Our Anchor of Hope

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The Word:

Our Anchor of Hope Jerry Walters

Vicki-Lynn Holmes


About the Authors Jerry Walters is a long time Bible teacher and student of the Word. He has taught both in the USA and Internationally, in South Korea. By profession, Jerry is a Nurseryman, who sees in his daily work the tenants of the Bible come to life --- from being engrafted into the body of Christ to God threshing the grain to separate the wheat from the chaff. The purpose of his writings is to make the Bible understood and appreciated by readers of all ages who perhaps have never studied the Bible before and for those who want to go deeper into the Word of God. To this end, Jerry has written several journals, including the 2017 Scripture & Evangelism planner.

Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes is a dedicated Christian and lover of the Word of God who has dual doctorates in religion and mathematics. Filled with the Holy Spirit in her twenties and ordained as a minister as an adult, she carries a heavy anointing to preach the Word with boldness and clarity to those within and coming into the Body of Christ. An award-winning author, Vicki-Lynn has written several books, including Paul’s Prayers: How to pray effective prayers …and get your prayers answered; Suicide: the unpardonable sin?; and Ding Dang Diversity. . Both Jerry and Vicki-Lynn are passionate about the wonderful opportunity they have to fellowship with God through the Word, and are delighted to share His Word with you.


Our Anchor of Hope Apostle Paul’s Letters

Purpose: The purpose of the “Our Anchor of Hope” series is to “whet” College student’s appetite to begin reading the Bible in its entirety. We want each person to be able to understand and apply these great truths. Book One of the series introduces the Apostle Paul’s letters, both the letters to the churches and to his Christian disciples and friends. Book 2, the four gospels, and Book 3 The other New Testament Accounts and Letters. Way organized – Each Book in the series is designed to be completed within 10 weeks (Mondays – Fridays), with morning and evening offerings (your devotion to God). The weekends allow you to “catch up” if necessary and to rest. Each day is color-coded and divided up into three sections – the 3 W’s. The first is the Word of God, where you read the Word (any translation you choose) and a summary of the text. The second section is the Word contextualized, where we provide some history or background to make the reading more understandable. The third section is the Worthwhile take-away, where you are given questions to answer regarding the text that point to practical applications and key take-aways. After all, the word is not simply a historical account, it is a living document that leads you into a richer, deeper relationship with Christ. Our prayer for you It seems only appropriate that we pray one of Paul’s prayers over you! We pray that the eyes of your understanding will be opened, so that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. We pray that your minds would be transformed by the reading of the Word. Amen.


Our Anchor of Hope

Apostle Paul’s Letters - FRAMEWORK

Paul’s writing are not organized in the chronological order of when they were written or when the churches were planted. Instead, the focus of these letters is thematic – on the spiritual maturity of the believer. In the book of Romans is found teachings which make up the bedrock of Christian faith, where Paul talks about the fundamentals of our faith. In each letter, step by step, book by book, letter by letter, Paul is bringing the new Christians into a higher level of maturity. Like a symphony, coming to a crescendo, the letters reach it’s height at 2Thessalonians, with Paul’s prophecy or revelation of the second coming of Jesus Christ himself, and the events that precede it. After 2Thessalonians, Paul speaks to leaders, such as Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, whom he considers spiritually mature in the faith. The book of Philemon actually speaks of two leaders, Philemon and Onesimus. These spiritual leaders personify Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Timothy was a mixed breed of Greek and Jew, Titus was a full Greek, and Onesimus, was a slave and Philemon was a master (free). Through these letters, Paul brings the new believer to a fuller sense of how to serve. He is molding the next generation of leaders .


Our Anchor of Hope

Apostle Paul’s Letters to the Churches & Disciples Table of Contents

Letters) Number of Books of the Bible Chapters Romans: 1 Corinthians: 2 Corinthians: Galatians: Ephesians: Philippians: Colossians: 1 Thessalonians: 2 Thessalonians: 1 Timothy: 2 Timothy: Titus: Philemon:

16 16 13

6 6 4 4 6 4 3 1

Week(s) Covered

Weeks 1 - 2 Weeks 2 - 4 Weeks 4 - 5 Weeks 5 - 6 Week 6 Weeks 6 - 7 Week 7 5 Weeks 7 - 8 3 Week 8 Weeks 8 - 9 Week 9 Weeks 9 - 10 Week 10

Note: The authorship of Hebrews has been widely debated in recent years; however, no evidence has conclusively dis-proved Paul’s authorship. Some say Paul; some say Barnabas, Paul’s mentor and friend; and other’s ‘author unknown.’ We do not dispute Paul’s authorship; nevertheless, we have included Hebrews in Book 3 – Other Accounts and Letters as the book of Hebrews itself is not a letter written to a specific church or disciple. Rather, it is a treatise written to Hebrew people.


Apostle Paul’s Letters After Jesus death, the Christian church began to rise (although the name Christian wasn’t used until about 47AD when Paul spent a year in Antioch preaching the gospel). Persecution arose soon after Stephen, a devout man of God, was stoned for his faith (around 32 AD). Paul went on three missionary journeys to spread the gospel after his conversion. During the first journey, he began the work of establishing Christianity and churches. In the second and third journey’s, he revisited many of the original places, establishing the church, encouraging and at times rebuking the followers. His letters (called Epistles) were written during this time. Interestingly, they are not placed in the Bible in chronological order. Missionary Journey

Paul’s Letter

Approximate Year Written

2nd Journey

1 Thessalonians

50 – 52 AD

2nd Journey

2 Thessalonians

50 – 53 AD

3rd Journey

Galatians

54 – 55 AD

3rd Journey

1 Corinthians

55 – 57 AD

3rd Journey

2 Corinthians

56 – 57 AD

3rd Journey

Romans

57 AD

Rome – during prison sentence

Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon Philippians

61 – 63 AD

Released from prison

1 Timothy, Titus

63 – 64 AD

Returned to prison last letter – Paul beheaded

2 Timothy

65 – 67 AD


Week One


Letter to the Romans

Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians

Philippians

Ephesians Galatians Ro m an s

s Corinthian

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 1

Word of God Romans 1:1-32 – Morning Offering

The Apostle Paul introduces the book of Romans by giving us a short summary of his calling, the Holy Scriptures, and the life and mission of Jesus Christ. He also welcomes non-Jews or Gentiles into the faith and gives the faithful in Rome his blessing. And Paul says all this in only seven verses. In the Book of Romans, Paul thanks God for the faith of the believers and his fervent prayers for them. He longs to visit them to build up the ministry in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire. Paul is deeply burdened by his mission to preach the gospel of salvation to all who believe, first to the Jewish people, and then to everyone else. Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4, “The righteous will live by faith.” In Romans, Paul states that God’s invisible qualities are revealed in His creation, so there is no excuse for human sinfulness. Because sin had darkened their minds, people began to worship idols instead of their Creator. In this way, people exchanged their wisdom for foolishness. Paul states that the wrath of God on mankind comes from complete depravity, caused by man’s rejection of God by making their own idols. A long list of sins is named in verses 2931. Not only do these people understand that they deserve death by rejecting God’s righteous laws, they encourage others to do the same.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 1 Morning Offering

Paul, an Apostle, wrote this letter to the Romans while he was at Corinth 58 years after Jesus' birth. He entrusted Phoebe, a woman from Cenchreae (a town close to Corinth in Greece) and a Deacon in the Church to hand deliver this letter to the Romans.

Paul wanted the Romans to realize that Jesus Christ is the WAY to salvation. Jesus had been crucified in Rome, so his death and subsequent resurrection had special meaning here. Previously they had worshiped many gods/godesses (pantheistic). However, these gods demanded ritual sacrifice and allegiance to rules and regulations, but not a moral change in their lives.

Phoebe, a woman known for her Christ-centeredness, was entrusted by Paul to bring this letter to the Romans.

Worthwhile take-away How does God say that his power can be seen (i.e. what is one evidence of his power)? Have you exchanged the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like man in your life? Have you made God in your image (e.g., Does He think like you in your mind or do you think like Him?) God clearly lists what HE defines as sin. Was anything on the list surprising to you?


Word of God

Day 1 Romans 2:1-29 – Evening Offering

Paul states that if you pass judgment on someone else you are only condemning yourself if you do the same things. God’s judgment, however, is based on truth. When you wrongly judge someone, you show contempt for God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience which leads a person toward repentance. Because of a stubborn refusal to accept God’s repentance, you incur God’s righteous judgment. Every person acting in this way will face God’s judgment, first the Jew, and then the Gentile. However, God is impartial, and will bring glory, honor, and peace for all who do good. According to Paul, all who sin without knowledge of the Laws of God will perish without the Law. And all who know these Laws, but fail to keep it will be judged by the Law of God. This Law Paul speaks of is found in the first five books of the Bible and is summarized in the Ten Commandments. Hearing the Law of God is not enough. One must obey God’s Law to become righteous in God’s sight. Even people who have never heard of God and His Laws can be considered righteous if they listen to their God-given conscience and do good things. Paul’s assertion will be proven to be true, when God through Jesus Christ, examines the secrets hidden inside the heart of every person. Paul says that if you call yourself a Jew, trust in the Law, and take pride in yourself as a teacher and a guide for others, then you must uphold what you profess. The reason that Paul’s fellow Jews have such a bad reputation is because they break the very Commands they brag about. Paul quotes from the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel; as it is written, “God’s

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1 Romans 2:1-29 – Evening Offering

Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Paul now moves to the subject of circumcision and its importance to the Jewish people. God had given the Covenant of circumcision and its blessings to the patriarch Abraham. Ever since that time, Jewish male babies were circumcised on the eighth day after they were born. The Apostle Paul says that to be truly circumcised and receive the blessings of the Covenant, it was necessary to uphold God’s laws with a willing heart. It is not enough to be only physically circumcised; a person must love and obey God with all of his heart.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 1 Evening Offering

Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount spoke extensively on judging. See Matthew 7:1. He is a just judge because He sees clearly and has no sin. We often judge hypocritically based on our own sense of self-righteousness, rather than God’s.

God is a Holy God and is angry at our sin, but He is also a God of loving-kindness. He is our Heavenly Father who looks for every opportunity to showcase forgiveness and reconciliation for all people.

When Paul speaks of the “law,” he is speaking of the “Law of Moses” which is summarized in the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy. Before the coming of Christ, all believers were required to obey the Law of Moses. Because Jesus freed us from the law (by dying for us), we now live for God in obedience to Christ.

Worthwhile take-away Did you notice that judging is not wrong? What makes judging wrong according to the Word of God? Often, are actions are hypocritical without us truly being aware of it. What are some examples of hypocrisy that Paul mentions in God's word? Can you think of others? God chose the Jewish people as His own people. We learn that in the Old Testament. Why does God now say through His word that a Jew is not a Jew outwardly? What does that mean for you?


Word of God

Day 2 Romans 3:1-31 – Morning Offering

Paul asks what advantage is there in being a Jew and what value is there in circumcision? He answers this question by listing God’s faithfulness by upholding His Covenant to the Jewish people. Even unbelief and disobedience cannot nullify God’s unconditional promises. The lies of humans cannot overcome God’s truth even though the followers of Jesus are being falsely accused of having a license to sin, the freedom to do anything they want, because their sins are covered by the sacrifice of Jesus. Are Jews any better than Gentiles? The Apostle Paul asks the Romans. The resounding answer is no because all people have sinned and broken God’s Laws. Paul quotes ten sources from Scripture to underscore this truth. Everyone living under the Law is proved to be unrighteous and the Law holds the whole world accountable to God. No one can use the Law of God to prove that they are holy. Instead the Law reminds us that we are all sinners. Paul says that righteousness from God has come through Jesus Christ, as foretold by the Prophets. Both Jews and Gentiles are redeemed by the blood of Christ. No one can boast about his own righteousness. Faith in Jesus Christ upholds and fulfills the justice of God’s Law and does not cancel the existing Law of Moses. Paul says that righteousness from God has come through Jesus Christ, as foretold by the Prophets. Both Jews and Gentiles are redeemed by the blood of Christ. No one can boast about his own righteousness. Faith in Jesus Christ upholds and fulfills the justice of God’s Law and does not cancel the existing Law of Moses.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 2 Morning Offering

Because Paul preached grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ for our sins, some believed that Paul was preaching that people should commit more sins to receive even greater grace. They used grace as a license to sin and do whatever pleased them. Today, this same erroneous thinking can be found.

Abraham is known as a righteous man. He did not earn his righteousness by never breaking God’s commands. He is shown in the Old Testament to have lied and acted hastily. However, he left his pagan lifestyle to follow God and truly believed God’s promises. That is why God called him righteous and how he became a friend of God.

Worthwhile take-away God clearly tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. There is none righteous (good) Yet, we often pride ourselves on being good. We list our accomplishments. God's examples speak to or reveal our character: tongue like a wasp, feet swift to destroy, no fear of God. Look over your last week. Have you exhibited deeds of unrighteousness? Why do you think that we needed a righteousness that is not linked to the law, but given by grace?


Word of God

Day 2 Romans 4:1-25 – Evening Offering

Paul cites Abraham as a model of both faith and good works. Abraham obeyed God and was credited with righteousness, receiving God’s blessing. Paul’s argument is that faith is more important than good works because Abraham faith began before he received the Covenant of circumcision. Abraham is the father of all who believe, both Jews, who are circumcised, and are descendants of Abraham, and Gentiles, who are uncircumcised, but accept the faith of Abraham. Abraham received the promise of God not through the Law of Moses, but by faith, against all human logic. When his name was still Abram, he trusted that God would give him a child that would become a future nation, and the entire world’s people would be blessed through Abraham's offspring. Paul says that living under the Law is not enough. Only by the grace that comes from faith we can realize all of God’s promises. Just as Abraham believed God and became the father of Isaac, we receive God’s promises through faith. Abraham and Sarah were far too old to have children. In that sense they were already dead. Their family line would die with them. Instead God made them the parents of many nations. We are dead in our sins, yet God offers us the gift of eternal life through faith. Against all human logic, the elderly patriarch Abraham become the father of many nations, fulfilling God’s promise, even though Abraham and Sarah were way beyond child bearing age. Abraham had unshakable faith in God’s promises and gave God all the glory.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2 Romans 4:1-25 – Evening Offering

That is why Abraham is the father of all believers, not only for himself, but for all believing people who are credited with righteousness through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was put to death on the cross for our sins. God then raised Jesus from the dead so that we also may be justified from our sins and be found blameless in God’s sight.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 2 Evening Offering

In the Old Testament, people thought that becoming righteous (in right standing with God) came about purely by being good and keeping all of the law perfectly. Jesus redefined how to become truly righteous in the sight of His Heavenly Father.

Against all human logic that says we ‘earn’ our own righteousness through our actions and deeds, Abraham believed God and that belief alone was credited to him as righteousness. The point that the Apostle Paul makes stunned the religious Jews because he states that Abraham was declared righteous not be obeying the law, but from his belief in God.

Circumcision was a requirement to become a Jew. Paul combatted that argument by pointing out that Abraham was counted righteous before he had become circumcised.

Worthwhile take-away The way to righteousness now is by grace, through faith. What does that mean? Why is Abraham the father, not simply of the Jews, but the Father of all those who believe? Abraham was not weak in faith because he didn't stagger at the promise of God through unbelief. Have you ever stood on God’s Word and believed? Have you ever staggered (stumbled, been weak in) your faith (e.g., not trusted God to be faithful to His Word?)


Day 3

Word of God Romans 5:1-21 – Morning Offering

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross has brought peace with God for all who believe. We are now accepted as members of God’s family and are completely justified in His sight. We can rejoice in this hope and enjoy the Glory of God instead of facing His righteous judgment. Even though we have to suffer in this life, we can still rejoice because we know that our perseverance results in an even greater hope, filling our hearts with God’s love and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came into human history at precisely the right time to rescue helpless sinners. God proves His unconditional love for us by sending Jesus to die us while we were still God’s enemies. We can celebrate, rejoicing in our reconciliation with God, our salvation in Jesus Christ secured. Just as sin entered the world through Adam, destroying the perfection of the first man, bringing death to the human race, so salvation came through one perfect man, Christ Jesus. Sin was in the world before the Law was given to Moses. However, even those who kept the Law of Moses were still subject to sin’s curse of death. If Adam’s original sin brought the penalty of death to all people, how much greater is God’s gift of the second Adam, his son, Jesus Christ, pouring out the gift of salvation to everyone! In one man, Jesus Christ, those who accept God’s gift may enjoy abundant grace, righteousness, and reign in life with Christ.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Romans 5:1-21 – Morning Offering

Just as the sin of one man, Adam, condemns everyone to sin and death, so one act of righteousness, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, brings everyone life. God’s gift of his son Jesus Christ brings us justification in God’s holy sight. Now we will not suffer the eternal consequences of our sin. God’s holy Laws, which all of us have broken, are forgiven by the grace of God. This grace of God allows all who believe to live forever in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 3 Morning Offering

In the Old Testament times, continual animal sacrifices were necessary to reconcile or bring us back into fellowship with God. The animal sacrificed was a type and shadow of Jesus’ being a sacrifice for us on the cross. However, with all substitutes, it did not atone for our sin. Jesus’ sacrifice was needed for that. This is why it is not necessary to sacrifice goats, sheep, and cattle at the Temple any more. Jesus paid the price for you once and for all.

God compares Jesus to the first created man, Adam who sinned in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God. Through Adam’s sin, the entire human race was corrupted. Through Jesus’ obedience, the entire human race has the opportunity to be redeemed.

Jesus was the only living being who kept the law perfectly. That made him the perfect sacrifice, without spot or blemish.

Worthwhile take-away Sometimes, we go through difficult and hard times. The world is in unrest. But God tells us through His Word that we can be joyful in the midst of tribulation. How is that possible? Adam's sin had humongous repercussions, not just for himself, but for all mankind. He passed down the consequences of His sin (death) via a generational curse. That's his lineage. Think about your family line. Are there any generational curses that have been passed down (anger, alcoholism, etc.) What about generational blessings (talents? gifts?) The Word tells us by Jesus' obedience to His Heavenly Father, many people are made righteous. To what was He obedient? How does this make you righteous?


Day 3

Word of God Romans 6:1-23 – Evening Offering

May we sin so that God’s grace toward us will become even greater? Absolutely not! We died to sin so we must leave our sinful lives behind. When we were baptized, we were baptized into Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection so that we may live a new life. Now that we are one with Christ, our former life dominated by sin is done away with. We are no longer slaves to sin and death but alive in Christ. Now that we have our freedom from sin, we live under God’s grace. Keep your body free from sin for God, admonishes the Apostle Paul, so that you may not once again be mastered by sin and death. Paul asks if that because we are now living under God grace, are we then free to sin because the Law no longer applies to us? No! Because our sin makes us a slave to sin and sin always leads to death. But thanks be to God, if we practice obedience that leads to righteousness then we become slaves to righteousness. In human terms, sin leads to ever-increasing wickedness while righteousness leads to greater holiness. Is there any benefit from reaping the consequences of shameful sinful actions? Of course not! That results in death! But now that you have been set free from sin to become slaves to God the benefit you reap leads to holiness and eternal life: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Word of God


Day 3 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, the last Old Testament prophet. Baptism symbolizes the washing away of the old and being born into the new. Today, this ‘new’ is your new life in Christ, an entry into the Kingdom of God.

In a new life with Christ, the believer strives to follow Jesus and obey His commands out of love for God, not out of fear of punishment. There were approximately 613 commandments in the Old Testament. The commandments have now been summarized by Jesus to ‘love God with all of your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.’

Worthwhile take-away The wages of sin is death. You do wrong, you deserve to die. However, Jesus paid that price in your place. Many people realize that Christ died for our sins, but they don't conceptualize that Christ literally took your place. According to the Word, you, then, died (Christ for you), so that you could what? What does it mean for you to consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God? What is an example of your living that out? God wants you to be free. Many think freedom is a license to sin. However, God said Christ freed you from sin. What does the scripture tell us about slavery, sin, and it's wages?


Day 4

Word of God Romans 7:1-25 – Morning Offering

Paul compares the Law of Moses to the law of marriage. When a married woman’s husband dies, she is free to marry another man. If she marries another man while he is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband is dead, she is not violating the law of marriage. The death of Christ on the cross has fulfilled the Law of Moses. By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins, we like Christ, have died with him. Our old sinful nature under the Law was increasing our guilt and leading us toward eternal death. Instead, that old nature has been put to death in Christ and we are released from the penalties of the Law. We now live in harmony with the Holy Spirit and not under the Law. Paul asks if the Law of God is sin. Certainly not, because without the Law, we would not know what a sin like coveting is. But his knowledge of the Law of coveting produces in Paul a strong desire to covet. The Law causes us to rebel against God’s Commands and our human tendency is to do the very opposite of what God's Law requires. And sinful rebellion against God always results in death. God’s holy Law is righteous and good. Is God’s Holy Law then responsible for Paul’s death? The answer is no because human sinfulness is shown to be even worse when compared to the holiness of God’s perfect Law. Paul’s struggle with sin is that no matter how much he strives for purity by keeping God’s Law, his sinful nature causes him to do the very things he hates.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Romans 7:1-25 – Morning Offering

Paul is living a conflicted life by striving to obey God while wrestling with his sinful nature. He exclaims, “What a wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!” So Paul considers himself a slave to God’s Law and at the same time a slave to sin.

Word of God


Word conceptualized

Day 4 Morning Offering

God uses the example of marriage as a permanent commitment that lasts until death which is where the phrase “till death do you part” originated. Through the sins of Adam, we became joined and bound to a life of sin and destruction. Through Jesus’ death, we died, freeing us from this bondage. Through His resurrection, we live, free before God.

When Paul talks about serving ‘in the new way of the spirit,’ he is talking about the Holy Spirit, whom God sent after Jesus died and rose from the dead. Because of our human weakness, we need the Holy Spirit to empower and enable us to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot do this in our own strength. We rely on God.

Worthwhile take-away We are supposed to bear fruit for life. How can that be shown in your life? What is the purpose of the Law (10 commandments)? What does it mean by "sin being utterly sinful?“ Paul has a struggle between having the desire to do good and having the ability to do it. This is a struggle that we all have. Can you think of a time when you struggled? What get's Paul over this hump?


Day 4

Word of God Romans 8:1-34 – Evening Offering

Paul states that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ. The Law of the Spirit of life has set him free from the Law of sin and death. Because Paul, weakened by his sinful nature, knew that he was totally incapable of obeying God’s holy Commandments. But God rescued Paul by sending His own perfect Son in the form of a sinful human being to be a sin offering. That way, the righteous requirements of God’s Holy Law were fully satisfied in Christ’s death on the cross, in those believers who do not live according to their old sinful nature, but live according to the new life in the Spirit. Any person, who lives according to their old sinful nature, only thinks about what that sinful nature desires. A person living in harmony with the Spirit, however, lives with their mind set on what the Spirit desires, the things of God. The minds of those living according to their old sinful nature are living in rebellion against God which results in death. Those living with minds controlled by the Spirit will find life and peace. Believers are controlled by the Spirit of Christ that lives within them, not by the old sinful nature. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is within you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of God’s righteousness. If God raised Jesus from the dead, He will certainly give life to your mortal body through His Spirit living within you. We are obligated to live, not by the sinful nature that leads to death, but by the Spirit as children of God. Once we were slaves to sin and living in fear of God’s holy judgment.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Romans 8:1-34 – Evening Offering

Now we are sons and daughters of God. We have the right to say Abba, which means Father. The Holy Spirit Himself testifies that we are God’s children and live in the Spirit. If we are children, then we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Jesus. And if we share in Christ’s suffering, we will also share in His Glory. Paul considers that our present sufferings in this life are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us when we rise from the dead with Christ. God’s creation is awaiting this marvelous event. His creation has also been subjected to decay and death when sin entered the world. However, God’s plan is that His once perfect creation, now ruined by man’s sin, will be also be restored and redeemed. The renewed creation will take place along with glorious freedom from sin that the children of God will experience. It is obvious to us that the natural world is groaning, suffering the scars and bearing the destructive marks of sin. But we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly, as we suffer in this life, patiently waiting for our adoption as God’s sons and daughters. Our salvation is in this hope of God’s redemption of our mortal bodies. Since we can only hope for things that have not happened yet, we must wait patiently for this to occur. In this same way the Spirit helps us in our human weakness, for we don’t even know what we ought to pray for. But the Holy Spirit Himself intercedes to God on our behalf in a language that we do not understand. God, who searches our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit helps the saints pray in harmony with the will of God.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Romans 8:1-34 – Evening Offering

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God and have answered in loving obedience to His call. God knew ahead of time the people whom He would choose to transform their lives to model Christ. God did this so that Jesus would be the first of many redeemed brothers and sisters. Those He predestined He also called to believe. Those who answered God’s call, He justified through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Those He justified, God also glorified with a future resurrected body. How can we possibly respond to such a great gift from God? If God is for us, no one or nothing can prevent our salvation in Christ. If God did not spare the life of His own Son, Jesus Christ, but sacrificed him for all of us, how can God not give us all the promises that He graciously made to us? Who can hold a person guilty that God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who can condemn us for our sins? Christ Jesus who died, rose again, and is seated at the right hand of God, is also interceding on our behalf. Can anyone separate us from the love of Christ? Trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, or the threat of death cannot. The Psalmist wrote that we are facing death constantly as God’s chosen people as if we are sheep to be slaughtered. Paul says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him (Christ) who loves us. Paul is convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Not death or life, angels or demons, not the past or the future, no power on earth, nothing in heaven or on earth, nothing in all creation can destroy this unbreakable bond we have with God.

Word of God


Word conceptualized

Day 4 Evening Offering

Paul made a division between life and the sinful nature vs a new life in Christ. This is an entirely new concept for the early Church. There is a clear delineation between the path of the sinful nature and the path of Jesus Christ. One path leads to death, the other leads to life and our adoption as sons and daughters in God.

Paul makes it clear that we have no righteousness in ourselves and we deserve punishment and death; yet we have been set free through believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This makes it our due to live in accordance to the Spirit of God.

Worthwhile take-away What does 'condemnation' mean? Why is there no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. What about those who are not in Christ Jesus. Being a Christ-follower is no easy thing. We who are in the Spirit, must think differently than the world. In that, you may go against the tide. Give an example of how you can do this in your everyday life. What can separate you from the love of God? Scripture has two sets of lists of what can NOT separate you. Reread the items, list three things in the list that really stood out for you?


Day 5

Word of God Romans 9:1-33 – Morning Offering

Paul is deeply grieved for his fellow Jews and the unwillingness of most of them to put their faith in Jesus Christ. He is even willing to forfeit his own salvation if it would save his own people. The Jewish people were given by God the adoption as sons, divine Glory, the Covenants, and received God’s Laws from Moses. They also had Temple worship and all the promises of God. They are descendants of the patriarch Abraham as is Jesus Christ himself, praise be to God! The Apostle Paul says that God’s Word did not fail. Only the children of Isaac are considered Jews and Isaac was a child promised to Abraham and Sarah. Before Isaac’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob were even born, God had already demonstrated his love for Jacob and hatred for Esau. God had revealed to their mother Rebekah when she inquired of Lord that Jacob was favored over Esau. Is God unfair? No says Paul, quoting Exodus 33:19. Salvation does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God sent Moses to confront the King of the mighty nation of Egypt. God brought up Pharaoh to the throne of Egypt and then hardened his heart so that He could demonstrate his power by defeating him. As a result of this, God’s Name would become great throughout all the earth. God shows mercy to those he chooses to show mercy, while hardening the hearts of others according to His will. What if someone asks, how can God blame us or how can we resist His will if God accepts or rejects us and we have no choice in the matter? Paul says, “Who is man to resist God?” Doesn’t a potter have a right to do what he wants with a lump of clay?

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Romans 9:1-33 – Morning Offering He makes beautiful pottery and common pots out of the same lump of clay.

What if God demonstrates His great mercy by saving some of those whom He chose in advance from receiving the wrath of God that they deserved? He may choose to do this to make His great patience and glorious character known. God may favor the ones to whom He has shown mercy. He prepared those he chose in advance, to receive the gift of His mercy, both Jews and Gentiles. Paul quotes several passages from Hosea and Isaiah that predict the coming of Gentiles into the Kingdom of God. Paul concludes by saying that Gentiles who did not pursue the righteousness of the Law are accepted into God’s Kingdom. But Israel pursued a righteousness based on keeping the Law, yet failed to attain it. It is because Israel pursued a law of works, not faith. As written in Isaiah, these man-made laws became a stumbling block, to those without faith in Jesus, so keeping a law of works is useless.

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Day 5 Morning Offering

In spite of the joy that Paul has in his new life in Jesus Christ, he is also filled with sorrow because most of the people of Israel (his kin) did not believe. Although the chosen nation, many of the Jews rejected Jesus; they were looking for another Messiah (Christ, the chosen one). Even though the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, they were looking for a Messiah that would bring about an earthly kingdom, instead of a heavenly one.

Paul speaks of Abraham’s descendants, specifically his grandchildren Esau and Jacob. God choose the eldest son Esau to serve the younger, Jacob, even though in the Old Testament times, the younger always served the elder. He relates their birth story to God’s freedom to choose anyone He wanted into His family. It was God’s will to choose not only the Jews, but the Gentiles (any people other than the Jews) also.

Worthwhile take-away God's children are the children of the spirit. What does this mean? Why is the promise not simply to the Jews or Israelites. God said that He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion. He chooses to deliver mercy, and it clearly states in the gospels that He "choose" you. Jesus chose to die for you. What is your response to His choosing? What is God's promise to us regarding being put to shame?


Day 5

Word of God Romans 10:1-36 – Evening Offering

Paul’s ardent prayer and sincere desire is that his fellow Israelites may be saved. Even though their zeal for God is unquestioned, the people of Israel based their faith on the laws they established themselves. They followed their own rules instead of trusting in God’s righteousness. Jesus fulfilled the God’s Law by his perfect life, and his death on the cross, bringing righteousness for all those who believe. Paul quotes Moses who said the righteous will live by faith. But man-made rules that disregard God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ have no value. The gospel of salvation is near us, in our hearts and on our tongues if we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And Jesus is the Lord of both Jews and Gentiles, blessing all who call on his name. How can anyone believe in this good news if no one has been sent to deliver to them the message of salvation in Jesus Christ? The Prophet Isaiah said, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all Israelites have accepted this message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul quotes several passages from the Scriptures that prophesied that many Israelites would not respond to salvation in Christ. However, God’s ultimate plan was to bring salvation in Jesus to the whole world.. Paul asks, “Did God reject His people? By no means...” Paul speaks of his ancestry in the tribe of Benjamin, and a descendant of Abraham. God did not reject His people whom He knew beforehand. The Apostle Paul tells how the Prophet Elijah, utterly discouraged by the

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Romans 10:1-36 – Evening Offering

murder of God’s Prophets by the wicked King Ahab, saying that he was the only Prophet of God left alive and now they are trying to kill me too. The Lord's answer to Elijah was that He had reserved 7000 who had not bowed down to Ahab’s idol named Baal. So too, God has in His grace, preserved a remnant of His people. It is only through God’s grace, not by the works of man. What is the conclusion? Because of their stubborn hearts, Israel did not find salvation through keeping man-made laws. But God’s elect found salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. The stubbornness of Israel was predicted by Isaiah and David. Paul asks if the stubbornness of their hearts is a permanent condition. It is because of their stubbornness that the Gentiles are being welcomed into God’s Kingdom. It is Paul’s hope that at least some of his own people may become envious of the salvation of the Gentiles. The Israelites may soften their hard hearts and come to accept Jesus as their Messiah. If Israel’s rejection of Christ results in the salvation of the rest of the world, then Israel’s acceptance of Christ would be like raising the dead back to life again. In the Temple offering, if the first fruits or the first ripened grain is offered as a gift to God, then the rest of the crop becomes holy. If the first part of the dough is offered, then the whole batch of dough becomes holy. The faith of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob made the nation of Israel holy. In the same way, if the root of an olive tree is holy, the entire olive tree becomes holy. The Israelites who refused to believe in Jesus are like olive branches broken off the holy olive tree.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Romans 10:1-36 – Evening Offering

The believing Gentiles are like wild olive shoots grafted into the holy tree in place of the broken off branches. The wild olive shoots are nourished by the sap of the tree, which is coming up from the holy stump and roots of the patriarchs. The Gentiles, or wild olive shoots, should not rebel by acting with arrogance, because God can just as easily cut them off and replace them with the natural branches, or repentant Israelites. Think about the kindness and sternness of God, says Paul. The Lord demonstrates sternness to those who rebel, but kindness to those who believe. Take care to remain in God’s kindness so that you will not be also cut off. After all, you are by nature wild olive shoots, not natural branches. How much easier is it for the Lord to graft natural branches back into their own olive tree! Paul does not want the new Gentile converts to be ignorant of God’s mysterious ways. The Gentiles must be careful not to become conceited with their new status in the Kingdom of Heaven. Israel will experience a hardening of their hearts until God brings to salvation all the Gentiles that He has called. Then all Israel will be saved as prophesied by Isaiah and Jeremiah. For now, the Jewish people and Gentile believers in Christ are enemies on account of the gospel, but Israel was chosen by God on account of the patriarchs. God’s calling and His gifts are irrevocable. In your old pagan lifestyle you were rebelling against God. But you have been shown God’s mercy because of the disobedience of Israel. But they have become disobedient so that they may also be shown God’s mercy just as you have received His mercy.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Romans 10:1-36 – Evening Offering

God has made all people disobedient so that He may show His great mercy to the human race. Paul bursts into a beautiful poem called a doxology that describes the vast wisdom and mercy of our holy and just Creator.

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Word conceptualized

Day 5 Evening Offering

The Jews were God’s chosen people; many just lost their way. They went wrong when they began making their own rules and substituting their man-made traditions over God’s. They were very sincere and zealous. They worked hard at their religion. Yet they were wrong. They missed Christ, the Lord. This is a cautionary tale.

Prior to the New Testament, there was strict separation between Jews and Gentiles. They were not even allowed to eat together. Yet God now proclaimed that there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. This was revolutionary and is the bases of the good news. Paul quotes four passages from Isaiah, a prophet who lived about seven centuries earlier. Long ago, Isaiah prophesied about (foretold of) this good news that is now true all over the world.

Worthwhile take-away The Bible says we can have a zeal for God, but not one that is based on knowledge. Most Jews did not submit to God's definition or determination on how to do something. Have you ever been zealous, but without wisdom or knowledge? If you declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, what will happen? If your faith is weak or you need strengthening, how does the Bible tell you to increase it? Hint: Faith comes by what?


Week Two


Day 1

Word of God Romans 11:1-36 – Morning Offering

Paul asks, “Did God reject His people? By no means...” Paul speaks of his ancestry in the tribe of Benjamin, and a descendant of Abraham. God did not reject His people whom He knew beforehand. The Apostle Paul tells how the Prophet Elijah, utterly discouraged by the murder of God’s Prophets by the wicked King Ahab, saying that he was the only Prophet of God left alive and now they are trying to kill me too. The Lord's answer to Elijah was that He had reserved 7000 who had not bowed down to Ahab’s idol named Baal. So too, God has in His grace, preserved a remnant of His people. It is only through God’s grace, not by the works of man. What is the conclusion? Because of their stubborn hearts, Israel did not find salvation through keeping man-made laws. But God’s elect found salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. The stubbornness of Israel was predicted by Isaiah and David. Paul asks if the stubbornness of their hearts is a permanent condition. It is because of their stubbornness that the Gentiles are being welcomed into God’s Kingdom. It is Paul’s hope that at least some of his own people may become envious of the salvation of the Gentiles. The Israelites may soften their hard hearts and come to accept Jesus as their Messiah. If Israel’s rejection of Christ results in the salvation of the rest of the world, then Israel’s acceptance of Christ would be like raising the dead back to life again. In the Temple offering, if the first fruits or the first ripened grain is offered as a gift to God, then the rest of the crop becomes holy. If the first part of the dough is offered, then the whole batch of dough becomes holy.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Romans 11:1-36 – Morning Offering

The faith of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob made the nation of Israel holy. In the same way, if the root of an olive tree is holy, the entire olive tree becomes holy. The Israelites who refused to believe in Jesus are like olive branches broken off the holy olive tree. The believing Gentiles are like wild olive shoots grafted into the holy tree in place of the broken off branches. The wild olive shoots are nourished by the sap of the tree, which is coming up from the holy stump and roots of the patriarchs. The Gentiles, or wild olive shoots, should not rebel by acting with arrogance, because God can just as easily cut them off and replace them with the natural branches, or repentant Israelites. Think about the kindness and sternness of God, says Paul. The Lord demonstrates sternness to those who rebel, but kindness to those who believe. Take care to remain in God’s kindness so that you will not be also cut off. After all, you are by nature wild olive shoots, not natural branches. How much easier is it for the Lord to graft natural branches back into their own olive tree! Paul does not want the new Gentile converts to be ignorant of God’s mysterious ways. The Gentiles must be careful not to become conceited with their new status in the Kingdom of Heaven. Israel will experience a hardening of their hearts until God brings to salvation all the Gentiles that He has called. Then all Israel will be saved as prophesied by Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Romans 11:1-36 – Morning Offering

For now, the Jewish people and Gentile believers in Christ are enemies on account of the gospel, but Israel was chosen by God on account of the patriarchs. God’s calling and His gifts are irrevocable. In your old pagan lifestyle you were rebelling against God. But you have been shown God’s mercy because of the disobedience of Israel. But they have become disobedient so that they may also be shown God’s mercy just as you have received His mercy. God has made all people disobedient so that He may show His great mercy to the human race. Paul bursts into a beautiful poem called a doxology that describes the vast wisdom and mercy of our holy and just Creator.

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Word contextualized

Day 1 Morning Offering

In Paul’s defense of the Israelite heritage, he refers to the Prophet Elijah who lived around the year 750 BC. Elijah is arguably the greatest prophet in the Old Testament. He stood up against the King of Israel and his wife Jezebel who worshipped the detestable god Baal. Baal was the god of rain and thunderstorms. At a time when Elijah was deeply discouraged and his mission was a complete failure, God reminded him that He had reserved a remnant of 7000 godly people who had not bowed their knee to Baal. In the same way, Paul speaks of a remnant of Israelite believers in Jesus Christ who were chosen by God’s grace. It is the same today. There is always a remnant of people who will not disavow God, and who will remain faithful to Him.

Paul uses a common metaphor off an olive tree and the ingrafting of branches to show how Gentiles were ingrafted into God’s family. Wild olive trees have a very strong root system, while a cultivated olive tree does not. However the cultivated olive tree produces abundant fruit. So ingrafting both together, the result would be strong olive tree that bears much fruit. In essence, ingrafting in both Jews and Gentiles produces much fruit in the Kingdom of God. This analogy explains the mystery of the Gospel of Christ in which Gentiles are brought into the family of God for the first time as adopted sons and daughters.

Paul concludes this chapter with a doxology, which is a hymn of praise. The hymn expresses his abundant joy in God’s marvelous plan of salvation.

Worthwhile take-away Even though the Jewish people rejected Jesus (and thus God), has God given up on them? Why or why not? Although many of the original chosen people missed the mark, why should we Gentiles not become haughty?


