Are you Esteeming the Elders? I Thessalonians 5 verses 12 to 13


, , , ,

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NET)

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.


Context: Paul finishes his revelation related to the second coming of Christ and how the Thessalonians should live as children of the day. Now he teaches them to honor the leaders among them.


Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those-

• This is speaking of ‘those’ Elders among them.

• The Greek word translated acknowledge is usually translated in the New Testament as, know.

• KJV translated it as, know.

• Kittle’s Theological Dictionary defines as to recognize.

• In other words, the Elders among them should be known in the group, meaning they should not be ignored, and they should be recognized, given consideration, given attention, and given respect.

Discussion Questions:

• How would we acknowledge a public leader, like mayor or governor, if they came to our church?

• What is the motive of some who ignore the leadership in the church?

who labor among you –

• The first function Paul mentions of Elders is they work hard in their ministry for others.

• Strong’s Definitions: κοπιάω kopiáō, kop-ee-ah’-o; to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – to labor with wearisome effort, to toil.

• Acts 20:28 (NET)28 Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.

Discussion Question:

• Can you list some functions Elders do that require their hard work?

and preside over you in the Lord-

• The second function Elders do is they lead with authority over others in the church.

• Strong’s Definitions: προΐστημι proḯstēmi, pro-is’-tay-mee; to stand before, i.e. (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon -to be over, to superintend, preside over (A. V. rule).

• Hebrews 13:17 (NET) 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you.

• 1 Peter 5:5 (NET) 5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

• 1 Peter 5:2,3 (NET) 2 Give a shepherd’s care to God’s flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God’s direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. 3 And do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.

Discussion Question:

• What could happen in the church if there is no recognized leadership.

• Explain how can an Elder exercise authority in leadership yet not ‘Lord it over’ the flock?

and admonish you-

• The third function Elders do is to warn and correct others.

• Strong’s Definitions: νουθετέω, nouthetéō, noo-thet-eh’-o; to put in mind, i.e. (by implication) to caution or reprove gently

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – to admonish, warn, exhort.

• Titus 1:9 (NET) He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it.

• 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NET) 24 And the Lord’s slave must not engage in heated disputes but be kind toward all, an apt teacher, patient, 25 correcting opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance and then knowledge of the truth 26 and they will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap where they are held captive to do his will.

Discussion Questions:

• What types of things should Elders admonish?

• Why do you think Elders in many churches neglect to admonish others?

• How should we respond if we are admonished by an Elder?

and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work-

• Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines the the Greek word for ‘esteem’ as to think, to consider, to regard.

• The Elders should be not only regarded , but regarded most highly.

• An Elder should be highly regarded in love because of their work.

• Galatians 4:14 (NET) 14 and though my physical condition put you to the test, you did not despise or reject me. Instead, you welcomed me as though I were an angel of God, as though I were Christ Jesus himself!

• Galatians 6:6 (NET) 6 Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches it.

• 1 Timothy 5:17-19 (NET) 17 Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. 18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.” 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

Discussion Question:

• List some works Elders do that should cause us to esteem them in love?

Be at peace among yourselves-

• In the immediate context, this phrase means we should be at peace with our leaders. However, certainly it also means we should be at peace with each other.

• Ephesians 4:3 (NET) 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Discussion Question:

• What should we do if we have a disagreement with the an Elder so peace will continue to abound within the church?


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 Esteeming the Elders?


Highly esteem your Elders in love. They labor hard for your soul. They organize, they study, they prepare, teach, preach, train, serve, and they pray for you and your family. Consider them, think of them, acknowledge them, regard them.

Be careful of feelings of disrespect toward Elders because Satan desires to use them against you, the Elders, and the church. Resolve discontentment by thinking things through, by putting yourself in their shoes, and by speaking with them directly.

Honor them with double honor – with respect and monetarily for all their labors on your behalf.


Nimuel Chhatria India Missions Report February Through April 2018


, ,


1,REPORTING TIME PERIOD , February to April -2018

2,DONATION RECEIVED THROUGH THIS PERIOD , We received little through Western Union and PayPal ,



5,LIST OF PEOPLE SERVED THIS PERIOD ,135+8=143 People professed to Jesus as their personal Saviour and God ,



A, Baptized 8 people and started a worship group , House Church ,

B, Gifted a Bicycle to a Pastor ,

C, Follow work at Bahadurpita Village ,

D, Bible studies class among 9 Missionaries at Raipur Chhattisgarh State ,

E, VBS program among Outcast Children ,Leper’s Camp ,

CHHATTISGARH State ,9 missionaries report through Pators,Biskot Sika ,

A , They have visited total 37 Hindus Villages ,Distributed total ,1000 NT and

4300 gospel tracts ,

B, Started 36 HopeCell ,Prayer group and 9 worship group ,

C, These 9 missionaries are giving much an interest emphatically in personal evangelism , Going Door to Door ,meeting the people ,sharing gospel with NT & tracts ,


Thank God for His grace that enabling us to do the personal evangelism work

and many people professed to Jesus by grace through faith ,

Praise God for our Hope-cell group ,Follow up work   ,VBS among outcast

Children ,

Baptism program ,

Donated a Bicycle to a Pastor ,

Praise God for our prayer partners and their gracious hands ,


As we are committed for the gospel work ,personal evangelism ,Visiting Door to Door ,absolutely praying for a Four Wheeler for gospel team work because doing unitedly is much profitable ,

Kindly pray for gospel team work and their needs ,

Kindly pray for a Church building in Raipur City ,

Kindly pray for a Church building in Bahadupita Village ,

Kindly pray for Hope cell to establish ,

Kindly pray for new souls ,and worship group ,

Kindly pray for Children at Leper Camp as we plan to do a Day Care Center ,


A, Gospel team work ,

B,VBS Program in Summer time ,

C,Baptist Bible training School , One year course ,

D, In every month we will do the HopeCell and Follow up work ,

Above all kindly uphold us in your prayer as we have been praying for you all , your family , your Jobs, let God name be  glory through this ministry , Here sending Chhattisgarh State report in separate mail ,

God bless you all ,

In His service ,

Rev,Nimuel Chhatria ,


Cell, +91 94377 39404


Pastor Biscot Report

Respected dear Sir,

Loving greetings to you and your family in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Thank you so much for valuable prayers and support to ward Chhatisgarh India ministry. As I update the reports of three months uphold in your prayer. the almighty God enable us to work for Him in five districts of chhatisgarh along with our nine missionaries(gospel team) as mentioned bellow.


1. Praise God for the month of February we visited 10 villeges in two districts and distributed more then 200 NT bibles and 1000 copies tracts. where we started ten prayer cells in each villege and two worship group. also we had bible study classes, fasting prayer meetings every week.

2. Praise God for the months of march once again we visited 12 villeges in three districts and distributed 300 NT bibles and 1500 copies tracts. wonderfuly we did follow up works, in this month also we started 12 prayer cells and three worship group. we done four places bible study class with youth and trained new disciples among trival people.

3. Praise God for the month of April we visited 15 villeges in three districts and distributed 500 NT bibles and 1800 copies tracts. also started 14 prayer cells and 4 worship group. Thanks God for privilleg to have get together all our chhatisgarh missionaries and had bible study classes along with pastor Nimuel Chhatria, who taught very nicely to our young missionaries. our brothers got spiritualy boldness and commited to work more, also reach the gospel to unreach place,  thanks God for VBS done very nicely among outcast children, where our children learn so many bible verses, stories, and action songs. all to gather it was so wonderful and glorious program for our missionaries ministry. to God be the glory.

