Have You Received God’s Righteousness? Romans 1:14-17


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Romans 1:14-17 (NET) 14 I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”



  • In the last passage, Paul expressed his desire to visit the Romans that they may be mutually comforted by each other’s faith. Now Paul says he is also eager to preach in Rome the gospel which is God’s power for salvation. 


I am a debtor –

  • Although Paul says he is a debtor to all, this does not mean that he owes them or is under obligation to them directly, instead he means that he is obligated to reach them because of God’s calling on his life. 

  • Thayer Greek Lexicon Defines the Greek word for debtor as one held by some obligation, bound to some duty. 

  • Acts 26:16-18 (NET) 16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Discussion Question:

  • Do you think we have the same obligation to share the gospel today?  If so, why?

both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish-

  • Barns Commentary.  This term “barbarian,” Βάρβαρος, Barbaros, properly denotes one who speaks a foreign language, a foreigner, and the Greeks applied it to all who did not use their tongue

  • Keeners Bible Background Commentary says…Gentiles (1: 13) included two categories, by the Greek division: Greeks considered everyone else in the world “barbarians”; they also often considered themselves wise and others foolish.
  • Cambridge Bible For Schools and Colleges says the meaning for wise and fools is  …the cultured and the uneducated.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why are Christians biased against other races, the poor, and the uneducated that they don’t make efforts to give them the gospel as they to toward others?

Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome-

  • Meaning Paul was ready and willing to announce the good news specifically to the Romans as part of his mission to tell all the world. 

Discussion Question:

  • How can we be better prepared to share the gospel?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel-

  • Meaning Paul was not embarrassed of the gospel, meaning the faithfulness of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for our sins. 

for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes-

  • Meaning the gospel is powerful to convert the believer from being condemned in sin to being justified and acceptable before God. 

Discussion Question:

  • When did you understand the gospel and believe? Explain. 

to the Jew first and also to the Greek-

  • Meaning the gospel came to the Jews first through Jesus and also through Paul who preached in the synagogues before going to the Gentiles.

  • Acts 13:45-46 (NET) 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles.

For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith-

  • A) righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel – Meaning not God’s righteous character is revealed but rather God’s gift of righteousness and justification is uncovered in the gospel to the person who has faith in it. 

  • B) faith to faith – The Cambridge Bible for schools and colleges says…(1) The initial step, the entrance to justification, is faith: (2) The life of the justified is maintained by faith: faith is the starting-point and the course.

just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”-

  • Paul reiterates that the life of those justified is by faith and quotes Habakkuk 2:4. 
  • Philippians 3:8-9 (NET) 8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, 9 and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness.
  • Romans 3:20-23 (NET) 20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Are You Walking In The Light? 1 John 1:5-7



1 John 1:5-7 (NET) 5 Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.



  • In the previous passage, John described his eyewitness account of Jesus with the purpose of others having fellowship with John and the other Apostles. Now he describes the test of professing Christians and the benefits of those who walk in the light. 


Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you-

  • The message John and the Apostles heard directly from Jesus was…

God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all-

  • This is one of three ‘God is’ statements in the New Testament.
  • God is light.
  • God is Spirit. 
  • God is love. 
  • God is light means God has all knowledge, all purity, all holiness, and He is without any mixture of ignorance or sin. 
  • In the context of the next few verses, the emphasis of God being light is on His purity and holiness more so than his infinite knowledge. 

Discussion Question:

  • If you were to describe God in one word, how would you describe him?
  • Why is light associated with knowledge?
  • Why is light associated with purity ?

If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness we are lying and not practicing the truth-

  • Meaning those who say (including John himself) that they have fellowship with this God of purity and holiness yet ‘keep on walking’ in darkness, meaning unrepentant sin, then they….
  • A) are lying about their fellowship with Him, 
  • B) and they are not practicing the truth of their profession. 
  • Though a Christian is never perfectly sinless in this life, they are never comfortable living in a particular sin or sins, they continually fight against walking in sin, they continually repent of sin that has been discovered within them. 
  • A professing Christian who takes no thought when sinning and takes pleasure indulging their sin shows their profession of fellowship with the Light is a lie. 
  • John 3:19,20 (NET) 19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed.
  • Ephesians 5:5-11 (NET) 5 For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
  • Romans 13:12-13 (NET) 12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy.
  • 1 John 2:9(NET) 9 The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness.

Discussion Question:

  • Why do you think teaching on holiness is neglected in the modern church?