Day 1

Word of God Romans 12:1-21 – Evening Offering

Paul urges the new Gentile believers to present themselves as living sacrifices to God as a way of giving thanks to Him for including them in His plan of salvation. This spiritual act of worship is holy and pleasing to the Lord. Change your actions and your way of thinking to the model of Jesus Christ. Do not follow the patterns of this corrupt world but follow the spiritual patterns of God’s will. Then you will become more and more a child of God in mind and body and this pleases God. As someone who has received God’s grace, Paul says not to think of yourself as being more important than what you really are. God gives each of us the right amount of faith in order for us to make wise decisions. The human body is made up of many different parts that work in harmony together. Likewise, each of us has many different gifts that when used together, allowing the body of believers to act effectively as one body. One person has the gift of prophecy, another serves, someone else is able to teach, others are gifted in the areas of encouragement, leadership, administration and showing mercy. Each person should use their particular gift in proportion to the amount of faith that God has given to them. Let everyone do their work cheerfully, using their gifts to serve the body of Christ. Paul now instructs the Gentile believers in how to live in love toward one another in the body of Christ. Love sincerely and shun evil. Show your devotion to one another in brotherly love. Honor others above yourself. Don’t lose your zeal in serving the Lord.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Romans 12:1-21 – Evening Offering

Always be joyful in hope. Be patient with those who are suffering. Never give up faithful and regular prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Open your home to strangers. Bless those who persecute you. Do not curse them. Rejoice with people when they are joyful and mourn with them when they are grieving. Live in harmony with others. Be willing to associate with those who in a lower class than you. Never be conceited. Do not repay evil for evil when you are wronged. Be careful to live righteous lives as a witness to others. Do everything in your power to live in peace with everyone. Don’t seek revenge, but allow God to set things right at the time and in the manner of His choosing, as spoken by Moses. Paul quotes a passage from Proverbs on how to care for our enemies. When we give food and drink to the ones who hate us, when they are hungry and thirsty, the Lord will reward you by dealing with your enemies in His justice. It is just as effective as if you poured burning coals on their heads yourself. Do not let your life be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by living a Godly life.

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Word contextualized

Day 1 Evening Offering

Persecution and even death was a daily reality for the Apostle Paul and other early Christians. Today, there are parts of the world where Christians still suffer this type of persecution in their daily lives. Persecutions can come in many forms. Anytime you stand up for God when the result could be hardships and rejection by the world, you are withstanding persecution.

In the Old Testament, priests could offer animals as a sacrifice of praise to God. Paul sees his life as a living sacrifice to God; it is put on His altar much like the Priest offerings of old. Paul does this with the understanding that his life could be required of him at any moment. Paul eventually does lose his life for the sake of the gospel; he was beheaded.

Many of the Romans at the time of this writing, were alive during the time of Jesus. However, this letter was written predominately to Gentiles, who would not have heard Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the only complete sermon that we have of Jesus’ teaching. Here, at the close of this chapter, Paul speaks in the spirit of this sermon (Matthew 5:6-7).

Worthwhile take-away Why should you offer your body as a living sacrifice to God? How do you practically do that? We should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed how? We each should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. Our intelligence, though great, is not greater than God's. So when someone persecutes or curses you, how does God say you should respond? Does thinking on how to respond align with God’s?


Day 2

Word of God Romans 13:1-14 – Morning Offering

Paul says that the Gentile Christians must submit to the governing authorities, for all authority has been established by God. Anyone who rebels against the government is rebelling against what God has put in place. That person will bring judgment on themselves. Rulers do not hold terror for those who do right but for those who do wrong. If you want to be free of the fear of your ruler, you must obey him and he will commend you for it. Every ruler is God’s servant that God expects to do good for the people under them. But the Apostle Paul warns that those in authority do not bear the sword for nothing. A ruler is God’s agent of wrath to bring punishment to those who do wrong. A believer in Christ must obey in good conscience and not just out of fear of punishment. This is the reason why you have to pay taxes to support those who are in government. Give everyone in authority over you what you are obligated to give. If you owe taxes, then pay your taxes. If revenue, then pay revenue. If respect, then show your leaders respect. Loving one another is a debt that can never fully be paid off. To fulfill the Law of God is to love one another. The Ten Commandments may be summed up in this one rule from Deuteronomy: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul also cites additional passages to underscore the importance of love among fellow believers. He compares this evil age to the darkness of night. Now that God’s plan of salvation has arrived, like the coming of dawn, it is time for the believers to leave behind

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Day 2

Word of God Romans 13:1-14 – Morning Offering the darkness of their old evil ways. The night is nearly over; a new day is fast approaching.

We are people of the day. We must clothe ourselves with the light of the gospel of Christ. No longer are we to engage in the old ways of orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissention and jealousy. Instead, we are to wear as clothing the gospel of Jesus Christ. No longer are we to think about gratifying the evil desires of our sinful natures. Paul also cites additional passages to underscore the importance of love among fellow believers. He compares this evil age to the darkness of night. Now that God’s plan of salvation has arrived, like the coming of dawn, it is time for the believers to leave behind the darkness of their past lives.

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Word conceptualized

Day 2 Morning Offering

The Roman Empire was a brutal place to live, with extremely harsh and barbaric punishments given to those who did not conform and fell out of favor. Pagan religions (religions that believe in many gods) were given complete protection as long as they recognized and worshipped the Roman emperor as a god. Christianity was not an official religion, so when they joined Christianity, they left all of their rights and privileges behind. This was a huge commitment and undertaking. As a Christian, they could no longer bow their knee to the Roman emperor as god. Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians took huge risks by accepting Jesus as their Lord.

Paul contrasts light and darkness when he speaks of the armor of light vs the deeds of the darkness of paganism. The worship of pagan gods often included sexual orgies and drunkenness as part of their rituals. Many new Christians had come out of these religions and had to be taught how to live out the gospel of Christ in their everyday lives.

Worthwhile take-away How do you keep from being afraid of authorities? What is the greatest command? Why do all other laws and commandments get summed up in this one? We should not even think about what?


Day 2

Word of God Romans 14:1-23 – Evening Devotion

Paul says that we must accept those who are weak in the faith as our brothers and sisters. We are not to judge them on the basis of things that are not important. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another person whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The stronger one must not look down on the weaker one because God has accepted both of them. Who are we to judge someone else’s servant? That servant answers to his master to succeed or fail. And he will succeed because the Lord will strengthen him. One man considers a day more holy than another day, by observing a Jewish or Christian holiday, but someone else may treat every day the same. Each person should be secure in their own belief that they are right. The main thing is to do our very best to honor God. The one who eats meat thanks the Lord and the one who doesn’t eat meat also gives thanks to the Lord. None of us lives only for ourselves. And none of us dies to himself alone. “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” This is why Christ died and rose again so that he might become the Lord of both the dead and the living. So why do we judge by looking down on fellow believers? Each of us will stand before God and be judged according to our conduct. Paul quotes Isaiah 45:43 to emphasize that we are accountable to God. So stop judging other believers and be careful not to trip them up by your words and actions. Paul is convinced that Jesus has declared that all foods may be eaten. The many food regulations that were in place no longer apply to God’s people.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God Romans 14:1-23 – Evening Devotion

Jesus has fulfilled the old Law of Moses by his death on the cross. But if another believer’s conscience tells him not to eat all food, then for that person, some food is off limits. If Paul eats the forbidden food in front of that believer, then he is no longer acting in love by causing distress for that person. Do not cause someone to lose their faith on account of your actions. Be sensitive to the customs and beliefs of others. The Kingdom of God does not depend on what we eat or drink but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Because, says Paul, anyone who is sensitive to the needs of a weaker brother or sister in Christ is pleasing God. Respecting the needs of a weaker brother or sister keeps a strong bond with other believers. Let us do our best to maintain a strong fellowship in the body of Christ. Do not destroy the Church over food. All kinds of food may be eaten but not if they cause someone to lose their faith. It is better not to eat or drink anything that offends a brother or sister in Christ. Whatever you believe about such things is between you and God. Blessed are those who are discerning with their Christian freedom. There are legitimate differences between believers on how to live a Christian life.

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Word contextualized

Day 2 Evening Offering

The kingdom of God founded by Jesus Christ is a kingdom of mutual respect and love (loving God and loving your neighbor). In melding Jewish and Gentile believers together, Paul does not insist that everyone conform to previous traditions and rituals (rules and regulations). The new standard of measurement is based on the spirit of love. By treating others more important than oneself, a spirit of mutual respect and love is fostered among believers.

Paul is calling us to a higher standard than any previous human standard, even those found in the strict Jewish customs or traditions. It is much easier to give only what is required of you than to give your all. God requires to from surface obedience to true heart obedience.

Worthwhile take-away Why do you judge people for what they do or don't do? What does the Word say about it? We should do everything that leads to peace and what? How is that mutual? How can you condemn yourself by what you approve?


Day 3

Word of God Romans 15:1-33 – Morning Offering

Paul says that those who are strong in the faith should support those who are weak in their faith. We should not live only to please ourselves. We should be concerned for the physical and spiritual well-being of our weaker brothers and sisters. Even Jesus did not live to please himself but he came into the world to carry out the will of his Father. His mission was to serve others, even as the Psalmist said in 69:9, Christ endured insults for carrying out God’s plan of redemption by dying on the cross. Everything written in Scripture was done so to instruct us. God’s Word helps us endure trials and the encouragement of Scripture brings us hope. Paul blesses the new Gentile believers by praying for unity so that everyone may be one in heart and voice to glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Christ accepted us, so also should we accept others in order to bring praise to God. Paul states that the reason Jesus became a servant to the Jews was to fulfill all of God’s prophesies and promises to the Patriarchs. Gentiles should rejoice in God’s mercy that He has included them in His plan of salvation. Paul verifies this statement with references to five different Scripture passages. Paul then bestows a beautiful doxology of hope, joy, and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul is convinced that the Gentile believers in Rome are growing in spiritual maturity. Full of goodness and knowledge of Christ, they now have the ability to teach others. Paul has given them written instructions for a plan of action based on the grace that God has shown to him.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Romans 15:1-33 – Morning Offering

By the power of the Holy Spirit, the new Christians are to be given the Priestly task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to other Gentiles. Then the message of salvation in Christ will spread and many will become accepted by God and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Paul gives Christ all the glory for his service to God. Everything that he has said and done has been accomplished through Jesus Christ. Paul has been equipped with the power of signs and miracles by the Holy Spirit. From Jerusalem to Asia Minor, he has fully proclaimed the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul’s ambition is to go to regions where no one has preached Christ. He wants to be the missionary that lays a new foundation for a Church that will be filled with new believers. Paul quotes from Isaiah 52:15 which speaks about those hearing and understanding the gospel for the first time. Paul has started so many Churches that he has been too busy to visit the believers in Rome. Paul is satisfied that there is no more work to be done in the region where he has been planting Churches. He is ready to move on. The Apostle Paul is eager to visit the Church in Rome. He plans on stopping for a prolonged visit on his way to Spain. The Apostle is counting on the support of the believers in Rome and longs for their fellowship. But for now, assisted by the saints in Macedonia and Achaia, he will travel to Jerusalem.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Romans 15:1-33 – Morning Offering

Since the Gentiles now share in the spiritual blessings of the Jews, it is only fair that they share their material blessings with Jewish believers in Jerusalem. After Paul has delivered these gifts to the Jerusalem church, he will depart for Spain, and plans on stopping to visit them in Rome. Paul will arrive in Rome bearing the full blessing of Christ. He pleads for their fervent prayers in the power of the Holy Spirit for deliverance from unbelievers in Judea. Paul asks that his service and message of the gospel be accepted in Jerusalem. If it is God’s will, he will come to the Christians in Rome with joy and fellowship. Paul blesses them in the Name of the God of Peace.

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Day 3 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

The Romans addressed in this letter were generally more wealthy than the Jewish Christians living in Jerusalem. Just as Jesus was put on trial, convicted and executed by the leaders there, so too those who accepted Christ in Jerusalem was subject to intense persecution. Many lost everything they had to follow Jesus. This is why Paul wishes to bring monetary gifts (donations) from Gentle Christians to the Jews. Paul felt that the Gentiles ‘owed’ the Jews for they should be grateful for being grafted into the Jewish faith.

Jesus was born and lived as a Jew, keeping the Jewish laws perfectly. Scripture tells us that He came to his own (His Jewish brothers), but they did not recognize or receive him. However, some did. These are the Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews that Paul refers to in Romans.

Jewish and Non-Jewish (Gentile) believers are one in Jesus. They are considered one body. Thus, the sufferings of one group of Christians should effect the whole body of Christ. The strongest Christian should share the concerns of the weakest Christian – in this case monetary struggles.

Worthwhile take-away How do you accept one another? Paul prayed that the God of hope fill you in all joy and peace as you do what? He prayed this so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul says that you can join him in his struggles by doing what?


Day 3

Word of God Romans 16 – Evening Offering

Paul commends to the believers in Rome a servant or deacon of the Church named Phoebe. He asks them to assist her because she has been of great help to him, and has worked diligently in the service of the Lord. The Apostle Paul sends his greetings to a long list friends and fellow servants of the Lord. Some are the names of slaves. Others are women. A few are relatives of Paul. These are believers who have risked their lives with Paul. They shared in his ministry through good times and bad. Paul greets them all and urges them to greet each other with a holy kiss. He advises the young Church to watch out for troublemakers that will try by deception to turn the believers against each other. Paul is overjoyed by their obedience to the Lord. He cautions them to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under their feet as God had predicted after the fall of Adam and Eve. Paul blesses them by saying, “May the grace of the Lord be with them.” Timothy and a number of leaders in the Church send their greetings. Paul’s secretary Tertius, who has written this letter, also sends his greetings. Paul concludes his letter to the Romans with a doxology that is a summary of the prophetic authority of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 3 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

A classic style of letter writing of the time was to end an epistle (long letter) with greetings. Letters were written in reverse of modern style where the greeting goes at the beginning of the letter.

The closing allows a glimpse into the type of people who followed Jesus and helped Paul in his ministry. There were high governing officials, slaves, people imprisoned for the gospel, Greeks, Romans, fellow Jews, and business men and women. At this time the rigid caste system of social divisions was turned upside down. Christianity is more powerful than the systems that divide.

During this time, some Jews did not approve of the liberty of the Gentiles. They hated Paul for preaching the good news to the Gentiles and making them equal to the Jews. Throughout the New Testament, you will read of these false teachers and apostles stirring up trouble and causing division.

Worthwhile take-away Many people believe women were not prominent in the first century church. Paul mentioned quite a few in his closing. List four of the women and state their roles. Scripture tells us to keep away from what type of church people?


First letter to the

Corinthians Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians

Philippians

Ephesians Co rin thi an

Ro m an s

Galatians s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 4

Word of God 1 Corinthians 1:1-31 – Morning Offering

Paul begins his letter to the Church at Corinth by introducing himself. He has called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. He also has been asked to write this letter by a Church leader in Corinth named Sosthenes. Paul blesses the Church in Corinth with grace and peace. He calls on the believers there to be holy and sanctified in Jesus Christ. Paul gives thanks to God for the saints in Corinth. They have received the grace of Jesus Christ. Becoming more equipped to preach the gospel of Christ, they are also growing in knowledge by the power of the Holy Spirit. Not lacking any spiritual gifts, they are growing to become more like Jesus. Paul says that the power of Christ will keep you strong until the end so that you will be found blameless when Jesus returns to earth. God, who is faithful, has called you into a fellowship with Jesus. Paul appeals to the believers in Corinth that they should all agree with him in the name of Jesus Christ. There must be no divisions among them. They must be perfectly united in mind and thought. Believers from the household of Chloe had informed Paul there were quarreling groups among them that were splitting the Corinth Church apart. One group follows Paul. Another one claims Apollos. A third wants its leader to be Peter.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 1 Corinthians 1:1-31 – Morning Offering

“Is Christ divided? Paul asks. He goes on to reason with them by saying that he was not crucified for them, nor were they baptized into the name of Paul. Of course, Jesus died on the cross for them and they were baptized into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Paul baptized a few believers while he was in Corinth, but most were baptized by someone else. Christ had sent Paul to preach the gospel. That was his main task. Paul generally assigned others to baptize new Christians. Paul was not sent to give fine speeches as a trained orator but to plainly and boldly speak the gospel of Christ. To Paul, the message of the cross, on which Jesus Christ suffered and died for the sins of the world, makes no sense for people who are lost. But those who are saved recognize the message of the cross, as the power of God. He quotes Isaiah 29:14. Isaiah says that God will destroy the wisdom of those with knowledge and the intelligence of the most intelligent person. Paul asks the believers in Corinth: Who is the scholar and the wise man? Where is the philosopher who understands the times? Has not God proven them to be fools? For by wisdom and through knowledge, mankind has been unable to understand God. But God is pleased that message of the cross, while foolish in the eyes of the world, has been preached by ‘fools’ like Paul, in order to save those who believe in Jesus. The Jewish Religious Leaders demand miraculous signs to prove that the message of the cross is really from God. The Greek or secular world trusts in wisdom. But preachers like Paul preach Christ crucified in order to carry out God’s plan of salvation.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 1 Corinthians 1:1-31 – Morning Offering

The Jewish Religious Leaders cannot accept this part of God’s plan. They trip over the cross as if it were a stumbling block placed in their path. God’s plan is complete rubbish to the Greeks because it doesn’t require wisdom and knowledge to believe in God’s plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul concludes that the foolishness of God is greater than the highest wisdom of man and the weakness of God is greater than the strength of anything man made. Paul reminds the Corinthians to think of where they came from. Not many of the Christian believers were wise, influential, or of noble birth when they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord. But God chose the weak and the powerless to shame the strong and the powerful. He chose the weak things of this world in order to shame the strong. The lowly and despised have taken the place of the highborn and those honored by this world. God did this so that no one can boast of own righteousness by saving himself without faith in Jesus Christ. It is only by the gift of God’s mercy that you received the gifts of righteousness, holiness, and redemption. We can only boast about God and not in ourselves as Paul quotes in Jeremiah 9:24.

Word of God


Day 4 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

This first letter to the Corinthians is not really Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church. He actually wrote an letter (epistle) earlier that Paul references is Chapters 5:9 and 7:1. The Corinth church was located in Macedonia (Ancient Greece) on an isthmus considered one of the primary east-west trading route connecting Southern Greece to the mainland.

Paul’s task of writing this letter to the Corinthians is a difficult one. Paul is attempting to bring together into one two different people- backgrounds. The Jewish Christians came out of a legalistic system where they were loathe to even associate with gentiles. The Gentile Christians were steeped in paganism, with rituals that involved debauchery, drunkenness and sexual orgies. The Jews and Gentiles had very little in common. In fact, the Jews dressed differently and were forbidden to even eat with the Gentiles. Paul had to address both group’s sins, which included division, sexual licentiousness, class division and pride.

The Corinthian church was very gifted but deeply flawed. Even though they moved in the gifts of the Spirit, they were very carnal and immature. Paul had to tell them that they could not curse God and exhibit his gifts at the same time.

Worthwhile take-away In Christ, you are gifted with talents that augment your own. One of these gifts the ability speak (utterance) and in what else? A gift is something that you must receive. Have you received these gifts from God? Paul clearly says that contention / division is not worthy of Christ followers. What was the bone of contention with the Corinthians here? Are you involved in foolish contention? Why does God use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise?


Day 4

Word of God 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 – Evening Offering

When Paul came to Corinth, he did not dazzle them with his eloquence or belittle them with his superior knowledge. Instead the Apostle proclaimed the Kingdom of God. Paul’s goal was to speak about nothing else except Jesus and his death on the cross. Paul came to Corinth in weakness, fear, and trembling. The reason that Paul did not overwhelm them with his great knowledge of Scripture was so that the power of the Holy Spirit would be plain for all to see. That way, their faith what not be based on Paul himself, but only on God’s power. Those who are mature in faith speak to each other in wisdom, but not the wisdom of this age. The words used by the rulers of this age, such as Pilate or Herod, who crucified Jesus, are coming to nothing. Instead, we speak of God’s secret wisdom that has been hidden from the rulers of this age. God had planned to reveal His secret wisdom to us before the world began. None of the rulers understood God’s wisdom. If they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ. Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4. The Prophet says that no one can understand or predict what God has prepared for those who love the Lord. But God’s wisdom has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit searches out the depth of God’s nature so that we may come to understand God’s plan of salvation.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 – Evening Offering

How can one person know the thoughts of another person? The spirit of each person knows what he feels inside. In the same way, the Spirit of God reveals the thoughts of God. We have not received the spirit of this world but the Spirit of God. The Spirit who is from God helps us to understand God’s free gift of grace in Jesus Christ. The Spirit teaches us a heavenly language of wisdom in place of mere human words. The person who has not received the Holy Spirit cannot accept the wisdom of God and considers it foolish. That person lacks the discernment that comes from God. The spiritual man whose wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit has the ability to judge all things. However, the spiritual man is not subject to anyone else’s judgment because they lack God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah said in 40:13 that no man can understand the mind of the Lord or give Him instruction. But, says Paul, we have the mind of Christ.

Word of God


Day 4 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

In his earlier days, the Apostle Paul studied with the best of the best and was an expert in the Scriptures. This was before he was called by Jesus to become an Apostle. In spite of his high position, Paul does not lord it over the Corinthians or think of himself as greater than those to whom he is ministering.

Paul had to carefully explain the Holy Spirit to the Corinthians. Because they were accustomed to worshiping Pagan idols, they had a corrupted view of the Spirit of God. These idols are mute, they don’t speak or act. The idea of a living God that lives inside of a person was a very strange concept to them. The idea of the Holy Spirit had become a foreign concept to the Jews also because it had been about 400 years since God had given the Jewish people a specific word or direction.

Even though God preserved the Jewish people throughout these years, the Jews had become oppressed by a series of conquerors, such as the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.

Worthwhile take-away Paul doesn't want your faith to be based on the wisdom of this world. Upon what does he want your faith to be based? As we read the scriptures, we get a clearer understanding of God's personality and desires for us. What is one reason that we have been given the Spirit of God?


Day 5

Word of God 1 Corinthians 3:1-23 - Morning Offering

Paul cannot address the believers at Corinth as being mature spiritually. They have become worldly, still infants of the faith in Jesus Christ. In the past, Paul had given them milk because they were not ready for solid food. Instead of growing in the faith weaned on the solid food of spiritual maturity, they have not developed at all. They are filled with worldly envy. They quarrel among themselves, arguing pointlessly about which leader is better. What is Apollos? And what is Paul? We are only servants of the Lord who brought you to faith in Jesus. Each one of us has his task. Paul planted the seed and Apollos watered it. That is not important. The only thing that matters is that God made your faith grow. We are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field and His building. By the grace of God, Paul has become a master craftsman at laying the foundation of Christ’s ministry. Someone else is building on it. But Jesus Christ has already laid the original foundation by his sacrifice on the cross. Whatever materials a man may use to build upon this foundation whether it be gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be tested. When the Lord returns, the quality of his work will be proven in the light of Jesus himself. It will be tested by fire. If his work survives, he will be rewarded for what he has built. But if the man’s work is burned up in the fire, he will escape, like someone running out of a burning building. Paul asks the Corinthians if they understand that they are God’s holy Temple and that the Holy Spirit resides in each one of them. If anyone destroys the Temple of God, God will destroy him because His Temple is sacred and you are now that Temple.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 1 Corinthians 3:1-23 - Morning Offering

Don’t fool yourself by thinking that you are wise by the standards of this world. You should become a ‘fool’ in the standards of this world so that you can become truly wise. In God’s eyes, the wisdom of this world is foolishness. Paul quotes Job's friend Eliphaz in Job 5:13, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and Psalm 94:11, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So there should be no more boasting about mere humans. All of these things belong to you. Whether Paul, Apollos, or Peter, or this world, life or death, the present or the future. All are yours. And you are of Christ and Christ is of God.

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

It is always a human temptation to pin your faith and hope on an earthly leader. Christians do this all the time with their favorite preachers or teachers. The Corinthians were no different. The greats of the church at that time included Cephas, who was the Apostle Peter, one of the original twelve disciples; Apollos, an African Jew who was prominent in the church at Corinth and Ephesus; and Paul, himself In moving the Corinthians from immaturity to maturity, Paul always focusses their attention on Jesus alone.

The Gentile Christians were very familiar with the many pagan temples in Corinth. A temple is a beautiful building dedicated to a deity. So when Paul refers to Christians as the temple of God, he is saying that our bodies are meant to be buildings dedicated to God, the one true deity. Idol worshiping occurs in pagan temples. The Jewish people also had a temple in Jerusalem, dedicated to the one true God. This temple contained no idols, which are extremely offensive to God. Since your body is a temple of God, it should also contain no idols.

Worthwhile take-away Envy, strife, and division are an indication that you are still a baby in Christ or steeped in carnality. How do you know if your works are not carnal? Do you realize that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you-- that He has chosen you to represent Him? How is this knowledge manifested in your life? Whose are you?


Word of God

Day 5

1 Corinthians 4:1-21 – Evening Offering The Corinthians should regard Paul and the other leaders as servants of Christ. They are entrusted with the secret things of God. A true servant of Christ must be proven faithful by his actions. Paul cares little for what others think of him. He has a clear conscience but that does not make him innocent. Paul is under the judgment of God. Allow God to pass judgment at the appointed time when the Lord comes. He will judge the hidden things in each person’s heart. Each one will receive the praise from God for his actions. Paul has set strict limits for himself and Apollos so that the new believers learn from their example. This will keep them from pride in themselves that leads to infighting. The Apostle uses sarcasm to say that they think of themselves as kings that are rich in the knowledge of Christ. The Corinthians have no idea of how spiritually impoverished that they really are. Paul and others have faced death and all kinds of persecution and sufferings for the sake of Christ. Paul says this not to shame them, but because he is their father in Christ. They would do well to imitate Paul. He is sending Timothy, a devoted son of Paul in Christ, to teach them the basics of living for Jesus. Paul warns the arrogant ones among them not to test his resolve. The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. Do they prefer that Paul come to them to whip them into shape? Or do they want him to come in love with a gentle spirit?

Word of God


Day 5 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

The authority during the time of Corinthians was very strict and hierarchical. Harsh punishment awaited anyone who violated the laws and the customs of the society. The Greeks and Jews at this time were living under Roman rule. Not only was the civil penalties harsh; in the religious realm the Jews had both the written law and a great number of unwritten laws / traditions which they had to follow. These laws permeated every area of life –how to wash your hands, dietary restrictions, what they could and could not do on the Sabbath, and more. Between their laws and the crushing oppression of Rome, the Jewish people lived highly regimented lives. Thus when Paul preaches that these world systems are subjugated to the gospel of Jesus in the new Kingdom of God, it is world altering. This was no little matter.

Worthwhile take-away Paul is a very wise and learned man. He was at the top of his class. In Romans, he tells us that he had no peer -- no one equal in intelligence to him. Yet, he constantly lets us know that God's intelligence is so much higher. He realizes that he doesn't judge himself. Who judges and why? Who judges your motives? The heart? What gifts do you have that you have not been given? Why do you (and mankind) have so much pride? Why do we gloat? Paul, and the other apostles, which should be honored, were treated how?


Week Three


Day 1

Word of God 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 – Morning Offering

Paul has heard a troubling report that the Church in Corinth has a man who married his stepmother. This act of sexual immorality is so outrageous that it shames even the pagans. How can the believers be so proud when they tolerate this kind of evil in their Church? They should be in mourning! Even though Paul is not with them at this time, he is with them in spirit. He has passed judgment on this immoral person as though he were with them. Paul says that in the name of Jesus they must hand this man over to Satan, so that his sinful nature may be destroyed. This man, after suffering for a time under Satan, who is under God’s control, may later be restored into body of Christ. Paul is telling them that they must remove this man from the Church until he repents of his sin. Then he can be restored as a brother in Christ and his spirit saved. Corinthians, stop your boasting! A little yeast works its way through a large batch of dough. Yeast is often used to symbolize evil. The entire Church can be ruined by this one wicked person. Do not associate with a brother or sister that practices sexual immorality within the Church. But you must associate with wicked pagans outside of the Church in order to win them for Christ. Then they can be cleansed from their evil ways. But do not even eat with those who claim to be believers while at the same time living sexually immoral lives. God, not Paul will judge those outside of the Church. But you are to judge those within the Church. “Expel the wicked man from among you!”

Word of God Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul deals swiftly and decisively when dealing with an outrageous act of sin in the church. This specific sin – had sex with his father’s wife (most likely his step-mother) was a grievous sin in the Jewish religion (Leviticus 18:8 and Deuteronomy 22:30). In the New Testament, John the Baptist, the man who heralded and prepared the people for Jesus ministry, was beheaded for opposing a similar marriage between King Herod and his brother’s wife (Mark 6:14-29). While this may have been acceptable in the Greek pagan culture, it was not acceptable in the kingdom of God.

Because Paul was so aware that we Christians are the temple of God, he knew that a violation against the temple should be treated with all contempt. Many Jews and Gentiles of that time had no real concept that we are one body. This was (and still is) a revolutionary concept. Individual sin impacts the entire body. You are your brother’s keeper.

Worthwhile take-away Paul tells Christians that when they see others sin, they should be appalled -- swiftly doing something about it. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. What is your attitude towards sin? Do you 'wink' at it? Do you co-exist with it? We "all sin and fall short of the glory of God," but what is your attitude towards sin? Paul tells you not to hang around with fellow Christians who are fornicators, covetous, or are railers (habitual, angry criticizers), drunkards, extortionists, or idolaters. He calls that Christian person wicked. What do you call them? Friend? Are you one of them? Paul is really trying to get at the attitude of your heart.


Day 1

Word of God 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 – Evening Offering

How can a member of the body of Christ dare to bring a lawsuit against another brother or sister in Christ? Paul directs this question to the believers in Christ at Corinth. You are allowing a court of pagans to judge matters that should be dealt with inside the Church! Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? And if Christians are to judge the world, why aren’t you able to handle minor disputes within the Church? Don’t you know that we will judge angels? Then we should easily be able to deal the things of this life. Bring your disputes to appointed officials in the Church. Even the least competent leaders among you are able to deal with these issues! You should be ashamed of your conduct! Is it even possible that your leadership is so bad that you cannot settle matters between fellow believers? But instead, says Paul, one brother sues another brother and airs their dirty laundry in front of a secular court for pagans to decide! Because you are resorting to lawsuits, this proves that you have already accepted defeat. Why not allow yourself to be wronged and cheated? Instead you Corinthians are the ones who are sinning against your brothers and sisters in Christ. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not allow yourselves to be deceived. The sexually immoral, idolaters, male prostitutes, or homosexual offenders, thieves, those who are greedy, drunkards, slanderers or swindlers will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 – Evening Offering

When you were still living in paganism, some of you committed these evil deeds. But now you are cleansed, you are made pure, and you are justified in Christ from receiving the punishment from God that you deserve. You are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit. Paul contends that everything is permissible for him, but not everything is beneficial. Even though Paul has the freedom to do everything he wants, he refuses to be mastered by anything that limits his ability to carry out his mission to serve Jesus Christ. Food is made for the stomach and the stomach is made for digesting food. However, God will destroy them both if that person is not redeemed by God through Jesus Christ. God did not create our bodies to be used in sexual immorality, but our bodies are reserved in service to the Lord. And the Lord will redeem our bodies. By God’s power, Jesus was raised from the dead, and our bodies will also be raised. Paul asks if we truly understand that our bodies are members of Christ himself. Shall I, Paul, take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Don’t you know that a man who has sex with a prostitute becomes one flesh with her? Paul quotes Genesis 2:24, “The two will become one flesh.” But anyone who unites themselves with the Lord becomes one with Him in Spirit. Run away from sexual immorality. All other sins are outside the body, the person who sins sexually sins against his or her own body.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 6:1-20 – Evening Offering Don’t you know that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit lives within you and is a gift from God. You are not your own. You were redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. You must honor God with your body.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 1 Evening Offering

Things have gotten so bad at Corinth that believers are suing each other in the local courts. This means that pagan judges are presiding over the body of Christ. When Paul reminds them of their high position in the Kingdom of God, he is reminding them that as adopted sons and daughters of God they will not only reign with Jesus, but they will be the ones who pass judgement on the sinful world. TheyWe will also be the judges of the angels themselves. Most Jewish and Gentile believers had no concept of their authority in the kingdom of God. They were used to being subjugated.

The Apostle Paul pleads with the Corinthians not to debase themselves with sexual sins. They are to always remember that Jesus redeemed them. The Jews were used to thinking of themselves as sinful peoples (sinners). They had made daily cleansing sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Gentile Corinthians were not accustomed to thinking in terms of sin; they lived in fear of the gods/goddesses’ wrath, but not in terms of a moral code. Hence, Paul had to teach the one group about sin and the other that Jesus paid the price for their sin. The Jews and the Gentiles should no longer think of themselves as sinners, but as redeemed.

Worthwhile take-away Paul clearly tells you that the world is NOT greater than the Christ-centered church. He says that it is shameful to go to the world to judge between brothers, instead of going to the church. Why do you think this is? Some of us used to participate in the very things that we should revile now. But we must keep in mind that we have been washed by the blood. It is through Christ that we have been made clean. Paul wants us to keep that in mind. Are you meditating on who you are now (in Christ) or your former self that is dead in sin? Because you were bought with a hefty price (Jesus' death and resurrection), what should you do?


Word of God

Day 2 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 – Morning Offering

Paul had received a letter from Corinth regarding marriage. He said that it was better not to marry, but because there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband and wife should each fulfill their marital duties to each other. The bodies of a husband and wife do not belong to themselves alone but to each other. Do not withhold sexual relations from each other except by mutual consent. But only for a limited amount of time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that you will not become vulnerable to Satan’s attacks by your lack of selfcontrol. Paul gives this advice as an admission of human weakness in controlling sexual desires, not as a command to marry. Paul wishes that everyone was like him in regard to selfcontrol. However, each person has their own unique gifts from God. The Apostle said that it was good for the unmarried and widowed believers to remain unmarried. But if they cannot control their sexual desires, then they should marry. It is better to marry than to burn with passion. Married Christian wives by the command of the Lord must not separate from their husbands. But if she does separate, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled with her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. A Christian who is married to an unbelieving husband or wife must stay married to the unbelieving spouse. The unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believer. They must not divorce. The children are sanctified through the believing parent.

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Word of God

Day 2 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 – Morning Offering

But if the unbelieving spouse wants to leave, then do not stop them. A believer is not bound in this circumstance. We are called by God to live in peace. How can anyone know if they will save their unbelieving husband or wife? The Apostle Paul advised the new Christians in Corinth to serve the Lord in the places that they found themselves. This is where God has called them to serve in His Kingdom. Paul laid down this rule in every Church that he planted. A Jewish man that was already circumcised when he came to faith in Christ should not try to act like he is a Gentile and not a Jew. A Gentile who is not circumcised should not be circumcised in order to become like a Jew. Paul says that whether a man has been circumcised or not, that is not important in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Obeying God’s commands is what counts. The believer is to remain in situation that they were in when God called them. Don’t be troubled if you are enslaved, but purchase your freedom if you are able to do so. A slave who is called by Lord is the Lord’s freedman. A freedman who was called by Christ becomes a slave of Christ. Be responsible to God and remain in the situation that He placed you in. Paul has no specific command from the Lord regarding virgins, but he will give them his best advice as one who is trustworthy in the Lord’s mercy. Remain as you are. If you are married, do not get a divorce. If you are unmarried, do not look for a spouse. It is not a sin to marry. And if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 – Morning Offering

But everyone who marries will face a great deal of trouble in this life. Paul wants to spare them from trouble so that they can devote all their time and energy to serving the Lord. Paul tells his brothers and sisters in Christ all these things because time is in short supply. Life is short and Jesus is coming soon. Those who are married should act as if they were not married in their devotion to the Lord. Those who are in mourning or rejoicing should put their emotions aside and should pursue their service in the Kingdom of God. Whatever you purchase with your own money is not really yours to keep. Be willing to give everything away to follow Jesus. Do not lose your focus and become distracted by the things of this world. For the world as you know it is passing away. Paul wants the believers in Corinth to be free from the worries of earthly concerns so that they may be free to serve the Lord. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs. He only has to worry about pleasing God. But a married man has many worries in this life. He has to think about his wife so his interests become divided. A single woman or virgin is concerned about the matters of the Lord. Her life is devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world and about pleasing her husband. Paul says that the reason he is giving this advice is for their good. He is not trying to restrict them with unnecessary burdens. Instead, Paul wants to give them the liberty to serve God with an undivided heart.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 – Morning Offering

If a man thinks he is acting improperly with the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting older, then he should do what he wants and marry her. He is not sinning. They have a right to marry. But the man who is content in his own mind with remaining single is under no compulsion to marry the virgin. He has also done the right thing. Paul concludes that the man who marries in the Lord is doing the right thing. But the man who does not marry in order to wholeheartedly serve the Lord does even better. A woman must remain with her husband as long as long as he lives. If he dies, then she is free to marry anyone she chooses, but he must be a believer in the Lord. In Paul’s judgment, she is better to remain a widow. And Paul speaks with the mind of the Spirit of God.

Word of God


Day 2 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

In the Jewish tradition, marriages were generally arranged, and virginity and purity held in high esteem. To prevent sexual immorality from tearing the church apart, Paul provides specific guidelines to the Corinthians. Some are based upon tradition and some are direct requirements from God. In the new Kingdom of God, Christians overwhelming desire should be to serve the Lord. Marriage is second to that. Paul would love for your entire focus to be on God. However, he does not want to give license to sexual sins, so he permits marriage for those who cannot be happily celibate.

Worthwhile take-away Why does Paul says that some of his advice was spoken by him, and not by the Lord? What does God, through Paul, say about being circumcised or virgins? Paul is not against marriage, but why does he say that it is better not to marry?


Word of God

Day 2

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 – Evening Offering Paul moves on to the subject of food that has been sacrificed to idols. This is meat or other food that has been dedicated to an idol during a ritual at a pagan temple. Mature believers in Christ know that we possess knowledge from God. Knowledge, however, can lead to destructive false pride. But love always builds us up. The man who thinks he knows something is really quite limited compared to God’s infinite wisdom. But the man who loves God is known to Him. So, then, what about food offered to idols? We know that an idol in this world is nothing in and of itself. We know that there is no God but the one true God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The pagans have a multitude of ‘so called’ gods, but there really is only one God, the Father, who created all things and for whom we live. There is only one Lord Jesus Christ by whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone is aware of this. Some weaker people, having once been enslaved in sin to pagan idol worship, are disgusted by the thought of eating anything that comes from pagan temples. To them this food is defiled. But food does not bring us closer to God. We are no better if we do not eat, or if we do eat such food. Paul warns us not to allow our freedom in Christ to cause a weaker brother or sister to lose their faith. If a person with a weak conscience sees you eating in a pagan temple, to them, you are now worshiping that idol and have become a pagan.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 – Evening Offering If your brother or sister, for whom Christ died, has their faith destroyed by your actions, that person might also eat in the pagan temple and fall back into idolatry. Then the weaker brother or sister has been destroyed by your superior knowledge. This is a sin against Christ. Paul states that he will never eat meat again if it causes even one person to lose their faith in Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 2 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

During this time in Corinth, The few Christians lived in a sea of paganism. It would have been virtually impossible not to interact with pagans. Paul reminds us that what pagans call gods are not really Gods at all.

The meat from animal sacrifices dedicated to idols were commonly sold at the market place. For some Christians eating this meat reminded them of their path when they feasted and engaged in pagan rituals. This connection between food dedicated to idols was a temptation to return to their pagan lifestyles. A strong Christian has made a complete break with the past and his/her conscience is not bothered by the customs and practices of the pagans. Today, participating in Halloween can be a dilemma the Christian who has recently come out of the occult. Some people are bothered by dressing their children up as warlocks and witches and others are fine. However Paul would tell us, not to let our freedom harm our fellow brother or sister’s conscience.

Worthwhile take-away Chapters 8 and 10 are dedicated to answering question about eating meat offered to idols. Why does Paul say that there really isn't any such thing as an idol? Why do people say "worshiping to idols"? Why should we not eat meat (or do anything) that hurts your brother even though it is in your right to do so?


