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ROMANS
An Introduction to the Book of Romans


INTRODUCTION

1. Before discussing things specific to the book of Romans, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is: the glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the Old Testament and New Testament contribute to the development and explanation of this overall theme. This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and the saints.


I. AUTHOR

A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of Romans is consistent in its vocabulary, style, logic and theological development with Paul’s other inspired writings.

1. Paul dictated the Roman letter to a secretary named Tertius (Rom. 16:22), to the church at Rome.

2. Some have debated as to whether or not Romans 16 was originally a separate letter, and added at a later date. It is best to understand the list of greetings in this final chapter as Paul’s effort as a stranger to the church at Rome to list their mutual friends.

3. Though some manuscripts omit “in Rome” in Rom. 1:7, 15, the title Pros Romaious, “To the Romans,” has been associated with the epistle almost from the beginning.


II. AUDIENCE

A. Though Paul is writing “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” (Rom. 1:7), he had not yet had opportunity to come to them in person (Rom. 1:13).

B. Paul’s purpose is given for writing (Rom. 15:14-21)


III. ANNO DOMINI

A. The date of the book of Romans is A.D. 57, possibly spring of A.D. 58. It was composed from Corinth during Paul’s third missionary journey when he was involved in the collecting of a fund for the poor saints in Jerusalem and Judea.

B. When he wrote 2 Corinthians, traveling from Ephesus to Corinth, the financial collection was still not complete (2 Cor. 8:1-9). At the time he wrote to the church at Rome, this collection seems to have been completed (Rom. 15:25-28).  

C. It is understood that Paul stayed three months in Corinth at the end of his third journey before traveling to Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25; Acts 20:2-3).


IV. AIM

A. Romans is said to be Paul’s greatest theological work, or the greatest work of the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul. The book is placed first among his thirteen epistles and letters in the New Testament. Romans examines the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

B. Using a question/answer format, Paul records a comprehensive, logical and systematic presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is said that Augustine, a theologian of the fourth century was converted by reading Romans, and that Martin Luther, a Catholic priest of the 16th century, grew in his understanding of justification by faith after a study of Romans.

C. Romans is more than a book of theology; it is also a book of practical exhortation. The good news (the gospel of Jesus the Christ) is more than just facts to be believed; there are commands to be obeyed, and there is also a life that must be lived accordingly. It is a life of righteousness or of right doing (Rom. 3:24).

D. Additional background information:

1. Topics:

a. Doctrinal (Rom. 1:1-11:36)

b. Behavioral (Rom. 12:1-16:27)

2. Focus:

a. Revelation of God’s righteousness (Rom. 1:1-8:39)

b. Vindication of God’s righteousness (Rom. 9:1-11:36)

c. Application of God’s righteousness (Rom. 12:1-16:27)

3. Divisions:

a. Need for God’s righteousness (Rom. 1:18-3:20) - Sin

b. Obtaining of God’s righteousness (Rom. 3:21-5:21) - Salvation

c. Demonstration of God’s righteousness (Rom. 6:1-8:39) - Sanctification

d. Israel’s past election (Rom. 9:1-29) - Sovereignty

e. Israel’s present rejection (Rom. 9:30-10:21) - Sovereignty

f. Spiritual Israel’s restoration (Rom. 11:1-36) - Sovereignty

g. Christian duties (Rom. 12:1-13:14) - Service

h. Christian liberties (Rom. 14:1-15:13) - Service

4. Location: written from Corinth, Greece to the saints in Rome, Italy

5. Time period in Romans: A.D. 57-58

E. Keys:

1. Key words: “righteousness,” “faith,” “law,” “all,” and “sin.” Each appear at least sixty times.

2. Key verses:

a. Rom. 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ’The just shall live by faith.’

b. Rom. 6:4, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

3. Key phrases:

a. Rom. 1:17, “’The just shall live by faith.’”

b. Rom. 1:5-6, “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.”

c. Rom. 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

d. Rom. 16:25-27, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith — to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”

4. Key chapter: Romans 12

a. Exhortations to Christian living:

1. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1)

2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2)

3. “Let love be without hypocrisy” (Rom. 12:9)

4. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21)

b. Practical applications of the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ (Rom. 12:1-15:13):

1. Duty to God (Rom. 12:1-2)

2. Duty to self (Rom. 12:3)

3. Duty to the church (Rom. 12:4-8)

4. Duty to other Christians (Rom. 12:9-13)

5. Duty to enemies (Rom. 12:14-21)

6. Duty to neighbors (Rom. 13:8-14)

7. Duty to weak brethren (Rom. 14:1-15:13)


V. APPEAL

A. Romans was written specifically to the church at Rome, but also generally to all men everywhere (Rom. 3:23) , to show how the unrighteous can become the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Justification by obedient faith in Christ.

B. Paul, in the book of Romans, moves one from condemnation to glorification, and from theological truth to the practical behavior of one converted by the truth of the gospel.

C. The gospel of Christ is God’s only power of salvation, to every obedient believer, all who are baptized into Christ, and who walk in newness of life (Rom. 1:16; 6:3-4)

D. Romans belongs to Paul’s second group of epistles known as the “salvation group of epistles.” This group includes Galatians, and First and Second Corinthians. These epistles deal with the doctrine (teachings) of salvation.


VI. ANALYSIS

A. Concise outline

1. God’s condemnation and wrath on man because of man’s sin

a. Guilt of the Gentiles (Rom. 1:18-32)

b. Guilt of the Jews (Rom. 2:1-3:8)

c. Guilt of all before God (Rom. 3:9-20)

2. God’s provision of justification for man’s salvation

a. Description of righteousness (Rom. 3:21-31)

b. Illustration of righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25)

c. Benefits of righteousness (Rom. 5:1-11)

d. Contrast of righteousness and condemnation (Rom. 5:12-21)

e. Sanctification and sin (Rom. 6:1-23)

f. Sanctification and the law (Rom. 7:1-25)

g. Sanctification and the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-39)

3. God’s vindication of His righteousness before man

a. Israel’s Past: Election of God

1. Paul’s sorrow (Rom. 9:1-5)

2. God’s sovereignty (Rom. 9:6-29)

b. Israel’s Present: Rejection of God

1. Israel seeks righteousness by works of law (Rom. 9:30-33)

2. Israel rejects Christ (Rom. 10:1-15)

3. Israel rejects the prophets (Rom. 10:16-21)

c. Spiritual Israel’s Future: Restoration of God

1. Israel’s rejection is not total (Rom. 11:1-10)

2. Israel’s rejection is not final (Rom. 11:11-32)

3. Israel’s restoration is an occasion for glorifying God (Rom. 11:33-36)

4. Christian’s application of the righteousness of God

a. Responsibilities to be demonstrated toward God (Rom. 12:1-2)

b. Responsibilities to be demonstrated toward self and society (Rom. 12:3-21)

c. Responsibilities to be demonstrated toward civil authorities (Rom. 13:1-7)

d. Responsibilities to be demonstrated toward neighbors (Rom. 13:8-14)

e. Principles of Christian liberties (Rom. 14:1-23)

f. Practices of Christian liberties (Rom. 15:1-13)

5. Conclusion, commendations and exhortations

a. Paul’s purpose for writing (Rom. 15:14-21)

b. Paul’s plans for traveling (Rom. 15:22-33)

c. Praise and greeting (Rom. 16:1-27)

B. Comprehensive outline

                   

1 CORINTHIANS

An Introduction to the Book of First Corinthians  


INTRODUCTION

1. Before discussing things specific to the book of First Corinthians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is: the glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the Old Testament and New Testament contribute to the development and explanation of this overall theme. This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and the saints.


I. AUTHOR                                                                           

A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of 1 Corinthians is almost universally accepted as being penned by the apostle Paul. Explicit statements attest to Paul writing this book. (1 Cor. 1:1; 12-17; 3:4-6; 16:21; 2 Cor. 1:1) 

1. In addition, the vocabulary and teachings of the text point to Paul the apostle. Reference to this letter in extra-biblical literature can be found as early as A.D. 95, when Clement of Rome mentions 1 Corinthians as having been written by Paul. 

2. The Muratorian canon (2nd century) lists 1 Corinthians as one of Paul’s letters. Tertullian, the father of Latin theology, in his Prescriptions Against Heretics, uses 1 Corinthians as a Pauline support for the doctrine of the resurrection. Origen, in a discussion of temptation, also refers to Paul as the penman of 1 Corinthians.

3. 1 Corinthians is consistent in its vocabulary, style, logic and theological development with Paul’s other inspired writings. The oldest recorded title of the epistle is Pros Korinthious A, meaning “First to the Corinthians.” The A is a later addition to distinguish this book from 2 Corinthians. 


II. AUDIENCE

A. 1 Cor. 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”  

B. Paul’s purpose for writing was to correct the errors being taught and practiced by the church, and to answer the written questions sent to Paul by the church. It is a strong letter of rebuke.


III. ANNO DOMINI

A. The date of the book of 1 Corinthians is A.D. 57 and was penned while in Ephesus during Paul’s third missionary journey. 2 Corinthians was composed some four to eight months (some estimate up to eighteen) later. Also note, Paul had pennedRomans from Corinth (Rom. 1:24-32). 

B. Paul established the church at Corinth (Acts 18:1-17), during an eighteen month stay (A.D. 51-52). 


IV. AIM

A. Paul spent three years at Ephesus (A.D. 54-57). While there, he received disheartening news concerning the church at Corinth. Members of the household of Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11), and others (Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, 1 Cor. 16:17), came to him and brought the news of divisions and debase practices of some of its members. 

B. The church at Corinth also wrote to Paul asking him to address questions regarding marriage and other matters specific to their present circumstances. 

C. The Corinthian brethren were troubled by a spirit of faction and by Judaizing teachers who sought to bring doubt and unbelief regarding Paul’s apostleship. They were being overtaken by a desire for worldly wisdom, skepticism and moral casualness. 

D. Additional background information:

1. Topics:

a. Divisions in the church (concern) 1 Cor. 1:1-4:21

b. Disorder in the church (condemnation) 1 Cor. 5:1-6:20

c.
Difficulties in the church (counsel) 1 Cor. 7:1-16:24 

2. Focus:

a. Answer to Chloe’s report of divisions (1 Cor. 1:1-4:21)

b. Answer to the report of fornication (1 Cor. 5:1-6:20)

c. Answer to a letter of questions (1 Cor. 7:1-16:24)           

3. Divisions:

a. Report of divisions (1 Cor. 1:10-17)

b. Reason for divisions (1 Cor. 1:18-4:21)

1). Incest (1 Cor. 5:1-13)

2). Litigation (1 Cor. 6:1-11)

3). Immorality (1 Cor. 6:12-20)

4). Marriage (1 Cor. 7:1-40)

5). Offering to idols (1 Cor. 8:1-11:1)

6). Public worship (1 Cor. 11:2-14:40)

7). Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-58)

8). Collection for Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1-4)

4. Location: written from Ephesus to the church of God at Corinth, Greece (1 Cor. 16:8) 

5. Time period covered in 1 Corinthians: A.D. 57 

E. Keys: 

1. Key words: “Our Lord” occurs 5x’s in the first ten verses; “Jesus Christ” in 9 out of 10 of those verses. 

2. Key verses:

a. 1 Cor. 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” 

b. 1 Cor. 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

3. Key phrase: 

a. 1 Cor. 2:2, “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.”

4. Key chapters: 

a. 1 Cor. 13. “And yet I show you a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31). 1 Cor. 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Chapter 13 is the most profound teaching on the self-giving character of Christian love (agape). 

b. 1 Cor. 15. “The Resurrection chapter.” Christ’s victory over death.