But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin-

  • Meaning if Christians live their lives pursuing holiness as God is holy then…
  • 1. They will have fellowship with other believers.  However, professing Christians living a life of unrepentant sin, such as sexual sins, seem to naturally cut off their fellowship from believers. If unrepentant professing Christians do not naturally move away from believers, then the church must take action to lovingly discipline them with the motive that they will repent and be restored. 
  • 1 Corinthians 5:11 (NET) But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.  
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:14 (NET) But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed.
  • 2. Jesus’ blood cleanses them from all sin.   Meaning at the time of a believer’s conversion they were declared righteous through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for sin, but from conversion onward the believer now continues a life of repentance and faith thus continually being cleansed by Jesus’ blood.

Discussion Question:

  • Can you think of someone who was involved in unrepentant sin and then faded away from believers?
  • If an unrepentant professing Christian continues walking in darkness, what does the verse imply regarding them being cleansed by Jesus’ blood?  What does this imply regarding their original conversion?


Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage. 


Are You Walking In Light?


I am light. My knowledge is perfect. I am the One who enlightens the mind. I am pure. There is no mixture of sin within Me.  There is not one speck of darkness within Me.  I dwell in the light. I am the Father of lights.

Do not forsake teaching my children to walk in holiness. They must know that if they are children of light then they should walk as such.  Examine yourself as well. Do you have unrepentant sin in your heart?  Confess it, forsake it, resolve it if needed, and continue to trust My Son’s blood for your cleansing. 

Do You Have Vision To Visit? Romans 1:8-13


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Romans 1:8-13 (NET)

Do You Have Vision To Visit?

8 First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you 10 and I always ask in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. 11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles.



First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world-

• Paul was thankful to ‘his God’ that the grace of God extended to the Romans.

• Paul heard about their faith everywhere he traveled (the northern portion of the Roman Empire above the Mediterranean Sea).

• Keener’s Bible Background Commentary says… “All roads lead to Rome”; due to the connections of the whole empire with Rome, Christians everywhere knew about the faith of believers in the capital.

Discussion Question:

• Can you name others for which you are thankful for their testimony in receiving Christ?

• Where is the the farthest point on earth that someone knows of your faith?

For God, whom I serve in my spirit –

• Meaning Paul’s spirit was motivated to serve God in the way shown in the next phrase…

• John 4:23,24 (NET) 23 But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

by preaching the gospel of his Son-

• Meaning proclaiming the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

(God) is my witness that I continually remember you and I always ask in my prayers if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God-

• Meaning Paul had a long and persistent desire to visit the believers in Rome. Therefore, he was persistent to pray that he may visit. The below verse was his plans to go to Jerusalem and then to Rome- this did happen, but as a prisoner.

• Acts 19:21 (NET) 21 Now after all these things had taken place, Paul resolved to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. He said, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”

Discussion Questions:

• What was Paul’s desire in his prayer?

• How can we be intentional to make local visits?

• What questions would you ask during a visit?

• What spiritual purposes and actions should be included in our visits?

• Have you ever been on a short term international mission?

For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you-

• The spiritual gift Paul wants to impart is the teaching and sharing of the Apostle himself.

• Ephesians 4:8, 11-12 (NKJV) 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…

that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine-

• Meaning the intended purpose of his visit was mutual comfort.

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now)-

• Meaning he was prevented up until this writing because the needs of all the other places he had ministered.

Discussion Question:

What practical ways can we be persistent to schedule our visits?

so that I may have some fruit even among you-

Meaning Paul desire was to win souls and help the Roman Christians grow.

• Philippians 4:17 (NKJV) 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

• Colossians 1:6 (NKJV) 6 Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:

just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles-

• Meaning fruit from the rest of the Gentile churches that Paul already ministered to outside of Rome.

Are You Partners With The Apostles? 1 John 1:1-4


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Are You Partners With The Apostles?

1 John 1:1-4

1 John 1:1-4 (NET) 1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – 2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). 3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). 4 Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.


First John is very difficult to outline. See why at this link.


This is what we proclaim to you-

• The meaning of ‘we’ is referring to John and the other Appstles who were with Jesus.

• The ‘you’ is not identified. But scholars believe this was a circulating letter to either Jewish believers or to both Jewish and Gentile believers since the audience is not identified.

what was from the beginning,

what we have heard,

what we have seen with our eyes,

what we have looked at and our hands have touched-

• Meaning John and the others were eyewitnesses of Jesus. They heard, seen, studied Him, and touched him.

• Luke 1:1-2 (NET) 1 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning.

• 2 Peter 1:16-18 (NET) 16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” 18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

Discussion Questions:

• Later John mentions that antichrists have come. Meaning those who deny Jesus came in the flesh. Knowing this reference, why did John mention details regarding how he experienced Jesus?

