Is There Evidence of Your Election? 1 Thessalonians 1 verses 4 through 6

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1 Thessalonians 1 verses 4 -6

4 We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,
5 in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction (surely you recall the character we displayed when we came among you to help you).
6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction.
——

Phrases:

We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you-

  • Paul knows that the Thessalonian saints were loved and chosen by God based on the evidence he states in the following verses in this passage. 

However, below are other verses regarding believers being chosen by God.

  • John 6:44 (NET) 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
  • Romans 9 (NET)
    10 Not only that, but when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our ancestor Isaac –
    11 even before they were born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose in election would stand, not by works but by his calling) –
    12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,”
    13 just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
    14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not!
    15 For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
    16 So then, it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy.
    17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”
    18 So then, God has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden.
    19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?”
    20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being – to talk back to God? Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
    21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use?
    22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath prepared for destruction?
    23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory –
    24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
    25 As he also says in Hosea: “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved,’My beloved.'”
    26 “And in the very placewhere it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”
    27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved,
    28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.”
  • Ephesians 1:4 (NET) 4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.
  • Ephesians 2:4,5 (NET)
    4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! –
  • Colossians 3:12 (NET)
    12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NET)
    13 But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
  • 2 Timothy 1:9,10 (NET)
    9 He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel!
  • Titus 1:1 (NET) 1 From Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness,

Discussion Question:

  • In Acts 16 Paul wanted to go to Asia, but God called him to Macedonia where the Thessalonians were located. Express how you feel knowing that God has chosen you and brought you the gospel message?

in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction –

  • The first proof of their election is the profound affect the gospel message had on the Thessalonians.
  • Paul taught the Thessalonians with the same words and in the same way that he has done with many others, but with these Thessalonians the gospel came to them in …

A) Power

  • Strong’s Definitions: δύναμις; dýnamis, doo’-nam-is; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself).
  • The English derivative is dynamite.

B) Holy Spirit

  • Meaning the Third person of the Trinity had influenced their understanding and their will.

C) Deep conviction

  • Strong’s Definitions: πληροφορία; plērophoría, play-rof-or-ee’-ah; means entire confidence.
  • Meaning the Thessalonians had a life changing confidence, assurance, and conviction in the gospel message.

Discussion Questions:

  • How would you describe how the gospel message made an explosion in your heart and understanding?
  • How did you perceive the Holy Spirit’s work in your life when the gospel came to you?
  • How would you describe the sense of confidence you had in the truth of the gospel message?

(surely you recall the character we displayed when we came among you to help you) –

  • Paul mentions the character of himself and his team which they displayed to the Thessalonians to emphasize the following verse …

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, –

  • The second evidence of their election is how their character changed to imitate the character of the Lord, Paul, and Paul’s coworkers.

A) Imitators

  • Strong’s Definitions: μιμητής; mimētḗs, mim-ay-tace’; an imitator.
  • English derivative is mimic.

Discussion Question:

  • How would you describe how your character was transformed after receiving the gospel?

when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction-

A) Message

  • This is referring to the gospel message mentioned in v 5.
  • Paul defines the gospel message in 1 Corinthian 15 as…
  • 1 Corinthians 15
    1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand,
    2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.
    3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,
    4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,
    5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
    6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
    7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
    8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

B) Joy

  • Their third evidence of their election was their joy.
  • Strong’s Definitions: χαρά; chará, khar-ah’; from cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight

C). that comes from the Holy Spirit

  • Galatians 5:22-23 (NET) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Discussion Question:

  • How would you describe the calm delight you felt after receiving the gospel?

D) even in great affliction

  • The forth evidence of their election was not only their general joy but also their joy during suffering.
  • Below shows the violent start against the church in Thessalonica. Imagine what it must have been like to live there as a Christian.
  • Acts 17
    1 After they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
    2 Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue, as he customarily did, and on three Sabbath days he addressed them from the scriptures,
    3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, saying, “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
    4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
    5 But the Jews became jealous, and gathering together some worthless men from the rabble in the marketplace, they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to find Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly.
    6 When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, screaming, “These people who have stirred up trouble throughout the world have come here too,
    7 and Jason has welcomed them as guests! They are all acting against Caesar’s decrees, saying there is another king named Jesus!”
    8 They caused confusion among the crowd and the city officials who heard these things.
    9 After the city officials had received bail from Jason and the others, they released them.
    10 The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue.
  • James 1:2 My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,
    3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
    4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.

Discussion Question:

  • Although you may not have been persecuted as the Thessalonians, you may have experienced great suffering. Can you describe the inner joy you felt when you were in that time of suffering?
  • Can you describe how you were influenced by the joy displayed by a brother or sister during their time of suffering?

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


 

Is There Evidence of Your Election?

Bob,

You should feel awe and great gratitude that the gospel came to you.  I chose you in My Son before the world began.  Nothing is by accident:  your birth, house, friends, circumstances, mental health, ability to hearing and understanding, church, preachers, Bible, repentance, and faith – it all came from Me for your salvation.  Do not take it for granted because not all will be saved.

Go, tell the world, you may be the agent that I use to call My loved ones to My side.

Don’t forget how the power of the gospel affected your heart, thinking, and purpose in life.

Don’t forget how the Holy Spirit convicted you of sin and pursued you to come.

Don’t forget how you were persuaded to that the gospel was so true that you chose to change your whole life because of it.

Don’t forget the drastic changes that you made in your life by thinking different, talking different, and having a different purpose in life.  Don’t forget how you wanted to be holy in character and imitate My Son.

Don’t forget how the Holy Spirit placed His fruit within and how He challenges you even today to live with love, joy and peace.

And when the suffering came into your life, don’t forget the joy I gave you by close fellowship with Me, by knowing that I was perfecting your character, by trusting in My sovereign will.

Don’t forget.  Continue to show evidence of your election.

 

Are You Grateful for All of God’s People? 1 Thessalonians 1 verses 2 to 3

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1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

2 We thank God always for all of you as we mention you constantly in our prayers,
3 because we recall in the presence of our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

——–

Phrases:

We thank God always –

Meaning Paul, Silas, and Timothy gave thanks persistently.

A) Thanks

  • Strong’s Definitions: εὐχαριστέω eucharistéō, yoo-khar-is-teh’-o;  to be grateful, i.e. (actively) to express gratitude (towards); specially, to say grace at a meal
  • The English derivative is Eucharist.

Discussion Questions:

  • This type of prayer is Thanksgiving. Can you name different types of prayers?
  • Can you name practical ways we can be reminded to persistently be grateful to God for others in our prayers?

for all of you –

  • Meaning they gave thanks not only for the leaders or  those close to Paul, but they gave thanks for each person in their church including Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, men and women, rich and poor.