5. Key subjects by chapter: 

a. Chapter one - Followers of men; God’s foolishness and man’s wisdom. (1 Cor. 1:10) The reality of division, why divided, and the evidences of division

b. Chapter two - How man receives the wisdom of God. (1 Cor. 2:9)

c. Chapter three - A carnal people; the church is God’s temple. (1 Cor. 3:1)

d. Chapter four - True stewardship; the apostle’s role. (1 Cor. 4:1-2)

e. Chapter five - The problem of fornication within the church. (1 Cor. 5:1)

f. Chapter six - Going to law against a brother; the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19)

g. Chapter seven - Teachings of marriage. (1 Cor. 7:1-2)

h. Chapter eight - The eating of meats sacrificed to idols. (1 Cor. 8:1)

i. Chapter nine - The minister’s right for support; Paul’s desire to see all men saved. (1 Cor. 9:11)

j. Chapter ten - Lessons from the Israelites; meats offered to idols. (1 Cor. 10:11)

k. Chapter eleven - The head and prayer; the Lord’s Supper. (1 Cor. 11:13)

l. Chapter twelve - The distribution of spiritual gifts; one body, many members. (1 Cor. 12:12)

m. The duration of spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 13:10)

n. The proper use of spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 14:1)

o. The resurrection of Christ; the resurrected body. (1 Cor. 15:20)

p. The first day collections. (1 Cor. 16:1-2)             


V. APPEAL

A. The theme of First Corinthians is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All sin, public and private, in and out of the church, is the result of one’s failure to honor Jesus the Christ, as Lord of one’s life and over all things.

B. Paul stresses Christians must respect Christ as Lord in the church, in Christian unity, in manner of life, marriage, worship, in use of spiritual gifts, in brotherly love, in hope of the resurrection, in faithfulness, in steadfastness. In essence, doing all things to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 15:58)

C. The Corinth which Paul knew had been founded as a Roman colony during the century before Christ. Some 200 years before Paul arrived at Corinth, a Roman general named Lucius Mummius had plundered and burned the city (Ephyra) to the ground in 146 B.C.

D. Julius Caesar rebuilt it in 46 B.C.

1. Used first as a military outpost, it became the capital city of the southern Roman province (Achaia) of Greece. Corinth was situated on a narrow strip of land (isthmus about 4-5 miles wide), between the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea, with two adjoining ports.

2. Cargo or ships had to cross land between Adriatic (Ionian) and Aegean Seas. This was much less dangerous and time consuming than traveling several hundred miles around the southern tip of Greece (the Peloponnesus). Two main harbors: The port of Cenchrea located on the eastern side (Acts 18:18; Rom. 16:1); the port of Lechaeum located on the western side. 

3. While Nero was emperor in Rome, an unsuccessful attempt was made to dig a canal across the isthmus in order to aid the flow of shipping. The idea had been pursued by both an ancient king of Macedonia and by Julius Caesar. It was not until 1882, that a French company began cutting the canal. Completed 1893 by Greece, it is 4 miles long, 70 ft. wide and 26 ft.deep.

E. Corinth’s location made it a center of worldwide commerce and for trade routes passing from east to west. It is estimated to have had a population of 400,000 Greeks, Jews and Romans coming from everywhere. The resulting prosperity brought both luxury and moral poverty (immorality). 

1. With wealth, comes greed. The more wealth, the more greed. The sin of greed explains Paul’s attention given to addressing extortion, covetousness, and lawsuits. 

2. The wealth of the city amplified worldliness. Even to the ancient heathen world Corinth was known for its idolatry and immorality. The name was a by-word for depravity and decadence. 

F. There were many idols (1 Cor. 8:5). One of the most prominent temples was that of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (known to Romans as Venus). It was built on Corinth's acropolis which towered 2000 ft. high above the sea. The Aeropolis in Athens, about 50 miles away, was visible from the Acro-Corinthus. 

1. The temple housed 1,000 priestesses (female slaves) who were actually prostitutes (harlots). In addition to the temple of Aphrodite, other pagan temples in Corinth encouraged this sexually illicit way of life through temple prostitution. 

2. At least once a year they were required to “entertain” at least one man to show their loyalty to Aphrodite. 

3. Venereal disease came to be known as “the Corinthian sickness.”  To live like a Corinthian (“Corinthian way”) meant to live in immorality (depravity). The very word “Corinthianize” meant “to play the wanton.” 

4. Asclepius - The god of healing. A temple located in Corinth was dedicated to him. If a limb problem, a mold would be taken and left at the temple. Archeologists found the molds of many reproductive organs. 

G. The city was known for its claims of culture and philosophy. It contained a theatre with a seating capacity of 18,000 people. Thus the reason for Paul’s attention to the Greek’s high regard of “wisdom.” 

1. Paul encounters the Greek mind as he had in Athens, but Corinth was not so devoted to science, eloquence or literature, but was given to entertainment and luxury. 

2. Except for seven Doric columns which are still standing, and some scattered ruins of masonry, there is nothing left of this once proud city. Only rubble remains.

H. Acts 18:12-17, “Gallio was proconsul of Achaia.” Gallio was just and well liked. An inscription (the "Oracle of Delphi") was found at Delphi stating that Gallio went to Corinth in A.D. 51. Soothsayers gave these oracles for instruction to go into battle or for commerce advice. Seneca, the brother of Gallio, was accused of trying to kill Nero. Both were either executed or committed suicide. 

I. As Paul deals with these serious problems in the church at Corinth, he proclaims the relevance and sufficiency of Christ for every area of the Christian’s life (1 Cor. 1:30). In dealing with sexual immorality, Paul stresses the importance of church discipline and purity (1 Cor. 5:9-13). The primary purpose of such discipline is the restoration of the erring.

J. First Corinthians belongs to Paul’s second group of epistles referred to as the “salvation group of epistles." The epistles (Romans, Galatians, and Second Corinthians) deal with the doctrine of salvation. Note: each book of the Bible contributes to this theme of salvation.


VI. ANALYSIS

Concise outline:

I. IN ANSWER TO CHLOE’S REPORT OF DIVISIONS (1 Cor. 1:1-4:21)

A. Response of Paul - Introduction (1 Cor. 1:1-9)                    

            1. Greetings of grace and peace (1 Cor. 1:1-3)

            2. Prayer of thanksgiving (1 Cor. 1:4-9)

B. Report of divisions (1 Cor. 1:10-17)

C. Reasons from divisions (1 Cor. 1:18-4:21) 

1. Misunderstanding of the gospel message (1 Cor. 1:18-3:4)

2. Misunderstanding of the gospel messenger (1 Cor. 3:5-4:5)

3. Misunderstanding of the messenger’s ministry (1 Cor. 4:6-21) 

II. IN ANSWER TO REPORTS OF FORNICATION (1 Cor. 5:1-6:20)

A. Concerning incest (1 Cor. 5:1-13) 

1. Deliver the fornicator for discipline (1 Cor. 5:1-8)

2. Separate yourselves from immoral brethren (1 Cor. 5:9-13) 

B. Concerning litigation between brethren (1 Cor. 6:1-11) 

C. Concerning the warnings against sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:12-20) 

III. IN ANSWER TO THE FORMER LETTER OF QUESTIONS (1 Cor. 7:1-16:24)

A. Counsel concerning marriage (1 Cor. 7:1-40) 

1. Principles for married life (1 Cor. 7:1-9)

2. Principles for married brethren (1 Cor. 7:10-16)

3. Principles of abiding as God’s children (1 Cor. 7:17-24)

4. Principles for the unmarried (1 Cor. 7:25-38)

5. Principles for remarriage (1 Cor. 7:39-40) 

B. Counsel concerning things offered to idols (1 Cor. 8:1-11:1) 

1. Principles of liberty and the weaker brother (1 Cor. 8:1-13)

2. Illustration of Paul and his liberty (1 Cor. 9:1-27)

3. Warning against forfeiting liberty (1 Cor. 10:1-13)

4. Exhortation to use liberty to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:14-11:1) 

C. Counsel concerning public worship (1 Cor. 11:2-14:40) 

1. Principles of public prayer (1 Cor. 11:2-16)

2. Rebuke of disorders regarding the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:17-34)

3. Principles of exercising spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-14:40)

 D. Counsel concerning the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-58) 

1. Fact of Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-11)

2. Importance of Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12-19)

3. Order of the resurrections (1 Cor. 15:20-28)

4. Moral implications of Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor. 15:29-34)

5. The body of the resurrected dead (1 Cor. 15:35-50)

6. The time element of the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51-58) 

E. Counsel concerning the collection for Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1-4) 

F. Conclusion (1 Cor. 16:5-24) 


Comprehensive outline: (skeleton outline of 1 Cor. 1:1 - 2:16 by Bill Jackson, Commentary of 1 Corinthians)
 

I. SALUTATION, PAUL’S THANKSGIVING AND INTRODUCTION TO CORINTH’S PROBLEMS (1 Cor. 1:1-17)

A. Salutation (vs.1-3)

1. Paul, in company with Sosthenes (vs.1)

 2. To Corinth, and to brethren everywhere (vs.2)

 3. Grace and peace from God and the Christ (vs.3)

B. Paul’s thanksgiving for the Corinthians (vs.4-9) 

1. Thanksgiving for them, and for God’s grace to them (vs.4)

2. Thanksgiving for the fullness of the spiritual gifts they possessed (vs.5-7)

3. Thanksgiving that God will see them blameless in the judgment, conditioned on their abiding faithfully in the fellowship of Christ (vs.8-9)

 C. The introduction to Corinth’s problems (vs.10-17)

1. Paul writes of his awareness that they had yet to attain unity (vs.10)

2. The house of Chloe had informed Paul of their division (vs.11)

3. The contention keeping them from being united: 

a. The party spirit (vs.12)

b. Contention not rooted in Christ or the apostles (vs.13)

c. Party spirit not created by those baptizing them (vs.14)

d. If such formed a party spirit, Paul was thankful he baptized very few (vs.14-16)

e. The charge to Paul was to preach the gospel; baptism was consequence of such preaching, not the end all (vs.17)

f. Man’s wisdom makes the cross of none effect (vs.17)

II. THE WISDOM OF MAN VERSUS THE WISDOM OF GOD: GOD’S WORD GIVEN TO GOD’S SERVANTS (1 Cor. 1:18-2:16) 

A. Two views of the preaching of the cross (vs.18)

B. Two types of wisdom: That of the world, and that of God (vs.19-24)

1. God’s wisdom makes the world’s wisdom foolish (vs.19-20)

2. The world’s wisdom rejects the preaching of God’s will (vs.21)

3. Jewish and Greek expectation, set against that which God’s servants proclaim: Christ crucified! (vs.22-24)

C. God’s might and wisdom brought forth a calling of man (vs.25-31)

1. Those the world considers “mighty” usually reject God (vs.26)

2. What men reject as unworthy, God has used to further His will (vs.27-28)

3. Proper glory resides in the Christ and not in man, man’s flesh, or man’s wisdom (vs.29-31) 

D. Paul’s manner in proclaiming God’s power (1 Cor. 2:1-5)

1. Not with man’s wisdom: excellence of speech and wisdom, enticing words, etc. (vs.1-4)

2. The testimony of God (vs.1) centers on Christ, and Him crucified (vs.2)

3. When the power of God is thus proclaimed, faith will not rest in men (vs.5) 

E. The once-hidden wisdom of God is now revealed (vs.6-11)

1. God’s planning in ages past (vs.6-9) not previously revealed

2. Such has now been revealed by God’s Spirit (vs.10-11) 

F. The message of God’s wisdom conveyed to man (vs.12-16)

1. God’s Spirit directing inspired men in God’s wisdom (vs.12)

2. The Spirit teaches the will of God in words of spiritual import (vs.13)

3. Spiritual men used of God (cf. 2 Pet. 1:21), that spiritual content is given (vs.14). 

a. Spiritual men rendering spiritual judgment (vs.15)

b. The mind of the Lord possessed by inspired men, receiving instruction from God (vs.16) 