4. Please pray for our upcoming programs VBS, Youth meeting, women meeting, gospel meeting, and out reach ministry.

Specially pray for the outcast orphan children we have been pryaying for their eat, wear and educations. If we do not take care up those children their future will be so pathetic.

5. Please pray for the church building of chhatisgarh.

6. Please pray for the missionary funds as thy are working in different places.

7. Within this three months of our nine missionary ministry 135 people received the Lord Jesus Christ for their personal God and Savior.

8. Above all these we need much prayer and sufficient funds.

9. All together reached 8 districts, 37 villeges, 1000 NT bibles, 4300 tracts, saved 135 souls.


Pastor. Biskot Sika

Raipur chhatisgarh

Day Child are You Awake? 1 Thessalonians 5 verses 5 through 11


, , , , , , ,

1 Thessalonians 5:5-11 (NET)

5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 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. 9 For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.


Context: The immediate context is Christ’s second coming and the Judgement.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NET) For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.


For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness-

• Sons of the light means they are born of God and see clearly as in the daylight to the things of God and that the day of the Lord is coming.

• Sons of the day also means they are believers and are spiritually awake and alert.

• Believers are ‘not of the night nor of the darkness’ as unbelievers. Unbelievers are unaware and cannot spiritually see Christ nor His day coming. For unbelievers, that day will come as a thief in the night.

• Ephesians 5:8 (NET) 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light –

Discussion Question:

• Explain the differences you see in your life now that you have been transformed from a son of darkness to a son of light?

So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober-

• Meaning believers should live their life alert and sober keeping the day of the Lord in view. They should not live as unbelievers who are unaware and in a state of sleep.

• Romans 13:11-13 (NET) 11 And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 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.

For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night-

• Paul describes activities done at night: sleeping and drunkenness. When sleeping , one is not aware. When drunk, one’s senses are dulled. Unbelievers live unaware and dull to the fact that the day of Christ is coming.

• 1 Peter 5:8 (NET) Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.

Discussion Question:

• With what things of the world have we become drunk and spiritually dull towards God?

But since we are of the day, we must stay sober –

• Paul repeats that believers should live sober by using the following methods.

by putting on the breastplate of faith and love-

• Paul describes the first way to stay sober – put on faith and love as a breastplate.

• Faith means to continue to trust him.

• Love means to continue to give ourselves in service to Him and others.

• 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NET) 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Discussion Questions:

• Why do you think Paul describes faith and love as a breastplate?

• How does putting on faith keep a believer sober minded?

• How does putting on love keep a believer sober minded?

and as a helmet our hope for salvation-

• The 2nd way to stay sober is to continue to put on the helmet of hope for salvation.

Strong’s Definitions: ἐλπίς elpís, el-pece’; to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation; confidence.

• Hope for salvation does not mean we are hoping to receive salvation, rather it means our hope, anticipation, expectation, and confidence is that we have already obtained salvation which will be fully realized at His second coming.

• This is the second time in this letter that Paul mentions faith, love, and hope.

• 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NET) 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.

Discussion Question:

• How does putting on hope keep a believer sober minded?

For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ-

• Paul is teaching that our hope is so sure that we were even destined to gain salvation through Christ,

• Acts 13:48 (NET) 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed.

• Unlike unbelievers, who are destined for wrath.

• 1 Peter 2:7-9 (NET) 7 So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him-

• Meaning Jesus died for believers, and all believers will be gathered together on that day alive whether they are currently alive or have already died. This is repeated from chapter 4.

• 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NET) Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other-

• As in chapter 4 verse 18, Paul again commands them to encourage each other with these truths.

• He commands us to build up each other to live as those who are of the day, and to live in faith, love, and hope.

just as you are in fact doing-

• As in chapter 4, he again commends the Thessalonians for doing the very things he is reminding them to do.

Discussion Question:

• Who are we encouraging to live like a son of the day? Who is encourage us?


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


Day Child are You Awake?


Do you remember the way you were before your spiritual birth. You were following the ways of the world and blinded from seeing Me. But then I awakened you.

Don’t live like unbelievers who focus on this world. Don’t become drunk on money, comforts, and entertainments. I am coming! Live your life knowing that I am coming.

Protect your spiritual life with the breastplate and helmet. Continue in faith that I am coming, and all is in My control – even suffering. Love others! Become less self centered by giving of yourself to others. Maintain hope that My day is coming, and your salvation will be realized.

Be encouraged by all My other children who influence you, and be an encourager to those brothers and sisters around you. Encourage them to be alert and awake – not sleeping or drunk with the world.

History of Christianity 2 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Spring 2018


, , , , , , , , ,

I really enjoyed my first class at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Spring 2018.  History of Christianity 2 extends from the Reformation up through today.  We used the book, The Story of Christianity, Volume 2, by Justo L. Gonzalez.   My professor, Dr Michael McMullen, was very interesting and informative.

I appreciated that he gave us some freedom to choose individuals we could study from a short list of characters from the Reformation and Post Reformation history.  I also enjoyed many of the students’ classroom presentations – we were allowed to give a presentation or write a paper.  I was impressed with the talent and knowledge of the students even though most were half my age 🙂

Below are highlights of some of the individuals we learned about during the class.  Next is a link to my English Reformation PPT that I created.  Last are the individuals I chose to study from Dr. McMullen’s short list with a short abstract for each individual.

Individuals Covered in Class

Pope Clement VI, Erasmus, Martin Luther, Ignatius of Loyola, William Tyndale, King Henry VIII, John Calvin, Michael Servetus, John Edwards, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, John Eliot, William Wilberforce (briefly covered John Locke, Sir Isaac Newton, Voltaire, David Hume, Immanuel Kant), Andrew Fuller, Michael Sattler, and many many others were mentioned more briefly.

English Reformation PPT

Below is a link to my English Reformation PPT

Individuals I Chose to Study from Short List

John Wesley 1703 to 1791

Sources:  Gonzalez, class notes, Bruce Gore lecture.

3 c’s

The Club, Conversion, and Colonies

The Holiness Club

John Wesley was the youngest child of 19.  He was homeschooled in the classical languages by his parents, Samuel and Susanna.  Samuel was an ordained Anglican priest.  At 5 years old John survived a house fire.  This event influenced his thinking throughout his life.  He attended Oxford University.  There he was a member of the Holy Club which his brother, Charles, help start.  The name, Holy Club, was given to them by the other students as a term of mockery.  The club had many rules such as, prayers, songs, reading from the Greek text of the scripture, fasting twice per week, Lord’s supper weekly, and they began visiting prisoners.  They also earned money to help pay for the debts of those in the debtors prison.  An Oxford tract referred to the club as the Oxford Methodists – the name stuck.  John also became a priest in the Anglican Church in 1728.

The Conversion

John went to America on a mission which lasted two years.  During his trip, there was a life threatening storm at sea.  Being already impressed with the behavior of a group of Moravians, he was more impressed during the storm as the Moravians calmly sang while the boat deck was flooded by the sea.   After arriving in Georgia, he tried to bring his strict Method from the holiness club to those he was serving.  However, the mission did not work out, and in his own words he said, Georgia was a disaster.  After 2 years he went back home with self-doubts and feeling he did not have saving faith as the Moravians.  Moravian, Peter Boehler, told him to keep preaching faith until he had it.  In 1738 at a Moravian meeting at Aldersgate Street in London, the German Moravians were reading Martin Luther’s commentary on the book of Romans.  While listening, Wesley said, I felt my heart strangely warmed, I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation.

