I love to study and teach on the vibrant life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. He was a man who brought the Gospel to the Gentiles. I am a benefactor of his life and ministry. Paul was a disciple making machine and I want to examine his methods to see what I can learn from him about ministry and fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples over the course of my lifetime. Continue reading
We have been following Paul as he lives a life on mission, seeking to fulfill the calling of Christ to make disciples. Our journey has been awesome. We first met Saul the bully in Acts 7-9. Then, we see Saul encountering Jesus Christ and being born again. Saul marks this event in his life by changing his name to Paul. This is an outward sign of an inward, spiritual reality. Then, Paul is trained by Jesus Christ. He begins to minister in the local church. While ministering in the local church, God calls him and Barnabas to go out to the Gentiles and make disciples. This begins his first missionary journey. After the first trip of making many disciples, churches were formed and Paul and Barnabas return to the local church and give testimony of what the Lord is doing among the Gentiles and Jews. A couple of weeks ago, we began to look at the second missionary journey. Paul and Barnabas go out again and begin to make more disciples. More churches are formed as a result of making disciples. A church is formed in Philippi. Then, another church is formed in Thessalonica and yet another in Berea. All of this happens in the midst of heavy persecution. Paul would gather people together and reason from the Scriptures. People would repent, believe in Jesus Christ, and be equipped to serve the local church and make more disciples among their own people, both Jews and Gentiles. This week, we are going to journey with Paul on his third missionary journey. We pick up the story in Acts 20. Continue reading
It has been a lot of fun teaching through II Thessalonians. I have taught this book many times and, each time I teach through it, I learn new things about God and new things about myself.
If you have been following this series, you are aware of the previous lessons and what they teach. If you have not been following the series, take a moment to play a little catch up by reading the following articles.
- The importance of communication
- Genuine faith endures persecution
- Concerning the Day of the Lord
- The Church and the Day of the Lord
- Praying for your disciples
The previous lesson focused on prayer, specifically, praying for your disciples, that they would grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, that they would grow in their faith, that they would grow in their love, and that they would continue making more disciples. Continue reading
I just listened to a wonderful sermon preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I am currently listening to it again so that I can translate it into English for this article so that you can be blessed by it the way that I was.
How much do you appreciate your spiritual leaders? Do you have spiritual leaders/mentors? God has orchestrated the Christian life to be one of a person having a mentor, being a mentee, and then becoming a mentor while still being mentored. This process is laid out for us in Matthew 28. We see it explained by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:2. Paul was mentored by Jesus. Paul mentors Timothy. As Timothy is being mentored, he begins to mentor others. Those whom Timothy mentors begin to mentor others. Jesus –> Paul –> Timothy –> new disciples –> their disciples. Unfortunately, there are many in the church who have never experienced God’s amazing plan of being discipled. Even if you do not have a direct mentor, you have a spiritual leader if you are part of a local church. Paul explains this in Ephesians 4. The spiritual leaders pour into the lives of the members and the members serve one another and together, reach out to the community to make disciples. Continue reading
Over the past month, I have been teaching through II Thessalonians with one of my many Bible study groups. It is so neat to study the Scriptures with others and discover the Truth of the Word of God for ourselves. II Thessalonians teaches us how to plan our time knowing the the Lord will one day return. Here are a few of the things that we have been learning as we have walked through II Thessalonians together. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach the next lesson in the study of II Thessalonians and we are going to examine the relationship of the church to the Day of the Lord. This is teaching number 4 in the series.
We have seen that it is very important for the followers of Jesus Christ to remain excellent students of the Scriptures so that we will not have our faith shaken by false teachings or by false teachers. Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to encourage them and to get them back on track so that they can remain faithful to the Lord, serving Him by preaching the Gospel in the midst of persecution and suffering. One of the areas in which the Thessalonians had been led astray was in the area of the Day of the Lord. There are many people today who are confused when it comes to the rapture, the Day of the Lord, and the Coming of the Lord. These are three distinct events yet often lead to great confusion for people who attend church or read the Bible. We fully covered the idea of the rapture in the last lesson so I will not get into explaining it in this lesson. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach the next lesson in our study of II Thessalonians. Previously, we have looked at the importance of communication from the Apostle Paul’s example in his second letter to the Thessalonian church. After that, we looked at how genuine faith endures persecution because of preaching the Gospel. This lesson deals with the coming of the Day of the Lord. This was part of the reason Paul had to write to the Thessalonians. Paul planted the church in Thessalonica when he was there with Timothy and Silas. He spent time teaching the new believers the Scriptures so that they could know God’s plan for the ages. Part of that teaching dealt with the coming of the Day of the Lord. After Paul left, he wrote his first letter to them to teach more concerning God’s plan for the ages. You can read about that in I Thessalonians. In between the first letter and the second one that he wrote to them, false teachers began to mislead people concerning God’s plan for the ages. There was a series of teachings and letters that taught that the Day of the Lord had already come and the Thessalonians had missed it. It shook the faith of some and they lost hope. They did not see a point in continuing to live out and spread the Gospel. Before Paul’s first letter, the Thessalonians were great about proclaiming the Gospel. They had filled Asia Minor with the Gospel and Paul praises them for it in his first letter. That had stopped because of the false teaching and shaken faith caused by the false teachings. This is where we pick up chapter 2 of II Thessalonians. Paul gives evidence that the Day of the Lord has not taken place yet because of some events that MUST take place first. Continue reading
I am preparing to teach my class on II Thessalonians this coming week. I love teaching this short letter because there is so much truth packed into a small amount of space. During our first lesson, we covered the overview and learned that the Apostle Paul was a master communicator. From reading and studying Acts 17, we learn that the Thessalonian church was planted in the midst of heavy persecution. The Thessalonians were very familiar with persecution. The Apostle Paul was there working as a team with Silas and Timothy. They had a plan to enter the synagogue on the Sabbath and reason with the Jews living in Thessalonica from the Scriptures. Paul took the inductive Bible study approach which involves questions and answers from the Biblical text. The team was there for 3 weeks. While studying, several of the Jews came to Christ along with some God fearing Greeks and leading women. After these people accepted Christ, the rest of the Jews who rejected Christ became jealous of Paul and the team. They stirred the people up and after forming a mob, tried to attack Paul and the team. Paul escaped to Berea and continued teaching in the synagogue in Berea. While Paul was busy planting more churches by making disciples, the new beleivers in Thessalonica continued to grow in their faith amidst persecution. The Word of the Lord went out from them to all of Asia Minor. Paul continued to communicate with the Thessalonians. II Thessalonians is the second letter that we know of that Paul wrote to the Thessalonian Christians. Paul had to write this letter because the attacks shifted from the outside to the inside. False teaching had crept in to the church and people’s faith was in danger. Continue reading
I am teaching II Thessalonians this semester for my Monday night study. We met last week and began to do the overview lesson. During the lesson, we wrote down what we learned about Paul from II Thessalonians. In fact, we wrote down what Paul reveals about himself in II Thessalonians. One of the things that we noticed was the importance of communication and how Paul was a master at communicating. Continue reading