• What other New Testament passages refer to someone touching Jesus?

• Which New Testament ordinance today makes use of our senses to worship our Lord?

(concerning the word of life –

• Meaning Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Jesus is also called the, Word, who created all life.

• John 1:1-4 (NET) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.

Discussion Questions:

• Does calling Jesus the word of life refer to His humanity or his divinity? Explain?

and the life was revealed-

• Here Jesus is called life. The life was revealed as also shown in the Gospel of John 1:14.

• John 1:14 (NET) 14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.

and we have seen and testify and announce to you-

• John is using eyewitness language, ‘testify’, to persuade others that what he is announcing is true based on what he had experienced.

Discussion Question:

• Have you ever had to give an eyewitness testimony for a police report or court case?

the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us-

• John now calls Jesus not only the life but the eternal life that was with the Father.

• By calling Jesus the eternal life it means Jesus is God who has lived eternally with the Father and has come to offer eternal life to the world.

• Micah 5:2 (NET) 2 (5:1) As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past.

What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us-

• John provides the first purpose for his writing his eyewitness account, that his audience will have fellowship with John and the other Apostles.

• Strong’s Definitions: κοινωνία koinōnía, koy-nohn-ee’-ah; partnership

• Kittle defines as participation, fellowship.

• Thayer’s defines as intercourse, fellowship, intimacy (Webster defines intercourse – connection or dealings between persons or groups)

• Bauer defines as association, communion, fellowship, close relationship

• Galatians 2:9 (NET) and when James, Cephas, and John, who had a reputation as pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Discussion Question:

• By using the word, fellowship, how did John see the interaction between believers should be?

(and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ)-

• John makes clear that he has fellowship with both the Father and the Son. This is mentioned because of the antichrists mentioned later who deny that the Son has came in the flesh.

Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete-

• First note how John says ‘we’ write unto you. Although John is the author the other Apostles also endorse the message of this letter.

• The second purpose in writing this letter is the joy of John and the other Apostles will be full if the believers reading the letter follow its instructions.

3 John 1:4 (NET) I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.

Discussion Questions:

• How do you feel when your children follow your instructions vs when they do not follow?


Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.



I came in the flesh. The disciples heard Me, seen Me, touched Me. I just didn’t come for a brief appearance, but I stayed with them many years. They studied Me and knew Me well. Listen and trust their eyewitness testimony.

Not only did I come in the flesh, I Am also God. I am the word of life. All things were created by Me and for Me. I am the life. I am the eternal life.

Therefore, you are safe to have fellowship with Me. If you have fellowship with Me, then you also have fellowship with My Father. And if you have fellowship with us, then you also have fellowship with My Apostles and the other believers around you. Participate with those other believers around you. Be close to them. Partner and associate with them. Commune with them. Don’t isolate yourself from the family of God. Do this and My joy will be full.

Nimuel Chhatria India Missions Report – May – July 2018



Our dear prayer partners ,Loving greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ,


2,DONATION RECEIVED THROUGH THIS PERIOD ,Received through PayPal and Western Union ,

3,Donation Spent this period ,Spend all ,


5,LIST OF PEOPLE SERVED ,Total 121 people professed to Jesus Christ ,



A, VBS program among the children and Youths ,

B,Bible training program among 22 people ,

C,Baptist Women Fellowship ,

D,Started a SAFE HOUSE among Leper’s Children,

E,Distributed daily needs among Leper people ,

F,Gospel meetings and reaching to new areas ,


Thank God for His grace that enabling us to do the personal evangelism and many people professed to Jesus by grace through faith ,

Praise God for our HOPECELLS group ,VBS among Children and Youth ,

Praise God for our Youth meetings and many youth professed to Jesus and some surrendered their life to witness for Christ sake ,

Baptist Women’s fellowship ,praise God many Women are dedicated their life to be a witnessing life ,

Praise God for our prayer partners and gracious hands ,


A, Pray for our gospel work ,as we are committed  for the gospel work , visiting Door to Door ,absolutely praying for a four Wheeler for gospel team work

B,Kindly pray for our new field and souls for their spiritual growth ,

C, kindly pray for SAFE HOUSE Lepers’ Children ,

D, Kindly pray our missionaries funds ,

E, Kindly pray for HOPE CELLS group ,

F,Kindly pray for two Church building ,

G,kindly pray for our Baptist Bible Training program should be continued ,


A, Gospel team work ,along with personal evangelism , Follow up work ,bringing testimony and build them to be a witnessing life ,

B, Gospel meetings in various places ,

C, Children program among Hindu people , teaching them who is Jesus Christ ,

D, Youth program ,

E, Leadership program ,

F, Baptist Bible Training program ,

D, Social work among Leper Camp ,Children as for their daily needs and teaching them the love of Jesus Christ ,

Above all kindly uphold us in your prayer as we have been praying for you all , your family members ,your jobs , and increase of believers in your house church ,let God name be glory through this ministry  ,

Total numbers of Missionaries ,Pastors ,32 , yet this month through our ministry around 6 Women Evangelist an interested  to join in our group but no funding

Total numbers of HopeCells group ,45, people 345.

