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

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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.

———-

Phrases:

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.

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Do You Have Hope To See the Sleeping?

Bob,

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.

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

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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!

————

Phrases:

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

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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

致共同信仰上的真儿子提多

愿恩典、平安从父神和我们的救主基督耶稣临到你!

我曾把你留在克里特岛,为的是这样的缘故:要你处理那些还没有办完的事,并且照着我所吩咐你的,在各城委任长老。

—–

Phrases:

词语解释:

To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith

致共同信仰上的真儿子提多

A) Titus

提多

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

下面是圣经新约里有关提多,以及保罗和他关系的经文

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.

 

加拉太书2:3与我在一起的提多,虽然是希腊人,也没有被迫受割礼。

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:

问题讨论

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

我的儿子

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.

提多是在保罗的教会受洗或受训成长起来的。他们不是血缘关系上的而是精神上的父子。

C) genuine

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

真儿子的意思是提多的信仰是真的基于他所做的事工

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

共同的信仰

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

意思是提多与所有基督徒一样得救于同样的信仰。

Discussion Questions:

问题讨论

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

谁是带领你认识耶稣或在信仰的路上对你进行过培训的人?

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?

你有可以称之为精神上的儿女吗?你对谁在信仰上进行过培训吗?

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

请解释一下真正信耶稣的人和口头上称自己信耶稣的人之间的区别

Grace and peace –

恩典和平安

Paul’s common greeting in his letters.

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

这样的问候是保罗在他的书信中常用的,意思是希望他们能够拥有灵命的富足与和谐。

from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior! –

从父神和我们的救主基督耶稣

Meaning by whom the blessings of grace and peace flow.

意思是恩典平安从他们而来

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

父神,供应者,权柄掌有者,耶稣和所有信他的人的父

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 –

我把你留在克里特的原因

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

保罗把提多留在克里特有以下原因

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.

克里特是位于地中海的一个小岛。就是使徒行转27章记载的保罗在前往罗马面见凯撒大帝前遇到台风的马耳他岛之前经过的地方。

was to set in order the remaining matters –

要你处理那些还没有办完的事

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

提多的任务就是处理一些克里特岛上教会中的一些问题。

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

具体哪些事情在这封信的后面讲到。

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

照着我所吩咐你的,在各城委任长老。

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

提多的第二个任务是在克里特的每个镇里指派长老(领袖)。

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

提摩太书和提多书都特别提到对长老的要求。

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

长老的作用在信的后面会讨论。

Discussion Question:

问题讨论

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

请思考一下为什么需要长老?如果一个教会没有长老会怎样?

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

在你的生命中是否有你很感恩的长老?

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

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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.

————-

Phrases:

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.

https://jerryandgod.com/pauls-third-journey-and-acts-23-paul-taken-to-cesarea/

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?

Bob,

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

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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.

———

Context:

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.

Phrases:

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?

Bob,

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.

Nimuel Chhatria India Missions Report November 2017 through January 2018

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1. REPORTING TIME PERIOD , November 2017 to January ,2018 ,

