be above reproach. Next, Paul describes the qualification of a widow to be put on a list to receive care from the church. She is to be 60 years old or older, the wife of one man, and has a reputation for doing good works.

    1. Instructions for Younger Widows (5:11-16)

Timothy is instructed to refuse to let the younger widows on the widow list because they disregard their commitment to Christ, desiring to marry and incurring condemnation for “abandoning their former faith” (5:12). At the same time, they should not be allowed on the list because the young widows learn to be idle speakers causing mischief and do not model godliness. Thus, Paul encourages the younger widows to remarry, bear children, take care of the home so that they give Satan “no occasion for reproach” (5:14), like the others who have already fallen into temptation. Paul concludes this section by showing his genuine concern for the widows. He asks that any woman that is a believer and has relatives who are widows, to continue to give assistance and care for them. Paul says this so that the church may properly care for the true widows.

C. The Discipline and Selection of Elders (5:17-25)

    1. Reward for Worthy Elders (5:17-18)

Care must be taken for the elders who work hard and lead well because they are worthy of double honor and esteem. Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 25:4 that just as an ox that is threshing should be allowed to eat, so the church should care for the elder that is leading well as he is worthy of reward.

    1. Rebuking Sinful Elders (5:19-20)

Timothy should not accept a charge against an elder unless there are two or three witnesses that can confirm the charge. Any elder that continues to sin, Timothy is to rebuke them publicly so that the other elders may be fearful of falling into that sin.

    1. Special Instructions to Timothy (5:21-25)

The apostle solemnly charges Timothy to keep these rules and guard against any type of partiality. All prospective elders are to be screened carefully and should not be appointed too quickly. Otherwise, Timothy and the other elders would share in the responsibility of the sin. Paul reminds Timothy once again he is to remain pure. Since Paul has already dealt with the false accusations from the false teachers about abstaining from certain foods (4:3), he urges Timothy to take care of his body by no longer exclusively drinking water but to drink a “little wine” (4:23) when necessary for medicinal purposes. Paul suggests to Timothy to be careful when selecting elders because sins are not always obvious at first. For some, judgment for the sin goes before the man, but for others, the sins will not be able to be concealed. On the other hand, good works are evident.

D. The Responsibility of Slaves (6:1-2)

Some scholars have described the placement of this paragraph in the book as somewhat problematic. It is possible that the false teachings that were being circulated during this time were putting significant tension on the master-slave relationship in the church.[1] Due to where this section is in the argument and the two proceeding sections, the concern seems to be the attitude among believers.[2] It is possible that problems have arisen “among some Christian slaves and their attitudes toward Christian masters similar to those among the younger widows.”[3] Paul instructs Timothy to teach and preach the principles of truth to the slaves who are believers by regarding their masters as worthy of honor so that the name of God and these teachings may not be spoken against. Slaves should be respectful of their masters, especially if the masters are believers as well, because they are brothers in Christ and should serve them with extra diligence and effort because they are both partakers of Christ’s free salvation.

E. Instructions Concerning False Teachers and Greed (6:3-10)

The false teachers have advocated a gospel that does not agree with the words of Christ Jesus and the doctrine that conforms to godliness. Instead, they are conceited and interested in controversy that leads to depraved minds and are “deprived of the truth” (6:5). They desire and see godliness as a way to feed their greed and achieve financial gain. Paul contrasts the false teacher’s attitude with a true and faithful attitude that displays how godliness is of great value and gain when a person is content. Paul gives two reasons for contentment, first, the material things of this world are finite and cannot be taken out of this world. Secondly, we are to be content as long as we have food and clothing.  The false teachers pursue their greedy desire for riches, falling into temptation, and become trapped with many other “foolish and harmful desires” (6:9) that pull them and other people down into “ruin and destruction” (6:9). Paul supports his argument by confirming that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (6:10). Paul cites others as examples who have loved money so much that they denied the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

[1] Fee, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, 96.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

FIRST TIMOTHY BIBLICAL ARGUMENT – Presentation continued (pt. 3)

This post will focus on 1 Timothy 2:1-4:16. This focuses on Paul’s presentation of the material by giving a brief summary of the sections.

For whatever reason, WordPress does not like the formatting of the original document I produced. I have tried to correct it as much as possible, however, I see the spacing is off between the bullet points.