Discussion Question:

  • Other than our church leaders, can you think of other groups of people in our church body that we may thank God for in our prayers?

as we mention you constantly in our prayers –

  • Meaning Paul, Silas, and Timothy prayed for them either individually or as a group or both.
  • By expressing this, Paul let the Thessalonians know that they were constantly in his prayers.

Discussion Questions:

  • Paul let them know they were being prayed for; can you share an example when someone prayed for you and then let you know?
  • How did you feel when you learned someone had prayed for you?
  • How does today’s technology make it easier to tell others they were prayed for?

Rabbit trail on private and public prayer…

  • In Mathew 6:5-6, Jesus says to pray in secret, yet Jesus and Paul both also teach to pray publicly. And in this passage, Paul writes to the Thessalonians to let them know they are being prayed for; how should we understand the good and bad motives when praying in public.
  • Mathew 6
    5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
  • John Gill commentary on Mathew 6 says, “they loved “standing” in prayer, rather than any other posture, because they could be better seen; and they loved to be in the synagogues and streets, rather than in their closets; they liked public better than private prayer, because it gained them applause among men.”
    Gill continues, “Our Lord does not mean to exclude and condemn public prayer, in joining with few, or more persons, in such service; for he himself directs to it, and approves of it, Matt 18:19 but his view is to instruct persons that they should not only pray in public, but in private also; and especially the latter, which is more suitable and fitting for their particular cases, and less liable to pride, hypocrisy, and vanity.”

because we recall –

  • Meaning they remembered.

in the presence of our God and Father –

A) presence

  • Strong’s Definitions: ἔμπροσθεν; émprosthen, em’-pros-then; in front of (in place (literally or figuratively).
  • Meaning Paul, Silas, and Timothy remembered while being before the Father, possibly while in prayer or in a general sense.
  • Some interpret this phrase not to mean that Paul prayed in the presence of God, but to mean the Thessalonians had faith, love, and hope before the presence of the Lord.

your work of faith –

A) work

  • Strong’s Definitions: ἔργον érgon, er’-gon; from ἔργω érgō (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation).
  • Meaning their faith has motivated them to do good works.
  • James 2:14 (NET) 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him?

Discussion Question:

  • Can you think of specific examples of good works that are motivated by our faith?

and labor of love –

A) labor

  • Strong’s Definitions: κόπος kópos, kop’-os; a cut, i.e. (by analogy) toil (as reducing the strength), literally or figuratively; by implication, pains.
  • This word is a stronger word than ergon above. The sense of this word means the work is tiring and painful.

Discussion Question:

  • Can you think of good works motivated by love that are tiring and painful in your Christian walk?

and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ –

A) endurance

  • Strong’s Definitions: ὑπομονή, hypomonḗ, hoop-om-on-ay’; means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy.
  • Meaning that the hope the Thessalonians had in the Lord strengthened them to have endurance and constancy to continue in their faith and tiring labor of love.

Discussion Question:

  • What motivates an athlete to endure all their hard training?
  • In like manner, how does hope in Christ cause us to endure?

References:

Below are other verses that refer to faith, love, hope, and work, labor, and endurance.

  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NET) 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (NET) 8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation.
  • Colossians 1:5 (NET) 5 Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel
  • Revelation 2:2 (NET) 2 ‘I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false.

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 Grateful for All of God’s People?

Bob,

You do well in giving thanks to Me as Paul did for the Thessalonians.  Continue to grow in your commitment to pray persistently for those in your own church and other Christians that I have brought into your life. You also do well in confessing your sins and making supplication for others. You do lack in expressing your adoration toward Me. Express adoring words toward Me – not for My sake but for your own.  Pray for all those in your church: the leaders, the men and fathers, the women and mothers, and don’t neglect the children.

Be careful not to brag to others about your prayers to receive their admiration, but at the same time don’t neglect letting people know you are praying for them – this will bring them much comfort.

Continue to express your faith through good works and resisting sin.
Don’t be afraid to feel some pain and discomfort in laboring for others.  Where there is love there will be a little pain and discomfort.

Keep enduring in this life. I know it is hard because the world, your bodies, and relationships are all harmed by sin. Yet keep persevering until you are with Me. I am your prize. Once you are with Me, you will soon forget the pain caused by the corruption in this world.

Do You Savor Servants Like Silvanus? Thessalonians 1 verse 1

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1 Thessalonians 1:1 (NET) 1

From Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you!

——–
Phrases:

From Paul –

  • Meaning the Apostle Paul.

and Silvanus –

  • Many believe Silas is the shortened name for Silvanus and that these are the same person in the New Testament.
  • Easton’s Bible Dictionary says, Silas – wood, a prominent member of the church at Jerusalem; also called Silvanus…There is no record of the time or place of his death.
  • Below are serval passages that piece together the life of Silas.

Silas was chosen by the church to accompany Paul and Barnabas on their return to Antioch after the Jerusalem elder meeting.

  • Acts 15
    24 Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused you, upsetting your minds by what they said,
    25 we have unanimously decided to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul,
    26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas who will tell you these things themselves in person.

Discussion Questions:

  • Would your church or employer have confidence in you to be their messenger? If not, why? How can you begin to become that person?
  • Think of character qualities that Silas had to be trusted with this mission?

Silas is called a prophet

  • Acts 15
    30 So when they were dismissed, they went down to Antioch, and after gathering the entire group together, they delivered the letter.
    31 When they read it aloud, the people rejoiced at its encouragement.
    32 Both Judas and Silas, who were prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with a long speech.
    33 After they had spent some time there, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them.

Discussion Questions:

  • What was a primary role of prophets in the New Testament?
  • What would you have said to encourage and strengthen the Gentile church in Antioch at that time knowing that they were dealing with the issue of Moses’ law?
  • What would you say to encourage and strengthen our church knowing what we are dealing with?

Paul chooses Silas after Paul’s disagreement with Barnabas.

  • Acts 15
    39 They had a sharp disagreement, so that they parted company. Barnabas took along Mark and sailed away to Cyprus,
    40 but Paul chose Silas and set out, commended to the grace of the Lord by the brothers and sisters.
    41 He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Silas was Persecuted with Paul in Philippi

  • Acts 16:19 (NET) 19 But when her owners saw their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20 When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. They are Jews…22 The crowd joined the attack against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered them to be beaten with rods.

Discussion Question:

  • What do you think your response would have been after being beaten for the Gospel?

Silas sings in his cell.

  • Acts 16
    23 After they had beaten them severely, they threw them into prison and commanded the jailer to guard them securely.
    24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
    25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the rest of the prisoners were listening to them.
    26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds of all the prisoners came loose.

Discussion Questions:

  • Have you ever sang to God when suffering?  How does it seem different singing during suffering than singing when all is going well?
  • Have you ever written a song or poem when suffering?