Word of God

Day 3

1 Corinthians 9:1-27 – Morning Offering Paul asks if he indeed has the rights of an Apostle who has personally seen Jesus. He also has the freedom of every other believer in Christ. Is not the Church in Corinth the result of his work? Others might not consider him their apostle, but Paul most certainly is the apostle to the Corinthians. To those who judge him, he makes this defense: Don’t we have the same right to eat and drink? Don’t we have the right to marry a believing wife? Some of the other Apostles and Peter along with the brothers of Christ are married. Or do only Paul and Barnabas have to work for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Everyone who plants a vineyard or raises livestock eats from the fruit of his labor. The Apostle is not speaking only from a human perspective but from a Scriptural basis. Paul quotes the Law from Deuteronomy that the ox that treads the grain is not to be muzzled. After the stalks of grain were harvested, the stalks of grain were threshed, often by animals such as oxen hitched to a post. The oxen stepping on or dragging a heavy weight on the bundles of grain separated the grain from the stalks as the oxen circled the post. God did not allow the Israelites to muzzle the oxen to prevent the animal from eating the valuable grain. Paul is saying the worker has a right to be fed. In the same way the one who plows the field so the grain can be planted has the right to share in the harvest, just as much as the one who reaps the grain.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 3

1 Corinthians 9:1-27 – Morning Offering Doesn’t Paul have just as much of a right to pay for his work as anyone else? But Paul did not exercise this right because it might have hindered the work of the gospel. The Priest serving at the Altar in the Temple at Jerusalem is entitled to his share of the sacrificial offerings, of bread or meat. In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their pay from the gospel. However, Paul does not claim these rights. He is not asking anyone for assistance. He says that he would rather die than have anyone support him. He wants to be totally free to serve the Lord. Paul is compelled to preach the gospel so he cannot boast in himself. In fact, he will face God’s judgment if he fails to carry out Christ’s command to preach the gospel. If Paul preaches voluntarily, he is rewarded for it. If he preaches involuntarily, then he is simply carrying out his duty to Jesus Christ. So what is Paul’s reward? That he preaches the gospel freely. He is not indebted to anyone nor is he forced to use his rights. The Lord provides him with everything that he needs. Even though Paul is a free man and not indebted to anyone, he serves as a slave in order to win as many people to Christ as possible. To the Jews, he lives as one bound by the Laws of Moses, even though in Christ, he has been set free from the Law.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 3

1 Corinthians 9:1-27 – Morning Offering But Paul is bound by the laws of Christ. To the Gentiles, who do not know the Laws of Moses, Paul lives as one who is not under the Laws of Moses. To those who are weak in their faith as new believers, Paul comes to them to instruct them in the elementary teachings of Christ. He preaches to the spiritual level that people are on so that he might save some of them. Paul asks if they understand that every runner runs in a race but only the fastest one receives the prize. Everyone who competes as an athlete undergoes strict training. The athletes train for a crown that will not last. But Christians train for a crown that will last forever. So Paul does not run aimlessly, nor does he fight by beating his fists in the air for nothing. No, Paul beats his body into submission and makes it his slave so that after he preaches the gospel to others, he himself may not be disqualified from the winner’s prize.

Word of God


Day 3 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

The Israelites had strict laws concerning contributions for Priests and Levites, a tribe whose job it was to assist the priests. These ministers made their living from the tithes and offerings of the Israelite people. This was expected. Paul however, did not want to be seen making his living by the churches that he started. He wanted these newly formed churches to be free from financial concerns. Thus, even though it was his right to take money for himself, he only accepted money for on behalf of the other churches.

Corinth was one of the wealthier cities in Greece. As such, the Corinthian churches could help support the financial needs of the earliest church (their Jewish brothers). Thus, when the Jerusalem Council asked for help, Paul made a request of his many churches, including Corinth, for donations. The new Gentile Christinas gladly agreed.

Before Paul’s conversion, the Apostle Paul was active in persecuting the Jewish Christians.

Worthwhile take-away How do you know that the person who is ministering to the gospel, should be paid? Why did Paul and Barnabus work? God has a plan and a purpose for you. It may be to represent Him in the workplace, in your dorm or living space, or even in the cafeteria. You only get the reward if you do this how? What must your attitude be?


Word of God

Day 3

1 Corinthians 10:1-22 – Evening Offering Paul gives the Gentile believers in Corinth lessons on the rebellion and disobedience of the Israelites under Moses in the desert. When they left Egypt, they were all under the pillar of cloud that was the Presence of God. They all passed through the sea that God miraculously divided so that they could escape from the Egyptians. The Israelites all were baptized into the authority of Moses by the cloud and the sea. They all ate the manna and quail that God provided every morning and evening. They all drank water from the rock that is a symbol of Christ. Nevertheless, because of their rebellion and disobedience, God was displeased with most of them. Their dead bodies were scattered across the desert floor. We can learn from history not to desire evil things as they did. They engaged in pagan worship and sexual orgies. The result was that in one day 23,000 of them died. We should not test the Lord as some of them did and were bitten fatally by venomous snakes. Some of them brought a plague on themselves by complaining and many of them were killed. All these things are written as warnings to us who live at the time of the fulfillment of God’s Law by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. If you think you are firm in your faith, be careful not to fall! All the temptations we face are common to man. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond your limit to resist. But when you are tempted, He will provide you with a way out so that you can stand firm.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 3

1 Corinthians 10:1-33 – Evening Offering Paul urges his dear friends in Christ to flee from idolatry. Corinth was filled with pagan temples and idols to a host of gods and goddesses. The Apostle reasons with the Corinthians to judge sensibly for themselves what he is telling them. Paul asks if the cup of thanksgiving, of communion wine, is indeed a participation in the sacrifice of Christ’s blood that was shed on the cross. And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf of bread, we who are many, are one body in Christ, because we all eat of the same loaf. Look at the people of Israel. Do not those who eat of the meat of sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem participate in the worship of God at the Altar? In the same way, does eating from a sacrifice offered to an idol mean anything, or is an idol really anything in itself? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. Paul does not want the believers in Corinth to participate in the worship of demons. They cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also drink from the cup of demons. A Christian cannot have a part in the table of the Lord and at the table of demons. Paul asks if we are trying to rouse the anger of the Lord’s jealousy. Are we stronger than the Lord? “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial, or constructive, says Paul. No one should seek his own good, but each one should seek the good of others. You may eat anything sold in the meat markets without worrying if it has been offered to idols.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 3

1 Corinthians 10:1-33 – Evening Offering Paul quotes Psalm 24:1. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising issues of conscience. But if you are told that this food has been offered in sacrifice to a pagan idol, then do eat it for the sake of your pagan friend’s conscience and because it is the righteous thing to do. You only need to be concerned about the conscience of your unbelieving friend, not for yourself. Paul asks why his freedom should be judged by the conscience of another person. If Paul eats his meal in thankfulness to God, then he should not be criticized for what he is thankful for. So whatever you eat or drink, do it all for the Glory of God. Do not cause another brother or sister, whether Jew or Greek to fall into sin because of your actions. Paul is making an effort to please everyone in every way. He is not seeking his own good but the good of the believers in Corinth. Paul follows the example of Christ. So the Corinthians should follow Paul.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 3 Evening Offering

Paul, as a warning to the Gentile Corinthians, gave lessons form the Israelite long and difficult history. There are many accounts all through the Bible where the Israelite people forgot about God and turned to idols. Many times they suffered from disaster, plague, and eventually the loss of their homeland due to persistent disobedience. In one particularly grievous act, when the Israelites were on the verge of entering the promised land, they were seduced into worshipping the false Moabite gods. As a result 24,000 Israelites died as a plague swept the land; many more would have died but for the intervention of Phinehas, the grandson of the high priest who stood in the gap between God and man. Paul’s point is that God is deadly serious about sin. He does not want his readers to learn the hard way by trying God’s patience and mercy.

Paul gives practical advice on how to successfully overcome temptation. All human beings are susceptible to temptation; sin is part of the human condition. Because many of the Gentile Christians had so recently come out of idol worship, they were tempted to relapse into their former practices. The Jewish Christians were tempted to return to the Jewish customs that they had grown up with before Jesus.

Worthwhile take-away All the Israelites heard the same things, and had the same experiences, but not all believed. Why not? State at least 2 reasons. God does not want you to be prideful or weighed down by circumstances. He says that He will make sure that you are not tempted beyond your ability to bear. How does He do this? What does it mean by "your liberty is judged by another man's conscience”? How does "walking in love" come into play in this situation.


Word of God

Day 4

1 Corinthians 11:2-34 – Morning Offering Paul praises the Corinthian believers for remembering the Apostle and holding to his teachings, just as they were taught by him. Paul emphasizes that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is man. Every man who prays or prophesied with his head covered dishonors both himself and Christ. And any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her own head as if it were shaved bald. She should have her head covered. A man should not cover his head because he is the image and the Glory of God. But the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from the woman but the woman came from man. For this reason and because of the angels of God, a woman should cover her head in reverence for the authority of God. In the Lord, however, a woman is not independent of man nor is man independent of woman. Just as the first woman, Eve came from the body of Adam, so too is a man born of woman. Paul says that the Corinthians should judge for themselves if it is proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered. It is not natural for a man to have long hair. It is a disgrace to him. But long hair is a woman’s glory to her as a covering. If anyone in Corinth wants to make an issue of this, we Christians have no other practice, nor do the Churches of God. Paul is upset that the Corinth believers have not followed his instructions in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. When they meet together they do more harm than good. First of all, Paul has heard reports of divisions among them that are hard to ignore.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 4

1 Corinthians 11:2-34 – Morning Offering They are quarreling among themselves over which of them have God’s approval. When they meet for the Lord’s Supper, some eat ahead without waiting for the others. One person is hungry. Another gets drunk. The Apostle asks if they have homes to eat and drink in. Or do they despise the Church of God by humiliating the poor? Do they expect praise from Paul for such behavior? Certainly not! Paul tells them how Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread and gave thanks. He offered it to his disciples as a memorial of his body that he would sacrifice on the cross. In the same way he offered them wine in remembrance of his blood that would be spilled for forgiveness of sin. The followers of Jesus must observe this celebration until Jesus returns to earth. Paul warns the Corinthians sternly that anyone who celebrates the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Each person should examine themselves for hidden sins or transgressions that are not confessed. Anyone who fails to do so brings judgment on themselves. This is the reason that many at Corinth are weak and sick. Some have already died. But if we judge ourselves by examining our hearts and repent of our sins, then we will not come under the Lord’s judgment. When we are judged by Christ, we are being purified through his discipline so that we will not be condemned with the unbelieving world. So use proper etiquette and generosity when eating the Lord’s Supper. Paul will give further instructions on his next visit.

Word of God


Day 4 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul outlines a clear set of rules for worship. The unruly and undisciplined Corinthians needed basic instruction; they were used to a deeply regimented class system. These immature Christians needed to be reminded that in Christ all are subject to Him, and no one person is more important than another. This worldly view of class had begun to contaminate the Lord’s Supper. It had become a place of strife and class division. Paul had to remind them of the true purpose of communion – a truth that was revealed to him by Jesus himself.

Worthwhile take-away Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." How does this negate a cult mentality? What about you? Can people say of you that we can follow you as you follow Christ? God has specific roles for men and women, even while he says they are equal. What in these scriptures show that men and women's value is equal? Why was Paul upset at the way the church at Corinth fellowshipped among themselves and took communion?


Word of God

Day 4

1 Corinthians 12:1-31 – Evening Offering Paul does not want the new Christians in Corinth to be ignorant of their spiritual gifts. Before they accepted Christ as their Savior, they lived in the dark world of paganism, fearful of the mute idols that held them in bondage. Paul tells them that if the Holy Spirit is living inside them, it is impossible for anyone or anything to curse Jesus. In paganism, curses or hexes were often used against one’s enemies. These mute idols that once terrified them no longer had any power to do them harm. Paul adds that no one can truly say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the power of the Holy Spirit. There are many kinds of spiritual gifts but only one Holy Spirit. There are many ways to serve God but there is only one Jesus Christ. There are different ways of working in the Kingdom of God but God’s Spirit equips us to perform each task. Through the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ is poured out to build up the Church. One believer may be given the gift of wisdom by the Spirit. Another person has the message of knowledge. In the same way, faith, the power to heal, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, and the interpretations of tongues are all various gifts of the Holy Spirit. Each one is given out as the Spirit determines. According to the Apostle Paul, the body is one unit that is made up of many different parts. Although it contains many different parts, they all work together to form one body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 4

1 Corinthians 12:1-31 – Evening Offering We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. A body could not function if every part of the body were exactly the same. God created the human body to work in perfect harmony with all of its many parts. No part or organ of the body can live independently. Even the weaker parts are indispensable. Every part should have equal concern for every other part. When one part suffers, the whole body suffers. If one part is honored, the whole body rejoices. Now that you are the body of Christ, each one of you has a function in it.

Word of God


Day 4 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul does not want knew believers in Christ to remain in ignorance; instead of being enslaved by mute idols, they are to enjoy the freedom, riches, and blessings found in a new life in Christ. An idol represents things that people chase after other than the one, true God. This can include things like a sports team, shopping, material possessions, and popularity or status. Paul refers to these things as mute idols because they cannot truly bring you life. Instead they enslave you as you give your time, money, and energy into things that can never satisfy. It is in Christ that eternal life and satisfaction are found!

Just as each believer has a place in the body of Christ, so too are they given special and unique gifts by the Holy Spirit. On a sports team, everyone has a unique position, which requires different gifts and talents. So too, In the church; there are unique roles that require gifts and talents. God provides these freely to the body of Christ. Paul emphasizes once again the egality and free nature of these gifts They are not earned or given because of class. Anyone can desire and pray for any gift.

Worthwhile take-away Paul wanted to make certain that the church knew about spiritual gifts. There are different gifts, but how they are administered and how they operate can look different in different people. But what binds them all? We do not have the same gifts but all the gifts are honorable. The word says that God is pleased at the distribution of the gifts. Why doesn't everyone have the same gifts? Paul talks about ministerial church gifts. List them. Think about your church, what gifts may be missing in your church? Why do you think that is?


Word of God

Day 5

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – Morning Offering Paul will now show the Corinthians the most excellent way to live in love toward one another and to God. If Paul, as a highly educated religious scholar, speaks as eloquently as the wisest men on earth are able to deliver a speech, or even if he has the ability to speak the language of angels, it is for nothing. But if Paul has not the love of Christ within him, then he is no more than a reverberating gong or a clanging cymbal. If Paul has unlimited religious knowledge and can understand the deepest mysteries, and has faith that can move mountains, he is nothing without love. Even if he gives away all of his possessions to the poor and is burned as a martyr, it is all for nothing without love. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. There is no pride in love. Nor is it rude or self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no records of wrongs against others. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love never fails. But there is an end to prophecies and even they will fall silent. Every speaker will be stilled. And knowledge will disappear. Yet even Paul and the other Apostles do not grasp fully the wisdom of God as it is revealed in Jesus Christ. When Christ returns to restore perfection to this world, our lack of true spiritual knowledge will disappear. When Paul was a little child he spoke and acted like a little child. But when he grew up, he put the ways of childhood behind him when he reached adulthood. In this life, we cannot see clearly.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 –Morning Offering

Paul refers to a reflection from a polished bronze mirror of that time. It didn’t give a clear image of the person looking at himself. But when Jesus comes, we will see him face to face. What truths of God that Paul now only partially understands will become completely realized in the second coming of Christ. In this life, three things are absolutely important to a Christian: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

The pagan Greek culture was was filled with hatred, division, sexual perversion and unrestrained sin. The Corinthians coming out of this life, had to be taught what love truly is. Just as a child grows into maturity to become an adult, so too a new believer in Christ must grow into spiritual maturity. Even the Apostle Paul understands that in this life, he cannot reach or practice perfect love, but he can strive to pattern himself after God, who is love.

Worthwhile take-away At the end of Chapter 12, Paul tells us to desire spiritual gifts. So it is OK to desire one or another. But he also says that he'll show us a more excellent way. What is the more excellent way -- to follow after what? You can do many marvelous things in God's power, and have wisdom and understanding, or give to the poor or even become a martyr, it profits you nothing without what? Read through the list of what love does. This is really the definition of love. This is also a description of God, who is love. List the things that love does.


Word of God

Day 5

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 – Evening Offering Paul exhorts the believers at Corinth to follow the way of love, but to fervently desire the gift of prophecies, along with the other spiritual gifts. Anyone who speaks in tongues does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, the one who speaks in tongues utters mysterious words that no one else can understand. But those who prophesy strengthen everyone who hears their message of encouragement and comfort. The one who speaks in a tongue deepens his own faith but one who prophesies builds up the entire Church. Paul wants everyone to have the deep spiritual experience of speaking in a tongue. But it is more important for the Church to prophesy. The one who prophesies the gospel of Christ is more important than the one who speaks in an unknown language unless someone is able to interpret what is being said. If Paul comes to the Church of Corinth speaking in tongues, what good will it be to anyone if they can’t understand what he is saying? It is only of value if Paul brings a revelation, prophesy, or spiritual insight, or a word of instruction. Even a lifeless object like a musical instrument that makes sounds, has to be played in a way that the listener can distinguish the tune being played. What good is a trumpet that doesn’t play clearly when it is needed to sound the call of battle?

Word of God


Word of God

Day 5

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 – Evening Offering So it is with the followers of Christ. If you cannot be understood, how will unbelievers understand God’s plan of salvation? Try to excel in the spiritual gifts that build up the Church. Anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray for interpretation of what he is saying. To pray in a tongue is to pray with one’s spirit, but the mind cannot understand it. So, what should we do? Paul’s advice is to pray and sing using both one’s spirit and mind. If you are praising God in your spirit, you may be blessed for your thankfulness to the Lord but the Church of Christ is not blessed. Paul gives thanks that he has spoken in tongues more than anyone else. But he would rather speak five words that are understood by the Church than ten thousand words in an unknown language. Paul tells the brothers and sisters in Corinth to stop thinking like children. Although in regard to evil, they must be as innocent as newborn babies, but in their thinking, they must be adults. Paul quotes the Word of the Lord in Isaiah 28:11, 12: “Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to these people, but even then they will not listen to me.” The Apostle tells the believers at Corinth that speaking in tongues is a sign for unbelievers, but not for believers; however, prophecy is for believers but not unbelievers.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 5

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 – Evening Offering So if the whole Church is gathered for worship and everyone speaks in tongues, and there are unbelievers present, or those who do not understand, will they not conclude that the followers of Christ are out of their minds? But if some unbelievers come into the worship service, or someone who does not understand speaking in tongues, they may be reached. If they hear everyone prophesying, they may become convinced of their guilt by the prophecy of the congregation. They will acknowledge that they are sinners and will be judged by those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. Then the sinful secrets of their hearts will be laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? Paul asks. When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the Church may be built up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two or three should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the Church and speak to himself and to God. Two or three Prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. Then you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The Spirits of Prophets are subject to the control of Prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace; as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 5

1 Corinthians 14:1-40 – Evening Offering Women should remain silent in the Churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the Church. Or did the Word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a Prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s Command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored by the other Churches. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Word of God


Day 5 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

In spite of their short comings and moral failures, the church at Corinth had been given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit. This truly shows that gifts are just that, something freely given. The Holy Spirit does not wait for our perfection before bestowing his gifts. Paul, therefore, does not condemn the Corinthians, instead he gives guidance and clarity so that these gifts can be channeled to build up the Church. Believers must practice their gifts in an orderly manner, which glorifies God.

Worthwhile take-away Of the spiritual gifts, what doe Paul think is the best gift to be administered at church? Why? What is one of the gifts that God does more than everyone? Who does that profit? In Chapter 13, you learned about love. How does love govern Paul's desire to exhibit the gifts and how they are governed (rules of engagement) in the church?


Week Four


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 –Morning Offering Paul reminds the Corinthians of the importance of the gospel that he preached to them. They have received this message and now are committed to faith in Jesus Christ. If they remain true to the gospel, then Paul’s work has not been in vain. It is of utmost importance that they believe that Christ died for them; he was buried to fulfill Scripture and raised again on the third day. Paul tells them of the events that happened after Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead. First he appeared to Peter, and then to all the disciples. After that, Christ appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at one time. Most of them are still living although some have died. Then he appeared to his brother James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, he appeared to me as well, although Paul was not born again at the time. He was an avowed enemy of the followers of Christ. Paul was converted by Jesus himself on the road to Damascus. This account is found in Acts 9:3-6. Paul states that he does not even deserve to be called an Apostle because he persecuted the Church of Christ. He is inferior to the other Apostles who walked alongside Jesus throughout his ministry. It is only by the grace of God that Paul has been personally converted by the risen Christ himself. By the power of the grace Paul received he was able to work harder than the other Apostles to spread the gospel. It does not matter which Apostle has brought the good news of the gospel to Corinth. All the Apostles proclaim the same message of salvation

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 – Morning Offering through Jesus Christ and this is what you believe Paul emphasizes that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is absolutely essential to the Christian faith. Some in Corinth, as do some today, doubted that the resurrection occurred at all. Paul makes a compelling argument that if there is no resurrection, then Christ has not been raised from the dead. If Jesus has not been raised, then our preaching is worthless and so is your faith in the risen Lord Jesus. Worse than that, we are preaching and living a lie in God’s Name if Christ did not rise from the dead. If Christ is dead and not alive, then nothing we say or do matters because our belief in him is a fraud. Without the resurrection of Jesus, we are still dead in our sins. Those who went to the grave believing in Jesus are still lost. We are the most pitiful of all the religions on earth. But Christ has indeed risen from the dead. He is the first fruits of everyone who have died confessing his name. Just as death came through the first man Adam, to the entire human population, so through Jesus Christ, all who believe in him will be made alive. First, Christ rose as the first fruits, when he rose from the grave on Easter morning. When he returns a second time in glorious triumph, those who belong to him will rise from the dead. Then the Kingdom of God will be established after all earthly rulers and kingdoms are destroyed.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 – Morning Offering Christ must reign until the last enemy has been defeated. The last enemy to be destroyed is death itself. Then everything will be under the feet of Jesus. But Paul makes it clear that 'everything’ does not include God Himself. It is God who has given this authority to Jesus Christ. Even then, Jesus will still be obedient to his Heavenly Father. Paul goes on to argue that if there is no resurrection, then those who have been baptized on account of the dead are not saved. One way to examine this difficult passage would be to assume that the Corinthians must not have been baptized in a proper way. But if this were the case, the Apostle Paul would have certainly put a stop to it. Paul then goes on to ask why we are risking our lives preaching the resurrection of Christ if it never really happened. Paul risks his life every day preaching the gospel. It is his honor and glory to be given the task of preaching the risen Christ. In Ephesus, Paul fought wild beasts, either human enemies of the gospel or real animals, in the arena. He did this willingly for the sake of the gospel, not for the applause of a roaring crowd. He quotes Isaiah 22:13, “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.” Paul’s logic is that without the assurance of the resurrection of the dead, we may as well enjoy this brief life on earth as much and as long as possible because our death will be the end.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 – Morning Offering Paul warns the Corinthians not to associate with those who deny the resurrection of Christ. If you are one who doubts the resurrection, come to your senses. Repent and stop sinning. This is foolish ignorance in the eyes of God. You doubters should be ashamed of yourselves. Someone may ask Paul, “How are the dead raised and what kind of body will they have?” Paul says that this is a foolish question. Seed that is sown in the ground does not come to life unless it dies. When a farmer plants a seed, he does not plant a seed that will grow into a human body. The farmer sows wheat seed or some other kind of seed that produces the same plant as the seed that was sown. God, however, causes a seed to grow into the body that He determines. All flesh is not the same. Different organisms have their own unique characteristics. Humans, animals, birds, and fish have different bodies from one another. The planets, moon, stars, and other heavenly bodies have beauty and splendor that is very different and unique from other heavenly bodies and also from earthly bodies. It will be the same with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is buried or sown in the ground is perishable. It is sown in the dishonor of decay. When Jesus returns, it will be raised in glory and perfection. The same body sown in the weakness of death will be raised in the power of life eternal. It is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 – Morning Offering Paul cites Genesis 2:7, which states that the first Adam became a living being. The last Adam, who is Jesus Christ, became a spiritual being. The natural body preceded the spiritual body. The first Adam came from the dust of the earth. The second Adam was from heaven. All humans are corrupted by the sin of the first Adam. Everyone saved by the blood of Christ bears the resemblance of Jesus. The Apostle declares that the perishable blood and flesh of this earth cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Nor can a perishable body turn itself into an imperishable one. Paul tells the Corinthians to listen carefully to this mystery: We will not all experience the sleep of death. But we will all be transformed. In a split second, at the sound of the trumpet signaling the return of Jesus Christ, the dead will be raised imperishable and we will be changed. Our former bodies of corruption and decay will become glorious spiritual bodies that will last forever. Death will be swallowed up in victory, as Paul cites Hosea 13:14. The sting of death is sin and the power of death is the Law. God’s Law reveals our sinfulness and condemns us to the penalty of death for breaking God’s perfect Law. But Paul gives thanks to God for providing His perfect son Jesus Christ who through his sacrifice on the cross gives us victory over sin and death. In light of this grace from God, Paul urges the Corinthians to stand firm in their faith. Let nothing destroy your faith in Jesus. Rest assured that your work for the Lord is not in vain.

Word of God


Day 1 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

There were two main Jewish factions that put Jesus to death, the Pharisees, the prominent and influential teachers who believed in the resurrection, and the Sadducees who were a smaller group that controlled the Temple who did not. This was a huge contention among the Jewish leadership. Because the Corinthians are being influenced by those who deny the resurrection of the body of Christ, Paul gives a personal testimony and unique insight not found elsewhere in the gospel.

Since resurrection is a difficult concept for any one to grasp, Paul explains is detail how Jesus conquered death, not only for himself but for all believers.

Worthwhile take-away Paul capsulated the tenants of the gospel at the beginning of the chapter. What is the main content of the gospel as stated here. At this time in history, some were saying that there was no such thing as people being resurrected from the dead. Why do you think the devil would make sure that this lie took hold? The expression: Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die -- is only appropriate if what happens? Christ-followers know and understand that there is life after this physical death. What we do here matters. Our labor is not in vain.


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 16:1-24 – Evening Offering Paul goes on to discuss with the Church at Corinth, the collecting of offerings for God’s people. They are to follow the lead of the Churches in Galatia. On the first day of the week, an offering is to be taken from the money they have set aside as a tithe. Each person’s gift is in proportion to his income. When Paul arrives, the money will already have been collected, so that Paul’s time can be spent wisely. Letters of introduction will be written for those men appointed to deliver the offerings to the needy in Jerusalem. If those appointed feel it is necessary, then Paul himself will accompany them to Jerusalem. Paul plans to visit Corinth after he travels through Macedonia. He hopes to stay with them a long time, perhaps even through the winter. Then they can assist him by supporting his ministry. The Apostle wants to spend a long time with them. A brief visit would not suffice. But he tells the Corinthians of his plans to stay at Ephesus at least until Pentecost, because a door of opportunity has opened for Paul’s ministry there in spite of great opposition. If Timothy comes to minister to you, see that he is well taken care of and has nothing to worry about. He is capable of doing the same ministry as Paul, even though he is still young. Don’t refuse to accept him. When he leaves, send him away in peace so that he may once again help Paul. The Apostle is expecting to meet later with Timothy and other Church leaders. Paul urged Apollos to pay the Corinthians a visit when he has the opportunity. Paul admonishes the Corinthians to be firm in their faith and keep watch. Be courageous and strong. Do everything in love.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

1 Corinthians 16:1-24 – Evening Offering The household of Stephanas were the first Christian converts in the area around Corinth. They devoted themselves to the service of the saints. Paul holds them up as an example for others to follow their tireless service and labor. Paul was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus arrived with the gifts that the Corinthians were lacking. They bolstered the morale of both Paul and the Church at Corinth. They deserve to be recognized for their Christian service. All the Churches in the province of Asia send their greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly with the Lord’s blessing, as does the Church that meets in their house. All the brothers with Paul send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. Although a secretary may have written the letter to the Corinthians, Paul has signed this greeting with his own hand.

Word of God


Day 1 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

The Gentile Corinthians are to save up money to assist Christian Jews in the surrounding province of Judea. The Corinthian had made a pledge to provide an offering, which Paul was now facilitating.

Previously Jewish worshipers worshiped on Saturday, the acknowledged Sabbath – the seventh day of the week. However, the sabbath soon changed to Sunday, the first day of the week, for Christian believers because it was the day of Jesus’ resurrection. This is why Paul asks for the collection to be made on Sunday, the new sabbath.

Paul concludes his letter by informing the Corinthians of his plans to bring two co-workers to help shepherd the church in his absence. Because the Corinthians had an issue accepting authority – especially from someone younger than themselves – Paul had to credential both Timothy and Apollos, telling them to accept them when they arrive. He also provide them with positive role models – people whom they can emulate in the faith.

Worthwhile take-away Why did Paul tell people how to gather the money (offering) that Corinth had previously promised to give. Paul closes his letter by asking the Corinthians to stand fast in the faith and to have what?


Second letter to the

Corinthians Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians

Philippians

Ephesians Co rin thi an

Ro m an s

Galatians s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 1:1 - 2:4 – Morning Offering In his second letter to the Church of Corinth, Paul identifies himself as an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. Paul gives his blessing to the Corinthians and all the saints in the region of Achacia. Paul blesses them with grace and peace in the Name of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul opens his letter with praise for God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father of compassion and our God of all comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble. God comforts us so that we in turn, can comfort others when they are suffering, with the comfort we have received from the Lord. In the same way that the sufferings of Christ bring us overflowing blessings, so these blessings of comfort from Jesus will spill over to enrich the lives of others. If Paul and other leaders of the Church experience distress, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted by Jesus, then our comfort fills you with the patient endurance to bear the same trials that we are undergoing. Our hope in you is solidly founded because you also have faced the same hardships and experienced the same grace in Christ Jesus. Paul wants the Corinthians to understand how difficult it was in Asia Minor. The persecution Paul and others endured was beyond human endurance, to the point of even doubting their survival. It felt like a death sentence. Paul and those with him learned that we cannot rely on our own strength But God allowed these things to happen so that we might learn to trust in the God that raises the dead to life. He has saved us from certain death in the past, and we trust in Him to preserve us in the future.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 1:1 - 2:4 – Morning Offering All of our confidence is in the Lord. The prayers of the Corinthian Church have been a great blessing to us. The result is that many people will give thanks to God on our behalf. Paul tells the Corinthians that they should boast in their relationship with the pagan world. A Christian should maintain and uphold God’s standards of holiness and sincerity. It is not through worldly standards that we are able to do this. It is only through God’s grace. Paul is not writing a letter to them that they cannot read or understand. Even though they don’t completely comprehend now what Paul is saying, as their faith matures, the Corinthians will understand Paul’s message fully. When they do understand, they will be able to boast about Paul and the other Apostles in the same way that Paul will boast of their mature faith on the day when Jesus returns. Confident in the progress in faith that the Corinthian Church has shown, Paul intends to benefit them in two different ways. He plans to visit them on his way to Macedonia. On the return trip, Paul will visit again so that they can send him on his way to Judea. Paul carefully makes his plans. He does not use worldly wisdom. His message is clear. He does not waver by first saying yes but later saying no. Just as God is faithful and never vacillates between answering yes and no, so the message of the gospel is clear and unchanging. The gospel preached by Paul, Silas, and Timothy is not “yes” and “no”, but always yes to God’s plan of salvation in Christ. That is why we use the word, “amen” to the Glory of God.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 1:1 - 2:4 – Morning Offering It is only through the power of God that we are able to stay firmly rooted in Christ. Jesus anointed us to be set apart for his service, he engraved on us the seal of his ownership, and put his Spirit in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing what we are to become. We will be made perfect through the sacrifice Christ on the cross, and put on our resurrected bodies when we rise with him. Paul, testifying the truth in the Name of God, did not visit Corinth earlier. He did this out of love and concern for them. The Church at Corinth needed additional time to prepare for his arrival. Paul does not claim moral superiority over them, but instead wants to work together joyfully as partners in the faith. It is only by your faith in Jesus Christ that you are able to stand firm.

Word of God


Day 2 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul was talking about comfort because he knows from past experience what the Corinthians are in for if they follow Jesus Christ. The Corinthian church had a period of freedom before intense persecution came. They had not seen the worst of Roman tyranny because Roman officials were confused at first at the rise Christianity. They didn’t know if this was part of the Jewish religion or something new. Under the Jewish religion, people had some freedom under Roman law, but Christianity had none. It was not a recognized religion at this time. So people who stood up for Christ, apart from the Jewish law, were risking possible arrest or punishment. The first century Jewish Christians left the protection of Judaism or the protection of paganism – both recognized and protected religions.

Worthwhile take-away When we go through trials and get comforted, what are we then equipped to do? When Paul was being persecuted, he trusted God to deliver him. When you are in a hard place, whom do you trust? In another chapter, Paul tells us that God is not a man that he should lie or the son of man that He should repent. Has he not said and will he not do it?’ In this Chapter Paul says something similar. Of what does Paul write?


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 2:5-17 – Evening Offering Anyone who has caused trouble in the Corinthian Church, by their sinful behavior, has not so much offended Paul but has offended the whole community. The discipline brought upon him by the majority of believers should be sufficient for correction. The penitent sinner should be forgiven and comforted. Otherwise, his sorrow may be overwhelming. Restore him with acts of your love. The reason that Paul has written this letter is to test the body of believers at Corinth on their obedience to the faith in all things. Paul will forgive anyone that they forgive. The reason that Paul forgives is so that Satan will not take advantage of the discord among the believers. Paul reminds the Corinthians that a favorite tactic of the Evil One is to stir up trouble and divide the body of Christ. Paul speaks of the time that he went to preach the gospel at Troas and found that the Lord had opened the door. Paul did not stay long because he was worried about his brother in Christ, Titus. He could not find Titus at Troas. So Paul said good-bye to the believers at Troas and went to Macedonia. Paul gives thanks to God who always leads His people in a triumphal procession. Jesus Christ is depicted as a victorious general leading his army through the streets of the capital city after winning a great battle. The Church of Christ is his army. Believers in Christ everywhere carry the fragrance of Jesus. Jesus was anointed with perfume at Bethany shortly before he was crucified. Paul compares the knowledge of God’s plan for salvation in Christ with the scent of a strong perfume. To those who do not

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 2:5-17 – Evening Offering believe, the odor reeks of the smell of death. But to those who have received the gospel of salvation, the smell of Jesus is the smell of a new life that leads to eternal life with Christ. Paul asks who could possibly qualify for the enormous task of preaching the gospel. There are many who are selling religion in order to make themselves rich. But the Apostles of Jesus are different. The gospel of Christ is preached with sincerity, as messengers sent from God.

Word of God


Day 2 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

The joy of the gospel was something new – something that people had not experience before. The idea that through faith in Jesus Christ, you can be reconciled to God was a new concept. In most pagan religions, the gods are meant to be appeased. Worshippers wanted to curry the god’s favor in order not to be punished. The god’s are not seeking a relationship. In the Jewish religion, there were daily sacrifices offered for sin at the temple of Jerusalem. While God desired a relationship it was tainted by sin and exposed by the Law of Moses, which contained blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Since no man was perfect, the Jews continually were under a cloud of sin. It was not until Jesus that there was someone to take the away the curse of the law. By offering himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world – once and for all – Jesus in his death and resurrection fulfilled God’s requirement for sin. So, both the pagans and the Jews were experiencing a new way to relate to God.

Fragrance played a prominent role in many rituals, both pagan and Jewish. In ancient times, pagan and Jewish temples used incense and frankincense – a very beautiful and powerful fragrance– in rituals and in sacrificial offerings. Jesus is anointed with a strong and long lasting perfume shortly before He goes to His death (Matthew 26:6-13). It was illegal for the Israelites to make the perfume used in services to God.

Worthwhile take-away In Paul's first letter, he chastised the church for "winking at" and not taking seriously the sexual sins being committed in the church. Now, Paul tells them that the church should forgive the young man and bring him back into the fold. Why is that? Through the scripture, God tells us that we have a smell. How do we smell to different groups of people?


Word of God

Day 3

2 Corinthians 3:1-18 – Morning Offering Paul asks if the Corinthians are starting to congratulate themselves again. Is it necessary to send and receive letters of recommendation in order to verify the true Apostles? The Christians in Corinth bear the words of Paul written on their hearts that is known and read by everyone. The believers show that they are indeed a letter from Christ as a result of the ministry of Paul and others. This letter is not written with ink but with the Holy Spirit. Not on tablets of stone, but written on the tablets of human hearts. This is our confidence through faith in Jesus Christ through God. We realize that we are completely incompetent in our own strength to claim credit for ourselves. Our competence is only from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new Covenant, not of the Law, but of the Spirit. The letter of the Law brings us death by convicting us of our sinfulness under God’s holy Law. But the Holy Spirit brings us life through the death of Jesus as payment for our sins. Paul reasons that the letter of God’s Law results in the death of lawbreaking and sinful people. But the Law was inscribed in tablets of stone by the finger of God on Mount Sinai. When Moses came down from the mountain carrying the Ten Commandments, his face was glowing radiantly, reflecting the Glory of God.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 3

2 Corinthians 3:1-18 – Morning Offering The sinful Israelites could not bear to look at Moses, even though this radiance slowly faded away whenever Moses left the Presence of God. The Apostle Paul concludes that the radiance from the power of the Holy Spirit that we possess is greater than that of Moses. If the ministry of God’s Law that convicts people of their sinfulness is glorious, then how much greater is the ministry that brings righteousness through Jesus Christ! Glory that is fading away cannot compare with the glory will last forever. Because we have such a glorious hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses who covered his face with a veil while the radiance of the Glory of God was fading away. But the minds of the people of Israel were made insensitive to the new Covenant put in place by Jesus Christ. It is as if the veil of Moses prevents them from believing and accepting the glory of Jesus Christ. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, this veil is taken away. The Holy Spirit is also God, and anyone who has the Spirit of God has freedom. Those of us, who have the freedom to accept Jesus Christ as Lord, reflect the full Glory of God with unveiled faces. We are being transformed into the likeness of God with ever increasing glory. This comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 3 Morning Offering

False teachers with high credentials are attacking Paul with high sounding, legalistic arguments. Many Jews saw Jesus a direct threat to their religion, customs and law. They also saw Christianity as something that could get them in trouble with the Romans. The oral traditions and customs of the Jews had become more important than the spirit of God’s Law. Jesus had opposed this over and over in his ministry. He also began enlarging their thinking – as he fulfilled the old law and brought in new commandments such as love God with all of your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself. As previously mentioned, the Jews had an uneasy alliance with the Romans. Christianity could tip the balance out of their favor.

Paul does not consider himself confident to preach in his own power even though he is a highly skilled and learned teacher, having gone through the best schools of the time.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy to write God’s Law on human hearts instead of tablets of stone as the ten commandments were. (Jeremiah 31:33) The letter of the law kills (which is strictly adherence to the letter of the Ten Commandments), but the spirit makes alive (which reveals the essence of a commandment). We no longer get condemned by the letter of the law. Through the power of the Holy Spirit (living in our hearts) and Jesus’ redeeming death, we have eternal life.

Jesus experienced a complete transfiguration in Mark 9:2-8. While at Mount Sanai, Moses also was transfigured. While Jesus’ whole body shone as bright as the sun, only Moses face showed this glory of God.

Worthwhile take-away What does it mean by, "the letter of the Law kills, but the spirit gives life"? The Old Testament and the law was good, but the New Testament with grace is better. When Moses met with God, his face shown so brightly, he had to put a veil to cover the glory. What does God say about the glory of the New Testament? What does it mean by "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty?"