The Colonies

Wesley (an Arminian) was friends with George Whitefield (a Calvinist).  George asked John to take over his mission to the miners in Bristol.  Here John learned to open air preach and his following grew.  He started many groups to be used to feed them into the Anglican Church.  He kept his meetings at different times than those of the official church so they would not conflict.  He desired his followers to take communion at the Church of England.  The bishop of Bristol tried to limit his traveling and preaching, but  John said, the world in my parish.  Wesley used lay preachers as a solution to the rapid growth of the movement.  Due to a law requiring registration for buildings which the Anglican Church did not recognize, Wesley had to register his buildings and worship under English law.  Also, in the colonies, Anglican priests came back to England during the American Revolution.  Since Wesley believed biblically, a bishop and an elder is the same office, he believed he could ordain.  Due to the need in the colonies, he ordained two elders there and others in Scotland.  These actions eventually lead to the new denomination, Methodists, by the time of Wesely’s death, although he still desired to stay Anglican.

George Whitefield

  1. Holy Club
  2. Calvinist
  3. Colonies

Sources:  Class notes and Bruce Gore Lecture.

Holy Club

George Whitefiled, 1714-1770, was born in England in a poor family.  He attended Oxford as a servitor to pay his way through school.  He had a passion for the theatre.  At Oxford, he helped start the Holiness Club with Charles Wesley.   George’s conversion was from reading a book given to him by Charles Wesley, The Life of God and Soul of Man.  Like John Wesley, he became an Anglican priest.  Even during his ordination speech some in the room were converted.  He preached to the miners in Bristol using his open air preaching method.  He knew his preaching was effective by seeing the streams of tears down the dust covered faces of the miners.  He requested help from John Wesley to help with the work in Bristol.  Under John, the work began to grow and over his lifetime morphed into the English Methodists.


Although there are many points where Whitefield and the Wesleys are similar, they did have a significant doctrinal difference with regard to Calvinism.  George was a Calvinist while John was an Arminian.  George even used his Calvinist beliefs within his evangelistic sermons.  Even today, you can listen to his sermon being read on youtube, the Potter and the Clay.  Calvinists believe that God decreed who will be saved based on God’s own purpose and will.  Arminius believed that God made His selection by foreseeing how the person would choose in the future.  At the Synod of Dort, the assembly gave 5 points refuting the Remonstrance in the Netherlands.  These 5 points against the Remonstrance are as follows:  T – total depravity – that man is totally depraved and can only be saved by God’s grace, U – unconditional election – that man was not chosen by God based on man’s works, L – Limited Atonement – that Jesus’ Sacrifice is efficacious for only the elect, I – Irresistible grace – that if you were of God’s elect, then his grace would be irresistible and would be received, P – Perseverance of the saints – the faith and sanctification of the elect would persevere to the end.

The Colonies

Whitefield opened an orphanage in Savannah, Georgia.  Today, the Bethesda Academy is the oldest charity still in operation. Whitefield’s chapel is still there. Though Whitefield was not against slavery, he did believe slaves should be educated and receive the gospel.  During a sermon with slaves in attendance, at the end of the sermon, he directly addressed the slaves by quoting the verse that in Christ we are all one.  George preached for 30 years.  Some say he preached so much that it was like a 30 year long sermon.  He preached in England, Scotland, and the Colonies where God used Whitefield in the Great Awakening.  He spoke 1000 times a year, 3 times a day, speaking 60 hours in a week, seven days a week.  He crossed the Atlantic Ocean 13 times.  He spoke to crowds of 20,000 people.  Ben Franklin calculated that his voice could be heard by 30,000 people.  There are reports that he could be heard up to one mile away.  He preached in Johnathan Edward’s church.  Sarah Edwards said Whitefield was a born orator.


Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758

Sources:  class notes, Bruce Gore lecture, and Gonzolez – History of Christianity Volume II, Britannica.

  1. about Edwards
  2. the great Awakening
  3. the Theologian


Jonathan Edwards, 1703 – 1758, is America’s greatest theologian and philosopher. Edward’s grandfather was Solomon Stoddord, a very well respected pastor of the church in Northampton in Massachusetts Bay colony.  As a child, Jonathan was homeschooled and learned Latin by 6 years of age, by 13 Greek and Hebrew.  He entered Yale by the age of 13.   Edwards was very interested in the natural sciences.  He often gives illusions to natural science examples in his sermons and writings. He married Sarah Pierrepont, and they had 11 children.  Many of Edward’s decedents became university presidents and pastors.  After the death of his Grandfather Stoddard, Edwards became Pastor of Northampton in 1729.

the great Awakening

Although Edwards was not an emotional speaker and he read his sermons word by word, a great revival happened in 1734 while Edwards was teaching on a series regarding Justification by Faith Alone.  The revival spread through the region.  Within about 1 year, 300 people in Edward’s church professed faith in Christ.  Edwards wrote about the awakening in 1737, A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God.  George Whitefield and Gilbert Tennent were passionate speakers, and the awakening spread even more throughout the colonies.  However, Edwards was later dismissed from his church based on his view of who should take the Lord’s Supper – only true believers for Edwards.  He later wrote a book, Qualifications for Communion.  Edwards then became a missionary to the Indians.  By 1757 he became president of what is known today as Princeton University.


Edwards at first objected to God’s sovereignty in who will be saved and who will not be saved, but after his conversion in 1721 he calls the doctrine sweet.  Edwards became a strong defender of Calvinism.  He wrote about original sin, but his most famous work was, The Freedom of the Will.  The book uses Romans 9:16 as it’s basis:  It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  He believed the verse proved that man was saved by God’s grace through God’s decree and not by man’s own corrupt human desire which could not receive grace.

Edwards argues that man has natural ability to choose God, but man does not have moral ability to choose God.  This argues in defense of Calvinism’s assertion that man cannot choose God because he is (T)otally depraved and spiritually dead toward God; this is the first assertion in the Calvinist formula, T.U.L.I.P.  As an example, Edwards gives an example of a prisoner that remains in an OPEN cell because his pride will not allow him to come out and kiss the king’s ring to be forgiven.  Though he has natural ability to walk out, yet he does not have the moral ability, due to his pride, to walk out.  So man has natural ability, but he does not have a moral ability to come to Christ due to his spiritually dead condition.

Edwards argues that though man is free to make choices, those choices are based on previous choices and other factors that are not within one’s control, such as, his natural predisposition, his moral inability, and his circumstances, such as, when he was born, where he was born, who his parents are.  If the first chain link in one’s own life was not a free choice, then how can all the subsequent choices be considered totally free?

John Spilsbury 1668

2B’s and Three K’s

Sources:  Michael Thompson Dissertation

B – Baptist

John Spilsbury was one of the early Particular Baptist leaders in England in the early 1600’s.  Some believe his church was the first Particular Baptist Church in England.  Spilsbury had no formal education.  His occupations were being a cobbler, a weigher of hay, and knitter of socks.  He married in 1627.  John pastored for 23 years.  He died between 1663 and 1668.  In additions to his pastor duties, he also put effort toward the London Association of Particular Baptists which still remains today.  Spilsbury’s church still exists today, Church Hill Baptist Church.

