Containing commentaries on:
The Letter to the Romans- The Revelation of John
I have taken it upon myself, the task of writing a journal based on what I have
read from the bible. Hopefully, by reading the bible I may find the encouragement and
motivation to live up to my worldly responsibilities as well. The bible itself is the best
counselor and self help book rolled into one. Therefore it certainly is not a waste of time
to be reading the bible- which are the very words of God, our creator. In fact what could
be more important?) I currently keep a small journal and index cards of my favorite
verses for quick reference. But, reading the bible in a random and haphazard way will
most likely result in missing important things that could certainly be of benefit. I enjoy
reading the bible, as I find it filled with the most important advice and instruction that can
be found. It represents the words of my best friend, embodying the perfect qualities that
can be found in no one else. God is the God of perfect justice, mercy and love. Reading
the bible has been a help to me whenever I have felt depressed, angry, revengeful,
remorseful or lonely. It is far better than any worldly advice that may come from anyone
I will begin the task in this way: I will start with the letters of the New Testament
first, starting with the book of Romans. After completing the letters, I will then proceed
to the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke & John & Acts and then psalms and proverbs.
Hopefully I will read each day and record my commentary in this journal.
I am beginning this journal with the letters written by the Apostle Paul. My
journal/ commentary will be in the same order as the bible. Keep in mind, the beginning
will start at Romans. I have not included the four gospels of Jesus’ life: Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John or the book of Acts.
THE LETTERS BY PAUL THE APOSTLE
An Introduction to Paul’s letters and to Romans:
I have decided that the Book of Romans is a perfect place to start this journal. I
have read it many times, and in fact most of my systematic reading of the New Testament
books will actually be considered a re- reading. Yet, Romans in particular is a very good
background providing some important basic essential information about God and God’s
will for mankind. I would recommend anyone reading the bible for the first time to start
with one of the gospels first, then proceed directly to the book of Romans. It addresses
some very basic and universal questions. Even though the bible is written for everyone in
general, the words are personally directed to each and every individual. The words of
the bible will speak out to me, communicating the truth and thereby convicting me of
anything false that I need to change. Hopefully, continued reading of the bible will create
in me a desire and a motivation to do what is right and to have the peace of mind that
can only come when one is following God’s will.
Chapter 1 No Excuses! The Spiral Towards Depravity.
Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power
for salvation to everyone who believes… For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from
faith to faith. The righteous will live by faith.” This passage essentially sums up the
purpose of reading the bible, otherwise known as the “gospel”. Firstly we should NOT
be embarrassed by the bible as so many in today’s modern society are - because through
reading the message of God, which is passed down to us in the form of the written word:
the bible- we may be saved. Salvation means this- eternal life in heaven with God.
God’s goodness is made evident, or clear to us, through his words in the bible. And we
must accept these words of God by faith. Yet faith is not an abandonment of reason and
common sense, because there are sufficient proofs of God’s existence evident within the
created physical world which is obvious and may be perceived by all of mankind. No
one has an excuse for denying God.
There is sufficient proof of God’s existence! It cannot be denied. Don’t believe
event the most hardened of atheists or evolutionists. They are simply wrong and here is
why: Romans 1:19, “since what can be known about God is evident among them,
because God has shown it to them. From the creation of the world His invisible
attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being
understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.”
Sometimes there may be that doubt in the back of our minds:”what if there is no God?”,
but these passages should quell all doubts- because God’s existence is plain and clear to
us. And, by denying the common sense reality, the truth of God, we in essence exchange
truth for a lie. In doing so, our common sense and our minds become foggy and dulled to
the point that we exchange the truth of the immortal and powerful true God for anything
else that will satisfy that spiritual vacuum that is created. We lose our power for
objectivity and reason, and when we neglect to consider God. Next what follows is that
we degenerate into a humanity which lacks morals and truths and objectivity.
In plain and simple English, the process towards sin and depravity are described
in this first chapter of Romans! First, it consists of denial of an all powerful, good
creator. Then without a moral standard- higher than ourselves, we fall into disarraygrasping
at anything to fill that spiritual void. Deny it all you want, since the dawn of
mankind, there can be no doubt that people have sought to believe in something greater
than themselves. We are “religious” beings by nature, like it or not. Once God is
removed from the picture a spiritual void is created- a spiritual Black Hole that seeks to
be fulfilled. In its powerful vortex, anything and everything will be sucked up- and
common sense, morals and goodness go out the window! Without God, people turn to
depravity and debauchery of all sorts. Just look at television and movies if you don’t
believe this. Though claiming to be wise, they are not, as their thinking became nonsense
and their minds darkened. “Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their
hearts to sexual impurity. Romans 1:24 And because they did not think it worthwhile to
have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is
morally wrong. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed and wickedness.
They are full of envy, murder, disputes deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers,
God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, undiscerning, untrustworthy,
unloving and unmerciful…and they not only practice such things…but even applaud
others who practice them. “Romans 1:28-32 What loathsome qualities, but think about it
a second- are they rare or are they common? And which one of us can say we have never
been guilty of any of these things. These traits describe us, they describe humanity!
Chapter 2: Say no to hypocrisy!
“When you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you the judge do the same
things”. Romans 2:1 You may think you are a good example, telling others what to do,
but what good is that when you do not even follow through? If you consider yourself to
be an authority figure, a leader or a teacher then you must also act as one as well. Telling
others what is right or wrong isn’t sufficient. You yourself must also practice what you
preach. God’s mercy and love is for the purpose of leading us to remorse and repentance.
Therefore we should not scoff when we perceives others to be less worthy as a result of
their sins. If we choose to remain stubborn, unmerciful, judgmental and hard hearted we
will bear the consequences of God’s just judgment. Regardless of how “religious” you
perceive yourself to be- we our judged by God according to our hearts. Our conscious
serves as a guideline as it convicts us as to whether we are right our wrong. But if we
continue to ignore our conscious, our hearts will become hardened to the point where we
really do not know right from wrong. It is because of so called religious and Christian
hypocrites that, “The name of God is blasphemed”. Romans 2:24 The so called safety net
of religion is worthless if you do not practice what you preach.
Chapter 3: God’s solution for sin & our salvation
Many deny the existence of God and mock those who place their faith in God.
Sometimes, even we who have placed our faith in God have some moments of doubt. In
fact even John the Baptist had a moment of doubt. But does this doubt nullify the
objective truth about God? Certainly not! Just because we do not believe something is
true, doesn’t make it false, does it? What we believe does not change the truth. In fact,
“God must be true,” even if “everyone is a liar”. Romans 3:4 Furthermore, none of us
can say we have never sinned. We all fall short of God’s perfect and just standards. We
are all guilty before God’s eyes. No one truly understands God. We all at times have lied
or have spoken careless words. At times we have all pursued our own selfish desires and
interests at the expense of others. We can never, no matter how hard we try, meet God’s
standards. Does that make God’s standards unreasonable because we cannot attain them?
No, that doesn’t. It simply shows that through our own efforts it is impossible to be
perfect and meet God’s standards. But, while we were still living in sin, God sent his
only son, Jesus to die for our sins so that by believing in Jesus, we may be justified.
What do we need to do? We need to simply admit we have sinned- in other words, admit
that we have fallen short of God’s standards and accept the sacrifice of Jesus through
faith. And as a result of our faith, righteousness shall be credited to us- not earned- but
freely given to as a gift from God. Our faith in Jesus will result in the forgiveness of our
sins and eternal life- which is salvation. We cannot be saved based on merit or good
works! Therefore no one can boast. It is a gift from God that we receive from faith!
Chapter 4: Justified as righteous through faith
We are justified as righteous by God through our faith in Jesus. We can not merit or earn
justification through our works. In fact in the Old Testament, King David and Abraham
were justified by their faith in God, not by works or anything they did. God “credits” or
gives the gift of righteousness by faith and not by works. In essence, what righteousness
means can be summed up in this verse: “How happy those whose lawless acts are
forgiven and whose sins are covered! How happy the man whom the Lord will never
charge with sin.” Romans 4:8 Jesus “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for
our justification”. Romans 4:25
Chapter 5: Faith results in justification which results in our hope and salvation
Remember it is through our faith in Jesus alone that we may be justified. While we were
sinners, Jesus died for us so that we may be saved by believing in home. What a great act
of love this is! Rarely will someone die even for a so-called good or deserving man, but
to die for undeserving sinners, that is true love! To place our faith in anything else is
meaningless because it is Jesus who died on the cross for our sins. Being declared
righteous should give up peace, even in life’s tough times. This is because we can now
receive God’s grace and hope for the future. The Holy Spirit within us, assures of and
reminds us not only of God’s love but our future hope. Just as condemnation and death
for all resulted from the sin of one man- Adam; the gift of justification and eternal life are
available for all through Jesus. Justification means this- salvation, which is eternal life.
Chapter 6: Real life application of our faith
It is true that we can not merit our salvation by works, because it is a gift that we receive
through our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice. But that does not mean we should go right on
sinning- behaving as if our actions do not matter! When we place our faith in Jesus, and
in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins- we share not only in glory and salvation but in his death as
well. Just as Jesus died for our sins, we too should symbolically put to death our former
selves- our former ways of behavior. Baptism is used as an analogy for death and rebirth.
Therefore when we place our faith in Jesus we are baptized into his death as well as our
rebirth into eternal life. We put to death our sinful natures, and take on a new life.
Therefore, even if we are not bound by the Laws of the old testament- otherwise known
as the old covenant, we should still seek to please God in the spirit of love and
willingness rather than as in an obligation or duty.
Chapter 7: Freedom From the Law
In order to explain the sovereignty or power of the law over the believer in Jesus, Paul
uses an analogy of marriage. Prior to believing in Jesus, we were still subject to
judgment in accordance with the law. (The law is the standard of perfection given by God
which is written in the Old Testament.) Without a savior, we were required to pay the
penalty for our own sins and that penalty was eternal separation from God- in other
words death. Yet when we accepted God’s gift of redemption or salvation through our
faith and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice, we were not longer bound to the judgment of the
law. Likewise when we are married, we are obligated or bound to our spouse. If our
spouse is dead, we are freed from that obligation. In a sense when we accepted Jesus in
our life, we put to death our former way of thinking. When we humbled ourselves and
admitted to our sin and our need for a savior, we put to death our old sinful selves. Now
we are not bound legally to the law, and instead we have the spirit. We are not required
to fulfill the law for our salvation- which is impossible to do anyway. Instead, our spirit
and faith is what gives us life.
Chapter 7 Continued: The struggle between goodness & sin
Our conscious recognizes the goodness of the law through the Holy Spirit or natural
inclinations of our conscious. When we recognize we have done wrong, and when our
conscious convicts us of our wrongdoing- that is the recognition of the goodness of
God’s law. Yet, our bodies- our fleshly natures, struggle and fight against what is right.
It as if there is an inner struggle between goodness and sin; between the Holy Spirit that
lives in us, and the sin which reigns in our bodies.
It is obvious our flawed human natures cannot possibly overcome our inclination towards
sin. No matter how hard we try and no matter how disciplined we think we are- can never
meet God’s standards of perfection. What the law could not achieve for us, God
achieved- through Jesus who was the “sin offering”. Therefore we no longer live
according our natural human natures- the sinful flesh. Instead we live by the spirit which
is this: we are justified as righteous through our faith. We are no longer condemned and
under the reign of death. As a result, though our faith which gives us the spirit, we will
receive life. But remember as living in the spirit and not under our former natural ways,
we put to death our former ways. If we suffer from temptation, hardship, suffering or
criticism as a result of our new lives, we need to remember it is only temporary because
we have hope in eternal life. We are considered to be God’s children as a believer.
Because of this we may eagerly await our eternal happiness. Where we may lack in
willpower or in strength, the Holy Spirit will intercede to help us.
God loved us so much, he did not even spare his very own son- Jesus. It should
be obvious therefore that God loves us very much. So why should it bother us when
others do not like us, or if others who are simply human beings try to hurt us? If God is
on our side, does it really matter what other people may say or do to us? Furthermore,
there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of God. Any suffering we
must endure is nothing compared to the happiness and glory and satisfaction we will
receive when we have eternal life with God.
Chapters 9,10 and 11: Faith is the greatest factor
Just because you come from a religious family, or you have a religious heritage, does not
mean you have any advantage in entering God’s kingdom. It does not matter if you come
from an entire line of rabbis, preachers or priests, that will not get you into heaven any
quicker. You become a child of God by faith and not by your physical heritage descent or
ancestry. Human efforts will get us no where- it depends on God’s mercy and
compassion. God makes no distinction between race, religious or cultural background.
That gives no advantage or disadvantage. What you believe and profess is what matters.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe with your
heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. As you can read in the Old
Testament, the Jews were entrusted with the prophets and the law and God’s covenant.
Now, a relationship with God is available to all who accept and believe.
Chapter 12: The Qualities and Personality of a Believer
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.
Be careful to not be so full of pride- to think more highly of yourself than you should.
All of us our important to God and we all have our purpose. God has endowed us with
gifts- different from each other but essential nonetheless. Some of us teach, preach,
encourage, serve, lead, donate etc. As believers in Christ, when we are together with
other believers there is an expectation that we should act in accordance with God’s will.
As God has shown love, we need to as well. Above all else, we must show love to one
another and “outdo one another in showing honor”, love, mercy, patience and goodness.
“Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud…. Do not be wise in your own
estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil… do not avenge yourselves….do not be
conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” Additionally, we need to submit to
authority, whether it is Godly or worldly. For example, we must obey the laws of the
state and government. We must pay taxes and whatever legal or financial obligations
required of us when living in this world. Yet we should never forget that love is our
biggest obligation. All the commandments are easily summed up by this: Love your
neighbor as yourself.
Chapter 14 and 15: Don’t argue about doubtful issues. Romans 14:1
Perhaps you feel that you can eat whatever you want with a clear conscious, such as pork.
Yet maybe there is a new believer in your church, perhaps a convert from Judaism or
Islam that says he can not eat pork. Perhaps he may even go so far as condemning you
when he sees you eating a piece of bacon. Don’t argue about it with him. Go ahead and
eat bacon with a clear conscious. If he tells you it is wrong, simply explain that it isn’t but
don’t get into a heated debate. Let the new convert who is weaker in his faith avoid
bacon; don’t force him to eat it. But if you notice he becomes extremely disturbed by
watching you eat bacon, then don’t eat it in front of him for the sake of his conscious.
The same thing applies to anything else such as the observance of special days. As long
as we act in a clear conscious convinced that what we do is the right thing and to the
glory of God. Romans 14:5 Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. At the
same time, we should still be considerate of each others feelings.
Everything is declared clean by God. But even if your conscious is clear and you know
you are right, that is not an excuse to make a weaker believer in the faith feel bad. “Do
you have faith? Keep it to yourself before God. Blessed is the man who does not
condemn himself by what he approves. But who ever doubts stands condemned if he
eats, because his eating is not from faith, and everything that is not from faith is sin.”
Romans 14: 22 This means that if you have a clear conscious, then go ahead- eat it, drink
it or do it. But if your conscious bothers you, when you do something you believe is
wrong, then you have sinned. Another thing to keep in mind is there are many cult like
groups such as Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses who have many man made rules adding
to the word of the bible. They say it is wrong to do things that God has not declared
wrong. Do not listen to these people. They should keep their so called man made rules
Thos of us who are stronger in our faith have a greater obligation that we avoid fruitless
disputes and debates. Rather we should try to lovingly address and bear the weakness of
those weaker in their faith. We should accept one another as God has accepted us. We
should act to the glory of God rather than stirring up dissention and arguments amongst
Chapter 16: Paul’s closing remark- avoid arguments!
As in the tradition and format of Paul’s other letters, this letter closes with some
encouraging remarks to some specific believers and members of the early church. Paul
ends this letter with a stern warning against trouble makers who seek only to stir up
arguments. This verse sums it up: “Now I implore you…watch out for those who cause
dissentions and pitfalls contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them for such
people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and
flattering words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting” Romans 16:17
Although the names of Paul’s letters are named after the specific early Christian
churches they represent, they are written to all Christian believers “called as saints… in
every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ”. 1Cor1:2 Therefore every one who
reads the bible, including these letters should read the words as if they are individually
written to him or her .
Chapters 1 and 2: Friends of God and the Problem of Worldly Wisdom
Through faith in Jesus we are called to fellowship with God. In other words, through
Jesus Christ, we become friends with God. As friends, there is nothing we will lack for.
Knowing this, there is no reason for believers to argue with one another. There is no
reason that the body of believers should be divided. We all believe in the same Lord, so
why should we be divided? It doesn’t matter specifically who does the preaching,
teaching or baptism, it is the message, not the messenger that we should be concerned
about- that is what brings unity. Don’t get overly pre-occupied with the messenger
whether it be Paul, Cephas (Peter), Apollos or whoever! It doesn’t matter.