Day 3

Word of God 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 – Evening Offering

Paul encourages the believers at Corinth that it is only through God’s mercy that we have this ministry. With God’s mercy we do not lose hope or give up on the faith. Rather we renounce all the shameful and secret tactics that false prophets use. We do not use deception nor do we distort the Word of God. Instead, we rely on the truth of the gospel spoken plainly. Our conscience is clear before men and the sight of God because we have carried out our responsibility to proclaim God’s plan of salvation through Christ Jesus, in order to save those who are lost. Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. Everyone under Satan’s control is blinded to the truth. They cannot see the light of gospel. The Glory of Jesus Christ is hidden by the veil of unbelief. They cannot see Jesus Christ who is the image of God. For we do not preach the gospel of Jesus Christ based on our own strength or wisdom. But we preach Jesus Christ as Lord. We are only servants of Jesus Christ, and it is only by his mercy are we able to bring this gospel message. The same God who created light out of darkness has made His light shine in our hearts. God’s light gives us the light of knowledge of the Glory of God, which shines brilliantly in the face of Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 – Evening Offering

Paul likens the glorious light of the gospel that lives within us to valuable treasure stored inside jars of clay. Our bodies may be fragile and perishable, yet our final destiny is eternal life in Christ Jesus. This supernatural power does not come from our human weakness. It is from God. The reality of a believer in Jesus Christ is one of being hard pressed on every side. Yet we are not crushed like a ceramic jar. A Christian is often faces confusion in this difficult life. But we do not live in discouragement or despair. The reason is the power of the Holy Spirit, which shines from us, like the glow of a lamp placed inside a cracked jar. Many early Christians in the Roman Empire, including Paul, died as martyrs. Not one of them was abandoned by the Lord. Even though followers of Christ may be struck down, the Church of Christ will survive. To be a Christian is to carry with us the transforming power of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is so that the power of the resurrected Christ will be plain to see by those around us. Even though we are still alive in this world, our sinful nature is dying. We are changing to become more and more like Jesus every day. Paul refers to Psalm 116. The Psalmist is crying out to the Lord in a time of deep distress. Even though he is facing death, he still speaks of the goodness of the Lord. In the same spirit of faith, Paul urges the Corinthians to boldly testify of the amazing death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that fills us with hope even in the face of impossible situations.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God 2 Corinthians 4:1-18 – Evening Offering

We know that our mortal bodies will be raised imperishable with Christ. This supreme act of love displayed by Jesus is reaching more and more people. This causes every true Christian to joyously overflow in thankfulness to God, regardless of one’s personal hardships. Paul tells the Corinthians not to be discouraged. Even though our mortal bodies are perishing, inwardly we are growing stronger every day. Overwhelming as the present circumstances may be in this broken world, our troubles are insignificant and temporary. The sufferings of today are earning for us an eternal reward that is far greater than anything this world has to offer. Our focus is not on what we can physically see but on what we cannot see. Everything that we can see in this world is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Word of God


Day 3 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

The Gospel of Jesus is hidden to the hard-hearted and revealed to those who will accept the Gospel and follow His teaching. By following Jesus teaching, Paul has suffered a great deal in proclaiming this Gospel to the gentiles and Jews. Believers can expect trouble and persecution in this world. Paul, however, says that the trouble we have in this world is nothing compared to the eternal life we will have in Christ. Jesus was willing to lay down his life as a voluntary sacrifice so that all who believe in Him will have this eternal life. =

Worthwhile take-away When men and women do not believe the truth, it is because the god of THIS world has done what? You and I can have the truth because the light shines in the darkness. We can know and tell others about God. Why do you think we have this treasure in "earthen vessels" or inside of our imperfect selves? Paul says, "We believe, therefore we speak." What comes out of your mouth? Does your conversation express what you profess to believe?


Word of God

Day 4

2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2 – Morning Offering Our earthly bodies are described by Paul as tents, or temporary dwellings. When the body we have

on earth is destroyed, we have a permanent building from God that will last forever. This eternal body is not built by human hands. In the meantime, we groan in our earthly bodies while we wait in eager anticipation to be clothed with life eternal in our permanent bodies. We will not be found naked in heaven. On earth our bodies are subject to the nakedness of death. While we are in this earthly body we groan because we are burdened by the curse of the decay and death of sin. We long for the resurrected bodies of our heavenly dwellings. In Christ, what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. God has created us in advance for this very purpose. He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit as a deposit of the heavenly life to come. This is a guarantee of eternal life for all those who accept Jesus as their Lord. On the basis of this guarantee, we realize that as long as we live in our temporary bodies on this earth we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by what can be seen in this world. We are confident, says the Apostle Paul that we would rather leave our temporary bodies behind in order to be in our heavenly dwellings with Jesus Christ. In anticipation of our eternal life with Christ, we make it our practice to please Jesus whether we are with him in heaven or still living here on earth. For one day, we are all required to stand in judgement before the Lord. We must give account of our deeds that were done in this earthly body, whether good or bad. Then we will receive from the Lord what we justly deserve.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 4

2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2 – Morning Offering Since the Christians in Corinth have learned to have reverence for the Lord, we must also try to convince others who do not fear God. We live our lives in plain view of the Lord. We are sincere in our faith and not hypocrites. Those of us who are Apostles do not take pride in ourselves, but we are giving the Corinthians an opportunity to take pride in our direct knowledge of Christ Jesus. This way, a believer can give an answer to someone who is an unbeliever and only takes pride in the things of this world, instead of true faith that is found in the heart. According to Saint Paul, if we Apostles are out of our minds, then it is for the sake of belief in God: If we are in our right minds, then it is for the sake of the Church. It is the love of Christ that compels us and drives us on. We are convinced that Jesus Christ died for all who believe in him. And all who believed in Christ have died to themselves. For by his death for sinful human beings on the cross, those who are redeemed of their sins by the blood of Christ should no longer live for themselves but for the Son of God who died for their sins and rose again from the dead. Paul goes on to say that when we receive Christ; we can no longer regard another person only from a worldly viewpoint. Once we looked at Jesus only with worldly eyes, but now that we are saved, we look at the Savior with spiritual eyes of faith. If anyone is in Christ, he is now a new Creation. The old has disappeared, the new has come! This marvelous gift is from God who reconciled Himself to us in Jesus Christ. God

Word of God


Word of God

Day 4

2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2 – Morning Offering also gave us a ministry of reconciliation so that we can share the Good News with others. The Good News is that since God has reconciled Himself to us in Jesus Christ, He no longer counts our sins against those of us who have received Christ. Sharing the Good News makes us ambassadors of Christ, as though we are representing God Himself. Those of us who have received Christ implore everyone to be reconciled to God. God offered up the one who had no sin to die on the cross, receiving the punishment that we deserve. In that way, our sins that separate us from God have been paid for so that we can become the righteousness of God. As God’s fellow workers, we strongly urge that anyone who has heard the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus, respond to this message by receiving Jesus Christ. Anyone who does not respond to the Good News receives it in vain. Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8 which state that now is the time of God’s favor. Today is the day of God’s salvation. Do not delay.

Word of God


Day 4 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul has suffered greatly for the Gospel and his body is broken and bruised. Paul compares his body to a temporary tent and longs for the permanence of a glorified body, with Jesus in eternal life. A glorified body is a resurrected body. Jesus promises us that our earthly bodies will decay, but our new spiritual bodies will last forever (John 14:1-4).

When Paul refers to our new bodies as being a heavenly dwelling, it is reminiscent of the Israelites being engulfed in God’s glory. At different times in Israel’s history, the people could recognize God’s glory when it appeared over their tabernacle, or later the temple. The greatest exhibition of God’s glory is on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 where the Holy Spirit revealed Himself in tongues of fire and a rushing wind. The Apostles began to speak in many different languages supernaturally. God’s glory is God’s very presence. It would be an overwhelming, majestic, supernatural occurrence. This glory is what Paul longs to experience together with all those who believe in Jesus.

Worthwhile take-away Why does Paul say, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.“ We will all come to judgement day, where the deeds we've done in the body will be judged. Think about the deeds that you did last week. How have you been living? Anyone in Christ is a new creature. How does Paul in this passage describe the new creation? What is your new job / responsibility?


Day 4

Word of God 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1 – Evening Offering

Paul tells the believers at Corinth that he is careful to set a Godly example. Otherwise, those who are new to the faith may become discouraged and lose heart on account of his bad leadership. Paul outlines many of the ordeals that the Apostles and Paul himself faced in order to spread the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. They faced trials and hardships of many kinds, including beatings, imprisonment, and riots. The work was very hard with many sleepless nights. They sometimes went without food. However, the Apostles set off in the power of God, fully equipped with purity, understanding, patience, and kindness, all gifts of the Holy Spirit. They spoke the truth of God in sincere love, and armed with the weapons of God’s righteousness. As they traveled and preached from place to place, the Apostles were given good reports by some and bad reports by others to whom they had witnessed. Even though the Apostles were genuine ambassadors of Christ, they were often regarded as impostors. The ones who persecuted them thought they knew who the Apostles were. Some died for the sake of Christ. Yet the work of the Apostles goes on. The life of Paul had been one of enduring countless beatings to this point, but not dying. Living in the sorrow of pain and loss; yet always rejoicing in the joy of the Lord. Paul had no wealth or possessions, yet he had made many rich in Jesus Christ. He has nothing in this world, yet Paul has earned a great reward in heaven.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1 – Evening Offering

Paul and the true Apostles of Christ have spoken openly and honestly to the Church at Corinth. They have opened their hearts wide to receive the new converts to Jesus Christ. However, Paul tells the Corinthians that they are holding back their love and affection for the messengers of the Good News. The Apostle speaks to them as a loving but firm father speaks to his children. There have been false prophets infiltrating the Corinthian Church. Later on, Paul will address the problem of false prophets and the negative impact that has been brought on the Church. Paul tells the Corinthians not to be yoked together with unbelievers. What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Can light coexist with darkness? Is there any harmony between Christ and Satan? Here Paul uses a Greek name, Belial, for the devil. What does a believer have in common with a nonbeliever in Christ? The Temple of God is not the moral equivalent of a pagan temple. Paul says that we are the Temple of God through faith in Christ Jesus. He quotes three passages of Scripture to prove that God lives and walks among His people. He will be our God and we will be His people by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ. The Apostle quotes several more passages that emphasize the purity and holiness of God’s people. Paul is urging the believers to reject false teaching. They are to remove themselves from the teachings of false apostles and cling to the truth that Paul and the true Apostles of Christ are teaching them

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1 – Evening Offering

To Paul, the false apostles are nothing more than servants of the devil. Their teachings are just as dangerous as the teachings of a pagan priest in a temple filled with idols. The Corinthians are to hold fast to the promises of God and maintain a pure faith by rejecting all lies and falsehoods.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 4 Evening Offering

Paul is talking about the ancient Israelites in the desert when he says, ‘Today is the day of salvation.’ He is using their willful disobedience as a cautionary tail. These are the people who rebelled against Moses and God and were punished severely.

Paul and his fellow apostles have been careful in their life and conduct to be a good example of Christ and not a stumbling block. They did not want to commit a sin or any act that would cause a believer to stumble or fall from faith. In the Old Testament, evil kings would lead the people of God astray by participating in idolatry.

Deuteronomy 22:10 prohibits two different kinds of draft animals (those animals used to pull heavy loads) to be yoked together to pull a plow. For example if a horse and ox were yoked together each animal’s different size and strength would cause them to pull away instead of together in harmony. The plow would go off course, and this imbalance could potentially injure the animals. No one can serve both God and idols and expect to walk a straight line in this life or fulfill the purpose God has for him/her. Because all farming was done with draft animals during this time, everyone would completely understand the analogy.

Worthwhile take-away Today is the day of salvation. What does that mean? How is ‘putting off decisions until tomorrow’ contrary to this? God tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. What does that practically mean when it comes to your friends and your potential mates? What is the promise that God gives us if we "Come out from among them and be ye separate." In other words, what reward does the God who cannot lie give us for separating ourselves unto Him?


Day 5

Word of God 2 Corinthians 7:2-16 – Morning Offering

Paul beseeches the Corinthians to make room in their hearts for the Apostles who bring them the truth from God. Paul and his fellow Apostles have not harmed or corrupted anyone. They have not taken advantage of anyone by exploiting them. It is not Paul's intention to condemn them for listening to the false apostles who are trying to smear him with false accusations. The Church in Corinth will always have a cherished place in Paul’s heart. Paul and the other Apostles are willing to live or die on their behalf. The Apostle Paul has great confidence and takes pride in their maturing faith. Paul is so encouraged by the fact that his past sufferings led to the joy of a rich harvest for Jesus Christ. When Paul and his companions arrived in Macedonia, they had no rest because they were being attacked at every turn. The Apostles faced external conflicts while struggling with the fear that their mission to establish the Church in Europe may fail. But says Paul, the Lord comforts the downcast. God lifted their spirits by bringing them Titus. Paul is pleased that Corinthians welcomed Titus into their midst with warm fellowship. Titus later assured Paul of the deep affection that the Corinthians had for him as well as concerns for Paul’s safety and ministry. This was a source of considerable joy for Paul. Even if the Corinthians were upset by the tone of Paul’s earlier letter, he doesn’t regret sending it. The Church at Corinth had serious issues that had to be addressed. But Paul is happy that his sharply worded letter led the Corinthians to sincere repentance. It only hurt for a little while.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 2 Corinthians 7:2-16 – Morning Offering

Their Godly sorrow led to positive spiritual changes, a cause for rejoicing. But worldly sorrow leads to death. The Church at Corinth was prompted to act justly, chastened and eager to set their spiritual house in order. The Corinthians demonstrated their allegiance to the teachings of Paul and the Apostles. It was very encouraging to see how happy Titus was during the time he spent with them. Paul had given Titus a good recommendation of the Church at Corinth and so Paul was pleased that the Church had lived up to that recommendation. Titus proved to be a loyal worker at Corinth.

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul is starting to build a case against the false teachers; they were corrupting and leading the Corinthians astray – back into legalism and away from the gospel of Christ. Paul has had his honor besmirched by the false charge that he has taken money or financially gained from the Corinthians. They were secretly trying to discredit Paul and destroy the church from within.

Paul does not stay very long in any one church. He births a church and moves on to the next one. He appoints other apostles and elders to nurture the church after that. Titus is such a one for the Corinthians. Titus is a gentile who has never been circumcised as was Jewish legalistic tradition; he is pleased with the spiritual progress that the Corinthians have made thus far and believes that Titus will help them continue on the correct path – not swayed by the false teachers. The false teachers simply wanted the Corinthians to conform to their version of the Law of Moses.

Worthwhile take-away Paul speaks once more about his former letter, being happy that they ‘sorrowed unto repentance.’ Then he speaks of Godly sorrow vs Worldly sorrow. List two characteristics of both types of sorrow.


Day 5

Word of God 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 – Evening Offering

Paul and the Apostles want the Church in Corinth to know the extent of the grace that God poured out the Macedonian Churches. Christ believers throughout this region have struggled in extreme poverty. Nevertheless, they have generously contributed monetary support for the Apostles. As Paul himself can testify, they have given as much as they can afford, and in some cases, even beyond their ability. The Macedonians, without being asked, volunteered for the honor of sharing what they possessed for the gospel. They even went beyond Paul’s expectations by first committing themselves to the Lord, and then to the Apostles, in accordance with God’s will. While Titus was in Corinth, he started to collect money for Paul to distribute to the poor in Jerusalem. But this work was sidelined by infighting and troubles inside the Corinthian Church, along with the departure of Titus. Now Paul is sending Titus back to Corinth to complete the task he started. The Corinthian church has matured in faith. It excels in faith, speech, and knowledge. The Corinthians have demonstrated their true love for the Church of Christ and the Apostles. But now, says Paul, they must also become good givers to the cause of Christ. Paul is not commanding them to give. However he is testing the sincerity of their love for Christ and fellow believers. Paul sets the example Jesus Christ before them. Jesus enjoyed the riches of heaven, yet he left everything behind for our sakes and became poor. It is through the poverty of Christ that we have become rich.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 – Evening Offering

Paul now gives the Corinthians directives on the Godly way to give of their money. He commends them for making a good beginning by collecting the money for the poor in Jerusalem. Paul praises them for their willingness to give. Now they need to finish what they started. Every gift, large or small, is acceptable in the proportion of the wealth that each believer has. Paul does not expect a poor believer to give something that they do not have. The goal is to reach equality among the believers in the Lord. The example that Paul uses in regard to giving is the manna given by God to the Israelites in the desert. Every morning, the manna sent from heaven blanketed the ground. Some Israelites gathered a lot of manna, others only a little. But they discovered that those who had a lot of manna and those who had less both had enough to eat and were satisfied. In the same way the Lord provides material blessings for His people. The believers are to share with each other. Paul is thankful that the Lord has also moved the heart of Titus to share the same concern of collecting money for the poor believers in Jerusalem. Titus is returning to Corinth with a great deal of enthusiasm and eager to finish the work. He is acting on his own accord. Titus has an excellent reputation among the Churches for his service to the gospel of salvation in Christ Jesus.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 – Evening Offering

He has been chosen to accompany the Apostles as they personally deliver the funds to Jerusalem. This gift is to be administered as an offering to bring honor to the Lord. It is important to show the Jewish believers in Jerusalem that Gentile believers in Jesus are eager to assist them. Paul and the Apostles want to avoid any criticism of the way this gift is handled and distributed. It is important to do what is right in the eyes of man as well as in the eyes of God. Paul is also sending another brother who has proven himself zealous for the gospel. This man also has demonstrated great confidence in the Church of Corinth. Paul reaffirms that Titus has been his partner and fellow worker in the faith. The rest of Paul’s team is made up of representatives from Churches that Paul has ministered to. Each member of the team has faithfully shown honor to the Lord. Paul exhorts the Corinthian Church to love these men. They are to show the representatives of the area Churches the reason why Paul is so proud of the Church of Corinth. Then all the Churches in the region will learn of the Church at Corinth and work of Christ being done there.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 5 Evening Offering

At Corinth there were many competing gods and goddesses as well as many temples, and all were competing for the attention and support of the people. In paganism, one can worship as many gods as one chooses. There was a god or goddess that attempted to meet every human need (e.g., Aphrodite for sexual love, Ares for war, and Asclepius for healing). In Christianity that was not so. One must cut ties with these false gods / religions to worship the true God of heaven and earth. This led to some being ostracized, shunned, or even a loss of financial means. Yet Christians still contained the joy of their salvation. Truly receiving the gospel of Christ produces overflowing joy and a desire to share that joy with others in spite of difficult circumstances.

Jesus forfeited the riches of heaven in order to come down to earthly poverty and save humanity. Jesus was seated at right hand of God, a place of honor and power. This honor and power, Jesus gave up to become a human being, bound by an earthly body. He not only took on flesh, it was the flesh of a totally helpless baby dependent upon the very creatures he created for sustenance. He also gave up wealth and comfort to come into first century human existence. Notwithstanding Jesus felt you and I were worth it. Jesus willingly gave up his life so that we could be free.

Worthwhile take-away Cult leaders want your loyalty to be to them. Paul, applauded the Corinthians for "first giving their own selves to the Lord, and then to us." Give an example of how this can be seen. Out of love, the Corinthians pledged the previous year to give money to the poor. Paul began teaching about giving. Some ministers feel that the amount matters. Paul says something different: "For if there first be a willing mind, it (a gift) will be accepted by what a man has, not by what he has not." What does this mean?


Week Five


Day 1

Word of God 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 – Morning Offering

Paul does not feel the need to spell out the purpose of the collection to the Corinthians. He knows that they are very willing to help. The spirit of generosity by the Church of Corinth has been spoken of by Paul to the Churches in Macedonia. Paul is confident that the Corinthians will follow through on their pledge to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem. This in turn will spur other Churches into action. But Paul is still sending a delegation of respected Christian leaders to ensure that the Corinthians live up to their reputation as good stewards of the Jerusalem collection. If the Macedonian Church leaders discover that the Corinthians failed to carry out this mission, then it would be embarrassing for Paul after he had been holding Corinth up as an example for other Churches to follow. This is the reason Paul felt is necessary to send the delegation. He urges them to be cheerful givers. Any gift for the Lord should be given with a cheerful heart. The Corinthians are to remember that anyone who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. Conversely, anyone who sows generously will reap a large harvest. Each one should give according to what his conscience dictates him to give. He should not give reluctantly or under duress, because God loves a cheerful giver. God is a God of grace. He able to provide for you everything that you need in all circumstances and at all times. God will enable to flourish in every good work that you do. The same Lord that provides seed to the Sower and bread for His people will greatly increase the harvest of the righteous. You will be made rich in every kind of spiritual gift so that you can generously share the gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 – Morning Offering

Your work of sharing the gospel that you received from the Apostles will result in thanksgiving to God. Your service to God is not limited only to collecting gifts for the people of God. It is also a service of praising God with an overflowing heart of gratitude. Service to the Lord will result in praise to God from people who observe your wholehearted obedience to living out the gospel of Jesus Christ in unselfish generosity. Your gifts will answer the prayers of many brothers and sisters in Christ who are in desperate need. Only by the abundant grace of God are you able to accomplish such a great task. Thanks be to our God for His indescribable gift of Jesus Christ!

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 1 Morning Offering

Titus acted as Paul’s right hand when he was absent. Titus came to Christ through Paul’s preaching, and Paul was like a spiritual father to Titus. Titus proved himself faithful and went on several missionary journeys with Paul. Paul also entrusted Titus to carry his epistles to various churches and to shepherd the flocks.

Paul wants the church of Corinth to be an example for all other churches, both in conduct and in generosity. Corinth was a leading city in Greece, strategically located on key commercial trade routs; it was a major hub. Corinth boasted of two harbors on a very narrow peninsula, where ships were able to be hauled over land from one body of water to another – thus shortening the route or voyage. Thus Corinth would be a model that many churches could emulate.

God is like a farmer who sows plentifully, carefully tends His crops, and fully expects an abundant harvest. God can multiply our talents, tithes, and gifts so that our little can become much. Even the smallest gift of the lowliest member of the Corinthian church was as important as the largest gift of the wealthiest member as long as the hearts were tender towards God. This was completely foreign to a culture that glorifies the rich and disdains the poor.

Worthwhile take-away What does it mean that you should give not grudgingly or of necessity? Think about your giving. How do you give? Are you a joyful, prompt to do it giver, whose heart is in your giving? God loves a cheerful giver and has made several promises to those who are joyful givers. What are two of them?


Word of God

Day 1

2 Corinthians 10:1-18 – Evening Offering Paul appeals to the Corinthians on the basis of the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who set aside his power to come to this earth as a helpless baby. Paul is ‘timid’ when he is with them in Corinth, but ‘bold’ when he is sending letters from far away. Paul hopes that when he arrives, the believers at Corinth will have taken his letters to heart and correct the problems in the Church before Paul arrives. Some in Corinth act as if the same standards of this world also apply to the Church. Even though we live in this world, we do not wage war using the same tactics that the world does. Christians do not fight using the same weapons that a worldly army, such as the superbly armed Roman Legions would use. On the contrary, the weapons Christians use have the power to demolish the strongholds of every power that opposes the Kingdom of God. Christians armed with Spirit of God, have the ability to destroy the arguments of false apostles and every false teaching and demonic power that rises up in opposition. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And the Corinthians will root out and destroy every act of disobedience against the teachings of Jesus Christ, once the Church of Corinth has itself become obedient to Christ. Paul tells the Corinthians that they are looking at faith in a superficial way. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they must also consider that there are other members in the body of Christ, Paul and others, which have the same membership in the body of Christ as the Corinthians.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

2 Corinthians 10:1-18 – Evening Offering Paul is not ashamed of the fact that he is an Apostle; in fact, it is something that he freely shares in order to build up the Church of Christ. Paul doesn’t write strongly worded letters in order to frighten them. On the contrary, the purposes of Paul’s letters are to increase their faith. Some in Corinth may say the words of Paul are penetrating and forceful, but in person, Paul is not intimidating at all, and he is not a powerful orator. His speaking is not impressive. These people should realize that Paul’s words will be put into action when he and his ministry team arrive in Corinth. Paul does not even want to try to match the clever speeches of the false teachers in Corinth. These false apostles set their own standards, but they are not wise when measured against the truth of God’s Word. Paul and the true Apostles limit their message to power of Scripture as revealed in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. They do not take credit for the groundwork of the gospel laid by others. The hope and goal of Paul and the other Apostles is to build up the Church in Corinth and then move on to areas where Christ has not yet been preached. If we must boast about our accomplishments, then we can only boast in the power of God who has brought about such a marvelous plan of salvation through His Son, Christ Jesus. Only the Lord commends those who serve Him, no one can commend himself by taking credit for what God has done.

Word of God


Day 1 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

The power of the Roman military was unparalleled in the ancient Mediterranean world. No fortress or fortified city could withstand a Roman siege for long. The Romans were well known for their engineering, architecture, and discipline. They had the best organization the best military, the best weapons / equipment at that time.

Yet the gospel of the Kingdom of God is much more powerful than even the Roman military machine. With this power of Jesus, no unseen spiritual fortress or demonic stronghold can resist the overwhelming power of the Son of God. The arguments of Paul’s enemies, the false prophets, are strongholds that cannot stand up to the power of the Gospel. Paul knew this well.

Worthwhile take-away Although we walk after the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. What does that mean? How should Christians fight? Who should Christians fight? Rulers of this world, "Lord" it over those beneath them, but Paul says God has given authority for edification and not for destruction. What does that mean? Scripture says that it is NOT wise to compare yourself to yourself or to compare yourself to others. What is the measuring rod for determining if you are good / bad, right / wrong? Why is it not wise to compare yourself to yourself?


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 11:1-33 – Morning Offering Paul hopes that the Corinthians will put up with a little more of his foolishness; but they are already doing that. Paul is jealous for them with a Godly jealousy because someone else is competing with him as their spiritual father. When they received Christ, Paul presented the Church of Corinth as a bride to Jesus as a pure virgin is given to her husband. But just as Eve was deceived by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, the minds of the Corinthians have been led astray from the following Christ wholeheartedly. Someone else has come to you and preached a Jesus that is nothing like the Jesus that Paul and the Apostles have preached. You are putting up with a different spirit and a different gospel than the true one you accepted. But the Corinthians should not think that Paul is inferior in any way to those ‘super apostles.' Paul may not be a trained speaker but he does have knowledge of the gospel and knowledge of Christ. Paul and the Apostles have made it clear to the Corinthians in every way. Paul asks if he sinned by debasing himself in order to raise them up by preaching the gospel to them free of charge. He 'robbed' other Churches by collecting monies from them in order to support his ministry at Corinth. When Paul was at Corinth and needed something, he did not burden the Corinthians by asking for it. Paul's needs were met by the Macedonian Churches. Paul has not burdened them in the past, nor does he plan to do so in the future. As surely as the truth of Christ is in Paul, he will not stop boasting of his ministry in the local region of Achaia. It is not because Paul does not love the Church at Corinth. God

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 11:1-33 – Morning Offering knows that he does. What drives Paul on is to undercut the teachings of the ‘super apostles,’ who have made inroads among the believers at Corinth. They arrogantly think that they have the same authority as Paul and the other Apostles. Such men are impostors, false apostles, deceitful workmen, who masquerade as Apostles of Christ. That is not surprising, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. In a similar way the servants of the devil pass themselves off as servants of righteousness. The ‘super apostles’ will receive the judgment that they deserve. Paul emphasizes that no one in Corinth should take him for a fool. But even they still consider him a fool compared to the false apostles. So Paul wants to tell them some of the trials and ordeals that he suffered in order to bring the gospel to Corinth. If they can listen to the rubbish that the false apostles are telling them, then the Corinthians should be able to learn from a true Apostle of Jesus Christ. As of now, they are too spiritually weak to resist the insults of the false apostles as these impostors force them to give up their freedom in Christ in order to submit to their man-made rules. Paul asks if these false apostles are Hebrews. So is Paul. Are they Israelites? Paul is a descendant from the tribe of Benjamin. Are they descendants of Abraham? He thinks that it is crazy to talk this way because when Gentiles accept Jesus Christ, they become the spiritual descendants of Abraham. Are they servants of Christ? Paul is even more so. He has worked harder and been severely persecuted for preaching salvation in Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 11:1-33 – Morning Offering Five times he was flogged by the Jews, three times by rods, once he was stoned. He was shipwrecked three times and spent a day and night on the open sea. Paul has been constantly on the move. He has had to cross raging rivers and has been attacked by bandits. He has been in danger from his own countrymen, the Jews, and in danger from Gentiles, whether in the city or in the countryside. He faced peril at sea and from false Christians. Paul has labored hard and has often gone without sleep. He has been hungry and thirsty, and at times, cold and naked. On top of all this, he has the daily pressure of concern for all the Churches. Paul faces the same human weakness and temptations that everyone experiences. But if Paul is to boast, he will boast in the things that show his human weakness. Paul testifies that God the Father of Jesus Christ who is to be praised forever knows that he is not lying. He will boast in things that God has done, not by his own accomplishments. Paul was in Damascus after he was miraculously converted to Christianity while on the road there. The governor ordered the guards not to let Paul out of Damascus. But Paul escaped. At night he was lowered from the city wall in a basket.

Word of God


Day 2 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul thought it extremely important to teach the Corinthians to move past mere appearances and falsely convincing arguments to judge with the mind of Christ. To do this, Paul lowers himself to the level of his slick, well heeled rivals, who thought education and their own selfaggrandizement worth more than Christ humility. The entire discourse of this chapter was meant to prove the foolishness of man’s thinking and the wisdom of God’s.

Worthwhile take-away Paul closed Chapter 10 by telling us that it's now how we see ourselves that is important. We are only justified by God. Then he begins turning their own arguments about importance against them. He explains how - in the natural or by worldly standards - he is ‘top notch,’ both in education and spiritually. In other words, he has much to brag about. List three things about which Paul could brag? Think of things that you could brag about in this life. Why does Paul say such bragging is foolish? Why should you not self-righteously brag about your goodness and accomplishments?


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 12:1-21 – Evening Offering Paul goes on to inform the Corinthians of visions and revelations from the Lord which even further distances him from the self-centered arguments of the false apostles. Paul tells the Corinthians that he knows a man in Christ. Paul is most likely speaking from his own experience, but it is also possible that he is talking about another believer’s vision. Fourteen years ago, this man was taken up to the third heaven, into the presence of God. Whether it was in the body or outside of the body, only God knows. In some fashion, either bodily or spiritually, this man experienced paradise. While in paradise, he heard inexpressible things that he was unable to talk about when he returned. Paul will hold such a man as a spiritual giant, but he will not boast about his own spiritual achievements. Paul will only boast about his weaknesses so that God may be given all the Glory. It would not be foolishness for Paul to speak the truth; yet, he chooses to be judged by the Corinthians by what he does and says. Paul will not compete with the false apostles by lowering himself to their standards of impressing the Corinthians with fabricated stories. In order to prevent him from becoming conceited after such an incredible revelation, Paul was tormented by an unspecified difficulty that he simply refers to as a thorn in the flesh, sent by a messenger of Satan. Three times Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove the thorn. But the answer from the Lord was that, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’ For the power of Christ has been made perfect in weakness. Paul’s thorn is a constant reminder that in spite

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 12:1-21 – Evening Offering of his great learning, special revelations and visions, and his high position as an Apostle who was personally converted by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, it is only through weakness that Paul can accomplish anything for God. So Paul reasons that the more he boasts about his weaknesses, the more effective his testimony in the power of Jesus Christ will become. That is why, for Christ’s sake, Paul delights in the Lord by enduring insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. When Paul is at his weakest point that is when he has the strongest impact for Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Corinthians that if he made a fool of himself, it was because they drove him to it. Derisively calling the false apostles, ‘Super Apostles,’ Paul tells them that they should be commending him because he is not in the least bit inferior to these greedy, smooth talking impostors, even though Paul is nothing in himself. Paul demonstrated the signs of true Apostleship among the Corinthians many times. They witnessed signs, wonders and miracles from Paul. The ‘Super Apostles’ had slandered Paul by telling the Corinthians that Paul sinned by ministering to them for free. He mockingly ‘begs’ for forgiveness of the sin of working for the Corinthian Church free of charge. Paul is now ready to visit Corinth for the third time. He still refuses to be a burden to them. Paul wants the hearts of the Corinthians as their spiritual father in Christ. He does not want any material possessions from them. Paul says that children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents should support their children.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Corinthians 12:1-21 – Evening Offering He is willing to give his spiritual offspring all of his time and energy. But will the Corinthians love him less than these ‘Super Apostles? ’ Sarcastically, Paul says that even though he was not a burden to them, he tricked them into organizing a collection for the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Did Paul exploit them by sending Titus and other leaders? Has Titus done anything against them? Is not Titus carrying out the same work that Paul has begun? Are the Corinthians thinking that Paul’s ministry is nothing more than building up his own personal fame and glory? Paul and his ministry team are accountable to the Lord for their actions. Everything that they have done is for the building up of the Corinthian Church. However when Paul arrives, he may not find the Corinthian Church set in order. The Corinthians may not like being disciplined by Paul. He fears that the Church may be filled with infighting, jealousy and disorder. Paul doesn’t want them to fall back into the old pattern of bickering groups of factions. Paul expects the Lord to humble him by assigning the task of bringing the unruly Corinthian Church to order. Paul is also concerned that the past sexual sins and pagan-like debauchery are still present in the Church.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 2 Evening Offering

Scholars agree that Paul is talking about himself in the vision he describes in this chapter. Paul has suffered much physically, but he has also been rewarded with much spiritually. This was a special revelation that most of us don’t have.

Paul’s humanity is revealed here as he struggles with the ‘thorn in his flesh.’ Paul is comparing his temptation with the temptation that the Corinthian church faces to teach them that Christ’s power is everything, and human power is nothing.

Paul has been exasperated by the false conduct of the Corinthian church. Now he finds himself competing with apostles that he sarcastically calls ‘super’ apostles. To educate the Corinthians, Paul clearly states what defines a true apostle – signs, wonders, and miracles. Paul needed to remind the church that pedigree and education is not what makes an apostle. The false teachers were leaning heavily on this earthly criteria; they failed to do any signs, wonders, and miracles. These false apostles showcased the form of religion, without the power thereof.

Worthwhile take-away Paul begins the chapter still listing things of which he could brag. Yet all these things, Paul counts how? Why did Paul say that he glories in his infirmities? Paul worries that the Corinthians may backslide into their old sinful ways before he can return to them. State three specific sins that the Corinthian church could commit. Have you seen these actions in the churches around you?


Word of God

Day 3

2 Corinthians 13:1-14 – Morning Offering Paul reminds the Corinthians that this will be his third visit to them. He also brings to their attention that every formal accusation must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 19:15. He is warning them that two or three witnesses will bring testimony against the Corinthians unless they repent and change their ways. Paul, Titus and others will discipline those who fail to heed his guidance. Paul had already warned them on his second visit. Those who fail to obey the true Apostles will be expelled from the Church and face the judgment of Christ. The false apostles demand that Paul prove that Christ is speaking to him. Paul refuses to play by their rules. Instead he tells the Corinthians that Christ is not weak in dealing with those who subvert the gospel. Rather, Jesus Christ is powerful among the believers at Corinth. Paul tells the Corinthians that they need to test their hearts for the presence of Jesus Christ. If they are not in the faith, they will fail the test. Paul then asks them to test himself and the other Apostles for the presence of Christ. This is a test that the false apostles cannot pass because they have not received Christ. He prays that the Corinthians will not do anything wrong by rejecting the true faith and placing their trust in the false apostles. Paul will not do or say anything that contradicts the truth of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ even if that makes him appear weak. Paul has no further need to defend himself as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. His prayer for the Corinthians is that they perfect their faith so that when Paul arrives there will be no need for discipline.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 3

2 Corinthians 13:1-14 – Morning Offering He can then devote his time and energy to the work of building up the Church. Paul closes his second letter to the Corinthians by encouraging them to aim for perfection. They need to take his instructions to heart and clean up the Church so that all the believers may live in peace and unity. Then the God of peace will be with them. He urges them to greet one another with a holy kiss, signifying mutual trust and affection among true believers. All the saints in other Churches send their greetings. Paul blesses them with the grace, love, and fellowship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Word of God


Day 3 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

In Mark 1:9-11, after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, his authority to launch his ministry was established by three witnesses: John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit descending upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of God, the father. Jewish law demanded that nothing less than two or three witnesses could be used to establish a fact.

Worthwhile take-away Remember the law regarding witnesses: In the mouth of how many witnesses must something be established? What does this mean? Paul says to examine yourselves and prove your own selves. This you should do on a continual basis. Why? Everyone who acknowledges the authority of Jesus Christ must confirm to the standards of His gospel. How do you see Paul urging the Corinthians to do that throughout this letter?


Letter to the

Galatians

Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians

Philippians Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an s

Ephesians ian

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 3

Word of God Galatians 1:1-24 – Evening Offering

Paul addresses his letter to the Church at Galatia, located in modern day Turkey, as an Apostle sent not by man but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead. This letter is also from all the fellow Christians who are with Paul. The Apostle blesses the Galatians with grace and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one who gave himself for our sins in order to rescue us from this present evil age. This plan of salvation was carried out by the will of God the Father. Astonished that the Galatians have so quickly fallen away from the truth, Paul questions why they would follow a false gospel that really isn’t a gospel at all. He reasons that there must be false teachers among them, causing confusion and perverting the gospel of Christ. Paul says that even if an angel from heaven were to appear preaching a counterfeit gospel, that angel should be eternally condemned! And if anyone else is preaching a gospel other than gospel that they received from Paul, may that person be eternally condemned as well. He asks the Galatians if he is trying to impress men with his preaching, or is he sincerely trying to please God. If Paul is only trying to please men, then he is not a servant of Christ Jesus. Paul emphasizes to the Galatians that the gospel he preaches is not something fabricated by man. He did not receive it from any man. Nor was he taught it; rather, the gospel that Paul received was a revelation from Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Galatians 1:1-24 – Evening Offering

The Galatians had heard of the reputation that Paul had before he received this revelation from Christ. He had intensely persecuted the Church of God, trying to destroy it. Paul was also advancing in the Jewish religion ahead of many others his own age. He was extremely zealous for the oral traditions of his ancestors. But God had set Paul apart by birth. He was born into a prominent Jewish family. Then God in an act of grace, called Paul by revealing his Son Jesus Christ to him so that Paul might preach the gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. After Paul was converted to faith in Christ Jesus, he did not consult with anyone, in part because many Christians were afraid of him. Instead of going immediately to Jerusalem to meet with the Apostles, Paul went directly into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. After three years had passed, he went to Jerusalem to meet with Peter in order to become acquainted with him. Staying fifteen days with Peter, Paul did not meet with any other Apostles except James, the brother of Jesus. Paul assures the Galatians that this is the truth. Then Paul went to Syria and Cilicia. Paul says that he was not known to the Churches in Judea. The only thing they knew about Paul is that he was once their enemy who was persecuting Christians. Now that he has become a believer, he is preaching the faith. And the Judean Christians praised God that Paul was converted to faith in Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 3 Evening Offering

Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians, a Celtic people living in modern central Turkey, from Rome. Terius, a faithful scribe penned this letter along with the letter to the Romans. Like Romans and Corinthians, the churches in Galatia were comprised of both Jewish and Gentile converts. The main purpose of the letter was to make certain that the Gentile Christians did not succumb to the legalistic faction of the Jews who wanted to exchange the truth of grace and the gospel of Christ for a lie (bondage and rule following).

Paul is in conflict with enemies who are trying to lead the Galatian Church astray into a very narrow, legalistic form of Judaism. Paul became a traitor to the legalistic Jews when he was converted on the Road to Damascus, where Jesus revealed himself to Paul in a spectacular way (Acts 9). Prior to his conversion, Paul was at the top of his class and on the fast track to a very high position in the Jewish hierarchy. He zealously persecuted the Jews. Although the Roman authorities were slower to deem Christianity a threat to them, Saul saw the Christian movement as a direct threat to the Jews; he tried to contain it before it could spread. Thus, almost immediately upon Paul’s conversion, his former comrades attempted to kill him. They felt as if he had defected and gone over to the enemy.

Worthwhile take-away Paul is adamantly opposed to those who would preach another gospel to the Galatians under the guise of preaching the good news. Paul wants people to be aware that (1) there really is no other gospel; (2) that even if one endorses another gospel, to beware; and (3) that these people should be what? If you try to please man, then you are no longer what? Think about a time in your life when you were trying to be “a people pleaser.“ Paul once persecuted the Jews, being exceedingly zealous of the traditions of his father. He realized he was wrong. Can you think of a time when you have put the tradition's of your parents or family's religion over the truth of God's word?