It is assumed that John Spilsbury was the main author of the First London Confessional, 1644.  Seven leaders from his and other particular Baptist churches signed the document.  The primary purpose of the document was to make more clear the doctrine of the particular Baptist compared to the Anabaptists.  Many in England were calling the particular Baptist group Anabaptists, and John wanted to make clear that his church’s doctrine was in alignment with orthodox Christian doctrine of the Presbyterians and Congregationalists:  mainly the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and Calvinistic doctrine regarding salvation.

At that time there were three major groups of Baptists:  Anabaptists, General Baptists, and Particular Baptists.  All three groups believed in believers’ baptism, and they were against the practice of baptizing babies as the Catholics, Anglicans, and Presbyterians.  However, there were several differences between the groups.  Some of the Anabaptist groups denied the Trinity and were pacifists.  The General Baptists believed in general atonement.  This aligned them with the Arminian view of salvation that Christ’s atonement was general and could potentially be received by anyone whose will cooperated with God’s grace.  Particular Baptists believed in particular atonement, or limited atonement, which aligned with the Calvinistic view of salvation that Christ’s atonement was only for the Elect who God chose according to the council of His own will who would receive God’s grace only after being born again from their dead spiritual state.

In the Anglican Church there were many Puritans.  They desired to purify the Anglican Church to operate more biblically.   However, some Puritans separated from the Anglican Church and became known as Separatists.  Churches started by Separatist were illegal.  Both the general Baptists and particular Baptist churches in England were made up of separatists.  Spilsbury’s church met in secret, and he was imprisoned briefly in 1641.

B – Baptism

In addition to being an author of the First Baptist Confession, 1644, John Spilsbury also wrote defenses of believers’ baptism known as, Treatise Concerning the Lawful Subject of Baptism, and God’s Ordinance, the Saint’s Privilege.  Spilsbury argues against the idea that infant baptism is a substitute for old covenant infant circumcision. He believed only those with faith should be baptized which is not possible with an infant.  He said there is no example or command in scripture to baptize infants.  The church should be made up of believers not of those baptized into it as infants of whom many will never be believers and will corrupt the church.  Baptizing infants will allow people to be easily confused by thinking that baptism is for salvation.  It makes void the possibility of personally obeying Christ’s command for baptism if baptized already as an infant.  Infant baptism goes against the sign itself, which is a willful dying, burying, and rising with Christ though faith. He argues if infant baptism is the substitute for infant circumcision, then why are children refused the Lord’s Supper which could be seen as a substitute for the Passover from which ancient Israel’s children partook.

Three K’s

Within John Spilsbury church were three men who would later become better known in church history than Spilsbury:  William Kiffin (1610-1701) who is the only person to sign both the first and second Baptist London Confession; Hanserd Knollys (1598-1691) who left the English Church, went to America, and started a Congregational Church and America’s second Baptist Church; and Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) who also signed the second Baptist London Confession, compiled what is known as Keach’s Catechism, and compiled Hymns for singing in the churches.

Ignatius of Loyola and his Rules of Thinking with the Catholic Church, 1522

Acronym P.R.I.E.S.T

P- Confess sins to a Priest, also His views on predestination.

R – His views on relics.

I – His views on Images

E – His rule on the Eucharist and Mass.

S – His rule on veneration and invocation of the Saints.

T – His rule on FasTs, such as those done during LenT.


Pope Clement VI and His Bull of Unigenitus 1343

Acronym P.P.P.

P – About the Pope.

P – About the black Plague.

P – About the Treasury of Merit as the bases for Indulgences for reducing time in Purgatory


Erasmus of Rotterdam and his banned book, Praise of Folly, 1509.

Acronym B.B.B.

B – About Erasmus, his name meaning, Beloved

B – About his Greek text of the New Testament as the basis for Luther and Tyndale’s Bibles

B – About his Banned Book, Praise of Folly.


Ignatius of Loyola

Sources:  Class Notes, and Documents of Christianity – Rules of thinking with the Church (1522).

Ignatius was a soldier in Spain.  Oddly he was short with red hair – not your typical Spaniard.  As a soldier,  he was hit by a cannon ball in the legs.  He survived several surgeries due to the cannon ball injury.  During his recovery, he believed he had a vision of Jesus and Mary.  He spent much time in a cave and practiced asceticism by praying for 7 hours a day.  It was during this time that he wrote the Rules for thinking with the Church, Spiritual Exercises II in 1522 – only 5 years after Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis.

While in France, he co-founded a religious order called the Society of Jesus with Francis Xavier.  The Society of Jesus is also known as the Jesuits.  The Jesuits are an educational order within the Roman Catholic Church.  Eventually, the Pope recognized the order and Ignatius’ rules.  The Jesuits spread through the world with an aggressive missionary movement.  Some countries, such as, Britain banned the group.  Today in my home town, Rockhurst College and High School are a result of the Jesuit movement.  The Jesuits are considered a counter-reformation movement because they came after the reformation and defended much of the Roman doctrine and practices that the Reformers were against.

Below are a few of the rules in Ignatius’ Rules for Thinking with the Church, Spiritual Exercises II, 1522.


Ignatius affirmed private confession of sins to a Priest.

He acknowledges the elect are predestined, yet in the rules he warns against over emphasizing the teaching.  He also goes on to warn against emphasizing Salvation by Grace and through Faith.  He believed all three teachings could make the followers lazy when it comes to practicing good works, which he believed were efficacious, and in practicing Means of Grace.


One rule specifically mentions the veneration of Relics.  Relics, many of which were fake, were a target by the reformers.  Visiting relics were also a form of indulgence under the works of satisfaction in the Roman doctrine of penance.  Martin Luther specifically targeted indulgences.


He has a rule for the veneration of Images.  Yet he does say they should be used as they are intended.  Many Catholics wrongly endow the images with special powers.


He has a rule on participating in the Eucharist at least annually, though he recommends more often, such as monthly or preferably weekly.


He has a rule on the veneration and invocation of the Saints.


He also has a rule on practicing fasTs. Specifically he mentions the Fast during the season of LenT.


Pope Clement the VI, Papal Bull, Unigenitus, 1343.

Sources:  Class Notes and Documents of Christianity, Papal Bull Unigenitus, 1343.

  1. About the Pope.
  2. About the Plague.
  3. About the Bull which speaks of the Treasury of Merit which is the basis of the indulgences which are used to reduce time in Purgatory.

P – About the Pope.

Pope Clement the VI was the 4th Avignon, France Pope.  His real name is Pierre Roger.  He was awarded the name Knight Roger.  Pope Clement was headquartered in France.  He refused his invitations to headquarter in Rome.  He used the Palace of Joan I.  He offered to pay 80,000 Crowns for the palace, yet he actually never paid for the palace.  He justified this because previously the palace was used as a brothel and now he was giving it a better purpose, and he did absolve Joan of sins.  One quote about Pope Clement was, He was a patron of the arts, but he is not a Saint, when speaking about the character of the Pope.  He did participate briefly in the Crusades by ordering a naval attack on Smyrna.

P – About the Plague.

During his time as Pope, the black plague was present.  He did spend much time ministering in the plague.  He never caught the disease himself.  He ministered by organizing aid for the sick, those dying, and those who died.  Many at that time blamed the Jews for the plague because they were not catching the disease as frequent as others.  However, he put down this idea, and he believed the plague was caused by God’s wrath.  He absolved the temporal sins of all who died in the plague.