For those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are
being saved it is God’s power. 1Cor1:18 Sums up the reason why non believers
disregard the message of the Lord. The world’s wisdom and the world’s people:
teachers. Philosophers, scientists, politicians, writers, atheists, secularism, the media,
communists…all of this means nothing to God. Such respected worldly individuals
dismiss the wisdom and truths of God as foolishness. In turn, all of this worldly wisdom
is simply worthless in God’s eyes. So therefore, when you hear the message of God’s
good news, though it may not be delivered in the elegant words of an orator, the message
itself through the Holy Spirit conveys the power and wisdom of God. The truths of God
cannot be discerned through worldly wisdom but only through the Holy Spirit. How can
anyone hope to understand the mysteries and the ways of the lord except through the
Holy Spirit which is freely given to all believers. Just as a man’s own min and conscious
knows the mind of the man, the Holy Spirit of God is the only one that can comprehend
the concerns of God. Natural man, otherwise known as worldly man, does not welcome
the Holy Spirit of God, and rejects anything that is spiritual. He sees the ways of the
Holy Spirit and God as foolishness. Therefore how can he hope to even understand the
ways of God? On the other hand the spiritual person can understand the ways of God and
evaluate God’s message through faith and the Holy Spirit which he receives as a believer
Chapters 3 and 4: The Importance of the Message and God’s Messengers
In his letter, Paul refers to the non believer as a natural, worldly, ordinary, typical or
fleshly man. Whatever expression is used to describe the non believer, the meaning is the
same. The non believer acts based on human nature: envy, revenge, greed, selfishness,
immorality, pride and other fleshly desires rather than with faith and love. As discussed
earlier, the message of God, and not the messenger is what is most important. When you
concentrate on the messenger to the exclusion of God’s message, then you are acting
based on the worldly, human nature. The messengers, also known as the servants of God
simply deliver the message. The delivery of the message of God is considered to be an
important task- an important work! This work of delivering the message of God is
comparable to a builder who lays a foundation and then builds a building. The degree to
which the messengers or servants of God obey and spread the word of God may vary:
some put in their full efforts to evangelize and win souls for Christ, while others put
minimal work into sharing the saving message of God. Eventually, each person’s work
will come to light, there are no secrets before God. Such a believer who spends little to
no effort in sharing the message of the good news may be summed up by the following
verse: “If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he himself will be saved; yet it
will be like an escape through fire.” 1Cor3:15 In sum, the wisdom of this world is
nothing but foolishness to God. No one, no matter how clever or crafty he may be, can
get away with any sort of scheme or dishonesty. The Lord evaluates everyone! Put aside
pride. “Nothing beyond what is written” matters. 1Cor4:6 What this means is this: the
only important thing is the saving message of God. In fact those who are teachers and
messengers of God should be even more humble than those who are the hearers of the
message. They need to be extra prepared in this way, because frequently they are
rejected by the world. Oftentimes the messengers are persecuted, and slandered. The
messengers endure hardships as well, “like the world’s garbage”. In writing this letter,
Paul includes himself as a messenger- in fact, succumbing to some of the worst of all
hardships. Nevertheless Paul calls all believers in Christ to imitate his ways.
Chapters 5, 6 and 7: Expectations of Believers and Church Members
Deplorable and filthy behavior is not a problem that is exclusive to nonbelievers alone.
Apparently at the church in Corinth, (as well as in other churches both ancient and
modern), sexually immoral behavior was an ongoing problem which Paul felt the need to
address and condemn. Furthermore, instead of being remorseful of such behaviors, the
perpetrators were actually proud of it and flaunting it! In response, using the analogy that
a little yeast can cause an entire loaf of bread to rise, Paul explains, that even a little bit of
sin or wrong doing can permeate a Christian congregation and negatively affect the other
believers. As a result, Paul tells the congregation of believers to “turn that one over to
Satan for the destruction of the flesh” in order to save his spirit. In other words, the
hypocrite should be reprimanded and if he doesn’t change his ways, then he should be
excluded from the congregation. The reason for this is that the other believers may also
get caught up in the same actions if it is not properly rejected. A church and believers
should not condone or put up with that sort of behavior.
If you have a problem with a fellow believer in your church, do not take it to court! In
court, you are dragging out your problems to be settled by a non believer. It is better to
approach the church, and perhaps there are some wise arbitrators within the congregation
that may settle the matter in a more peaceful and just way. If all else fails, “why not
rather put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you act unjustly and
cheat- and this to brothers1” which are your fellow believers within your church. 1Cor6:8
Respect for our Bodies:
Remember the behaviors that exclude people from the kingdom of God! We are no
longer slaves to our sinful desires anymore because we have been justified in the name of
Jesus. A common slogan that many people live by: “Everything is permissible for me”, is
very dangerous to put into practice. In fact, Paul points out the folly of following such
worldly advice. Not everything is helpful, and is it worth it to do anything you want and
to be brought under the control of sinful and selfish desires? You should not believe it is
permissible to act in any way you wish without concern or care. The body is not to be
used for sexual immorality and other out of control, sinful, fleshly pursuits. Your body is
part of the members of Christ, a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, therefore take care with
what you use your body for. “The person who is sexually immoral sins against his own
body” 1Cor6:18 Therefore we must run away and take guard from sexual sin.
Sometimes the married life is more trouble than its worth. The married believer must be
concerned about pleasing his or her spouse and other worldly concerns but the single
believer can dedicate his or her life to the Lord. Its okay to get married, if you feel the
calling of single-hood (as noble as it is), to be too difficult to follow. If you are so
preoccupied with getting married then do it! Its better to marry than to be involved in
sexual sin as a single person. If you are married, don’t get a divorce no matter what!
Even if your spouse is not a believer, you should stay married. Consider this, even if
your spouse is not a believer, your actions may sometimes be enough to win over your
husband or wife to God. Therefore if you are married to a non believer don’t give up,
and don’t despair. However, if your spouse divorces you, and it is beyond your control,
you obviously have no choice. But no matter what, if you divorce, do not remarry.
Reconcile with your estranged spouse if it is possible- if not, stay single.
No Need To Change:
If you became saved as a slave, then do not pre-occupy yourself in seeking freedom. If
you were an uncircumcised gentile, there is no need for you to perform a ritual or a
medical procedure to become circumcised. If you were a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor,
salesperson, construction worker, ditch digger or a pauper, no need to change your
profession or lifestyle if it has nothing to do with sin. If you wear glasses, have long hair,
have warts etc… why change? If some one tries to get you to change something- why
should you listen? God accepts you as you are.
Chapter 8: The Responsibility of Knowledge
Knowledge Vs. Love: While worldly knowledge often leads to worldly pride, the quality
of love leads to more love and encouragement. If you think you know it all, then that in
of itself shows you are ignorant of God’s will. If your knowledge of the word of God is
great, that is in fact noble and pleasing- it’s a good start. But knowledge without love is
just not good enough. What good is that knowledge if you use it in such a way as to
offend one another? Knowledge is a powerful tool but without love to guide it, it can be
harmful as well. Be careful not to take advantage of your stronger faith and cause your
brother who may be weaker in faith to become hurt or offended.
There is only one true God, the creator of this world. Yet the people of this world do not
acknowledge and honor God. Instead they pay honor to worldly “gods” or idols. In fact
anything that comes before God, becomes an idol. But no matter what that idol or “god”
is: fame, money, career, a relationship or whatever else- it is not as important as worship
of the true God. In the ancient times whether men worshiped false Greek, Roman and
Egyptian Gods, or whether it is in modern times when men worship movie stars,
musicians, sports figures, wealth, health or materialism- its all the same- worthless. “For
us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ
through whom are all things.” 1Cor8:6
Now in ancient times when Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Corinth, the worship
of false Greek and Roman gods was a common practice condoned and encouraged by the
government. On a trip to ancient Rome you would see so many temples, and statues
dedicated to gods and ancestors. Idol and ancestor worship was as common as
patriotism- and was often linked to patriotism. In fact the Roman Caesers were often
deified upon death. The worship of these gods and ancestors was called idolatry. It was
common practice to offer food to idols and then to consume the meat after words in a
ritual. Oftentimes the excess meat would be sold in shops. But God has declared all food
as acceptable to eat. Food is not unclean. What goes into your mouth cannot make a
person unclean before God. We as believers and hearers of God’s word have this
knowledge. But many new believers, who had converted from idolatry felt it was wrong
to eat meat that they knew had been dedicated to idols. It would bother their conscious to
eat such meat. Paul wanted to clarify that it was okay for a believer to eat any meat even
if it had been part of a ritual. But he also told the believers stronger in their faith to not
make a point of eating such meat in front of a weaker believer if it meant offending the
conscious of that new believer. Above all else, even when we have knowledge of the
truth, love and consideration for one another, especially other believers is of the most
importance. If your faith causes trouble for the conscious of another weaker in faith then
you have done a great disservice both for the Lord and the other believer.
Chapter 9: Paul’s Purpose as an Apostle
An apostle was a messenger of God’s word. His purpose was to deliver God’s message
so as to create new believers and disciples. Paul was an apostle to preach the gospel. As
an apostle, a believer in Christ with the added responsibility to deliver and spread the
message, he was also entitled to the liberties of other believers and even more: food,
clothing, material support, family. Yet Paul willingly chose not take advantage of this.
He chose not to accept material and financial support from other believers- even though it
would not have been wrong to do so. His first and foremost goal was to spread the
gospel to the exclusion of seeking his own comfort. His purpose was to communicate
and interact with each at his own level to win over believers for Christ.
Chapter 10: The Choice Between Good & Evil
Let us not temp Christ. 1Cor10:9 As believers we should avoid evil or sinful desires.
Consider the Old Testament examples of God’s just punishments upon those who ignored
the will of God and Godly morals. We are not immune from God’s judgment either. We
should avoid idolatry which means putting other things or people before worship of God.
We need to also avoid sexual immorality. Another thing, we must be careful even when
we think we are strong in spirit and conviction. We are not immune to temptation and we
must be on guard. “Whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall! No temptation
has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not
allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation He will also
provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it.” 1Cor10: 12-13 If we are
believers , why should we participate in immorality. We cannot have divided loyalties.
We cannot serve goodness and evil at the same time. “Are we provoking the Lord to
Again Paul addresses the common slogan that many erroneously believe and live by:
“Everything is permissible.” While you may believe everything is okay to do, it really is
not always okay. Sometimes what we do can cause harm to us and others as well.
Furthermore we should put the well being of others above ourselves. As he discussed
two chapters earlier, Paul uses the example of meat offered to idols. It is okay to eat
anything sold in the meat market, but if your knowledge and liberties bothers the
conscious of another then don’t do it in front of that person. You are also to set an
example as well, not simply show off without care or concern. Whatever you do, make
sure you do it for the glory of God and that you do not cause the offense of another who
is weaker in the faith.
Chapter 11: Respect in Worship
The ancient cultural context of Paul’s passage on head covering must be considered. The
general message is for today is this: we must act and dress in respect to God, especially in
a worship service. Women are not demeaned or degraded as being inferior. This could
not be further from the truth. In fact, Paul encourages the respect of women, and both
men and women come from God. It is interesting to note how Paul also mentions that
our physical signs of respect are observed not only by God but by the angels as well- to
whom we are also examples.
The Lord’s Supper:
Think about how you celebrate communion or the Lord’s Supper at your church today.
Have you ever wondered why the pastor or (master of ceremonies- whoever that may be)-
passes around a bit of bread and wine/ juice to each individual. It is done in an orderly
manner isn’t it? It is not exactly a re-enactment of the dinner served at the Last Supper
celebrated by Jesus and his apostles as told in the New Testament gospels. It is not a full
course meal as it was with Jesus and his apostles in the upper room. There is a reason for
this, and Paul had to address this with the early Christian Church in Corinth. When we
participate in the memorial of the Lord’s Supper together in Church, we must not
consider it to be a party or a buffet to which we satiate our uncontrolled desires for food
and drink. No! That is not the purpose. Eat and drink at home if you are that hungrydon’t
expect to eat your dinner at the memorial service of the Lord’s Supper! Don’t eat
the whole loaf of bread! Don’t you have homes where you can eat? Eat your dinner at
home before you come to church. In the church at Corinth, apparently they used to pass
out the bread and wine, and some members of the church would take more according to
their appetites so that there would not be enough to go around. Instead of respectfully
sharing in the memory of the Last Supper, they were simply fulfilling their hearty
appetites. Paul had to condemn this, telling them as well as us to wait for one another
and eat at home if you are hungry. Hence this is why in most modern churches the Last
Supper is formally and orderly conducted that way it is so as to avoid the free for all, all
you can eat- buffet effect. Jesus himself told us to remember Him in the practice of the
Lord’s supper together- and as often as we do this, we are remembering his death and
Chapters 12, 13 and 14: Spiritual Gifts
There are different spiritual gifts. Each of these is important! They are simply different
manifestations of the Holy Spirit working through the believer for the good of all. These
include faith, helping, managing and knowledge. Individual members may be apostles or
teachers. The thing to remember is that “one and the same spirit is active in all these,
distributing to each as He wills”. 1Cor12:11. It is analogous to one human body having
many different body parts: all are different but even the smallest is still important. Each
body part has a specific purpose. Those parts of the body we see as less honorable, we
must clothe with more honor- we must devote more attention to distribute honor. There
should be unity therefore and not division among the members of the church. But,
remember this- without love, our gifts are meaningless. It does not matter if we can
prophesy or heal, if it is done without love then it does not matter! Without love, you
have nothing because love is the only lasting spiritual gift- the others: prophesy,
languages (speaking in foreign tongues: angelic and human), and knowledge will all
eventually come to an end! The only enduring spiritual gifts are these: faith, hope and
love with love being the greatest of the three.
An important thing to remember is that in the early apostolic times of the Church to
whom Paul was speaking, some believers had supernatural gifts: healing, prophesy,
languages (the ability to speak in angelic tongues and different human languages). But
these gifts were considered inferior and transient in nature- meaning that eventually they
would no longer be available- as in they would eventually pass away with the passage of
time, when the more fulfilling spiritual gifts of faith, hope and love would come into
play. For this reason, we do not see the supernatural gifts of healing, prophecy and
Languages (a. k. a. tongues):
Paul discusses the proper use of the gift of languages within the context of the ancient
Christian churches- which he sees as the lesser of the spiritual gifts. He explains that if
someone has the so called gift of speaking in another language or tongues, but that there
is no interpreter available, it is essentially useless. There is no point in it whatsoever- and
not to bother! That is because no one else will understand what is being said. If no one
can understand what is said, there is no point in saying it. There is no purpose at all
unless there is an interpreter to explain what is being said to those who are listening.
Regardless of your spiritual gifts, above all there must be order. If everything is in
disorder and disarray when you assemble together, what good will that do? How will
anyone learn and be encouraged? As in the created world there is order and there should
be order in the church as well. “As in all the churches of the saints the women should be
silent in the churches”. 1Cor14:34 This is why you see men as pastors and not women.
Chapter 15: The Gospel Message and the Importance of Jesus’ Resurrection for all of us
Paul sums up the message of the gospel and its significance. “I want to clarify for you
the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and…are also saved by it, if you hold to
the message I proclaimed to you- unless you believed to no purpose.” 1Cor15:2-3 Jesus
died for our sins and rose from the dead. After he rose from the dead he appeared to over
500 people at one time as well as to the apostles and others. Jesus’ resurrection cannot be
denied. It really happened! In fact if he did not rise, then the apostles would be false
witnesses- and how would they get away with falsifying that information without
someone noticing? And if Jesus did not rise from the dead, our faith would be
meaningless- not to mention we would still be in our sins because that would mean that
our sins were not paid for.
But just as sin and death came from one man’s actions- Adam; forgiveness and eternal
life come from Jesus. In fact, Jesus conquered death through his resurrection. If you do
not believe in the resurrection, then we are simply no different from the nonbelievers who
have no hope and therefore do whatever they wish regardless of whether it is right and
wrong. Watch out for those people because their company can corrupt your good morals.
And think about why there are people out there who are ignorant about God- it is because
you are not doing your job and sharing the gospel message with them. You should be
Remember, before we are resurrected, our physical body must die- just as a seed dies
before it becomes a tree. Our physical body represents corruption, but our spiritual body
represents incorruption. Our physical bodies cannot go to heaven, therefore we must be
changed to an incorruptible body. Our mortal lives will become immortal as death and
sin are swallowed up in the victory given to us through Jesus.
Chapter 16: Concluding Remarks
Paul encourages believers to put into the collection for the believers according to their
ability. He follows up with a description of his travel plans and some encouraging words.