Presentation Continued

III. Instructions Concerning the Conduct of the Church (2:1-3:16)

A. Instructions on Public Worship (2:1-15)

      1. The Priority of Prayer for People’s Salvation (2:1-7)

The appointed apostle Paul strongly exhorts that all types of prayers be made on behalf of all people, particularly those in authority, for the purpose that Christians may live peaceful and quiet lives in all the “godliness and holiness” (2:3) that comes from God. Paul sees these type of prayers as good and pleasing to “God our Savior” (2:4). Paul confirms that God views prayer for all people as good because God desires for all people to come to the knowledge of the truth. Paul reminds Timothy and all who read this letter of the hope found in Jesus Christ, who is the mediator between God and man, and who paid the ransom for all people with His life. For the purpose of the mediation of Christ for all humans, Paul was appointed a preacher and an apostle to be “a true and faithful teacher” (2:7) to the Gentiles.

      1. Primary Responsibilities for Men and Women (2:8-15)

Paul concludes this chapter by discussing what this good and pleasing prayer to “God our Savior” (2:4) looks like for men and women. Starting with the men, he encourages the men in all places to pray without strife and to lift “up holy hands” (2:8). Paul urges the godly women to adorn themselves with good deeds and with proper and modest clothing, not gaudy or costly apparel. Paul addresses issues concerning male and female responsibilities in encouraging the women to receive instructions with submission and to not assume authority over a man. However, Paul gives two reasons for why a woman should not be allowed to teach or exercise authority over a man. First, the order of creation supports male authority and female submission. The second reason is because it was the woman who was deceived first and fell into sin. Finally, Paul sees God’s provision of childbearing to the women as a blessing and an opportunity of serving that is rewarding, sanctifying, and glorifying.

B. Qualifications for Church Leaders (3:1-13)

      1. Qualifications of Overseers (3:1-7)

Anyone who desires the task of church leadership seeks an excellent and noble work. It is necessary for those who desire to be overseers to live above reproach so that the gospel message of salvation in his life may not be disgraced or hindered by the temptations of Satan. An overseer must be sober, self-controlled, respectable in all his action, and not seek financial gain. The families of ministers are to be managed well and to be examples of good to others. A warning against a recent convert and pride is given as Paul describes how that sin led to the judgment of the devil. Finally, the minister should have a reputation with neighbors and non-Christians as one who lives above reproach.

      1. Qualifications of Deacons (3:8-13)

In the same way as overseers, so Paul sees it with deacons desiring to do good work. Deacons are to be worthy of respect, show dignity, and just as with overseers, they should not be drunkards or greedy. A deacon is to hold on to the mystery of the faith trusting what has been revealed. They should first be tested to see if they can perform the service responsibilities in the church. If they pass the test and live above reproach, then they can serve as deacons. While there is some debate about verse eleven referring to wives of deacons or women who assist deacons, for various reasons that are outside the bounds of this argument, it is the author’s opinion that this probably refers to women who assist the deacons in the function of the church.[1] In this regard, the women helpers must be similarly honorable, faithful, self-controlled, and not slander or gossip. Deacons should also be a good manager of their home and only have one wife. Paul explains the reason deacons are to be men of respect is that if they serve well they will obtain for themselves a good standing and have greater confidence in their faith that is in Christ Jesus.

IV. Instructions for Guarding the Truth in the Church (3:14-4:16)

A. The Mystery of Godliness (3:14-16)

Once again, Paul shows his personal side by longing to visit Timothy soon. But, knowing the delays he oftentimes faces, Paul describes the purpose for the letter and his writing. Like a father, Paul encourages his son how one should conduct themselves in the “household of God” (3:15). He reminds Timothy that the “household of God” is “the church of the living God,” which is a “pillar and support of the truth” (3:15). Paul describes the great “mystery of godliness” (3:16) and how that mystery is manifested in Christ. Paul confesses the great truth of Jesus Christ’s work and ministry on the earth. God was manifested in the flesh through Jesus, who took away our sins, redeemed us from all iniquity, and has purified us. This hymn addresses Christ’s ministry in the incarnation, resurrection, glorification by the angels, as well as being preached among the nations, believed in and “taken up in glory” (3:16).