The plague was called the black plague because of the black spots it would cause on the victims and because it was spread by black rats.  Some estimate that the black plague resulted in the death of 60% of all Europeans.  Many believe the black plague was indeed what we know now as the bubonic plague.

P- Purgatory

Pope Clement wrote the Papa Bull of 1343 named Unigenitus.  Uni is Latin for, only.  Genitus is similar to our word Genesis, it means begotten.  So the name of the Bull is Only Begotten, a reference to Jesus Christ.  The word Bull refers to the lead bubble that is pressed with the Pope’s seal.  The bubble looks like a water bubble when water boils, which is the word, Bullire in Latin.  The leaden seal shows that the document is authentic.

The first half of the Bull is very Biblical.  It speaks of the blood of Jesus Christ.  However, the second half then goes into Roman Catholic doctrine, such as the Treasury of Merit being dispensed by Peter’s successors, meaning the Popes.

Although the words purgatory or indulgences is not mentioned in the bull, Cardinal Cajetan, used the bull during Martin Luther in the Augsburg trial of 1518.  The Treasury of Merit mentioned in the Bull is for the remission of all or part of temporal sins.

In the Roman Catholic doctrine of Penance, the penitent must go through four steps:

  1. Confession of their sins to a Priest.
  2. Contrition – or genuine remorse and repentance for the sin.
  3. Works of Satisfaction
  4. The Priest can then absolve the penitent.

Within the Works of Satisfaction the penitent must make up for the sin he committed.  However, if making up for the sin is not possible or was not done perfectly, then the believer must still suffer in purgatory for the temporal sin.  Ultimately, they believe they will still go to heaven due to the Grace of God, but before entering, they must suffer in purgatory to be purged of their temporal sins.  However, the use of an indulgence can be used to reduce the time in purgatory.  The indulgence can be a work, a pilgrimage, purchasing an entrance to see a relic, or purchasing a piece of paper that states some time off from purgatory through monetary sacrifice.  (During the time of Martin Luther, a Friar named John Tetzel was selling these indulgences.  The money was being used to build St Peters Basilica in Rome.  Luther believed the selling of them was being abused by Tetzel which led to Luther writing the 95 Thesis and writing directly to Rome about them.  However, this resulted in his excommunication from the Roman church.)  When an indulgence was obtained, the merit was withdrawn from the Treasury of Merit mentioned in the Bull.  The Treasury of Merit contained the merit of Christ, Mary, and the works of all the elect from the beginning of time to the present time.  Even today, the supererogation works of the saints are incrementally being added to the Treasury of Merit.  Of course, the Reformers were against the abuse of indulgences, and they were against the doctrine of purgatory which they believed was against the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice.


Erasmus of Rotterdam, Praise of Folly, 1509

Acronym B. B. B.

B – Beloved

B – Bible

B- Banned Book


Class Notes, Praise of Folly, 1509

B – Beloved

Desiderius Erasmus Rotterdamus was originally known as Garard Gerardson.  His parents died in the black plague.  He was educated in a monastery.  The name Erasmus means Beloved.  He became a monk and a Roman Catholic Priest.  He was Dutch and was from Rotterdam Holland.  Erasmus lived during the time of the Reformation.  He was controversial because he never took a clear side – Luther or Rome.  However, he did believe the church needed reformed, but he could not agree with the methods that Luther used.

B – Bible

Erasmus compiled ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.  Before Constantinople was sacked by the Muslims in 1453, many ancient manuscripts were saved and brought to Northern Europe.  During the Renaissance, Northern Europe desired to get back to the original documents and move aside the clutter of scholasticism.  During this time, the only Bible that was legal was Jerome’s Latin Vulgate.  This Latin Bible was the Roman Catholic Bible.  They kept it in Latin so only the educated scholars could study and teach it.  It was forbidden to translate it into common languages.  Erasmus wrote many pamphlets explaining how the Greek text that he compiled and translated into Latin was better than the existing Latin Vulgate translation.  Martin Luther and William Tyndale used later editions of Erasmus’ Greek text when they translated the Bible into German and English.

B – Banned Book

Erasmus’ most famous book was named, Praise of Folly, written in Latin in 1509.  The book was later translated into several languages.  He wrote the book to amuse his friend Sir Thomas More, the Chancellor of England during King Henry VIII’s reign.  The book was banned on the index of banned books by Rome until 1930.

Folly is personified.  She is praised in all the things gone wrong in society.  Various subjects are mentioned, but the book is important because of the harsh criticism it makes from the monks all the way up to the pope.

Remember, Erasmus was a monk, so he remembers well their lifestyle.  He criticizes them as follows:  because they do not work, they fill up their day with foppish ceremonies, they seemed overly concerned about grooming their beards, they trust in their works for salvation, they pride themselves on their poverty and not speaking.  He seems to imply that he would rather see them working and speaking to help others.

Erasmus really goes after the superstitions of trusting in Saints.  In one place he mentions that if prayers are made to St Christopher, then people will feel safe the next day.

The harshest words were reserved for the Pope.  He said they get their position through buying votes, and they keep their position by poisoning their challengers.  They only appear to help people, but in reality they do not.  He condemns all their foppish ceremonies.  He condemns their excommunications and their roaring bulls.  He said their life is a life of ease.  He mentions their long trail of servants, even implying some servants being prostitutes.

The book added fuel to the fire for a society that was ready for change.  Some saying, Erasmus laid the egg which Martin Luther hatched.




Are You Ready for The Day of The Lord? 1 Thessalonians 5 verses 1 through 5


, , , , ,

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

1 Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you.

2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.

3 Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would.



This passage continues Paul’s revelation from chapter 4 regarding the coming of Christ when all will be gathered to Him at the trumpet’s call. This will not only be a day of hope when Christians shall be gathered, but this day will also be a day of judgement and wrath for unbelievers.


Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters-

• Meaning Paul addresses the timing of when Christ will return.

• Acts 1:6-7 (NET) 6 So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.

you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you know quite well –

• Meaning there is no need to write to them because they already know the time of His coming is unknowable like an unexpected thief in the night. Possibly Paul already taught this during his previous visit to the Thessalonians.

that the day of the Lord will come –

• Here the event of Christ’s return is called ‘the day of the Lord’. It is a day of judgement for unbelievers as will be shown below with the three negative examples.

• 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (NET) 6 For it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. 8 With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, 10 when he comes to be glorified among his saints and admired on that day among all who have believed – and you did in fact believe our testimony.

in the same way as a thief in the night-

• Meaning Christ’s return will be unexpected for unbelievers like a thief in the night.

• While one is sleeping and unaware a thief can steal, so this is the case with unbelievers. They are spiritually sleeping, meaning spiritually dead, and they are unaware of the danger coming to take away everything.

• 2 Peter 3:10 (NET) 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare.

Discussion Question:

• Have you ever been the victim of a thief? Explain your experience.

Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them –

• This is a second phrase to show how surprised the unbelievers will be at His coming. They are spiritually dead by believing everything with their life and soul is at peace and is secure, but then without notice, destruction will be on their life and soul forever.

Discussion Question:

  • Have you ever been in a car accident? Describe how sudden it happened.

like labor pains on a pregnant woman-

• A third way to show the surprise and the pain they will experience is like child birth.