Paul felt the continued need to address some specific issues that threatened the early
church in Corinth. Yet, the issues that threatened this early church are general enough
to be applied to modern day churches and to individuals as well! The problem of false
teachers and corrupt doctrine is evident even in today’s modern society as many
believers and non believers alike are lured by the deceptions of false teachers who distort
and disguise their messages. We must hold fast to the word of God or we will be
susceptible to being swayed by false teachers. God’s word is like are yardstick to which
we must measure whatever we hear. What we learn must be measured against God’s
word and if it contradicts it must be discarded, regardless of the messenger. As believers
we must continue to examine ourselves to make sure our doctrines are in accordance
with the gospel and that our actions are in accordance with the Holy Spirit.
Chapters 1- 3: Comfort and Receive Comfort
Just as we receive comfort from God during the troubling moments in our lives, we
should comfort one another. When we are rejected by the world as a result of our faith in
God, we must remember that just as we share in the sufferings of Jesus, we shall also
share the comfort and blessings. Think about it in this way: who can offer more comfort
to us than our God who has the power to raise the dead? God, through his power can
certainly use it to offer comfort. This message that is being written, the gospel message
can be easily understood. Furthermore, God himself has given us the Holy Spirit “as a
down payment in our hearts”. If others hurt you and cause you pain, do not let Satan use
that to his advantage; Satan can use it to his advantage over you if you are not carefulinstead
offer comfort, forgive and show love.
Messengers Of The Gospel
As believers we are compared to an aroma or scent that permeates the air. For those who
believe- the message is recognized as a message that leads to eternal life, but for those
who reject God’s message, then the consequence is death. The abilities of the apostles
(those who share the message of the gospel) receive their competence through God. The
first covenant, which was the law given to the Israel through Moses in the Old Testament
represented the Old Covenant. Since we could not even hope to meet God’s standards by
following the law, that covenant led to death. We have a New Covenant now, based not
on the letter of the law, but of the spirit, which based on mercy and grace leads to
eternal life. The differences between the old and new covenants are clear when they are
compared side by side:
Old Covenant Vs. New Covenant
Old Testament Vs. New Testament
The Letter of the law written on stone tablets Vs. The Spirit
The law given to Moses Vs. The redemption we receive through Jesus
Death Vs. Life
Works Vs. Faith & Grace
Fading Glory Vs. Eternal Glory
a veiled heart Vs. the veil is removed
Chapter 4: Stand Firm With Gods Message
Because of the mercy we have received, we should be more than willing to abandon
anything shameful or deceitful. As a messenger we must never distort the message of
God. Regardless of the reception we receive by our hearers- even if it is negative, we
must never alter the gospel of God. So if our message is rejected, or criticized as being
too hard to follow or too difficult to understand, we still must never concede to the
pressures and change the gospel message to suit the tastes of those who listen. We must
never compromise the truth of God! In fact, if the message of God is not easily
understood by the hearers then it is for a reason. It is because the unbelieving people
have been made blind by the corruption of this world. Their love of this world have
calloused their hearts and veiled their minds so that they cannot begin to understand.
They are as if they are blind and therefore they can not see or understand the message of
the gospel or Jesus, the light of this world. The message of God, is compared to a
treasure- which is contained in a worthless clay jar, so that the true value of the message
may not be overshadowed by the either the container or messenger which is insignificant
in comparison to the message. The believer of the message and the messenger of the
gospel must never give up hope no matter what trials or opposition are faced. Even if
our physical bodies are being worn, our spirits are being renewed. Any suffering is
nothing at all compared to the eternal glory we will have. “For our momentary light
affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of Glory. So we
do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but
what is unseen is eternal.” 2Cor4:18
Chapters 5- 8
Mortal Life Vs. Eternal Life
Our physical bodies are comparable to a flimsy nylon tent. If that tent is frayed and
destroyed- which it will certainly and eventually be- then we need not worry. We will
have an eternal, permanent structure- a strong house from God in heaven! And while we
exist- burdened and suffering- in our transient, earthly, imperfect, mortal bodies, we long
for our new, eternal homes with God in heaven. Eventually, death will be swallowed up
by life. And God has prepared us for this change by giving us the Holy Spirit “as a down
payment”. Now that is God’s guarantee! So we consider our mortal lives, in our human
bodies, to be a temporary parting from the Lord. And we recognize that when the time
comes to part with our bodies- in other words, when our physical bodies experience
death, we understand that will be when we finally go to our true home with the Lord.
But no matter what- whether we still inhabit our fleshly bodies, or whether we have shed
our fleshly bodies; whether we live or we die- we still strive to please God. Above all,
don not forget this: we will all have to appear before the Lord, with an accounting of our
Apostles and the Gospel Message:
With this knowledge, we recognize the importance and urgency in sharing the gospel
message. The love of Jesus is a driving force in our lives and as a result we are a new
creature, a new creation! God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus who without sin
became sin in order that through faith we may be considered righteous. In sum, “God
was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting the trespasses against us” 2Cor5:19.
This is the message that believers/ apostles need to share. We are considered to be
ambassadors for Christ when we spread the gospel message. There is no need to delay in
spreading the message or in accepting the message of the gospel because “now is the day
of salvation”. 2Cor6:2 Regardless of what hardships and suffering that messengers of
God endure, the messenger of God shall remain true and pure to the end. In fact, the
greater of degree of suffering and hardship received in this world, will be an
exponentially higher degree of blessedness and glory received in the next world to come.
The only limitations faced will simply be self imposed limitations. Don’t limit yourself
by partnering up with an unbeliever. It is one thing to share the gospel message with an
unbeliever as we are called to do- but to have close fellowship or to marry a non-believer
is to mismatch goodness with darkness, or God’s sanctuary with idol worship. It is to
defile the pure spirit of God with impurity. Furthermore, don’t confuse anything having
to do with the world with God. There can be no union or airing of goodness with evil.
“For Godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but
worldly grief produces death.” 2Cor7:9
Chapters 8 and 9: Generosity
Remember to be generous, even when you endure suffering and hardship, just as God
poured out his grace on you. Jesus endured poverty and suffering so that you may
become rich in grace and blessings. If you have more than others, then share with those
who have less. Those who sow little will reap little in return, but those who sow
generously will reap generously in return. Generosity may be applied in any aspect in
life, not just with resources of money, but of time, service and love as well.
Chapters 10- 13: Distortion of the Gospel and the Danger of False Teachers
Those who oppose the message of the gospel and its messengers, as well as the false
message which they seek to deliver, must be challenged against and held to the truth of
God’s message. It doesn’t matter if as messengers, we are not as eloquent in the use of
language as worldly philosophers or scholars. It is the saving message of the gospel that
is of most importance. The true messenger of the Lord will not be boastful or prideful. If
he is to boast, it shall be in the Lord alone and not himself. This is what Paul was trying
to communicate to the early Christian church in Corinth. That is why the message of the
gospel may be compared to valuable gold contained in clay jars. So that the message
may be glorified, the vessel must be humbled.
Paul felt the need to respond to those false leaders and teachers who were critics of the
way God’s true apostles delivered the true message. False teachers otherwise known as
false apostles, were prevalent in the early church just as they are today. In fact Paul
compared the message of the false teachers as a competing message to the true message
of the gospel. To turn from the true message of the Lord to a false or distorted message
would essentially a betrayal of Jesus- comparable to marital infidelity. The false message
of the false teachers threatened to corrupt the worship of the church members in Corinth
who were apparently naïve enough and weak in the faith, making them more likely to
being swayed by false teachings and false teachers. Likewise in modern times among
believers and nonbelievers alike- as well as in modern churches- many people are easily
deceived by false teachings. False appearances will frequently sway people. Consider the
attention people in today’s society devote to the media and the entertainment industry and
to so- called “famous” entertainers. Also consider the attention and credibility that socalled
authorities such as politicians and other “authority” figures receive. Physical
appearances frequently play a large role when false teachers try to get attention. “For if a
person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a
different spirit, which you have not received, or a different gospel, which you have not
accepted, you put up with it splendidly” 2Cor10:4 What this means is that people show
no discretion to what garbage they will swallow when it comes to beliefs and ideas, as
long as it is wrapped up in a pretty package.
Satan: The Mastermind Behind False Teachers and the Distorted Gospel
Paul’s message may also be applied to any believer in Christ, as well as the church in
Corinth- and anyone who chooses to share the gospel of Christ. Even though Paul had no
formal training in public speaking, and he did not wear fancy or expensive clothes, that
would not, or should not lessen the credibility of his message. In fact, his humility and
humbleness all the more gave credit to the saving message of God. It should be the
saving power of the message that draws people and not the distraction of the physical
appearance of the messenger itself. Those false teachers, twist the message of the gospel
for their own purpose and to boost their own pride, are false and deceitful, even though
they disguise themselves as apostles of God’s message. This serves as Paul’s warning to
all of us: Do not be fooled by their outward appearances! “For Satan himself is disguised
as an angel of light!” 2Cor11:14 And if that is the case, if it is true that Satan can
deceptively appear and disguise his evil, tainted message, then of course Satan’s
messengers can disguise their evil ways as well in order to deceive unsuspecting and
unwitting hearers. Consider how many people are lured by the message of cult groups
such as the Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons, new age movements, and witchcraft. These
are all various distortions of the message of the bible. But don’t worry or despair,
because these false teachers will eventually get what is coming to them. The sad thing is
that so many people will put up not only with these false teachers, but with fools in
general. So many willingly and needlessly discard the truth of God to put up with so
much immorality, and nonsense! How many prefer to hear and follow foolish worldly
“wisdom” instead of God’s wisdom? Well if you can do that, then why not put up with
the wisdom of God, even if it is delivered through a so- called humbled fool.
The Purpose Behind the Humility and the Trials of God’s Messengers:
And furthermore, how dare anyone criticize messengers of the Lord with all they put up
with- those false teachers have no ground to stand on when they criticize God’s apostles.
Paul uses the hardships that he endured during his own ministry to illustrate what he
endured in contrast to false teachers. In his humility, which should serve as an example
for all of us, Paul refused to boast about himself- except with one exception- his
weakness. Rather, Paul was more than willing to boast about others in order to boost
others above himself. Likewise, we too should strive to consider others above ourselves.
In fact, Paul had a chronic physical affliction or condition that caused him physical pain.
Yet, Paul endured his physical illness so that he could boast in God who provided him
strength and grace to promote the gospel message. Paul happily endured physical and
emotional hardships because it actually made him and his faith stronger! Furthermore, he
personally did not create any expectations or burdens on the hearers of his message
whatsoever in order to build them up.
Christian and Apostolic Humility:
Concerning his own private revelations, if he indeed had any which is not the concern in
this passage, Paul avoided sharing anything beyond what could be readily observed or
proven so that what Paul shared would seen as God’s truth- and Paul’s testimony could
not be questioned. About other “visions” by private individuals, that may have occurred
in the early church, only God for sure could know its authenticity- therefore such
revelations are of no concern to us. In fact people should never boast of their own
revelations. Paul’s simple explanation, which he repeated twice is simply this: “I do not
know, God knows” 2Cor12:2-3 Our responsibility is this: to walk in the spirit of God and
to avoid the spirit of this world which is represented by these things: quarreling, jealousy,
anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, disorder, sexual immorality and
promiscuity. Paul challenges all believers to avoid these sins! In fact we are told, “test
yourselves to see if you are in faith” 2 Cor13:5 In fact when we examine ourselves and
our hearts continuously we are likened as mature Christians. Paul’s final exhortation to
all believers is this: “Be restored, be encouraged, be of the same mind (concerning the
true gospel message), be at peace” 2Cor13:11 and God will be with us as well.
As with his other letters, Paul’s introduction is a shortened summary of the gospel: Paul,
an apostle was sent by God to deliver this message: through Jesus we have been rescued
from our sin. This letter in particular was written to the believers in Galatia in order to
address some issues concerning false religious doctrines. Yet, as with the other letters,
the lessons and instructions may be applied to all believers throughout all the
generations of time.
Chapter 1: False Gospels
“I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the
grace of Christ to a different gospel- not that there is another gospel, but there are some
who are troubling you and want to change the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an
angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to
you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: if anyone preaches to
you a gospel contrary to what you have received, a curse be on him!” Galations1:6-9
These stern words of Paul should not be taken lightly. Consider how many people of all
ages, nations and generations have come to accept false visions and false gospels- despite
the warning. Consider how many religions are started as a result of false visions
proclaiming a new gospel. Mormonism is based on an “angelic” vision given to Joseph
Smith who thereby proceeded to distort the gospel message. Islam was based on
Muhamed’s false vision of the angel Gabriel who supposedly was delivering a message
from God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses base their doctrines on the visions and private
revelations received by their so called modern day prophets. Many Roman Catholics
have been deceived by visions of Mary that have appeared to lay persons and clergy,
deceiving many. The one common thing we see is that all these so called visitation,
which are actually Satan and the evil demons or spirits, actually take away from the
gospel message. These deceptive spirits disguise themselves as “angels of light”
delivering a different message that isn’t from God. Often times these messages teach a
different Jesus than the Jesus we learn about in the bible. For example, some religions
teach that Jesus was simply a prophet or a teacher. The false religions, false prophets and
false teachers attempt to undermine the credibility of the message of the gospel.
Most of the earliest believers were originally Jewish. But as the gospel message spread
as a result of the mission work of the apostles, others came to also believe in the message.
Even during Paul’s own lifetime, false teachers and false prophets sought to undermine
Paul’s authority. More specifically, some Jewish converts to Christianity, referred to by
Paul as the “circumcision party”, tried to make the claim that new believers in Christ
were first required to convert to Judaism. In other words, these false teachers erroneously
were teaching new believers that Christianity was a sect of Judaism and that it was
required that they submit to all the Jewish laws and regulations such as circumcision and
dietary restrictions. The error of this teaching caused confusion and dissention among the
early Christian churches. In fact some of these false teachers of the circumcision party
went so far as to send spies who would then later spread rumors against Paul and the non
Jewish converts in an effort to discredit them among the other members of the early
churches. In response, Paul addressed the issue, by using the example of Titus, a
respected leader of the ancient Christian church. Titus was a Greek not a Jew, yet when
he accepted the message, he felt no need to be circumcised or follow any Jewish
Even the apostle Peter, a.k.a. Cephas, was unduly influenced by these false teachers and
subsequently began to disassociate himself from non Jewish converts. In fact other
apostles fell prey to the beliefs of the influential circumcision party including Barnabas.
Whereas Peter and Barnabas used to associate with any believer, and no longer
themselves practiced Jewish traditions in a hypocritical fashion they suddenly turned
around and said that all converts must become Jews first and practice Jewish tradition and
laws. According to Paul, “When I saw they were deviating from the truth of the gospel I
told Cephas in front of everyone, ‘If you, a Jew live like a Gentile and not a Jew, how can
you compel Gentiles to live like Jews’.” Gal2:14
Justification by Faith Not the Works of the Law
Paul strongly condemned anyone who tried to make the claim that a believer must follow
the works of the law. “We know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by
faith in Jesus Christ and we have believed in Jesus Christ so that we might be justified by
faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by the works of the law no human
being will be justified.”. Gal2:16-17 As believers, we have died to the law and are reborn
in Christ. “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness came through the law
then Christ died for nothing.” Gal2:21 If in fact we could be justified by our works, then
what was the point in Jesus dying for our sins? “You foolish Galatians! Who has
hypnotized you? .... Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with
faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit are you going to be made
complete by the flesh?” Gal3: 2-3 In fact, if you rely on the law for your salvation you
might as well consider yourself cursed because you never will be saved! It is Jesus alone
who can redeem us from the curse of the law. Only through faith in Jesus can we be
justified before God. Before Jesus we were subject and even imprisoned as slaves under
the law, but through Jesus we have freedom from the law. The scriptures of the old
testament for shadow the fact that God would justify people through faith. This is
obvious when we consider the old testament heroes such as Abraham and Noah who had
friendship with God as a result of their faith. Through our faith we are considered
children and heirs of God.
Do Not Forfeit Your Freedom in Jesus
Once we have become reconciled through our faith, and are children of God, why should
we turn towards our former sinful ways of life? Why should we reject our freedom we
receive in Christ in favor of becoming once again slaves to sin under the law? In fact
many believers, just as many of the Galatians, turned away from the message they
received and turned back to their former ways. Why should we wish to return to the yoke
of the law once we have been liberated it from Christ. If you decide that Christ’s
sacrifice is not sufficient, and decide you must merit your way to justification by the
works of the law, then you have subjected yourselves under the yoke of the law as slaves.
If you try to merit your way to justification under the law, then you are obligated under
the law apart from the saving redemption that can be found only through faith in Jesus’
sacrifice. Remember that one corrupt teacher and one corrupt teaching can permeate and
spread corruption throughout. If anyone teaches that works lead to salvation then “the
offense of the cross has been abolished.” Gal5:11 In fact, the dissemination of this false
teaching of salvation through works is so repugnant to Paul that he goes so far as to say,
“I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves castrated!” Gal5:12
Continue Life in the Spirit Not by the Works of the Flesh
But remember, do not take advantage of your freedom in Jesus as an opportunity to do
whatever you want! It does not give you an excuse to sin. If we are truly believers in the
message we have received through face, we will abandon the “works of the flesh” which
is sin in favor of the works of the Spirit. “The works of the flesh are obvious: sexual
immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy,
outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing,
and anything similar.” Gal5:19-20 “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self control.” Gal5:22 Remember to carry each
other’s burdens but be very careful that you yourself do not become tempted another
one’s sins. Never tire of doing what is good. Never boast of anything except of God.
