Archive for ◊ July, 2018 ◊

31 Jul 2018 Galatians (Program #3)

Galatians (Program #3) – God’s Son Versus Man’s Religion

Man in his desire for spirituality has always pursued some kind of religious practice or spiritual revelation. But, the book of Galatians reveals so clearly that God is not interested in man’s religion. God is interested in revealing one thing, and that is to reveal His Son and to reveal Him in us, His believers. Please, stay with us as we see that God’s Son is different from man’s religion on today’s life study of the Bible.

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30 Jul 2018 Galatians (Program #2)

Galatians (Program #2) – The Apostle’s Gospel

The New Testament reveals the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact the first 4 books of the New Testament are called the Gospels. Each one is unique in its focus and what it unveils regarding our wonderful Lord Jesus. But the New Testament also reveals the Gospel through the writings of the Apostle Paul. And, it’s this 5th Gospel that we come to today particularly in the book of Galatians.

We need 4 different versions of the Gospel because Christ is such a wonderful person. And, the 4 Gospels are just unveiling this most wonderful person from the angle of His being a king, the angle of His being a servant or a slave, from the angle of His being the most precious man ever revealed in the universe, and also being the Son of God who gives us Himself as the eternal life.

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29 Jul 2018 Galatians (Program #1)

Galatians (Program #1) – The Background and Subject of the Book

Just as there are 4 different seasons in the year, so there are seasons in our Christian life. This means that at times, we will pass through winter as well as through spring and summer. We may not enjoy the winter that much, but any good farmer can tell you without the reducing and killing of the winter, the growth of the crops will never be complete.

All of the epistles in the New Testament were written against a certain background or backdrop. To fully understand these letters, it’s helpful to be somewhat familiar with the background. What was the situation that the Apostle Paul faced when writing this book?

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28 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #55)

2 Corinthians (Program #55) – Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Blessings (2)

The book of 2 Corinthians has a wonderful conclusions.  Paul after unveiling so many aspects of his own living and his own experience of Christ in this book, concludes with this 3-fold blessing.  2 Corinthians 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 this is not a blessing given in a merely religious way.  It’s a blessing that brings us into the very Triune God that Paul himself experienced, enjoyed and even lived out in his daily life.  Grace, love and fellowship were his portion and daily enjoyment of the very Triune God.  May we have Him as such a portion as well.

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27 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #54)

2 Corinthians (Program #54) – Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Blessings

The apostle Paul concludes the two long letters to the church in Corinth in a most wonderful, sweet and loving way.  “finally, brothers” he writes in verse 11 of chapter 13, “rejoice, be perfected, be comforted, think the same thing, be at peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  Actually these concluding words, especially verse 11 gives us a marvelous summary or recap of all the crucial points of the whole book of 2 Corinthians.

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26 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #53)

2 Corinthians (Program #53) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (8)

The last four chapters of 2 Corinthians are known as Paul’s vindication of His apostolic authority.  On one hand it was something of a shame that Paul was compelled to make such defense on his own behalf.  It’s in this light that he says in chapter 11 “What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord but as if in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.” (11:17)  But in the same section just a few verses later, chapter 12 he says “All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Before God in Christ we speak; but all things, beloved, are for your building up.”  This apparent reversal left Paul vulnerable to the charge of being inconsistent.  Was he speaking foolishly not in the Lord or was he really speaking in Christ and before God?  The key is found in the last few words of that verse “…all thing, beloved, are for your building up.

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25 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #52)

2 Corinthians (Program #52) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (7)

The concluding chapters of 2 Corinthians are Paul’s vindication of his apostleship.  His authority, especially with the believers in Corinth had been challenged and undermined by religious men  posing as apostles seeking to  lead them away from the simplicity and purity in Christ back to the Mosaic and Judaic practices of the old covenant.  It would be easy to consider that the points Paul makes in this portion would have little or any application to us. believers in a much different time and not necessarily in the capacity of leadership.  Yet as with all the Scripture the divine revelation contain in this portion is full of meaning and shows us once again a true pattern for all of us who desire to live Christ and experience Him day by day.

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24 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #51)

2 Corinthians (Program #51) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (6)

The church in Corinth was born directly out of the ministry and care of the apostle Paul.  Yet later, many of the believers there were affected negatively towards him because the accusations of false prophets that had come into Corinth, in an effort to draw the church away from their enjoyment of Christ and back to the Old Testament practice of law-keeping.  These ones claimed that they were the real apostles and that their knowledge and gifts far surpassed those of Paul’s.  So because many in the church were confused and no one stood up for Paul to make his case, Paul himself was compelled in the final chapters of this book to make his own “boast ” and to defend his own apostolic authority.  What he revealed to the church in Corinth in chapter 12 is some of the most remarkable speaking in all of the New Testament, for Paul himself tells of the incredible and mysterious vision that the Lord had permitted him to see in an effort to rescue the Corinthians.

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23 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #50)

2 Corinthians (Program #50) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (5)

At the end of 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul was compelled to make a vindication of his apostolic authority.   In the course of this defense, he described much of the sufferings and poverty that seem to be his constant companions during his ministry.  Judging his ministry by today’s common standards, it might seem to some that his work lack the Lord’s blessing.  Listen, “three times I was beaten with rods” he writes, “once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I had spent in the deep, In journeys often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from my race, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false brothers; In labor and hardship; in watchings often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings often; in cold and nakedness.

This kind of hardship and shortage even of the basic material supplies might seems strange to some.  How could this be the case of a genuine servant of the Lord?  But to Paul, it was quite the opposite.  For to his realization the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry similarly suffered and Paul considered it an honor that the Lord would find him worthy to share in the sufferings.

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22 Jul 2018 2 Corinthians (Program #49)

2 Corinthians (Program #49) – Paul’s Vindication of His Apostolic Authority (4)

Remember back to the very first problem that affected mankind in the Bible.  It was the serpent tempting the woman to eat of the tree of knowledge instead of the tree of life.  Now consider Paul’s word to the Corinthians addressing the impact that those claimed to be apostles upon them as they minister different Jesus to the believers in Corinth.  Chapter 11 of 2 Corinthians verse 3, “But I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts would be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ.” Paul’s fear was that the teachings of the so called apostles would have the same result as the serpent’s deception in Genesis 3, to distract the believers away from the enjoyment of Christ’s life and bring them to another tree, a tree that leads to death.

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