• John Gill says it this way, “whose anguish and pains are very sharp, the cause of which is within herself, and which come suddenly upon her, and are unavoidable…”

Discussion Question:

  • Have you experience labor? Describe your feeling of surprise when the first contraction happened.

and they will surely not escape-

• Meaning there will be nowhere to hide from the wrath of GOD that is coming on them.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would-

• Meaning Christians are expectant of His coming, though they don’t know the time and the season, and their soul is prepared against the event because they are not in the darkness as unbelievers. They are alive and in the light.

• Colossians 1:13 (NET) 13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves,

• 1 Peter 2:9,10 (NET) 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Discussion Question:

Have you ever successfully deterred a thief? How did you prepare to not become a victim?

Explain your memories when you were called out of spiritual darkness and transferred into the kingdom of the Son?

What can we do to warn those of the coming judgement of God?


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 Ready for The Day of The Lord?


Remember how you were lost in sin and in life. I called you to come hear the gospel with your friend. Remember how you felt the truth draw your soul to My Son over and over each time that you heard it. You tried to forget it and resist it, but the message of My grace within you was irresistible. Finally you trusted My Son as your redeemer. Now you are ready for My Son’s return.

Now tell others the message! You preach, and I will draw.

Do You Have Hope To See the Sleeping? 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 13-18


, , , , , , ,

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NET)

13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians.

15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep.

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.

18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.



Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep-

• Paul now writes about the return of the Lord with those Christians who are asleep, meaning those who have died. This does not mean that their soul is sleeping. This means that the believer’s body is dead. Paul and Jesus call this sleep. It’s a way of showing that someday the ‘sleeping’ body will awake in the resurrection as shown in the phrases below.

• John 11:11-13 (NET) 11 After he said this, he added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. But I am going there to awaken him.” 12 Then the disciples replied, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 (Now Jesus had been talking about his death, but they thought he had been talking about real sleep.

so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope-

• Notice Paul does not say they will not grieve for their loved ones, but rather they will grieve differently because they have hope that their Christian loved will be seen again as mentioned in the next phrases.

Discussion Question:

• Explain any differences that you have witnessed how a believer deals with grief differently than a non-believer?

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians-

• Meaning just as Jesus has risen from the dead, so Christians who have died will also be raised from the dead and brought back with Jesus at His coming.

• The phrase, God will bring with Him, can mean…

• a) God the Father will cause the raised Christians to be brought back with Jesus, or

• b) God the Son will bring back the raised Christians with Himself.

• 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NET) 13 so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

• 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (NET) 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him.

• Jude 1:14 (NET) 14 Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones…

For we tell you this by the word of the Lord-

• Meaning Paul has received the following details as revelation from God.

that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep-

• Paul provides details of the order in how Christians will gather together with the Lord at His coming. Paul is clear that the bodies of those who have died in Jesus will go ahead first. This order is again repeated in the phrases following.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command-

• Meaning just as He ascended to Heaven in the Book of Acts, now He will descend from Heaven. However, this time he will return with a cry of incitement for His elect to gather to Him.

• Strong’s Definitions: †κέλευμα kéleuma, kel’-yoo-mah; a cry of incitement

• Webster defines incite as – to move to action : stir up : spur on : urge on

• Acts 1:11 (NET) 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.”

with the voice of the archangel-

• Meaning Michael the archangel will also be present with his angles, and he will call.

• Jude 1:9 (NET) But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”

• 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 (NET) 6 For it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.

and with the trumpet of God-

• Trumpets were used in ancient times to signal movements of people and armies. This trumpet is for the same reason – to gather God’s people.

• Numbers 10:2 (NET) “Make two trumpets of silver; you are to make them from a single hammered piece. You will use them for assembling the community and for directing the traveling of the camps.

and the dead in Christ will rise first-

• Paul repeats the order in which they will raise once again. First those who are asleep, now defined as dead in Christ, will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air-

• Second in order to rise will be those who are still living. All of His people throughout all time will be gathered together with the Lord in the clouds. We will all be changed to be imperishable and immortal.

• 1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (NET) 52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

• Philippians 3:20-21 (NET) 20 But our citizenship is in heaven – and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.

And so we will always be with the Lord-

• Oh how comforting! We will all be together, and we will all never again be separated from the lover of our souls – the Lord.

Therefore encourage one another with these words-

• These words encourage us because ..

• the dead will be raised

• we will be changed

• we will be together

• we will be with the Lord forevermore.

Discussion Question:

• What comes to your mind after studying this revelation?

• Knowing we will all be gathered together with the Lord in the clouds, how could we be better at Christian unity now in this time?


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 Have Hope To See the Sleeping?


Do not despair, lose all hope, or go into deep depression for those believers who have died. I am sovereign, and I am in control of everything. Just as I have raised from the dead, so I will raise them back to life. You will all be gathered together at My trumpet’s call.

All the believers throughout time will be gathered together. You all will be with Me forevermore. We will be spending eternity together. Therefore, today make an effort to be unified with other believers.

Have You Yielded to Faith? Romans 1 verses 5-7


, , , ,

Bible study with Chris and Brianne.

Romans 1:5-7

5 Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name.

6 You also are among them, called to belong to Jesus Christ.

7 To all those loved by God in Rome, called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!



Through him we have received grace and our apostleship-

• Meaning through Jesus Christ mentioned in the previous verse.

A) we-

• Meaning the apostles (Paul and Timothy) Romans 16:21.

B) Received grace-

• Two possible interpretations.

• First, meaning God’s Divine favor by which the apostles were made saved from their sins.

• Second, not speaking of saving grace, but rather grace to do the work of an apostle.

• (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) used of the power to undertake and administer the apostolic office.

• Romans 15:15-16 (NET) 15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve the gospel of God like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

C) Our apostleship- see the previous passage study for the definition of an apostle.

to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name-

A) to bring about the obedience of faith-

  • Meaning the purpose of their apostleship.
  • Meaning to give others the choice to obey trusting in the gospel or to disobey by not trusting in the gospel.
  • Jamieson, Faussete, and Brown commentary: that is, in order to men’s yielding themselves to the belief of God’s saving message, which is the highest of all obedience.
  • John 6:29 (NET) Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires – to believe in the one whom he sent.”
  • Acts 6:7 (NET) The word of God continued to spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:8 (NET) With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

B) among all the gentiles-

• Meaning all of the gentiles that Paul speaks with wherever he goes (the gentiles are his main audience in Rome).

C) on behalf of his name-

• Meaning the Apostles are doing this work among the gentiles for Christ’s name.

Discussion Question-

• God gave Paul a purpose. How can we determine God’s purpose for us?

You also are among them-

  • Meaning the believing gentiles in Rome are among the other gentiles who have the obedience of faith mentioned above.

called to belong to Jesus Christ. –

  • Meaning those believing gentiles in Rome are called to come to Jesus.
  • John 6:44-45 (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. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.

To all those loved by God in Rome –

• Not speaking of all the Romans, but God’s love is referring to those believing Gentiles in Rome who are called above.

called to be saints-

• Meaning that the believing gentiles in Rome are called to be sacred and set apart for Him.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines saint as set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his.

• Strong’s Definition for the Greek word means, sacred.

Discussion Question

• Explain the time in your life when you experienced God’s calling to come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ?