Before I move on to the next letter written by Paul, I have become more aware that I
could go on writing about every chapter and even every verse I read. There is so much
wisdom contained in each and every passage of the bible. All of it is essential to life! I
notice more than ever as I read, how important reading the bible is. There is no other
book that can compare as this is the very word of God written to us, individually as well
as to congregations of believers as well. The words of the bible, though they were written
2000 (or more) years ago, are as relevant today in the year 2009 as they were in the year
09. These words are directed to each and every believer- called by God to be apostlesambassadors
of the gospel message which is the good news for humankind. We are
called to be apostles, and teachers through Jesus.
In writing this bible journal, simply for the sake of completion and efficiency I find I
must limit some of my commentary. Most of the passages simply speak for themselves
with no additional explanation being needed!
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians focuses on the life of a believer. Paul compares and
contrasts the life of a believer to that of a nonbeliever and urges all of us to abandon our
former way of life in favor of our new life in the Spirit.
Chapter 1: Many Blessings Through Faith in Jesus: Wisdom is Revealed!
As believers we are favored by God and deeply blessed. We are blessed with salvation,
grace, forgiveness, wisdom and understanding. And to us, God has made known the
“mystery of His will”. What this means is this: in contrast to the unbelievers as
described by Paul in his letter to the Romans (as well as other letters too), where as the
unbelievers have difficulty understanding due to their hardened hearts and conscious, we
have the aid of the Holy Spirit which aids in our understanding of God’s will and
message of salvation. To those who do not have faith, who do not believe and who are
not saved- those who do not have the Holy Spirit, God’s wisdom is simply foolishness or
nonsense. In other words to those who are perishing, it is a mystery or a puzzlesomething
that they cannot possibly understand. Keep in mind, this is a choice. Those
who do not believe have consciously rejected God’s message of salvation. Those who
refuse to believe have willfully rejected God as explained in the letter to the Romans.
But to us, as believers, God’s mystery is unraveled or solved! We are enlightened. We
can understand it- it is not concealed from our understanding! “In Him you also, when
you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation- in Him when you believedwere
sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance,
for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory” Ephesians 1: 13-14 This
is a short sum up of the purpose of the gospel message: the delivery of the message,
which is God’s word, leads to belief and salvation. But not only this! We receive the
Holy Spirit as well. The Holy Spirit acts as a guarantee or a deposit as proof of our future
inheritance or salvation. In the future we will redeem what is coming to us- that is- we
will redeem our salvation and the “glorious” spiritual riches and blessings that await.
Once again, we must never forget Jesus is the reason for all of this! Jesus is our Saviorour
Messiah! God has given complete power and authority to Jesus, through whom we
Chapters 2 and 3:
Life Through Jesus- Rejection of the Works of the Flesh; the Spirit of Disobedience
Before we placed our faith in Jesus, we were spiritually dead. In other words, we were
essentially dead. We were dead in our sins, Prior to hearing and accepting the gospel
message we were part of this world, living in our sins. The ruler of this sinful world,
referred by Paul as the “atmospheric domain” is Satan. In contrast, as believers, we live
according to the Heavenly domain where our hope and our sight is focused. Satan is the
spirit which works and lives in those who do not believe. Those who are not believers
live and walk in the spirit of disobedience in contrast to believers who walk in the Holy
Spirit. Those who live and submit to the spirit of disobedience, live according to sinful
fleshly desires and actions just like we used to before we accepted the gospel message.
Those who walk in the spirit of this world, Satan’s world, with the spirit of disobedience
are subject to God’s wrath. But for us, who believe in the gospel message, and have
accepted the gift of redemption through Jesus, are saved from the wrath of God. We are
no longer children under wrath, but children under God. “God, who is abundant in mercy,
because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though
we were dead in our trespasses. By grace you are saved!” Ephesians 2:4-5 And
furthermore, in the future, God has in store for us, immeasurable blessings and spiritual
riches. We cannot even comprehend what is in store for us in heaven! “For by grace you
are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift- not from works,
so that no one can boast.” Ephesians2: 8-9 The salvation we receive is not dependent on
what we do. It is not earned based on our works or accomplishments but based on God’s
grace alone. In other words it is a gift from God, not something we have earned. But
even though we can not work for our salvation, nor can earn it or pay for it, we still are
saved for a purpose. We are to use this gift from God for good works. As a result of
being saved we should desire to walk in the Holy Spirit and reject the worldly spirit of
disobedience. We should exchange our fleshly desires and fleshly works for good desires
and good works.
In sum, through Jesus, we who used to be spiritually, dead, who used to walk in the spirit
of disobedience (regardless of whether we claimed to be a Jew or Gentile), we are saved.
It does not matter what we used to be- without Jesus we were dead in our sins and
through Jesus we have life. In contrast to the Old Testament, in which the Jews were
distinct from the rest of the world (known as the Gentile world), through faith in Jesus, all
are made the same- it does not matter what your heritage was. God reconciles us to Him
through Jesus Christ.
Paul explains that in the time of the Old Testament, in other words, before the time of
Jesus, the previous generations could not have known the good news of the gospel- the
salvation, which was revealed and freely given through Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit,
the apostles of the gospel message have revealed the mysteries of God. And furthermore,
this saving message is intended for everyone, not just a select nation or a select group of
people. Jesus is essentially God’s purpose for mankind. It is the means by which we can
Chapters 4,5 & 6: Our New Life
As believers in Jesus, Paul once again urges us to walk or live in a way that is worthy of
our calling. In other words as he explained earlier, we must not walk or live as we used
to when we were spiritually dead- when we used to live according to our fleshly desires
under the yoke of the worldly spirit of disobedience. We are called for a better purpose
and that is to walk in the Holy Spirit. The expression “walk” refers to a way of life. Our
new way of life should be to seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as love, humility,
gentleness, mercy and patience. And through the Holy Spirit, we may be called to serve
through different gifts or different areas of service in accordance with God’s will. For
example, some believers may be apostles, teachers or pastors. There are different tasks
or ways that believers may be used to spread the message of the gospel and also in
continuing the education of believers as well. But all belong to the body of Christ, which
is the church of believers. We need these various specialties here in this world, which
serves as a time of growth and maturity in the wisdom of the word of God, until the time
comes when we all reach full wisdom and maturity. We still must be aware that false
teaching and false teachers threaten to confuse us and distort the message, and to combat
this, we must persist in the knowledge of the word of God. We must be continually
educated in the word of God. And this is the reason we need believers to specialize in
different services. As a whole, each specialty works toward a unified church.
Again, Paul repeats himself: we must abandon our previous fleshly way of life as we used
to live. In other words, the life of the unbeliever is futile. The understanding of the
unbeliever is limited and darkened. They are ignorant of God and their hearts are
hardened. Remember the first chapters in the book of Romans! This is important and it
is repeated again here: the unbelievers of this world willingly rejected God. Their hearts
are hardened and calloused! They would not know what goodness was even if it hit them
over their heads. And because of their hardened hearts and their willing rejection of God,
they have willingly succumbed to the spirit of disobedience, the works of the flesh:
impurity, promiscuity and all types of filth and sin. When we accepted the gospel
message we were saved: we replaced our former corrupt lives for a new life in Christ. We
became a new person, a new creation! We rejected the lie, and everything that is false in
favor of Truth! And once again we are reminded to walk in the spirit. It means this: we
must no longer live in the fleshly desires which is sin. We must no longer lie or become
angry. And if we do become angry, we must not submit to the temptation to sin in our
anger. “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, do not give the Devil an opportunity”
Ephesians 4:26. If we had bad habits or sinful ways we must try to overcome them. We
shouldn’t steal, lie, use bad language, insult or slander each other. We should not get
drunk which leads to recklessness. “Sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should
not even be heard of among you… And coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not
suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: no sexually immoral or
impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of the
Messiah and of God.” Ephesians 5:3-5 These are bad things. We need to show love,
kindness and compassion for one another in imitation of that which God has shown for
us. We must give thanks to God and submit to each other. We must read the scriptures:
psalms and hymns and discuss the bible with one another.
This is so important, that Paul cannot emphasis it enough “Pay careful attention, then, to
how you walk” Ephesians 5:15 - as believers we must walk in the Holy Spirit or in the
Light. We must reject the spirit of darkness which is the spirit of disobedience.
Remember the qualities of the Holy Spirit and compare them with the qualities of
darkness! Commit it to memory and reject the works of the flesh. Paul has described the
fruits of the spirit as well as the works of darkness enough times. We know what they are
and we know the difference. “Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but
instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:10 To all nonbelievers, the message is this: “Get up
sleeper and rise from the dead” Ephesians 5:14. To those who are spiritually dead, it is as
they live in the darkness, it is as if they are asleep. They need to be woken up, and
brought to life. Their dark and evil deeds will be brought to the light and exposed.
Believers need to expose it here in this lifetime, and in the next lifetime, nothing
whatsoever will remain secret or hidden as everything concealed will be revealed to the
shame of those who rejected the message of the gospel.
Paul addresses different types of relationships that involve the potential for the abuses of
power with suggestions of how to ensure these relationships are pleasing to God. He
warns those who have the upper hand in a relationship to not abuse their authority or
power. A man should love and respect his wife, parents and children must respect one
another as well as slaves and masters. Essentially the message is this: in God’s eyes we
are all equal and regardless of our position- whether we have authority over another or
we submit to another in this world, neither have an advantage in God’s eyes and all have
a responsibility to obey God’s will.
The Armor of God:
As believers we are in a constant battle with Satan a.k.a “the evil one” - the master of this
world. Just as armor protects a soldier in battle, the armor of God will protect the believer
against Satan (which is the Devil) “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand
against the tactics of the Devil” Ephesians 6:11 These qualities are analogous to armor
which serve to protect us from false doctrines, false teachers and fleshly desires: truth,
righteousness, readiness for evangelism, faith, the word of God (the bible), and the
awareness of our salvation. These qualities protect us. The word of God is as effective
and powerful as a sword, against the false teaching or “flaming arrows” of Satan. We
should remain alert and pray at all times. We need to be always ready and always on
Chapter 1: Paul’s purpose- the promotion, establishment and defense of the gospel.
“He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ
Jesus” Philippians 1:6 Believers will continue to grow in knowledge and discernment,
knowing what really matters in contrast to what is really unimportant. Believers will bear
fruit and in the end through God’s grace, be considered pure and blameless. Regardless of
intent, the most important thing is that the gospel message is proclaimed and spread to
everyone. Sure, it is possible that some spread the message who are not sincere, but do it
out of rivalry or pride to get attention- but if the message they spread results in more
believers, then that is what matters! Faced with two choices: life or death- each has its
own purpose or benefits. “I have the desire to depart and be with Christ- which is far
better- but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.” Philippians 1:23 Even
though Paul would prefer the option of death, to fulfill his desire to be with the Lord, for
the sake of the gospel, and of those who need to hear the message he has an important
reason to remain alive.
Chapter 2: The Importance of Being Humble
Just as Jesus (in the form of God) was humbled when he came as a man submitting to
death on the cross for our sake, we must also be humble; making sure to act as if we
consider others more important than ourselves. Just as Jesus was glorified- we too will
be blessed by our humility as well. ‘Hold firmly to the message of life”. Philippians 2:16,
and remember that we are like bright starts in a dark, starless world. Therefore we must
strive to live our lives according to God’s purpose. Seek the interests of Jesus Christ- not
Chapter 3 and 4: Life in Faith and our Future Hope
Be on the look out for “evil workers” which are false teachers and hypocrites. In his
earlier letters, Paul spoke about false teachers who twisted the gospel message and he
also wrote about the “Circumcision party”, who required new believers to first convert to
the Jewish religion and subsequently submit to the Jewish laws - including circumcision.
Paul considers this simply to be a mutilation of the flesh- since it has no value in the
purpose of salvation. We can not be saved by our works or by following the law, but by
faith. The new circumcision is this: faith- it is a spiritual circumcision of the heart and
spirit not of the flesh. So there is no point in boasting in your heritage or your works.
Even though you may be disappointed that these do not count as an advantage- be sure of
this- by placing your faith in God you gain so more which should more than compensate
for your disappointment. Do not live as enemies of Christ as many do, who reject the
gospel. They focus on worldly and earthly things. Their selfish desires and pursuits of the
flesh control their lives. In this world there are many enemies of the gospel and just as
we share in the glories of Christ, we will share in the sufferings too. “But our citizenship
is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Philippians 3:20. We must remember to persevere and not be discouraged, keeping our
eyes on our future glory. We should always be encouraged by this and we have a reason
to rejoice as well. “Don’t worry about anything, through prayer and petition with
thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. “ Philippians4: 6 And finally, all
believers must meditate on what is important to the Lord. We need to dwell on things
that are just, pure, commendable and moral. Do not dwell or imitate the evils of the non
believers - in this dark, faithless world- which are really the enemies of Christ because
they rejected the message of the gospel. We need to concentrate on the fruits or
manifestations of the Holy Spirit within us.
Our Hope in Heaven:
Believers in the gospel message look to heaven for their reservation of hope and
happiness. The message of the gospel offers to all believers the hope of heaven. Heaven
is our inheritance. Knowledge of God’s will through the Holy Spirit gives us the
spiritual understanding and wisdom we need to live in a way worthy and pleasing to God.
We were rescued from darkness into the kingdom of heaven. We must remember to
“remain grounded and steadfast in the faith” and not shift “away from the hope of the
gospel that you have heard”. Colossians 1:23
The Importance of Jesus:
As the image of the invisible God, creator of everything in heaven and earth, head of the
church of all believers, Jesus is the means by which we are reconciled to God. Paul, the
messenger of the gospel has done his part in making known to all, the gospel, its lessons
so that believers may mature in their knowledge. Jesus Christ, often referred to the
mystery of God, is where all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge may be discovered.
Chapter 2: Be Wary of False Teachings
We must be on guard against false teachings no matter how persuasive they appear to be.
We must not be swayed by philosophies, theories and arguments which are based on
human tradition and human reasoning. Through Jesus we are saved and it is not through
worldly wisdom or works. While we were spiritually dead in our sins, Jesus’ death
erased the debt that we would have been required to pay ourselves. The price that should
have been ours to pay, was borne by Jesus when he died on the cross. Because of this,
we should not be concerned about worldly teachings and traditions which are useless in
attaining salvation. Therefore, when such worldly teachers and followers of manmade
traditions criticize us and tell us what we as believers should do, we should ignore them.
Those who believe in works and human traditions as they way, rely on ascetic practicesin
order to give the outward appearance of authority and religion- when in actuality- they
could not be farther from the truth. If anyone insists that you follow anything contrary to
the message of the gospel- don’t believe it and don’t follow it. This includes when
people try to tell you that you must worship angels or follow special rules. Also if
anyone claims to have supernatural access to the spirit world or so called visions- don’t
believe that either! We don’t have to follow special rules about food or any other
tradition that is not found in the gospel message. These special rules to not compensate
for your sins or fleshly indulgences. Don’t let false manmade practices and traditions
and superstitions disqualify you from knowing the truth of the gospel message! Salvation
can only be found in the gospel message alone- through God’s grace and not by what we
Chapter 3 and 4: Life as a Believer
When living your life as a believer, seek what is above: holiness, love, compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness, thankfulness, gracious speech and patience and disregard
your past sins which included the following: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil
desire, greed, anger, slander, filthy language, lying and malice. We are a new creation in
Christ so we should act like it! Remember whatever good we do or say, it should be in
the name of Jesus. In your personal and professional relationships, remember humility,
compassion and honesty. And last, but not least, remember to pray that more may hear
the message of Christ so they too may be saved. We should all pay attention to the
Chapters 1, 2 and 3: The Power of the Message
The gospel message is not simply words, but it represents the power of the Holy Spirit as
well. This power gives of stronger faith, boldness and assurance- even in the face of
persecution and hardship! It has the power to turn the spiritually dead from worship of
false gods and idols, to the service of God: it is the power of salvation from death to
eternal life, through Jesus. Paul, as an example, did not need special words to deliver the
gospel- all that was needed came from the Holy Spirit. With humility, he shared the
gospel, forsaking his personal needs. In imitation, we should forsake our own personal
gain, seeking to comfort and encourage each other as well as those to whom we share the
gospel message. Sure there will be those who persecute those who seek to share the
message of the gospel, just as the ancient prophets and Jesus were also persecuted. But, to
those who hinder the message of the gospel, the message of salvation, they had better
watch out, because they will suffer the consequences! So remember, stand firm in your
faith! When you are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel, remember you are in good
Chapter 4: Worthy Behavior
Remember to strive to please God, and do not be involved in sexual immorality or other
offenses. Don’t you know you are called to live in a life worthy of the Holy Spirit that
dwells within you! Heed these warnings and flee from transgressions and impurity. Other
words of advice: mind your own business- don’t be a gossip or busy-body! That isn’t
godly behavior either. Also it is good to be self sufficient and hold a job so as not to be a
burden on others. In other words- don’t leech off of someone else’s hard work, get up
and work- don’t be lazy!