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 2:1-21 – Morning Offering

Fourteen years after Paul’s conversion by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul went to Jerusalem. He was accompanied by Barnabas, who in Acts 11:26-27, was one of the first Christians to welcome Paul, formerly an enemy of all the believers, into the fellowship of the Church. Titus also went with Paul and Barnabas, as one of the first Gentile converts. In his ministry, Paul was carrying out the revelation he had received from Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to the non-Jewish world. This was controversial, because some of the Jewish Christians firmly believed that a Gentile convert must be circumcised and obey the Laws of Moses before becoming a Christian. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, Paul met privately with the Jewish Christian leaders. His fear was that his ministry to the Gentiles was in vain if Gentile believers were denied membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. In Paul’s view, a true Apostle must accept the command made by Jesus himself to bring the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God. That is why Paul refused to allow Titus to be circumcised. Paul insisted that the new Gentile converts be accepted directly into the Church on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ without becoming Jews first. Calling those who wanted Titus circumcised, ‘false brothers,’ Paul accused them of spying on, and even infiltrating the ranks of Gentile believers for the purpose of denying them freedom in Christ. To Paul, a Gentile Christian who is forced to conform to the rules of Judaism, loses his freedom in Christ and is enslaved.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 2:1-21 – Morning Offering

The leaders in Jerusalem that wanted to force the Gentile believers to be circumcised mattered little to the Apostle Paul. He had been given clear instructions in a revelation from Jesus Christ to accept Gentiles as fellow believers. The Gentile believers were now equal to Jewish Christians in the Kingdom of God after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God does not judge by the outward appearance of a man. These leaders added nothing of value to Paul’s ministry. They saw that Paul had been sent to the Gentiles in the same manner that Peter had been sent to preach to the Jews. God was at work in the apostolic ministries of both Peter and Paul. James. Peter, and John, who are regarded as founding pillars of the Church, extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas. They acknowledged that the amazing conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus was an act of God’s grace. It was agreed that Paul and Barnabas should bring the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. The only thing that they requested of Paul was that he present an offering to the poor in Jerusalem. Paul was very eager to do this very thing. Later, when Peter came to Antioch, located in modern Syria, Paul confronted Peter. Paul felt strongly that Peter was in the wrong. When Peter was in the presence of Gentile Christians, he ate and associated with them in Christian fellowship. But when Jewish Christians from Jerusalem arrived, Peter shunned the Gentiles and spent his time with Jewish Christians.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 2:1-21 – Morning Offering

Peter was trying to please those who believed that Gentiles must be circumcised and take up the Jewish lifestyle before becoming Christians. Peter’s actions caused the other Jewish Christians to break off fellowship with the Gentile believers. Even Barnabas, Paul’s ministry partner, joined the circumcision faction. Paul told Peter that this was hypocrisy. There was only one body of believers in Christ, not two. Paul stressed that believers are saved by faith in Jesus Christ and not by observing the Laws of Moses that were fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection. No one is justified by observing the Law. We cannot earn our salvation. Justification only comes by faith in Jesus Christ. If it is still necessary to earn salvation by keeping the Law, the sacrifice of Christ is not complete. When a person receives Christ, he becomes part of the body of Christ. Since we cannot keep the Law without sinning, Paul’s point is that Christ would be promoting sin if he forced us to keep the Law perfectly. It is impossible for Jesus to sin. We have been crucified with Christ. We no longer live, but Christ lives in us. Our lives are now lived in faith in Christ, not on our inability to perfectly keep the written code. Do not set aside the grace of God for the Law. Paul says that if it is still necessary to justify oneself on the basis of obedience to the Law, then Christ died for nothing.

Word of God


Day 4 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

At first Paul had a difficult time being accepted by the Christians that only days before he was trying to kill. Barnabus was one of the first Christians to welcome Paul and introduce him to other Christians and the Apostles; Barnabus became a mentor to Paul. Going from his old life of rejecting Jesus as the Christ (hating him) to embracing / loving him was a difficult transition. Barnabus helped him navigate this time.

Even though Paul had been in the forefront of organizing persecution against Christians, the persecutions did not stop with Paul’s conversion. Others took his place. Many Christians were in fear of their lives at this time.

Jesus had twelve apostles. One was Judas, who had committed suicide after betraying Jesus. Matias took his place. All these apostles had known Jesus intimately during his ministry on earth. The Apostle Paul was different in that he did not meet Jesus while on earth, but met him in a miraculous way on the Road to Damascus.

Worthwhile take-away Paul relates his ministry of preaching to the Gentiles to whose preaching what? Paul had to rebuke Peter to his face regarding what? Why did he do it publicly? Think about a time in your life when you acted "two faced," -- one way in front of one group of people and another way in front of the other group. What happened? What made you react this way? Were you rebuked? What does it mean that 'By the works of the law, no man can be justified'? Why does Paul say that he does not frustrate the grace of God?


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 3:1-4:7 – Evening Offering

Paul lashes out at the Galatians for foolishly abandoning the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. They had been persuaded to take up legalism by relying on obedience to the Laws of Moses for earning their salvation. The Apostle points out that they know that Jesus was crucified to completely pay for all of their sins. He wanted to know one thing; did the Galatians receive the Holy Spirit by observing the Law or did they receive the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ? Why are they acting so foolish? They began with the Holy Spirit after receiving the gospel message preached by Paul. Why would they forfeit God’s special gift of grace in order to earn their own way through human effort, as if they could even achieve perfection on their own merits. Have they made sacrifices for the gospel of Christ in vain? Can anyone earn miracles from God and receive His Holy Spirit, or have they received these blessings by accepting the free gift of God through the sacrifice of His only Son, Christ Jesus? Holding up the faith of Abraham as an example, Paul urged the Galatians to imitate the faith of the great patriarch. Abraham believed in God and his belief was credited to him as righteousness. Those who believe in God and obey Him are the spiritual children of Abraham. Prophecies throughout the Scriptures foresaw a coming time when God would justify the Gentiles by faith. God revealed this plan to Abraham when He said: “All nations will be blessed through you.” Paul states that those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 3:1-4:7 – Evening Offering

faith. Everyone who relies on the observance of the Law is under a curse. It was written by Moses: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Making it clear that no one is justified before God by the Law, Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4, “The righteous will live by faith.” The Law is not based of faith, according to Paul; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. Deuteronomy 21:23 says that, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Jesus redeemed us so that the blessing given to Abraham might also come to the Gentiles through his sacrifice on the cross, so that by faith, we might also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Using an example from everyday life, Paul tells the Galatians that the terms of a manmade legal document, such as a will, once established, cannot be added to or subtracted from. In the same way, the promises that God made to Abraham and His seed are irrevocable and unchangeable. Paul notes that God used the singular form of the word ‘seed,’ and not the plural ‘seeds. ’ The term ‘seed’ means one descendant of Abraham. Not ‘seeds’, which would refer to all the descendants of Abraham. The one descendant that God specified in His Covenant with Abraham is Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 3:1-4:7 – Evening Offering

The point the Apostle Paul is making is that the Covenant God made with Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai does not change or alter the earlier Covenant God made with Abraham some 430 years earlier. The promises God made to Abraham have not changed. What then, is the purpose of the Law? The Law was necessary because of human sin. The provisions of the Law enabled the Israelites to atone for their sins by offering sacrifices until the coming of Jesus Christ. The Law was put into effect by angels by a mediator, as spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy 33:2. Moses was the mediator between the Israelites and the Lord on Mount Sinai. But when God made the earlier Covenant with Abraham, a mediator wasn’t required because the Lord took upon Himself the fulfillment of all the promises and terms. This was an act of God’s grace toward Abraham. Paul asks if the Law of Moses is opposed to the earlier promises made by God to Abraham. Absolutely not! If the Law was given so that salvation could be earned through obedience to the Law, then the path to righteousness would be made by perfectly obeying the Law. But Scripture declares that the whole world is held captive by sin which was caused by the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. God’s promise of life through perfect obedience to the Law has been made possible by the perfectly obedient life of Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 3:1-4:7 – Evening Offering

Those who receive salvation through faith in Christ receive God’s promise of life, not through their own flawed efforts, but through Jesus, who obeyed God’s Laws flawlessly. Before Jesus came into the world to rescue mankind, those who tried to show their love for God by attempting to obey the Laws of God were held prisoner by their own sinfulness, until faith in Jesus Christ was revealed. Paul concludes that the purpose of the Law is to lead us to saving faith in Christ so that we may be justified and considered righteous by God as though we have not sinned. Now that faith in Jesus Christ has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law of Moses. Paul told the Galatians that they are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Through baptism in Christ, they are now clothed with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, now they are all one in Christ Jesus. If the Galatians belong to Jesus Christ, then they have become Abraham’s descendants and are now blessed with the same blessings and promises from God as Abraham’s physical descendants. To make his point, Paul uses the example of a small child who is an heir to a wealthy estate. Even though the heir owns the entire estate, he is no different than a child of a slave, because guardians and trustees have been placed over the estate until he reaches the age set by his father. So also, when we were children of the world, we lived in slavery to sin. But when the time set by God arrived, He sent His Son into the world, born of a woman, and born under the

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Galatians 3:1-4:7 – Evening Offering

Law of Moses in order to redeem those living under the Law. God planned this so that we may receive the full rights as sons. And because we have been made sons of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts. He is the Spirit who calls out Abba, Father, similar to a child calling out for his daddy. So now you are longer slaves to the sins of the world. Instead, you are now sons of your Heavenly Father and God has made you an heir.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 4 Evening Offering

The Galatians had fallen into the trap of the false teachers by believing that they had to earn their way to salvation by keeping the Law. The Jews had had an exclusive relationship with God and could not grasp the grace that would allow Gentiles to freely enter in, even though God had specifically promised this through Abraham (all nations will be blessed through you) . Not only that, the Jews were used to ‘earning’ their righteousness or at least attempting to keep the commandments. It was hard for them to understand Paul’s point that no one can earn his/her own way. We are all sinners and it is only through the grace of God that we are saved.

Just as Paul’s name was changed to Saul, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham when he followed God’s call (Gen 17). In those days, a name was significant and meanings of names were important. Saul was originally named after the first King of Israel, who was from the tribe of Benjamin – which is also Paul’s ancestry. The Hebrew meaning of Paul is ‘humble,’ which is apropos for how humble Paul became after serving Christ.

In the Jewish religion, circumcision was a commandment given by God as a sign of entering into a covenant with God. All Jewish males at 8 days young were required to be circumcised (Gen 17:12). Traditionally, this was a requirement for Gentiles to become Jewish believers. However within Christianity, Paul felt this requirement was totally unnecessary. In Christianity a permanent change of heart (circumcision of the heart) is more important than a one time surgical procedure (circumcision of the flesh).

Worthwhile take-away Why does Paul call the Galatians 'foolish'? What does it mean by "Having begun in the spirit, are you made perfect by the flesh"? What example did Paul give to prove that the ;just shall live by faith.’ If we obtain righteousness by faith, why did God give us the Law of Moses (ten commandments)? How did the law lead us to Christ?


Day 5

Word of God Galatians 4:8-31 – Morning Offering

Before the Galatians knew about God through the preaching of the Apostle Paul, they lived in slavery to the idols they worshiped, even though they are not actually gods. But now they know God, or more accurately, be known by God, how can they possibly go back to relying on their old ways of trying to earn their own salvation by attempting to obey the Laws of Moses? Do the Galatians want to be enslaved by their old ways all over again? No one can be saved from their sins by merely observing a Jewish calendar. Paul is afraid that he has wasted his time and energy in vain trying to teach them that the only way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. Pleading with them to follow his example, Paul urges them to become like him because Paul reached out to them on their own spiritual level when they were still pagans. Unlike many of the people that beat and persecuted Paul when he first preached the gospel to them, the Galatians had done him no wrong. The Galatians know that although Paul was suffering from an illness the first time he preached to them, they did not treat him with contempt or scorn. Instead, they welcomed Paul as though he was an angel of God, even as though he were Christ himself. What has happened to all their joy upon receiving salvation in Jesus Christ? Paul can testify that if they could, the Galatians would have torn out their own eyes and given them to him. Have they become enemies of Paul because he dares to tell them the truth? Those false teachers who are trying to win them over may be zealous, but they are up to no good.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Galatians 4:8-31 – Morning Offering

What they are trying to do is separate the Galatian Church from the Apostles so that the Galatians might work zealously to spread their corrupt message. It is fine to be zealous as long as the purpose is good. But the Galatians should remain zealous for the gospel of Jesus Christ even when Paul is away. Paul laments the fact his spiritual ‘children' have wandered so far from the true faith. He longs to be with them to guide them back into the truth. Then he can change his tone regarding their loss of faith in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. But as of now, Paul finds himself perplexed by their wandering from the truth of God. Paul has a lesson from the early history of the patriarchs for those who want to rely on the Law for their salvation. Don’t they even understand what the Law says? The first two sons of Abraham were born. Ishmael, the oldest, was born of the slave woman Hagar. The other, Isaac, was born to the free woman Sarah. The son of the slave woman was born in the ordinary way, but the son of the free woman was born as the fulfillment of a promise from God. Paul says that figuratively, the women represent two Covenants. One Covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are destined to be slaves. This is Hagar. She represents Mount Sinai in Arabia, where the Law was received by Moses. Hagar represents Jerusalem because this city became the center of legalistic slavery for all who follow the Covenant of Hagar, along with her children. But the Jerusalem in heaven, which is the city of God’s perfection, is free. Paul quotes Isaiah 54:1, which foretells a coming time in which Jerusalem, like a spiritually infertile mother, will have

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Galatians 4:8-31 – Morning Offering

joyfully have many Gentile ‘children’, that is, Gentile believers in Christ, to become her new family. The Galatian believers, says the Apostle, are now, like Isaac, children of God’s promise through believing faith in Jesus Christ. At the time, the son born in the ordinary way, Ishmael, persecuted Isaac, the son born by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul is referring to the incident recorded in Genesis 21:8-20, when Abraham’s older son Ishmael mistreated his younger half-brother Isaac. Sarah forced Abraham to send away Hagar and Ishmael because Isaac was the child promised by God to inherit Abraham’s blessings and birthright. Although Ishmael was the oldest son, he would not be allowed the rightful inheritance of Isaac. Therefore, Paul tells the Galatians, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Even though Abraham and his wife Sara were promised children by God, Sarah still remained barren after many years had passed. When Abraham and Sarah were very old, they both began to doubt God’s promises. Sarah told Abraham to take her bond-servant Hagar as a substitute to help the plan along. What Sarah did may seem outrageous today, but it was within the custom of the times in this situation. Having children meant everything. Hagar bore Abraham a son named Ishmael. However, God, made it clear that Sarah was to be the mother of Abraham’s chosen offspring, not Hagar. When Sarah finally conceived and bore Isaac, jealousy arose between the son of promise (Isaac) and the son of the flesh (Ishmael). Because of this, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. Even though Ishmael was not the chosen one, God richly blessed him because he was the son of Abraham. He too became a father of many nations.

Worthwhile take-away Can anyone who truly has come to know God, return to his/her former life? Paul asked if he has become the Galatians enemy because he tells the truth. Have you ever been in a situation where you were ostracized or persecuted because you told the truth? Paul compared being slaves and in bondage to those who believe that doing good deeds and following religion's rules and regulations will put them in right standing with God. He compares being free to those who trust what Jesus has done to put them in right standing with God. Why do you think that those who are in bondage war against those who are free? Why do you believe God tells us to 'cast out the bond woman'?


Day 5

Word of God Galatians 5:1-26 – Evening Offering

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Paul urged the Galatians strongly to stand firm in their faith. They are not to allow themselves to become enslaved by legalism once again Paul warns them severely that if they continue to use circumcision as a requirement to become a believer in Jesus Christ, then their free gift of faith in Christ will be made worthless by their man-made rules. If they insist on keeping the one Law of Circumcision, then they are required to keep all of the Laws that Moses gave to Israelites. These Laws were fulfilled perfectly by the life and death of Jesus Christ. The Galatians are falling away from the faith by exchanging the perfect obedience and sacrifice of Christ for their own feeble and imperfect efforts to justify themselves before God. It is by faith that we eagerly await the righteousness through the power of the Holy Spirit that we hope for. In Jesus Christ, circumcision has absolutely no value. The only thing that truly matters is faith expressed in love. The Galatians were running a good race in obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ. That is, until someone cut them off from obeying the truth of Christ with falsehood. That kind of intimidation does not come from a true Apostle of Christ. A little yeast, symbolic of false teaching, works its way through a large batch of dough. Paul is confident that the truth he is preaching comes from Jesus Christ. The deceiver who is throwing the Galatians into confusion will face the wrath of God. If Paul is preaching the need for Gentile believers to be circumcised, then why is he still being persecuted? It is because Jesus death on the cross is offensive to those who insist on legalism to earn one’s salvation. Paul wishes that those who demand circumcision would go all the way and emasculate themselves!

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Galatians 5:1-26 – Evening Offering

The Galatians were called to be free in Christ. But they must not use their freedom to indulge in sin. Rather, they should serve one another in love. The entire Law of God is summarized by the Command to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If they continue to slander and back stab one another, the Galatians are in danger of self-destruction. Declaring that the Galatians should live by the Spirit, Paul instructs them that they will no longer gratify the desires of the sinful nature that are contrary to the Holy Spirit. The sinful nature desires what is in conflict with the Spirit and the Spirit desires what is contrary to the sinful nature. The result is that you do not do what you want to do because of this conflict. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: “Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies and similar sinful behaviors. Paul warns them sternly as he has before, that anyone living like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” But the fruit of the Spirit is: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” There is no Law against these things. Those who have received Jesus Christ and belong to him have crucified the sinful nature along with all of its passions and desires. Because we live by the Spirit, let us walk in harmony with the Spirit. Let us not be conceited toward one another, provoking quarrels and hating each other out of envy.

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Word contextualized

Day 5 Evening Offering

Paul, an expert in the Law, is emphatically opposed to requiring new believers (Gentiles) to follow the same Laws that the Israelites failed to keep. He recognized the impossibility of ever being good enough to keep the entire Law. Only Jesus was able to do that. Thus, Paul didn’t want to put the Gentiles into bondage to the same Law that at one time had enslaved the Jews.

Yeast was used in bread to make it rise; however in scripture yeast often refers to sin or a contaminant. Just as yeast works through the whole batch of dough, the ‘yeast” of the false teachers could work through the entire Galatian church.

The false teachers want the new Gentile Christians to pass a minimum requirement of the Law for acceptance. Paul wants to bring them into a higher spiritual plane, so they can enjoy the maximum amount of blessing and fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Thus, Paul contrasts the life of a sinful nature against the life of a Godly one. Godly living is on a higher spiritual plane than simply following legalistic Laws. The sinful nature can only go so far; the fruit of the spirit brings you to a greater depth of spirituality.

Worthwhile take-away Why do you believe Paul tells you to 'stand fast' in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free and do not be tangled again in the yoke of bondage? If you take the law's route and try to follow the law, then Paul says you have to fulfill the entire law. What does this mean? Why would this go against grace? Paul repeats here what he had previously articulated: The law is truly summed up in love. He also explains what not walking in love looks like. Read over the list again. In what areas do you struggle? How did Paul say that you could combat walking in the flesh?


Week Six


Day 1

Word of God Galatians 6:1-18 – Morning Offering

Brothers, says the Apostle Paul, if someone is caught in a sin, those who are spiritually mature in Christ should gently restore him. But stay on guard so that you will not be tempted as well. Fulfill the Law of Christ by carrying each other’s burdens. Anyone who thinks he is something special only deceives himself. Each believer should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in his maturing spiritual faith without comparing himself to someone else. Each believer should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in this fallen world must share all good things with the one who taught him the way of salvation in Jesus Christ. Do not allow yourselves to be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows only to gratify his sinful nature, will from that sinful nature, bring destruction upon himself. The one who sows to please the Holy Spirit, from the Spirit will reap great rewards in eternity. Paul admonishes the Galatians not to become weary in doing good for the sake of Jesus Christ. We will reap a great harvest of lost sinners and spiritual rewards if we do not give up. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, let us do good for all people as witnesses for Christ. But let us especially do good within the body of Christ. “See how large the letters are that I use to write you with my own hand!” The Apostle Paul likely suffered from poor eyesight. He says that the only reason that the false teachers are forcing the Galatians to be circumcised is so that they can avoid being persecuted for believing in the salvation of Jesus Christ through his death on the cross.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Galatians 6:1-18 – Morning Offering

The Jewish faith was recognized as a legal religion in the Roman Empire while faith in Jesus Christ was not. The false teachers, if threatened by Roman or Jewish authorities, could escape the persecution that Christian believers faced by falsely telling the authorities that they were Jews and not Christians. Paul says that even though they are circumcised, they do not obey the Laws of Moses, yet they insist that the Galatians be circumcised. Even though the false teachers boast about their circumcision, Paul will not boast in anything except Christ and his death on the cross to save the world. Whether or not a man is circumcised means nothing. What counts is a new creation in Christ Jesus. May all those who follow this rule receive peace and mercy, having been spiritually brought into the family of Abraham to be adopted by the God of Israel. Paul concludes his letter to the Galatian church by requesting that no one causes him any further trouble. His body is covered with the scars of persecution for the sake of Jesus Christ. The grace of your Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers and sisters. Amen.

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Word contextualized

Day 1 Morning Offering

As Paul brings his letter to a conclusion, he emphasizes once more the themes mentioned earlier: restoring relationships, freedom in Christ, sharing of resources, and persevering. Most religions of the time had little tolerance for those who go astray. if you were found in a fault, you could be expelled, blackballed, or even killed. However Paul began teaching forgiveness and restoration, a novel concept. In this new community, which is the church, he teaches that it is more important to think of others rather than on yourself as an individual. Christians are part of a larger body of Christ, and make up the Church. Even though the Galatians were not strictly farmers, they were well acquainted with the concept of sowing and reaping. In the natural, no one would expect to sow an apple seed and reap a watermelon. Yet, in the spiritual, some of the Galatians were trying to sow the bad seed of false teachers and still reap a good reward or sow to the flesh and reap in the spirit. God sees pass our exterior and looks at our heart (motives, actions, and attitudes).

Worthwhile take-away Paul says if you see someone in a fault, only those who are spiritual should rebuke him, and then in the spirit of what? What does it mean, "Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he reap?" Have you ever tried to fool yourself and sowed into the flesh, thinking you could reap in the spirit? Provide an example. Some of the Jews that were in bondage were still trying to get the gentiles to be circumcised. Paul lists two reasons why they do so. What are they?


Letter to the Ephesians

Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

Philippians

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 1

Word of God Ephesians 1:1-23 – Evening Offering

This letter addressed to all the saints at the Church at Ephesus is sent by Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. He blesses them with grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Our God chose us in Him before the creation of the world to become pure and holy in His sight. In love, God predestined us as adopted sons through Jesus Christ as was His good pleasure to do so by His will. Our salvation through Jesus Christ has brought glory to the grace of our Heavenly Father. This gift has been freely given to us through the One, Christ Jesus, whom God loves. In Jesus we have redemption, through his sacrifice on the cross; we have forgiveness of our sins. This act of mercy was done in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. By His grace, God poured out on us all wisdom and understanding. God also revealed the mysteries of His will to us. In His good pleasure, when he sent His son Jesus to rescue us at just the right time, in order to bring together all things in heaven and on earth under the rule of Jesus Christ. In thankfulness for the faith of the Ephesians, and the love they showed for other believers, Paul has not stopped giving them thanks for their commitment to Jesus Christ. He frequently prays for the Church at Ephesus. Paul specifically prays to God as the Father of Jesus Christ for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that the believers may gain a deeper knowledge of the Lord.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Ephesians 1:1-23 – Evening Offering

He also prays for eyes of faith, so that the Ephesians may open their hearts completely to the full knowledge of the hope that they have been called to by God. Paul’s prayer is that they may appreciate the richness of their glorious inheritance as children of God, within the fellowship of other saints in the body of Christ. Paul wants them to experience the supernatural power of God for those who have placed their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. That mighty power was demonstrated when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly realms. Jesus is the supreme authority, surpassing all other rule, dominion, and authority. Every title on heaven and on earth for all ages can be ascribed to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. God had subjected all things under his feet. Jesus is Lord over all, and he rules in authority over everything in his body, which is the Church. The fullness of Christ satisfies completely every need of the Church, and gifts every believer fully to carry out the gospel in order to bring about the Kingdom of God.

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Day 1 Evening Offering

Paul wrote Ephesians from a Roman jail around 61-62AD. Both Tychichus, his faithful scribe who penned the letter, and Onesimus, a prison convert to Christianity, carried the letter to the Ephesians. Ephesus was a very wealthy city in modern day West Turkey (Asia Minor). Juxtaposed to this wealth, was the callous disregard for human life found in piles of unwanted babies. Right outside the main gait of the city, people would dump their unwanted babies in a trash heap. Some were ‘rescued’ by slave traders for nefarious purposes, but some Jews and Christians rescued and nurtured these children for adoption.

While Paul was in Ephesus, he made mortal enemies of the silversmiths, who made their money making silver figurines of Artemis, the god of fertility. When people became Christians, they stopped buying these idols and burned many of their cult pharaphanelia, so they were ruining the silversmith’s trade – a severe loss of financial gain (Acts 19). In one day, the new Christians in Ephesus burned 50,000 drachma worth of books of magic and the occult; each drachma is equivalent of a day’s labor. At one point, tension was so high, that the silversmiths rioted, causing the city clerk to intervene. Rioting was often crushed by the Roman authorities with brute force,

Paul also performed many miracles in Ephesus, even though he, himself, suffered various ailments.

Worthwhile take-away

Paul clearly says that he is an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. God has a will for everyone – assignments given according to the good pleasure of His will. Paul wrote several things that God wills for you. List two of them. The Holy Spirit is the first fruit of what? Of what is He a guarantee? Paul's prayer for us is that we have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, and that the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened so that we would know what?


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Day 2 Ephesians 2:1-22 – Morning Offering

As for the Ephesian believers, they were dead in their transgressions and sins, in which they lived before receiving salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Once they followed the ways of this world which meant that they were under the control of Satan, who Paul calls the ruler of the kingdom of the air. The spirit of the Evil One is now at work in all those who are disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. At one time all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, lived in disobedience to God. We only wanted to gratify the desires of our sinful natures. Our thinking was shaped by the corrupted patterns of this fallen world. Like all other sinful human beings, we naturally became the objects of God’s holy wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Jesus Christ, even though we were dead in our sins and trespasses. It is only by God’s grace that we have been saved. Not only did God rescue us from our sins and transgressions, He has seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. God’s purpose in seating us with Him is to display the incomparable riches of grace, which He has lavished on us for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ, as an act of kindness. Paul reminds the Ephesians that it is only through grace that they have been saved, not through anything that they have done. It is purely a gift from God. It is not by the works of man, so that no one can boast of how s/he earned his/her salvation. As new creations in Christ, we are now God’s workmanship, endowed by our Maker to do good works. God has prepared in advance this work, and so we have the ability to carry out His work.

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Word of God

Day 2 Ephesians 2:1-22 – Morning Offering

Paul tells the Gentile believers to remember that they who were born Gentiles were called ‘uncircumcised’ by Jews who were circumcised by the hands of men and considered themselves the exclusive children of Abraham. At that time, Gentiles were excluded from the Covenant and from citizenship in Israel. They were foreigners to the promises of the Covenant, without hope, and without God in this world. But now through the blood of Jesus who sacrificed himself on the cross, Gentiles who were once far away from God’s salvation have been brought into the Kingdom of God. Jesus himself has brought peace between Jew and Gentile by tearing down this dividing wall of hostility. The body of Jesus, which he offered as Sin Offering, completely fulfilled the requirements of God's Law with its Commandments and Regulations. The purpose of Christ’s perfect sacrifice was to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God by satisfying God’s righteous and holy wrath against the sins of mankind. The message of the gospel preached by Christ is peace to Gentiles who are far away from God and peace to Jews who are close to God through the Covenant promises of Abraham and the Law of Moses. Through Christ’s death on the cross, we both have access to the Father by one Holy Spirit. Now that the Gentile believers have brought into the Kingdom of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, they are no longer foreigners and aliens. The Ephesian Christians have become fellow citizens and members of God’s household. This household has been built

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Word of God

Day 2 Ephesians 2:1-22 – Morning Offering

on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets with Christ himself as the cornerstone on which the structure rests. In Jesus, the whole building is joined as one to become God’s holy Temple. As full members of the body of Christ, the Ephesian believers are being integrated into this new Temple where God lives by His Spirit.

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Word contextualized

Day 2 Morning Offering

The Jews were well aware of Satan's rise and destruction. When Paul refers to Satan as the ruler of the air, he is referencing many passages including Job 1:7. Revelation written by the Apostle John who also spent a lot of time in Ephesus, describes Satan’s fall from heaven to earth (Revelation 12) ; Jesus himself mentioned it in Luke 10:18. By calling Satan the ruler of the air, Paul is emphasizing that Satan is not bound in any one place, but moves freely across the earth. Although Satan is not infinite and all-powerful like God, he still has the capacity to do harm to humankind – especially those not under the protection of Christ. He is not more powerful than God.

In contrast to Satan’s fall, God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realm. Satan plummets as we rise in Christ.

The temple of Artemis was a famous landmark in Ephesus; it was highly regarded as a prominent feature of the city. Paul contrasts this to the church, as the believer’s of God are being built up into a holy temple far greater and glorious than any man made temple ever built.

Worthwhile take-away Paul says that we once walked in the flesh, according to this world's mindset. When you are knowingly and willfully disobedient to God's commands and desires, who is working in you? We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do what? What does it mean that we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone in whom all the building fitly framed together grows to a Holy temple into the Lord, where God inhabits through the Spirit?


Day 2

Word of God Ephesians 3:1-21 – Evening Offering

Paul states clearly that the reason he is being held as a prisoner is because he preached the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles, which includes the Ephesians. It is for their sake that he is writing this letter from prison. Paul is certain that most of his Ephesian readers have heard his testimony of how he was shown the grace of God. In his conversion by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul was given the task of bringing the gospel message of salvation in Christ to the Gentiles. This mystery of bringing both Jews and Gentiles into the Kingdom of God was revealed by Christ to Paul. The Apostle had already written briefly about this revelation, earlier in his letter to the Ephesians, in 1:9-10. By reading a detailed account of this revelation, the Ephesian believers are being told of a mystery that was not revealed to the saints of previous generations. It has only now been revealed by the Holy Spirit to God’s Apostles and Prophets. This mystery is that the Gentile believers and Israel are now heirs of the Covenant promises of Abraham. In the past, the Law of Moses excluded the Gentiles from the Covenant promises of God. Now Jews and Gentiles share together in the promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul tells his Ephesian readers that he became a servant of the gospel of Christ only by the grace of God and the working of His power to change Paul’s life. Even though he is the least of all the believers in Jesus Christ, Paul has been given by God’s grace the mission of preaching to the Gentiles. His task is to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, making it clear to everyone the revealed mystery of the gospel.

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Day 2

Word of God Ephesians 3:1-21 – Evening Offering

This mystery, which has been hidden throughout the ages by God, who created the world and all things, He has in the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. God’s purpose in revealing this mystery is so that the Church may display His wisdom throughout the heavenly realms to spiritual rulers and authorities. God accomplished this amazing work through the obedience and perfect sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ who is our Lord. In Christ’s sacrificial death to free us from the penalty of our sins, and through faith in Christ, we who believe can approach God in freedom and confidence. All Paul asks of the Ephesians is that they should not be discouraged by his sufferings on account of the fact that he is being held prisoner in Rome for the sake of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. Kneeling in reverent prayer on the floor of the prison in Rome, Paul prays to God the Father that the Ephesian believers will not waver in their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The great and majestic Name of God fills all of His Creation. Paul fervently prays that the Ephesians may be powerfully equipped and strengthened out the glorious riches of God. He asks that the Ephesian believers may be spiritually empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that Jesus will live in their hearts. Praying for the Ephesian Church as a community of believers, the Apostle asks that the Church may become deeply rooted and firmly established in love, so that all the saints as one body may display the power of God. Then in spiritual maturity, the Ephesian Christians may fully understand how wide and long, deep and wide, is the love of Christ. It will be clear to all that the love of Christ exceeds any human knowledge. And as mature Christians, the believers will be filled to the brim with the fullness of God through saving faith in Jesus Christ.

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Day 2

Word of God Ephesians 3:1-21 – Evening Offering

Paul lavishes blessings on the Ephesian Church by praising the wisdom of God. God is able go far beyond the limits of human knowledge and abilities. The Almighty One has done far more than anyone on earth has even dared to dream or pray for. And this immeasurable power of God is at work in the heart of every believer. To God may all the glory and praise of the Church be given! And in Jesus Christ throughout all the generations to come, forever! Amen.

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Day 2 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

It’s interesting to note that Paul is writing these revelations to the Ephesians while he is in chains in a dank Roman cell. His body may have been imprisoned, but his spirit was free. He was all the more determined to preach the gospel and Paul wanted them to experience the same majestic glory that Paul had experienced in Christ. Just as in Corinthians, Paul counts these momentary afflictions not worth comparing to the joy of his salvation.

Worthwhile take-away Why did Paul say that his tribulation (being in prison) was his glory. When we are rooted and grounded in love, what will we be able to do? Why is this important? God can do how much more than we can ask or even think? That is according to what, however?


Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 4:1-29 – Morning Offering

Paul, as a prisoner of the Lord, urges the believers in Ephesus to live a life worthy of the calling they have received from God. They must be completely humble and gentle toward one another, treating each other with loving patience. The Ephesians must make every effort to keep unity through the power of the Holy Spirit so that the bond of peace that unites the Church will not be broken by strife and discord. There is only one body of Christ which is the Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Every believer in Christ shares the same hope, faith, and baptism; the One True God is the Father of all and rules over everyone. But Christ has given each believer a portion of grace to carry out the task he assigns in order to build up his Church. Paul quotes Psalm 68:18, which speaks of Christ’s ascension into heaven after his death on the cross and the gifts that he distributes to those who received the gospel of salvation. Paul reasons that when Jesus ascended into heaven, the Glory of his resurrected body filled the whole universe. The gifts that Jesus distributes to those who believe enable them to become apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Each one has a specific task in the Church to build up the body of believers. The final goal is to reach unity in the faith, knowledge of Jesus Christ, and reaching full spiritual maturity so that the Church can resemble Christ in every way. When the Ephesian Christians reach full spiritual maturity in Jesus Christ, they will no longer be infants in the faith, tossed back and forth in the waves, perhaps like little children

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Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 4:1-29 – Morning Offering

playing in the surf at the seashore. Paul is saying that a spiritually mature believer will not be swept along by the crafty teaching of every false prophet or knocked down when faced with persecution for the sake of Christ. Instead, the mature Christian should respond to adversity and temptation by speaking the truth in love. Then we will, as the body of Christ, grow up together through all of life’s circumstances to resemble the Head of the Church, which is Christ Jesus. From Christ, the whole body of the Church is joined together, held together by the bond of love, just as the bones and muscles of a body are connected firmly by ligaments. The growing body of the Church is nourished by love and strengthened by the work done by each member of the body of Christ. Paul, as an Apostle of Christ, insists that the Ephesians must no longer live as the pagans do in the futility of their thinking. Their understanding is darkened, and by ignorance they have been separated from God because of their sin hardened hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they surrendered their lives to engage in every kind of depraved sin with a consuming lust for more. The Apostle reminds the Ephesians that they did not come to know Christ in that way. Paul himself taught them the truths found in the gospel of Christ. The new believers were taught to put off their old ways of sinful living along with its corrupt and deceitful desires. The spiritually young Christians have a new way of thinking and living for Jesus. Now they can live as God intended them to live; in holiness and true righteousness. Every believer is

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Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 4:1-29 – Morning Offering

to put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are now all members of the body of Christ. In your anger, do not sin, Paul says, quoting Psalm 4:4; do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Unresolved conflict between believers only gives the devil a foothold to wreak havoc in the body of Christ. Any believer who once was a thief must steal no more. Rather, he must do useful work with his hands so that he may have something to share with those in need. Paul forbids the new converts at Ephesus to use foul language, slander, and gossip. They are to only use wholesome language that builds up other Christians. Paul reminds them that it is not only fellow believers who listen to what they say. Wholesome language is of great benefit in their witness to the pagan community that surrounds them. Warning them that filthy talk and malicious words directed against fellow believers grieves the Holy Spirit of God; the Apostle reminds them that they have been sealed for the day of redemption. The Ephesians must get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along every form of malice. They must treat each other with kindness and compassion in a spirit of forgiveness. Just as God in Christ has forgiven their sins, so they must forgive the sins of other believers. Urging the Ephesians to be imitators of Christ, Paul speaks as a loving father to the Ephesians, as if they were his children. They are to live a life of love, in the same way Christ loved us so much that he gave himself up for us.

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Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 4:1-29 – Morning Offering

Jesus died on the cross as a fragrant sacrificial offering before God, suffering the punishment that our sins deserve. Paul tells us that there must not even be a trace of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed inside the Church. This is unacceptable and improper for God’s holy people. Obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking are not to be heard among God’s people. Instead, there should be thanksgiving to God for His gift of salvation in Jesus Christ and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. The Ephesians can be assured that no immoral, impure, or greedy person, who is an idolater, will receive an inheritance in Christ Jesus or a place in the Kingdom of God. Do not allow a false teacher to deceive you with empty words. Anyone who preaches a false gospel will bring the wrath of God upon themselves. Do not become partners with anyone who is disobedient to the Lord

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Day 3 Morning Offering

In contrast to the many sects that divided the Jews at this time, Paul emphasizes unity for all believers. This goes back to Jesus, when the night before He was betrayed, He prayed that we would all be one just as God and Jesus are one (John 17:20-26)

Paul correlates spiritual maturity with unity; and conversely spiritual dis-unity with spiritual immaturity.

The Romans would use wax to seal their letters and important documents; the seal, bearing the insignia of the owner, would be pressed into the wax while it was warm and soft. After the wax hardened it was virtually impossible to tamper with a document without breaking the seal. The same is true of Christians in Christ. The new Christians who not long ago were Pagans, are now permanently and authentically part of the kingdom of God. Paul uses this analogy to solidify this concept to the Ephesians.

The day of redemption refers to the second coming of Christ, when Jesus promised to return to earth and bring about a new heaven and a new earth. All Christians wait in eager anticipation for that day.

Worthwhile take-away How should you walk "worthy to the calling to which you are called"? List at least 3 things. We should always speak the truth, but how? We can be angry, but not do what? Give an example of how this would work in your life. What does it mean that 'We should not walk in the vanity of our minds because of the blindness of the heart." How should we be renewed?


Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 5:1-33 – Evening Offering

Jesus died on the cross as a fragrant sacrificial offering before God, suffering the punishment that our sins deserve. Paul tells us that there must not even be a trace of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed inside the Church. This is unacceptable and improper for God’s holy people. Obscenity, foolish talk, and coarse joking are not to be heard among God’s people. Instead, there should be thanksgiving to God for His gift of salvation in Jesus Christ and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. The Ephesians can be assured that no immoral, impure, or greedy person, who is an idolater, will receive an inheritance in Christ Jesus or a place in the Kingdom of God. Do not allow a false teacher to deceive you with empty words. Anyone who preaches a false gospel will bring the wrath of God upon themselves. Do not become partners with anyone who is disobedient to the Lord The Apostle reminds the new Christians that once they were darkness but now they are the light in the Lord. They are to live as children of the light, for the fruit of the light of the gospel of Jesus is all goodness, righteousness, truth, and seeking after the things that please the Lord. They are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather, they are to expose them. Paul says it is shameful even to mention the things the disobedient do in secret. But everything done in the darkness is exposed by the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and becomes visible for all to see. Quoting an early Christian hymn about the light of Christ

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Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 5:1-33 – Evening Offering

awakening the dead and raising them to life, Paul warns the Ephesians not to live as unwise pagans but as wise believers, redeemed by the blood of Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. They are to make the most of every opportunity because they are living in an evil age. They are not to live foolishly, focusing only on themselves, but discerning the will of God for their lives. Advising them not to get drunk on wine that leads them back into the darkness of pagan debauchery, Paul urges them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They are to speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Singing and making music to the Lord, the Ephesian believers are to always give thanks to God the Father for all things, in the name of Jesus Christ. They are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Instructing Christian wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord, Paul tells the married women to honor their husbands as an act of reverence to Christ. Just as the husband is the head of the wife, so Christ is the head of the Church. Jesus submitted to God’s plan of salvation, and willingly came into this fallen world to offer his body as a sin offering, to become the Savior of all those who believe. Just as the Church is the body of Christ, and submits to his authority, so too should wives submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands are instructed to love their wives just as Jesus loved the Church and surrendered his life to her, to make the Church holy. Christ cleansed the Church by washing away with water the stains of sin by fulfilling God’s holy Word through his perfect obedience to his Father’s Commands.