2, DONATION RECEIVED THIS PERIOD ,  email for details.
3, DONATION SPENT THIS PERIOD ,  email for details.
4, ACCOUNT BALANCE END OF THIS PERIOD , Rupees, email for details.
5,LIST OF PEOPLE SERVED THIS PERIOD , Total ,206 people professed to Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and God ,
6,LIST OF PLACES VISITED THIS PERIOD ,Total ,6 New Villages visited
7, TOTAL MISSIONARIES ( Pastors) , 30
8, TOTAL MEMBERS OF HOUSE CHURCHES AND Hope-cells ,590 ,We have total 30 House Churches and 12 HOPE Cells
9, SPECIAL EVENTS THIS PERIOD ,
  •  Thank God for His helps and guidance that we had 4 gospel meetings in different Villages
  • We had a baptism program and 3 believers took baptism ,
  • Distributed total 215 New Testament among the people
  • Visited 3 Widows home and distributed clothes
  • We had Christmas celebrations with the Children of Leper’s Camp ,thank God for provision ,prayer partners and their gracious hands to purchase  some clothes and distributed among the Children
10,  PRAISES FROM THIS PERIOD ,
  • Thank God for grace enabling us to conducte four gospel meetings in four different villages and many souls being saved by grace through faith , also we thank God that our gospel meetings were conducted among the Hindu people without any problems , thank God for giving us safe mercy journey to go and preached the glorious gospel
  • Thank God for gospel meetings and 206 new souls ,
  • Distributed New Testament ,215
  • Visited Widows House and Leprosy Camp for providing them clothes
  • Praise God for baptism service
  • Praise God for funds
  • Praise God for our outreach gospel team work
  • Praise God for our Follow up work , HOPE Cells and House churches
  • Praise God for our prayer partners , their gracious hands and  provision of God
11, PRAYER REQUEST ,
 During last three months God has blessed NEW LIFE MOVEMENT with practical and effective strategies for evangelism work , to reach to unreach people and places to extend the Kingdom of God , Our aim and goal is making Discipleship through HOPE Cells and establish Biblical Baptist Churches in India
  • A, Kindly pray for the Members in HOPE Cells and Worship Groups for their Spiritual growth ,
  • B, Kindly pray for the Gospel Team work and their needs
  • C, Kindly pray for 30 Missionaries Funds
  • D, Kindly pray for a Four Wheeler (car) for the gospel Team work
  • E, Kindly pray a Church Building in Raipur City of Chhattishgarh , we don’t have a place to conduct Sunday Worship service in peacefully ,It’s very very necessary to us ,because of this issue many of our believers not coming to Sunday service ,the place where now conducting Sunday service the house owner twice forbidden us not to conduct service ,if God provide a Church building then ministry will grow more effectively ,more over there is no baptist Church or ministry in Raipur City at Chhattishgarh State
  • F, Kindly pray for a Church Building in Bahadurpita Village
  • G,Kindly pray for the HOPE Cells to establish
  • H,Kindly pray for the new worship group to establish
  • I ,Kindly pray for the Funds of this ministry
12, FUTURE PLANES ,
  • A, One Gospel meetings in a Month ,
  • B, Gospel Team work ,
  • C, Baptist Bible Training School ,one year course ,
  • D, In every month we will do the Follow up work ,HOPE Cells ,
    Above all kindly uphold us in your prayers as we have been praying for you all , your family , your works ,let God name be glory through this ministry ,
In His Service ,
Rev,Nimuel Chhatria ,

How is God Calling You? Romans 1 verses 1 through 4

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Romans 1:1-4

1 From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.

2 This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

3 concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh,

4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

————

By Bob, Chris and Brianne

Phrases:

From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle-

• Meaning Paul, previously named Saul, identified himself as a servant of the Lord, and he recalls his calling as an apostle.

A) Slave

• Strong’s Definitions: δοῦλος; doo’-los; a slave (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary; frequently, therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency)

• from δέω; deh’-o; to bind

• Webster

• a person held in servitude as the chattel of another

• one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence

B) Called

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

• called to (the discharge of) some office: κλητός ἀπόστολος, i. e. divinely selected and appointed

C) Apostle

• Strong’s Definitions: ἀπόστολος; apóstolos, ap-os’-tol-os; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers.

• John Gill : an apostle was one that was (1) immediately sent by Christ, and had his (2) authority and doctrine directly from him, and (3) had a power of working miracles from him, in confirmation of the truth of his mission, authority, and doctrine.

(1) immediately sent by Christ

• Acts 22:17-21 (NET) 17 When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”

(2) authority and doctrine directly from him,

• Galatians 1:11-12 (NET) 11 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; instead I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ.

3) had a power of working miracles from him, in confirmation of the truth of his mission, authority, and doctrine

• Mark 16:20 (NET) 20 They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs.]]

• Hebrews 2:4 (NET) 4 while God confirmed their witness with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

• Acts 14:3 (NET) 3 So they stayed there for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified to the message of his grace, granting miraculous signs and wonders to be performed through their hands.

Discussion Questions:

• Why does the idea of being Christ’s slave rub against our fallen human nature?

• How can we distinguish God’s call?

• What is the difference between the Apostles of the Bible vs those that may be called apostle today?

Set apart for the gospel of God –

• Meaning Paul was separated to teach God’s gospel.

A) Gospel

• Strong’s Definitions: εὐαγγέλιον, euangélion, yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on; a good message, i.e. the Gospel.

• Luke 2:10,11 (NET) 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.

• 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NET) 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.

This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures-

• Meaning the Gospel was promised by God through the Old Testament scriptures and prophets. See below Old Testament verses.

When the Messiah would arrive is foretold

• Daniel 9:24-26 (NET) 24 “Seventy weeks have been determined concerning your people and your holy city to put an end to rebellion, to bring sin to completion, to atone for iniquity, to bring in perpetual righteousness, to seal up the prophetic vision, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times. 26 Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them. But his end will come speedily like a flood. Until the end of the war that has been decreed there will be destruction.