Chapters 4 and 5: Death, resurrection & Jesus’ coming
Paul refers to death as “sleep”. Unlike those who don’t believe in God, and who don’t
believe in the gospel message- death represents fear and the unknown. They are ignorant
of death. To an atheist, death represent the end- the ceasing of life. To nonbelievers,
death is met with grief and sorrow, because they have no hope whatsoever in eternal life
and heaven. But we have hope. For us believers, death does not represent the end, but
the beginning of eternal life! Just as we believe that Jesus rose from death, we too will
rise from death. Even if we die, we will rise from the dead. And for those who are still
alive, when Jesus returns, we will be caught up to meet with Jesus in the air as he descend
to earth from heaven. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with
the archangel’s voice and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first”.
1Thesalonians:4:16. So why should we fear death? There is no reason for us to worry
about dying- even if we know that death will come soon due to terminal illness or age.
Paul says himself- in fact he commands us to “encourage one another with these words”.
If this was not trustworthy and true, why would we be told to encourage each other with
these very words. So remember, if you are feeling the weight of your mortality, if you
are worried or depressed or fearful of your own death, read these words over and be
Remember this: the day of the Lord- in other words, the day Jesus returns a.k.a the
Second Coming of Christ, will come when we least expect it. We will not know in
advance! It will come just as a thief in the night! So we must be alert of this and aware
that it may happen when we least expect it. Keep this thought in the back of your mind.
Remember the armor of God that was discussed in a previous letter of Paul? We must
remember to wear the armor of our Lord. We must remember to live a life worthy of our
faith. Weather we live or die it does not matter! Regardless we will be with the Jesus.
Those who die are at no disadvantage. Remember that! Those who live have no
advantage. Whether we live or die, we will live with the Lord. We should be encouraged
by these words and we should encourage each other with these words as well.
In conclusion, live a life worthy of your calling and remain strong in your faith and hope.
Pray and be thankful. Test anything you hear so as to make sure it is consistent with the
word of the gospel. There is no need to fear death. When you feel discouraged or
fearful, remind yourself of the gospel message.
Paul felt the need to write a second letter to the congregation in Thessalonica as a follow
up. Apparently after writing the first letter, Paul got word that some members of the
congregation were taking the message of the second coming of Christ to the extreme.
Furthermore, many opportunistic false teachers were going about, scaring or troubling
naive believers with stories of an imminent return.
Chapters 1,2 and 3: The End times
Remember this: those who reject the gospel will “pay the penalty of everlasting
destruction away from the Lords presence” 2Thessalonians 1:9 But for those of us who
place our faith in the message of the gospel, we will be considered worthy of God’s
kingdom. Remember it was said that the return of Jesus will be unexpected, and we will
not know when it will happen. Therefore we must be aware of this. But do not be
paranoid or naïve either. This does not mean it is happening today or tomorrow either. If
someone says with certainty that it is imminent- don’t believe it! On what basis should
you believe someone who makes a claim that Jesus will return on a specific date?
Furthermore, on what basis should you believe anyone’s claim that Jesus has already
returned? Don’t let yourselves be troubled by such stories! (For example the Jehovah’s
Witnesses not only claim that Jesus already returned- albeit invisibly and without the
knowledge of believers- but they claim that the end of the world is imminent and have
made many false prophecies to boot!) Therefore don’t quit your job! Don’t pack up and
abandon your homes and families and responsibilities! “Do not grow weary in doing
good” 2Thessalonians 3:13 There is no excuse to suddenly become irresponsible!
Therefore if you see a fellow believer in faith acting this way, remind him of his
priorities. Don’t follow in his footsteps!
Keep in mind, certain things will happen before Jesus returns. Before Jesus returns
“the apostasy” and the “man of lawlessness” which is Satan will be revealed. More
specifically, there will be a public figure- the antithesis of Jesus, the embodiment of evil
and of Satan- who will falsely declare himself to be God. This evil figure will deceive
many with miracles and “magical” tricks. He will use every “unrighteous deception” he
can, to fool those who are already perishing. Remember the first chapter in Romans,
where Paul explained that those who are perishing refused to believe in God, despite the
proofs of God that are all around! Remember that the unbelievers willingly exchanged
the truths of God, denying them, in favor of lies! As a consequence their conscious was
dulled and they succumbed to every base and filthy desire. Well these same nonbelievers,
the spiritually dead- will be the ones who are deceived by Satan. They will fall
prey to Satan’s deception and believe his lies! But those of us who are believers, strong
in our faith will not be deceived! We need to remember to hold faith to our faith and the
Even though Paul’s letter was originally intended for Timothy, an early leader of the
ancient Christian church, his words and message are directed to all believers in the gospel
message, “according to the command of God our savior and of Jesus Christ, our hope”.
1Tim1:2 This letter is considered to be instructions for us, If we reject the message of
the gospel and the instructions of Paul, we might “suffer the shipwreck” of our faith as
others who reject instruction. 1Tim1:19
Chapter 1: Warnings against False Teachings
Paul warns believers concerning false doctrines, myths and genealogies, which “promote
empty speculations rather than God’s plan”. 1Tim1:4 In other words, as believers we
should know better than to believe in myths, superstition, old wife’s tales, racist
ideologies or any other type of story or doctrine contrary to the gospel message. Even if
there is a claim that it is God’s message- don’t believe it. For example, there are some
false religious cults that promote certain races as others- considering some races to be
God’s chosen people. For example, Hitler and the Nazis, as well as other subtle cults
such as Armstrongism and Mormonism, claim that Anglo Saxon white races have an
advantage in God’s favor over others. They will go to great lengths to trace their
ancestry as if it gives them an advantage. But as Jesus himself said, God can turn a stone
and make it an ancestor of Abraham if he wished to. An unhealthy focus on geneology or
ancestry is contrary to God’s will. Furthermore, do not believe anyone who places an
unhealthy emphasis on the observance of the law either. Many modern cult groups do
this as well. But, we know we can only be saved by faith in God’s grace- not our own
merits- lest we rob the cross of its power. And to further expand upon the erroneous idea
that one may be saved by the law- Paul goes on to explain that those under the curse of
the law are the nonbelievers! Not the believers! The law is not meant for the believer but
the nonbeliever: the unholy, irreverent, murderers, sexual immoral, homosexuals,
fornicators, liars, and perjurers to name a few. Yet there is hope for such filthy people- as
there was hope for Paul, all of us who used to be apart from God because Jesus came to
this world to save sinners. He saved Paul and he saved us who believe as well.
Chapters 2 and 3: The Source of Church Teaching and Traditions
If you ever wonder why in church prayers are offered on the behalf of presidents and
world leaders, its because Paul suggests that we pray for anyone in authority and power.
This is because God wants everyone to come to come to the truth and be saved. Women
should dress modestly, so as to not call attention to either their wealth of physical
attributes. “Good works” serve much better as a cloak, than do expensive materials and
jewelry. Women should not preach over a mixed congregation that includes men- this is
not to demean women, but a recognition of God’s natural order. An overseer or leader of
the church must have certain qualifications. For example he must have only one wifewhich
is obvious. Also how he manages his household must be considered as well- if he
can’t even manage his household in a moral and competent matter, how can he be trusted
in managing am entire church? Common sense tells us he shouldn’t be a new convert
either, and have a good reputation as well. Deacons, another position of authority in the
church, must meet the same qualifications as well. In general, leaders must have
qualities consistent with biblical principles: self control, faithfulness, respectful, and
honest… to name a few.
God was manifest in the flesh as Jesus, this is considered to be God’s great mystery
which has been made known to us as believers and preached everywhere.
Chapter 4: Hold Fast to the Gospel Message
A few more points to remember about false teachings: if anyone tells you it is against
God’s wishes to marry and to avoid certain foods- don’t believe this. “Everything God
created is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving”.
1Tim4: 4 We must train ourselves in increasing our faith rather than doing works of
pointless “sacrifice”. Regardless of your age, continue in your faith and the teaching of
the gospel message. “Be conscientious of your teaching… for by doing this you will save
both yourself and your hearers.” 1Tim4:16
Chapter 5: Interpersonal Relationship Advice
Paul offers practical advice in interpersonal relationships and church responsibilities:
discipline, widows and elders are discussed. A warning is issued against the problem of
favoritism and of the importance of avoiding the sins of others as well.
Chapter 6: Warnings Against False Teaching and Wealth
Once again, Paul places more emphasis concerning his disgust for false doctrine and
pointless disputes from the first chapter. Concerning false teaching, Paul considers such
individuals as “having a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words”. 1Tim6:4
And, furthermore, the consequences of these meaningless disputes which are encouraged
by false doctrines and false teachers are quarreling, envy and evil suspicions, to name just
a few! Furthermore Paul goes in to say that the individuals behind such arguments are
“men whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth” 1Tim6:5
We should remember to be content with the necessities of life: food and clothing. After
all when we die, we can not take our wealth and material possessions with us! “But those
who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all
kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered from the faith and pierced
themselves with many pains”. 1Tim6:9-10 And furthermore, to those who are wealthy,
Paul warns such people not to set their hope on wealth. Rather, he admonishes them to be
generous with their wealth.
In closing, Paul emphasizes for the third time, to avoid “irreverent, empty speech” and
false doctrines which are cleverly disguised as knowledge. Timothy, as well as every
believer, is expected to seek righteousness and godliness. We are to “fight the good fight
for the faith….to which you are called”. 1Tim6:12
Chapters 1and 2
Perseverance is Worth the Eternal Reward:
As in his first letter to Timothy, Paul emphasizes the same themes: enthusiasm for the
gospel and warnings against false doctrines. “For God has not given us a spirit of
fearfulness but one of power, love and sound judgment.” 2Tim1:7. Therefore just as he
said in his letter to the Romans, we should not be ashamed of the gospel message.
Despite our fears, we need not worry even when faced with persecution, because the
Holy Spirit will give us the strength we need to share the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Just as Paul declares he was appointed as an apostle/ teacher, we are called to spread the
good news of the gospel with the same fearlessness as well! With the Holy Spirit we can
get the strength we need to remain loyal and strong. Paul’s purpose is that he may share
the message of God so that all those who believe may obtain salvation. Our suffering
will pale in comparison to our eternal reward in heaven. Any suffering we endure for the
sake of the Lord’s message will be more than worth it, in the end!
Avoid False Teachings and Disputes:
One of the favored pastimes is debating and disputing. This can happen with family,
friends, church members and even strangers in an internet chat room! Most of these
debates are driven out of selfish pride. Paul cannot emphasis this enough- concerning the
dangers of false teachings and the disputes that follow, In fact, empty speech, false
teaching and arguments do much to encourage godlessness. Concerning false teachers
and their false words, Paul explains “their word will spread like gangrene” 2Tim2:17.
What this means is that false teachings and the evil fruits of false teaching have the
potential for much damage! Not only are false teachings something to avoid- it is
important to flee from “foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing they breed quarrels”.
Many think it is good to engage in debates, they take pride in their so called abilities to
exchange words, and to prove themselves right. But Christians should never ever do this!
“The lord’s slave (Christians) must not quarrel, but must be gentle with everyone, able to
teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness” 2Tim2:24-25. It is up to
God to act on a person’s spirit- an argument will not do it, only God. So even if you feel
you are justified in arguing or debating with others concerning the bible, or whatever the
case may be- remember that is not the way to win souls for Christ!
Chapter 3: Bad Behavior and Phony Religion
In the last days, “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable,
slanderers, without self control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless,
conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but
denying its power. Avoid these people!” 2Tim3:1-5
False Christians Condemned!
In addition to a long list of negative, yet common deplorable qualities we see in the world
today, listed by Paul in this passage, the final one “holding to the form of religion, but
denying its power” is among the most deceptive and prevalent danger of modern day
society. Many people today claim to be religious- and in fact they may claim to be
Christian, to boot! But, how many of these same so called “Christians” actually believe
the words of the bible- very few! They are just phony “Christians”. How many of these
self proclaimed, counterfeit “Christians” believe the gospel message? In fact many deny
the bible to be true- saying it is no more real than a book of fairy tales, or Greek myths.
Many household have bibles in their homes but do not even read them. Their bibles
collect dust on the book shelf, or in dresser draws, held in the same esteem as Grimm’s
Fairy Tales. Many individuals and families attend church services, yet they place more
regard for man made tradition and philosophies than the very word of God! They will
even show shame when confronted with the true message of God. Yet, they will attend
religious ceremonies and religious rituals, not advocated by God. And by attending such
blasphemous, idolatrous rituals they will feel they have satisfied their religious quota,
feeling smug and righteous just like a Pharisee! Their false pius rituals will not save
them, their phony righteous sacrifices and good works will not save them, their tithes and
their money will not save them either! Their religion is false and empty, and it is these
individuals and churches that will say “Lord, Lord” and in return, Jesus will say to them
“depart from me for I never knew you”.
False Teachers and Imposters on the Loose in the Last Days
With the passage of time, we draw closer to the “Last Days”. This is not to be considered
the same as a superstitious urgency that the end of the world is going to happen
tomorrow. In fact, Paul warned the Thessalonians about this problem. Instead, Paul’s
message is just to serve as a warning of what will come at the end times. Remember
since the time of Jesus and Paul and the early Christian church, over 2000 years have
passed. That is quite a bit have time. And it is obvious that even within the past
generation and furthermore - even within the past twenty years, societal moral standards
have relaxed and indecency has become more celebrated and prevalent in modern society
than ever before in history! There are so many people who are spiritually dead- they are
spiritual vacuums just waiting to engulf anything that meets their fancy. Those who are
dissatisfied, idle, bored or angry are prime targets. The ignorant and naïve, and those
with hardened hearts and “burdened down with sins, led by a variety of passions” are
empty receptacles waiting to be filled with false teachings and doctrines. Beware of what
you fill your mind with. If you don’t fill yourself on the truth of God, watch out, and be
warned. Be on the watch because so many are caught off guard and fall prey to false
teachings. “Evil people and imposters will become worse, deceiving and being
deceived”. 2Tim3:13. But what is the solution for this? The answer is this: “Continue in
what you have learned and firmly believed…that you have known the sacred scriptures,
which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus”. 2Tim3: 14-15
In conclusion, Paul tells us:”proclaim the message: persist in it whether convenient or
not”. He tells us that there will come a time, and that time is now, when people will not
listen to the message of God, they will ignore sound doctrine in favor for whatever
ridiculous teachings and popular ideas that suit their own selfish desires and needs.
Paul addressed this letter to Titus, another leader and teacher of the ancient Christian
church. As with his other letters, this one too applies to all believers of the gospel
message: paste and present who place their faith in the “hope of eternal life that God,
who cannot lie, promised before time began and has in his own name revealed His
message”. 1Titus:2 Just as Titus is a child of God, we too are children of God.
Chapter 1: False Teachings
As in his letter to Timothy, Paul describes the essential traits of an elder or any leader in
the church. In contrast, those who do not teach true doctrine, but teach false doctrines
opposing the gospel message are by no means legitimate teachers or leaders! In fact,
such false teachers must be rebuked and stopped. Don’t pay any attention to man made
teachings and philosophies. Ignore myths and man made rules! As he warned in the book
of Romans (the first chapter), there will be non believers who reject the message of the
Lord. They are dead in spirit- with a conscious that is defiled and corrupt. And a more
subtle danger is this: those who claim to be religious, yet are spiritually dead. In other
words, be on the watch for those who claim to be Christians or who claim to be religious,
yet at the same time deny the words of the gospel message. Such people are nothing
more than hypocrites or Pharisees, believing their man made rituals and traditions will
save them, while denying God’s grace thereby robbing the cross of its power to save.
Chapter 2: Interpersonal relationships
Having had been forewarned about the dangers of straying from the gospel message, you
should be all the more aware of sticking with the sound teaching of the gospel message.
Do not stray from it! As a leader of the church and as a teacher you have that greater
responsibility to stick with the truth. Furthermore, appropriate behavior must be
encouraged within the members of the Christian community: women, wives, husbands,
men, children and seniors as well must strive in maintaining dignity and integrity in their
own lives and their relationships with others. We are all called to be submissive and
loving with each other as we are to the Lord. Despite socio-economic background,
despite one’s position or station in life; man, woman, freedman, slave, servant or masterin
God’s eyes no one has any advantage over the other! “For the grace of God has
appeared, with salvation for all people”. Titus2:11
Chapter 3: Life in Christ
As Christians we should strive to be pleasing to God. Make no mistake- this does not
mean we can merit salvation by our works! This could not be farther from the truth. By
grace alone we are save- lest anyone should boast and rob the cross of its power to save.