B. The Problem of Apostasy in the Church (4:1-5)

Paul explains to Timothy that the Spirit expressly says that in the future many people will deny their faith by believing in false teachers that are full of deceitful spirits and demons. Hypocritical liars will claim to know the truth, but will actually impose legalism on believers by restricting and forbidding marriage and certain foods. The “false teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent.”[2] But Paul responds to this hypocrisy by saying that all of God’s creation is good and should not be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, or if God sanctified it through His word and prayer.

C. Responsibilities of a Good Minister of Christ (4:6-16)

In this section, Paul provides guidance to Timothy for the purpose of godliness, which is profitable in every way, including the promise for this life and the one to come. In order to be a good servant of Christ, Timothy should have nothing to do with myths, but be constantly nourished with the words of faith and the good doctrine he has followed. Good ministers of

Christ are those who work hard and struggle in this age because their hope is in God, who is the Savior of all people, especially believers. Paul commands Timothy to teach these truths and set an example for all people in the way he lives, including speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Timothy is encouraged to read the Scriptures publicly, “to exhortation and teaching” (4:13). Paul reminds Timothy of the spiritual gifts within him and encourages him not to neglect those gifts that were given to him by prophecies “with the laying on of hands” (4:14). Timothy is to practice hard and immerse himself in these truths so that he may progress in godliness and others will see that progress. Paul urges Timothy to be attentive to himself and his teachings, and persevere in these disciplines because this work will make certain the salvation of himself and his audience.

[1] Robert M. Lewis, “The ‘Women’ of 1 Timothy 3:11,” Bibliotheca Sacra 136 (1979): 167-170.

[2] Matthew Henry, “Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary: 1 Timothy,” Biblehub, 1706, accessed July 18, 2015, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mhc/1_timothy/4.htm.

FIRST TIMOTHY BIBLICAL ARGUMENT – Structure, Outline, and Presentation (pt. 2)

Structure, Outline, and Presentation

Structure and Outline

First Timothy contains a personal but official salutation. The body of the letter contains four main parts: Paul’s instructions for Timothy against false teachers, instructions concerning the conduct of the church, instructions for guarding the truth in the church, and instructions regarding various groups within the church. Paul concludes this personal letter with a final charge to Timothy.

  1. The Salutation                                                                                 1:1-2
  2. Instructions for Timothy Against False Teachers                    1:3-20
    1. Warnings Against False Teachers                                      1:3-11
      1. The Charge to Timothy Stated                                  1:3
      2. Ignorant Teaching of the Law                                  1:4-7
      3. The Proper Use of the Law                                        1:8-11
    2. The Lord’s Abundant Grace to Paul                                  1:12-17
    3. Paul’s Charge to Timothy Reiterated                                 1:18-20
  3. Instructions Concerning the Conduct of the Church               2:1-3:16
    1. Instructions on Public Worship                                         2:1-15
      1. The Priority of Prayer for People’s Salvation        2:1-7
      2. Primary Responsibilities for Men and Women    2:8-15
    2. Qualifications for Church Leaders                                    3:1-13
      1. Qualifications of Overseers                                       3:1-7
      2. Qualifications of Deacons                                          3:8-13
  4. Instructions for Guarding the Truth in the Church                3:14-4:16
    1. The Mystery of Godliness                                                   3:14-16
    2. The Problem of Apostasy in the Church                         4:1-5
    3. Responsibilities of a Good Minister of Christ                4:6-16
  5. Instructions Regarding Various Groups in the Church         5:1-6:10
    1. Proper Treatment for All Ages                                         5:1-2
    2. The Care for Widows                                                         5:3-16
      1. Instructions for Older Widows                              5:3-10
      2. Instructions for Younger Widows                         5:11-16
    3. The Discipline and Selection of Elders                           5:17-25
      1. Reward for Worthy Elders                                      5:17-18
      2. Rebuking Sinful Elders                                            5:19-20
      3. Special Instructions to Timothy                             5:21-25
      4. The Responsibility of Slaves                                   6:1-2
      5. Instructions Concerning False Teachers and Greed 6:3-10
    4. The Final Charge to Timothy                                            6:11-21
      1. Fight the Good Fight of Faith                                  6:11-16
      2. Instructions for the Wealthy                                   6:17-19
      3. Guard What has been Entrusted                           6:20-21

Presentation

I. The Salutation (1:1-2)

The opening lines of 1 Timothy begin with a greeting from Paul that identifies himself as the author (1:1) and Timothy as the recipient (1:2a). Paul identifies himself as an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of “God our Savior” introducing the theme of salvation. Paul recognizes the true faith of Timothy and also displays a Christian love. A blessing is prayed for Timothy that he might experience “grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1:2b).

