The Absolute Gospel
Paul concludes 2 Corinthians challenging those who are in the church to examine themselves to see if they are really in Christ. The next book we study is the letter of Paul to the Galatians where Jewish leaders were teaching that to be saved and stay saved one had to observe the Jewish laws. Paul said that if anyone comes preaching a different gospel, they should be rejected and cursed of God, because the Gospel he preached was from God not from men.
The Gospel in Reverse
Can you be good enough to be saved or stay saved? Paul says such thinking is of the flesh. When Paul heard the Gospel was being perverted to a works based gospel, he responded to the Galatians explaining we are justified by faith not works. Paul went on to say the only way to live is be crucified with Christ; Paul wasnt talking about dying, he was talking about living by faith in Christ.
The Gospel Reaped
We have two opposing forces within us: our sin nature and our new nature. The Apostle Paul says in Galatians, the Spirit can overcome the flesh. It all depends on what we plant in the garden of our lives. If we plant Gods seed into our life then the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We must plant seeds to please the Spirit to reap eternal life.
Charisma in Christ
In our concluding look at Galatians we have insight into Pauls handicap and his explanation of the new birth which is like physical birth. Paul teaches if Christ has made us free then we should remain free. Pauls little letter to the Ephesians is very profound. Paul tells us that in Christ and in the heavenly realm we have access to everything we need to live a Godly holy life. The problem is we sometimes look in the wrong place.
Rags and Robes
The purpose of Ephesians is to show the Church who and what they are to be in this world; to show the Church we have received all we need to live victoriously, and it is possible to live in the heavenly dimension. We are exhorted to stop playing church and be the Church. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how all that you are, by the grace of God, makes you an integral part of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Robe for Relationships
The book of Ephesians teaches us how to apply the principals of Christianity in the most difficult of all the arenas, the home. Paul tells us we must take off the rags of the old man and put on the new mans robes and walk in the Spirit, in love, especially in the home. In the fifth chapter, Paul gives Gods plan for families and that the father and husband is to love as Christ loves the Church.
The Fellowship of the Gospel
In this lesson we begin studying Pauls eloquent thank you note to the church at Phillipi; the one he pointed to as an example for others to follow. Phillip was focused on reaching the lost. We are introduced to what is called an inside-out church, which was faithful in its witness. The true church is made up of people who are followers of Christ because they have heard the Holy Spirit calling them to fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Patterns for Living in Christ
The theme of Philippians is Living in Christ through fellowship. Let this mind be in you. Paul emphasizes the importance of humility in the fellowship of believers and to consider others higher than ourselves. He teaches that we can and should know and fulfill Gods good and perfect will for our lives. Paul also said, This one thing I do, I forget the things that are behind and I reach forward to those things which are ahead.
Prescription for Peace
Do you have the continuous peace of God? If not, that should not surprise or disillusion you if you are not meeting Gods conditions. In Philippians 4 Paul teaches us twelve conditions for the peace of God: Do not worry, pray about everything, think on good things, do the right thing, be thankful, have a reputation for gentleness, be patient, accept your circumstances, look up, delight in Him, value the approval of God, and rest your heart and mind in Christ.
The Book of Colossians is Paul's masterpiece on the Christ of the church: Who Christ is, what Christ has done, and His all-sufficiency. The church at Colosse had 3 major problems: a philosophical attack upon the deity and person of Jesus Christ, an intellectual attack upon the faith of the people, and there were Jews imposing legalism upon the church. Paul emphasizes that Christ was Very God. Paul challenges believers to pray earnestly, with thanksgiving.
The Blessed Hope
The theme of Pauls first letter to the Thessalonians is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is important to understand that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is not one event but a series of events. We will note how Paul encourages the Thessalonians with the coming rapture and physical second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes that the first thing to happen when the rapture of the church takes place is the dead in Christ shall rise first.
The Chronology of His Coming
In Thessalonians Paul says the Lord Jesus is coming back and we are to be busy while we watch and wait for His return; pray without ceasing, and always give thanks. Although we cannot know when Jesus will return, He said there are signs of the times to watch for. In Second Thessalonians, Paul explains about the Day of the Lord that will come once Satan is given free reign over the earth before the millennial rule of Jesus Christ.
The Blueprints for Church Order
As we survey the Books of First Timothy, Second Timothy and Titus, we are entering into the "Pastoral Epistles." The Paul/Timothy relationship has been a model for hundreds of thousands of senior pastors and junior pastors throughout church history. II Timothy 2:2, focuses for us a kind of education that will never be replace: teach reliable men who are also capable to teach other men. Paul emphasized the character that the men should have who are going to lead in church.
Godly Oversight and Godly Overseers
Paul profiles the Gospel: there is only One Mediator between God and man. In the same sense that Christ oversees the Church and shepherds the Church, a man should shepherd and oversee his wife and family, and men should oversee or shepherd the church. The Bible clearly gives the man the responsibility to be the leader of the home and the church. Paul lists the qualifications for spiritual leaders. Paul teaches us to measure your life by the Word of God.
The Church of the Three Epiphanies
Paul warns Timothy against materialism and teaches, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Paul gives a word of exhortation for the rich: Do you possess the wealth or does the wealth possess you? Between the first appearing of Christ when salvation came and the second appearing when Christ returns, there is the appearing of God through you and through me, His peculiar people. The emphasis of Pauls letter to Titus is that godly oversight means godly overseers.
The Relationships of a Runaway
Philemon is the fourth of Pauls prison epistles, a brief and dynamic letter Onesimus took in his hand when he went back to his master, a wealthy believer. Although a short letter, it is long on its social application and its social implications. The fact that God has made us creatures of choice who make deliberate choices seems to be very important to Paul. Jesus Christ is the only Solution we have to our personnel or relational problems.
The Last Words of an Old Soldier
In this session we survey the last letter of the Apostle Paul. As Paul writes his second letter to Timothy he knows his days are numbered. Paul uses illustrations of a soldier, athlete and a farmer to emphasize the disciplined, difficult and patient work of living out the Gospel as disciples of Jesus Christ. There are rules for the life in Christ, and one of them is you must pick up your cross and be willing to follow and suffer for Him.
What Are You Going to Do About What You Know?
In Second Timothy, Paul is reminding Timothy of instruction already received. Paul instructs that God has a unique plan as to who, what and where we should be. Scripture is a living power, brings new birth and builds up those who have been born again. Paul says, I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith and, I have stayed true to Him. I have won the fight and the victor's crown.