But, as believers we should act in accordance with the Holy Spirit that dwells within us,
seeking to abandon our former filthy ways and acting in humility and love towards one
another. Furthermore, we need to respect the laws and authorities in power, because in
doing so, we will be all the more ready to promote our gospel message. In this way,
when we live as the Holy Spirit leads us- this is how we do “good works”. It is not based
on our own desires or merits, but based on our faith in the Holy Spirit. So, remember
this: avoid worthless debates, disputes and people who seek to cause fights and
In closing, we must remember this: God saved us- God is our Savior! It is His mercy that
saved us, not our own works! Through Jesus we have been made justified. Through the
Holy Sprit, which God gives to his believers, we can live for Christ here in this lifetime,
as well as the eternal life to come. Paul tells us that we can trust this message. It is true!
This is a unique letter written by Paul to a fellow believer named Philemon concerning a
slave owned by Philemon. Apparently, Philemon’s slave, named Onesimus, escaped
from his master and made his way to Paul, in Rome. While in Rome, Onesimus became a
believer in Christ. Not only that, he spent much time with Paul- essentially becoming like
a companion to Paul while he himself was imprisoned in Rome. But doing the right
thing, Onesimus goes back to his former master to face the consequences. In his letter,
Paul asks Philemon to be lenient towards his slave, because Paul considers him to be a
child of God, a brother in the faith. In fact, Paul makes a comparison: that we too are
servants of Christ- Paul is a slave to Christ. Just as Christ showed us mercy, and more
specifically, in imitation to the mercy that Philemon received from God when he was
saved, Philemon himself should imitate this and give mercy to his slave Onesimus. Paul
reminds him that if his slave owes him any debt, Paul himself will pay it off.
Furthermore, Paul reminds him that Philemon owes his very life- his spiritual life to Paul,
because without having heard the gospel message from Paul, he would not have been
saved either. And eternal life is far more valuable then any monetary debt that Onesimus
may have incurred. In subtle words, Paul hints that Philemon should take the extra step
in freeing Onesimus from the bonds of physical slavery and treating him like the equal
man that he actually is considered to be, under God.
With this final letter, is the conclusion of Paul’s letters in the New Testament.
This letter, by an unknown apostle of the ancient Christian church, was written to the
Jewish people, otherwise known as the Hebrews. The intent of this letter was to illustrate
how Jesus, who is greater than all the angels, prophets and priests, represents the new
covenant thereby replacing the imperfect old covenant which simply consisted of the law
and imperfect sacrifices. The old covenant could not save anyone, but through faith in
Jesus, salvation finally becomes available.
Chapter 1: The True Identity of Jesus
No prophets after Jesus:
A long time ago, in the times of the Old Testament, over two thousand years ago, God
used various prophets as messengers of his word. His message was delivered to the
masses by means of a messenger, known as a prophet. Some of these prophets included
the well known prophets such as Noah, Abraham and Moses. Also included are Isaiah,
Solomon, and Daniel. In these days, God speaks to us through his Son, Jesus. And Jesus
is considered to be the Word, and this message of salvation is the gospel message. There
are no more prophets- we do not need any because we have the gospel message of Jesus.
Therefore if anyone claims to be a modern day prophet of God- don’t believe it!
Jesus, reflective of God, is the creator:
Jesus is the rightful heir of everything in this world- seen and unseen; visible and
invisible; physical and spiritual. The universe was created through Jesus. Jesus made the
universe! Jesus sustains the world! Furthermore, Jesus is the expression and radiance of
God’s glory and nature. This means that Jesus is the perfect reflection of God.
After Jesus died for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of God in glory and honor.
Jesus is worthy of worship. In fact God commanded that we as well as all the angels
worship Jesus! God said these things concerning Jesus: Jesus is referred to as God. (In
fact, when speaking to Jesus, God calls him God by using Old Testament references in
application to Jesus.) Jesus’ throne is everlasting for all eternity. Jesus’ Kingdom reflects
justice. In other words all the attributes which describe God are used to describe Jesus!
The significance is this: Jesus is not simply another angel, but considered to be equal with
God and one with God!
Do Not Reject the Gospel Message:
The gospel message is very important. Do not take it lightly. Do not dismiss it an
unimportant. Be careful not to drift from the message of salvation. Remember the angels
that rebelled in heaven? Remember the rebellion led by Satan? Is it not true that God
swiftly handled their punishment, banishing them forever from heaven? Consider that to
be a warning for us. If the angels weren’t spared, neither will we be spared if we turn
away the salvation of God.
The Significance and Benefits of Jesus and His Humanity:
Despite the true identity of Jesus that was discussed in the first chapter: the fact that Jesus
is the expression and fullness of God, and that honor and glory rightfully belongs to Jesus
- for a short time, Jesus was reduced to a lower level of subordination, beneath the angels,
in order that He could die and fully bear our sins. Because we are made of flesh and
blood (because we are human beings with human bodies), Jesus therefore had to put on a
body just like us as well. Through Jesus we receive salvation. This makes perfect sensethat
this very Jesus who was responsible for creating the world, should also be
responsible for its salvation as well. Through Jesus’ death, and his sacrifice for our sins,
he destroyed both the Devil and the power of death as well. Just like the high priests in
the Old Testament, and much more so- he was merciful and faithful in the role he took
on: to make amends for the sins of the people in this world!
Comparisons to the Old Testament:
As mentioned earlier, to aid as a help in understanding the role of Jesus; Jesus is
compared to the role of the high priest of the Old Testament. Keep in mind that this
letter was written to the Hebrews, hence its title. The term Hebrews is another name for
the Jewish people, and they would have been very familiar with the Old Testament
prophets and especially the role of the high priest. Therefore familiar positions and
heroes to the Hebrew people of the ancient church were used as comparisons in the letter
to aid in its understanding. Furthermore, Jesus was not only compared to well known
heroes of the Old Testament such as Moses, but he was considered to worthy of more
honor and glory. Old Testament passages and stories were used to emphasis the points
that this writer wanted to make. Just as the Israelites were hardened in their hearts and
full of disbelief despite God’s miracles, we are as well hardened in heart. During the
time of Exodus, when Moses and the Jews were in the desert, the continued to complain
despite the miracles they witnessed. We are warned as well, not to toughen up our hearts.
And just as the Jews who wandered in the desert in disbelief and rebellion for 40 years
never saw the promised land, nor will we if we if we disobey God and reject the gospel
message of salvation. This should serve as a warning for us.
Chapters 4 and 5: Importance of Accepting the Message and Our Advocate, Jesus
Basically we should maintain our faith in the hope of God’s promise, yet not disregard
God’s warning about rejecting the message of salvation. What good will it be for us to
hear the message yet not accept it and follow it? Then we are no better off than those
Israelites in the time of Exodus that wandered for years and yet never reached the
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two edged sword,
penetrating as far as to divide the soul… it is the judge of ideas and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is hidden from Him.” Hebrews 4:12,13 We must remember this, Jesus is our
advocate, our very own high priest, yet without sin, who can sympathize with us
perfectly. In obedience he suffered for our sake. Therefore through Jesus we may be bold
and confident when we approach the throne of God- we will receive mercy and grace. In
gentleness and mercy, he deals with us. Jesus is the source of eternal salvation,
Chapter 6: Keep the Pace With Your Faith & Education!
It is apparent, after listening to this gospel message, and the teachings of Paul, as well as
the other apostles, that many are still ignorant and have even misunderstood the message
of the gospel. There really is no excuse for this, but obviously many progress in the faith
and in their obedience at a slow rate. It is if they have a lot of maturing to do. They are
not yet ready for more intense doctrines, and still must be taught the basics. In other
words, they need a remedial course in the basics of the faith and are not yet ready for
more advanced teachings. Remember the foundation of your faith must be correct in the
first place: the foundation must be based on faith and not worthless works. And keep in
mind another important point, as we progress in our faith, try not to backslide. Move
forward in your faith! Be diligent! “For it is impossible to renew repentance those who
were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions of the Holy
Spirit…. And who have fallen away, because to their own harm, they are recrucifying the
Son of God and holding him up to contempt.” Hebrews 6:5,6 What good does it do if
you turn your back on the gospel message and of salvation? Don’t be lazy, don’t forget
your faith, and most of all don’t turn your back on the hope and the message of
salvation- persevere to the end! God’s promise is true and we can depend on it. Once
again, Jesus is our hope and guarantee!
Chapters 7 and 8: A Priest & Covenant Like No Other!
Melchizedek was a high priest of the Old Testament. He was not just any, ordinary high
priest- he was the most important one. He had a special place of honor. Because of this,
comparisons are made with Jesus and the priesthood of Melchizedek. And the covenant
that Jesus reflects, exceeds by far the covenant of Melchizedek. To the Hebrews of the
first century, this was a powerful comparison. And unlike a human priest who will
eventually die, Jesus holds his place forever! And furthermore, Jesus is holy, sinless and
Earthly priests serve a purpose, but they pale in comparison to the perfection and
significance of Jesus. And just as the first covenant, also served its purpose, it was
flawed in its ability to provide for our eternal salvation. Therefore, God made a new
covenant, known as a superior covenant. In the Old Testament, which was available to
the Jews even before the time of Jesus, it was prophesized that God would institute a new
covenant to replace the old covenant. Under the new promised covenant, God promised
mercy and forgiveness of sins.
Chapter 9: The New Covenant Replaces the Old
The first Covenant was based on rules and regulations. Its home base was an earthly
sanctuary and an earthly tabernacle. The sacrifices offered by the priest were imperfect.
But with Jesus, that all changed. God set into place a new covenant with Jesus as the high
priest, the mediator. This new covenant was not based on rules and regulations or a
physical tabernacle. Through Jesus we have a better hope than what the first covenant
offered. Through Jesus we can have the hope of eternal life—a promise of eternal
inheritance. More specifically, Jesus died for our sins- and after his death, the new
covenant came into effect- much like a will that goes in effect only after its owner has
died. And, when this new covenant came into effect, all the blessings, promises and hope
came into effect as well! No longer are imperfect animal sacrifices used to imperfectly
atone for sins; but a perfect sacrifice- Jesus is the atonement. Think about how much
greater this perfect sacrifice is, for our sakes, than the imperfect method of sacrifice
instituted by the old obsolete covenant of the Old Testament. The man made tabernacle
has been replaced with the hope of heaven. Imperfect remission of sin has been replaced
by mercy and forgiveness. Jesus’ death once and for all is the atonement for sincontinuous
sacrifice is no longer needed. For those who accept the sacrifice, the reward
of salvation- eternal life- awaits.
The Limits of the Old Covenant:
The law, as the first covenant, is imperfect and limited. It was simply a foreshadowing of
what was to come. The animal sacrifices of the priest were not sufficient- they were never
good enough, and they had to be continuously repeated! They were ineffective in
removing sin completely and effectively! It is impossible for the blood of an animal to
take away sin. Therefore, the body of Jesus was offered as the perfect sacrifice to take
away sins once and for all. And those he has sanctified through his death, are in fact
perfected! That means their sins have been removed and completely forgotten by God.
Furthermore, after Jesus was sacrificed for our sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
Our Life Must Reflect Our Assurance:
We must live a life to reflect our faith in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. We should
encourage and love each other and not neglect meting together. We should act as if we
have confidence and assurances because God is faithful, and we can depend on the
promise of eternal salvation. “For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of
the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10: 26 Therefore if we
reject the sacrifice of Jesus, then how can we expect to be saved by the very sacrifice of
Jesus that we rejected? Obviously we can not expect to be saved by Jesus if we reject
Jesus. It is simply like throwing the gift of God’s mercy back into the face of God. It is
the same as insulting and profaning the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus. And we already
know we can never be saved by the works of the law. Therefore, we may as well be
cursed and subjected to God’s judgment as payment for our own sins. And be assured of
this, if Jesus’ sacrifice has not covered your sins, then you will be subjected to the
punishment of God as a consequence of your sins which have not been otherwise atoned
for. The righteous live by faith, but as for those who reject the mercy of God and His
atonement of sins, for those who reject faith, they must pay for their own sin and suffer
the consequence entailed. Such people will not have eternal life.
Chapter 11: Approved By Faith
What exactly is faith? “Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not
seen”. Hebrews 11:1. And what does having faith do for us? With faith we are
“approved” by God, just as the ancient prophets were. Ancient prophets and believers of
the Old Testament that displayed faith included: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah,
Moses as well as others. These people serve as great examples of this. Through faith,
these believers were approved as righteous! It was not through works, but faith. Their
actions simply were reflections of their faith, but they were approved by God as a result
of their faith and not their works. “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for
the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek
Him” Hebrews 11:6. What this means is this, we must believe in the reality of what we
actually hope for even if we do not see it! Even if we do not see God, we must believe in
the reality of God’s existence. And not only that we must firmly believe that God will
reward us who seek Him out. All of these Old Testament characters mentioned displayed
this kind of faith. It was a result of their faith that they were accepted by God. As a result
of their faith, they were rewarded by God. If you need to refresh your memory as to the
authenticity of these claims just read the Old Testament stories them selves! “All these
were approved through their faith” Hebrews 11:30
Chapters 12 and 13: Discipline and Persistence in the Faith
Knowing all this, we should keep our focus on Jesus and do our best to avoid sins.
Remember, Jesus died for us, enduring a shameful death in order that we may have
eternal life. If Jesus could do this for us, we should at least persist in our endurance and
our faith. Think about it in this way: Jesus shed His blood for our sins so that we would
not have to. Therefore, if Jesus died for us, our trials and suffering pale in comparison to
the ordeal Jesus went through. Foregoing our wants is a small price to pay when we
consider the goal ahead of us. And just as an earthly father disciplines his children that
he loves, our Heavenly Father disciplines us as well. This should not discourage us, but
rather encourage us in knowing that we are God’s children. This discipline is for our
good- we need to remember that.
Keep your eye on what is important and don’t be consumed by petty or sinful desires.
For example, remember the story of Esau, consumed with greed, he exchanged his
birthright for a meal! How ridiculous this sounds to us, but anytime we pursue a selfish
fleshly or material desire in rebellion of God’s will, then we essentially are doing
something just as stupid as Esau! When we act immorally or sin then essentially we are
throwing away the glories of God for a temporary, passing pleasure. How stupid and
blinded we must actually be to throw away our reward for a fleshly desire! Do you want
to be just like Esau neglecting salvation for a petty pleasure? Remember that we seek
something greater and more permanent than what this material world has to offer.
Remember the punishments of those who ignored the prophets who delivered God’s
messages in the times of the Old Testaments? If those people that rejected the prophets
were punished, then imagine how we will be punished, all the more for rejecting the
message and salvation of God Himself!
In closing, remember what is right and live in a way consistent with your faith. Show
love and hospitality. Pray and obey those in authority and leadership. Avoid immorality
and the love of money. Make your priorities straight. Be satisfied with what you have.
Do not deviate from the gospel message and watch out for false teachings! Jesus always
remains the same and does not change. The message of salvation that you have heard
and accepted will not change! Remember that God is always with you and you have
nothing to fear.
Going Through Tough Times
“Consider it a great joy my brothers whenever you experience various trials, knowing
that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2 The byproduct of going
through a trial is an increase in endurance and personal strength. That does not mean that
it is right to say that God creates trials for this purpose- it simply is a statement that when
we go through difficult times, then we grow in strength. Remember, just as God cannot
be tempted or lured by sin and evil, he does not willingly tempt us. It is our own evil
desires which lead to our downfall. So, don’t accuse God or hold Him responsible! It is
our own weakness and tendency to sin that is the cause of our temptation and subsequent
downfall. And remember this, don’t be puffed out with self praise just because you think
you are better than anyone else. If obeying the Lord naturally comes easy for you, good
for you! Keep your boasting to yourself, because remember, one day your life will end
just as the autumn leaves which dry up al fall off the trees. And if you struggle daily to
obey the word of God, don’t beat yourself up over it, praise God, because you are aware
of your spiritual need. No matter what, keep this one thing in mind, when you do have
the strength to endure hardships and tests in life, remember you will be blessed all the
more when it is finally over! The message we have heard makes us a new life in Christ,
we are totally different! If there is something we do not understand, or something we
really feel that we need or that is important to us, we should ask God about it. And not
only this, we should be confident in God’s willingness and ability to meet all of our
Keep a reign on your temper! If you have a short fuse, watch your mouth- and keep it
shut. Put a muzzle on your mouth. If you want to hit someone, go lock yourself in a
closet- restrain yourself! If you know you have a problem in this department, some anger
management skills cannot hurt. Anger does nothing to help others come to God! And
remember, don’t use “righteous anger” as an excuse to do or say whatever you want
either. So think about it, your anger accomplishes nothing to promote the message of
God. In fact it hinders others from understanding and accepting the good news of
salvation. Do you think you are religious? Do you feel you have a gift? Well think
twice- if you are consumed with anger, all the preaching in the world will not help your
listeners or draw them closer to God. “Rid yourselves of all moral filth and evil excess.”