II. Instructions for Timothy Against False Teachers (1:3-20)

A. Warnings Against False Teachers (1:3-11)

    1. The Charge to Timothy Stated (1:3)

The apostle reminds Timothy of a previous charge for the purpose of impressing it more deeply on him. Paul urges Timothy and reiterates the reason he was left behind in Ephesus is to stop the false teachers and their false doctrines.

    1. Ignorant Teaching of the Law (1:4-7)

Timothy is charged to instruct certain people not to devote themselves to legends and genealogies which promote controversial speculation rather than God’s saving design which works through faith.[1] The objective of Paul’s charge is to teach love which comes from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. Paul confirms that some have departed from the “love” which comes from “a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith,” and have turned to foolish discussions. Paul identifies those who have turned from “love” as those who desire to be “teachers of the Law,” but they do not understand what they are saying or the beliefs they confidently speak about.

    1. The Proper Use of the Law (1:8-11)

Paul acknowledges that the Law is good when it is used properly. The Law was not made for the righteous, but, for the unrighteous or the lawbreakers who live opposed to the gospel message. The true gospel concerns the glory of the blessed God, and was entrusted to Paul.

B.     The Lord’s Abundant Grace to Paul (1:12-17)

Paul gives thanks to Jesus who has strengthened him for service and considered him trustworthy as he has been appointed to serve Christ. Paul describes his rebellious actions as living in ignorance and unbelief as a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man; and how he was shown abundant grace by Jesus that resulted in faith and love. If God would show mercy, patience, and grace to Paul by redeeming him, the worst of sinners, then others should not despair in finding mercy. The goal of the abundant grace for all sinners is to live in faith and loving trust of Jesus finding peace, acceptance and most of all eternal life. Paul concludes his discussion showing his thanksgiving and praise of God’s gracious work by ascribing honor and glory forever to the eternal, immortal, invisible and only King.

C. Paul’s Charge to Timothy Reiterated (1:18-20)

Paul entrusts this command to Timothy in accordance with previous prophecies made about him so that he might fight the good fight. Unlike Hymenaeus and Alexander who Paul handed over to Satan because of their rejection of true faith, Paul charges Timothy to remain steadfast in his faith and live in good conscience so that he might complete his calling from God.

[1] David Malick, “An Argument of the Book of 1 Timothy,” Bible.Org, 2014, accessed July 17, 2015. https://bible.org/article/argument-book-1-timothy.

FIRST TIMOTHY BIBLICAL ARGUMENT (pt. 1)

Students of the Bible should have a goal of being able to write an argument of a Bible book. To begin, you need to develop an outline (original or otherwise) for the Bible book that you select(s). The length of the book will determine the amount of detail that you should include in the outline. The longer the book, the less detail is required. It is not necessary to present the outline separately from the argument; the argument must incorporate the outline.

Writing the argument itself is the crux of this post. Under each point of the outline, it is important to explain what the writer said and why he said it. (A synthesis, in contrast, only summarizes content, but an argument also explains why it is there.) An argument, therefore, is not a summary of the contents of a book, nor a detailed outline, nor a sermon, nor a list of assorted applications, but an explanation of how the contents of the book relate to its purpose. We will seek to trace the development of the author’s thought through the book.

Therefore, we will also need to determine the purpose of the book. We have to ask ourselves, “Why was this book written?” We can determine a book’s purpose by noting such clues as the historical context, the occasion of the book, its emphases, the peculiarities of the book, etc. Sometimes a writer will state the purpose of his book openly (e.g., John 20:30-31), but usually we will have to discover the purpose.

Here is an illustration of how to incorporate our outline of the book into our argument.

The promotion of the project 1:1-15

Give an overview of this section of the text and explain why the author wrote it.