Silas was a Roman Citizen

  • Acts 16:38 (NET) 38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas were Roman citizens

Silas helps start a church among the Thessalonians.

  • Acts 17:4 (NET) 4 Some of them (Thessalonians) were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

Paul and Silas flee to Barea from persecution from the other Thessalonians. They start a church in Barea.

  • Acts 17
    10 The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue.
    11 These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so.
    12 Therefore many of them believed, along with quite a few prominent Greek women and men.

Silvanus proclaimed Christ with Paul in Corinth.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:19 (NET)
    For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the one who was proclaimed among you by us – by me and Silvanus and Timothy – was not “Yes” and “No,” but it has always been “Yes” in him.

Silvanus, a faithful brother, delivered Peter’s epistle from the church in Babylon.

  • 1 Peter 5:12 (NET)
    Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

and Timothy-

  • There are too many references of Timothy to list here, but below are a few important references to learn about him.

Timothy had a Jewish mother and a Greek father. He was well spoken of. He was Circumcised by Paul. He Served with Paul.

  • Acts 16
    1 He also came to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple named Timothy was there, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but whose father was a Greek.
    2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
    3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
    4 As they went through the towns, they passed on the decrees that had been decided on by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the Gentile believers to obey.
    5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith and were increasing in number every day.

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think were character qualities of Timothy that made his brothers speak well of him in Lystra and Iconium?
  • What good qualities would we mention for various brothers and sisters in our church?

He was a genuine believer. He stayed in Paul’s stead in Ephesus.

  • 1 Timothy 1
    1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
    2 to Timothy, my genuine child in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
    3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings,

Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think Paul seen in Timothy to say he was a genuine child in the faith?
  • What must have Paul seen in Timothy to trust to leave him behind to instruct others to not spread false teachings?

Faith and names of Timothy’s mother and grandmother.

  • 2 Timothy 1:5 (NET) 5 I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you.

Discussion Question:

  • Can you name a multi-generational family that served the Lord?

to the church of the Thessalonians-

A) Church

  • Strong’s definition: ἐκκλησία, ek-klay-see’-ah; a compound word meaning a calling out.

Below shows how the church was started and the environment in which it had to survive.

  • Acts 17
    1 After they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
    2 Paul went to the Jews in the synagogue, as he customarily did, and on three Sabbath days he addressed them from the scriptures,
    3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, saying, “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
    4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

The Jewish Thessalonians persecuted Paul and Silas.

  • Acts 17
    5 But the Jews became jealous, and gathering together some worthless men from the rabble in the marketplace, they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to find Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly.
  • Acts 17
    13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica heard that Paul had also proclaimed the word of God in Berea, they came there too, inciting and disturbing the crowds.
    14 Then the brothers sent Paul away to the coast at once, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea.
    15 Those who accompanied Paul escorted him as far as Athens, and after receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.

Discussion Question:

  • What do you think it must have been like to be a believer living among these zealous Thessalonians?

in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ-

  • The church is ‘called out’ of the world but abides ‘in God the Father’.
  • The church is ‘called out’ of the world but ‘abides in the Lord’.

A) Lord

  • Strong’s Definition: κύριος, koo’-ree-os; from κῦρος kŷros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title).

Grace and peace to you-

A) Grace

  • Strong’s Definitions: χάρις, khar’-ece; from graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act

B) Peace

  • Strong’s Definition: εἰρήνη, i-ray’-nay; probably from a primary verb εἴρω eírō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively).
  • English derivative is the name, Irene.
  • International standard Bible and Encyclopedia
    So “grace be with you” closes the Epistles as a sufficient summary of all the blessings that can be wished Christian readers. At the beginning of the Epistles the words “and peace” are usually added, but this is due only to the influence of the Jewish greeting “peace be with you” (Lu 10:5, etc.), and not to any reflection on “grace” and “peace” as separate things.

Discussion Question:

  • Explain in detail How God’s graciousness and peacefulness is in your physical and spiritual life?

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 Savor Servants Like Silvanus?

Bob,

Of course Paul is to be admired, but also admire My servants Silas and Timothy.  They are faithful to Me and to others.  They are dependable.  They are solid in the scriptures. They are gifted to speak encouraging and strengthening words.  They are hard working and endure hard lives with courage.  Silas is victorious in suffering by singing.  They are obedient to leadership.  They are versatile and adaptable to various duties and circumstances.  Be like them.  Sovor their character.

Be grateful to express your faith without persecution. Enjoy My graciousness and peace in all circumstances.

Have You Given to Apollos? Titus 3 verses 13 through 15

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Titus 3:13-15

13 Make every effort to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; make sure they have what they need.

14 Here is another way that our people can learn to engage in good works to meet pressing needs and so not be unfruitful.

15 Everyone with me greets you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

———–

Phrases:

Context: In the previous verse Paul asks Titus to meet him in Nicopolis. Now Paul asks for help to send off Zenas and Apollos.

Make every effort to help –

A) every effort

  • spou-da-íōs means earnestly or promptly.
  • Some English versions translate it as ‘effort to help’ while others translate it as ‘speedily help’.

B) help

  • prop-ém-pō means to send forward, i.e. escort or aid in travel.

Zenas the lawyer –

  • This is the only place Zenas is mentioned.
  • His name means Jupiter.
  • It is unknown if he was a lawyer of the Jewish law or a civilian lawyer.
  • Hippolytus numbers him among the seventy disciples, and relates how in after years he was Bishop of Diospolis. (Ellicott Commentary)
  • Hippolytus of Rome was a disciple of Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of Apostle John.

and Apollos on their way –

  • This could mean that Zenas and Apollos were to travel with Titus to Nicopolis, or they were to travel to some other location.
  • See more about the life of Apollos below.
  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says, Apollos means ” given by Apollo”; A learned Jew from Alexandria and mighty in the scriptures who became a Christian and a teacher of Christianity.
  • Apollo was the son of Zeus in Greek mythology.

Below are other references in the New Testament regarding Apollos.

He Learned the Way of God More Accurately

  • Acts 18:24 (NET) 24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, arrived in Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker, well-versed in the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm he spoke and taught accurately the facts about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak out fearlessly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. 27 When Apollos wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, 28 for he refuted the Jews vigorously in public debate, demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

He was Christ’s Servant in Corinth

  • Acts 19:1 (NET) 1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the inland regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples there
  • 1 Corinthians 3:4 (NET) 4 For whenever someone says, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? 5 What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow.