Grace and peace to you-

• Paul’s common greeting in his letters.

• Meaning he desires they will experience God’s spiritual favor (grace) and harmony (peace).

from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ-

• Meaning by whom the blessings of grace and peace flow.

• God the Father, the provider, the authority, and Father to Jesus and his children

• The Lord Jesus Christ meaning our Master, Savior, and the Anointed one.

Are You a Genuine Son? 你是真儿子吗? Titus 1 verses 4 to 5 提多书 1:4-5


, ,

Are You a Genuine Son?

Titus 1 verses 4 to 5 (NET)

提多书1:4-5 (CSBS)

4 To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior!

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







To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith


A) Titus


Below are other references in the New Testament about Titus and regarding Paul and Titus’ close relationship.


Galatians 2:1 (NET) 1 Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too.

加拉太书2:1 过了十四年,我与巴拿巴一起再次上耶路撒冷,并且带着提多一起去。

Galatians 2:3 (NET) 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek.



2 Corinthians 2:13 (NET) 13 I had no relief in my spirit, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-bye to them and set out for Macedonia.

 哥林多后书 2:13我还是灵里不安,因为我没有见到我的弟兄提多。因此我向那里的人告别,往马其顿省去了。

2 Corinthians 7:5-6 (NET) 5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our body had no rest at all, but we were troubled in every way – struggles from the outside, fears from within.

But God, who encourages the downhearted, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.

哥林多后书7:实际上,我们以前到马其顿省的时候,不但身体得不到安宁,也处处受患难,外有争战,内有惧怕。 然而那安慰卑微[a]之人的神,藉着提多的到来安慰了我们;

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.

哥林多后书8: 23 论到提多,他是我的同伴,也是为着你们的同工。至于那两位弟兄,他们是各教会的使者,是基督的荣耀。

Discussion Questions:


In your life, can you name examples of gospel ministry partners who work together and really care for each other like Paul and Titus?

在你的生活中,是否看到过像保罗和提多这样亲密, 在一起服事神的组合?

B) my son


Paul’s son means that Titus either became a Christian or was trained through Paul’s ministry. He was not Paul’s physical son, but he was Paul’s son in a spiritual sense.


C) genuine

My genuine son means Titus’ faith was true as evidenced by his good works.


James 2:18 (NET) 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works.


雅各书2:18 不过有人会说:“你有信仰;我有行为。”请给我看看你没有行为的信仰,我也本于自己的行为给你看看我的信仰。

D) common faith


Common faith means Titus was saved by the same faith by which all Christians are saved.


Discussion Questions:


1.  Who brought you to Christ or trained you up in the Faith?


2  Name those believers that you can call spiritual sons and daughters through your ministry?  Name someone that you have trained up in the faith?


3.  Explain the differences between a genuine believer and a non-genuine professor of Christ?


Grace and peace –


Paul’s common greeting in his letters.

Meaning he desires they will experience spiritual favor, wellbeing, and harmony.


from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior! –


Meaning by whom the blessings of grace and peace flow.


God the Father, the provider, the authority, and Father to Jesus and His spiritual children.


Christ Jesus, The Anointed one, the Savior of believers by the common faith.

耶稣, 受膏者, 信徒的拯救者

The reason I left you in Crete –


Here we learn that Paul left Titus in Crete for the purposes below.


Crete is a small Island located in the Mediterranean Sea. This is the same island Paul sailed under before being caught in the Euroclydon and crashing on Melita during his journey to answer before Caesar. Act 27.


was to set in order the remaining matters –


Titus’ mission was to set things in order in the churches on the island of Crete.


The specific matters to set in order are mentioned throughout this letter.


and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you –


The second part of Titus’ mission was to appoint elders / leaders in each town in Crete.


The letter to Timothy and this letter to Titus specify the qualifications of elders.


The purpose of elders will be discussed later in this letter.


Discussion Question:


Why do you think elders were needed? How do you imagine the church would look without elders?


Can you name some elders in your life for whom you are grateful?


Are You Loving Others More And More? 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 9 to 12


, , ,

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (NET)

9 Now on the topic of brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.

10 And indeed you are practicing it toward all the brothers and sisters in all of Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,

11 to aspire to lead a quiet life, to attend to your own business, and to work with your hands, as we commanded you.

12 In this way you will live a decent life before outsiders and not be in need.



Now on the topic of brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write you-

• Paul now changes the topic from keeping away from sexual immorality to living a loving life, a quite life, and a hard working life.

• He then commends them for their love one toward another by saying, you have no need for anyone to write you.

A) brotherly love

• Strong’s Definitions: φιλαδελφία; philadelphía, fil-ad-el-fee’-ah; fraternal affection

• 1 John 3:11,14-19,23 (NET) 11 For this is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another, 14 We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death. 15 Everyone who hates his fellow Christian is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16 We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. 17 But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth.

Discussion Questions:

• From the 1 John passage above, what ways is love shown to others?

• What are other practical ways we can show love toward others?

• What hinders us from showing love toward others?

for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another –

• Meaning they are taught to love each other not through Paul’s teaching, but they are taught inwardly by God‘s Spirit.

• Hebrews 10:16 (NET) 16 “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,”

And indeed you are practicing it toward all the brothers and sisters in all of Macedonia –

• Meaning their love was in action by loving others in prayer, word, service, and finances not only in Thessalonica but throughout all of Macedonia.

• Map of ancient Macedonia.

Discussion Questions:

• Provide examples how our church and the individual members of our church are practicing love toward our ‘Macedonia’?

But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more –

• As in the previous passage regarding sexual holiness, here Paul urges them to love more and more. This is not a one-and-done type love, but this is a lifetime of loving through prayer, word, service, and giving.

to aspire to lead a quiet life –

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon for the word, aspire, means to be ‘ambitious’.

• Strong’s Definitions for the word, quite: ἡσυχάζω hēsycházō, hay-soo-khad’-zo; to keep still, i.e. refrain from labor, meddlesomeness or speech.

• It cannot mean refrain from labor in this context since Paul tells them to labor with their hands shortly.

• Therefore, in this context it means to not be meddlesome. This goes along with the next phrase within this verse.

• It can also mean to be quite in speech. I think John Gill says the meaning best…And that ye study to be quiet,…. To live peaceably in their own families, and to give no disturbance to other families, by talebearing, whispering, and backbiting; to behave with quietness in the neighbourhood, town, or city, they dwell in, and to seek the peace thereof; and to lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty, in the commonwealth, and under the government to which they belong; and not to create and encourage factions, divisions, animosities, and contentions, in their own church, or in any of the churches of Christ; and it becomes saints to make this their study, to be very solicitous for it, to strive for it, and pursue after it: the word used signifies to be ambitious of it, as what is a man’s glory and honour, to emulate and strive to outdo each other, as who shall have the honour of being the quietest person, and the most peaceable member in the community.

• Proverbs 17:1 (NET) 1 Better is a dry crust of bread where there is quietness than a house full of feasting with strife.

• Proverbs 17:27-28 (NET) 27 The truly wise person restrains his words, and the one who stays calm is discerning. 28 Even a fool who remains silent is considered wise, and the one who holds his tongue is deemed discerning.

• Proverbs 21:23 (NET) The one who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his life from troubles.

Discussion Question:

• In what ways do we stir up strife within our families, school, work, and church?

• Do you know someone involved in a lot of drama? What is there speech like?

to attend to your own business –

• Meaning focusing on your own work and not meddling in other people’s work and affairs.