VII. ADDITIONAL INTRODUCTION MATERIAL TO 1 CORINTHIANS

A. Concerning the epistles of Paul: 

1. The path of Paul’s ministry. His ministry began in Damascus and in Tarsus, the city of his birth. His missionary journeys took him throughout the provinces of Galatia, Asia, Macedonia, and Achaia. Even under the custody of the Roman government in Caesarea, and imprisoned in Rome, Paul proclaimed the gospel and of his salvation in Christ. 

a. Acts 18 records Paul’s first visit to the city of Corinth. This took place on Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-18) 

b. Other visits to Corinth took place. 2 Cor. 13:1-2 indicates that Paul made a second trip (third missionary journey) and anticipated a third (2 Cor. 1:15; 2:1; 12:14, 20-21) 

c. Paul penned First and Second Thessalonians from Corinth 

2. The purpose of Paul’s letters. Letters were a common form of communication in the first century. Paul wrote such letters to congregations and individuals to strengthen, encourage, warn, and instruct the congregations he had established (1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians). He also wrote to congregations he had yet to visit (Romans, Colossians). In addition, he wrote to individuals (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon). 

a. Paul’s inspired and authoritative writings were first intended for those directly addressed 

b. Paul’s inspired and authoritative writings are also indirectly intended for Christians both then now 

3. The pattern to Paul’s letters. In the introduction Paul identifies himself and addresses them by way of a greeting (though not always the case). 

a. For example, in Galatians, where Paul was deeply concerned over the converts following false teachers, Paul omits his thanksgiving for their spiritual progress (1 Thess. 1:2-10), and his intercessions for their further spiritual growth (Phil. 1:8-11) 

1). Instead, he immediately addresses the problem at hand, addressing their error and doctrinal questions commanding inspired solutions to these destructive situations 

2). Paul closes with greetings from his companions and with added greetings to various people in the congregations to which he writes. His letter concludes with prayer 

b. Paul’s greetings are unique in the sense that the normal Greek greeting was similar to their word for “grace.” “Peace” (shalom) was the usual Jewish greeting. Paul combines the two by stating such: 

1). “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 1:3) 

2). “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 1:3)

3). God’s grace in Christ brings reconciliation (peace) with God, providing fellowship and wholeness 

c. Paul’s letters cover both doctrinal and practical subjects. *Doctrinal teaching is practical teaching. Romans (doctrinal – Rom. 1:16-11:36); (practical – Rom. 12:1-15:32)

1). In Philippians, doctrinal and practical teaching are interlaced. 1 Corinthians, Paul, especially in chapter 7, is answering a series of questions sent to him from Corinth. 

2). The last three letters penned by Paul (1 & 2 Tim. Tit.) are known as “Pastoral letters.”  Written to individuals, they are given this identity because they deal with matters pertaining to “pastors” (elders) and their relationship to the local congregation they shepherd. 

3). 1 Timothy and Titus are the earliest authorized guides to church organization; noted for the lists of qualifications for elders and deacons and challenge all Christians to good works 

d. Paul’s prayer at the end of his letters are always towards God’s grace to be with his readers. (Rom. 16:24; 1 Cor. 16:23; Phil. 4:23; 1 Thes. 5:28; 2 Thess. 3:18) 

B. Concerning the church at Corinth: 

1. The background for the establishment of the church is found in Acts 18:1-18 

a. Paul’s arrival in Corinth was not a matter of triumphant anticipation or of confident assurance based on past successes. He had escaped Macedonia with his life in danger (Acts 17:13-14). From Thessalonica, in Macedonia, Paul had gone to Athens, where he had little success among either the Jews or Greeks (Acts 17:16-33). Leaving Athens, he travels to Corinth (Acts 18:1). 

b. Paul spent over one and a half years there (Acts 18:11, 18) and had a close relationship with the church. There is more known correspondence from Paul to Corinth than to any other church. 

c. 2 Cor. 13:1-2 indicated Paul had made a second trip to Corinth which is not recorded anywhere else, and that he anticipated a third visit. That anticipated third visit is also indicated in 2 Cor. 12:14, 20-21. Since there is no biblical evidence of when the second visit was made, it is vain to speculate. It is possible that the second visit was even before 1 Corinthians was written. We simply do not have this information. 

2. First Corinthians reveals the problems, pressures and struggles of the Christians at Corinth. These were those who had been called out (the church), a people called out of a pagan society. Paul addresses within this letter various problems: factions, lawsuits, immorality, questionable practices, abuses of the Lord’s Supper, and the use of spiritual gifts. 

a. Paul gives not only words of discipline, but also words of counsel in answer to questions raised by the Christians in a previous letter sent to Paul. This is not a flattering letter. 

b. The relationship of Christian liberty and love is examined (1 Cor. 6:12). 1 Corinthians also contains extensive information regarding the gifts of the Spirit and doctrinal instruction of such gifts in the church (1 Cor. 12-14). With reference to spiritual gifts, the New Testament provides us with several lists of spiritual gifts. 

1). No one list is exhaustive; each depends upon the intentions and purposes of the inspired penman. Rom. 12, Paul deals with gifts in general terms. 1 Cor. 12, Paul stresses the gifts which build the church up as a whole. 

2). Paul highly valued the gift of prophecy (1 Cor. 14:1), and the Corinthians tended to elevate certain gifts, especially speaking in tongues, interpretation, faith and miracles. Yet without love, even these gifts are vain in God’s sight (1 Cor. 13). 

3. 1 Corinthians 15 is known as the “Resurrection chapter.” The Christians at Corinth also had difficulties with the doctrine of the resurrection, which Paul sought to correct in this chapter. 

a. Paul provides a historical and theological defense of the resurrection: 

1). The teaching is based on the fact of Christ’s resurrection 

2). The relationship between Christ’s resurrection and the believers 

3). The nature of the resurrected body 

b. Some believe the Corinthians struggled over this issue because of the idea of a resurrected body had little place in Greek thought which often exalted the physical over the spiritual. 

c. I have concerns about this in view of the “some” referenced in 1 & 2 Corinthians.

1). It may refer to Greek Christians who considered themselves to be above the Jewish Christians

2). There seems to be a misunderstanding of the Messiah and the kingdom itself – it being a spiritual and not a physical kingdom
 

C. Concerning the contacts, converts and correspondence of Paul. 

1. There has been both speculation and doubt over the number of letters Paul wrote to Corinth and about whether the letters we have might contain parts or all of additional letters. Various works on New Testament introduction may be consulted to review those theories. 

2. While some conservative scholars have held that the two epistles are actually composed of parts of more than the two, there is no real evidence to substantiate this claim. Liberals would be more apt to hold such a position in order to give credence to the way they view the rest of the Bible, i.e. “cut and paste” documents. 

3. Rather than speculate, what can we actually know from the Bible itself? 

a. Paul established the church at Corinth (Acts 18:1-18) 

b. Paul wrote a letter to them which we do not have (1 Cor. 5:9). Bible students refer to such as “The Previous Letter” 

c. The Corinthian church wrote a letter to Paul requesting information (1 Cor. 7:1). This letter also would have spoke of the deteriorating conditions of the church. Information was received from the house of Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11); likely others as well. (1 Cor. 11:18; 16:17; Acts 19:1) 

1). The letter from Corinth to Paul contained questions regarding marriage, celibacy, food offered to idols, public worship and possibly that of the use of spiritual gifts 

2). Paul addressed additional concerns regarding divisions, pride, a quarrelsome spirit, sexual immorality and an un-Christ like spirit that was being cultivated 

3). Paul wrote presenting the truth that Christianity requires a complete renovation of character and conduct – morality not of the world, not of Paul, but of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1) 

d. Paul penned 1 Corinthians from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:7-9) in or near the time of A.D. 57 

e. With great concern over the conditions at Corinth, Paul met Titus in Macedonia, by whom he learned of the good reception of his previous letter (2 Cor. 7:5-16) 

f. Paul sent Titus to Corinth and expected him to meet him at Troas with news (2 Cor. 2:12-13). Paul went on to Macedonia to find Titus (2 Cor. 2:12-13). It was after meeting Titus that Paul penned 2 Corinthians (2 Cor. 7:5-16) 

4. Converts of Corinth: Many heard and believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8) 

a. Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2; 1 Cor. 16:19). It is possible that they became Christians while in Rome, or possibly some 21 years earlier on Pentecost. Jews from Rome and Pontus were among the great crowds in Jerusalem during Pentecost. (Acts 2:9-10) 

1). Claudius in 50 A.D. expelled the Jews (Jewish Christians also) because of "Christus." This may have been more of a Jewish than a Christian problem since at that time Christianity was still considered to be a part of Judaism. (Acts 18:2) 

2). Paul and Aquila were both tentmakers (Acts 18:3) 

b. Crispus, a ruler of the synagogue, “with all his household” (Acts 18:8) 

c. Justus (Titus Justus), whose home became a meeting place for the church (Acts 18:7) 

d. Gaius, “my host and the host of the whole church,” (Rom. 16:23) 

e. Erastus, the city treasurer (Rom. 16:23) 

f. Quartus (Rom. 16:23) 

g. Sosthenes (1 Cor. 1:1; Acts 18:17) 

h. The household of Stephanas (1 Cor. 16:15) 

i. Fortunatus and Achaicus (1 Cor. 16:17) 

j. The majority of the converts were poor, slaves or middle class (Acts 18:8). As long as Hinduism exists, casts will always exist. Although not entirely the same in America, we will only reach certain classes of people, even though the gospel is for all. (Mk. 10:23-25; Matt. 6:19-24) 

5. After Paul departed from Corinth he sailed to Syria with Priscilla and Aquila and came to Ephesus. Paul left them there and he continued on eventually coming to the regions of Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:18-24). A.D. 54. 

a. Acts 19:1, we learn Apollos is at Corinth. He was an Alexandrian Jew, an eloquent and learned man (Acts 18:24). At Ephesus, he had preached with great zeal the baptism of John (Acts 18:25), and was furthered instructed of “the way of God more accurately” by Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:26). 

b. Leaving Ephesus, Apollos had gone to Corinth (1 Cor. 1:12). He too, may have returned to Ephesus to report to Paul on the conditions of the church at Corinth. 

D. Concerning the culture, the church today and the application of the Corinthian letter. 

1. Paul is dealing with a church in a secular, worldly urban culture 

2. Paul stresses the unity of the body, the church. But he was careful to base the unity of the church on the doctrine of Christ and the redemptive relationship one possesses “in Christ” 

3. Paul is confronting a “new morality,” the sin of old. The morality of God has never changed. 

4. Paul is dealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the purpose of such gifts and the knowledge that such gifts were to cease after a period of time. The emphasis and error of the work of the Holy Spirit outside His word continues to be a major hinderance to understanding how God instructs and influences both sinners and saints.


2 CORINTHIANS
An Introduction to the Book Of Second Corinthians

INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of 2 Corinthians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is:
The glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents become a vital part of our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – Pauline authorship of 2 Corinthians is supported by external/internal evidence. To distinguish this epistle from 1 Corinthians, it was assigned the title Pros Korinthious B, the “Second to the Corinthians.” The A and B were most likely added later to distinguish between the two letters addressed to the Corinthians.