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Day 3

Word of God Ephesians 5:1-33 – Evening Offering

Holy and blameless in the sight of God through the blood of Jesus, the Church has become the bride of Christ. Christian men must follow Christ’s example and love their wives just as they love themselves. A man does not hate his own body, but he feeds it and takes care of it. In the same way, Christ loves the Church by feeding it and caring for it. For those of us who believe are the members of Christ’s body. This is the reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife in marriage. The man and woman will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, says Paul, but an even greater mystery is the bond of love between Christ and the Church. However, each married Christian man must love his wife in the same way that he loves himself, and every married Christian woman must respect her husband.

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Day 3 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Basically Paul is laying out an alternative life style to the darkness and debauchery that the new Christian Gentiles had been a part of in their recent path. He continues to contrast light and darkness.

Paul is thought to be referring to one of the earliest Christian hymns on record in verse 14: Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will rise on you.

Paul is elevating marriage to more than simply a business arrangement or marriage of convenience between a man and a woman. Paul expressly states that this union of marriage reflects Christ and the Church. It is a type and shadow. The man represents Christ, and the woman the church. Christ : church = Man : wife. There is no inferiority or domination in the union. Christ loves and takes care of the church, and in response the church respects and submits to Christ. There is a lesson to be learned regarding Christ and the church as well as how a husband and wife should live out a Godly marriage.

Worthwhile take-away We should be followers of God and do what? Fornication should not be even once named among you. List three other things. Thus we should walk circumspectly, understanding what the will of the Lord is. Paul reveals how God wants a biblical marriage to be. How should a wife submit to her husband? What should a husband do?


Day 4

Word of God Ephesians 6:1-24 – Morning Offering

The Apostle Paul commanded children to obey their parents in the Lord. It is only right that children obey their parents. In the Ten Commandments, in Exodus 20:12, God promises that children who honor their parents will live long in the land and the Lord also promises that things will go well for those who are obedient to their father and mother. Cautioning fathers not to exasperate their children, Paul instructs fathers to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord. Slaves are to obey their earthly masters with respect, fear, and sincere hearts, just as they would obey Christ. Even as Christ left his place in heaven and took on the role of a servant, so too, are Christian servants to fulfill the difficult task of serving a master who may be cruel and wicked. Paul goes on to say that slaves are to diligently obey their masters whether or not they are being watched. In the same way, Jesus Christ served His Heavenly Father perfectly, even going willingly to his death on the cross. Slaves are to serve wholeheartedly as if they are personally serving Christ himself. Paul says that the Lord will reward everyone for the good that he does, whether slave or free. Paul’s instructions gave slaves trapped in the Roman system the same spiritual rewards in the Kingdom of God as those who were free. And Christian masters are to treat their slaves in the same manner. Everyone is under the headship of Christ. A master is not to threaten his slave. In the book of Philemon, Paul intercedes with a Christian master named Philemon on behalf of his runaway slave, Onesimus, who has become a believer in the Lord. Paul reminds both masters and slaves that there is no favoritism with God.

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Day 4

Word of God Ephesians 6:1-24 – Morning Offering

In a dramatic climax, the Apostle Paul tells the spiritually young believers in Ephesus to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. They are to put on the full armor of God so that the Ephesians can stand and fight against all the schemes of the devil, who will exploit every spiritual weakness to destroy a believer in Christ. Our battle is not against a physical enemy of flesh and blood but against the demonic forces of Satan. Paul lists four ranks or levels of fallen angels that make war against God and His Church; rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. In no uncertain terms, Paul commands the believers to wear the full armor of God so that they can stand firm on the day when they are attacked by these forces of evil. No Christian is strong enough to stand up to the devil alone. Only by equipping themselves with the full armor of God, a believer in the Lord will gain the victory. First, a Christian must wear the belt of truth to resist the lies of the evil one. Next, the breastplate of righteousness protecting a heart that is soft and tender to the Lord must be worn. After that, a believer in Jesus must wear on his feet, the warrior’s boots of the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. A Christian is to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God into hostile territory controlled by the devil. Next, a warrior of Christ must carry the shield of faith to put out the flaming arrows of the evil one. No part of the body is to be left unprotected.

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Day 4

Word of God Ephesians 6:1-24 – Morning Offering

Every Christian must guard his mind by wearing the helmet of Salvation. And last of all, he must take up the sword of the Holy Spirit to strike down the enemy of God. Praying on all occasions is a vital part of a Christian’s battle plan. Prayer in the Holy Spirit, requesting help from the Lord, at all times and in every situation will keep the believer on high alert. Never forget to pray for all of the saints in the body of Christ. Paul, while still a prisoner in Rome, asks for the constant prayers of the Ephesians. The Apostle needs the right words to fearlessly proclaim the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as he awaits a trial before Caesar. It is because of the gospel of Christ that he has been arrested by his enemies. But Paul considers himself an ambassador in chains for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. The prayers of the believers strengthen him to boldly proclaim the gospel, which is his calling. Since Paul is in prison, he will send his dear brother Tychius, as his personal representative to visit the Ephesian Church. Tychius, a faithful servant in the Lord, will update the Ephesians on everything that Paul is doing to preach the gospel of Christ and his experiences in Rome. Tychius will also bring a word of encouragement from the Apostle. Concluding his letter, Paul grants a blessing of peace and love to the brothers in the faith of Jesus Christ at Ephesus. Let all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ experience Christ’s grace in their hearts. And may they receive the undying love of Christ for his Church.

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Day 4 Morning Offering

Paul gives wise advice to all members of society as to how to treat their ‘lowliest’ members. In the Roman stratified society, women and children ranked low in the hierarchy. Slaves were low, but they were not the lowest. Roman slaves were often comprised of prisoners of war or debtors; they were not a kidnapped free people. It was possible in these times to buy your way out of slavery. People who were unable to work for whatever reason had to beg to stay alive. They were at the mercy of their ‘betters.’ Thus, Paul had to elevate the thinking of this populace as to how they saw these ‘low’ members. Christianity was breaking down the accepted social norms of the time. People had inherent value – whether woman, children, or slaves. The God of Christianity cared about how each person was treated. This was a radical concept to both the gentiles and the Jews.

Paul uses the example of how to stand up against the power of Satan using the analogy of a Roman solders. Roman soldiers, at this time, were equipped with the best weapons / armor of the day. They were also the best trained and equipped in using these weapons. Paul teaches Christians how to use the spiritual weapons of our warfare to stand against the powers of evil.

Worthwhile take-away In this chapter, what is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it? Why should Father's not provoke their children to wrath? What does that mean? We should be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. One way we do this is through putting on the armor of God. State the pieces of the armor and what each piece does.


Letter to the PHILIPPIANS

Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 4

Word of God Philippians 1:1-30 – Evening Offering

The letter to the Church at Philippi is from Paul and Timothy. It is addressed to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, along with the Bishops or overseers, and the Deacons. Paul greets the believers with grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul joyfully thanks God every time he thinks about the Church at Philippi. When he prays for them, he thanks God for their partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Paul is confident that the God who began a good work in them will carry it through to completion until the day that Jesus Christ returns. Whether in chains and imprisoned or proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in freedom, Paul feels strongly in his heart that the Philippian believers share the grace that God has shown to them in His plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. God can testify how much the Apostle loves the believers and longs affectionately for them with the same passion that Jesus has given to all who have faith in him. The prayer of the Apostle is that the love of the Philippian Church may grow more and more in knowledge and spiritual insight. Then the believers will have a spiritual maturity that allows them to discern what is best in their pursuit of Godliness and purity until the day of Christ’s coming again. This Godliness and purity will allow them to be filled with the fruit of righteousness of Christ, just as Jesus told his disciples in John 15:5 “I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Paul tells the Philippians that producing fruit through Jesus Christ results in the glory and praise of God. Contrary to all human reasoning, Paul wants the Philippians to know that his imprisonment has served to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. The entire palace guard has heard the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone that Paul has come in

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Day 4

Word of God Philippians 1:1-30 – Evening Offering

contact with realizes that it is only for the sake of preaching the gospel of Christ that Paul is now in chains. Not only that, but most of the brothers in Christ have been motivated to speak the Word of God fearlessly and with greater courage. While it may be true that some preach the gospel of Christ out of jealousy as rivals of the Apostles, many others preach Christ sincerely in order to advance the Kingdom of God. The latter preach in a spirit of love. They know that Paul has been imprisoned for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition with insincere motives, in the hope that they can stir up trouble for Paul while he is in chains. None of this matters to Paul. He rejoices that whether with false intentions or in purity of heart, the important thing is that the gospel of Christ is preached to as many people as possible. And Paul continues to rejoice in the knowledge of the prayers of the Church at Philippi, and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Paul may be in prison but this trial will result in his deliverance. Living each day in eager expectation of remaining steadfast to the gospel of Christ, Paul hopes that he will not be put to shame by denying the gospel while undergoing the trials and difficulties of prison life. He prays that he will have enough courage to withstand this ordeal. Paul’s goal is that Christ will be exalted whether he dies in prison, or is acquitted and released to return to his missionary work. For Paul, to live is to serve Christ, and to die is to gain eternal reward. Even though the Apostle Paul has survived numerous attempts on his life, he says that to go on living will mean the fruitful labor of preaching the gospel message of Christ.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Philippians 1:1-30 – Evening Offering

heard God’s plan for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet Paul doesn’t know what he would choose. He cannot say which the best choice is! He is torn between departing from this life to spend eternity with Christ, which is far better, and remaining in this life to serve new believers such as the Philippians and many others. Convinced that his mission is to remain in this life to serve the new Christians in their spiritual development, Paul takes great joy in their growing faith in Jesus Christ. He will be delighted to visit the Church at Philippi when he is released from prison. The Philippians will overflow with joy at the sight of their spiritual father who led them to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Philippians that whatever his outcome, whether he remains imprisoned in Rome, dies there for the sake of Christ, or is released, they are to conduct themselves in a manner that is Christ honoring. Then if Paul is able to visit them, or is only to receive news while he is away, the Apostle will know that they are united in one spirit. Standing together in body, the Church of Philippi will strive to advance the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. With great courage, the Philippians will not be intimidated by the enemies of the gospel. The fearlessness of the believers in Christ at Philippi will be a sign for the enemies of the gospel. Those who expect to easily destroy the new Christian converts at Philippi will instead be destroyed themselves by the power of the gospel. For it is only through the power of God the new believers at the Church of Philippi will be saved. Christ told his disciples plainly that anyone who believes in him will also suffer persecution for him.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God Philippians 1:1-30 – Evening Offering

Now the Philippians are beginning to undergo the same kinds of sufferings that they saw Paul go through when he was arrested with Silas when they came to Philippi. Acts 16:1940 tells how Paul and Silas were severely flogged and put into stocks in a Philippian prison. God sent an earthquake that led to the release of Paul and Silas in a miraculous way. Now however, the Philippians are witnessing Paul enduring the hardships of a prison in Rome.

Word of God


Day 4 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Originally, Paul had not planned to visit Greece; he had planned to stay in Asia Minor (present day Turkey). However, during the night, Paul had a vision from a man from Macedonia begging for help (Acts 16:9). This is the reason that Paul and Silas changed their plans and went to Philippi, a Macedonian city in northeast Greece. Some time after, Paul was imprisoned in Rome. It was from there, that he wrote this letter. Tychicus penned the letter, while Epaphroditus actually delivered it to Philippians.

There were not many Jews in Philippi. Because a minimum requirement of 10 Jewish men were necessary to found a synagogue and they did not meet the criteria when Paul first arrived, they were met by the river. However one of the first converts was a woman named Lydia, a wealthy merchant that catered to the Roman ruling class. She invited them into her home, out of which Paul and Silas first conducted their ministry. Additionally, because of the few Jews, Paul has no Old Testament references; he is speaking predominately to a Gentile audience.

Worthwhile take-away Paul was very happy with the Philippians because they had stayed steadfast in the Word. He was assured that God, 'who had begun a good work in them' would do what? This is the same assurance, that we have in Christ. The Philippians were concerned for Paul, that he was in a Roman prison, but he assured them that his being there had actually furthered the gospel. How is that? Paul agonizes over what he should do -- stay here on earth and continue his ministry or die and go home to be with the Lord. Why does he say 'to abide in the flesh is more needful for you'? What people can you be a blessing to while here on the earth… dorm mates? family? classmates? etc.


Day 5

Word of God Philippians 2:1-30 – Morning Offering

Paul asks the believers in Philippi to share their testimony with him if they have received any encouragement from their union of faith with Jesus Christ. Or have been comforted by the love of Christ or experienced the power of the Holy Spirit touching their lives in tender compassion. Receiving word of their testimony will make the Apostle's joy complete if they also have grown in spiritual maturity in Jesus Christ. The characteristics of spiritual maturity are; sharing a common goal of living out the teachings of Jesus, showing the love of Christ to one another, and being one in spirit and purpose. A mature Christian does nothing out of personal ambition or vain conceit, but in true humility, considers fellow Christians better than himself. Each believer should put the interests of others ahead of themselves. The attitude of the Philippians should be the same that of Jesus Christ as expressed in what may be an early Christian hymn: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death: Even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Philippians 2:1-30 – Morning Offering

Therefore says Paul, at the conclusion of this confessional hymn or statement of the Christian faith, as his dear friends who have remained faithful to his instructions, they are to stay true to their calling. Even in Paul’s absence, the Philippians have not wavered in their faith. Paul urges them to work out their salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who works in them according to the Lord’s own good pleasure in everything that they do. You must do everything without complaint or argument, says the Apostle, so that the believers may develop into blameless and pure children of God. A body of believers can stand without fault in a wicked and perverse generation. This fallen generation is in constant conflict with the Church, the bride of Christ. In comparison to this world of darkness, the believers in Christ will shine like stars in the universe, as the Christians hold out Jesus as the light of the world for all to see. In doing this, Paul can boast that when Christ returns, the Lord will find the Church at Philippi busy at work building the Kingdom of God. Then Paul can be assured that all his sufferings for Christ and his hard work was not done in vain. Paul has not run his race in vain or wasted his labor for nothing. But even now, in a Roman prison awaiting trial before Caesar, Paul knows that he may not survive the verdict of the trial. Whether Paul is executed or is free to live out the remainder of his life, he describes the end of his days on earth as being poured out like a drink offering. Exodus 29:38-41 instructs the Priests who are daily offering sacrifices to the Lord at the Temple, to pour out wine on the sacrificial animals burning on the Altar as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. Paul rejoices that the persecutions and hardships he has endured have

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Philippians 2:1-30 – Morning Offering

led to the salvation of many believers in Philippi. So the Philippians should rejoice and be glad with Paul that they are now in Christ. Paul hopes to send Timothy, a dear brother in Christ, to serve the Philippian Church soon. The Apostle is already eagerly awaiting Timothy’s encouraging report back to him on the spiritual gains made by the Philippians during Paul’s absence. Having no one else like Timothy, Paul tells the Philippians that they will soon be receiving a devoted Pastor who has a genuine interest in their welfare. The way of the world is to look after one’s own best interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But the Philippians know that Timothy has proved himself steadfast and reliable while working under the direction of the Apostle. Paul and Timothy have a close knit bond, as though they are father and son, in the work of preaching the gospel of Christ. As soon as Paul’s situation as a prisoner becomes known, he will send Timothy to them. Hoping for a favorable verdict, Paul will also travel to Philippi if the Lord allows it. Believing that it is necessary to send back Epaphroditus to assist Timothy at Philippi, the Apostle Paul describes him as a fellow soldier, worker, and brother in the Lord. Epaphroditus was the messenger that the Philippians sent to help Paul in Rome by taking care of his needs in prison. Epaphroditus misses the brothers at Philippi and has fallen ill, as the Philippians were distressed to hear. Paul reports that he was so ill that he almost died. But God spared his life in His mercy and also spared Paul the loss of a dear brother. Paul is very eager to send him to Philippi so

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God Philippians 2:1-30 – Morning Offering

that they will be delighted to see him again and Paul can rest in the assurance that he is being properly cared for. The Apostle tells them to welcome Epaphroditus in the Lord with great joy. They should bestow honor on men like him because he almost died for the sake of the gospel of Christ. He risked his life helping Paul on behalf the brothers at Philippi, who were unable to come to Rome in person.

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

When Paul and Silas were in the Philippian prison, they were found singing hymns around midnight (Acts 16:25). It is possible that verses 6-11 was one such hymn or Christian confession (creed). It clearly exalts Jesus as the Christ.

The language ‘shining as stars’ is the idea that these new Gentile Christians should remember they are being elevated with Jesus to the right hand of God. Their conduct / behavior should reflect that. This is similar to the language in the letter to the Ephesians, where we are exalted in a high, spiritual place in Jesus Christ.

Worthwhile take-away Paul tells the Philippians to have the same mindset that was in Christ Jesus. What mindset is that? Because Jesus humbled himself, even to the point of death on a cross, God exalted him to such an extent that at His name, every knee will bow where?. Explain each of the three places. Every tongue will confess that Jesus is what? We get the privilege to bow our knee voluntarily now, rather than to be made to at the end of this age. God will work in you to (a) will and (b) to do according to His good pleasure. That is two things. What does each mean? This is an encouraging statement. Why is that?


Word of God

Day 5

Philippians 3:1-17 - 4”1 – Evening Offering Beginning a new section of his letter, Paul urges his Philippian brothers in Christ to rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for the Apostle to repeat the same message that they have heard before. Paul does this to safeguard their faith against false teachers. He warns them to watch out for the evil dogs who insist that the Gentile believers in Philippi must be circumcised in order to become true Christians. Insulting the false teachers by calling them dogs and mutilators of the flesh, Paul insists that the legal requirements of the old Covenant have been fulfilled by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. In the new Covenant of the Kingdom of God, Gentiles are accepted as adopted sons of God by receiving the gospel of salvation in Christ. Even though it is now pointless to base the confidence of one’s salvation in the Law of Circumcision, which Paul calls confidence in the flesh; Paul has more reason for this confidence than the false teachers. Paul was born into the prominent tribe of Benjamin, he was circumcised on the eighth day, he is of pure Israelite descent, and he was a highly educated Pharisee. He was zealous in regard to the oral traditions of the Religious Leaders. And Paul was a well-known persecutor of the followers of Jesus Christ before his conversion on the road to Damascus. In regard to legalistic righteousness, Paul was flawless in his obedience as a well-respected Pharisee. Whatever Paul has gained by becoming a revered scholar and Pharisee he now considers loss for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even more than that, everything in this life

Word of God


Word of God

Day 5

Philippians 3:1-17 - 4”1 – Evening Offering is a loss in comparison to the greatness of his relationship with Christ Jesus. For his sake, Paul has lost all that he once held dear. Everything was once of great value to Paul he now considers rubbish, so that he gain salvation in Christ and be counted as one of the Lord’s chosen people. What Paul could not earn by righteous obedience to the Law of Moses and the oral traditions of the Pharisees, he has obtained through faith in Jesus, the true righteousness that comes from God. Paul wants nothing more than to know Christ and the power of his resurrection from the dead. He also desires to partake in the fellowship of sharing in Jesus’ suffering, becoming more like him in his obedient death on the cross. In this way, Paul hopes to somehow obtain for himself, his own resurrection from the dead. Since Paul has not yet attained his goal of the resurrection from the dead, in the same way that Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead, or has achieved the spiritual perfection of eternal life with Christ, Paul presses forward with determination. The Apostle wants to take hold of the same resurrected body in the Kingdom of God, as when he saw the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus. In an instant, Jesus took hold of Paul to convert him from a legalistic Pharisee who persecuted Christians to a believer relying solely on faith in Jesus Christ for his salvation. But Paul tells his Philippian brothers in Christ that he does not yet consider his conversion to faith in Jesus Christ to be fully complete. In his race of faith, Paul has not yet crossed the finish line.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 5

Philippians 3:1-17 - 4”1 – Evening Offering Letting go of what is in his legalistic and brutal past, Paul strains forward as he runs toward the prize ahead, eternal life with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven. All of the Apostle’s brothers and sisters who are mature in the Christian faith should view themselves in this way. Life in Christ is not a leisurely walk. It is an all-out sprint to the finish line to be like Christ and attain the same resurrection from the dead. And if there are any differences on points of faith among believers in Christ, God will make it clear. Our only goal should be to focus on the prize ahead, and not let ourselves be distracted by disagreements with other believers. Paul urges the Philippians to imitate the more spiritually Christians by joining them in following the example set by the Apostle. Leaving their old pagan ways behind, the believers at Philippi should take note of the pattern of Christian living that the mature believers have been practicing. In tears, Paul, from a prison in Rome, recalls that many believers in Christ have fallen away from the faith, led astray by the falsehood of attempting to earn salvation through the legalistic righteousness of keeping the Law. By denying the perfect sacrifice of Jesus, they have become enemies of the gospel of the cross of Christ, which is God’s free gift of salvation for all who believe. The destiny of the enemies of Christ is destruction, their god is their appetite for worldly pleasures, and their self-glorification is their shame. The mind of the enemies of the cross is only on earthly things. But Paul tells the Philippians that their citizenship is in heaven. And all Christians should in eager expectation await the return of a Savior from heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ. By the power of Christ, he is able to put all things under his control.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 5

Philippians 3:1-17 - 4”1 – Evening Offering Our lowly earthly bodies will be transformed, so that they will be like the gloriously resurrected body of Jesus. Calling his Philippian brothers and sisters his joy and crown, this is how Paul’s dear friends should stand firm in the Lord!

Word of God


Day 5 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul was born a Roman citizen (from Tarsus); this was a high distinction which afforded Paul many protections under the Law. Many Jews were not Roman citizens from birth. People could earn or purchase citizenship, even freed slaves could become citizens. When Paul was arrested on his first visit to Philippi, the magistrates in the city were alarmed because they had flogged him before they knew he was a Roman Citizen. They could themselves have been severely punished for this infraction. However, Paul considers his true citizenship to be in Heaven with Jesus.

Worthwhile take-away Paul said it was important to repeat some things because we need reminders. Then he listed several important issues. Name two of them. Why did Paul say that he counts his own accomplishments (being at the top of his class, from the most prestigious roots of Benjamin, one of the more esteemed tribes, most zealous in the Jewish faith, and having gone to the highest school (Pharasitical) as dung (doo-doo)? Paul states that he forgets that which is behind and reaches for that which is before. What does this mean and why is this attitude important?


Week Seven


Word of God

Day 1 Philippians 4:1-23 – Morning Offering

Facing discord in the Church of Philippi, the Apostle Paul learned that two deaconess were at odds. Both of them had assisted Paul when he was building the Church at Philippi. The Apostle pleaded with them in his letter to reconcile their differences for the sake of the gospel, and because the names of their fellow workers are written in the Book of Life. Paul urges the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord always, and he repeats this command again for emphasis. Their gentleness should be open for all to see. God is near to the believers at Philippi and everywhere that the gospel of Jesus Christ has reached. Believers in Christ should not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, thankfully make their requests known to God. And the peace of the Lord, which surpasses all human understanding, will safeguard their hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Finally, brothers and sisters, the Apostle tells the spiritually young Christians, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable, focus your mind on these things. Anything that they have learned from the Apostle Paul, the Philippians are to put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Paul rejoices in the concern that the Philippians have shown for him while he is in prison in Rome. However, the Philippians have not had an opportunity to express their love for him. The Apostle does not say this because he is in need. Paul has learned to be content in whatever circumstance he finds himself in for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He knows what it is to live in poverty and he has also experienced seasons of abundance. Whether well fed or hungry, Paul has learned to be content in any and all situations of

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1 Philippians 4:1-23 – Morning Offering

having much or little in this world. Paul states that he can do everything through Christ who gives him strength. Paul is grateful to the Philippian Church for sharing in his hardships in the early days of his ministry in Macedonia. For a time, the Philippians were the only ones supporting Paul financially, even when he went to Thessalonica. Time and time again, Paul received urgently needed assistance from them. It was not as if Paul was looking for a gift, but he was looking to what could be credited to the believers in Philippi as spiritual gain. He is deeply grateful for their support and mentions Epaphroditus by name for his generosity. Paul sees these gifts as being offered in the same way as the fragrant sacrifices offered in the Temple at Jerusalem which are pleasing to God. And God will meet all the needs of Philippian believers according to the Lord’s glorious riches in Jesus Christ. Paul erupts into praise, “To our God and Father be Glory forever and forever! Amen.” The Apostle concludes his letter by greeting all the saints in Philippi in the name of Jesus Christ. All the saints in Rome send the Philippians their greetings, especially those belong to Caesar’s household. Paul ends his letter with, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”

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Word contextualized

Day 1 Morning Offering

Paul’s experience in Philippi ended on a rocky note. Paul and his companion Silas were thrown into prison overnight. Paul had cast an evil sprit out of a slave girl who had been making money through fortune telling; when the evil spirit was gone, she could no longer predict the future. This made her masters very upset; they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities. After a severe beating, the magistrates threw them into prison. Through a miraculous earthquake, Paul was freed. As a result, the jailor and his family became saved. However, this concluded Paul’s first visit to Philippi; he left there and went to Thessalonica. (Acts 16).

Paul had many women in the ministry with him. At the close of the letter he mentions Euodia and Syntyche who both were co-laborers with him as well as church leaders. Unfortunately, at this time they were feuding. Paul models how to deal with conflict in the church.

Paul had a soft spot for the Philippians. They had received him well, and continued to support him financially while in prison. Paul especially appreciated their hospitality and consistent faith in the Gospel.

The gospel of Christ is advancing rapidly through the Roman empire, even to the palace guard. At the close of this letter, Paul refers to some of Caesar’s household that had been saved. The gospel was infiltrating the very top Roman leadership without raising an army or firing a single shot.

Worthwhile take-away Paul lets us know that we should be anxious for nothing. What should we do then when times come up that would cause us to feel scared, afraid, or anxious? What will happen when we do? Paul gives a list of things that we should be thinking and meditating about. List 5 of them. Paul said that he had to LEARN to be content in every situation. How did he learn to do this? Think about how he stops being anxious about things.


Letter to the COLOSSIANS

Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossia ns Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Word of God

Day 1

Colossians 1:1-29 – Evening Offering Paul opens the letter to the Colossian Church as an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, along with their brother Timothy. This letter is written to the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse. He blesses them with grace and peace from God our Father. Paul and Timothy always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when they pray for the Colossians. They have heard of their faith in Christ Jesus and of the love they have for all the saints. This love and faith spring up from the spiritual treasures that are stored for them in heaven. These are the same treasures that Jesus spoke of in gospel passages such as Mathew 6:19-21. All over the world, the seed of the gospel that has been planted is now growing and bearing fruit. At the Colossian Church, much fruit has been borne since the day that they first heard the gospel message preached and understood the grace of God in all its truth. Epaphras, on behalf of the Apostles, was the first faithful minister of Christ to bring the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to the Colossians. Not only that, but Epaphras also told the Apostles of the love of the Colossians in the Holy Spirit. The reason that Paul and Timothy prayed continuously for the Colossian Church was the report that they had received from Epaphras. Asking God to fill the new Colossian believers with the knowledge of His will, the Apostles pray that they will grow spiritually wiser with an ever deepening understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Colossians 1:1-29 – Evening Offering

Paul and Timothy specifically pray that the Lord will equip the Colossians to lead mature lives that are worthy of their calling as followers of Jesus. Pleasing the Lord with every word, thought and action, the new believers in Colosse must now bear the fruits of good works, having gained the knowledge of God and His plan of salvation. Strengthened by all the power given in the glorious might of God to those who receive Christ as Savior and Lord, the Colossian believers are gaining the spiritual fruits of endurance and patience. Paul and Timothy joyfully give thanks to God the Father, who has qualified the Colossians to share in the inheritance of the saints in His Kingdom. For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, taking us out of the realm of Satan and giving us a place in the Kingdom of God, for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He loves. It is in the perfect sacrifice of Christ that we have redemption and forgiveness from our sins. The Apostle Paul attests that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the image of the invisible God the Father. As the firstborn Son of God, Christ rules over all of creation. For by Jesus, all things were created: Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. All rulers and kingdoms on earth are subject to the Son of God. All things were created by Christ and for him. Jesus Christ is eternal and existed before the world was made.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Colossians 1:1-29 – Evening Offering

Jesus is the one who holds all things together. He is the head of the body of believers that form his Church. Christ is at the forefront of bringing about the Kingdom of God and he is the first to rise from the dead in a glorified body and ascend to heaven. Christ has supremacy over everything in heaven and on earth. God the Father was pleased to send Jesus to earth as the perfect representation of God’s infinite holiness and righteousness in human form. God’s plan of salvation was to send Jesus to earth as His representative so that God could once again be reconciled with the fallen human race. Jesus Christ by his perfect life and obedience to his Heavenly Father, reconciled heaven and earth by fulfilling the demands of God’s Covenant. Jesus atoned for the rebellion and sinful disobedience of mankind by offering his shed blood as a sin offering on the cross. Paul reminds the Colossians that not long ago, they were completely alienated from God. In their evil thoughts and wicked deeds, the Colossians were opposed to God in every way. But now God has reconciled them to Himself through the body of Christ which was offered up on the cross as a sacrifice to pay for their sins. Jesus has brought the Colossians into the Kingdom of God and has presented them before his Heavenly Father as holy in God’s sight, without blemish, and free of any accusation. But Paul also reminds the Colossians that they must stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ and not lose hope in the promise of salvation held out in the gospel.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Colossians 1:1-29 – Evening Offering

This is the same gospel that they heard when they were saved. And this message is now being proclaimed to every living person under heaven. For this reason, Paul states that he has become a servant of the gospel of Christ Jesus. Paul rejoices in the suffering that he has endured for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of his sufferings, the Colossian believers have been brought into the Kingdom of God. But the Apostle believes that he will have to endure even greater pain to bring the saving gospel of Christ to save even more people. By comparing his sufferings to the pain and agony that Jesus endured on the cross, Paul, an Apostle, realizes that he has not yet suffered to the extent that Christ has suffered. This is the price that Paul is willing to pay in order to reveal the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile world. This mystery is God’s plan of salvation for anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. Previously, God’s salvation was reserved only for His chosen nation of Israel. But now God has revealed the Glorious riches of the gospel to the saints that have received Christ as Savior and Lord. This mystery has been revealed to the Colossians who accepted Christ and live in the hope of eternal Glory in the Kingdom of God. Paul and others continue to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, teaching those who live in foolish ignorance of all the wisdom of God. Paul’s aim is to present all those who were

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God Colossians 1:1-29 – Evening Offering

cleansed from their sins by the blood of Jesus before God as perfect and flawless in Christ. This is the reason why Paul has worked so hard and suffered so much with all of his energy. But what drives Paul to labor tirelessly is the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within him.

Word of God


Day 1 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul wrote this letter to the people of Colosse in Asia Minor from a Roman prison; he wanted to encourage the Christians here, who had grown under the leadership of his friend and fellow coworker Epaphras, but who were beginning to get carried away by false doctrine. Paul himself had never visited this church; Epaphras founded this particular church.

Worthwhile take-away Paul heard two good things about the people at Colosse. What were they? Paul clearly states that Jesus created everything, 'visible and invisible, ...thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers' What is an example of a throne that God created? In addition, Paul states that all things were not only created by Him but ______ Him. How does this relate to you? Paul states that you were once alienated from God (that is a fact) and that you were enemies of God in your mind.' How do you know that God did not think about or treat you as an enemy? Have you ever thought / believed something that you later found out wasn't true? God is and never has been 'out to get you.'


Day 2

Word of God Colossians 2:1-23 – Morning Offering

The Apostle Paul wanted the Colossians to know much he is struggling for them and other believers in the region. Since the Churches were growing rapidly, many of these new Christians have not met Paul personally, but have only learned about him from the first converts. The Apostle’s purpose is that all of the new believers may be encouraged in heart and unified in love. Then these latest members of the Kingdom of God will enjoy the full riches of completely understanding God’s plan for salvation through faith in Christ. The mystery of God bringing the Gentiles into the Church is through the perfect fulfillment of the Covenant by the perfect life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in the Word of God are revealed in Christ. The reason that Paul is including this in his letter to the Colossians is so that they will not be deceived by the polished arguments of false teachers. Even though the Apostle is absent from the Colossian Church in body, he is with them in spirit. Paul is delighted to learn how the believers have adhered to his instructions and have remained obedient to the gospel of Christ. He is greatly relieved that they have stood firm in the faith while he has been in prison. Just as the Colossian believers received Christ Jesus as Lord, they must be careful to continue to live in him. Staying rooted and built up in the Christian faith, the Colossian Church is to grow ever stronger in their walk with the Lord, and never fail to offer God thanks for His marvelous plan of salvation.

Word of God


Word of God Colossians 2:1-23 – Morning Offering

Day 2

Paul warns the new converts to stay alert so that no one takes them prisoner through empty and deceptive philosophy based on human tradition. The Colossians must rely on the gospel of Christ and not on the simplistic principles that this fallen world holds up as wisdom. Jesus Christ came into the world with all the fullness of his Heavenly Father in a human form. In the same way, the Colossian believers have been given the fullness of Christ, who is the head of every power and authority. In Christ, the Gentile believers were also circumcised in the sense that their old sinful nature has been cut away from them. This is not a circumcision performed by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ. The person who repents of his sins and receives saving faith in Jesus Christ, is buried with Christ in baptism and raised with Jesus. This life transformation is through the believer’s faith in the power of God, who raised Jesus from the dead on Easter morning. When the Colossian believers were still dead in their sins, before they heard the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, Paul describes their sin-hardened hearts as uncircumcised. The Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 9:25, 26, says that the sin-hardened Israelites, who have been circumcised according to the Law, are no better off than the pagan nations that practice circumcision, but do not know the God of Israel. But when the Colossians received Jesus into their hearts, they repented of their sins and came alive spiritually as members of the body of Christ. Jesus fulfilled the old written code of the Law of Moses with its regulations by his sacrificial death on the cross. The written code once condemned a sin-hardened Israelite like Paul and denied the Colossian Gentiles access to the Kingdom of God.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2 Colossians 2:1-23 – Morning Offering

Jesus took the written code away, nailing it to the cross. By his perfect sacrifice on the cross, Jesus disarmed the evil spiritual authorities of the devil and his angels, along with earthly authorities such as Herod, Pilate, and all the Religious Leaders in Jerusalem, who took part in the death of the Son of God. Jesus made a public spectacle of all authorities and powers, triumphing over them by his death and resurrection. Therefore, says the Apostle Paul, the Colossians believers are not to let anyone judge them because they are not observing the outward practices and traditions of the old written code. The false teachers want to judge the Colossians by what they eat and drink, or what festivals they observe. Some of these festivals are New Moon celebrations, and the Sabbath Day. Before Christ died on the cross, these things found in the Old Covenant were only a shadow of the things that are to come in the Kingdom of God. The reality of the New Covenant is found by receiving faith in Jesus Christ. Paul makes it absolutely clear that the Colossians are not to let anyone, who delights in the false humility of thinking that they can earn their salvation, by keeping the outward practices and traditions of the Old Covenant, mislead them. And the practice of worshiping angels, which is popular with the false teachers, will keep the Colossians from winning the prize of eternal life with Christ. A person that teaches such things goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind fills him up with false notions. Anyone who is led astray and teaches these things has lost his connection with the Head of the Church, who is Jesus Christ. The body of the Church of Christ is supported by and held together by its ligaments and sinews. This body continues to grow as God nurtures the Church and causes it to grow.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God Colossians 2:1-23 – Morning Offering

Since the Colossian believers have died with Christ to the rules and regulations of this world, why do they submit to the dietary and cleanliness Laws of the Old Covenant that was fulfilled by the death of Jesus on the cross? Paul emphasizes that the false teachers who pass judgment on the new Christian converts insist that they do not handle anything that is unclean, perhaps like a mildewed article of clothing or something else forbidden in the Law. Or eat unclean food, even though Jesus declared all food to be clean in Mark 7:1-23. The false teachers forbade touching anything unclean, such as a person with leprosy, even though Jesus touched lepers when he healed them, Luke 5:13. Paul told the Colossians that man-made rules and regulations that have been made obsolete by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus are destined to perish. The hypocrisy of the false teachers is obvious. They misuse these obsolete Commands to give themselves the appearance of wisdom. While their self-glorifying worship, false humility, and harsh treatment of their bodies may appear to make them look like spiritual guides, these things are useless in restraining the greed and lust of the false teachers.

Word of God


Day 2 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

In ancient times, before our modern calendar was invented, a lunar calendar was generally used. This calendar matched the phases of the moon, such that every new moon indicates a new month. The new moon festival was a monthly festival celebrated at the beginning of each lunar cycle (approx. 29.5 days). During the festival, the Jewish people would give thanks for God’s provision and goodness. Even today, the Jewish people calculate their holidays, such as Passover, by the lunar calendar.

In Colosse, the false teachers were trying to force the Gentile Christians to observe the Jewish religious festivals. In doing so, the Jewish Christians were trying to make them conform to the old religious practices.

Worthwhile take-away What does it mean for you to follow this command: 'As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him." Give me two specific examples of how you can do this. Paul cautions that you would not be deceived by philosophy or vain deceit or by the traditions of men or by how the world thinks (rudiments of the world). Stop and think for a minute. What traditions or world thinking have you heard that could pull you away from the truth of the gospel of Christ? Jesus not only made you alive with Him, He forgave all of your trespasses -- blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against you. Why does the scripture say, 'Everything is nailed to His cross.' Is anything that you've done, not nailed? [Hint: Did you die with Christ? v 20, 3:1]


Day 2

Word of God Colossians 3:1-25 – Evening Offering

Since the Colossian believers have been raised with Christ, they must set their hearts on the things of heaven where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Members of the body of Christ are to also set their minds on eternal things that are above, not on the temporary and perishable things of this earth. Those who have received Christ as their Savior and Lord have died to this world and their life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Jesus, who has given the Colossians eternal life, returns to this earth, then those who are saved through the blood of Jesus will appear with him in Glory. The Apostle Paul tells the Colossians to put to death everything that belongs to their old sinful lives before they were saved by faith in Christ Jesus. A long list of sins and evil desires is given by Paul, to make it clear to the Colossian believers that the wrath of God is coming on all those who harbor evil thoughts and practice wickedness, which is idolatry. This was the pagan lifestyle before the Colossian believers were washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. Now, admonishes Paul, they must also get rid of such things as; anger, rage, malice, slander, and all kinds of filthy language from their speech. They are not to lie to one another, since they have gotten rid of their old selves when they repented of their sins, accepted Jesus as the Lord of their lives, and were baptized, receiving the Holy Spirit. This new self is being renewed in the knowledge of the gospel of Christ so that the Colossian believers can increasingly reflect the image of the God who created them.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God Colossians 3:1-25 – Evening Offering

In the body of Christ there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, those who have been circumcised from those who are not circumcised. There is no difference between those who speak Greek or Hebrew and those who speak a foreign language. Those living inside the Roman Empire have the same standing in the body of Christ as the barbarians who live outside of the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Enslaved persons and those who are free belong equally to the Kingdom of God. Christ alone is what truly is important for all believers. Since the Colossian believers are God’s chosen people, holy and deeply loved by their Heavenly Father, they must clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. They must bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances they may have with their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. They are to forgive others as the Lord forgave them. Paul teaches them that over all these virtues put on love, which binds all the Christians together in perfect unity. Paul instructs the believers in Colosse to let the peace of Jesus Christ rule in their hearts. Since the believers are members of the body of Christ, they are called to live together in peace and thankfulness. Allow the gospel message of Christ living in your heart to richly bless you as build up the spiritual maturity of one another. In the wisdom that comes from God, teach and admonish your fellow believers by remaining true to the gospel of Christ and by rejecting all false teachings. Express your thankfulness to God as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in heartfelt gratitude to the Lord.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God Colossians 3:1-25 – Evening Offering

And, says the Apostle Paul, whatever you do, whether in speech or actions, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And give thanks to God the Father for His wonderful plan of salvation through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Since many of the Colossian believers were recent converts, Paul gave them basic rules for holy living. He told wives to submit to their husbands, as is in the pattern of obedience that Christ demonstrated in the Garden of Gethsemane, by submitting to his Heavenly Father’s will. Husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the Church. They are not to be harsh with their wives. Children are to obey their parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. The Apostle advises fathers not to be overly strict with their children, or they may become discouraged in their Christian faith. Slaves are to obey their masters at all times, whether they are being watched by their masters or not. They must serve their masters with sincerity of heart as if they were serving Jesus Christ. Diligent Christian slaves know that they will receive an inheritance from the Lord. They will be rewarded because it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom they are serving. Anyone who wrongs their master or is unfaithful will be repaid for his wrong. Paul stresses that there is no favoritism between masters and slaves in the Kingdom of God.