• 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NET) 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.

• 1 Timothy 5:13 (NET) 13 And besides that, going around from house to house they learn to be lazy, and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not.

Discussion Question:

• Why do you think people neglect their own work, and they meddle in the work and life of others?

and to work with your hands, as we commanded you –

• Meaning Paul reminds them again of his previous command to work with their hands.

• This is mentioned again in 2 Thessalonians showing their was a persistent problem regarding this issue among them.

• 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12 (NET) 7 For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline among you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 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.

Discussion Question:

• What are reasons people don’t do their own work?

• Explain the difference between helping others who can’t work vs enabling others who will not work?

In this way you will live a decent life before outsiders –

• The first result of these actions is the Thessalonian believers will be a good example to the lost.

• John 17:21 (NET) that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.

• 1 Timothy 3:7 (NET) 7 And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap.

• 1 Peter 2:12 (NET) 12 and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.

and not be in need–

• The second result is they will be able to provide for themselves.

• Proverbs 10:4 (NET) 4 The one who is lazy becomes poor, but the one who works diligently becomes wealthy.

• Proverbs 20:4 (NET) 4 The sluggard will not plow during the planting season, so at harvest time he looks for the crop but has nothing.


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 Loving Others More And More?


Show love to others more and more. You are loving those who I have placed around you, but just don’t go through the motions. Spend a little extra time and effort showing them your love in little special ways.

Study to be quite. Be careful stirring up negativity at work, home, and church. Think it through before you speak. Pursue peace with ambition.

Work diligently with your own hands. Work hard on things you like but also on things you like less. The world is watching your work. Serve Me with your work.

Be grateful for your work and income. Be grateful for your health and abilities to work.

Are you possessing your own body? 1 Thessalonians 4 verses 1 through 8


, , , ,

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

1 Finally then, brothers and sisters, we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received instruction from us about how you must live and please God (as you are in fact living) that you do so more and more.

2 For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

3 For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality,

4 that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor,

5 not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God.

6 In this matter no one should violate the rights of his brother or take advantage of him, because the Lord is the avenger in all these cases, as we also told you earlier and warned you solemnly.

7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness.

8 Consequently the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.



In the previous passage, Paul’s prayer and desire was that God will cause the Thessalonians to abound in love toward those inside and outside of the church. By loving others, this will establish their holiness so they will be blameless at the second coming of Christ. In this passage, Paul continues to talk about holiness by resisting sexual immorality and lustful passions that may hurt their brothers. He warns that God will avenge such actions.


Finally then, brothers and sisters, we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus –

A) ask and urge

• Meaning Paul asks, begs, and beseeches them, and additionally he also warns, exhorts, and advises them.

B) in Jesus Christ

• In Jesus Christ means Paul is speaking on behalf of Jesus Christ and in alignment with his teaching.

Discussion Questions:

• What approach do you use when warning a brother or sister of sin?

• How should we respond if our warning is rejected?

that as you received instruction from us about how you must live and please God (as you are in fact living) that you do so more and more-

• Meaning Paul reminds them of the instructions he gave them when he was present with them on how they should walk.

• He reminds them to please God, meaning, to live in a way that is in agreement with God’s ways.

• He then commends them for already living properly.

• Last he encourages them to excel even more.

Discussion Question:

• Why do we lack giving commendation when people are doing well?

For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus-

• Again he reminds them of the instruction he gave when he was present with them.

• Again the phrase ‘through the Lord Jesus’ means that Paul gave them commands that were on Christ’s behalf and were in accordance with Christ’s teaching.

For this is God’s will-

• Paul begins to specifically remind them of God’s will for them.

that you become holy-

• Meaning that they be set apart from the world’s ways and many kinds of sins.

• holy – Thayer’s Greek Lexicon; ἁγιασμός hagiasmós, hag-ee-as-mos’ – sanctification of heart and life.

• Sanctify – Webster: to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use.

Discussion Question:

• Why do so many lives in the modern church look no different than those who are not Christians?

that you keep away from sexual immorality-

• God desires their holiness from all sorts of sins, but here he specifically mentions holiness with regard to sexual immoralities, such as, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality.

Strong’s Definitions: πορνεία porneía, por-ni’-ah; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry.

Discussion Question:

• What are some practical ways to keep away from sexual immorality in dating and marriage?

that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor-

• There are two interpretations:

• One, Meaning they should be careful to control the behaviors of their own person, and they should respect their body (purchased by the Lord with his life) to not use it for sin.

• Two, the Greek word for possess implies possessing their own body, meaning their own wife. Therefore, they should know how to be holy in this relationship with their spouse, and they should know how to honor/value the relationship with their spouse. They surely should deny themselves from having sex outside of their marriage.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon to acquire, get, or procure a thing for one’s self, to posses; to marry a wife

not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God-

• Meaning they should have the self control, holiness, and honor shown above, and they should not follow their extreme desires like the godless Gentiles.

In this matter no one should violate the rights of his brother or take advantage of him-

• The passage means he should not ‘go beyond, transgress’ nor ‘defraud, overreach, wrong’ his brother by having adultery with his brother’s wife.

because the Lord is the avenger in all these cases, as we also told you earlier and warned you solemnly-

• Meaning that God is aware of harmful acts toward others and he will hold them accountable, and He will discipline them accordingly.

• He again reminds them that he has already warned them with great gravity.

• Below are verses regarding God’s discipline.

• Romans 12:19 (NET) Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

• Romans 13:2-4 (NET) 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, 4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer.

• 1 Corinthians 11:29-32 (NET) 29 For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few are dead. 31 But if we examined ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world.

• Hebrews 12:6 (NET) “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.”

• In the case of adultery, it may be that the brother is not a true brother and will not inherit the kingdom of God.

• 1 Corinthians 6:8-11 (NET) 8 But you yourselves wrong and cheat, and you do this to your brothers and sisters! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness-

• Meaning, God’s purpose in calling them was not to live in sexual sin, but to live in a life that is set apart from sin.

Consequently the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority but God-

• Meaning those Christians who walk in this this way are not rejecting Paul, Timothy, and Silas, but they rejecting the authority of God himself.

Discussion Question:

• What role should the church have with those who profess Christ yet reject His authority by living comfortably in their publicly known sexual sins?

who gives his Holy Spirit to you-

• Notice the word ‘gives’ is in present tense. He continually gives them the Holy Spirit who will help them live holy.

• Jamieson- Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary – “Giveth” implies that sanctification is not merely a work once for all accomplished in the past, but a present progressive work. So the Church of England Catechism, “sanctifieth (present) all the elect people of God.”


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 possessing your own body?


Confront those brothers directly that are comfortable living in sin. Warn them humbly because all have sinned.

Commend those brothers who are resisting sin and honoring the sacrifice of My Son.

Speak up at your church. Let my truth be heard. Don’t neglect talking about sin just because it is common in your culture. Challenge the brothers and sisters to live holy lives. Don’t shy away from my scriptures which often speak on this subject.

Be an example for others. Resist sexual sin. Honor your wife and the marriages of others. Be on-guard against relationships that can go too far.

For those who profess Christ yet live comfortably in the church while publicly sinning, confront humbly. Push the church to counsel them and lovingly discipline them. Disciplining them with the motive to free them from sin is uncomfortable, but this is loving toward their soul.