  1. The rebuke 1:1-11

Explain how the author challenges his readers, who he addressed, and why this paragraph was included.

  1. The response 1:12-15

Etc.

We should also include at the beginning of our paper a brief statement or discussion of such introductory matters as authorship, date, recipients, occasion, etc., especially as these relate to the setting and purpose of the book.

A statement of the message of the book should also be included. The message is a summary statement (usually one sentence) that should contain the main subject with which the book deals, and a complement (what the author said about the main subject). For example, one might conclude that the subject of John’s Gospel is Jesus. The complement might be that (Jesus) is the Son of God.

A summary paragraph is included to review the contents of the overall paper. Always include footnotes and a bibliography. Do not forget that reading and research does not stifle originality but encourages it.

An argument is much more difficult than a synthesis and therefore takes more thought and time. Study the book section by section, and meditate on it. Constantly ask, “Why is this section of the text here?”

Based on the length of the paper, I am breaking this up into multiple posts. The first part will be short and focus on the first two parts: the Message statement and the Book Synopsis. The next posts will focus on the longer sections.


FIRST TIMOTHY BIBLICAL ARGUMENT

Message Statement

To combat the false teachers that infiltrated the church through their focus on myths, genealogies, and false knowledge, Paul encourages Timothy to be a godly leader who lives above reproach and fulfills his ministry in the church by correcting the false teaching, all of which results in a church that pursues godliness and contentment.

Book Synopsis

In First Timothy, Paul provides detailed instructions for church leadership and organization, which includes appropriate conduct in church, the qualifications of elders and deacons, and the proper order of church discipline. At a time when the church at Ephesus was under attack from false teachers, Paul advises young Timothy to combat the false teachers, guard the church from their influence, and teach the church the truth that pursues godliness. Timothy is charged to exercise the spiritual gifts that he has been given and live above reproach by exemplifying purity and faith as all church leaders should pursue.

 

Book Review: PAUL: A MAN OF GRACE AND GRIT by Dr. Charles Swindoll (pt 2 of 2)

This will be a two-part post regarding the book by Dr. Charles Swindoll, PAUL: A MAN OF GRACE AND GRIT. The first part focused on the content of the book, what stood out, and an overall summary of the amazing person that is Paul. The second part will focus on learnings from the book and my own personal application.


Reflection and Interaction

As I read through this book, I found myself relating to Dr. Swindoll’s writings on Paul’s life in many ways. From the beginning chapters that showed Paul’s former life and his radical transformation to the later chapters that reflected on his final days, I found myself convicted and relating to this man of grace and grit in ways I never have. I was astonished as I read of Paul’s contentment during tribulations and was challenged by how easily I complain at the pettiest of circumstances. While this book covers many topics and how to handle them such as leading, criticism, hardship, and forgiving to name a few; there were two keys concepts that resonated with me the most as Paul’s life unfolded in the pages. Those are the ideas of waiting and contentment.

Beginning in chapter four and continuing into chapter five, I was absolutely challenged and comforted. These chapters speak of Paul being called by God to something greater, but as Paul was being changed, God did this in a time of solitude and obscurity. God had to transform this man from what he was into what God wanted him to be. During this time, Paul had to be still, slow down, pursue God, and be content. God was working in him and preparing him for something greater, yet in this time, he was to be patient, wait, seek, and trust God as he waited for his divine mission. As the next few chapters unfold, similar principles emerge such as depending on God, humbling yourself before the Father, and trusting His timing. Paul’s mission during this time was simply to let God prepare him for the work that was ahead, yet Paul did not know what that work was; he had to trust God and be content. Swindoll recognizes that it was tough on Paul, just as it is tough on us. All too often, we get tired of waiting and want to get in the game. We think we are capable and are prepared, but only God truly knows. Instead of trusting in God and His timing, we do our own will or what we think God wants us to do. After all, Paul was called in a remarkable way along the road to Damascus and yet as much as he probably wanted to go out there and make a difference, he trusted God as he was groomed to be the servant he was called to be. Paul was content and knew that God was able. Eventually Paul came out of the shadows and became a part of the dynamic teaching team in Antioch.