Total numbers of Worship group ,40, people of House Church ,684.

God bless you all ,

in His glad service ,

President ,

Nimuel Chhatria ,


Cell ,+91 94377 39404

Have You Kept The Kiss? 1 Thessalonians 5:25-28


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1 Thessalonians 5:25-28 (NET) 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us too. 26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 27 I call on you solemnly in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.


Context: Paul’s final words for his first letter to the Thessalonians.


Brothers and sisters, pray for us too-

• The context is Paul praying for the holiness of the Thessalonians in the previous verses, therefore, Paul could be asking for the same prayer for himself and his coworkers, Timothy and Silas.

• Or this is a general request prayer request themselves and their mission.

Discussion Questions:

• What specific prayer requests do missionaries need today?

• What specific prayer request do our church leaders need today?

• How can we be intentional to pray for our missionaries and leaders?

Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss-

• Meaning their greetings toward one another should be warm yet holy.

• Keener’s Bible Background Commentary says…Kisses were a common affectionate greeting for those with whom one had an intimate or respectful relationship….The kiss was normally a light kiss on the mouth, readily distinguishable from lovers’ passionate kisses. Nevertheless, due to abuses, in subsequent centuries the church limited the practice of the liturgical kiss of fellowship to men kissing men and women kissing women, although this was not the initial practice.

• Romans 16:16 (NET) 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

• 1 Corinthians 16:20 (NET) 20 All the brothers and sisters send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

• 2 Corinthians 13:12 (NET) 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

• 1 Peter 5:14 (NET) Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Discussion Questions:

• Do you know of any family members or cultures that still kiss today during greetings?

• Typically, how has the church in our culture practiced similar greetings

• How could a warm greeting with other believers improve unity in our churches today?

• How would you describe your personal affectionate greetings toward other believers?

• What disadvantages do you see in giving a warm greeting?

I call on you solemnly in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters-

• Meaning Paul was very serious in his command that these words should be orally read to the believers.

• Keener’s Bible Background Commentary says…Many people could not read, so reading his letter aloud was the only way everyone in the congregation could be acquainted with it.

A) Solemnly

• This Greek word is only used here.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

• ἐν-ορκίζω; to adjure, put under oath, solemnly entreat.

• Barns Commentary writes…The richest blessing of heaven to mankind is the Bible; and there is no book ever written so admirably adapted to the common mind, and so fitted to elevate the sunken, the ignorant, and the degraded. There is no more decided enemy of the progress of the human race in intelligence, purity, and freedom, than he who prevents the free circulation of this holy volume; and there is no sincerer friend of the species than he who “causes it to be read by all,” and who contributes to make it accessible to all the families and all the inhabitants of the world.

Discussion Questions:

• Most churches in our culture do a good job of reading portions of scriptures during church meetings. What is your practice for reading scripture at home to your younger children?

• Who do you remember first taught you to read?

• Why do think so many Christians in our culture do not read the Bible?https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3018425

• Paul believed his words were very important. How can we be intentional in reading and studying the word of God that was preserved for us?

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you-

• Meaning Paul desires the Thessalonians’ spiritual good and wellbeing which comes though Jesus Christ.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says …The apostles and N. T. writers at the beginning and end of their Epistles crave for their readers the favor (`grace’) of God or of Christ, to which all blessings, especially spiritual, are due.

• The practice of writing these words with Paul’s own hand gave authenticity to his letters.

• 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18 (NET) 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.



You are blessed to have missionaries and your Pastor in your life. Pray for them! Just as the Apostle Paul desired the prayers of the Thessalonians so your pastor and missionaries you know need your prayers. Pray for their boldness, their work on My behalf, and their safety. Designate time to pray for them.

Greet one another warmly. Again, you must make this a regular practice. Your culture has turned cold, sterile, and increasingly isolated due to electronic communication. Give My spiritual children a warm greeting. Let them know in a practical way your deep and holy care for them.

Read and study My words. I inspired them, collected them, preserved them, translated them, and educated you to read them. Read and study them! They are full of salvation and wisdom.