II. AUDIENCE
A. 2 Cor. 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia.”

B. Purpose: Paul wrote this letter to express his thanksgiving for the repentant majority and to appeal to the rebellious minority to accept his authority. Throughout the letter, Paul will defend his conduct, character, and calling as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The date of 2 Corinthians is A.D. 57. It was penned likely from Macedonia during Paul’s third missionary journey 4-8 months after writing 1 Corinthians. The church was established by Paul during an 18 month stay on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-17). (A.D. 51-52).

B. Titus previously delivered Paul’s letter, 1 Corinthians, and by doing so, was also able to address the present difficulties there. Paul met Titus in Macedonia/upon Titus’ return, Paul rejoices to hear of the Corinthian’s repentance/response to God’s word (2 Cor. 2:13; 7:5-8).

C. Note – Many scholars believe 2 Corinthians is actually the fourth letter Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. (*1 Cor. 5:9, speaks of an earlier epistle, after writing 1 Cor., Paul visited Corinth in what had been a “sorrowful visit” (2:1; cf. 12:14; 13:1). After this visit (his third to the city), Paul wrote a “sorrowful letter” (2:4), which is said to have been lost.).

D. Some “scholars” complain of a disunity of this letter, specifically chapters 10-13, as not being a part of this letter in its original form. They argue chapters 10-13 contrast in tone/subject matter to chapters 1-9. They further assert chapters 10-13 belong to a letter now lost (cf. 2 Cor. 2:4). However, it is reasonable to conclude that the difference of tone between these chapters is due to its change of subject – from the repentant majority to the rebellious minority.

IV. AIM
A. On Paul’s third tour, while at Ephesus (A.D. 54-57), he received disheartening news concerning the church at Corinth. Members of the household of Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11), and others (1 Cor. 16:17), came to him/brought the news of divisions/debase practices of some of its members. As a result, Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in response to these reports.

B. After some months, Paul receives word from Titus regarding the church at Corinth. Hearing this report, Paul writes to them expressing his thanksgiving for the repentant majority/to appeal to the rebellious minority to accept his authority. Throughout the letter, Paul will defend his conduct, character, and his being called as an apostle by Jesus Christ.

C. Additional background information:

1. Topics: Ephesus to Macedonia: change of itinerary (character of Paul) (2 Cor. 1:1-7:16).
Macedonia: preparation for visit (collection for saints) (2 Cor. 1:1-7:16).
To Corinth: imminent visit (credentials of Paul) (2 Cor. 10:1-13:14).

2. Focus: Explanation of Paul’s ministry (2 Cor. 1:1-7:16).
Collection for the saints (2 Cor. 8:1-9:15).
Vindication of Paul’s apostleship (2 Cor. 10:1-13:14).

3. Divisions: Paul’s change of plans (2 Cor. 1:12-2:13).
Paul’s philosophy of ministry (2 Cor. 2:14-6:10).
Paul’s exhortations to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 6:11-7:16).
Paul’s example of the Macedonians (2 Cor. 8:1-6).
Paul’s exhortations to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 8:1-9:15).
Paul’s answers to his accusers (2 Cor. 10:1-18).
Paul’s defense of his apostleship (2 Cor. 11:1-12:13).
Paul’s announcement of his upcoming visit (2 Cor. 12:14-13:10).

4. Location: written from Macedonia, exact location unknown.

5. Time period in 2 Corinthians: A.D. 57.

D. Keys:

1. Key words: Comfort/ministry: 1). The nature/source of comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-5; 2:7; 7:6-7, 13; 13:11). 2). The message/performance of the church’s ministry ( 2 Cor. 3:6, 8; 4:1, 4-5; 5:18).

2. Key verses:

a. 2 Cor. 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
b. 2 Cor. 4:5-6, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

3. Key phrase:

a. 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

4. Key chapter:

a. 2 Cor. 5. “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (vs.1) . . . For we walk by faith, not by sight (vs.7) . . .Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him (vs.9) . . . Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation (vs.18) . . . For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (vs.21).

V. APPEAL
A. All Christians are ministers of comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-4). Every Christian is a priest. Therefore, we are all ministers of the gospel. The ministry of the evangelist to the church is to build up the church in its ministry.

B. Since Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, they had been influenced by false teachers seeking to turn the church against Paul. They claimed he was fickle, proud, and unimpressive in his
appearance/speech; dishonest/unqualified as an apostle of Jesus Christ.

C. Second Corinthians is the most autobiographical of Paul’s letters. This is a personal letter from Paul to the church at Corinth in which he defends his God-given apostleship and his great faith in God, his love for the church, and his loyalty to Christ.

D. Paul’s defense of his apostleship in chapters 10-13 is characterized by the use of irony and sarcasm (cf. vs.11:16-12:13). He rebukes the vain preoccupation of some who were glorying in their spiritual gifts by boasting (2 Cor. 11:18) in his weakness/the persecutions he endured.

E. Second Corinthians belongs to Paul’s second group of epistles known as the “salvation group of epistles.” This group includes Romans, Galatians, and First Corinthians. These epistles deal with the doctrine of salvation.

VI. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. PAUL’S EXPLANATION OF HIS MINISTRY (2 Cor. 1:1-7:16)
A. Paul’s greeting (Introduction) (2 Cor. 1:1-11).

1. His thanksgiving to God (2 Cor. 1:1-7).
2. His trouble in Asian (2 Cor. 1:8-11).

B. Paul’s change of plans (2 Cor. 1:12-2:13).

1. His original plan (2 Cor. 1:12-22).
2. His change of plans (2 Cor. 1:23-2:4).
3. His appeal to forgive (2 Cor. 2:5-13).
C. Paul’s philosophy of ministry (2 Cor. 2:14-6:10).

1. Christ causes us to triumph (2 Cor. 2:14-17).
2. Changed lived prove ministry (2 Cor. 3:1-5).
3. New Covenant is the basis of ministry (2 Cor. 3:6-18).
4. Christ is the theme of ministry (2 Cor. 4:1-7).
5. Trials abound in the ministry (2 Cor. 8-15).
6. Motivation in the ministry (2 Cor. 4:16-5:21).
7. Giving no offense to guard the ministry (2 Cor. 6:1-10).

D. Paul’s exhortations to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 6:11-7:16).

1. His appeal for reconciliation (2 Cor. 6:11-13).
2. His appeal for separation from unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).
3. His meeting with Titus (2 Cor. 7:2-7).
4. Corinthian’s response to Paul’s letter (2 Cor. 7:8-16).

II. PAUL’S COLLECTION FOR THE SAINTS (2 Cor. 8:1-9:15)
A. Example of the Macedonians (2 Cor. 8:1-6).

B. Exhortations to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 8:1-9:15).

1. Example of Christ (2 Cor. 8:7-9).
2. Purpose of giving (2 Cor. 8:10-15).
3. Explanation of the delegation (2 Cor. 8:16-9:5).
4. Exhortation to giving (2 Cor. 9:6-15).

III. PAUL’S VINDICATION OF HIS APOSTLESHIP (2 Cor. 10:1-13:14)
A. Paul answers to his accusers (2 Cor. 10:1-18).

1. The charge of cowardice is answered (2 Cor. 10:1-2).
2. The charge of walking in the flesh is answered (2 Cor. 10:3-9).
3. The charge of personal weakness is answered (2 Cor. 10:10-18).

B. Paul defends his apostleship (2 Cor. 11:1-12:13).

1. His declaration of his apostleship (2 Cor. 11:1-15).
2. His suffering support his apostleship (2 Cor. 11:16-33).
3. His revelations support his apostleship (2 Cor. 12:1-10).
4. His signs support his apostleship (2 Cor. 12:11-13).

C. Paul announces his upcoming visit (2 Cor. 12:14-13:10).

1. His concern not to be a financial burden (2 Cor. 12:14-18).
2. His concern not to find them carnal (2 Cor. 12:19-21).
3. His warning to examine yourselves (2 Cor. 13:1-10).

D. Paul’s conclusion (2 Cor. 13:11-14).


GALATIANS
INTRODUCTION
Outline
Notes of Michael Wilk

INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of Galatians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is: the glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of Galatians was written by Paul.

1. His authorship of this letter has been virtually unchallenged. The original manuscript of the Galatian letter was written by Paul himself (Gal. 6:11), instead of being dictated to a secretary, as had been Paul’s practice. (Rom. 16:22; 1 Cor. 16:21; Col. 4:18; 2 Thess. 3:17).

2. This is Paul’s only epistle in which he gave his brethren no commendation in his salutation and no reference to their standing in Christ (cf. Gal. 1:6; 3:1; 4:8-11, 19-20).

II. AUDIENCE
A. The recipient of this letter is recorded in Gal. 1:2, “To the churches of Galatia.”

B. The book is called Pros Galatas, “To the Galatians.” It is the only letter of Paul that is specifically addressed to a number of churches. While this is true, keep in mind that several times Paul spoke of greetings from area churches (1 Cor. 16:19; Rom. 16:16).

C. The name Galatians was given to this Celtic people because they originally lived in Gaul before their resettlement/relocation to Asia Minor.

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The possible date of the letter to the Galatians is from fall of A.D. 57 to March of A.D. 58.

B. The term “Galatia” was used in both a cultural/geographical sense and a political sense. The Roman political province of Galatian included some areas in southern Asia Minor (cities of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe) which were not part of the portion of central Asia Minor inhabited by Celtic tribes and known as “Galatia.”

C. There is what is called, “The north Galatian theory.” It teaches that Paul was speaking of Galatia in its earlier, more restricted sense. According to this theory, the churches of Galatia were located north of the cities Paul visited on his first missionary journey.


1. Paul visited ethnic Galatia for the first time on is second missionary journey, possibly while Paul was on his way to Troas (Acts 16:6).

2. On Paul’s third missionary journey, he revisited the Galatian churches he had established (Acts 18:23), and wrote this epistle either from Ephesus or Macedonia.

D. There is also what is called, “The south Galatian theory.”

1. This theory teaches that Paul was referring to “Galatia” in its wider political sense as a province of Rome. Accordingly, the churches addressed were located in the cities he evangelized during his first missionary journey with Barnabas (Acts 13:13-14:23).

2. This was just prior to the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), so the Jerusalem visit described in Gal. 2:1-10 would have been Acts 11:27-30 famine-relief visit and the book of Galatians would have been written in A.D. 50. I do not hold to this early date.

IV. AIM
A. The Galatians had become Christians by the ministry of Paul’s missionary journeys. After Paul had departed, Judaizing teachers came and taught the need of circumcision/the practice of the Jewish religion in order to be right with God. Paul finding this very distressing set to counter/correct such error.

B. Paul begins by setting forth his credentials as an apostle with a message from God: blessing comes forth from God on the basis of faith in Christ/obedience to the New Covenant. The law (Mosaic law) could only condemn one for not keeping such. It could not redeem.

C. Faith in Christ and obedience to His word frees man from the law and allows him to enjoy liberty in Christ. Understand liberty is not license (Gal. 5:13). Liberty is the freedom to do what is right. It involves producing the fruits of the spirits by living a righteous life before God.

D. Additional background information:

1. Topics: Biographical explanation (authentication of liberty). (Gal. 1:1-2:21).
Doctrinal exposition (argumentation for liberty). (Gal. 3:1-4:31).
Practical exhortation (application of liberty). (Gal. 5:1-6:18).

2. Focus: Gospel of Christ defended (Gal. 1:1-2:21).
Gospel of Christ explained (Gal. 3:1-4:31).
Gospel of Christ applied (Gal. 5:1-6:18).

3. Divisions: Paul’s apostleship (Gal. 1:1-23).
Paul’s authority (Gal. 2:1-22).
Bondage by law (Gal. 3:1-21).
Liberty by Christ (Gal. 4:1-32).
Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:1-33).
Fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 6:1-20).