The Virgin Birth foretold

• Isaiah 7:14 (NET) 14 For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.

Location of his birth foretold

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

John the Baptists ministry foretold

• Malachi 3:1 (NET) 1 “I am about to send my messenger, who will clear the way before me. Indeed, the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you long for, is certainly coming,” says the LORD who rules over all.

Christ’s Miracles foretold

• Isaiah 29:18-19 (NET) 18 At that time the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll, and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness. 19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the LORD; the poor among humankind will take delight in the Holy One of Israel.

Arriving to Jerusalem on a donkey

• Zechariah 9:9 (NET) 9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your king is coming to you: he is legitimate and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey – on a young donkey, the foal of a female donkey.

Suffering for our sin is foretold

• Isaiah 53:5-9 (NET) 5 He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. 6 All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the LORD caused the sin of all of us to attack him. 7 He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. 8 He was led away after an unjust trial – but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. 9 They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully.

How he would suffer is foretold

• Psalm 22:1-18 (NET) 1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I groan in prayer, but help seems far away. 2 My God, I cry out during the day, but you do not answer, and during the night my prayers do not let up. 3 You are holy; you sit as king receiving the praises of Israel. 4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted in you and you rescued them. 5 To you they cried out, and they were saved; in you they trusted and they were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm, not a man; people insult me and despise me. 7 All who see me taunt me; they mock me and shake their heads. 8 They say, “Commit yourself to the LORD! Let the LORD rescue him! Let the LORD deliver him, for he delights in him.” 9 Yes, you are the one who brought me out from the womb and made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts. 10 I have been dependent on you since birth; from the time I came out of my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Do not remain far away from me, for trouble is near and I have no one to help me. 12 Many bulls surround me; powerful bulls of Bashan hem me in. 13 They open their mouths to devour me like a roaring lion that rips its prey. 14 My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me. 15 The roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery; my tongue sticks to my gums. You set me in the dust of death. 16 Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. 17 I can count all my bones; my enemies are gloating over me in triumph. 18 They are dividing up my clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for my garments.

The resurrection foretold

• Psalm 16:10 (NET) 10 You will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful follower to see the Pit.

Discussion Question:

• Who is Paul writing to within Rome? See Romans 1:5-6.

• Why would Paul refer back to the Old Testament scriptures and Jewish prophets when speaking to Gentiles?

• What should be our attitude in studying the Old Testament?

concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh-

• The Son, meaning Jesus in his divinity, the second person of the Trinity.

• Joseph was a direct descendant of King David (tribe of Judah). Many scholars believe that the genealogy listed in Luke 3 is actually of Mary instead of Joseph ( although Joseph is listed because females are not included in genealogies). However. Other scholars believe that the decent from David can only be proved through Joseph, Jesus’ ‘adoptive’ father.

• Jesus reference to the flesh means He was born into human form – not only the Son of God but also the Son of Man. The flesh was needed that as a man he could die for man.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon for flesh. σάρξ sárx, sarx; Meaning the body; the body of a man; used of natural or physical origin, generation or relationship.

• 2 Samuel 7:12-16 (NET) 12 When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. 14 I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings. 15 But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will stand before me permanently; your dynasty will be permanent.'”

• Matthew 1:1-2 (NET) 1 This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

• Matthew 1:16 (NET) 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Discussion Questions:

Do you know of any friends or family who were adopted and then received an inheritance from their parents?

Why did Jesus need to come in the flesh?

Why did Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, have to come through the line of David?

Can you explain how Jesus’s two natures were useful for our redemption?

who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord-

This is a difficult passage with several interpretations. We agree with with the…

Cambridge Bible for Schools and College commentary

The present passage will thus mean: ‘He was declared to be the Son of God, with power, (even as the Holy Ghost foretold,) in consequence of the ressurection.’

We accept the translation, Holy Spirit, instead of, Spirit of holiness, as other English versions translate the phrase. By translating as Holy Spirit, all the persons of the Trinity are mentined in this passage. Other English versions translate this phrase as Spirit of holiness which then refers to Jesus’ divine nature that appoints Himself in contrast to his human nature spoken of in the previous verse.

Acts 13:33-35 (NET)

33 that this promise God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have fathered you.’ 34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the dead, never again to be in a state of decay, God has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.’ 35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.’

———-

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

———-

Don’t be afraid to be My slave. I will give you desires in how to serve Me. I will direct your path to serve Me in ways that fulfill those desires I created within you.