New Testament 2 class at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary



Just finished my New Testament 2 class (Romans to Revelations) as part of the summer intensive program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  The intensive included a 40 hour class (8am to 5pm for one week), assignments to create two New Testament book outlines, 8 sermon plans, 600 pages of reading, and a 3 hour final exam.

  1. I was impressed by my teacher, Brett Akright.  Anyone who has taught for 8 hour days knows it is mentally draining, yet he seemed to get better as each day was getting late.  We asked many questions, and I was impressed by his breadth of knowledge to give guidance on every question.  I also enjoyed time with the other students (missionary, youth pastor, worship pastor, students).  I was impressed by their talent and knowledge at such a young age.  Praise God for such high quality individuals to serve His church.  My main takeaway from the class was to better understand the Old Testament references mentioned in the New Testament, the New Testament context and background of each letter including the themes of each letter, and the historical background related to each letter.  I did learn of two new resources regarding Bible backgrounds.  The first was recommended by the teacher.  Backgrounds of Early Christianity.   The second recommendation came from a student.  The IVP Bible Background Commentary.  I purchased both.  The second one I bought on my Kindle, and I have already been using it for my personal study and blogs.
  2. Creating the two New Testament book outlines was my favorite part of the class:  Ephesians and 1 Peter.  You can really understand the flow of each New Testament letter after doing a detailed outline.  The sermon outlines were also good.  You can see how the sermon subjects are taken right out of your outlines.
    1. Ephesians
    2. First Peter
  3. The textbook, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown is very good.  You can see how the writings of the early church fathers who quoted from the New Testament letters help prove early dates and authenticity of the New Testament letters.  Each chapter  in the textbook wrestled with authorship of each letter, dating the letters, provenance, destination, occasion, and purpose of each letter.  The theology section of each chapter was helpful.  Section by section discussion through each New Testament letter is useful.  I will definitely consult this book before starting on my next New Testament book study.
  4. The final exam.  Well who likes a 3 hour final worth 60 percent of your grade.  But it’s got to be done.  Enough said.
  5. Already signed up for New Testament 1 (Matthew – Acts) for the fall semester.

God Bless, Bob.


Is God Making You Holy? 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24


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1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NET)

23 Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this.


Context: Paul is writing short lessons as he ends his first letter to the Thessalonians.


Now may the God of peace himself –

  • This is Paul’s prayer. See verse 25, where Paul says, pray for us too. Therefore, this must be Paul’s prayer for their sanctification.
  • Paul calls Him ‘God of peace’ because God took action to reconcile us to himself through Jesus Christ even while we were yet sinners.

• Romans 4:25 – 5:1 (NET) He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification. Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

• 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NET) 19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation.

Discussion Question:

• Can you share your story of how you received peace with God through Jesus Christ?

make you completely holy –

• Notice the word ‘make’ is in the present tense. God is doing this work now.

• ‘Completely’ means in spirit, soul, and body mentioned next. In other-words, the whole man.

• ‘Holy’ means to set apart. Some translate as sanctify.

• Summarizing, God is at work in the believer and in their lives to make them more and more like His character in every way in every day.

• John Gill Commentary says it beautifully:…sanctification is a progressive, gradual work, it is like seed cast into the earth, which springs up, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, and is as light, which shines more and more to the perfect day.

• 1 Corinthians 1:8,9 (NET) 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

• Ephesians 5:26,27 (NET) 26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, 27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.

• Philippians 1:6,10 (NET) 6 For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 10 so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ,

Discussion Questions:

• What does the phrase say that God is making us?

• Can you think of ways through which God is making us sanctified?

and may your spirit and soul and body –

• The Pulpit Commentary says…The “spirit” is the highest part of man, that which assimilates him to God; renders him capable of religion, and susceptible of being acted upon by the Spirit of God. The “soul” is the inferior part of his mental nature, the seat of the passions and desires, of the natural propensities. The “body” is the corporeal frame.

• Romans 1:9 (NET) For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you

• Hebrews 12:3 (NET) Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up.

• Romans 12:1 (NET) Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.

be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ-

• Meaning the believer’s spirit, soul, and body are kept blameless by God’s sanctifying work in the believer all the way to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

• ‘Entirely blameless’ does not mean completely sinless, but means the believer is preserved from falling away or becoming rebellious against God’s ways.

• Imagine buying a refurbished beach house on the windy ocean for your King who’s time of coming could be weeks, months, or years in the future. At anytime the king arrives, the house you bought for him is good and acceptable for him. But it is your work to keep the house preserved against the harsh elements and to continue to make improvements to make the home even better. This is the work that God is doing with the believer.