4. Locations: North Galatian theory – Corinth, Ephesus, or Macedonia
South Galatian theory - Syrian Antioch

5. Time period covered in Galatians:

a. A.D. 57-58 (possibly as early as A.D. 50, though doubtful).

E. Keys:

1. Key words: “Liberty,” or freedom (4 times). Others keys words are “law” (occurring 28 times – NKJV, 31 times in the KJV; “flesh” (17 times); “Spirit” (18 times); “faith” (21 times); “the promise” (5 times, KJV – 10 times); “bondage” (6 times); “the cross” (3 times, KJV – 6 times)

2. Key verse: Gal. 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

3. Key phrases: Gal. 5:6, “Faith working through love.”

4. Key chapter: Galatians 3: Justification by obedient faith, as in Rom. 3:28, and Gal. 2:16. Gal. 3:6-9,”Just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.”

Vs.16, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.”

Vs.18-29, “For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

5. Key doctrine: Gal. 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

6. Key central message of freedom in Christ: Gal. 1:16; 2:11-16; 3:1-11; 4:9-11; 5:1-7; 6:15.

V. APPEAL
A. Christ is our deliverer. The gospel proclaimed by Christ is a message of salvation. “The truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32). The gospel of Christ is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes . . .” (Rom. 1:16). There is no other gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).

B. The advocates of Judaistic legalism set aside the gospel/grace of God, which left the atoning death of Christ with no more than minimal significance.

C. All attempts to set forth works of merit, whether moral or religious, as a way commanded by God for salvation is a perversion of the one gospel of Christ and is under the same condemnation as those who not only taught error, but those who were leaving the one true faith for such false teaching.

D. The letter to the Galatians has been called the “Magna Charta or Manifesto, of Christian liberty.” It is God’s emancipation proclamation for sinners. Christ has freed believers from the bondage of the Mosaic law (legalism)/sin (license) and has placed them in a position of liberty.

E. The transforming power of the word of God and the blood of Christ provides the Christian with the basis for deliverance from the curse of sin, Mosaic law, and self. Jesus fulfilled the law of Moses/took it out of the way (Col. 2:14). By fulfilling the law, He removed the Old Covenant and replaced it with the New Covenant established by His blood.

F. Galatians describes our union with Christ (Gal. 2:20); our union in baptism (Gal. 3:27); our union of Christians as brothers/sisters in Christ (Gal. 3:28). We get into Christ by obedient faith, when we are baptized into Him. In Christ, we have freedom from sin/the law of Moses and from the doctrines of men.

G. Galatians was Luther’s chief inspiration for the Reformation. “This was the pebble from the brook with which, like another David, he went forth to meet the papal giant and smite him in the forehead” (Godet).

VI. ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS
A. The three crosses of Galatians:

1. The cross of Christ. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law . . .” (Gal. 3:13).

2. The cross on which the world of sin is crucified. (Gal. 6:14).

3. The cross for one’s self, by which we are crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

B. The three great facts of Galatians:

1. The fact of spiritual life. Spiritual life is only supplied by faith in Christ (Gal. 2:20; 5:6).

2. The fact of law. Liberty is no license. There is a law of liberty (Jas. 1:25). Christian life is under law, the new law of grace/truth, which is the law of Christ (Jn. 1:17; 1 Cor. 9:21).

3. The fact of love. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love . . . .” (Gal. 5:22; cf. 5:14).


VII. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST IS DEFENDED (Gal. 1:1-2:21)
A. Introduction (Gal. 1:1-9).

1. Salutation: the ground of grace (Gal. 1:1-5).
2. Situation: the departure from grace (Gal. 1:6-9).

B. The gospel of Christ is given by divine revelation (Gal. 1:10-24).

C. The gospel of Christ is received by the Jerusalem leadership (Gal. 2:1-10).

D. The gospel of Christ is vindicated by rebuking Peter (Gal. 2:11-21).

II. THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST EXPLAINED (Gal. 3:1-4:31)
A. The miraculous was given by the hearing of faith, and not of law (Gal. 3:1-5).

B. Abraham was justified by obedient faith, not by works of merit (Gal. 3:6-9).

C. Justification is by the faith, not by law (Mosaic) (Gal. 3:10-4:11).

D. Galatians attitude towards Paul having received the gospel (Gal. 4:12-20).

E. The Two Covenants (Gal. 4:21-31).

III. THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST APPLIED (Gal. 5:1-6:18)
A. The position of liberty: “Stand fast” (Gal. 5:1-12).

B. The practice of liberty: “Through love serve another” (Gal. 5:13-15).

C. The precept of liberty: “Walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16-26).

D. The performance of liberty: “Let us do good to all” (Gal. 6:1-10).

E. Conclusion (Gal. 6:11-18).

Comprehensive outline


EPHESIANS
An Introduction the Book of Ephesians
 


INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of Ephesians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is: the glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of Ephesians was written by Paul. The name “Paul” is recorded in Eph. 1:1; 3:1 as the writer of this letter to the saints in Ephesus.

1. Some seek to discredit this book as being penned by Paul, arguing that it differs in vocabulary and style, and that the view of the universal church as the body of Christ represents a later theological development. Such arguments are highly subjective.

2. Such quality/wealth of the theological development in the book of Ephesians is better understood as being attributed to inspiration/a greater unfolding/revealing by God to Paul regarding the nature of the church. Also consider Paul’s spiritual growth/maturity in Christ.

II. AUDIENCE
A. The recipient of this letter is recorded in Eph. 1:1, “To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.”

B. The letter to the Ephesians is addressed to believers who are rich beyond measure in Jesus Christ, yet were living as beggars, and only because they are ignorant of their wealth.

C. The traditional title of this epistle is Pros Ephesious, “To the Ephesians.” Many ancient manuscripts, omit en Epheso, “in Ephesus,” (Eph. 1:1). This has led a number of students to challenge the traditional view that this message was directed specifically to the Ephesians.

1. The encyclical theory proposes that it was a circular letter sent by Paul to the churches of Asia. It is argued that Ephesians is really a Christian treatise designed for general use: it involves no controversy and deal with no specific problems in any particular church.

2. And so, if the Ephesian letter began as a circular letter, it eventually became associated with Ephesus, the foremost of the Asian churches.

3. Some students accept an ancient tradition that Ephesians is Paul’s letter to the Laodiceans (Col. 4:16). That is, the letter purposely left a blank space to insert the city where that letter might be read also. There is no way to know for sure.
4. Still there is a third possible option: This epistle was directly addressed to the Ephesians, but was written in such a way as to make it helpful for all the churches in Asia.

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The possible approximate date of the letter to the Ephesians is A.D. 60-63 (A.D. 62-63).

B. This is one of four letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon) written while Paul
was a prisoner in Rome during his first imprisonment (Acts 28:16-31). It very well may have
been written at or around the same time as the letter to the Colossians.

IV. AIM
A. The book of Ephesians is one of the most carefully written presentations of Christian theology in the NT. Consider Romans, Galatians and Hebrews (if written by Paul). Paul penned this book by inspiration to make Christians more aware of the riches they have in Christ, and to further motivate them to draw upon these spiritual resources in daily living before God.

B. Eph. 1-3, Paul begins by describing the contents of the Christian’s heavenly “bank account”: adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, citizenship and the love of Christ – in short, every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3).

C. Eph. 4-6, the Christian learns a spiritual walk rooted in his spiritual wealth. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 4-6). (Eph. 1:3; 2:10).

D. There are no imperatives in Eph.1-3, which focus on the divine gifts to the believer. In contrast, Eph.4-6 includes thirty-five directives that speak of a believers’ responsibility to conduct themselves according to their calling, thus the two divisions of the book of Ephesus:
1. The position of those in Christ, and 2. The practice of those in Christ.

E. Additional background information:

1. Topics: Privileges of the Christian (belief) (Eph. 1:1-32).
Responsibilities of the Christian (behavior) (Eph. 4:1-6:24).

2. Focus: The position of the Christian (Eph. 1:1-3:21).
The Practice of the Christian (Eph. 4:1-6:24).

3. Divisions: Praise for redemption (Eph. 1:1-14).
Prayer for revelation (Eph. 1:15-23).
Position of the Christian (Eph. 2:1-3:13).
Prayer for realization (Eph. 3:14-21).
Unity in the church (Eph. 4:1-6).
Holiness in life (Eph. 4:17-5:21).
Responsibilities at Home/work (Eph. 5:22-6:9).
Conduct in the conflict (Eph. 6:10-24).

4. Location: Rome



E. Keys:

1. Key words:

a. “In Christ” (or its equivalent) appears about thirty-five times, more than in any other NT book. He uses this expression some 200 times in his epistles.

b. “Glory” occurs eight times and refers to the exceeding excellence of God’s love, wisdom
and power. Salvation in Ephesians is directed toward the goal of “the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:6; 12, 14).

c. Other words that occur frequently are “together,” “in heavenly places,” “riches,” “unity,” and “one” indicating unity, and “love.”

2. Key verse: Eph. 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

3. Key phrase: Eph. 5:25, “Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

4. Key chapter: Ephesians 2. “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins
. . . But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). . . For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; . . . For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (vs.1-10).

“He Himself is our peace, . . ., having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, . . . through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity, . . . For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (vs.11-18).

“Now, therefore, you are . . . fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, . . . built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (vs.19-22).

V. APPEAL
A. The church is the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the church, “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23). The church is also the temple of God (Eph. 2:21). It is the family of God (Eph. 3:15). Christ “is the Savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23).

B. Jesus loved the church and gave Himself for her in order to “sanctify her and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27).

C. God’s glory is particularly revealed in His commitment to build a glorious, mature, and ministering church, “not having spot or wrinkle” (Eph. 5:27). The Father prepared not only a physical body for His Son to suffer in, but also a spiritual body in which He is to be glorified.

D. The heavenly character of the believer’s calling is stressed in Ephesians (Eph. 1:3). Although previously dead in sin, the Christian has been raised with Christ and seated with Him in the “heavenly places” (Eph. 2:6). This calling in which we were called, in turn, provokes/provides the means/empowerment of the believer’s life of obedience on earth (Eph. 4:1).

E. Grace (Gr. charis) refers to the benevolent/beneficial actions of God in which He reveals Himself, His gifts, His nature – all bestowals which grow out of His love, rather than any sinner’s personal worth or works of merit outside the obedience of Christ.

F. The work of salvation involving both God and men, is essentially threefold.

1. Justification – God by means of man’s obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ is declared righteous before God. Man has changed his state from sinner to saint in Christ. Man is freed and has been pardoned from the legal penalty (eternal separation from God) of past sin.

2. Sanctification – God by means of man’s obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ is set apart, made holy unto service in Christ and is continuing to be sanctified as one remains faithful in the pursuance of the daily practice of the word of God.

3. Glorification – refers to the time to come when the saint will be eternally freed from the power of sin and fully conformed to the image of Christ Jesus our Lord.

G. Concerning the city of Ephesus: It was the capital of Asia, the leading city of Asia Minor, and the seat of the imperial pro-consul. At the end of Paul’s second missionary journey, he visited Ephesus where he left Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:18-21).

1. Returning to the city on his third missionary journey, Paul spent nearly three years there (Acts 18:23-19:41; 20:31). Paul’s effective ministry began seriously to hurt the traffic in magic and images, leading to an uproar in the huge Ephesian theater.

2. Paul then left for Macedonia, but afterward he met with the Ephesian elders at Miletus while on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 20:16-38).