James 1:21 Don’t just read the bible and listen to sermons. Do something about it! Put
what you read and learn into practice as well. Remember to help one another in need.
Don’t play favorites! How unfair! Don’t be quick to judge others by their clothing and
wealth. Remember that in God’s eyes, those who wear designer clothing, handbags &
jewelry and who drive expensive have no advantage! Do you think they are better people
because they have money? Then why do you act as if they are better by giving them
preferential treatment and by acting nicer to them! What an injustice! Don’t you know
that when you do that you are guilty of discrimination? Don’t you know that you are
taking the liberty of being a judge! How dare you! And what good do the wealthy do
anyway, but to flaunt their riches as if they are better, and to use their so called power for
selfish ambition? Remember that God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith. His
message was delivered to the poor as well as the wealthy. God considers all to be equal
and commands us all to love our neighbors- whether they are poor or rich! So stop being
a stuck up snob- treat everyone with fairness.
Doing the Word; Bringing Your Faith to Life!
Bring your faith to life, by putting into practice what you read and what you learn. If you
see someone in need, don’t just feel pity; don’t simply offer words of encouragement.
Sure those are good things, but how much better is it, to actually go out of your way and
help your brother or sister or neighbor who is in need. Empty words with no action is
useless! What good is it to encourage a starving man, yet not even offer him a piece of
bread? Go the extra step, don’t be lazy. Remember faith comes first and we cannot merit
salvation based on works. But keep this in mind, faith without action is essentially
useless- or dead. We need to put into practice what we learn in order to show love for
one another and to carry out the purpose of why we believe. What good is it to retain all
the knowledge of God, and to have faith but do nothing about it? Faith comes first of
course. Secondly, live the word, and act! Sure this teaching is more advanced, than faith
alone… but when we receive the good news, we should have in us a desire, or at least a
responsibility to be doers of the word as well.
Chapter 3: Responsibility & Words
“Not many should become teachers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment”
James 3:1 In other words, don’t be too hasty in rushing into a position of responsibility
or leadership. Sure it is an ego booster to be a teacher over a class, or a leader or pastor.
But with that role comes a grave responsibility before God. When you teach others, you
are essentially taking into your own hands, the salvation of your hearers! What you teach
affects not only yourself but others as well. Also be careful of what you say. Words can
be very powerful; more so than you realize. What we say can have the power to harm
others or to help, so take great care. “No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil,
full of deadly poison”. James 3: 7,8 And finally, keep this in mind, if you really think
you are wise, the you should really show it by your actions. If you are envious and
ambitious, then don’t pretend you are wise, and certainly don’t go around bragging that
you are wise- because you are not! You are just lying to yourself, because there is no
way you can fool God. He knows what is inside. Envy and ambition, though they are
very common qualities and even praised by so many in society, are really evil and terrible
qualities. Seek after humility, peace and fairness and reject favoritism, ambition and
Chapter 4: Reject Selfishness and Greed
This world and the people in it care so much about wealth, favoritism, pleasure, selfish
ambition and other greedy desires! These are the sick and useless things that cause so
much distress, and make this world evil in the first place! We need to reject these things
not embrace them! Don’t pursue your selfish ambitions or wealth! We must choose
friendship with God or the world- we cannot choose both because they are in direct
opposition to one another. This world, with its selfish evil priorities and desires- is really
the enemy of God. Selfishness, ambition and the pursuit of pleasure pleases the Devil!
Remember that! So you need to reject these things, even though you may not want to.
Sure you may feel left out or deprived without worldly things. Maybe you will feel like a
second class citizen. But, you need to overcome self pity and greed. You cannot make
your Coach purse, your career, your technological gadgets, your Mustang or your bank
account your priority. You can if you really want to, I suppose, but don’t deceive
yourself into thinking that you are doing the will of God if you do. And on top of that,
you presume to judge others who don’t have the same material possessions as you to be
inferior? You think that you are luckier or better off because of your wealth or
possessions! Then you are delusional! You place a lot of reliance of your bank accounts,
your homes, cars and material possessions. Remember you are on shaky ground with
God if you do. You boast in your travels, your vacation getaways, your cruises and your
parties. You talk about your 401k plans and your stocks and your plans to retire early!
Perhaps you plan your agenda months in advance. But remember this humbling fact- you
do not even know you have a tomorrow, there are no guarantees in life. Instead you
should say “If the Lord wills, we will do this or that. But as it is you boast in your
arrogance. All such boasting is evil”. James 4:15-17 “Cleanse your hands, sinners and
purify your hearts, double minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep…..
Humble yourselves before the lord and He will exalt you.” James 4: 8-10 “Come now,
you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. Your wealth is
ruined: your clothes are moth-eaten; your silver and gold are corrupted, and their
corrosion will be a witness against you… You stored up treasure.. you have lived
luxuriously… and have indulged yourselves… you have fattened your hearts for the day
of slaughter”. James 5:1-6 Don’t misplace your faith and happiness on wealth and
Chapter 5: Persist in Prayer and Encouragement
Remember that Jesus will return. You can be assured of it, but be patient as well. We
ready and be faithful. Keep your encouragement up as well. Remember what Job, of the
Old Testament, went through? Who can say they went through the tough times he
endured, yet he persevered in his faith and was blessed by God in the end. That should
serve as an example to us all. Remember to be honest, and confess our sins and our
troubles to one another. Pray if you suffer and praise God when you prosper as well.
Prayers of a righteous faithful person, is especially powerful so remember to pray for one
another. Remember to call upon the elders in the church as well as each other when you
are in need. And if one of you should stray from the truth, that man who helps him in the
right path will have saved him from so many sins!
This letter was written from the apostle Peter to the believers of the early Christian
church. Obviously this letter applies just as much to the believers of toady as in the
ancient times 2000 years ago.
Chapter 1: Faith and its Reward
As believers we have much to look forward to! We have a hope in Heaven for
everlasting life. And for this we have to thank God, who in his mercy and grace gave us
this gift through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. This hope we have is eternal lifeit
will last forever: it won’t fade away or disappear- our faith is not misplaced when we
depend on this. We have God’s guarantee. Therefore, rather than being discouraged, we
have great reason to rejoice and be happy. Our hardships pale in comparison to what
great things are in store for us. We are talking about something more important than
wealth or money or gold- we are talking about eternal life! Even though we cannot see
these things we can be assured that they are true. The goal; the result of our faith is
eternal salvation! Even the old testament prophets which you do trust believed these
things which you are learning now. Keep your eyes and your lives focused on your hope
in heaven. When you live your life, in whatever you do and say, keep this in mind.
Remember to consider God’s will in your life- you are called for holiness. Do not follow
selfish ambitions and worldly desires. Treat life in this world as temporary. Our physical
bodies and our lives on earth will not last forever. Get your priorities straight! You were
redeemed by the blood of Christ, don’t waste it; live it as if you believe it! You have
been born again so act in a way consistent with your rebirth.
Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5: Christian Behavior
Put your former life behind you. Remove the wickedness, deceit, envy, hypocrisy and
slander that you used to do! Remember the analogy of the stone in the Old Testament
scriptures? The seemingly plain and simple stone, that was rejected by the construction
worker, was chosen by God as the foundation for His Church. Consider yourselves to be
these stones! You are the living stones, to boot. And as a stone causes some to stumble,
the irony of your election, may cause others to stumble as well. Pay no attention to those
who are acting like sour grapes and hecklers. They are just jealous. You are the
beneficiaries of God’s mercy, rejoice and live as though you are! Avoid selfish and
fleshly desires. Remember you should be an example not just to other believers but
unbelievers as well! Don’t be hypocrites either, disguising your evil deeds beneath a
cloak of “religion”. Even though obeying God comes first, that is no excuse to break the
laws and disobey the authority of the government. If you are a slave or if you are an
employee, obey your master, and obey your employer. Remember the suffering of Jesus.
He did not deserve to suffer, yet he did- and so much more- for our sakes. So if Jesuswho
did not deserve to suffer willingly did- then we must keep this in mind when we
must suffer. He suffered for our sins. Therefore if we have consequences as a result of
our sins, shouldn’t we just accept it? Husbands and wives should respect and love each
other. Beauty is within- it has nothing to do with your physical appearance or your
clothes or your jewelry! Everyone should have compassion and love for one another.
Don’t be too hasty to get angry and seek revenge when others insult you or offend you.
Do what you can in your power to seek peace at all costs. And if by chance your
suffering is undeserved and you are persecuted for your faith, then consider yourselves
blessed for you are in good company. It is better to suffer for what is right than to suffer
the consequences for doing what is bad. Remember Jesus’ sacrifice. A clear conscious
before the Lord is the best that you can strive for. Those who live their evil lives,
rejecting the gospel will be judged by God. Don’t envy them for they will get what is
coming; pay no attention when those evil doers make fun of you. No matter what
continue in your faith and continue to please God. If you are an elder of your
congregation or church, you are entrusted with a greater responsibility to oversee your
congregation with willingness and humility, and without expectation of worldly
Chapter 6: Remain Alert
“Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary, the Devil is prowling around like a roaring
lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him!” 1Peter5: 8,9 We are called to
eternal glory with Jesus. But remain on the watch, don’t become lazy or complacent with
the evil ways of this world or you will be caught off guard and become an easy target for
the devil’s schemes.
Grow in Faith
Through God’s divine power, we have everything we need in line and everything there is
to know in order to live a life of goodness. God has promised to us eternal life and a hope
to look forward to so that may need not despair in the evils and corruption of the world
that is around us. We need to “supplement” our faith with goodness, knowledge,
endurance and self control. Not only that, we need to strengthen and train ourselves to
increase in these good qualities. This will help us avoid stumbling when we are face to
face with the temptations and evils of this world. We should not be stagnate, we need to
continue to grow and learn! Remember that we want to enter into the kingdom of
heaven. These words of Peter will remain true, long after his death because they reflect
the eternal message and truth of God.
God’s Word is Truth!
Remember that the apostles delivering the message of the gospel: James, Peter and Paul
as well as the others were eyewitnesses to these things. This isn’t a fairy tale. It is true
beyond a doubt and it is proven by the testimony and witnesses of countless numbers of
people. Consider the life of Jesus, and how many people that witnessed his teachings
and miracles and resurrection! It is not made up. Pay attention to this gospel message. It
is like a flashlight that shines brightly in the darkness. These messages are not derived
from human minds and imaginations, but from the Holy Spirit.
False Teachers, Beware!
Be aware of false teachers as well as false prophets, who will subtly and secretly spread
lies about God. Many people will be suckered into believing those lies, and countless
others will simply condemn Christianity as a whole. These false leaders will use clever
deception to exploit naïve people and believers! Don’t worry, their certain condemnation
awaits. Think about this: If God did not even spare his beloved angels when they
rebelled, or the wicked men in the time of Noah, or the ancient cities of Sodom and
Gomorrah, then be assured the Lord will punish those false teachers as well. But don’t
worry about yourselves- if God kept his faithful safe, such as Noah and Lot, he will keep
his believers safe from judgment as well. God is an expert and is faithful in rescuing his
faithful people from trails. He will not let his believers suffer the same fate as the
deceivers and unbelievers.
Corrupt Evil Doers, Beware!
What nerve these arrogant unbelievers have! Who do they think they are? “Bold,
arrogant people! They do not tremble when they blaspheme the glorious ones: however
angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring a slanderous charge against the
Lord. But these people, like irrational animals- creatures of instinct…. speak
blasphemies about the things they don’t understand, and in their destruction they too will
be destroyed, suffering harm as the payment for unrighteousness”. 2Peter 2” 10-13 They
critique and condemn God and the message of salvation. They throw it away in
exchange for their own lies and deceptions. Anything that is filthy and evil, they not only
do but approve of as well. They seek out sin. They see adultery as fun! They specialize
in deception and lies, seducing the weak and the naïve. They may as well consider
themselves cursed because they will be under the judgment of God. Their reward will be
the eternal gloom of darkness which is well deserved. They go out of their way to tempt
believers as well, trying with all their might to turn people away from the Lord. They
claim to be open minded; they claim to offer freedom- but what they really peddle is
death and destruction! Don’t be fooled! Don’t get caught up with these evil people.
Don’t turn back from your faith. “For it would have been better for them not to have
known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back.” 2Peter 2:21.
Remember this, “a dog returns to its own vomit and a sow after washing itself wallows in
the mud”. 2Peter2 :22 Those who are filthy and depraved, have a way of returning back
to their filthy depravity.
Chapter 3: Jesus’ Return A.K.A the Lord’s Day
This is your reminder, recall everything you have been taught thus far. In the end days
before Jesus returns, be aware that doubters and evil doers will increase in their number
as well as in their depravities. Don’t be shocked or surprised. Ignore them when they
make fun and place doubt in the fact that Jesus is returning. Don’t let their ignorant
words and heckling discourage you. And as for yourselves, don’t get discouraged or
impatient. The second coming of Jesus will come- but on God’s own time. To God there
is no difference between a thousand years or one day. Sure, to us, even 100 years may as
well seem like forever to us, but in God’s eyes, 1000 years is simply like a day. Its just
that God’s conception of time, is not like our limited ideas about time. God does not
back down on his promise but is patient knowing in His wisdom, that by allowing more
time, he allows more people to come to salvation. The Day of the Lord, which is the
second coming of Jesus, will come when we least expect it to come. It will “come like a
thief” 2Peter3:10. When that happens, it will be obvious. With a loud noise, Heaven
will pass away, and the earth will be consumed with fire. There will be a new heaven and
a new earth! Not only that, just as miraculous, what we should be more concerned about
is this: the works and motives of all men will be revealed. What has been hidden for
ages, will be revealed to all! Therefore we should await this day in faith and confidence if
we are believers.
Don’t forget that God’s patience provides an opportunity for salvation. Put it this way,
what if the second coming happened 10 years before you accepted the message of
salvation? Where would you be then? So just as you came to salvation, others who are
not saved now, may come to salvation as well. Don’t be deceived or tempted by evil and
be on guard always.
Chapter 1: The Purpose of the Message
The apostles, are unified in their purpose: to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel
message which they have observed first hand. The invitation of eternal life offered by the
gospel message is extended to believers everywhere so that in believing, they too may
have fellowship with the Father, Son and each other as well. God represents goodness.
There is no evil to be found within God, so if we claim we walk in fellowship with God,
yet still behave as if we are evil, then we are lying and deceiving ourselves. The blood of
Jesus has the power to cleanse us from our sin. If we confess our sins, God who is
faithful and just will forgive us. But if we try to make the claim that we do not sin, then
we may as well call God a liar. Be assured, that those who say they have no sin, and are
not in need of forgiveness, are not in fellowship with God, but rather they are simply
living in denial.
Chapter 2: A Faithful Life
God wants us to live a life consistent with our faith. If we have total disregard for God’s
commands, then how can we claim we are in fellowship with God? We are nothing but
liars. Remember the greatest commandment? That is to love one another; to love your
neighbor as yourself? If we love, then we are in the light and living in fellowship with
God and His commands. But if we hate our neighbor, or our fellow brother, then we live
in darkness. We are forgiven and justified through Jesus. Through Jesus we can have
fellowship with God. We can overcome the Devil which is the Evil One. Remember the
best way to beat the Devil is to make sure God’s word remains within. Do not pursue
worldly goals which include pride, selfish ambition and fleshly lust.
According to prophecy, the antichrist is supposed to come. But keep this in mind, anyone
who opposes God can be considered an anti Christ, and we have already had many false
teachers and false prophets who claim to be representing God’s message. Simply put,
anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah, is the antichrist. Whoever denies the Son,
Jesus, denies the Father as well. God’s promise to us is eternal life- a gift beyond
comprehension. The least we can do is remain loyal.
Chapter 3: Gods Command- Belief in Jesus and to Love One Another
God has loved us so much that we can be called God’s children. We should have
confidence and not shame. Consider that the world doesn’t know us, because we are no
longer part of this world but part of God. Maybe we have some questions as to the
particular details and that is okay as well. The future in its entirety has not yet been
revealed. All we know is this: when Jesus returns, we will somehow be like Him and
with Him. That is our hope. There is no sin in God. Remember that sin is associated
with the Devil! It is God’s intent to eventually destroy sin. As children of God, we are
no longer under the curse of sin, because the penalty for our sin has been paid. But that
does not mean we should sin. After all, to sin is to break the law. Remember what God’s
greatest commandment is: to love one another and to love our neighbor as our self? We
have no excuse to not follow this commandment. The world does not follow this
commandment and that is why the world is in opposition with God’s children.