Discussion Question:

• Imagine Jesus was coming back today. Has He preserved your faith? What improvements has he made in your character since your conversion?

He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this –

• Meaning the same God who called the believer to reconciliation can be fully relied upon to 1) complete his sanctifying work in the believer and 2) keep the believer blameless to the end.

• Hebrews 12:6-10 (NET) 6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.” 7 Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8 But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? 10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness.

Discussion Questions:

• What motives do earthly parents have to continue in training up their children?

• What motives may God have to train up his children?

• How does it feel to know your Heavenly Father will never give up on training you?


Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.



I brought you reconciliation through My Son. I did not do this that you may remain the same, but I did this that you may be completely transformed more and more.

Be holy for I am holy. I am making you holy

by My Spirit convicting you of sin,

by my written and preached word,

by examples of others,

and by the good and bad times of life.

It is all for your sanctification.

My Son will return. How will your character be when He returns? What will you doing at His revelation? I will keep you blameless.

I am your Father. I will sanctify you as a good Father does his son. Trust Me. It’s all for you good. I desire your life to be transformed that all the principalities and powers will see My grace and Work in you. I desire your character to grow to be like your Father’s character, that is like My character.

Do you value Prophecies? 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22


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1 Thessalonians 5:20-22

20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt.

21 But examine all things; hold fast to what is good.

22 Stay away from every form of evil.



Paul is ending his letter with various short instructions.


Do not treat prophecies with contempt –

A) prophecies

• New Testament Prophecies are speech spoken by one with the gift of prophecy.

• Romans 12:6 (NET) And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith.

• Prophecy is a desirable speaking gift. Also note that prophecy is a distinct gift from the gift of teaching though there is some overlap in the practice of the two gifts as we will see later in this study.

• 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 (NET) 28 And God has placed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helps, gifts of leadership, different kinds of tongues. 29 Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform miracles, do they? 30 Not all have gifts of healing, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all interpret, do they? 31 But you should be eager for the greater gifts. And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.

• 1 Corinthians 14:1 (NET) Pursue love and be eager for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

  • Note: I personally have not seen some of the prophecy examples below practiced legitimately in my lifetime. Although I believe they are possible if God still wants to use them.

Below are various examples of different purposes of prophecies.

1. For telling future events.

• Acts 21:10-11 (NET) 10 While we remained there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it, and said, “The Holy Spirit says this: ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man whose belt this is, and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’

2. For Speaking of God’s works in the past.

• Acts 2:8 (NET) And how is it that each one of us hears them in our own native language?

• Acts 2:11 (NET) both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great deeds God has done!”

• Acts 2:16 (NET) But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:

• Acts 2:18 (NET) Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

3. For strengthening, encouragement, and consolation which builds up the church.

• 1 Corinthians 14:3-4 (NET) 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds himself up, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

4. For helping others. Prophecy is lumped together with revelations, knowledge, and teaching in verse 19 where they are summarized together as the word ‘instruct’.

• 1 Corinthians 14:6 (NET) Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I help you unless I speak to you with a revelation or with knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

• 1 Corinthians 14:18-19 (NET) 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you, 19 but in the church I want to speak five words with my mind to instruct others, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.

5. Prophecy is primarily for believers.

• 1 Corinthians 14:22 (NET) So then, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers.

6. However, prophecy may be for convicting the heart of unbelievers.

• 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (NET) 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or uninformed person enters, he will be convicted by all, he will be called to account by all. 25 The secrets of his heart are disclosed, and in this way he will fall down with his face to the ground and worship God, declaring, “God is really among you.”

7. Prophecy is for encouragement and learning in the church. It is called revelation. Also, women should not prophesy in church unless their head is covered which symbolizes they are under authority. 1 Cor 11.

• 1 Corinthians 14:29-35 (NET) 29 Two or three prophets should speak and the others should evaluate what is said. 30 And if someone sitting down receives a revelation, the person who is speaking should conclude. 31 For you can all prophesy one after another, so all can learn and be encouraged. 32 Indeed, the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 33 for God is not characterized by disorder but by peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak. Rather, let them be in submission, as in fact the law says. 35 If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home, because it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.

• 1 Corinthians 11:4-5 (NET) 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered disgraces his head. 5 But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is one and the same thing as having a shaved head.

8. For conferring and confirming spiritual gifts of individuals.

• 1 Timothy 4:14 (NET) Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, given to you and confirmed by prophetic words when the elders laid hands on you.