Start moving, and I will guide you where I want you. As you serve, your desires will be confirmed and strengthened to prove to you that this is My calling for you.

Titus 1:1-3 Are You Continuing to Spread the Message? 提多书1:1-3 你将继续传播福音吗?

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Titus 1:1-3 Mandarin Chinese and English

Titus 1 verses 1-3

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,

2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began.

3 But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior.

提多书1:1-3

问安

1  神的仆人、耶稣基督的使徒保罗(这是为着 神选民的信心,和那合乎敬虔真理的知识; 2 这都是根据永生的盼望,这永生就是没有谎言的 神在万世以前所应许的。 3到了适当的时候, 神就借着福音的宣讲,把他的道显明出来 。照着 神我们救主的命令,这宣讲的使命交托了我)

———-

Phrases:

词语解释:

From Paul –

保罗

A Jew and Roman citizen who was once the enemy of the gospel but is now dedicated to its furtherance after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus.

他原来是犹太教信徒,罗马公民,曾经是基督徒的敌人,在去往大马色的各的路上耶稣向他显现,他成为基督徒,现在专注于广传福音。

Discussion Question: Like Paul, how has the purpose of your life changed after your faith in Jesus?

问题:你的生活目标在接受耶稣基督后有何变化?

a slave of God –

神的奴仆–

Meaning Paul is God’s servant. His life is humbly dedicated to his Master, Jesus Christ.

保罗称他是神的仆人。他的生命全部奉献给救主耶稣。

Discussion Question: Do you remember a time when you surrendered your life to serve Jesus?

问题:你还记得那个时刻你下定决心一生服侍耶稣基督吗?

and apostle of Jesus Christ –

耶稣基督的使徒

Apostle is the English derivative of the Greek word ἀπόστολος, ap-os’-tol-os.

英文使徒这个词由来于希腊文。

An Apostle is one sent with orders directly by Jesus Christ, and their words and authority are confirmed by their miraculous works.

使徒是指那些直接由耶稣基督派来的人,并且他们的话和权柄已经通过他们的奇妙作为得到肯定。

Acts 26:15 (NET) 15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

Acts 26:16 (NET) 16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you.

使徒行传 26:15Chinese Standard Bible (Simplified) (CSBS)

15 “我问:‘主啊,你到底是谁?’

“主[a]说:‘我就是你所逼迫的耶稣。

使徒行传26:16 你起来,站着,我向你显现,是要指派你为我工作。你要为你所见过的事,和我将要向你显明的事作见证。

2 Corinthians 12:12 (NET) 12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.

哥林多后书 12: 12 我在你们中间,以各种忍耐,用神迹、奇事和大能,作为使徒的凭据。

to further the faith –

传扬福音

Paul states the purpose of his service is to further the faith. In other words, the Apostle Paul is working for the faith of God’s chosen ones from place to place.

保罗声明他服侍神的目的就是传扬福音。就是指他从一个地方到另一个地方宣讲神的福音。

Discussion Question: Do you remember when you first chose to have faith in Jesus Christ?

问题:你还记得你真的相信耶稣的那一刻吗?

of God’s chosen ones –

神拣选的人

Meaning the ones that God chose before the world began.

意思是指真正信耶稣的人是神在创造宇宙之前已经选好的。

The Bible clearly teaches that man must believe with his will,

圣经很清楚地指明人是自愿相信神,

yet the Bible is equally clear that God has chosen those who believe.

同时圣经也指明神在创造宇宙之前已拣选谁将为信徒。

The Bible leaves the reconciliation of these two ideas a mystery.

这两者似乎有些矛盾,如何理解圣经没有明确解释。

and the knowledge of the truth –

对真理的认识

Additionally, Paul was to further the knowledge of the truth which means the gospel message.

这里保罗讲的真理就是福音。

that is in keeping with godliness –

敬虔的

Meaning the truth will result in a reverent life toward God within the believer.

意思是跟随真理会让信徒过上圣洁的生活。

Discussion Question: How has the truth influenced you to live a godly life toward God?

问题:对基督耶稣的信仰是如何影响你的生活?

in hope of eternal life –

对永生的盼望

Meaning those in the faith and who are living out the knowledge of the truth are anticipating confidently eternal life.

意思是真正的信徒秉承耶稣的教导会有永生。

which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began

这永生是没有谎言的 神在万世以前所应许的。

Meaning eternal life for his chosen ones was promised before the world began.