His Desire was to Visit Corinth again in the Future

  • 1 Corinthians 16:12 (NET) 12 With regard to our brother Apollos: I strongly encouraged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was simply not his intention to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.

make sure they have what they need. Here is another way that our people can learn to engage in good works to meet pressing needs –

  • Meaning the Cretan believers were to give aid to Zenas and Apollos for their travels.
  • Below are other verses where churches gave to missionary work.
  • Philippians 4:14 Nevertheless, you did well to share with me in my trouble. 4:15 And as you Philippians know, at the beginning of my gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in this matter of giving and receiving except you alone.4:16 For even in Thessalonica on more than one occasion you sent something for my need. 4:17 I do not say this because I am seeking a gift. Rather, I seek the credit that abounds to your account. 4:18 For I have received everything, and I have plenty. I have all I need because I received from Epaphroditus what you sent – a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, very pleasing to God. 4:19 And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

and so not be unfruitful –

  • Unfruitful means Christians that do not have good works.
  • ak’-ar-pos means barren (literally or figuratively).

Discussion Questions:

  • What holds us back from supporting missionaries?
  • Would you rather give to a missions organization or directly to a missionary? Why?
  • Can you name some missions organizations?
  • Do you personally know of missionaries who have visited your church like Zenas and Apollos had visited Crete? What are their names of the missionaries you personally have met?
  • Are you in contact monthly, weekly, or daily with an active missionary?

Everyone with me greets you. Greet those who love us in the faith. –

It is unknown who was with Paul when he wrote this to Titus.

Do not greet all in Crete, but greet those who love us in the faith.

A) Greet

  • as-pad’-zom-ahee means to enfold in the arms, i.e. (by implication) to salute, (figuratively) to welcome.

B) love

  • phil-é-ō – to be a friend to, i.e. have affection for.

Grace be with you all –

  • chár-is means graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act. (Strongs).
  • Gratifying – Webster defines as giving pleasure or satisfaction
  • For example, she was a gracious host, or she speaks in a gracious manner.
  • So “grace be with you” closes the Epistles as a sufficient summary of all the blessings that can be wished Christian readers. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, grace, section 4).
  • The sense is Paul wished the Cretans pleasure and satisfaction physically and spiritually.
  • As the letter started, so it ends.  Titus 1:4 (NET) 4 To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior!

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


Have You Given to Apollos?

Bob,

Help My messengers!  They have a desire to go and teach My gospel, to assist other Christians, and to refute false teaching.  Help them with their travels from place to place. Support them with the costs of their missions and activities.

I have blessed you by bringing dedicated missionaries into your life.  They are not unknown persons from a large missions organizations, but you know them well.  They have visited your church.  They have shared lunch with you.  They write to you often while on their mission.  They request your prayers, and they pray for you.  You are blessed to have the opportunity to know and support my workers.

As you have helped them along, I will also help your every need.  Your gifts to them are really fragrant offerings and acceptable sacrifices to Me.  The work they accomplish by your giving are credits abounding to your account.  You and they will both be rewarded at the judgement.

Do We Admire God’s Messengers? Titus 3:12

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Titus 3:12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.


Phrases:

When I send-

  • Paul was a leader of a missionary team.  There are many other examples of him sending and calling others for the purposes of the Kingdom of God.

Discussion Question:

Can you think of possible reasons why Paul rotated messengers / missionaries from one place to another?

  • See below for various verses of Paul’s laborers being sent to various places for specific reasons.
  • Timothy was sent to the Thessalonians to strengthen, encourage, and learn of their faith. 
  • 1 Thes. 3:2 We sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen you and encourage you about your faith,
  • 1 Thes. 3:16 But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you!
  • Timothy sent to Corinth to remind them of Paul’s ways in Christ. 
  • 1 Corinthians 4:17 (NET) 17 For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
  • The brothers were sent as messengers. 
  • 2 Corinthians 8:23 (NET) 23 If there is any question about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; if there is any question about our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
  • Sent to make everything known to you.
  • Ephesians 6:21 (NET) 21 Tychicus, my dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make everything known to you, so that you too may know about my circumstances, how I am doing.
  • Sent to hear news about you. 
  • Philippians 2:19-25 (NET) 19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be encouraged by hearing news about you. 20 For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. 21 Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his qualifications, that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel. 23 So I hope to send him as soon as I know more about my situation, 24 though I am confident in the Lord that I too will be coming to see you soon. 25 But for now I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to me in my need.
  • Sent so they will tell you about everything here. 
  • Colossians 4:9,12 (NET) 9 I sent him with Onesimus, the faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
  • Sent, not forced.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:12 (NET)
    With regard to our brother Apollos: I strongly encouraged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was simply not his intention to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.

Artemas or Tychicus to you –

a)  Artemas is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. 

  • In 2 Timothy 4:12, Tychicus was sent to Ephesus. Therefore, it is likely that Artimas was sent to Crete. 

b)  See blog post about Tychicus at the following link:

do your best to come to me at Nicopolis –

  • Commentaries do not agree on which Nicopolis this is referring.
  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
  • Nicopolis meaning “city of victory”
  • There were many cities by this name, — in Armenia, Pontus, Cilicia, Epirus, Thrace — which were generally built or had there name changed, by some conqueror to commemorate a victory. The one in Titus 3:12 seems to refer to the city was built by Augustus in memory of the battle of Actium on a promontory of Epirius. The one in the subscription of Titus seems to refer to Thracian Nicopolis, founded by Trojan on the river Nestus, since he calls it the city of Macedonia.
  • http://biblemapper.com/web/

for I have decided to spend the winter there –

  • It seems winter was a time when sea travel was avoided. Therefore, Titus, being on the island of Crete, needed to travel before winter. 
  • Below are verses about traveling in the winter. 
  • Acts 28:11 (NET) 11 After three months we put out to sea in an Alexandrian ship that had wintered at the island and had the “Heavenly Twins” as its figurehead.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:6 (NET) 6 and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you can send me on my journey, wherever I go.

Discussion Question:

How do seasons influence modern day missions?

Benson’s commentary notes the following observation regarding Paul telling Titus to come to Nicopolis before winter.   “This manner of speaking shows that the apostle was at liberty when he wrote this epistle (Titus), and consequently that it was written in the interval between his first and second imprisonment. ”

The possibility that Paul experienced two Roman imprisonments is not known to many Christians.  Below I have pieced together evidence for the possibility.

Paul’s Two Roman Imprisonments:

1. Paul’s First Roman imprisonment was at least 2 years long mentioned in the book of Acts right before the book abruptly ends. 

Acts 28:16 (NET) 16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.

Acts 28:20 (NET) 20 So for this reason I have asked to see you and speak with you, for I am bound with this chain because of the hope of Israel.”

Acts 28:30 (NET) 30 Paul lived there two whole years in his own rented quarters and welcomed all who came to him,

We have seen that Paul arrived in Rome as a prisoner in the beginning of A.D.61; and at this time his confinement continued only two years, he must have been liberated in the early part of A.D.63. Nero had not then commenced his memorable persecution of the Church; for the burning of the city (Rome) took place in the summer of A.D.64. (William Dool Killen, the ancient church, Paul’s second imprisonment.)

