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Discover the Book - Nov. 19, 2008

  • 2008 Nov 19

Christ in Acts – 2 Timothy


E.                ACTS “Christ our Mission” (1:8) Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (NKJV)

This book is the bridge taking Christ to the whole world. In it we see the lessons Christ taught His disciples in secret now proclaimed in Holy Spirit empowered boldness. The key verse outlines the book: witnesses in Jerusalem (1-8:3); Judea and Samaria (8:4-12:25); and to the ends of the earth (13-28). Within the book come the epistles of I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon (prison epistles);

F.                 ROMANS Christ our Righteousness” (1:16-17) Romans 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (NKJV)

From about AD 57-58 written looking out the window at Corinth on Paul’s 3rd journey. Paul's letter to Rome is better known in the church than any other, and is probably the singly most important book in the N.T. because it lays down the great doctrines of justification by faith alone. The key message of the entire book is : the person of the gospel is Christ; the power is God; the purpose is salvation; the people are all; the plan is belief and the result is living by faith! Paul uses the expression "in Christ" to describe the new life of a believer. This term is found no less than 164 times, as justified in Christ " (Gal. 2:17), " God's righteousness in him " (2 Cor 5: 21). This blessed, life-penetrating secret is central to all his letters. Thus: in Romans -justification in Christ; in Corinthians -sanctification in Christ; in Galatians -freedom in Christ; in Ephesians-oneness in Christ; in Philippians-joy in Christ; in Colossians-fullness in Christ; in Thessalonians - glorification in Christ.

G.               I CORINTHIANS “Christ our Solution to Spiritual Problems (2:6-8) 1 Corinthians 2:6-7 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden [wisdom] which God ordained before the ages for our glory, (NKJV)

This letter comes about AD 57 from Ephesus on Paul’s 3rd journey. At Corinth, Paul spent one-and-one-half years developing the church. His longest letters and most impassioned correspondence were to those trouble believers. Their affluent and fast-growing port town brought them an inordinate amount of contact with immorality, pagan religion, and philosophy. Their problems with arrogance, leader-worshiping cliques, immorality, divorce, and misunderstandings of spiritual gifts are systematically addressed in response to their questions. There were probably four letters written to the Corinthians. We have two; the other two the Spirit of God didn't choose to leave for us. We know this scripturally because Paul says in I Corinthians, the letter I already wrote unto you. Then he talks about in II Corinthians the letter which made you grievous.

H.               II CORINTHIANS “Christ our sufficiency” (3:5) 2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as [being] from ourselves, but our sufficiency [is] from God, (NKJV)

In AD 57 Paul writes again to his beloved Corinthian church from Macedonia just after leaving Philippi.

I.                  GALATIANS “Christ our liberty” (5:1) Galatians 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. (NKJV)

Galatians was written to counter false teaching about Christianity and the law and the relationship between faith and works. When the grace of God through His Spirit is rooted in our lives we find His fruit. This fruit reaches into our walk with God (love, joy and peace), our walk with others (gentleness, goodness and patience), and finally into our personal walk (faith, meekness and self-control).

J.                  EPHESIANS “Christ our source of all” (3:20-21) Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (NKJV)

Shortly after Paul returned to Jerusalem from his third missionary journey (A.D. 57), he was arrested in the Temple courtyard, imprisoned in Caesarea for two years, and tried by Felix and Festus. He then appealed to Agrippa to be sent to Rome for trial before Caesar. Though Agrippa comments to Festus that Paul might have been freed except for that appeal (Acts 26:32), Scripture indicates it was clearly in God's plan to send him to the empire's capital, as yet untouched by the apostles. While under house arrest in rented quarters in Rome (about A.D. 59 to 61 or 62), Paul wrote four letters known as the prison epistles. Of those, Ephesians is the best known for its tremendous theological content, which seems to drift in long, flowing statements of praise for God's work in Christ.

K.                PHILIPPIANS “Christ our Source of Joy (1:6) Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete [it] until the day of Jesus Christ; (NKJV)

Paul and Silas visited Philippi, their first Macedonian contact, on their second missionary journey in A.D. 52. To the saints and leadership of the church, Paul writes of joyful submission to the will of God, regardless of the circumstances, and uses the awe inspiring example of Christ Jesus as the model of humility and mutual submission within the church.

L.                 COLOSSIANS “Christ our life (2:10) Colossians 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (NKJV)

Paul never ministered in nor even visited Colossae as he had Ephesus, though one of his converts, Epaphras, had planted the church (1:7-8). Unique to Colossians, is Paul's attack against a local heresy that depreciated the person of Christ and promoted ritualism, asceticism, and special, hidden knowledge. To counter that, Paul praises Jesus as the center and substance of the universe. He presents the “deeper” life (1:22-23), the “higher” life (2:6-7), the “inner” life (3:12,16) and the “outward” life (4:5).

M.               I THESSALONIANS “Christ our Hope (3:13) 1 Thessalonians 3:13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (NKJV)

Addressed to one of Paul's first churches in Greece, 1 Thessalonians encourage the young believers to endure persecution, resist false teaching, and live full and productive lives as they await Christ's certain return. In fact, each of 1 Thessalonians' five chapters ends with encouragement based on the Rapture.

N.               II THESSALONIANS “Christ our Security (1:11-12) 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 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. (NKJV)

(The return of Christ is mentioned 318x in the 260 chapters of the New Testament). To these troubled saints Paul presents Christ as our Security when Suffering (1), when doubting (2) and when serving (3).

O.               I TIMOTHY “Christ our Leader” (4:12) 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (NKJV)

Timothy was a special disciple in whom Paul invested much time and to whom he entrusted great responsibility. His letters to him are usually dated after the events of Acts 28; tradition tells us Paul was then released from prison and that he embarked on further missionary ventures from A.D. 62 to 67, until his final imprisonment, trial, and execution.

P.                II TIMOTHY “Christ the Goal” (4:7-8) 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NKJV)



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