These chapters on waiting resonate with me because at this point in my life I feel I am waiting. I know that God has called me to something, yet I do not know what or where that is. After starting seminary, then being led to leave Chicago to move to Texas, my own vision was very different than what my current circumstances are. From the excitement of that initial feeling of being called to something greater than a mundane corporate job to now waiting in the shadows for the next steps, these pages spoke to me and I finally felt someone knew exactly what I was feeling. Every page I found myself shaking my head in agreement with what Paul must have been feeling, yet he trusted and obeyed God’s timing and choices. All too often I try to force God’s timing because I have “determined this is His plan for me. ‘This is what I had in mind. I’ve waited long enough.’”[1] The problem with that mentality is that it is not God’s will and I am not trusting in God or His ability. Waiting is one of the toughest parts of life for me. What this book has shown me in Paul’s life is that without complaint, Paul was willing to be groomed and prepared by God for whatever God’s ultimate purpose may be; no matter how long that took. Even though he had this drastic change, he did not try to go around God’s will by proclaiming his readiness for service. Instead, he humbly waited patiently all the while learning and growing in faith so that he was prepared to be the gracious and gritty servant.

What amazes me more about this man is how he acknowledged his need for Christ. Many times throughout the book, I am in awe of how Paul boasted in the power of his weakness. He knew that he could not do this mission or any part of life without complete dependence on the Spirit. Contrary to our modern culture and what we have been taught by society, I love that he looked situations in the face and acknowledged his great need for God. He lived and modeled a life of dependence that I envy. In the hardships, trials, criticisms, and pain, Paul embraced each one, surrendered to God and lived in contentment.

What spoke to me the most about Paul’s life was his contentment in every situation regardless if it was good or bad: he was content in waiting, to live in obscurity and to know more about the Almighty. He knew God had a plan and even though he did not know it, he was obedient. Out of obedience, Paul rose above the circumstances, kept loving and living in the Spirit and he focused on the Cross. During this time of waiting in my own life, I realize that is something I need to do more. I must trust in God and His timing, focus on the Cross and be transformed. It is easy to write those words, but it is difficult to live those things out and live in the Spirit as Paul did.

Paul was able to be content in the suffering because he knew that God was using it to grow him. That is what is challenging for me. Deep down I know that God is using the suffering and waiting as a tool to remove my pride, cause me to depend on Him, and become more of who He wants me to be. But especially in this time of waiting, it is hard to remember that God has a plan. I am easily caught up in Satan’s attacks that God has forgotten me or that I am not valuable. Yet, what I love about this story is that in both complete obscurity and fame, God was with Paul and he was content to let God work in Him.

As much as I want my own life and ministry to get going, I know these times of waiting and suffering are beneficial. They are by no means easy, but to live dependently, waiting on God and being content in all circumstances as Paul lived is the exact thing I need to do. Paul trusted God every step of the way. He was willing to surrender and boast in his inadequacy. A daily surrender and yielding to God, focusing on the Cross, all the while being transformed more into the likeness of Christ by depending on the Spirit is the key to how I need to live.

Paul’s life is shown of a person that loves God, proclaims Christ, and lives in the Spirit as he ministers in grace. Paul lived with the grit and determination to keep going throughout life’s circumstances and hardships. In every chapter, I was reminded of how Paul remained faithful and obeyed. Every page of the book and his life is marked for me by one word: trust. He abounded in grace and grit, but with each new chapter of his life, Paul displayed remarkable trust in God, showing us why we should do exactly the same.

Conclusion

Swindoll writes there are three essentials for a fulfilling life: “a clear sense of personal identity, a strong sense of mission, and a deep sense of purpose.”[2] Paul knew his identity, mission, and purpose and had a fulfilling life beyond his wildest dreams. He lived for Christ which he never thought he would do as a young Pharisee on a mission to kill Christians. Yet God changed his life. Paul experienced fulfillment through a life of trust and obedience. God changed Paul into a man of grace. Through this book, we are reminded that in different circumstances, situations, and times, we can all relate to Paul. He models what it means to love Christ and offers us an example to follow. Thankfully, just as God changed and molded Paul, so can He change and mold us. Our past does not matter, as God has an amazing plan for each of us; we need only to trust God while living a life of grace.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Swindoll, Charles R. Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit: Profiles in Character from Charles R. Swindoll. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002.

 

[1] Ibid, 90.

[2] Ibid, 153.