2. Extra-Biblical Evidence that Paul traveled to Spain though there was no record in the book of ACTS.  Also Evidence that Paul planned to go to Spain found in the Book to the Romans.

….there is evidence that he actually preached the gospel in that country; for Clemens Romanus, who was his contemporary and fellow-labourer, positively affirms that he travelled “to the extremity of the west.” (William Dool Killen, the ancient church, Paul’s second imprisonment. )

Romans 15:28 (NET) 
Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them (Jerusalem), I will set out for Spain by way of you (Rome),

3. 2 Timothy is believed to be Paul’s last book written because he says, “the time for me to depart is at hand”. 

2 Timothy 4

6 For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!

4. Although Paul was captured at the time he wrote 2 Timothy, there is evidence within the same letter that he was recently free.  

A)  Paul seems to have recently been in Troas and Miletus. 

2 Timothy 4:13 (NET) 
When you come, bring with you the cloak I left in Troas with Carpas and the scrolls, especially the parchments.

2 Timothy 4:20 (NET) 
Erastus stayed in Corinth. Trophimus I left ill in Miletus.

B)  There is evidence Paul was in Crete although it was never mentioned in the Book of Acts. Also, the content of Titus and 1 Tim is similar, so the letters were probably written around the same time. 

Titus 1:5 (NET) 5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

C). Evidence in book of Titus that Paul was going to Nicopolis thus showing he was free at the time he wrote to Titus. 

Titus 3:12 (NET) 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.

D). Evidence in 2 Timothy that Titus had already been to see Paul. Therefore, this proved Titus was written before 2 Timothy. Thus combined with above Verse in Titus, it appears Paul was free before 2 Timothy was written. But then he was imprisoned again when 2 Timothy was written since he says, my departure is at hand, as mentioned earlier.

2 Timothy 4:10 (NET) 10 For Demas deserted me, since he loved the present age, and he went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia.

E). Evidence that Paul was sure he would be released, but he left open the possibility that he would not. 

Philippians 1:13 (NET) 13 The whole imperial guard and everyone else knows that I am in prison for the sake of Christ,
Philippians 1:19 (NET) 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:25 (NET) 25 And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that what you can be proud of may increase because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you. 27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that – whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent – I should hear that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel,

5. Evidence that Paul was Beheaded in Rome, so his second imprisonment must have been in Rome. 

  • Paul was martyred perhaps about A.D.66. Tradition reports that he was beheaded…(William Dool Killen, the ancient church, Paul’s second imprisonment.)
  • ….Apostle Paul, who was martyred in Rome at the conclusion of what most believe was a second imprisonment postdating the book of Acts, between which he traveled to Spain and Crete (Titus 1:5). Of this period, the 3rd century church historian Eusebius wrote: After defending himself the Apostle was again set on the ministry of preaching…coming a second time to the same city [Paul] suffered martyrdom under Nero. During this imprisonment he wrote the second Epistle to Timothy. (Eccl Hist. 2.22.2) ….Eusebius goes on to report “that in his [Nero’s] time Paul was beheaded in Rome itself and that Peter was likewise crucified. (Eccl Hist. 2.25.5) Paul’s execution took place at the end of Nero’s reign, c. A.D. 65-68. His legal status as a Roman citizen protected him from the ignominious sentence of crucifixion suffered by Peter.  The traditional spot for the beheading is known as the Abbey of the Three Fountains (the head reputedly bounced three times before coming to rest), which is south of the modern center of Rome. (http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/10/08/New-Discoveries-Relating-to-the-Apostle-Paul.aspx#Article)
  • Extra biblically, there is evidence from 1 Clement 5:5-7 (c. AD 95-96) where the writer describes Paul as suffering tremendously for his faith and then being “set free from this world and transported up to the holy place, having become the greatest example of endurance.” While details regarding the manner of his fate are lacking, the immediate context strongly implies that Clement was setting up Paul as an example of martyrdom. Other early evidences for the martyrdom of Paul can be found in Ignatius (Letter to the Ephesians 12:2), Polycarp (Letter to the Philippians 9:1-2), Dionysius of Corinth (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.25.4), Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1), The Acts of Paul, and Tertullian (Scorpiace15:5-6).  (http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/was-paul-beheaded-in-rome)

Discussion Question:

If Paul was free to travel to Spain and Crete between two Roman imprisonments, what lessons can we learn from his story?


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


Do We Admire God’s Messengers?

Bob,

Pray and admire those who serve as missionaries for My Kingdom’s sake.  It is a hard life.  Money is always in short supply.  Financial and family sacrifices are made.   The travel to and fro is exhausting.  Persecutions can be close by.  The seasons can become times of refreshment, and they can also become obstacles to getting My work completed.

Give to them.  It is a privilege to give to them.  I will reward you, and can you imagine seeing the souls in heaven that came to Me by My work on the cross, by that missionaries work of proclaiming My message, and by your giving to advance the reach of the Gospel.

Romans 10 (NET)

10:14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them?  10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.”


Nimuel Chattria Missions Report from February through April 2017

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To, Our Dear Prayer Partners ,Loving greetings from India ,
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM MINISTRY FIELD !
1, Reporting Time Period , Feb to April ,2017 ,
2,Donation Received this Period through foreign contributions account , Nil 
    Received some Funds Through Western Union Money Transfer ,
3, Donation Spent this Period , Spent all ,
4, Account balance end of this Period  – Bank Account statement available upon request. 
5, List of People Served This Period ,Total ,76 people professed to Jesus as their personal Saviour and God ,
6, List Places Visited this Period , Around 16 Hindus Villages reached already in this Period ,
7,SPECIAL Events This Period ,
 a , We have been conducted Open air gospel meetings in three different places ,
  b, Follow up work among the people ,
c, Follow up among the outcast people ( Leprosy)
d, Follow up work among the Children’s

 

e, Vocational Bible School among the Children ,VBS among Leprosy camp children ,
f, ORIYA BAPTIST BIBLE SCHOOL ,
HERE MENTIONING SOME REPORT OF Pr,Biskot Sika ,
g,Three youth meetings in different places , total 90 youths participated ,
h,Two Women meetings in different places ,50 participated ,
i, Four open gospel meetings in different places ,500 people attended and 130 professed to Jesus and 100 of people rededicated , their lives to God to live a Godly life as well as example of others ,
j,During this three months , each month of second week our Church youths uses to go for outreach program to distributes gospel tracts , Door to Door and preaching the word of God ,
k ,Regular Church Activities as usual , Fasting prayers , Cottage meetings ,House visiting ,Sunday service , Sunday School ,  
8, PRAISE FROM THIS PERIOD ,
God is so faithful in His work using us to extended His Kingdom among the Poor ,Needy and Outcast ( Leprosy ) people