Word of God


Day 2 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul emphasizes the equality of people in Christ. Every strata of class division, ethnicity, social position, etc. dissolved under the rule of Jesus Christ. In the Roman empire at that time there were class divisions (Roman citizens vs non citizens), economic disparity (rich and powerful vs over poor and weak), ethnicity (Scythians, those barbaric people who lived north of the Roman boundary vs the cultured people (i.e. Spain, India Africa), and slave vs free people. None of these distinctions matter in Christ.

Worthwhile take-away Because you have risen with Christ, what should your attitude be? Paul tells us to 'mortify our members.' What does that mean? Read the two lists (v5, 8-9). What in those lists struck you (i.e., stood out to you)? Choose one of them and decide how you will 'mortify your members’ in it. Now look at the list in verses 1-15. What struck you in these passages? How can His word dwell in you richly?


Day 3

Word of God Colossians 4:1-6 – Moring Offering

Paul continues describing how masters should treat their slaves. Masters are to provide their slaves with what is right and fair, because they too, have a Master in heaven. As Paul nears the end of his letter to the Colossian Church, he instructs them to be devoted in prayer. They are to be watchful and thankful. The Colossians are to be in constant prayer for Paul and Timothy that God may open a door for their preaching the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The Apostle asks them to especially pray for Paul and Timothy as they preach. Paul’s fervent desire is to proclaim the mystery of Christ’s gospel to the Gentiles. Then the Gentiles will become aware that they are now welcome in the Kingdom of God. Paul asks that he may proclaim the gospel clearly as is his calling. The Colossians must be wise in the way they present themselves to those outside the Church; they are to make the most of every opportunity to share the gospel to those who have not yet heard of Jesus. Their conversation must always be full of grace, seasoned with the salt of faith, Matthew 5:13, so that they will know how to answer everyone, whether they are friendly or hostile to the gospel of Christ. The Apostle Paul tells the Colossians that Tychius will bring them all the news of Paul’s condition in prison and the work he is doing in Rome. Tychius is a dear brother of the Apostle, a faithful minister and fellow servant of the Lord. The reason that Paul is sending him to the Colossian Church is so that they may learn about Paul’s circumstances.

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Day 3

Word of God Colossians 4:1-6 – Moring Offering

They are to receive encouragement that Paul’s sufferings and imprisonment are being used as an opportunity to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Tychius is coming with Onesimus, the runaway slave of the Book of Philemon, who has become a dear Christian brother of Paul. Onesimus is also a brother to the Colossian believers who will tell you everything that is happening in Rome. Paul’s fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. The Colossians are to welcome Mark warmly, even though in Acts 15:39, Paul and Barnabas parted ways over whether to take Mark with them on the next missionary journey. Paul has since reconciled with Mark and Barnabas. Another man named Justin also sends his greetings. Paul notes that Mark and Justin are the only ones with the same Jewish background as Paul, who are preaching the gospel of Christ. They have given Paul great comfort. Epaphras, a fellow Gentile believer to the Colossians, sends his greetings. He constantly wrestles in prayer for the Colossian Church, that you may stand firm in God’s will, grow into spiritual maturity, and receive complete assurance of your faith. Paul testifies that that he is working hard for the Colossian Church as well as the Churches of Laodicea and Hierapolis. The friends of all the believers, Luke the physician, and Demas send greetings. Paul asks the Colossians to give his greetings to the brothers at Laodicea and to a woman called Nympha and the Church that meets at her house. After the Colossians read Paul’s letter, they are to send it to the Church at Laodicea and read the letter from the Laodiceans. They are to urge Archippus to complete the work that

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Day 3

Word of God Colossians 4:1-6 – Moring Offering

he has received in the Lord. Paul states that he has written this letter, or greeting himself. He asks the Colossian believers to remember his chains. He ends the letter to the Colossians with: “Grace be with you.”

Word of God


Day 3 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul wants the Colossians to be his hands and feet – carrying out the ministry on his behalf while he in prison,

Fellow prisoners and former slaves are now co-workers with Paul. Aristarchus, was a fellow prisoner who had been involved with Paul at the riot in Ephesus; Onesimus, was a former runaway slave; This exemplifies what Paul was teaching in the last chapter. All men are equal under God.

Worthwhile take-away Paul says, 'Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer every man.' How does your conversation change when engulfed in grace? What is the salt that it is seasoned with? When you put salt on your food, do you put a lot or a little? Another scripture says, 'Tell the truth in love.' How does that relate to this scripture? Onesimus is described as what kind of a brother? Can the same be said of you? Epaphras shows his love for the Corinthians by doing what? Do you have a prayer list? Do you labor fervently in prayer for others (family? friends? Faculty members? Classmates?)?


Letter to the

1 Thessalonians Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossia ns Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Word of God

Day 3

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 – Evening Offering Paul’s letter to the Church at Thessalonica was sent by Paul, Silas, and Timothy. It is addressed to the Church of the Thessalonians in the Name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul greets his readers by blessing all of them with the grace and peace of Christ Jesus. Paul and his ministry companions thank God in their prayers for the Church at Thessalonica. They continually remember to offer before God the Father, the works of the Thessalonians that have been accomplished through faith in the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. The spiritual fruit that the Thessalonians have produced has been a labor of love for the Church of Jesus Christ. Their steadfast endurance has been inspired by the hope of everlasting life and eternal rewards as members of the Kingdom of God. The Apostle says that the brothers and sisters in Thessalonica, who are loved by God, know that they were chosen by God on account of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel, which came to the Thessalonians, was not only simple talk, but came in the power of the Holy Spirit, and was preached with deep conviction. The Thessalonians witnessed firsthand how the Apostle Paul and his companions lived among them, modeling Christ-like behavior for their sake. These former Gentile pagans became imitators of Paul and of Jesus Christ; in spite of the severe persecution, the Thessalonians welcomed the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ with joy, as it was implanted in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.

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Word of God

Day 3

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 – Evening Offering The brothers and sisters in Thessalonica matured spiritually so that they also became models of Christian living in the surrounding pagan region. Then the message of God’s plan of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ became known everywhere. Therefore, it is not necessary for Paul to embellish his report on the believers in Thessalonica. The reputation of the Church of Thessalonica is well known throughout the region. The believers in other areas saw how the Thessalonians turned from idols to the Living God. Now the former idolaters are serving the One True God. They are eagerly awaiting the return of Christ Jesus from heaven, whom God his Father had raised up from the dead. The Thessalonians are waiting for Jesus to rescue them from the coming wrath of God against this sinful and unrepentant world.

Word of God


Day 3 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians from Corinth. They were a young, but stable / faithful church. Most scholars believe that the tone of this letter is very pastoral.

Worthwhile take-away The Thessalonians took serving Christ seriously, right from the beginning, even though they received the word with much affliction. What type of affliction do you think accompanied the word? Why did this make them good role models for the churches in Macedonia and Achaia? Paul says that he peached the word to the Thessalonians, not in word only, but how? These Thessalonians were fervent, spreading their faith, being examples, and living their lives actively waiting for what? How do you live your life?


Word of God

Day 4

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 – Morning Offering Paul tells the Thessalonians that his first visit to them was not in vain. Paul and Silas had previously suffered false arrest, was severely flogged, and placed in stocks inside of a jail, as described in Acts 16:19-40. In spite of this opposition, with God’s help, they were able to bring the gospel to the Thessalonians and other areas. Paul’s motivation for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ does not come from error, or impure aspirations, nor were Paul and Silas trying to deceive the Thessalonians. On the contrary, they have been preaching the gospel as men who have been entrusted with the Word of God. Not trying to please human beings, Paul and Silas were instead trying to measure up to the Lord’s standards, and God continually tested their hearts. The Thessalonians know that the gospel of Christ was not preached with flattery, nor did Paul and Silas put on a false front while preaching Christ as God is their witness. Never did they seek praise from the Thessalonians or anyone else. As Apostles of Christ, they could have forced the Thessalonians to provide for their every need. But Paul and Silas came in a spirit of gentle humility among them, like a mother caring for her little children. Out of love for them, Paul and Silas not only shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Thessalonians, but their lives as well. The believers became like family to Paul and Silas. No doubt the Thessalonians remember how they worked among the new converts day and night in order not to be a burden to anyone while Paul and Silas preached the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Thessalonian believers that as Gentile Christians, they are witnesses to the power of saving faith in Jesus Christ. And so is God the Father that sent His Son Jesus

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Word of God

Day 4

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 – Morning Offering to suffer and die so that everyone who believes in him may receive eternal life. The Thessalonians, their sins washed clean by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, are now holy, righteous and blameless in the sight of God. The Thessalonians know that Paul and Silas, along with others, nurtured the faith of each of the new converts in the same way that a loving father tenderly cares for each one of his children. Paul and his coworkers in the Lord, using the encouragement and comfort of the gospel of Christ, urged each new believer to live a life worthy of the God who called each one of them to become members of the family of God. Paul and Silas thanked the Lord continuously because the Thessalonians had received the Word of God from the preaching of Paul. As Gentile pagans, the Thessalonians accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, not as the wisdom of man, but as a message from the Lord, which is actually the Word of God. The Word of God is at work of those who have heard and believed it to be the truth. The brothers and sisters in Thessalonica imitated the Jewish believers in the first Christian Churches in Judea. The Thessalonians, like the Judean believers, have suffered persecution from their own countrymen for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Jews who rejected Jesus killed the Son of God as their forefathers had killed the Prophets of God. They also drove the Apostles out of Jerusalem and Judea and are the enemies of all the Christian believers. These unrepentant Jews even try to keep the saving gospel of Jesus Christ from being preached to the Gentiles in order to prevent them from receiving

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Word of God

Day 4

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 – Morning Offering salvation. By working against God’s plan of salvation, they are heaping up their sins beyond measure. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. Paul tells the believers in Thessalonica that they may have been separated for a short time physically, but not in spirit. The Apostle Paul and Silas made every effort to see them. Even though Paul intensely longed to be with them, his plans were thwarted by Satan, who prevented Paul and Silas from visiting the Thessalonian Church. He asks, “What is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the Presence of the Lord? Is it not the saved Gentile believers in Thessalonica?” Indeed, says the Apostle, the Thessalonians are our joy and glory, the fruits of the hard and sometimes painful and difficult work of Paul and Silas. Paul could not bear to be out of contact with his beloved Thessalonian Church any longer, though he thought that it was best to remain in Athens, So Paul sent Timothy, a brother in Christ, and fellow worker in the Kingdom of God to them.

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Day 4 Morning Offering

Worthwhile take-away There are many references in this passage to how Paul saw himself as a loving father to the Thessalonians; they had his heart. List two. Scripture tells us that the one who preaches the gospel should be sustained (financially) by the ones to whom he is ministering. Yet in verse 8, Paul says he and his co-workers did not avail themselves of this right. Instead they worked hard -- Paul working as a tent maker and also preaching the gospel full time. Why? Paul recounts that the Thessalonians received the gospel 'not as the word of men, but as it is in truth.' What does that mean? What behavior would show this to be true? By doing this, Paul affirms that the word of God would effectually work in them. How does the word effectually work in believers? Previously, Paul tells us how we should minister -- in truth, boldness, with signs and wonders manifested, etc. Now Paul specifically lists ways in which you should not preach (i.e., in deceit, uncleanness, with flattering words, etc.) God cares about your heart motivations. List two more ways in which you should not preach the gospel of Christ.


Word of God

Day 4

1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 – Evening Offering

Paul sent Timothy, a faithful co-worker in Christ, is to build up the spiritual maturity of the Thessalonians in order to withstand the persecution that Paul knows will come. He tells the new converts that, as Jesus told his disciples to expect trouble in such passages as John 16:33, so too should they expect to suffer for the sake of Christ. And the Thessalonians have already suffered to some extent for the gospel. This is why Paul was so concerned for them. He feared that Satan may have tempted them to leave the faith and then all of the work of Paul and Silas would have been for nothing. Paul informs the Thessalonians that Timothy has arrived with the good news of their Christ-like faith and love. Timothy spoke of the pleasant memories of the believers during the time that Paul had spent in Thessalonica. The Apostle misses the fellowship of the Thessalonians just as much they miss Paul. Throughout all the distress and persecutions that Paul and Silas endured, their morale was lifted by the faith of the Thessalonian Church. Now Paul and Silas are invigorated with fresh energy because the believers are standing firm in their faith. Paul wonders how they can thank God enough for the faith of the Thessalonians. Their faith has filled Paul and Silas with immeasurable joy. Praying day and night, they earnestly ask the Lord that they may be allowed to visit the Church of Thessalonica to supply what is lacking in their faith. The fervent prayer and ardent desire of Paul is that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will clear the way for Paul to be released from prison. Then, if there are no other

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Word of God

Day 4

1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 – Evening Offering obstacles, Paul and Silas will be able to go to Thessalonica. The Apostle’s prayer is that the Lord will make the love of the Thessalonian Church increase until it overflows into the lives of others. They are to love each other and pour the love received from Paul and Silas into the unsaved community around them. Paul also prays that God may strengthen their hearts so that they will be blameless and holy in the sight of God. Then when Jesus comes again, the Thessalonian believers will be prepared to meet the Son of God when he comes with all of his angels.

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Day 4 Evening Offering

Worthwhile take-away The thrill and comfort that Paul feels on discovering that the Thessalonians had remained faithful permeates this chapter. Why did Paul think that the Thessalonians may have become lukewarm or lose their vigor for serving Christ? Under similar circumstances, would your faith waver? Paul not only desires to visit the Thessalonians, but he also wants to perfect what? The Thessalonians had a strong faith, yet there was room for improvement. What about your faith? Where may you be lacking? Paul concludes this chapter with a h heartfelt prayer for the Thessalonians. He prayed that there love would increase and abound towards each other and towards all men. He went on to say WHY or for what purpose he prayed this. Why did Paul pray for increased love for them -- so that what would happen?


Word of God

Day 5

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18 – Morning Offering As the Apostle Paul finishes this section of his letter, he reminds the Thessalonians of how they had been instructed to please the Lord. He encourages the believers to live even holier lives through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Thessalonian Church had been taught well by Paul and Silas, who taught in the authority of Christ. It is the will of God that each believer should be sanctified: This includes avoiding sexual immorality; each Christian should learn how to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable. A believer in the Lord is not to live in the passionate lust of momentary desires as do the heathens, who do not know God. In this manner, no one should exploit a fellow brother or sister in Christ for their own sexual gratification, for the Lord will punish all who commit such sins within the Church of Christ. Paul and Silas have warned and told the Thessalonians of the consequences such actions. God did not call us to be sexually impure or practice hedonism. We are called to live a holy life. Paul can only conclude that anyone who rejects Paul’s instructions does not reject the man-made rules of Paul, but the rules set by God, who has given the Thessalonians His Holy Spirit. Paul commends the brotherly love practiced by the believers at Thessalonica. He says that they have been taught by God how to love one another. In addition to their love for one another, the Thessalonians had extended their love to believers throughout the region of Macedonia.

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Word of God

Day 5

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18 – Morning Offering Yet Paul and Silas urged the Thessalonians to deepen their love more and more. The Apostle Paul advises the Thessalonians to strive to live quiet lives by not provoking their pagan neighbors into needless arguments or confronting the civil authorities. Instead of meddling in the business of others, they should work diligently with their hands, just as Paul and Silas had done while in Thessalonica. It is the example of a peaceful and hardworking follower of Jesus Christ that will win the respect of the outsider. Hard work will also allow them not to depend on others for monetary support as they present the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul does not want his Thessalonian brothers and sisters to be ignorant about what happened to the believers that have died. Paul told them that they are not to grieve like the pagans do that are without hope and think that death is the end of everything. The follower of Christ believes that Jesus died and rose again. This is why Christians believe that God will bring those who died believing in Christ along with Jesus when he returns triumphantly to earth again. Paul reveals that according what was revealed to him by Jesus himself, those who are still alive when Christ returns will not go ahead of those who died, into heaven. The brothers and sisters who have already died will miss out on nothing. The dead will receive their Heavenly rewards along with those who remain alive when Christ comes again. Paul says that Jesus will come down from heaven at the loud command of his Heavenly Father, accompanied by the voice of the archangel.

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Word of God

Day 5

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18 – Morning Offering At the trumpet call of God, the dead who believed in Christ will rise first. After that, those in Christ who are still alive will be taken up with the risen saints to the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. Then we will all be together with the Lord forever. Paul urges the Thessalonians to comfort each other with these words.

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Worthwhile take-away Paul specifically says that you should learn how to control your own body. It’s not always intuitive. Think about a way that you can control your own body. What can you do? Another edict is for you to ‘mind your own business.’ Take a moment to really think about this. How does this impact your conversation? Your behavior? Your life? Paul tells us to encourage one another with the words that he shared about Believers who have died. Synthesize what he is saying. Based upon what Paul has said, what can you concisely say to the grieving person who has lost a Believer. What about a non-believer?


Word of God

Day 5

1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 – Evening Offering

Paul tells his brothers and sisters in Thessalonica that it is not necessary to speculate about the times and the possible dates of the Lord’s Second Coming. All the believers know that Jesus said himself in Luke 12:39 that his return would come at an unexpected time, like a thief in the night. While people are convinced that they are living in peace and safety, disaster will come on them suddenly. They will be unable to escape the Second Coming of Jesus. Paul compares the coming of Christ like labor pains suddenly coming on a pregnant woman. But those who are redeemed through faith in Jesus Christ are not living in darkness. They should not be surprised by the sudden appearance of Christ. As Christians, we are all children of the light. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. There is no reason for us to be like the others who are asleep, and not even watching for the return of Christ. We must remain alert and self-controlled. Paul says that those who get drunk will get drunk at night. But since believers in Christ belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation like a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer the wrath of His righteous judgment, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Christ forever. Therefore, the believers should encourage one another to remain faithful and alert, which Paul says that they are already doing. Paul asks the brothers and sisters of the Church at Thessalonica to respect the hardworking Pastors and Elders who are in authority over them in Christ. Submit to their discipline and hold them in the highest regard for their work as an offering of love to Jesus Christ, the head of the Church. Live in peace with one another.

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Word of God

Day 5

1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 – Evening Offering The Apostle Paul, along with other Apostles, warns those who are idle in the Church to get busy working in the Kingdom of God. The Christian leaders are also to encourage the timid to become bold in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those with abilities and resources must help those who are weak. The Thessalonian believers are to be patient with everyone. Make sure that no one seeks revenge against another believer, but instead, treat other Christians with kindness. Show kindness to those outside of the fellowship as well. Always be joyful and pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for the Thessalonians who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit or treat prophecies, the messages of God’s Holy Word with contempt. Test everything against the gospel of Jesus Christ. Reject every kind of evil while holding on to the good. Paul concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians by blessing and sanctifying them by the God of peace through and through. "May the whole spirit of the Church of Thessalonica, along with each believer’s soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord who calls each one is faithful and can be trusted to bring each one that He calls to eternal life." The Apostle asks for the prayers of the believers. "Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss of fellowship." Paul charges the Thessalonians in the Name of the Lord to have this letter read before all the brothers and sisters. Paul bestows the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ on them all.

Word of God


Day 5 Evening Offering

Worthwhile take-away This chapter contains so many practical words of wisdom on Godly living. Paul lists there are things that pertain (a) to living honorably and (b) things that pertain to spiritual growth and not being led astray. List two things in each category (honorable living & spiritual development). In v 21, Paul cautions us to prove all things; and hold fast to that which is good. How do you 'prove' all things? Running it by your friends? Reading what the world says about an issue? Reading what the Word says about an issue? Or going to God through the Holy Spirit? What is your 'go to' for determining truth? Paul prays that the Thessalonians would be preserved blameless in spirit, soul (how you think), and body (physically). Reread v. 24. How will that even be possible for them (or you) to do?


Week Eight


Letter to the

2 Thessalonians Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossia ns Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Word of God

Day 1

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 – Morning Offering Like his first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul addressed his second letter to the Thessalonians in a similar fashion, except that he greets them with a more specific blessing, “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul, Silas, and Timothy express a spirit of thankfulness that the Thessalonians are growing in love and spiritual maturity. The Apostle and his companions hold up the Church at Thessalonica as model of perseverance and faith in the face of persecution among all the Churches. All the trials and persecutions that the Thessalonians have endured serve to prove that that God’s Judgment is right and that the Thessalonians will be counted as worthy of the Kingdom of God. However, Paul reminds them that God is also just. Everyone who has brought trouble on the Thessalonians will be repaid in full. The Lord will also grant relief to those believers who been afflicted by persecution. This will happen at the Second Coming of Jesus when he is revealed from heaven in blazing fire accompanied by mighty angels. Jesus will punish those who do not know God and have not received the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These unbelievers will be banished from the Presence of God and the majesty of His power. On that day, when Jesus comes to be glorified in his holy people, all the believers who place their faith in the gospel of Christ, including the Thessalonians, will marvel at this amazing sight.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 – Morning Offering With thanksgiving in mind for the salvation of the believers at Thessalonica, Paul and his coworkers are in constant prayer for the Thessalonians. Paul prays that God may count them as worthy of His calling. And by God’s power, the Lord may fulfill their every Christ like purpose and every act of faith. The reason for this prayer is so that the name of Jesus may be glorified in the Thessalonians, and they may in turn reflect the Glory of God, according to the grace of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 1 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

This is the second known letter that Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church. Paul credits Timothy and Silas (Silvanus) as helping him to write this letter. Like the first letter, Paul penned this epistle in Corinth.

Worthwhile take-away The Thessalonians have suffered much persecution and tribulation, but they have remained faithful. Paul says that it is only right (a righteous thing) that God 'recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.' What does this mean? Elsewhere in the scriptures, the Word of God says that God's gifts and callings are without repentance, meaning that before you were born, He gave you a job. He also gave you the means to successfully complete the job. However, if you accept the job and the grace to do it is up to you. In light of this, what does Paul mean by 'that our God would count you worthy of this calling’? Paul wants the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be glorified in you. How is that possible? Give an example of how Jesus, the Christ name can be glorified in you.


Word of God

Day 1

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 – Evening Offering Paul now speaks of the Second Coming of Christ and Jesus’ gathering of all who placed their faith in him. The Apostle tells the Thessalonians not to be easily unsettled or alarmed by a prophecy by some false apostle, an unfounded rumor, or a forged letter sent to them, claiming to be from the Apostle Paul. If the message is that the Day of the Lord has already come and gone, then it is a false message. The Apostle cautions the Thessalonians not to be deceived, the Day of the Lord will not come until the rebellion occurs. At the time of the rebellion, the ‘Man of Lawlessness’ will be revealed, the man who is doomed to destruction like all those who oppose God and His Son Jesus Christ. This Man of Lawlessness will oppose and exalt himself over everything that belongs to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He will try to usurp the power and authority of the Father of Jesus Christ and even falsely claim to be God. This Man of Lawlessness will demand to be worshiped as God. This liar will set himself up in the Temple of the Lord, proclaiming himself to be God. Paul reminds the Thessalonians that he had warned them of these dangers when he was still with them. So now the believers know what is holding back the Man of Lawlessness, so that he may be revealed by God at the proper time. The secret power of lawlessness is already at work trying to destroy the lawful order of the Kingdom of God and undermining the gospel of Jesus Christ. This lawlessness is restrained by a power that Paul does not name. When that power is removed, the Man of Lawlessness will be revealed. Then the Lord Jesus Christ will overthrow him with a single breath or word of his mouth and destroy the splendor of the

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 – Evening Offering coming of the Man of Lawlessness as a false messiah. The coming of the Man of Lawlessness will coincide with the work of Satan. This work will be displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders. Every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing will be shown in an attempt to persuade the followers of Christ to abandon the faith. Those who perish do so because they refused to love the truth revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. Paul states that it is for this reason that God sent them a powerful delusion. God did this so that those who do not sincerely love Jesus will believe the lie of the Man of Lawlessness. In that way, those who have not wholeheartedly placed their trust in Jesus Christ, but instead loved wickedness, will be condemned. Once again Paul gives thanks for the Church at Thessalonica, brothers and sisters who are loved by the Lord. From the beginning of time, God has chosen them to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and through the belief in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God called the formerly pagan Thessalonians into the newly established Church of Jesus Christ. Then, the new members of the family of God may share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle urges the Thessalonian brothers and sisters to hold firm to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are to cling to what is known to be the truth, whether from the Word of God, the mouth of the Apostles, or by the genuine letters sent by Paul.

Word of God


Word of God

Day 1

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 – Evening Offering The Apostle Paul blesses the Thessalonians by saying: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

Word of God


Day 1 Evening Offering

Worthwhile take-away False teachers had begun to spread false teachings that Paul claimed the day of the Lord -the last days -- had already taken place. They were saying that the people who remained here, missed God and were not 'gathered with Him in the clouds.' Paul then listed a series of things that must take place before the return of Christ. Name two of them. The only one who knows the exact day and time of Christ's return is God, himself. When Christ returns, he will kill the lawless one, who is controlled by whom? In the last days, those who refuse to love the truth and be saved will be punished. Define 'refuse.' Why do you think some people refuse the truth? How can someone take pleasure in a lie? Paul recognizes and warns us that in the last days many will fall away from the truth. Standing in a time when culture (it's laws and societal thinking) agrees with what is right and wrong is one thing. Standing in a time when culture (all those around you) are opposing right and wrong is another. Yet Paul tells us to stand firm. How will you do that? In this ever changing world, have you had to stand firm on the truth when others are glorifying a lie?


Word of God

Day 2

2 Thessalonians 3:1-18 – Morning Offering As Paul nears the end of his second letter to the Thessalonians, he requests fervent prayer from the believers. The Apostle asks that the gospel of saving faith in Jesus Christ may spread rapidly. And that the gospel be honored and received throughout the Roman world, just as it was accepted in Thessalonica. Paul also prays for protection from wicked and evil men because not everyone has faith in Christ Jesus, just as Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17:15. However, Paul assures the believers that the Lord is faithful and he will strengthen and protect the Thessalonians from Satan’s power. The Apostle has every confidence that during his absence, the Church has, and will continue to carry out the instructions of Paul, Silas, and Timothy. Paul charges the Church at Thessalonica with these words: “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” Charging the Thessalonians in the name of Jesus Christ, Paul commands them in no uncertain terms, not to closely associate with an idle brother or sister. An idle believer is not living out the teachings or example set by Paul, who was a tentmaker, Acts 18:3. Paul and Silas were not idle when they arrived in Thessalonica. The missionaries did not eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, they worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that they would not be a burden to anyone. Even though Paul and Silas had every right to ask for help while preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, their goal was to model the Christian lifestyle for the Thessalonians. When Paul and Silas were in Thessalonica, they enforced the rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

Word of God


Word of God

Day 2

2 Thessalonians 3:1-18 – Morning Offering Paul has received reports that some of the believers among the Thessalonians have been idle. Since they are not busy working in the Kingdom of God, they are busybodies. In the strongest possible terms, the Apostle Paul commands them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food that they eat. Paul encourages the brothers and sisters who are hardworking and productive to never tire of doing what is right. Paul says firmly that if anyone in the Church of Thessalonica refuses the Apostle’s instructions in this letter, take special notice of the person. That person is to be shunned in order to make him feel ashamed. Yet, do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother, as Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 18:15-20. Paul closes out his second letter to the Church at Thessalonica with this blessing: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” The Apostle verifies the authenticity of the letter by saying, “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”

Word of God


Day 2 Morning Offering

Worthwhile take-away As strong as Paul was in the faith, he was constantly asking for prayer. Prayer changes things. What two things did Paul ask the Thessalonians to pray about in this passage? There were some Thessalonians who were able to work, but would not. What was the command that Paul gave the Thessalonians? Why would Paul write: Do not be weary in doing good (or in well doing)? Have you ever become tired (gotten weary) in doing good?


First Letter to

Timothy Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 2

Word of God 1Timothy 1:1-20 – Evening Offering

Paul introduces himself in his first letter to Timothy as: “An Apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” The Apostle addresses Timothy as his true son in the faith. He greets Timothy and the believers under his care with: “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” When Paul went on to Macedonia, he had urged Timothy to stay in Ephesus. Timothy was assigned the task of commanding false teachers not to teach false doctrines any longer. These false teachers were leading the believers astray with Jewish myths and endless genealogies to wrongly convince the Gentiles that Jesus had come into the world to only save the Jews who could prove that they were pure-blooded Israelites. By stirring up controversies, the false teachers hindered God’s work which is only through faith in Jesus Christ. The goal of God’s work is His command of love, which comes from the pure heart of a believer whose heart and conscience has been washed clean by the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Because of the false teachers, some believers have wandered away from sincere faith in Jesus Christ and turned to meaningless talk. Those who have fallen away from the true faith want to become Teachers of the Laws of Moses, but they don’t even know what they are talking about or the false teachings that they so confidently affirm. Paul instructs Timothy that the Law of Moses is good if one uses it properly. It is also known that the Law is not made for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, and all those, including slave traders and those who violate the Ten Commandments, and everything else that is contrary to sound doctrine. It is the sound doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ that the blessed God entrusted to the Apostle Paul.

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God 1Timothy 1:1-20 – Evening Offering

Paul gives thanks to the Lord for the strength he has received. He is thankful that Jesus Christ has considered Paul faithful by appointing him to service in the Kingdom of God. Even though Paul was once a blasphemer and a persecutor of the followers of Christ, he was shown mercy because Paul acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ was abundantly poured out on Paul. The Apostle received the faith and love that are found in Christ Jesus. The older Apostle gives the young Pastor a word of advice. Paul quotes a trustworthy saying that merit’s Timothy’s full attention: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom Paul is the worst. But Paul goes on, that is the very reason that he has been shown mercy. Paul was saved as the worst of sinners so that the infinite patience of Jesus might be displayed in him as an example for other sinners to believe in Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. Calling Timothy his son, the Apostle Paul gives the young pastor instruction that is in keeping with the prophecies that were once made about Timothy. By following these prophecies, the young pastor will be able to fight the good fight to uphold and carry out the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then Timothy will fight confidently, holding firm to faith in Christ with a good conscience. Some have rejected the instructions given to them by Paul and shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander whom Paul has handed over to Satan, or expelled from the Church of Christ and sent out into the pagan world controlled by Satan. This purpose for this act of Church discipline was to teach these men not to blaspheme the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then in repentance, Hymenaeus and Alexander can be restored to the Church.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 2 Evening Offering

Paul primarily wrote to churches, but he also sent pastoral letters to his faithful disciples, leaders in the faith, of which Timothy was one. Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and Greek father. He was a very young man when Paul met him, already faithful to Christ Jesus.

The reason Paul cautions Timothy about those endorsing endless genealogies, is because that was a snare in the Jewish tradition. Jewish leaders were venerated if they could trace their lineage / genealogy to before the Babylonian Exile. The exile was a marker because during the 70 years of captivity, many Jews lost the records of their heritage; thus those who could ‘prove’ their lineage were considered legitimate and esteemed. Ezra, for instance, was a teacher of the law at the time when the Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. His lineage is traced back 16 generations, all the way back to the first high priest Aaron, Moses brother (Ezra 7:1-5). That is also why the Jews were interested in Jesus’ genealogical records which were recorded both in Matthew and Luke.

Beyond Jesus’ human genealogy, he is the son of God. If one does not accept Jesus’ divine birth as the son of God, then there is no human proof that he is who he claims to be..

Worthwhile take-away Paul said there were people desiring to be teachers who did not have an understanding about what they were saying or the things about which they were making confident assertions. Have you ever heard someone speak authoritatively about something of which they knew very little? Paul states: the law is not laid down for the just, but for the lawless and disobedient.' What does this mean? Think about it. Is this true for all law? Think about your classroom rules or edicts on your syllabi. Many times people believe that God is a ‘three strikes and you are out' type of deity or that he is waiting to punish you for your sins. However, the scripture states that "Christ Jesus came into the world' to do what?


Day 3

Word of God 1Timothy 2:1-15 – Morning Offering

The Apostle Paul strongly urged Timothy and the believers under his authority to offer prayers for everyone. Requests, intercession, and thanksgiving are to be offered for kings and those in authority. The reason Paul gives lifting up rulers in prayer that are often oppressive and corrupt is so that the believers may peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior. The Lord wants all people to be saved, even wicked tyrants, and come to knowledge of the truth found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is but one God and only one mediator between God and men. That man is the Lord Jesus Christ, who surrendered his life as a ransom for all men. The testimony of saving power of the gospel of Christ has been given to the world at the appropriate time. It is for this purpose that Paul was appointed by Jesus Christ as a herald of the Good News and an Apostle. Paul is telling the truth and is not lying. Jesus Christ also appointed him as a Teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. Paul wants believers everywhere to lift up holy hands, united in their praise to God, for His marvelous plan of salvation without anger or disputing. Paul wishes to set Christian women apart from the women of the pagan world around them by instructing them to dress modestly. They are not to wear braided hair, gold or pearls, or expensive clothes that signified wealth and vanity of rich and powerful classes. Instead, the women who follow Christ in Ephesus are to set an example with good deeds that are appropriate for service in the Kingdom of God, where distinctions of wealth and class mean nothing. The Apostle teaches that a Godly woman should learn the gospel of Jesus Christ in quietness and full submission, in contrast to the arrogant pride of pagan women. Paul does not allow a woman in the

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God 1Timothy 2:1-15 – Morning Offering

Ephesian Church to teach of have authority over a man; she must be silent. Paul instructs the Gentile believers who may be unfamiliar with the Creation story in Genesis that Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But Paul adds that women will be saved through childbearing; if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety. Sarah in Genesis, Hannah in 1 Samuel, Elizabeth and Mary in the Book of Luke are all models of Godly women who practiced these virtues.

Word of God


Day 3 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

These letters of instruction to Timothy are seminal in how to properly organize a church where none existed before. The Christian church is not based upon the tenants of the Jewish church from which it arose. The new converts clearly severed their ties from all pagan religions. So, Paul and Timothy are pioneers in the church planting effort.

Paul was not attempting to provide a dress code for women. His purpose was much more profound. The rich and the powerful in those days flaunted fancy hairdos and expensive clothes which showcased the power of their positions. Paul did not want a person’s worth based upon their outward signs. The pagan society was all about those things. Paul, on the other hand, wanted women’s good deeds to be the dress code of the day. Spiritual maturity was the coinage of the day; money, position, and appearance were of little value in its own right in the Kingdom of God.

Worthwhile take-away Paul says FIRST, we should pray. For whom should we pray? God desires two things for all people: (1) that all men be saved and (2) that they come into the knowledge of the truth. What is the difference between the two? What does each mean? Many times throughout Paul's letters, he is careful to state a 'thus saith the Lord (i.e., what God specifically has told him to say) vs his own opinion on matters to the church. We read in Corinthians how Paul thinks people should not marry as that divides your attention between God and your spouse; however, he is quick to say, marrying is not against God's will. Here, Paul does something similar. What does God say that women should do? What does Paul not allow in this circumstance?


Day 3

Word of God 1Timothy 3:1-16 – Evening Offering

Paul gives Timothy another trustworthy saying, that if anyone desires to be an Overseer, or Elder of the Church, he desires a noble task. The Apostle stresses that the Overseer must be above reproach and the husband of one wife. An Elder of the Church must be temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, and able to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to these qualities, an Elder must not be given to drunkenness. He is to be gentle and not violent or quarrelsome. He is not to be a greedy lover of money. If an overseer is chosen to manage the Church of Jesus Christ, he must be able to manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with the utmost respect. Paul observes that if anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s Church? An Elder or Overseer must not be a recent convert or the position of authority may go to his head and he will become conceited instead of acting as a servant to the Church. Paul cautions Timothy strongly that if an Elder does become conceited, he will fall under the same judgment as the devil. An Overseer must have a good reputation with the pagan community outside of the Church. In this way, those outside the Church may be persuaded to receive the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. However, an Elder must not fall into the sin of pride, or he will be disgraced, having fallen into the devil’s trap. The Apostle Paul now turns his attention to the qualifications of Deacons in the Church. Deacons are to be men worthy of respect. They must be sincere in their faith and not indulge in to much wine. Deacons are not to pursue dishonest gain. They must hold the deep truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ with a clear conscience. After first being tested; and if there is nothing against them, Paul tells Timothy to allow them to serve as Deacons.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God 1Timothy 3:1-16 – Evening Offering

Paul also gives qualifications for the wives of Deacons. They are to be women worthy of respect and not malicious talkers. The wives of Deacons are to be temperate and trustworthy in everything. A Deacon, like an Elder, must be the husband of one wife and manage his family and household well. The office bearers of the Church who serve well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul hopes to visit Timothy soon. The reason why Paul is sending this letter of instructions is so that, if Paul is delayed, Timothy will be able teach the believers in the Church. Paul refers to the Church as God’s household, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Acknowledging that true Godliness is a great mystery, Paul cites this hymn: “Jesus appeared in a body, and was vindicated by the Holy Spirit, was seen by angels, and preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, and taken up to Glory.”

Word of God


Day 3 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul sets the standards for overseers. The list of qualifications implies that in the culture at the time, many of these gentile converts were not ready to be leaders; they lacked the spiritual maturity that was borne out in outward practices. Many of the recent converts out of paganism had to prove by their actions that they had matured in the faith – that the Gospel had truly entered their lives and effected their behavior. Paul wants to make certain that there is no hint of impropriety in the church; church leaders should be above reproach.

Worthwhile take-away Many churches have moved away from sound doctrine -- thinking that modern customs usurp God's rulings and standards. Read over the 14 requirements of an overseer (Bishop or Elder). List two that may have surprised you or resonated with you. Why can't the overseer be someone who is new in the faith? There is a benefit to serving. Paul lists two benefits of serving well as deacons. What are they?


Day 4

Word of God 1Timothy 4:1-16 – Morning Offering

According to the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit says clearly that in the last days before Jesus comes again, some of the believers will abandon their faith. Those who forsake the gospel of Jesus Christ will follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such corrupt ideas come from false teachers who are hypocritical liars. Paul says that their consciences have been seared against the gospel as though they were branded with a hot iron. The false teachers forbid people to marry and order them not to eat certain foods. However, God has created these foods to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything that God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. This is because the food of the believer is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer. Paul tells Timothy that if he points these things out to the believers under his care, he will be a good minister of Christ Jesus. Timothy, having been brought up in the truths of the faith, has followed the good teaching that he had received. Advising Timothy to have nothing to do with godless pagan myths and old wives’ tales, Paul urges him to be Godly. While physical training is of some value, Godliness has value for all things. Godliness holds promise for both the present life and the eternal life to come. Paul uses a trustworthy saying to instruct Timothy, which he should fully accept, strive for, and work toward. We have put our hope in the Living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. The Apostle urges Timothy to command the Elders who are under his care to teach these things. Even though Timothy is younger than the

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 1Timothy 4:1-16 – Morning Offering

Elders and believers that he leads, Paul instructs the young Pastor: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” Until Paul comes again, Timothy is to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture, and to preaching and teaching. Timothy is not to neglect his gift, which was given to Timothy through a prophetic message when the body of Elders laid their hands on him. Admonishing Timothy to be diligent in these matters, Paul urges Timothy to give himself wholly to them, so that everyone may see his spiritual progress. Timothy is to watch his life and doctrine closely. If Timothy perseveres in these things, he will save both himself and those who hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 4 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

The Bible is written from an Asian cultural perspective, not a European or a Western American one. Age is valued in the East. Thus Timothy would have had a hard time gaining the respect of the people at Ephesus. He was not only young, but advocating a new religion that was newly developed. Christ had lived on this earth only a generation before. Timothy did not have the wisdoms and traditions of previous generations; he had to rely on the Holy Spirit and Paul’s mentorship.