In Summary, although most people immediately think of foretelling future events when they here the word ‘prophecy’, the actual usage of the gift is much broader in the New Testament and includes:

• Telling future events,

• Speaking of God’s works in the past,

• Strengthening others,

• Encouraging others,

• Consoling others,

• Convicting unbelievers,

• Sharing revelations,

• Instructing others,

• And conferring or confirming Spiritual gifts.

B) contempt

• The Greek word means ‘to make utterly nothing of’.

• In other words, Paul is saying do not ignore prophecies because this shows a contempt for them.

Discussion Questions:

• Why do you think Paul gave this instruction to the Thessalonians?

• Today, what types of prophecies mentioned above have you seen practiced? What types have you not seen practiced?

• What percentage of Christians in our culture actually attend church and speaking events?

• How have you observed different denominations emphasis or lack of emphasis on speaking within their Sunday schedule?

• In what way has modern Christianity devalued the speaking gifts of the ‘laity’?

• In our time, what other practices do Churches or members devalue?

But examine all things; hold fast to what is good-

• Meaning just like with teaching, all forms of prophecies should be examined. Only what is good should be held tightly.

• 1 John 4:1 (NET) 1 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.

• Proverbs 4:13 (NET) 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; protect it, because it is your life.

Stay away from every form of evil –

• Meaning stay away from false prophecies and false prophets.

• The Pulpit Commentary says it best…This verse is connected with the last, and states negatively what is there stated positively. Test the declarations of the prophets; retain the good, and reject the evil.

• Jude 1:4 (NET) For certain men have secretly slipped in among you – men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe – ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

• Jude 1:8 (NET) Yet these men, as a result of their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and insult the glorious ones.

• Jude 1:16 (NET) These people are grumblers and fault-finders who go wherever their desires lead them, and they give bombastic speeches, enchanting folks for their own gain.

• Jude 1:19 (NET) These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

Discussion Questions:

• How would you examine if a prophecy is good or bad?

• How should the church deal with a false prophet?


Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.



Do you value Prophecies?

Do not take for granted those that are gifted to speak. I have gifted them to build up and strengthen the church. Come ready to hear. Come mentally alert with your heart prepared. Come prepared to participate if possible. Do not neglect the discipline of listening to gifted speakers. Your culture has forsaken hearing my word. Only a small percentage of those who profess My Name actually continue to go to church regularly to hear from My Word. Encourage those who have forsaken the assembling together to return alert and ready to listen.

Know My Bible well so you can discern what is being said. Examine what is being said carefully. Have courage to confront false prophets. Confront them with the motive of love to protect others and themselves. Esteem those who speak well.

What is an Elder’s family like? 长老的家庭是什么样子的? Titus 1:6 NET 提多书1:6 NET


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Titus 1:6 NET

提多书1:6 NET

What is an Elder’s family like?


6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion.





In the last verse, Paul told Titus that he left him in Crete to appoint Elders. Now Paul provides the qualifications for those Elders.




An elder –


• The Greek word for Elder is, presbyteros. The Protestant Christian denomination, Presbyterian, is named after this word.

长老这个词的希腊文是presbyteros. 基督教的一个支派长老会presbyterians的名称就是由此而来。

• The word means an older person, a rank, or an office.


• Easton’s Bible Dictionary says: The “elders” of the New Testament church were the “pastors” (Eph 4:11), “bishops or overseers” (Act 20:28), “leaders” and “rulers” (Hbr 13:7; 1Th 5:12) of the flock.

在Easton圣经词典中的解释是,新约圣经中的长老就是牧养人(牧师)(以弗所书4:11),主教或监督者(使徒行转20:28),领导者或管理者(希伯来书13:7,帖撒罗尼迦前书 5:12)。

Discussion Question:


• Why do you think a church leader is associated with a word that has to do with a person’s age? 英文中教会领袖(长老)这个词与一个人的年龄相关联,你认为是什么原因?

must be blameless –


• This does not mean that the Elder must be perfect, but it means the Elder cannot be accused of living rebelliously against any of God’s ways.这里的意思不是指长老必须是完美的,而是指长老在生活方式上是无可指责的,完全遵循神的道。

Discussion Questions:


• What are behaviors where an Elder should be disqualified to be a church leader?


the husband of one wife –


• First, notice the Elder of the church is to be male. 首先长老是指男性

• 1 Timothy 2:12a (NET) 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. 提摩太前书2:12 2 我不准许女人教导人或管辖男人

• 1 Corinthians 11:3 (NET) But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.哥林多前书11:3但是我愿你们知道:基督是每一个男人的头,男人是女人的头,而神是基督的头。