Book Review: PAUL: A MAN OF GRACE AND GRIT by Dr. Charles Swindoll (pt 1 of 2)

This will be a two-part post regarding the book by Dr. Charles Swindoll, PAUL: A MAN OF GRACE AND GRIT. The first part will focus on the book, what stood out, and an overall summary of the amazing person that is Paul. The second part will focus on learnings from the book and my own personal application.


PAUL: A MAN OF GRACE AND GRIT

Throughout the book, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit, the reader sees Paul at various stages and in different situations living a life that is thankful for God’s grace and is full of grace. Repeatedly, the grit of this famous apostle comes through as he deals with the difficulties of persecution and hardship. The book follows Paul from his early days as a brash and zealous “young man named Saul” who took part in Stephen’s murder, to the events of his multiple missionary journeys, to his final days when he wrote his personal and passionate letter to his beloved “son” Timothy. Dr. Swindoll weaves the reader through Paul’s life examining various situations, and showing the reader how God can use anyone, regardless of their past or present, to make a difference for Him. From a converted murderer to one of the most influential Christians to ever walk this earth, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit displays how Paul trusted and obeyed God throughout His lifelong journey as he abounded in the grace of God and lived out his mission.

Review and Summary

Throughout each chapter, Paul’s life and ministry is studied to see how God worked in him in every situation. Swindoll takes the reader through Paul’s life as described mainly in Acts, but also through some of his letters. Swindoll shows the reader a personal and in-depth look at Paul, as his life is intricately examined in each chapter to show what God was doing in him and with him at that time and how Paul responded. One of the best things about Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit is that in each chapter the reader is provided not only with the history and knowledge of Paul, but with wonderful applications to be practiced. In various circumstances that the reader may face, such as conflict resolution, waiting, hardship, leading, and so forth, Dr. Swindoll provides guidelines from Paul’s life in order to practically deal with those situations. The qualities that God developed and used to make a prideful and sinful Saul into the gracious and gritty Paul is displayed throughout this intimate encounter with the apostle.

Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit describes Paul as a man of “grit” which is defined as “firmness of mind or spirit… unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.”[1] “Tough, tenacious, and fiercely relentless in his determination, Paul pursued his divine mission with unflinching resolve.”[2] Throughout the book, the reader is also shown time and again how Paul’s message and life was marked by grace. The once-violent, prideful, self-righteous zealot was crushed and transformed by God’s abounding grace. He became a powerful spokesman for Christ whose ministry was dominated by grace because he never got over his own gratitude to be a recipient of it.[3]

One of the more fascinating chapters of the book is on the idea of change. God had to perform a painful heart surgery on Paul to become this man of grace.[4] In discussing the difficult topic on change, which is rarely pleasant, Dr. Swindoll points out that one of Paul’s best qualities is his willingness to accept change. Swindoll is convinced that the main reason Paul lived “so cleanly before God” is because Paul had to accept the “constant regimen of change.”[5] Paul was willing to accept the adventure, trust and obey God, and have his faith stretched, all of which resulted in the gospel stretching to other parts of the world.

At several points in the book, Swindoll reminds all believers, especially preachers and those in leadership that we are not to water down the gospel message.[6] At a time when so many churches are catering to the modern believers and preaching sermons that are superficial, Swindoll exhorts these teachers to go deeper. He cites several well known Christian authors and theologians throughout several chapters that encourage churches to take the people deeper, by providing them with sustaining spiritual food instead of “spiritual junk food.”[7] While this is mainly for preachers, it is easy for the Christian to see how this relates to their own life in not only looking for a church, but how to relate to other believers and non-Christians by speaking the truth and not conforming to the ways of the world.

He reminds the believers in the last chapter as he surveys 2 Timothy to be ready in season and out of season and preach the word. In a time when many go to church and leave malnourished and remain malnourished, Swindoll encourages those in ministry to take the congregation into the depths of God’s Word to receive the only food that lasts and nourishes. For all of us, we are to learn from Paul to be ready to speak the Truth, be saturated in the Word, and live the Gospel life as he lived.

[1] Charles R. Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit: Profiles in Character from Charles R. Swindoll (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002), xii.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, xiii.

[4] Ibid, 125.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid, 127.

[7] Ibid, 201.