Archive for ◊ May, 2016 ◊

31 May 2016 1 Thessalonians (Program #6)

1 Thessalonians (Program #6) – The Church Becoming the Embodiment of the Triune God (1)

The way in which Paul, the apostle opens his letter to the Thessalonians is very interesting, “to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Well, you may wonder what’s so significant about such a greeting. First, notice that Paul didn’t just say that the Thessalonians believers were in God, in a general way or even in God and in Jesus. But he inspired by the Holy Spirit chose these words specifically, in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We considered in recent programs, what it is to be in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus.  Today, we will see more about what it is to be in Christ?

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30 May 2016 1 Thessalonians (Program #5)

1 Thessalonians (Program #5) – The Church in the Triune God

In all of his epistles, the apostle Paul under scores that our God is Triune. That is He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. And as such He becomes available to us not only as our Father and Savior without but also as the very source of our Christian life within.

Paul concludes 2 Corinthians, a marvelous book with an unmistakable reference to the Trinity, 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  But in both 1 & 2 Thessalonians he begins the books by drawing our attention not just to God in a general way but to the Triune God as he says, “to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

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29 May 2016 1 Thessalonians (Program #4)

1 Thessalonians (Program #4) – The Triune God Embodied in the Word to Produce a Holy Life for the Church Life (2)

First Thessalonians, a letter written to a very young Church composed of newly saved believers reveals the Triune God in the first chapter. But this unveiling of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit goes on to reveal not just that God is Triune but that in our dynamic salvation all three of the Godhead are ministered to us becoming the very substance and elements of our faith and the beginning of our Christian life. A life relationship with God Himself.

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28 May 2016 1 Thessalonians (Program #3)

1 Thessalonians (Program #3) – The Triune God Embodied in the Word to Produce a Holy Life for the Church Life (1)

The word of God is so marvelous, the more you discover its’ infinite riches and hidden treasures the more you realize that there is far more to see than we can ever possibly exhaust. Its’ structure, its’ order even the subtle ways in which several passages begin are full of meaning and significance.

For example consider a passage that you may have read hundreds of times and never really stop to consider. Paul begins his letter to the Church in Thessalonica not in a general way, but in way that it is unique from the way he open any of his letters to the other Churches.

“Paul and Silvanus,” he writes, I Thessolonians 1:1, “and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.”  Even in a simple greeting we just read we will see there is a lot of meaning here.

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27 May 2016 1 Thessalonians (Program #2)

1 Thessalonians (Program #2) – Characteristics of a Holy Life for the Church Life

The more you read the book of 1 Thessalonians, the more you can realize that this letter was written to very new believers. The apostle Paul passing through Macedonia close to one year before spent three weeks preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in, to use his word, power, in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance to the people of this dark and sinful city.

In God’s mercy a good number of these worldly people got saved in a marvelous way. And from that short time of labor the Church in Thessalonica was born. Their testimony became an encouragement to the entire region. And now several months later the apostle writes the first of his two epistles to them with the goal not just of encouraging them but of strengthening them in three important characteristics of the Christian life.

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26 May 2016 1 Thessalonians (Program #1)

1 Thessalonians (Program #1) – Introduction to a Holy Life for the Church Life

The apostle Paul’s two letters to the Church in Thessalonica may be considered his earliest writings. They are also significant in that they represent his fellowship to new believers, for the church in Thessalonica was made up almost exclusively of young people whom Paul personally preached the gospel to less than a year before he wrote this letter.

Acts chapter 16 gives us the account of how the Church in Thessalonica came into being.  In chapter 16 of Acts beginning in verse 9.  “And a vision appeared to Paul during the night: A certain man, a Macedonian, was standing and entreating him and saying, come over into Macedonia and help us.  And when he had seen the vision, we immediately endeavored to go forth into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to announce the gospel to them.”

And now jumping to chapter 17, “And they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.  And according to his custom Paul went in to them, and on three Sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, opening and setting before them that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, and saying, this is the Christ, the Jesus whom I announce to you. And some of them were persuaded and were joined to Paul and Silas, as well as a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few.”  So, a Church was born.

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25 May 2016 Colossians (Program #48)

Colossians (Program #48) – Persevering in Prayer

After some of the highest speaking, the highest utterance on Christ in the entire divine revelation contained in the Bible, the apostle Paul in the final chapter of Colossians, comes to this verse (v. 2), “Persevere in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving.” Nothing high or lofty but a burden on his heart. It’s interesting it matches very closely his utterance in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 where he says simply, “Unceasingly pray”. We conclude this life-study of Colossians today in the matter of prayer.

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24 May 2016 Colossians (Program #47)

Colossians (Program #47) – The Word Of Christ Inhabiting Us

Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to God.” Immediately after speaking about the peace of Christ arbitrating in us, Paul goes on to tell us to let the word of Christ dwell in us. Why does Paul mention the indwelling word after the peace of Christ? The answer to this question relates to a basic principle revealed in the Bible that God’s speaking requires oneness. Whenever God’s people are divided, His word becomes rare. But when oneness is intact, even the oneness that is produced by the very life of Christ operating in us, God’s word automatically opens and the light pours in.

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23 May 2016 Colossians (Program #46)

Colossians (Program #46) – The Peace of Christ Arbitrating in our Heart

Allow me to ask a somewhat probing question. Are you at peace with God? Well, if you have received Christ as your redeemer and savior, there’s absolutely no reason not to be. Now, the same question with a twist. Are you at peace with all of God’s people? Aha, it’s not so easy to say, is it? Invariably within His one Body, there are and will be fractions and situations. These can ultimately lead even to more divisions and schisms within the body. So certainly, this is a serious matter. If we are enlightened a little, we know that we need Christ to make peace between us and God. But, how do we manage to make peace with His dear saints, His believers? By His mercy, we’ll get much help on today’s life study of Colossians.

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22 May 2016 Colossians (Program #45)

Colossians (Program #45) – The Renewing of the New Man

Here is an interesting question for us to ponder. Just what is Christ doing today? We all know that following His resurrection and ascension into glory, He was seated at the right hand of throne of God in the heavens. Well, does that mean He is just resting there? Or is He actively involved in the carrying out of God’s eternal plan and purpose?  Hebrews tell us that He’s very busy, in fact, interceding, that means praying on our behalf to God the Father. And, there’s more that He’s engaged in as we’ll see today.

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