Praise GOD during February to April ,2017 ,I could able to conducted some special programs ,
Praise God for His gracious hands as many people are praying for this glorious work and supplying little funds ,Absolutely it’s praiseworthy those who are praying for this work ,
9, PRAYER REQUEST ,

a, pray for the new souls , for their Spiritual growth ,
b,Pray for our follow up work among the people ,Children ,
c, Pray for the new location ,may God open the door to reach out ,
d, Pray for community Tribal people living under poverty reason is lack of unawareness and non literature ,
e, Pray for Leprosy Camp people are living very pathetic condition , most of them are handicaps , work is begging ,
f ,Pray for the future of Orphan Children in Leprosy Camp ,their Parents dead already due to disease ,
g,Pray for God’s future plan to keep these children in a separate place and give them better educations so they can be used for the glory of God , Some of the Children’s are having Parents but parents are fully affected by disease , they cant do any thing for them ,Suppose if this children will stay long time with their parents there is possible to effect the same disease ,
h, Pray for a Church building at Raipur City ( Agape Baptist Church ) where we can have Sunday worship service because GOD is multiplying His work and people .
i , Pray for Church requirements like some Chairs , Carpets and sound system ,
j, Pray for our missionaries funds ,
k ,In order to do the gospel team work we have been praying for a Four Wheeler because it will be helpful for Summer and Rainy Season time ,
10, NOTEWORTHY FUTURE PLANS OR EVENTS ,

a, As God has led me a burden to reaching to unreached areas ,Visiting Door to Door ,distributing gospel TRACTS ,NT , sharing the gospel we must need a Four Wheeler and earnestly praying to use it for His Kingdom and glory ,
b, Praying and planing to arrange the open air gospel meetings among Hindus people twice in a Month ,
c, Children’s Bible classes ,
d,Follow up work among our people ,
e, ORIYA BAPTIST BIBLE SCHOOL to be continued once in a month ,
f, My prayer and desire in His work that I may train up some laborer and send out to the field whereby they may do the evangelism work among Hindus people ,

g, We have been praying to win 100 souls every months but we need to train up and build them such a hard ,faithful laborer ,
h, I prefer much to see the fruitful gospel work , who will go ? Reaching out for the lost one ? 
God bless you all ,

Regards ,in His Vineyard 

Rev, Nimuel Chhatria ,

President ,

NEW LIFE MOVEMENT,

Cell, +91 94377 39404    

The Story of Wellspring Fellowship

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History

Wellspring fellowship began with the purpose to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ, and today our desire is still to glorify Him.

Wellspring Fellowship began with Brad and Jamie Parrish who both attended Calvary Bible College in Kansas City.  At the time, Brad was a Police Officer for the city of Lee’s Summit, and Brad and Jamie were attending Liberty Baptist Church of Lee’s Summit, MO.  During this time Brad was called to teach.  Brad’s spiritual gift is teaching, and this is very evident when you hear him teach God’s Word.  Liberty Baptist Church ordained Brad and he was sent out to start a church plant.

Wellspring Fellowship, named after the gospel story of the Woman at the Well, started in a Blue Springs indoor soccer facility as an Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) church plant.  Brad’s vision was to serve in a God-honoring multigenerational-family-integrated congregation.  He was greatly discouraged by the decay of the modern American family, and he could no longer practice “dividing up” the family at the front door of the church.  Therefore, most of the activities of the church were designed to include the entire family together.  Wellspring Fellowship eventually moved to Legacy Park Community Center in Lee’s Summit, and the church moved again to the home of Brad and Jamie.

I was a member of the Kansas City Baptist Temple.  I experienced small group life for the first time in their cell group ministry.  The experience was so impactful, I started reading books on cell groups which led me to books about house churches.  I later moved to a mid-size church in Lee’s Summit to be closer to my home.  My family and I attended Lee’s Summit Baptist Temple. I enjoyed their small Sunday School group and Saturday evangelism team, but I had a strong-abiding desire to be part of a house church.

Through internet searches in 2007, I eventually found Brad and Jamie’s house church through a family integrated church website.   Four more families have joined us.  They either found us through a family integrated church website, a house church directory website, or through friendships and family relationships.

I have been with this body for 10 years.  It has been one of the best experiences of my life.  I have so much more to say about it, so please read more about my house church journey at the following link:  https://robertjgood.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/why-i-go-to-a-house-church/

Practice

There are many advantages to a house church, but the two advantages that stand out the most are:  1) the participation during the church meeting, and 2) the many opportunities for Christian fellowship.

Our participation and fellowship are manifested in the below activities. 

For Sunday morning meetings, we always start the meeting with prayer requests and prayer to our Father.  This is an important time of sharing with each other and the Lord. 

Then we sing unto the Lord.  We sing mainly traditional protestant hymns, but we also include many children’s Christian songs, and even a few contemporary Christian songs.  The children are welcome to request the songs.  Between the songs, we have opportunities for all to share what God is doing in our lives, to share a verse each  has studied, or to share a witnessing opportunity we recently had.

Brad then has an interactive verse-by-verse Bible teaching time.  Over several years, we have studied Genesis, John, Ephesians, and 1 Timothy verse by verse.  Brad is very diligent in his studies and in his practice to ask for others’ comments as he proceeds through his well prepared outlines.

After we close in prayer, we then share lunch together every Sunday.  This is a great time to get to know what’s going on in each other’s lives.  After practicing these after-meeting-meals, I can’t even imagine going to a church that doesn’t have them – it would just seem so impersonal.

Additionally, fellowship is continued at the women’s weekly Bible Study, the men’s monthly breakfast, family game nights, and many other activities.

We have completed many service projects and outreaches over the years, again, see my link for a list:  https://robertjgood.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/why-i-go-to-a-house-church/

Future

Where are we headed for the future?  Our desire is to glorify God, and we pray to see the salvation and spiritual growth of our children.

Will we stay in a house church?  Will we grow into 2 or 3 house churches?  Will we grow into a rented space or into a building?  I don’t know.  Our desire is to trust God and follow His lead.

Invitation

Are you looking for Christian family fellowship?  Do you want to go to a church where you actually know the names of the children from the other families?  Do you want to participate during the church meetings, and not be just a passive spectator?  If so, then Wellspring Fellowship may be the place for you.

You are invited to come and visit.  Our house church currently rotates homes every quarter year, so please call or email for our current location.

God Bless,

Bob

Contact Info

Brad Parrish (Pastor-Teacher at Wellspring Fellowship, Lee’s Summit, MO) – wbradp@hotmail.com

Bob Good – bobgood76@gmail.com

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/pg/wellspringfellowship/

 

 

 

 

Do We Love Them Enough to Raise a Red Flag? Titus 3 verses 10 and 11

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Titus 3 verses 10 and 11

10 Reject a divisive person after one or two warnings.
11 You know that such a person is twisted by sin and is conscious of it himself.
—–
Phrases:

Context: In the previous verses, Paul instructs Titus to insist on faithful teaching and avoid useless discussions. Paul now tells Titus of certain persons to reject.