Worthwhile take-away God, through the Holy Spirit, clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith. How did they get turned away from the truth? Paul tells Timothy to train himself for godliness. How do you do that? He went onto say that bodily training (lifting weights, getting in shape) is of some value, but training in godliness is of value in every way. How is that? Paul told Timothy not to let people despise him for his youth. But he told Timothy to set an example in five areas. What are they? What type of example are you setting in these areas?


Day 4

Word of God 1Timothy 5:1-25 – Evening Offering

Paul advises Timothy to set down a number of rules of conduct within the Church. Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but speak to him as though he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women with absolute purity as sisters. Widows, who are in real need, must be given proper recognition by the Deacons of the Church. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, the younger generation should put their Christian faith into practice by caring for their own parents. In this way, children and grandchildren can repay their parents. This is pleasing to the Lord. The widow who is really in need and is left to fend for herself, puts her hope in God. She prays to the Lord day and night continuously, seeking help from God in passages such as Psalm 146:9. But the widow that lives for her own pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy to give the believers these instructions, so that no one in the Church may guilty of neglecting widows. Jesus had strongly condemned the Religious Leaders for exploiting widows. Paul warns that anyone who does not provide for his immediate family had denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. No widow may be put on the list of widows receiving assistance from the Deacons unless she is over sixty and has been faithful to her husband. She also must be well known for her good deeds; such as bring up children in the faith, showing hospitality, and washing the feet of the saints. In addition, she must help those in trouble and devote herself to all kinds of good deeds.

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 1Timothy 5:1-25 – Evening Offering

Paul advises Timothy not to put younger widows on the list of widows. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to the gospel of Christ, they will want to marry. Widows that marry after pledging themselves to serve the Lord bring judgment on themselves because they have broken their pledge to the Lord. Perhaps Paul is referring to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:34, when he tells his disciples not to swear at all. The Apostle also condemns widows who are idle, gossipers and busybodies. This is why Paul counsels the younger widows to marry and have children. They should manage their households in such a way to the give the enemies of Christ no opportunity for slander. Paul says that some widows have in fact already abandoned the gospel to follow Satan. If any woman is a believer and has widows in her own family, she should help them so that the Church will not be overtaxed. Then the Church will have ample resources to help the widows who are really in need. Paul says that the Elders who direct the affairs of the Church prudently are worthy of double honor. This is especially true for Elders whose work is preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul quotes Deuteronomy 25:4, in which the Israelite farmer is not to muzzle the ox that treads the grain on threshing floor. He also cites Luke 10:7, “The worker deserves his wages.” The point the Apostle is making is that those who work in the Church proclaiming the gospel and overseeing the believers deserve to be paid. An accusation against an Elder should not be considered unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. However, an Elder that is found guilty of sinning against the Lord should be rebuked publicly, so that others in the Church may take warning. Paul charges Timothy

Word of God


Day 4

Word of God 1Timothy 5:1-25 – Evening Offering

in the sight of God and Jesus Christ and the elect angels of God to keep these instructions. Timothy is to carry them out fairly without partiality or any show of favoritism. Paul advises Timothy not to be too hasty in making spiritually unqualified men Elders and Deacons by ordaining them with the laying of hands. Only spiritually mature and proven leaders should be ordained to positions of authority in the Church. Timothy, along with the leaders of the Church, must not to be corrupted by the sins of the believers that they minister to as they serve the believers and witness to those outside of the Church. They are to keep themselves pure. The Apostle also urges Timothy to stop drinking only water and use a little wine. Timothy was suffering from stomach ailments and frequent illness. Perhaps the water was simply unsafe to drink. Or perhaps Timothy abstained from alcohol to set a Godly example against the drunkenness of pagan culture at that time. The sins of some men are obvious, says Paul, causing them to reach the place of God’s judgment that lies in store for them. However, the hidden sins of others trail behind them. All men considered for the position of Elder or Deacon in the Church should be carefully examined for both obvious and hidden sins. In the same way, the good deeds of those who take the gospel of Jesus Christ and practice it in their lives are both obvious and hidden.

Word of God


Day 4 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

If a widow is enrolled in the church, it means that she becomes like a nun --making a sacred vow to devote herself to the things of the church (upkeep, prayer, etc.). In turn, the church takes care of her financially. Many of these women may have been cut off from their families as a means of support when they became Christians.

Worthwhile take-away When people do wrong, they should be corrected; however Paul tells Timothy how to do it. What does Paul advise? Many people during Timothy's time would go off, make a living, and forget about caring for their family -- their parents and grandparents. However, it is pleasing to God for you to do what? Why does Paul say that if anyone does not provide for his relatives -- especially for members of his household -- he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever? What's the connection? In every church, people will talk about the elder or overseer. However, Paul says not to believe and act on a charge against an elder unless what happens? If the charge proves true, what should happen?


Day 5

Word of God 1Timothy 6:1-21 – Morning Offering

Slavery was common in the Roman Empire. Paul urges Timothy to tell all slaves who have become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to consider their masters worthy of full respect. This was so that God’s Name and the teaching of the gospel of Christ may not be slandered by the enemies of the gospel. The enemies of the gospel were seeking to portray Christians as rebelling against Rome. Then the Roman government would persecute Christians for treason and inciting rebellion among the slaves. Those who hated the Church hoped to destroy it at the hands of the Romans. In the same way, the enemies of Jesus hoped to kill him and end his preaching permanently by handing him over to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, to be crucified. However, Jesus never advocated rebellion against Rome. Following Christ’s example, Paul’s mission is to bring Gentiles into the Kingdom of God, not to launch a political or military movement against a repressive empire. Slaves who have believing masters are to show them no less respect because they are brothers in Christ. Instead, Christian slaves are to serve their Christian masters even better than unbelieving masters. This is because the hard work of Christian slaves will be a service and benefit the Church through the generosity of Christian masters. These are the things that Paul wants Timothy to teach and urge those who are under the yoke of slavery. Paul warns Timothy to be on guard against anyone who teaches false doctrines that are contrary to the sound instruction and teachings of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such a teacher is conceited and understands nothing. He stirs up every kind of evil discord in the body of Christ with his false teachings that earn him financial gain.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 1Timothy 6:1-21 – Morning Offering

But Godliness with contentment, says the Apostle, is great gain. We come into the world with nothing and we can take nothing out of the world when we die. If we have food and clothing, we should be content with that. People, like the false teacher, who want to use the gospel of Christ as a means to get rich, fall into a temptation and a trap. Their ill-gotten wealth will lead them into many foolish and harmful desires that have plunged many into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Paul goes on to say that some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and have caused themselves a great deal of grief on account of their greedy desires. Paul instructs Timothy, a man of God, to flee from all forms of evil and pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Timothy is to fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life which the young Pastor has attained when he made a public profession of his faith in Jesus Christ in the presence of many witnesses. Timothy had publicly confessed his faith in the sight of God who gives life to everything. This testimony was also made in the same manner as Christ Jesus who testified before Pilate, as recorded in John 18, 19. Paul formally charges Timothy to keep the confession that he had made without spot or blemish until Jesus appears again. Paul instructs Timothy that God will bring about the Second Coming of Christ in His own time. The Apostle describes God as the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords. God alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light; No one has seen or can see God. To God be honor and might forever. Amen. Timothy is to command those believers under his charge who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant or put their hope in wealth. Worldly riches are uncertain in this life. These wealthy believers are to instead put their hope in God, who has richly provided us with the saving gospel of faith in Jesus Christ and has filled us with the Holy Spirit. God had given us these gifts for our enjoyment.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 1Timothy 6:1-21 – Morning Offering

Command the rich believers to do good things for the Lord and to be rich in good deeds. They must be generous and willing to share with those who are poor. In this way they will lay up for themselves treasures in heaven. Then they will have for themselves a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the real life, which only truly is found in Jesus Christ. Paul charges Timothy to guard what the Lord has entrusted to his care. Turn away from Godless chatter. The young Pastor is to oppose the seductive teachings of false teachers. Paul ends his letter to Timothy with, “Grace be to you.”

Word of God


Day 5 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Many times when Rome conquered a new territory, the Romans would carry away the vanquished as slaves. As such, during Paul’s time, slavery was prevalent, although it was not like American slavery, where the slaves were de-humanized. Many of these slaves were prisoner-ofwar or perhaps impoverished. The Jews rebelled against Rome; the Roman legion came and demolished the Jews. Most of the people dies, but the survivors of the brutal siege were carried away to Rome as prisoners of war and sold into slavery. Many of the slaves in the Roman empire came from nation’s who the Roman legions had conquered. It was these slaves and their descendants of whom Paul was speaking in this chapter.

Paul was not concerned with slavery; he was solely focused on how Christians should live godly lives. If you were a slave and became free in Christ, he wanted you to showcase God in the midst of your slavery. If you were a master, he wanted you to recognize that you were submitted to God.

Worthwhile take-away Sometimes it is very hard to honor those in authority over you (such as professors and bosses), but why does scripture tell us to treat them with respect anyway? Paul tells us to 'fight the good fight of faith -- to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.' That means we are in a fight. Why is that? With whom are we fighting? Name two. The rich are to not set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches. Why are riches uncertain? What is not? Paul goes on to say that God 'richly provides us with everything to enjoy.' Why is it that people believe God does not seek our enjoyment, only caring about our needs? Is that a false teaching -the irrelevant babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge'?


Second Letter to

Timothy Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 5

Word of God 2 Timothy 1:1-18 – Evening Offering

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he describes himself as, “an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus.” Even though Timothy is well acquainted with Paul, he does this because this letter will be widely read in many Churches. Paul thanks God, whom he serves, as his ancestors did with a clear conscience. Night and day, Paul is in constant prayer for Timothy. Remembering Timothy’s tears, Paul longs to see his spiritual son Timothy again so that he may be filled with joy. Paul has been reminded of Timothy’s sincere faith which first lived in his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice. He is convinced that this same faith resides in Timothy as well. This is the reason Paul urges Timothy to fan the embers of his faith into flame using the gifts of God. These gifts were given to Timothy through the laying on of Paul’s hands. The Apostle tells Timothy, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” Paul tells Timothy not to be ashamed to testify of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Timothy also should not be ashamed of the fact that Paul is in prison for the sake of the gospel. Instead, the Apostle asks Timothy to join him by being willing to pay the price for the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the power of God that brought both Timothy and Paul to saving faith in Christ Jesus. Both of these leaders in the Church have been called to the holy life of preaching the gospel message. This gift of salvation was not something that either man had earned. It was because of God’s purpose and plan of salvation for all of humanity. And the grace extended to Paul and Timothy was ordained by Jesus Christ before the beginning of time.

Word of God


Day 5

Word of God 2 Timothy 1:1-18 – Evening Offering

But, says Paul, this plan of salvation has now been revealed through the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God has destroyed death by his resurrection. Jesus has brought life and immortality to light through the power of his gospel message. For this gospel of Christ, Paul has been appointed a herald of the Good News, an Apostle of Christ, and a teacher of the truth of the Scriptures. This gospel of Jesus Christ is the reason for Paul’s sufferings. However, Paul testifies, “Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that Jesus Christ is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day, the Day of Judgment at the Lord’s Second Coming. What Timothy has heard from the Apostle Paul, he must practice as the pattern of sound teaching, remaining steadfast in the faith and love of Jesus Christ. Timothy is to guard the good deposit of faith that was entrusted in him, first by his mother and grandmother, and later by the Apostle Paul. He is to guard his faith with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in those who have received Christ. Paul knows that Timothy is aware that everyone in the province of Asia, located in modern day Turkey, has deserted him. Two men, Phygelus and Hermogenes, seem to have been the troublemakers. Nothing else is known about these two men in Scripture. But Paul asks the Lord to show mercy on the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed Paul by coming to him while the Apostle was in prison. He was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. On the contrary, when he came to Rome, he searched hard until he found Paul. The Apostle asks God to grant Onesiphorus mercy on the Day of Judgment when Jesus returns. Timothy knows very well how this man helped Paul when he was in Ephesus.

Word of God


Day 5 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul wrote Timothy towards the end of his life. Paul had suffered may trials and tribulation over his approximately 30 years of ministry: When Paul was converted in Damascus, he immediately had a death sentence conferred upon him; his former friends and companions wanted to kill him for deserting the traditional Jewish religion and embracing the Christian faith. He had to escape by being lowered in a basket over the city wall under the cover of darkness (Acts 9:23-25). He was imprisoned many times and beaten severely. At one point in Lystra Paul was stoned at the agitation of his enemies, dragged out of the city, and left for dead. God raised him up, and he later went back into the city to continue preaching (Acts 14:8-20). Once, his nephew learned of a plot to kill him by the Jewish leaders. It was condoned by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council. It too was foiled. Later in this epistle, Paul states, “What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all.” 2Tim3:11

Worthwhile take-away In this tumultuous world, it takes courage to stand up for what is right and true – especially when your peers or those older than you spout something different. It was the same for Timothy. That is why in verse 7 Paul assured Timothy that the Spirit that God gives us doesn’t make us timid. It does what three things? Why does Paul say that his trials and tribulations (his sufferings) are not a cause for shame? Why does Paul tell Timothy that he has to guard what has been entrusted to him? How do you guard the word of truth?


Week Nine


Day 1

Word of God 2 Timothy 2:1-13 – Morning Offering

The Apostle exhorts his spiritual son Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Timothy has heard Paul testify publicly that qualified and reliable believers in Christ must be trained to teach others. Paul also tells Timothy that he must endure hardship along with the other Apostles as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one serving as a soldier allows himself to get involved in civilian affairs. Just as a soldier strives to please his commanding officer, Timothy is to please Jesus Christ by keeping himself from the affairs of this world. In the same way, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. In Leviticus 23:9-14, the first fruits are given to the Lord as an offering by the hardworking Israelite farmers. Paul may be instructing Timothy that even though he has earned the right to be rewarded for his hard and difficult work as a Pastor, everything that Timothy has accomplished and every person who receives Christ actually belongs to God. Paul advises Timothy to reflect on everything that he is saying. The Lord will give him insight into all of these things. Paul urges Timothy to always remember Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead. Jesus was also a descendant of King David. This is Paul’s gospel that has caused him so much suffering. The Apostle has even been chained like a criminal for sake of Jesus Christ. But Paul states emphatically that God’s Word is not chained. Therefore, Paul endures all of his sufferings for the sake of the elect. The elect are those whom God has chosen to receive the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the elect who will join the resurrected and ascended Christ in eternal glory.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God 2 Timothy 2:1-13 – Morning Offering

The Apostle gives Timothy a trustworthy saying in the form of an early hymn: “If we died with him, we will also live with him; If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” Paul instructs Timothy to keep reminding those under his leadership to carry out the Apostle’s instructions. Timothy is to warn them before God against quarreling over things that have nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Such arguments are of no value and ruin the faith those who listen to them. Timothy is to present himself before God as one approved to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as a skilled craftsman is not ashamed of his work, Timothy must correctly handle the Word of God. He must avoid Godless chatter because those who indulge in gossip and careless talk will become increasingly ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among those who have wandered from the truth, Hymenaeus and Philetus, are speaking lies about the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of Christ. By saying that this resurrection has already happened, these false teachers destroyed the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation of the gospel message stands firm, sealed with these two inscriptions from Numbers 16:5. “The Lord knows who are His.” Paul also quotes, “Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God 2 Timothy 2:1-13 – Morning Offering

Paul tells Timothy that in a large house there articles of gold and silver as well as wood and clay. Some articles are for noble or clean purposes. But others are for common or unclean uses, Leviticus 11:32. If a man cleanses himself from what Jesus said makes a man unclean, Mark 7:21-23, then he will be an instrument for noble purposes made holy. The cleansed man will be useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Timothy is told by the Apostle to flee the evil desires of youth. He is to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Timothy is to have nothing to do with the foolish and stupid arguments of the false teachers. Their aim is to tear the Church apart by producing quarrels among the believers. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. He is to gently instruct those who oppose him. There is always hope that God will grant Timothy’s opponents repentance that leads them to the knowledge of the truth. Coming to their senses, such opponents will be able to escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Word of God


Day 1 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

The Roman army was incredibly organized, with a clear command structure. Every soldier knew exactly what his position was and what was expected of him. In the same way, Paul expects believers to know their position and to know what is expected of them. We should work hard at what we do. Everyone in the Roman world saw the well disciplined Roman army; it worked like a well oiled machine. Paul expects Christians to have the same type of discipline in the service of Jesus who is greater than any Roman emperor or general.

Worthwhile take-away God likens Timothy, and the faithful followers to that of a soldier and an athlete. What does a soldier not do? What does an athlete do? Now think about your life. Are you a good soldier or athlete for Christ? Paul tells us to be a worker that needs not be ashamed. How do we do that? People often comment that they wish to be used by God. God clearly lets us know through Paul that it is our choice whether we are used for a noble or ignoble purposes. Read verses 20-21 again. How do we go about being used for God’s special purposes?


Day 1

Word of God 2 Timothy 3:1-17 – Evening Offering

Timothy is solemnly warned by the Apostle Paul that terrible events will occur before the return of Jesus Christ. He is to have nothing to do those who practice greed, hedonism, and live in complete opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Laws of God as summarized in the Ten Commandments. These hypocrites even appear to be Godly while at the same time denying the cleansing and redemptive power of the gospel in their own hearts. Paul warns that these evildoers will attempt to infiltrate the Church by seducing weakwilled women. These are women who are loaded down with guilt from sins that they have not confessed. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, they are swayed by all kinds of evil desires. Paul describes these women as those who are always listening to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ preached, but never receive the gospel into their hearts. Paul names of Egyptian magicians in the royal court of Pharaoh who opposed Moses and Aaron. Their names are Jannes and Jambres. In Exodus 7:11, only wise men, sorcerers and magicians were summoned by Pharaoh to confront Moses and Aaron. The Apostle uses Jannes and Jambres as examples of men who oppose the truth of the gospel. With their depraved minds they have rejected Jesus and everything that the Kingdom of God stands for. However, Paul tells Timothy that these false teachers will not get very far because their folly and ignorance of the wisdom of the gospel will be clear to everyone who truly knows the Lord.

Word of God


Day 1

Word of God 2 Timothy 3:1-17 – Evening Offering

Timothy is very well acquainted with Paul’s teachings, his way of life, and his purpose. He knows well the Apostle’s faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings. Paul lists three of the cities where he was severely persecuted for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. Yet the Lord rescued Paul from each one of these life-threatening situations. In fact, Paul tells Timothy, everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Those evildoers and false teachers who persecute Christians will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived by their lies and falsehoods. But as for Timothy, he is to continue in what he has learned from his Godly mother and grandmother. Having been convinced of these eternal truths since childhood, Timothy has both a sure knowledge and a strong conviction of God’s Holy Scriptures. Timothy is able to communicate the Good News effectively to the lost. He has a strong ability to preach clearly and precisely the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul tells the knowledgeable young Pastor that: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching the gospel to the lost, rebuking sinners who have left the teachings of Christ, and correcting and training those who receive Jesus into their hearts Christ’s way of righteousness. In this way, every man and woman of God may be as thoroughly equipped as Timothy for every good work to serve in the Kingdom of God.”

Word of God


Day 1 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Jesus predicted that in the last days there would be mayhem and disorder, where society is coming apart. There would be deceptions, wars, leaders persecuting the church, and false messiah’s claiming to be the Christ. This is accounted in three of the four gospels: Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21:5-36. Paul is expounding on this prophecy of Jesus.

Worthwhile take-away Paul warns Timothy that in the last days there will be terrible times – even among those who call themselves “Christian leaders.” Read through the list (verses 1-7). What signs / behaviors stood out to you? Were you surprised at any on the list? Those who act evilly and the false teachers will not only continue to deceive, they themselves will what (v12)? This means that there will be people who sincerely believe the wrong. Why is there case not the same as simply being ignorant of the truth? Paul closes this chapter by letting Timothy know that the Gospel is profitable for what? Thus, it is profitable for you in each of these areas also.


Day 2

Word of God 2 Timothy 4:1-22 – Morning Offering Paul formally commands Timothy to faithfully carry out his duties as a Pastor. “In the Presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead, and in expectation of Christ’s Second Coming, I, Paul give Timothy this charge.”

Timothy’s foremost task is to preach the Word of God; he is to always be prepared to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in any and all circumstances. Timothy must be ready to correct any believer who has mistaken ideas or practices that are contrary to the teaching of the Apostles. He must be ready to rebuke those who refuse to accept his correction by repenting of their sins. But to those believers who have repented of their sins and have a willing heart to conform to the gospel, Timothy is to encourage and build up their faith with great patience and careful instruction. Paul warns Timothy that the time is coming when men and women inside the Church will not want to hear or practice sound doctrine. Instead, many will turn from the truth and gather around the false teachers. These false teachers will tell the people what they want to hear instead of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A great number will abandon the preaching of sound doctrine, preferring the myths of the false teachers instead. Timothy must keep his head in all situations, remaining clear-headed and focused on the gospel. No matter what the danger or how chaotic the situation might be, Timothy must be prepared to endure the same hardships that Paul has often faced. He is to do the work of an evangelist by faithfully discharging all the duties of his ministry. As Paul instructs Timothy, he is fully aware that his time on earth is nearly over and his ministry in the service of Jesus Christ is reaching completion. The Apostle describes his

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God 2 Timothy 4:1-22 – Morning Offering

life using an example from the Priests serving at the Altar in the Temple of the Lord. Just as the Priest pours an offering of wine around the base of the Altar while a sacrificial animal is being offered to the Lord by fire, so too, is Paul offering himself to the Lord. This drink offering is described in Numbers 28:7. Paul is saying that he given everything he has in service to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He believes that soon he will die as a prisoner of Rome, or in some other way. Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on the Day of his Second Coming. Not only Paul will receive his reward. All Christians that have longed for the Second Coming of their Lord will also receive their eternal reward.” Paul, expecting to reach the end of his life soon, warns Timothy of a man named Demas who once served alongside the Apostle in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. But Demas loved the world more than Jesus and deserted Paul. Other friends of Paul have gone to serve the Lord in other cities. Only Luke, the author of Acts, is still with Paul. The Apostle also warns Timothy to be on his guard against Alexander the metalworker. This man did harm to Paul and opposed the preaching of the gospel. The first time Paul faced charges in a Roman court, no one testified on his behalf. Instead, they all deserted the Apostle in fear of being arrested themselves. Yet Paul doesn’t want their abandonment of him held against them. The Lord stood at Paul’s side and strengthened him so that he could proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles. And

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God 2 Timothy 4:1-22 – Morning Offering

Paul is thankful that he was delivered from the lion’s mouth, meaning his enemies. Paul gives glory to the Lord. Jesus, whom he serves, will rescue him from every evil attack. The Lord will bring Paul safely home to his Heavenly Kingdom, without denying Jesus Christ, or failing to carry out his duty to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul asks Timothy to greet his old friends and coworkers Priscilla and Aquila, along with the household of Onesiphorus. Priscilla and Aquila teamed up with Paul in Corinth, Acts 18:2, after they were expelled from Rome because they were Jews. Onesiphorus cared for Paul when he was in prison in Rome. Paul also greets Erastus, a director of the public works of Rome mentioned in Romans 16:23. Paul had left Trophimus sick in Miletus. He is likely asking Timothy to check on his wellbeing. Timothy is asked to do his best to arrive in Rome to visit Paul where he is imprisoned before winter sets in and travel is difficult. All the brothers and sisters who are with Paul send greetings. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus and Claudia all send their greetings. The final blessing from the Apostle is, “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”

Word of God


Day 2 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul is imprisoned and knows that the end of his life is coming soon. He is giving Timothy final instructions, knowing that Timothy will carry on his work. He is turning over the baton to the new generation of spiritually mature leaders, such as Timothy and Titus.

While Paul is comfortable in the knowledge that he has run his race well, he is still physically uncomfortable in prison. He askes for Timothy to bring him his cloak and scrolls when he comes to visit. This may be one of the last times that Paul has the opportunity to see Timothy.

Worthwhile take-away Yes, you should be knowledgeable enough in the word to correct, rebuke, and encourage, but how should you do this. Paul gives us two very direct commands. What are they? Timothy’s church had some that did not really want to hear the truth. Instead, they would gather a great number of teachers to say what they wanted to hear. Do you think this is how it is today? This also shows us that just because others are all saying the same thing, it doesn’t make it right. How do we know if a teaching is sound or not? Reread verse 7. At different times, we may have a different fight on our hands, but to what ‘good fight’ do you think Paul is referring? What race did he finish?


Letter to

Titus Spiritual Maturity

Timothy Timothy

Leadership

Thessalonians

Colossians Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 2

Word of God Titus 1:1-16 – Evening Offering

Paul opens his letter addressed to Titus and identifies himself as a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. As Christ’s servant, Paul proclaims the truth of the saving gospel and brings this Good News to those God has chosen to receive salvation. It is this truth that leads sinners to Godliness, which is a faith and knowledge that rests on the promise of eternal life made by God, who does not lie. This is God’s plan of salvation that was made before the beginning of time. At the appointed season, God sent His Son Jesus, revealing His Word in the form of a man, into the world. Paul states that he has been entrusted to preach the gospel of Jesus, by the command of God our Savior. Paul calls Titus his true son in our common faith in Christ Jesus. He blesses Titus and the readers of this letter: “Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” The reason Paul left Titus on the island of Crete was so that he could complete the work of organizing the converts that Paul had made while stopping there as a prisoner. In Acts 27:7, 8, the ship transporting the Apostle to stand trial in Rome stayed in Crete waiting for favorable weather. Titus is to appoint an Elder in every town as directed by Paul. The Apostle specifies that an Elder must be blameless and a husband of one wife. He must be a man whose children are believers in the Lord. A man chosen as Elder must not have a reputation for being wild and disobedient. Since an Overseer or Elder, is entrusted with God’s work, he must also be blameless; not overbearing, quick tempered, not a drunkard, violent man, nor a pursuer of dishonest gain. Rather, an Overseer must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, and who is self-

Word of God


Day 2

Word of God Titus 1:1-16 – Evening Offering controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

An Overseer must hold firmly to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He must stand firmly grounded on the truth of Christ’s trustworthy message, as it has been taught by the Apostles. Then the Overseer can encourage others with sound doctrine and refute the false teachers who oppose the gospel. The Apostle Paul warns Titus that he will face those who have rebelled against the gospel of Christ being preached to the Gentiles. They are known as the circumcision group. This group insists that a Gentile must first be circumcised and keep the Laws of Moses before they are allowed to gain acceptance into the Church. Paul says that these false teachers must be silenced because they are ruining entire Christian households. He also accuses the false teachers of perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ for their own personal profit. Paul even quotes a proverb from Greek literature that says, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, and lazy gluttons.” He says that this description fits the false teachers of Crete that Titus is confronting. Titus is to rebuke them sharply, so that the believers on Crete no longer pay attention to the false teachers and their Jewish myths. The true believers will not obey the commands of those who reject the universal truth. This truth is that the salvation found in the blood of Jesus Christ is for everyone, whether Jew or Gentile. To those who have received faith in Jesus Christ, all things are pure. But to those whose faith has been corrupted by the lies of the false teachers, nothing is pure. In fact, says Paul, both the minds and consciences of the false teachers and their followers are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions, they deny the Lord. The Apostle says that they are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Word of God


Day 2 Evening Offering

Word contextualized •

Paul’s letter to Titus was written soon after he was released from Prison in Rome, and at the end of his life. Paul had ministered with Titus in Antioch, Ephesus, Macedonia, and Crete, and had found Titus to be faithful witness and co-laborer. Their relationship had deepened to the point that Paul called Titus, a son in the faith. Like Timothy in Ephesus, Titus was sent to Crete to mature these young Christians in the church. At this point in history, Crete was a very cosmopolitan Greek island in the Roman empire.

Paul quotes Epimenides, a famous Cretian poet, to illustrate the moral depravity of the people of Crete.

Worthwhile take-away Paul asks Titus to set things in order in the church at Crete. He begins the clean-up with the leadership – reminding Titus of the characteristics that should be required of all leaders. The characteristics are not just arbitrary. By having these character traits, the leader will be able to do two things. What are they (verse 9)? Why do you imagine that the converts from Judaism (those of the circumcision) are causing trouble within the church? Paul says that those who are corrupt, with defiled consciences, ‘claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.’ How can you deny God by your actions?


Day 3

Word of God Titus 2:1-15 – Morning Offering

The Apostle orders Titus to only teach what is in accordance with the sound doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is to teach older men to be reasonable and sensible. Proverbs 17:27 says that, “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint; a man of understanding is even-tempered.” An older believer in Christ must be self-controlled. He must be well-grounded in Scripture and sound in his faith. Patient endurance and love are characteristics of a mature believer in Jesus Christ. In the same manner that older men are to model Christ in their behavior, Paul tells Titus to teach older women how to pattern their lives after the Savior. Older women are to be reverent in the way they live. They are not to be slanderers or drunkards. In the same way as the Wife of Noble Character is depicted in Proverbs 31:10-31, so too, are the older Christian women able to teach others. With the principles that Christ taught, older women train the younger women to love their husbands and children, be selfcontrolled and sexually pure. They are to remain busy at home. Christian women are to be kind and subject to their husbands so that the pagan community will not malign the Word of God. Otherwise, pagans may view the newly arisen Church as a threat to an orderly society and traditional family life. In the same way that Titus is to give instructions on holy living to the older men and women, Paul tells him how to teach young Christian men. Titus is to encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything that Titus says and does, he is to set an example by doing what is good in a Christ-like manner.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Titus 2:1-15 – Morning Offering

Titus is to teach them by displaying integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech. By eliminating foolish talk and the vulgar language of pagans, those who are opposed to the gospel of Christ will be ashamed. The enemies of Christ will not be able to present a clear reason of why they hate the Church of Jesus Christ. Titus, following the Apostle Paul’s instructions, is to teach slaves who have received Jesus to be subject to their masters in everything. Slaves are to do everything possible to please their masters and not talk back to them. Nor are Christian slaves to steal them so that they can show their masters that Christian slaves can be fully trusted. Believers who are enslaved under system of the Roman Empire must do everything in their power to make the gospel of Jesus Christ more attractive. Paul speaks to Titus of the appearance of Jesus Christ to bring salvation. The Apostle says that it is by the grace of God that Jesus has appeared to save all men. This grace of God in the form of the gospel teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions. We are to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. In this age before the Second Coming of Christ, we wait in the blessed hope of his appearance. This is the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus gave himself up for us on the cross to redeem us from all wickedness. Christ also came to purify for himself a people that are his very own. People who have received saving faith in Jesus Christ are eager to do what is good. This then, says Paul, are the things that Titus should be teaching the believers on the island of Cyprus. Encourage the believers and rebuke those who stray with all the authority given by Christ. Titus is not to let anyone despise him for lacking the authority to lead the believers and organize the Church.

Word of God


Day 3 Morning Offering

Word contextualized •

Titus was not only a young Greek convert, he was not circumcised, something that Paul’s Jewish rivals insisted was a minimal requirement to the faith. Paul was constantly denouncing this, unnecessary religious requirement, for Christian faith is a heart matter and not an outward ritual.

Worthwhile take-away In training Titus to clean up the church, Paul also tells him to teach the elders to embrace a lifestyle that is consistent with sound doctrine. In other words, to be doers not just hearers of the word. Then Paul gives the males and female instructions. If you are male, list two things that males should do. If you are female, list two things that females should do. Paul does not merely tell Titus what others should do, he also tells Titus to be an example. What is one characteristic that Titus, and all those who teach and correct others must have (verse 7)? Some may feel that they can’t achieve a sober, modest life. Reread verse 14. What did Jesus do and why?


Day 3

Word of God Titus 3:1-2 – Evening Offering

Titus is to remind the believers on Cyprus to be subject to their rulers and authorities. They are to obey the government. Followers of Christ Jesus must always be ready to do what is right for the sake of their Lord. They are to slander no one. Peaceful and considerate, Christians are to show true humility toward all people. Paul reminds Titus of what life was like for the believers before they received the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul says that: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated by others and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of our God and Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of the righteous things that we had done, but because of His mercy. God saved us through the washing of rebirth by accepting Jesus Christ and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” The Apostle goes to say that the Holy Spirit has been generously poured out on us through our Savior, Christ Jesus. The purpose of God’s love and kindness is so that we as sinners may be justified by the grace of God. Once justified by grace, we are now heirs of the hope of the resurrection and eternal life in Christ. Titus is instructed to stress the basics of God’s plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. This way, those who accept Jesus and are redeemed may demonstrate their love for God by devoting themselves to what is good. Paul stresses that these fundamentals of the gospel message are excellent and profitable for all those who believe.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Titus 3:1-2 – Evening Offering

Titus is cautioned by the Apostle Paul not to fall into the trap of the false teachers. These false teachers are trying to destroy the gospel of Jesus Christ from within. The message that they are giving to the Gentile believers is that Jesus came only to save those who can prove that are of pure Jewish birth and obey the Laws of Moses. In 1Timothy 1:3-7, Paul also warned Timothy of the false teachers. Wherever Paul went preaching the saving gospel of faith in Jesus Christ, the enemies of the gospel were sure to follow. By avoiding becoming ensnared in the false teacher’s traps, Titus can effectively present the gospel to the unsaved Gentiles on the island of Cyprus. Foolish controversies and genealogies are to be avoided. Genealogies, which these teachers say are needed to prove that a person is an Israelite, and therefore eligible to receive Jesus, is a favorite scheme of the enemy. So is arguing about the Laws of Moses that Jesus has fulfilled by his perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus gives instructions of how to handle a sinful brother or sister in Matthew 18:15-17. Paul advises Titus to warn a divisive troublemaker once, and then a second time. If that person fails to repent, break off contact. Then Titus will know that person’s faith has been warped and made sinful by listening to the false teachers. Without repentance, that person is self-condemned. Paul plans to send one of his co-workers, either Artemas or Tychius to Cyprus to assist Titus. At this time, Paul was not in prison. So he asks Titus to meet him at a Greek city called Nicopolis, where Paul plans to spend the winter. Titus is to do everything possible to help a lawyer named Zenas and Apollos on their unspecified mission to serve the Church of Jesus Christ.

Word of God


Day 3

Word of God Titus 3:1-2 – Evening Offering

The new believers must devote themselves to doing what is good. This so that believers in Christ may provide for their own daily necessities so that the Church will be free to help those who are truly in need. Believers that are living productive lives are a great resource for the Kingdom of God. All those who are with Paul send Titus and the Christians on Cyprus their greetings. The Apostle asks Timothy to greet those who love Paul and gospel of Jesus Christ. He closes his letter to Titus with, “Grace be with you all.”

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 3 Evening Offering

Paul is on his way to stand trial before Caesar. He was facing charges from his Jewish enemies in Jerusalem. The Jews were outraged that Paul had desecrated the temple courts by allegedly bringing in two uncircumcised Greeks. This would have been in violation of the law of the time (Acts 21:27-36).

Under normal circumstances, this religious crime would not have been a matter for the Roman courts; however, the Jews had already tried to lynch Paul, and the court was about to deliver him back into the hands of the Jews. Thus, as a Roman citizen, Paul had the right to appeal to Caesar.

In doing so, this gave Paul an opportunity to preach the gospel to the highest Roman officials. He may have also thought to get Caesar to recognize the new Christian religion. This would have provided Christianity with the limited rights and protections that would have allowed for a freer spread of the gospel.

Worthwhile take-away Our Christian lives are not siloed. We are not Christians at church, but not at work. Re-read verses 12. Think of one governmental leader that you do not agree with. How does scripture say you are to treat them? Faith produces good works (verse 8). Paul then tells what type of good deeds to do. Provide an example of a good deed in relation to verse 14. How does Paul tell us to deal with divisive people?


Letter to

Philemon Spiritual Maturity

Leadership

Timothy Thessalonians

Colossians Philip pians

Ephe sian s

Ga lat Co rin thi an

Ro m an

ian

s

s

s

foundation

Paul’s Letters

Titus

Philemon


Day 4

Word of God Philemon 1-25 – Morning Offering

From prison, Paul writes this short letter addressed to a believer named Philemon. The Apostle is interceding with Philemon on behalf another believer. A slave named Onesimus. Philemon is a wealthy slave owner to whom Onesimus belongs. But Onesimus has run away from his master. While fleeing from his master, Onesimus met the Apostle Paul and received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Not only has Onesimus become a Christian. He has become a great asset for the Apostle Paul while he is imprisoned. Paul even calls Onesimus his son. However, under the Roman system of laws, Philemon has a great deal of power. Onesimus is an escaped fugitive slave who has broken the law by running away and deserved to be punished or even executed. In Titus 2:9, 10, Paul instructs slaves to submit to their masters. The Apostle Paul reasons with Philemon to accept Onesimus as a fellow believer and give him his freedom. Even though the Apostle is sending Onesimus back to his master Philemon, Paul skillfully appeals for mercy from Philemon using humor and tact. Even though as an Apostle, Paul has the right to order Philemon to free Onesimus, Paul would rather that Onesimus would do so voluntarily. Then Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus can all work together as partners to advance the Kingdom of God. Paul also requests that Philemon provide him with a guest room. In response to much prayer, Paul expects to be released from prison soon.

Word of God


Word contextualized

Day 4 Morning Offering

Paul wrote this letter to Philemon, a friend of his on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway slave who Paul had converted in prison. This letter speaks to the spiritual maturity of both Philemon and Onesimus, and testifies to the transformative power of the Gospel of Christ.

Philemon is a cleverly written letter in that it has a lot of word-plays and is written with humor. One example is how Paul makes a pun of both Philemon’ and Onesimus’ name. Philemon means loving, and Paul asks Philemon to initiate an act of love; while Onesimus means beneficial or profitable, and Paul says that Onesimus is now profitable to Philemon.

Onesimus was once Philemon’s slave, who had runaway many years earlier. At that time, Onesimus was not saved, but during his time in prison he met Paul and was converted to Christianity. Onesimus became a leader in the Church and very dear to Paul. Paul thinks of both Philemon and Onesimus as equals in the faith, the master and the servant.

Under Roman law, Philemon had no obligation to treat Onesimus in any other way as a runaway slave; the penalties for this was stringent. Yet, as an Apostle, Paul could command Philemon to free Onesimus.

Worthwhile take-away What did Paul ask Philemon to do? Why is Onesimus now valuable to Philemon? The word grace has many shades of meaning. Why does Paul end this letter with, “May the grace (unconditional love) of the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One be with your spirit!” (verse25)


Final Words to the Wise Congrats! Now you have finished Paul’s letters, but don’t stop there. We encourage you to continue your morning and evening offerings to God. This is not a shameless plug for the next book in the series. No, this is our heartfelt cry and prayer to God for you that you would continue in the Word that brings life. Do you remember what Paul wrote to Timothy in his second letter? Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the very breath of God. The scriptures will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction, and the scriptures will lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you. 2Tim 6-17 That is our desire for you – to be fully mature and perfectly prepared to do all that God has prepared in advance for you to do. Thank you for having allowed us to sow into you the Word of Life, our anchor of hope. Peace be with you, Mr. Jerry Walters Dr. Vicki-Lynn Holmes


Our Anchor of Hope This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven… Hebrews 6:19