• Second, the Elder should be a one woman man. Meaning he should not have affairs with other women nor have multiple wives at the same time. The English NIV version even translates this phrase as, faithful to his wife. 第二,长老应该是一个女人的男人。意思是他不能有婚外恋或者同时有多个女人。新国际版英文圣经中的翻译是忠诚于他的妻子。

• The phrase does not mean that a single man is prohibited from being an Elder. Paul encourages Christians to remain single in 1 Corinthians 7:32-33 with the intent to serve the Lord undistracted. However, an Elder with a wife and children was the most common situation. 这句话并不意味着单身男子不可以是长老。哥林多前书7:32-33保罗鼓励基督徒保持单身以便能更专注于服事神。然而,实际最普遍的还是长老有妻子和孩子。

• The phrase is not talking about a widowed man who has remarried another woman. We know a widow is free to remarry in the Lord in 1 Corinthians 7:39.这句话也不意味着一个丧偶的男人不可以再婚。哥林多前书7:39告诉我们丧偶的人可以再婚。

• 1 Corinthians 7:39 (NET) A wife is bound as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes (only someone in the Lord).哥林多前书7:39 丈夫活着的时候,妻子是受约束的;丈夫如果死了,妻子就可以自由地嫁给她所愿意的人,只是要嫁给主里的人。

•Last, the phrase is not intended to restrict all divorced men from being an Elder. If a divorced man has remarried, and he has lived a proven, consistent, and godly life for many years, then he may be very valuable to minister. Paul persecuted Christians, yet even he was used as Jesus’ Apostle. 最后,这句话也不是限制离婚的男人成为长老。如果一个离婚的男人再婚,时间证明他过着圣洁的生活,这样的人应该是对教会非常有价值的。保罗曾经迫害了很多基督徒,神仍使用他。

•1 Corinthians 15:9 (NET) 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.哥林多前书 15:9 原来我是使徒中最小的,不配被称为使徒,因为我曾经逼迫神的教会。

Discussion Question:


• What may be reasons Paul required an Elder to be faithful to his one wife?


with faithful children –


• Meaning the Elder’s children should be faithful to carry out his instructions and the rules in his home. 意思是长老的儿女应该忠实地服从他的指令和规定

• This does not mean that the Elder’s children must be believers as some translations read. Although, an Elder is an example and teacher of Christ to his children, he cannot guarantee that his children will become believers. 这并不意味这长老的儿女一定是信主的。虽然长老是他的儿女信仰道路上的典范和老师,但他不能保证他的儿女都信主。

who cannot be charged with –


• Meaning the Elder’s children should not be accused of…意思是长老的儿女不应该有下面的行为

dissipation –


• The Greek word means unsavedness. Meaning while living in the Elder’s home, the children’s character should not be allowed to be lost due to the Elder’s passive parenting. 这个词在希腊文的意思不能被救赎的。 当长老的儿女未成年前,与父母住在一起的时候,儿女的品格不能因为疏于父母管教而丧失。

or rebellion –


• The Greek word means unsubdued. Paul means an Elder is disqualified if his children are unruly because of the Elder’s own neglect in not consistently and lovingly confronting his children. 这个词在希腊文的意思是不服管教。长老如果不能以爱且严格的方式管教儿女,长老失职。

• If an Elder is dealing with a hard-hearted child, but he is still maintaining order in his house by lovingly and firmly confronting the child’s behavior and heart attitude, then this is exactly the type of Elder needed to refute false teachers and rebellious professing Christians in the church. 长老面对一个心硬的儿女,如果能以爱且严格的方式管教这个孩子维持良好的家庭关系,这也正是长老在教会对待邪说和叛逆的人会众应持的态度。

• 1 Timothy 3:4-5. 4 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. 5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? 提摩太前书3:4-5 好好带领自己的家,在一切的事上庄重,使儿女顺服。 5 但如果有人不知道怎么带领自己的家,他怎么能照顾神的教会呢?

Discussion Questions:


• What are reasons so many in our society let their children run wild and unrestrained in their home? 为什么当今社会很多父母任由他们的孩子在家里过着放荡不羁的生活?

• How would you define qualities of good parenting? 你认为好的父母教育方式是什么?

• What may be the consequences of an undisciplined home? 一个没有纪律的家庭会是什么后果?

• What may be the consequences of an undisciplined church? 一个教会如果缺乏纪律会是什么后果?



• Although the qualifications of spousal faithfulness and disciplined parenting is required of church leaders, they are certainly qualities for which all Christians should strive. 教会要求忠诚于配偶,严格管教子女,这也是所有基督徒应追求的。