3. Ephesus’ principal glory was the temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Built of shinning marble on a hill overlooking the harbor, it was an impressive as one entered Ephesus.

a. The city was the center of influence of Diana, which was a source of economic gain, as well as, of gross immorality.

b. There a large group of silversmiths produced and sold portable shrines (small silver replicas) of the temple, to the many worshipers who made pilgrimages to Ephesus.

c. With the spread of Christianity, the influence of Diana decreased. The temple was destroyed in 262 A.D. and never rebuilt. J.T. Wood, for the British Museum, made extensive excavations in the ruins of the city and in 1870 found the foundation of the temple was all that remained, buried under several feet of earth.



VI. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. PART ONE: THE POSITION OF THE CHRISTIAN (Eph. 1:1-3:21)
A. Praise for redemption (Eph. 1:1-14).

1. Salutation from Paul (Eph. 1:1-2).
2. Chosen by the Father (Eph. 1:3-6).
3. Redeemed by the Son (Eph. 1:7-12).
4. Sealed by the Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14).

B. Prayer for divine revelation (Eph. 1:15-23).

C. Position of the Christian (Eph. 2:1-3:13).

1. The Christian’s position individually (Eph. 2:1-10).
2. The Christian’s position corporately (Eph. 2:11-3:13).

D. Prayer for realization (Eph. 3:14-21).

II. PART TWO: THE PRACTICE OF THE CHRISTIAN (Eph. 4:1-6:24)
A. Unity in the church (Eph. 4:1-6).

1. Exhortation to unity (Eph. 4:1-3).
2. Explanation of unity (Eph. 4:4-6).
3. Endowment for unity (Eph. 4:7-11).
4. Equipping of unto unity (Eph. 4:12-13).
5. Edification in unity (Eph. 4:14-16).

B. Holiness in life (Eph. 4:17-5:21).

1. Put off the old man (Eph. 4:17-22).
2. Put on the new man (Eph. 4:23-29).
3. Grieve not the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30-5:12).
4. Walk as children of light (Eph. 5:13-17).
5. Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18-21).

C. Responsibilities in the home and at work (Eph. 5:22-6:9).

1. Wives: submit to your own husbands (Eph. 5:22-24).
2. Husbands: love your wives (Eph. 5:25-33).
3. Children: obey your parents (Eph. 6:1-4).
4. Service on the job (Eph. 6:5-9).

D. Conduct in the conflict (Eph. 6:10-24).

1. Put on the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17).
2. Pray for boldness (Eph. 6:18-20).
3. Conclusion (Eph. 6:21-24).

Comprehensive outline


COLOSSIANS
INTRODUCTION
Outline
Notes of Michael Wilk

INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of Colossians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is: the glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of Colossians was written by Paul. The name “Paul” is recorded in Col. 1:1 as the penman of this book. Internal evidence is further provided (Col. 1:23; 4:18).
Timothy is spoken of as being with him (see also Philippians, Philemon regarding Timothy)

1. The external testimony to the Pauline authorship of Colossians is ancient/consistent.

2. Some challenge the authenticity of this letter based on its vocabulary/thought.

a. Colossians uses fifty-five Greek words that do not appear in Paul’s other epistles.

b. The Christology of Colossians has been compared to John’s later concept of Christ as the Creator Logos (Col. 1:15-23; cf. Jn. 1:1-18). This they say is too late for Paul’s time.

c. It is argued the Colossian heresy is a type of Gnosticism prevalent in 2nd century A.D.

3. Consider the following as a reasonable explanation.

a. Paul commanded a wide vocabulary and the uniqueness of the topics addressed, as well as, his being inspired of God, accounts for the exclusive use of his vocabulary.

b. Regarding God as Creator, there is no reason to believe Paul was unaware of Christ’s work as Creator, especially in view of Phil. 2:5-11.

c. The Colossian heresy of Col.2, points not to a complete form of Gnosticism, but that which was an early form of Gnosticism, and that which would be developed further.

4. Paul does not argue directly with the Colossians about their false doctrines. Rather, beginning in the first chapter, he builds a case for Christian truth by showing the preeminence of Christ in everything. (in universal government, reconciliation, wisdom and knowledge, personal observance and Christian living).


II. AUDIENCE
A. The recipient of this letter is recorded in Col. 1:1, “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse.”

B. This epistle is called Pros Kolossaeis, “To the Colossians.” This letter was most likely also a circular letter to be forwarded from one congregation to another. It was to be copied, read before the whole assembly (church), and then sent on (circulated).

C. Col. 4:16, “Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” While some claim that this letter to the Ephesians was the lost letter to the Laodiceans, most students see the Ephesian letter and Laodicean letter as the same. It came “from Laodicea” to Colosse.

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The possible date of the letter to the Colossians: A.D. 60-63 (A.D. 61-63). A.D. 62

B. One of four letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon) written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome during his first imprisonment (Acts 28:16-31). The personal details and close parallels to these letters strengthen the case for these being written near the same time.

C. The epistle was sent by way of Tychicus and the converted slave Onesimus to Colosse.
(Col. 4:7-9; cf. Eph. 6:21; Phile. 10-12).

IV. AIM
A. Paul’s purpose for writing is to stress the preeminence of the Person of Christ Jesus. He is to be first/foremost in all things. He also stressed the completeness of the salvation He provides.

1. Christ is the Son of God’s love, the image of God, the Creator/Sustainer of the universe, the Head of the church, the Firstborn from the dead, the fullness of God and the Redeemer of the world (Col. 1:13-20).

2. Christ is our life. He is all and in all. The church is His body, “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23). In Him the faithful are made perfect, by means of His word “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17).

B. Christians, as followers of Christ, are to reflect this truth. Those in Christ are rooted in Him, alive in Him, hidden in Him, and complete in Him. It would be inconsistent for one to claim to be of Christ, and yet so live as to exclude Him and His will from their lives. Clothed in His love, with His peace ruling our hearts, we are equipped to make Christ first in every area of life.

1. The appeal of Colossians: Col. 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit.” This involves putting off the old man, putting on the new man, seeking those things which are above, putting to death the works of the flesh.

2. It further involves bringing to life the fruit of the Spirit, continuing in prayer, walking in wisdom, knowing how you ought to answer each one and being reconciled to God in Christ, so that you will have “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

C. The new life in Christ is to be manifested in the personal relationship of the Christian. Paul provides specific instructions for husbands/wives, children, servants/masters (Col. 3:18-4:1).
D. Additional background information:

1. Topics: What Christ did for us (doctrinal) (Col. 1:1-2:23).
What Christ does through us (practical) (Col. 3:1-4:18).

2. Focus: Supremacy of Christ (Col. 1:1-2:23).
Submission to Christ (Col. 3:1-4:18).

3. Divisions: Introduction (Col. 1:1-14).
Preeminence of Christ (Col. 1:15-2:3).
Freedom in Christ (Col. 2:4-23).
Position of faithful brethren (Col. 3:1-4).
Practice of faithful brethren (Col. 3:5-4:6).
Conclusion (Col. 4:7-18).

4. Location: Rome

E. Keys:

1. Key words:

a. “Christ” (Gr. Christo) appears 26 times (NKJV), with 53 other references to Him (KJV).

b. “Fullness” (Col. 1:19; 2:9).

2. Key verse: Col. 2:9-10, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

3. Key phrases: Col. 3:4, “Christ who is our life.”

4. Key chapter: Colossians 3

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth . . . since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, . . . Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection . . . And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him . . . knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

V. APPEAL
A. It has been said that if Ephesian letter describes/defines the “church of Christ,” then the letter to the Colossians describes the “Christ of the church.” Ephesians focuses on the body; Colossians focuses upon the Head of the body, the church.
B. Like Ephesians, Colossians is divided into two categories. The first half (Col. 1-2) deals with matters that are doctrinal in nature. The second half (Col. 3-4) deals with matters of doctrine applied. Some would argue the first half is doctrinal, and the second half is practical. One needs to understand that doctrine is practical. Both teaching/practice are to learn/lived.

C. Colosse was a minor city about one hundred miles east of Ephesus in the region of the seven Asian churches of Rev.1-3. Located in the fertile Lycus Valley on the road from Ephesus to the east, Colosse had previously been a center of commerce, but by the time of Paul it had been surpassed in importance by the two nearby cities of Laodicea/Hierapolis. (Col. 4:13).

1. Colosse was home to many Jews.

2. The inhabitants of Phrygia were primarily worshipers of Bacchus and Cybele, the mother of gods. In their worship they practiced all sorts of debauchery (wickedness).

D. From Epaphras Paul learned that the greater part of the Colossian brethren were faithful. But certain false teachers had come in (Col. 4:12). The precise character of the Colossian heresy is not fully disclosed and thus is often debated. There are only incidental references to such by the refutation of Paul (Col. 2:8-23).

1. It seems to have been a religious system that combined elements from Hellenistic Greek paganism (Col. 2:4, 8-10), Jewish legalism (Col. 2:11-17), Oriental mysticism (Col. 2:18-23).

2. It involved a low view of the body; the body itself was considered to be sinful (Col. 2:20-23).

3. With its stress upon the emphasis of circumcision, dietary regulations, ritual observances, together with its worship of angels, and preoccupation with mystical experiences, the Colossian heresy denied the sufficiency of the Christ, and any attempt to fit the Christ into such a system would undermine His Person and redemptive work at the Cross.

4. Paul wrote to correct such errors/exalt the Christ as head of His church (the body).

E. Regarding the church at Colosse: Although Paul, Silas and Timothy had passed through Phrygia and Galatia on the second missionary journey, there is no record of Paul’s preaching in Colosse (Acts 16:6).

1. The church there may have been established by Epaphras, under the direction of Paul.
(Col. 1:6-8; 4:12-13). Philemon lived there, although Paul knew very few of the brethren.

2. Indications are, Paul had never been in Colosse (Col. 2:1), but was kept informed about the conditions of the church (Col. 1:3-4, 9).

F. Christians must regard themselves as dead to the old way of sin (Col. 3:5-11); because of their resurrection with Christ, Christians must see themselves as alive to Him in righteousness and put on the new qualities that are prompted by Christian love (Col. 3:12-17).

G. Col. 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” All music in Christian worship is vocal, a capella (chapel). God is the object of worship.

VI. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST IN THE CHURCH (Col. 1:1-2:23)
A. Introduction (Col. 1:1-14).

1. Paul’s greeting to the Colossians (Col. 1:1-2).

2. Paul’s thanksgiving for the Colossians (Col. 1:3-8).

3. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians (Col. 1:9-14).

B. THE PREEMINENCE OF CHRIST (Col. 1:15-2:3)
1. Christ is preeminent in creation (Col. 1:15-18).

2. Christ is preeminent in redemption (Col. 1:19-23).

3. Christ is preeminent in the church (Col. 1:24-2:3).

C. THE FREEDOM IN CHRIST (Col. 2:4-23)
1. Freedom from enticing words (Col. 2:4-7).

2. Freedom from vain philosophy (Col. 2:8-10).

3. Freedom from the judgment of men (Col. 2:11-17).

4. Freedom from improper worship (Col. 2:18-19).

5. Freedom from the doctrines of men (Col. 2:20-23).

II. THE SUBMISSION TO CHRIST IN THE CHURCH (Col. 3:1-4:18)
A. The position of faithful brethren. (Col. 3:1-4).

B. The practice of faithful brethren (Col. 3:5-4:6).

1. Put off the old man (Col. 3:5-11).

2. Put on the new man (Col. 3:12-17).

3. Personal commands of holiness (Col. 3:18-4:6).

C. Conclusion (Col. 4:7-18).

1. Commendation of Tychicus (Col. 4:7-9).

2. Greetings from Paul’s friends (Col. 4:10-14).

3. Introductions regarding this letter (Col. 4:15-18).


Comprehensive outline


PHILIPPIANS
INTRODUCTION
Outline
Notes of Michael Wilk

INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of Philippians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is: the glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of Philippians was written by Paul. The name “Paul” is recorded in Phil. 1:1 as the penman of this book.