Reject a divisive person –

A) reject

  • par-ai-té-om-ai this Greek word means to beg-off, decline, or shun.
  • Webster defines beg-off as, to ask to be excused from something. In this case, beg off means to be excused from being in the presence of a divisive person.
  • NIV and many other English versions say, “….have nothing to do with them.”  This translation is closer to the meaning of the word “shun”.

B) divisive

  • hai-ret-i-kós means a schismatic.
  • English word is, heretic, and comes from this Greek word.
  • Webster defines heretic as someone who believes or teaches something that goes against accepted or official beliefs.
  • Webster defines a schismatic as one who creates or takes part in schism which is a division among the members of a group that occurs because they disagree on something.

Discussion Question:

  • Most people, in our passive culture, will not reject a heretic because they say it is not loving, yet explain how this passivity can actually be unloving toward that person and others who that person could influence with their false doctrine?

after one or two warnings-

  • Meaning the person should only be rejected after a warning or two. Their should be a time for discussion.

A) warnings

Discussion Question:

  • Why is it good to have a firm yet loving discussion with the schismatic before rejecting takes place?

See other passages below dealing with similar situations.

  • When someone sins against you.
  • Mathew 18
    15 If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.
  • When someone is living a sinful lifestyle
  • 1 Corinthians 5
    1 It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this from among you? 3 For even though I am absent physically, I am present in spirit. And I have already judged the one who did this, just as though I were present. 4 When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, and I am with you in spirit, along with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
  • Dealing with someone taking advantage of others due to an undisciplined life.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3
    10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” 11 For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. 12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. 13 But you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing what is right. 14 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. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
  • Dealing with the sin of an Elders
  • 1 Timothy 5
    19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 20 Those guilty of sin must be rebuked before all, as a warning to the rest. 21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind.

You know that such a person is twisted by sin and is conscious of it himself –

A) twisted

  • ek-stréph-ō means to pervert.
  • Webster defines the word pervert as to cause to turn aside or away from what is good or true or morally right.

B) by sin

  • ham-ar-tán-ō means to miss the mark i.e. (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin.
  • There are two possible interpretations as to why the person is being divisive due to being “twisted by sin.”
  • 1. The person has fleshy-sin in their life, and he/she is trying to cover up the sin by putting forth false teachings.
  • 2. “Twisted by Sin” here is not talking about missing the mark with a fleshly lust, but it means sowing discord by propagating false teachings.

Discussion Questions:

  • Can you think of a doctrine in some churches that was created to cover up fleshy-sins?
  • Can you think of false doctrine that was propagated in the church without being motivated by fleshly lust?

C) and is conscience of it himself

  • au-tok-at-ák-ri-tos mean self-condemned.
  • They are conscience of their error themselves because…
  • a)  they had one or two warnings by a loving brother or sister or Elder,
  • b)  they were under good doctrinal teachings in the past,
  • c)  their inner voice knows there is something wrong with what they are teaching.

Discussion Question:

  • Have you ever defended yourself in something you did wrong, but knew deep down that you were in error?

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

Do We Love Them Enough to Raise a Red Flag?

Bob,

If a person is causing division with false teachings, the loving thing to do is to confront them and reject them if they will not repent. I know this seems harsh, but if you ignore the false teaching, then their soul and the souls of others could suffer eternally. By confronting and rejecting, you are gaining their attention and protecting others. This is truly loving. Ignoring the situation is not loving.

Now, be sure to first warn them. Raise a red flag that their doctrine is harmful to their soul. This firm and loving discussion could last in their memory for years to come, and it can be used by My Spirit to convict them. They know deep down inside that they are wrong, but the sin has twisted their thinking.

Rejecting them may be what they need to overcome sin and pride, and their soul may be saved in the future.

Why Insist on Doctrine? Titus 3 verses 8 through 9

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Titus 3 verses 8 and 9

8 This saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people.
9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, quarrels, and fights about the law, because they are useless and empty.

——–

Context: Paul described the work of the Trinity in our justification in the previous verse 5-7.

This saying is trustworthy-

A) saying

  • lóg-os means something said.
  • Some English versions have the previous verses from verse 5 through verse 7 shown within quotations to make clear to the reader the saying to which Paul is referring to in this verse.

B) Trustworthy

  • Meaning Paul’s revelation about the work of the Trinity in our justification can be trusted.

and I want you to insist on such truths-

A) insist

  • di-ab-eb-ai-ó-om-ai
    dee-ab-eb-ahee-o’-om-ahee; means to confirm thoroughly by words, to asseverate.
    Webster defines as-sev-er-ate to affirm or declare positively or earnestly.

Discussion Questions:

  • In addition to the below benefit given by Paul, what other benefits do you see by earnestly affirming doctrinal truths such as those in the previous verses?
  • Why do you think some denominations devalue doctrinal teachings?
  • Why do you think music in the modern church today has less doctrine than hymns of the past?
  • Why do we see less emphasis on catechisms today compared to the past?
  • Webster defines Catechism as a summary of religious doctrine often in the form of questions and answers.
  • http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp
  • http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/

so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works –

  • Previous verses 5 through 7 never spoke directly about engaging in good works, yet Paul teaches that the doctrine of our justification will cause believers to be intent in doing good works.

A) intent

  • phron-tí-zō means to exercise thought, to be anxious.

B) engaging

  • pro-ḯs-tē-mi means to stand before, to preside, or to practise.
  • Webster defines preside as to be in charge of something.
  • Webster defines practice as ..
  • To do something again and again in order to become better at it.
  • To do (something) regularly or constantly as an ordinary part of your life.
  • Therefore, doctrine should cause us to be anxious to preside over and practice good works.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think the doctrine of the Trinity’s work in our justification causes us to be intent to engage in good works?
  • Can you name some good works Paul may have had in mind?

These things are good and beneficial for all people –

  • These things is referring to the trustworthy sayings and other similar truths.
    Doctrinal truth is good for all men, not only believers.

A) beneficial

  • O-phél-i-mos means helpful, serviceable, advantageous.

Discussion Question:

  • All would agree that common moral teachings are good for all men, but how is specific Christian doctrine good for all – including unbelievers?

But avoid –

  • Meaning to not engage, or to stay on the perimeter with regard to the following discussions.

foolish controversies –

A) foolish

  • mō-rós means dull or stupid (as if shut up).
  • English uses the word moron.
  • The sense seems to be to avoid unlearned or uninformed questions.
  • 2 Timothy 2:23 (YLT) and the foolish and uninstructed questions be avoiding, having known that they beget strife,
  • 2 Timothy 2:23 (KJV) But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

genealogies –

  • John Gill commentary state these genealogies refer to Jewish “elders, Rabbis, and doctors, by whom their traditions are handed down from one to another…”
  • It seems there was a controversy in Crete about from where some teachings were handed down. This type of controversy must have been started by those false teachers with Jewish connections mentioned in chapter one of Titus.