Remember Cain hated his brother and murdered him. Therefore if we hate our brother
we are no better than Cain who was a murderer! Murderers will not inherit eternal life.
Just as Jesus sacrificed his life for us, we should learn from the example of Jesus and
show love for one another. We should act on our faith and live our faith! To emphasis it
again, this is the command of God: to believe in the name of Jesus and to love one
another. If we do this our hearts and conscious will be clear. But if we don’t do this, our
hearts and conscious will condemn us. When we keep this command, we remain in God
and God will remain in us. Love is considered to be the ultimate test of our faith and of
our sincerity in the truth. The reason is this: it is not always to love our brother or our
neighbor as we love ourselves. We tend to be greedy, selfish, envious and competitive.
Oftentimes to truly love our brother, neighbor and especially our enemies, we have to
overcome our natural inclinations of selfishness.
Chapter 4: The Truth Vs Lies about Jesus
“Dear friends do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from
God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know
the Spirit of God: Every Spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is
from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit
of the antichrist; you have heard he is coming and he is already in the world now.” 1John
4: 1-3 What this means is this: when you hear a new teaching, pay attention to what is
said about Jesus. If it is not consistent with what you have learned, then it is not from the
Holy Spirit at all, but from the devil. In fact, even now, many are deceived into believing
lies about Jesus. Countless people are drawn into false religions and false teachings that
distort who Jesus really is. Don’t be just another statistic. Make sure what you hear is
consistent with the bible message! Don’t be discouraged, we who are from God, have no
part in this world. We can discern the true spirit of truth from the spirit of lies.
The testimony of God
Repeating what we have taught so far: If we truly love God, we will love one another as
well. God remains in us when we love one another and when we testify that the Father
sent the son to be our savior and that Jesus is the Son of God. God’s love has the power
to conquer the evil of this world. God testifies on behalf of Jesus. The Spirit of God, The
blood of Jesus and the water, testify in unison to the truth about Jesus Christ. They are all
in agreement that God has given us eternal life through His Son. Now that is assurance.
Anyone who denies this, essentially calls God a liar. Without the Son, you will not have
eternal life! If you deny this truth that God Himself testifies to, then you are calling God a
Prayer is not just a waste of time. We can have the utmost confidence that our prayers
will be heard by God. And even greater is that God will provide whatever we ask for in
accordance with His will. Also remember to pray for one another including sins. Keep as
far away as you can from idols, idol worship or any worldly thing that comes in between
you and your faith in God. When we place our faith in God, we are under God’s
protection- safe from the Evil One. Through Jesus we may have eternal life. “We are in
the true One- that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” 1John
The apostle John follows up with the theme of his first letter: the command to love one
another. Although this letter is mainly addressed to a specific woman, in John’s own
words, it may be applied to all believers as well.
The Command to Love:
Remember to follow the command to love one another. When you do this, you affirm
your faith in God. Remember in all areas of your life and your actions to so this.
Thos who do not teach that Jesus came to this world as a man of flesh in order to die for
our sins is an anti- Christ. He is a false teacher who is deceiving others. Don’t believe
these false teachers! You know better by now. And furthermore, if anyone adds to the
teachings of God, he does not have God either. God does not approve of adding to the
message. Do not aid in the dissemination of lies. If a false teacher asks you for your
support in delivering and promoting his phony message, do not give him a donation and
do not provide for him any other aid otherwise you are helping him to spread his lies
about Jesus! Hold fast to your truth, don’t risk everything all the efforts you have made
The Apostle John wrote this letter to Gaius, to encourage and commend him for his faith.
Whatever you do for your fellow believer, testifies on behalf of your faith and love for
God. Think about the self sufficiency of our teachers in the faith- they do not taint
themselves or compromise themselves by accepting support from heathens and pagans.
Therefore we should do what we can to help them out and to support each other so that
we too may be co-workers in the truth. If any of you are simply out for glory and
recognition, then forget it! Your priorities could not be further from the will of God. Do
not hinder those who are actually spreading the message of the Lord. Remember do not
imitate evil. Rather, you should imitate what is good.
Jude wrote this letter as a warning about false teachers and their deceptions.
There are some men, false teachers who are distorting the truth and teaching lies. They
advocate promiscuity and deny Jesus! Don’t worry, they will receive the judgment and
punishment that is in store for them. Remember the examples of how God has handled
other evil people in the past. Remember how the Egyptians were destroyed and how
Sodom and Gomorah were destroyed because of their evil perversions. Consider the
angels who were expelled from heaven and to this very day await their eternal
punishment for having disobeyed God. They will all suffer eternal punishment in eternal
fire! How dare these sick and depraved people who commit sexual immorality dare to
presume they have any knowledge. They are like stupid animals, blaspheming anything
that their puny little minds can’t understand. How dare they reject God’s authority and
dismiss his gospel message. “Woe to them” Jude 1: 11 Even the angels themselves know
better than to question God’s authority.
Remember these filthy perverted people are not far from you at all. Keep an eye out for
them! You will even find them at church, sitting in the pews next to you, muttering
hymns and maybe even partaking in the ceremony of the Lord’s supper! They are
hypocrites. Don’t be fooled by their outwardly religious façade. They are counterfeit
Christians. They are unholy and perverted, driven by selfish desire and ambition. They
will flatter people just to exploit them and use them and take advantage. These people
are spiritually dead! Remember what you were told countless times by the other apostles
as well. In the end times, these filthy people, these hypocrites and false teachers will
increase in number. They will have their evil influences within churches even to the
point of creating divisions and dissention! Keep your hopes and faith in God, and do not
waiver. Remember love your enemies: hate the sin but love the sinner, but be careful that
you too do not get caught up in or tempted by the sins of others.
Remember that God has the power to protect you . through Jesus you are made
blameless. “To the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory,
majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever”. Jude 1:25
John, being filled with the Spirit of God, on a Sunday, on the island of Patmos,
received the Revelation of Jesus Christ from an angel in order to write what he saw so it
would be available to all.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the
prophesy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Revelation
In the letters to the seven churches, Jesus urges all people to trust in the Good News and
to live by their faith in Jesus. In general, do we ever find it easy to worship the Lord?
We are in the end times right now! We should not be paranoid, of course, but setting
aside ridiculous and outrageous conspiracy theories, we can tell by the signs that the Day
of the Lord is drawing near. Countless phony Christians and hypocrites succumb to
worldly pressures and temptations. Think about how many people profess to be believers
but their actions tell another story. Countless numbers claim to be Christians, but in
actuality, they are ashamed of the gospel message of Christ. False teachers and phony
prophets are everywhere, teaching a phony Christ and spreading lies to the naïve. These
anti-Christs and anti churches are reaping in hoards of new members, even stealing from
Jesus’ own flock. To these counterfeit Christians and false churches, Jesus himself will
tell them “depart… for I never knew you.”
Memos to Seven Ancient Christian Churches: John begins with a series of memos,
directed to specific ancient churches addressing specific issues. Keep in mind that these
words are as applicable today as they were in ancient times.
Memo #1 To Ephesus: You were once courageous and strong in your love & faith, but
what happened? You have fallen- turn back to your former dedication! Its not too late
now, but if you wait forever, you never know. It could be worse- at least you don’t
tolerate the evils of the Nicolaitions.
Memo #2 To Smyrna: Persevere during the tough times and don’t give up. Don’t let the
poverty and hardships get you discouraged. The most important thing is this: built up
your treasures in Heaven. Your spiritual wealth is greater than you think, and when the
Devil tempts you and tests you, keep up your faith and don’t succumb. Keep your eyes on
Memo #3 To Pergamum: You are right in the midst of Satan’s dominion- you are
surrounded by false religion- specifically Balaam worship. God is well aware of this, and
you have done well in standing your ground and maintaining your faith. But that is still
not an excuse, you can do better. Don’t put up with any false worship or false teachers or
idols whatsoever. Don’t compromise or taint your faith just to please others!
Memo #4 To Thyatria: Keep up the good work, God is very pleased with your faith, and
service. But watch out for false teachers and prophets that teach lies and lead others
astray. Specifically, you need to stop tolerating the false prophet Jezebel. She is
destroying the church and faith of many with her lies and immoral ways. To the rest of
you, who are aware and discouraged, maintain your faith and hope because false prophets
and teachers will get what is coming to them. Those who remain faithful will have their
reward in heaven.
Memo #5 To Sardis: You are nothing but hypocrites, and while you may fool men, you
are not fooling God. Your phony works won’t save you. Watch out, because if you don’t
return to the original message of faith you will be caught off guard when the Lord
returns. To any of you who do believe and are faithful, do not fear, your faith will save
Memo #6 To Philadelphia: You are spiritually weak, that is true. But you aren’t lost
altogether. Though it would be better for you to work on your faith and strength, at least
during difficult times, you did not out right deny the Lord. But to those of you who are
hypocrites and phonies, you are not fooling the Lord! For the rest of you, hold on to your
faith no matter what. Don’t waiver or let fear get the better of you. The Lord will be
patient with you.
Memo #7 To Ladocia: There is nothing special about you. You are not pure evil but you
really aren’t faithful either. It is as if you couldn’t care less. You are indifferent. You are
basically stagnant. You are simply lukewarm. You brag about your material wealth and
ignore those who are impoverished and ill. Do you think the Lord is pleased? Not at all.
You are sickening in the eyes of the Lord. Its not too late to change your ways. If you do,
the Lord will welcome you. In fact, the Lord invites you.
The following description include a lot of symbolism that may have been understood by
the contemporary people of 2000 years ago.
A Brief Outline Of What Is To Come
(This commentary on Revelation is older than my other writings. But I have included it here in
order to complete my NT letter commentary)
The Seven Seals of the Scroll opened by the lamb
The first seal
: Horsemen on white horse sent to conquer man
The second seal
: Horsemen on fiery red horse sent to take away peace by causing
men to kill each other.
The third seal
: Horsemen on black horse holding scales in his hand which stand
for the greed of man.
The fourth seal
: Horsemen called Death on pale horse followed by Hades and
given the power to kill 1/4 human population by hunger, swords, and beasts.
The fifth seal:
Martyrs told they must wait until their number is completed.
The sixth seal
: Earthquake occurs, sun becomes black, moon becomes like blood,
stars fall from heavy winds, sky recedes, mountains and islands moved .
pre-seventh: Four angels waiting at the four corners of the earth are told not to do
anything until God’s people are sealed.. God’s people receive God’s seal on their
foreheads. (144,000 people from the 12 tribes of Judah presently at that time alive on
The seventh seal:
Silence in heaven for 1/2 hour. An angel throws a bowl
(Censer) filled with fire to the earth causing thunder and lightening and an
The Seven Angels With Seven Trumpets
The first trumpet
: Hail, fire, blood and the burning of 1/3 grass and 1/3 of the
The second trumpet
: Great burning mountain thrown into the sea, 1/3 sea
becomes blood, killing 1/3 sea creatures and destroying 1/3 ships.
The third trumpet
: Star called Wormwood falls onto 1/3 rivers and springs
turning 1/3 of water into wormwood causing the deaths of men
The fourth trumpet
: 1/3 sun struck, 1/3 moon struck and 1/3 stars struck causing
1/3 day and 1/3 night not to shine.
The fifth trumpet
: Star, with the key to the bottomless pit, thrown down from
heaven. Bottomless pit opened, blackening the earth with smoke, and
releasing locusts (whose king in Hebrew is Abado, and Apolyon in
Greek), tormented those without God’s seal for 5 months.
The sixth trumpet:
The four angels from the Euphrates river areunbound. With
an army of 200 million horsemen, they kill 1/3 of the population. Those not killed did
not repent to God but continued to sin by the worship idols, stealing, lying, immorality,
Pre-seventh: Angel with a little book spoke with a voice of seven thunders
which John was told he could not write down since it contained the mystery of God and
how the mystery would be completed. John was told to eat the book which tasted sweet
in his mouth and bitter in his stomach. He was then told to measure the temple of
God, not including the court where the gentiles (those not of God)will be.
God’s two witnesses and the Three Woes
God sends two witnesses of his Word, and gives them great authority and power
to preach the Good News. Man does not accept them, and hates them. As a result they
endure the wrath of God they deserve. The Beast, arises from the Bottomless Pit, kills the
two witnesses and leaves their bodies to decay in full view for 3 1/2 days in Sodom and
Egypt (the spot where Jesus was crucified). Everyone regards the Beast as a hero, and
they are joyful. After the 3 1/2 days, the two witnesses are resurrected and they ascend
into heaven. An earthquake then occurs causing 1/10 of the city to fall, and killing 7,000
people. The rest give glory to God.
The Seventh trumpet or the third woe
: The nations of nonbelievers of the earth
are enraged at God’s wrath. It is time for the (first) Judgment. God’s temple is opened
and the ark of the covenant is revealed. There is hail thunder lightening and earthquake.
A woman has a male child. The Dragon wants to eat the child who is to rule all
the nations. God takes the child to his throne and prepares a place of safer for the woman
from the Dragon for 1,260 days in the desert. Michael fights the dragon sending the
Devil and his agents to torment the people of earth for a short time. Dragon continues to
pursue the woman. The woman is given wings to escape. The Dragon becomes very
angry and decides to torment the God’s people who are on earth.
A Beast (with seven horns, seven crowns and blasphemous name) is given
authority and power by the Dragon. The Beast who had a mortally wounded, but healed
head amazed and received praise from the people. People followed and worshipped the
Dragon who gave authority to the Beast, because the Beast seemed to be so great. Many
began to blaspheme God. This Beast ruled for 42 months waging war with those few
who still followed God, who were written in the Book Of Life, while the others
worshipped the Beast.
The Second Beast
Then there came a second Beast who exercised the authority of the first Beast in
the presence of the first Beast. The second Beast made people worship the first Beast,
while performing many miracles ignored to deceive many people. Then an image is
made of the first beast, and the second Beast tells people to worship the image. The
second Beast gives life to the image of the first Beast, and the image kills those who do
not worship the first Beast. The second Beast gives the mark 666, on the forehead of all
who worship the first beast. Unless one has this mark, he can not buy or sell anything.
Jesus Reaps the Harvest
On Mount Zion, the 144,000, given God’s seal, are told to preach the news of
God to all. A second angel proclaims that Babylon has fallen and a third angel declares
that anyone who worships the beast, who has the 666 mark will suffer the same torment
as that of the Beast/Devil. The harvest is ready for Jesus to reap. With the help of
angels, the people of God will be separated from the people who are not of God. The
temple of the tabernacle of God is opened. Those who have not believed and accepted
Jesus, those who do not have the Word of Jesus in their hearts, will suffer God’s just
The seven Bowls of the seven plagues
“Behold, I come as a thief!” Revelation 16:15
The people of God are prepared, yet,
those not of God are not.
The first bowl
: All who have the mark of the Beast will become covered with
The second bowl
: The sea becomes blood; all sea creatures die.
The third bowl
: Springs of water become blood.
The fourth bowl
: Men are scorched with fire; still they do not repent and they
continue to blaspheme God.
The fifth bowl
: The Beast, its kingdom and its worshippers exposed to
darkness and pain, still do not repent
The sixth bowl
: Euphrates, the river, is dried up in order to prepare way for
three kings. Three bad spirits come forth from the mouths of the False Profit,
the Dragon and the Beast (the evil trinity).
The seventh bowl
: God’s people are rewarded while the Beast’s follower are
punished. “It is done”, declares a loud voice from the temple’s throne. There is
lightening, thunder, Earthquakes the great city is split into three parts, mountains and
islands fall and men blaspheme God.
Babylon destroys and overcome by God. The followers of evil are punished.
People lose their riches and the economic markets are destroyed. Many lament the loss
of their wealth due to their greed. The city of great importance to material wealth is
Praise is given to God. The Blessed are rewarded. Jesus is exalted. Those who
follow God are part of the marriage of the Lamb and the Bride. The Beast is punished and
so are all whom have received his mark. They are killed or thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Satan/devil/dragon is bound for 1,000 years in the abyss.
The first resurrection and the 1,000 year reign of Christ
Martyrs and those of God are the first to be resurrected and they reign with Christ
for 1,000 years. These are the blessed in which the Second Death has no power.
The second Resurrection
After being bound Saran is released to deceive the nations. Then he is thrown
into the Lake of Fire with the Beast and the false profit forever! The rest of the dead, after
the 1,000 year reign of Christ is resurrected. All the dead stand before God, books are
opened, one book is the Book of Life. Those whose names are written in the book of life
are not judged. Those not in the book of life are judged according to their deeds. Anyone
not in the book of life is thrown with death and Hades into the Lake of Fire, and this is
called the Second Death.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is
among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God
Himself shall be among them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:3
Then there is a new heaven and a new earth. All of the old things have passed away.
God will be with his people. There will be no more sadness or death.
Patricia Janes July 4, 2009