II. AUDIENCE
A. The recipient of this letter is recorded in Phil. 1:1, “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.”

B. This epistle is called Pros Philippesious, “To the Philippians.” The church at Philippi was the first congregation of the Lord’s body Paul founded in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-40).

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The possible date of the letter to the Philippians: A.D. 60-63 (A.D. 61-63). A.D. 62

B. One of four letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon) written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome during his first imprisonment (Acts 28:16-31).

C. The references to the “whole palace guard” (Phil. 1:13), “my chains” (Phil. 1:14), and “of Caesar’s household,” (Phil. 4:22) support the idea of this letter being written during Paul’s Roman imprisonment. Paul’s statements in Phil. 1:12-20 and Phil. 4:22 also suggest that the imprisonment was for an extended period of time.

D. There are some Bible students who in recent years have suggested that the Philippian letter was written about A.D. 55 during Paul’s ministry in Ephesus (Acts 19; 20) or about A.D. 56-61 during his imprisonment at Caesarea (Acts 24-26). The traditional view is better supported.

IV. AIM
A. Jesus Christ is the source of all blessings/spiritual fruit. He is the basis of unity/the perfect example of selfless love (Phil. 1:21). Only in Christ is real unity/oneness of purpose, attitude, goal/labor – a truth Paul illustrates from his own life/one the Philippians needed to hear/learn.

B. Philippians is an epistle of joy/encouragement in the midst of adversity. Paul openly expresses his great affection for his brethren. He appreciates their consistent testimony/support/kindness.
C. The brethren at Philippi are at odds (two women, Phil. 4:2-3), and in so doing, they are hindering the work in proclaiming new life in Christ. Because of this, Paul exhorts the church to “stand fast in the Lord . . . be of the same mind in the Lord . . . Rejoice in the Lord always . . . in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:1, 2, 4, 6-7).

D. Additional background information:

1. Topics: Suffering (experience) (Phil. 1:1-30).
Submission (examples) (Phil. 2:1-30).
Salvation (exhortation) (Phil. 3:1-21).
Sanctification (exhortation) (Phil. 4:1-23).

2. Focus: Paul’s account of his present circumstances (Phil. 1:1-30).
Paul’s appeal to possess the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:1-30).
Paul’s appeal to possess the knowledge of Christ (Phil. 3:1-21).
Paul’s appeal to possess the peace of Christ (Phil. 4:1-23).

3. Divisions: Partakers of Christ (Phil. 1:1-30).
People of Christ (Phil. 2:1-30).
Pursuit of Christ (Phil. 3:1-21).
Power of Christ (Phil. 4:1-23).

4. Location: Rome

E. Keys:

1. Key words:

a. “Joy” (Gr. chara), four times (Phil. 1:4, 25; 2:2; 4:1).
The verb “to rejoice” occurs 11 times (Phil. 1:18; 2:17-18; 4:4; 2:28; 3:1; 4:10).
“Joy” or “rejoice” is found in every chapter.

b. “Love” (Phil. 1:9, 17; 2:1-2).

2. Key verse: Phil. 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

3. Key phrases: The mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”
(Phil. 2:5).

4. Key chapter: Philippians 4

“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. . . Rejoice in the Lord always. . . Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving . . . meditate on these things . . . for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content . . . I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. . . And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

V. APPEAL
A. Philippians is one of Paul’s most personal letters. In this epistle he reveals his own experience with Christ, and his struggle over whether to prefer dying to be with Christ or living to serve the Philippians (Phil. 1:21-26). It has been called, “Paul’s love letter to the church at Philippi.”

B. The Philippian brethren were in Paul’s heart/they supported him in his imprisonment (Phil. 1:7). This fact explains Paul’s gratitude often expressed (Phil. 1:3-11; 2:19-30; 4:10-20). Paul reveals a joyous confidence in God’s provision for him personally/for the saints in Christ at Philippi.

C. Paul exhorts the Philippians to have a spirit of unity/mutual concern by embracing the attitude of humility (Phil. 2:1-4), the greatest example of which is demonstrated in the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11). All Christians should strive for:

1. Love (Phil. 1:9).
2. Unity (Phil. 1:27; 3:16).
3. Stand fast “in one spirit, with one mind” “in the Lord” (Phil. 1:27; 4:1).
4. “By being likeminded, having the love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Phil. 2:2).
5. Rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 3:1; 4:4).

D. Phil. 2:7, “But made Himself of no reputation” (emptied Himself). The kenosis, or “self- emptying” of Christ does not mean He relinquished His essential deity, but that He withheld His pre-incarnate glory/voluntarily restricted His use of certain attributes (such as omnipresence).

E. Every Christian is to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). Paul goes on to explain why in vs.13. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

F. The city of Philippi was located in Macedonia (Northern Greece). Founded in 358 B.C. by Philip,the father of Alexander the Great. Named for its founder, the city was situated on a highway between Europe and Asia, in a fertile region near gold/silver mines.

1. It was the place where Mark Anthony defeated Brutus (42 B.C.), thus overthrowing the Roman republic and beginning the empire. Philippi would become a Roman military colony.

2. Though its population was mainly Greek, due to a large number of Roman magistrates and colonists, Philippi was known as a “little Rome,” where Roman citizenship was highly esteemed (Acts 16:12, 38). No reference of a synagogue indicates few Jews dwelt there.

G. Reference to our relation to Christ appears in each of the four chapters:

1. Chapter 1 – Christ is our life; He controls our life (Phil. 1:21).

2. Chapter 2 – Christ is our example; He is the pattern for our life (Phil. 2:5).

3. Chapter 3 – Christ is our object; He is the goal of our life (Phil. 3:14).

4. Chapter 4 – Christ is our source of joy; He is the strength of our lives (Phil. 4:19).



VI. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. PAUL’S ACCOUNT OF HIS PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES (Phil. 1:1-30)
A. Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving (Phil. 1:1-11).

B. Paul’s afflictions promote the gospel (Phil. 1:12-18).

C. Paul’s afflictions exalt the Lord (Phil. 1:19-26).

D. Paul’s exhortation to the afflicted (Phil. 1:27-30).

II. PAUL’S APPEAL TO POSSESS THE MIND OF CHRIST (Phil. 2:1-30)
A. Paul’s exhortation to humility (Phil. 2:1-4).

B. Christ’s example of humility (Phil. 2:5-16).

C. Paul’s example of humility (Phil. 2:17-18).

D. Timothy’s example of humility (Phil. 2:19-24).

E. Epaphroditus’ example of humility (Phil. 2:25-30).

III. PAUL’S APPEAL TO POSSESS THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST (Phil. 3:1-21)
A. Warning against confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:1-9).

B. Exhortation to know Christ (Phil. 3:10-16).

C. Warning against living in the flesh (Phil. 3:17-21).

IV. PAUL’S APPEAL TO POSSESS THE PEACE OF CHRIST (Phil. 4:1-23)
A. Peace with the brethren (Phil. 4:1-3).

B. Peace with the Lord (Phil. 4:4-9).

C. Peace in all circumstances (Phil. 4:10-19).

D. Conclusion (Phil. 4:20-23).



Phil 3:13-14
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
NKJV


Comprehensive outline


1 THESSALONIANS
INTRODUCTION
Outline
Notes of Michael Wilk

INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of 1 Thesalonians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is:
The glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of 1 Thessalonians was written by Paul. His name is recorded in
1 Thess. 1:1: “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy.” Silvanus is also known as Silas (Acts 15:40; 17:4).

1. Paul, being the human writer of 1 Thessalonians, went unchallenged until the 19th century. Critics claim that since the letter is void of doctrinal teaching, its authenticity is suspect.

2. However, 1 Thessalonians dealt with a doctrinal concern of brethren regarding those who had died in Christ prior to the Lord’s return. Paul provides further teaching on such a topic.

3. The external attestation to the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians is even stronger than that for 1 Thessalonians. Internally, the vocabulary, style, and doctrinal content support the claims in 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 3:17, that it was in fact, written by Paul.

II. AUDIENCE
A. The recipient of this letter is recorded in1 Thess. 1:1, “To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

B. This epistle is called Pros Thessalonikeis A, the “First to the Thessalonians.”

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The date of the letter to the 1 Thessalonians: A.D. 52. Both Thessalonian epistles were written during Paul’s 2nd missionary journey, thus making them among the earliest of the NT books.

IV. AIM
A. The aim is to understand the hope of the faithful at the coming of Christ. The greatest comfort in our affliction/persecution, and the greatest incentive for faithfulness in life, is our belief in the coming of our Lord.

B. The Thessalonian’s work of faith, labor of love and patience of hope, and perseverance in the face of persecution is used as a standard for others in Christ (1 Thess. 1:7). Paul highly commended them. This letter was to “be read to all the holy brethren” (1 Thess. 5:28).

1. Paul’s labors as a spiritual parent to this young congregation of the Lord’s church have been richly rewarded. His affection and great love for this congregation is revealed in each verse.

2. Paul encourages them to excel in their newfound faith, to increase in their love for one another, and to rejoice, pray, and give thanks always (1 Thess. 3:12; 5:16-18).

3. Paul, towards the close of the letter, gave instruction regarding the return of the Lord whose advent (coming/manifestation) provides hope and comfort for Christians, both living/dead.

C. This is an epistle of hope. Hope is a confident expectation. The theme of Christ’s coming is revealed at the close of each chapter (1 Thess. 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:16; 5:23). The theme is also further explained in one of the fullest NT treatments on this crucial truth (1 Thess. 4:13-17).
It is a letter of assurance of His coming in the midst of persecution.

D. Both 1 and 2 Thessalonians provide teaching on the Second Coming

1. 1 Thessalonians stresses the suddenness of the Second Coming and the brethren’s expectation because of their position in Christ.

a. Paul’s primary intention was to highlight the comfort which the hope of the Lord’s coming brings for Christians (as well as to point out the error of thinking that one need not work because of the imminence of Christ’s appearing).

b. Paul does not present a detailed chronology of the end times. Instead he urges the need to prepare and be ready always for the Lord’s return, and at the same time, be diligent in doing God’s work on earth.

2. 2 Thessalonians stresses the Second Coming itself and the position of those outside of Christ at His coming. The saints are assured of God’s judgment upon His enemies.
2 Thessalonians also points out certain things that needed to happen prior to His coming.

E. Additional background information:

1. Topics: Personal experience (looking back) (1 Thess. 1:1-3:13).
Practical exhortation (looking forward) (1 Thess. 4:1-5:28).

2. Focus: Examples to the brethren (1 Thess. 1:1-3:13).
Exhortations to the brethren (1 Thess. 4:1-5:28).

3. Divisions: Commendation for the church (1 Thess. 1:1-10).
Conduct and conversion (1 Thess. 2:1-16).
Concern for their confidence (1 Thess. 2:17-3:13).
Commands concerning their conduct (1 Thess. 4:1-12).
Comfort concerning the dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
Concerning the Second Coming (1 Thess. 5:1-11).
Commands for the Christian convert (1 Thess. 5:12-22).
Conclusion (1 Thess. 5:23-28).

4. Location: From Corinth.

F. Keys:

1. Key word:

a. “Hope” (Gr. elpis) 1 Thess. 1:3; 2:19; 4:13; 5:8

b. “Comfort” (Gr. parakaleo) 1 Thess. 2:11; 3:2; 4:18; 5:11
Young’s Analytical Concordance, “To call along side, help”

2. Key verse: 1 Thess. 1:9-10, “. . . and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

3. Key phrases: 1 Thess. 2:13, “The word of God.”

4. Key chapter: 1 Thessalonians 5

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night . . . But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all Sons of light . . . For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”

V. APPEAL
A. After Paul’s forced separation from the brethren at Thessalonica (Acts 17:10), he grew increasingly concerned about the state of their faith. Paul endeavored to learn of their state and then having learned of their condition writes to commend, comfort and correct the brethren who were enduring persecution and were experience the loss of loved ones in Christ.