Quarrels and fights about the law-

  • Meaning arguments about interpretations of Moses’ ceremonial and civil laws or possibly man made religious commands also mentioned in chapter one.
  • It cannot mean the moral laws of Moses as these could not be called useless and empty as mentioned below.
  • It cannot mean the requirement of keeping the law for salvation since Paul argues against this in many of his letters showing that this topic should not be avoided.

because they are useless and empty-

  • Arguing about names and various ceremonies is not profitable. Stick to doctrine which really matters.

Discussion Question:

  • Can you think of empty and profitless subjects that Christians may argue about today?

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

Bob,

Not only stand against sinful behavior directly, but also proclaim My amazing doctrine of grace. This will touch My people’s hearts, and will motivate them to do good works.

Many denominations and teachers water-down My doctrine in their music and in their teachings to avoid offending others. Yet they don’t see they are harming the souls of their own people.

The message of My grace is powerful to effect change in the hearts of My children. I loved them. My Holy Spirit washed them. My Son was sacrificed for them. The show of My abundant love and forgiveness will cause them to resist sin and do all kinds of good works for My glory.

Are You Saved by Your Works or the Works of the Trinity?  Titus Chapter 3 verses 4 through 7

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Titus 3 verses 4 through 7

4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared,
5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior.
7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”

——-

Phrases:

But-

This conjunction, the Greek word, de, contrasts our sinful ways mentioned in verse 3 with God’s kindness and mercy mentioned in these next few amazing verses!

when the kindness of God our Savior-

  • Our Father started the process of our salvation which was motivated by His kindness.

A) kindness

  • chrē-stót-ēs means usefulness.
  • Other English translations say kindness or goodness.
  • Although we were useless as shown in the previous verse, yet God’s useful character toward us has appeared.
  • The same Greek word is also translated kindness below, yet you can see the contrast between worthlessness and usefulness.
  • Romans 3:12 (NET) 12 All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”
  • Mathew Poole comments as follows about the word:  the word signifies one’s easiness to do good to another; that native goodness that is in God, rendering him inclinable to love, and prone to do good unto the sons of men.

Discussion Question:

Can you describe a time when someone was useful toward a need you had?  How did their action make you feel toward them?

B) God our Savior

  • This is speaking of God the Father who saved us through the washing of the Spirit whom He poured out on us through Jesus Christ as shown in v 5 and v6 below.
  • This passage shows us the Trinity at work in our Salvation.

and his love for mankind appeared-

A) Love for mankind

  • phil-an-thrō-pí-a means fondness of mankind.

B) appeared

  • The Father’s kindness and love appeared in His sending Jesus into the world.
  • John 3:16 (NET) 16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

    he saved us-

    A) he saved

    • Meaning God the Father saved us. 
    • Verse 7 says, “since he justified us …”. Therefore, this saving is not the saving from a bad lifestyle or bad circumstances, but rather this saving justifies us before God. We are saved from His judgement and wrath.

    B) us

    • Not all the human race is saved, but us who have been born again and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

    not by works of righteousness that we have done-

    • Meaning that God did not save us because of our good deeds.
    • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

    A) Righteousness

    • dik-ai-os-ý-nē means equity.
    • Webster defines equity as fairness or justice in the way people are treated.
    • Obviously, we have not treated others nor God with perfect equity. 

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think God does not save us because of our works of righteousness?

    but on the basis of his mercy-

    • Meaning he saved us because of His compassion for our broken and fallen state.

    A) Mercy

    • él-e-os means compassion.
    • Romans 9:23 (NET) 23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory…

    Discussion Question:

    • Can you give an example of when you helped someone because you were motivated by compassion?

    through the washing –

    • The word “through” is mentioned twice in this passage.

    A) Through

    • di-á is a Greek preposition denoting the channel of an act.
    • We are saved by two channels mentioned in this passage.  First we are saved “through” the washing of the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us “through” Jesus Christ.
    • Below is a famous shipping channel to illustrate. 
    • The English Channel

    B) washing

    • lou-trón means a bath.

    of the new birth and the renewing-

    • The description of the washing is described by two Greek words.

    A) new birth

    • This single Greek word is the compound word pal-in-gen-es-í-a which means rebirth or regeneration.
    • Pal-in means anew or again.
    • Gen-es-ia means nativity.
    • Webster defines nativity as the process or circumstances of being born, birth.

    B) And

    • ka-í means having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; a conjunction meaning – and, also, even, so then, too, etc.

    C) Renewing

    • an-ak-a-í-nō-sis means renovation.
    • Below is a link to illustrate a renovation and new birth of an old picture.  As you watch the video, think of all your sins being taken away. 
    • https://youtu.be/vcriltNQMfI

    Discussion Question:

    Do you know someone who renovated an object giving it a “new birth”?

    of the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us in full measure –

    A) Spirit

    • pneû-ma, a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit…

    B) Full measure

    • plou-sí-ōs means copiously.
    • Webster defines copious as very large in amount.
    • The Holy Spirit was copiously poured out onto us. This shows how complete the Spirit’s work was in washing us. 

    through Jesus Christ our Savior-

    A) Savior

    • sō-tḗr means deliverer.
    • The Holy Spirit does His washing work through the channel of Jesus Christ our Deliverer.

    Discussion Question:

    • Do you think the Father would have poured the Holy Spirit on us without Christ’s work? Explain?

    And so, since we have been justified by his grace-

    A) justified

    • dik-ai-ó-ō means to render, show, or regard as just or innocent.

    B) grace

    • chár-is means by His graciousness.

    we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life-

    A) heirs

    • klē-ron-óm-os is a sharer by lot, i.e. inheritor.
    • God not only loved us, died our death, forgave us from our sins, washed us by new birth and renovation, but He also gave us the inheritance of eternal life. 
    • What an amazing-loving-compassionate-gracious God we have!!!

    ———

    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 Saved by Your Works or the Works of the Trinity?

    Bob,

    Your good works cannot save you. First, even your good works are tainted with selfishness. Second, those good works will never erase your many evil deeds. 

    I knew you would need saving before the world began.  I saved you because I loved you and had compassion for you. 

    Yet, I still require justice because your sin deserves punishment. However, I gave My Son for you. The death penalty for your sin and the sin of the world was executed on Him. 

    This allowed the Holy Spirit to wash you clean. Now in My sight, you are no longer depraved, dirty, and dead. Instead, in My sight, you are now born new and renovated into a righteous, clean, and fresh new man.