B. Paul’s purpose for writing 1 Thessalonians:

1. To encourage the church in the midst of persecution (1 Thess. 2:14).

2. To defend his conduct while there against slanderous charges (1 Thess. 2:1-10).

3. To assure them of his love for them, of his desire to see them, and his delight at hearing Timothy’s report (1 Thess. 2:17-20; 3:6-8).

4. To warn them against the sins of the flesh, so common among the heathen (1 Thess. 4:1-8).

5. To rebuke idleness on the part of some (1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:10-12).

6. To comfort the bereaved (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

7. To exhort them to watchfulness, in view of Christ’s return (1 Thess. 5:1-11).

8. To encourage brotherly concern, faithfulness, and unselfish service while waiting patiently for the Lord’s return (1 Thess. 5:12-24).


C. After a brief stay (a month or so) in Thessalonica, the capital city of Macedonia (Acts 17:1-9), Paul journeyed to the south through Berea/Athens to Corinth, where he spent 18 months.
It was during this time, while in Corinth, Paul wrote this inspired letter (1 Thessalonians).
(Acts 18:1-5; 1 Thess. 3:1-8).

D. In Paul’s time, Thessalonica was the prominent seaport/the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. This prosperous city was located on the Via Egnatia (military highway from Rome to the East) and was about 100 miles west of Philippi. Thessalonica was within sight of Mt. Olympus, legendary home of the Greek pantheon. It was captured by the Turks in 1430.

1. A city having a population of upwards of 200,000 in the first century A.D., Thessalonica had a considerable number of Jews dwelling there. The ethical monotheism of the Jewish religion attracted many Gentiles who had become disillusioned by Greek paganism.

2. According to Acts 17:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2:14-16, a majority of the Thessalonian brethren were Gentiles who had come out of idolatry.

E. The uniqueness of 1 Thessalonians:

1. One short passage (1 Thess. 5:14-22) contains 15 exhortations. This brief list of Christian duties is companion to Romans 12. It is said these are “unique in originality, pregnant in meaning and unmatched in their terseness.”

2. There is no quotation from the OT in either 1st or 2nd Thessalonians.

VI. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. PAUL’S PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN THESSALONICA (1 Thess. 1:1-3:13)
A. Paul’s commendation for the church (1 Thess. 1:1-10).

B. Paul’s conduct and their conversion (1 Thess. 2:1-16).

C. Paul’s concern for their confidence (1 Thess. 2:17-3:13).

II. PAUL’S PRACTICAL EXHORTATIONS TO THE THESSALONIANS (1 Thess. 4:1-5:28)
A. Paul’s commands concerning their conduct (1 Thess. 4:1-12).

B. Paul’s comfort concerning the dead in Christ (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

C. Paul’s concerning the Second Coming (1 Thess. 5:1-11).

D. Paul’s commands for the Christian convert (1 Thess. 5:12-22).

E. Conclusion (1 Thess. 5:23-28).

“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” 1 Thess. 2:13

Comprehensive outline


2 THESSALONIANS
INTRODUCTION
Outline
Notes of Michael Wilk

INTRODUCTION
1. Before we discuss those things that are specific to the book of 2 Thesalonians, it is essential to understand the theme of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible’s theme is:
The glorification of God and the salvation of all mankind through the person, Jesus, the Christ.

2. Every book of the OT/NT contributes to the development/explanation of this overall theme.
This is why knowing the Bible and its contents becomes vital to our happiness upon this earth and our hope of eternal life in heaven with God the Father, God the Son and the saints.

I. AUTHOR
A. Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

B. Human writer – the book of 2 Thessalonians was written by Paul. His name is recorded in
2 Thess. 1:1: “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy.” Silvanus is also known as Silas (Acts 15:40; 17:4).

1. Internally, the vocabulary, style, and doctrinal content support the claims in 2 Thessalonians that it was in fact, written by Paul. (2 Thess. 1:1; 3:17).

2. After a brief stay (a month or so) in Thessalonica, capital city of Macedonia (Acts 17:1-9), Paul journeyed to the south through Berea/Athens to Corinth, where he spent 18 months.
It was during this time, while in Corinth, Paul wrote to the 1 Thessalonians. Several months after that letter, Paul penned 2 Thessalonians. (Acts 18:1-11).

II. AUDIENCE
A. The recipient of this letter is recorded in 2 Thess. 1:1, “To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

B. This epistle is called Pros Thessalonikeis B, the “Second to the Thessalonians.”

III. ANNO DOMINI
A. The date of the letter to the 2 Thessalonians: A.D. 52 or *53, written several months after the writing of 1 Thessalonians. Both epistles were written during Paul’s 2nd missionary journey, thus making them among the earliest of the NT books.

IV. AIM
A. The aim is to understand the righteous judgment of the Lord and the doom of the disobedient when Christ comes again. The hope of the faithful is the coming of Christ. The greatest comfort in our affliction/persecution, and the greatest incentive for faithfulness in life, is this hope.

B. The warning of everlasting punishment for those who obey not the gospel and the promise of rest for the faithful are strong incentives for every Christian to be worthy of this calling, to please God and to fulfill “the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:11-12).
C. The theme of both 1 & 2 Thessalonians is the second coming of Christ. The message of
1 Thessalonians is the comfort in the midst of affliction afforded by the hope/assurance of the Lord’s coming for His people. The message of 2 Thessalonians continues that comfort and assurance for the faithful and warns of everlasting punishment for the disobedient.

D. Paul deals with the central matter of a misunderstanding due to false teachers regarding the coming of the Lord. Despite reports to the contrary, that Day has not yet come. Paul goes on to speak of some things that must take place.

E. Both 1 and 2 Thessalonians provide teaching on the Second Coming:

1. 1 Thessalonians stresses the suddenness of the Second Coming/the brethren’s expectation because of their position in Christ. Paul stresses the need to prepare and be ready always for the Lord’s return/at the same time, be diligent in doing God’s work on earth.

2. 2 Thessalonians stresses the Second Coming itself and the position of those outside of Christ at His coming. The saints are assured of God’s judgment upon His enemies.
2 Thessalonians also points out certain things that needed to happen prior to His coming.

F. Additional background information:

1. Topics: Discouraged believers (thanksgiving for their life) (2 Thess. 1:1-12).
Disturbed believers (instruction of their doctrine) (2 Thess. 2:1-17).
Disobedient believers (correction to their behavior) (2 Thess. 3:1-18).

2. Focus: Encouragement in persecution (2 Thess. 1:1-12).
Explanation of the Day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1-17).
Exhortation to the church (2 Thess. 3:1-18).

3. Divisions: Thanksgiving for growth (2 Thess. 1:1-4).
Encouragement in persecution (2 Thess. 1:5-10).
Prayer for God’s blessing (2 Thess. 1:11-12).
Events preceding the second coming (2 Thess. 2:1-12).
Exhortation to stand fast presently (2 Thess. 2:13-17).
The need to wait patiently (2 Thess. 3:1-5).
The need to withdraw (2 Thess. 3:6-15).
Conclusion (2 Thess. 3:16-18).

4. Location: From Corinth.

G. Keys:

1. Key word:

a. “Judgment” (Gr. kriseos) 2 Thess. 1:5; 2:19; 4:13; 5:8
Similar to 1 & 2 Peter

2. Key phrase: 2 Thess. 2:2, “The day of Christ” (NKJV, KJV), “The day of the Lord” (ASV).


3. Key verses:

2 Thess. 1:7-10, “And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”

2 Thess. 3:5, “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” KJV, “into the patient waiting for Christ.”

4. Key chapter: 2 Thessalonians 2

Do not be deceived concerning the day of Christ’s return (2:3); warning of the man of sin (2:3), the son of perdition (2:3), the importance of believing, loving, and obeying the truth (2:10-12). We are called unto salvation by the gospel (2:14). The everlasting consolation and good hope in Christ (2:16).

V. APPEAL
A. 2 Thessalonians is the theological sequel to 1 Thessalonians. Paul wrote this brief letter to correct several false teachings by pointing out that certain identifiable events would take place before the Lord’s second appearing. Paul’s purpose for writing 2 Thessalonians:

1. To encourage the Thessalonian brethren, whose faith was being tested by persecution, to be faithful and stead fast. (2 Thess. 1:5-8; 2:15).

2. To correct erroneous thinking regarding the Day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1-12). The Lord’s coming will be sudden, but not necessarily soon and in their or our lifetime.

3. To exhort the Thessalonian brethren, whose faith was corrected, to focus on their labors/not live off others in lazy resignation (1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:10-12). It is an appeal to courage, calmness, and industry.

4. To command the Thessalonian brethren to “withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the traditions which he received from us” (2 Thess. 3:6).
(cf. 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:15). The purpose of withdrawing fellowship is to cause the sinful brother “to be ashamed,” (1 Cor. 5:5), and to keep the church pure (1 Cor. 5:7-8).

B. Paul spoke of three sources of their mistaken view of the second coming – by spirit, word, of “as if from us” (2 Thess. 2:2). KJV - “letter as from us.” This suggests that they were misled by false teachers who claimed to be divinely inspired, who quoted traditional sayings to support their view, and who misrepresented Paul’s first letter concerning the Lord’s coming.

C. Present day error. Many teach a false doctrine known as Premillenialism. They seek to uphold such a teaching, and that which is called the “Rapture” by referring to 1 Thess. 4:17. Scripture teaches there will be no future reign of Christ on earth at His coming. There will be only one more coming of the Lord, one resurrection of the dead, one judgment and one hope.

D. Additional information:

1. This is Paul’s briefest epistle to a church/except for his note to Philemon, the shortest of all his letters. There is more variation between the KJV and ASV than in his other epistles.

2. There is no quotation from the OT in either 1st or 2nd Thessalonians.

E. In Paul’s time, Thessalonica was the prominent seaport/the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. This prosperous city was located on the Via Egnatia (military highway from Rome to the East) and was about 100 miles west of Philippi. Thessalonica was within sight of Mt. Olympus, legendary home of the Greek pantheon. It was captured by the Turks in 1430.

1. A city having a population of upwards of 200,000 in the first century A.D., Thessalonica had a considerable number of Jews dwelling there. The ethical monotheism of the Jewish religion attracted many Gentiles who had become disillusioned by Greek paganism.

2. According to Acts 17:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2:14-16, a majority of the Thessalonian brethren were Gentiles who had come out of idolatry.

VI. ANALYSIS
Concise outline:

I. PAUL’S ENCOURAGEMENT IN PERSECUTION (2 Thess. 1:1-12)
A. Paul’s thanksgiving for the growth (2 Thess. 1:1-4).

B. Paul’s encouragement in their persecution (2 Thess. 1:5-10).

C. Paul’s prayer for God’s blessing (2 Thess. 1:11-12).

II. PAUL’S EXPLANATION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD (2 Thess. 2:1-17)
A. The events preceding the Day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:1-12).

B. Paul’s exhortation to stand fast (2 Thess. 2:13-17).

III. PAUL’S EXHORTATION TO THE CHURCH (2 Thess. 3:1-18)
A. Wait patiently in prayer for the Christ (2 Thess. 3:1-5).

B. Withdraw from the disorderly brethren (2 Thess. 3:6-15).

C. Conclusion (2 Thess. 3:16-18).


“And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thess. 1:7-10


B. Comprehensive outline
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