意思是神在创世之前就已承诺他的选民将得永生。

2 Timothy 1:9 (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…

提摩太后书 1:9Chinese Standard Bible (Simplified) (CSBS)

神拯救了我们,以神圣的呼唤召了我们,

不是照着我们的行为,而是照着他自己的心意和恩典;

这恩典是在亘古以前,在基督耶稣里赐给我们的,

But now in his own time he has made his message evident –

到了适当的时候,把他的道显明出来

Meaning that although this promise was made before time began, now this message is being made known through Paul.

意思是这个承诺是在创世之前神给的,但是通过保罗才显明。

through the preaching I was entrusted with –

神就借着福音的宣讲,

Meaning the method of how the message was made known is through preaching and proclamation.

意思是这个信息通过宣讲得以传播

Paul was trusted with this message by God.

保罗是神所信任宣讲福音的人。

Discussion Question:

How do you think Paul felt to have such an important responsibility entrusted to him?

问题: 你认为保罗在接受这样重大的责任是会是什么感觉?

according to the command of God our Savior –

照着神我们救主的命令

Meaning Paul was directly commanded to preach this message.

意思是保罗是直接受神指派传播福音。

Acts 26:16 (NET) But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you.

使徒行传26:16 你起来,站着,我向你显现,是要指派你为我工作。你要为你所见过的事,和我将要向你显明的事作见证。

Jesus’ disciples were also commanded to preach.

神也要求耶稣的信徒们宣讲福音

This ‘Great Commission’ extends to all Christians.

这个责任是所有信徒的。

Matthew 28:19-20 (NET) 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

马太福音28:19-20 Chinese Standard Bible (Simplified) (CSBS)

19 所以你们要去,使万民成为我的门徒;奉父、子、圣灵的名给他们施洗[a][b]; 20 凡我所吩咐你们的,都教导他们遵守。看哪,我就天天都与你们同在,直到这世代的终结。”

Discussion Question:

How can we be better prepare to proclaim the gospel?

问题:我们如何预备自己传播福音?

How is The Lord Causing You to Abound in Love? 1 Thessalonians 3 verses 9 through 13

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1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

9 For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God? 10 We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person and make up what may be lacking in your faith. 11 Now may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, 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.

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Context: In the previous passage, Paul learned of Timothy’s report that the Thessalonians were firm in their faith.  Now Paul expresses his thanks for them, his continued desire to visit them, and his desire for God to cause them to abound in love that their character is strengthened in holiness.

Phrases:

For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God? –

  • Meaning Paul thanked God with joy in prayer for the perseverance of the Thessalonians’ faith.

We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person and make up what may be lacking in your faith –

  • Meaning Paul prayed with great effort to God that it may be possible to see them in person.
  • In person, Paul desired to encourage them and to help them through any doubts in their faith while they endured their persecution.
  • He also desired to teach them and increase the knowledge of the faith in general.
  • John Calvin writing on their faith. “From this we infer that those who far surpass others are still far distant from the goal. Hence, whatever progress we may have made, let us keep in view our deficiencies, that we may not be reluctant to aim at something further.”
  • Romans 1:11,12 (NET) 11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine.
  • Philippians 1:23-25 (NET) 23 I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, 24 but it is more vital for your sake that I remain in the body. 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,
  • 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NET) 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; 6 to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; 7 to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love.

Discussion Questions:

What holds us back from praying for other’s faith night and day ?

In what ways does consistently attending church and meeting with other believers mutually help make up what is lacking in our faith?

How does consistent study of the scripture make up what is lacking in our faith?

Do you remember a time when you had serious doubts in your faith? How did you get through the trial?

Now may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you –

  • This was Paul’s desire and prayer though it was not a guarantee to happen unless it is God’s will.
  • James 4:13-15 (NET) 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes. 15 You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.”
  • 1 John 5:14-15 (NET) 14 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.

Discussion Questions:

Explain how to understand the balance of our prayers, our desires, and our actions with God’s sovereign plan?

And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you –

  • Meaning this is also part of Paul’s prayer for them. Paul trusts God ‘to make’ the Thessalonians to increase and to excel in their love.
  • Their love should abound inward toward one another and outward toward those outside the church.
  • Other Verses about love.
  • Matthew 5:43-48 (NET) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
  • Matthew 22:36-40 (NET) 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
  • 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.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NET) 4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. 6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  • 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 Questions:

Explain how the Lord may ’cause us’ to abound in love?

Can you give examples of how we show love to those within the church?

Can you give examples of how we show love to those outside the church?

Can you think of very immature people in your life that test your love?

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-

  • “So” means there is a result in abounding in love toward others.
  • The result of abounding in love towards others will be that the Thessalonians’ character (heart) will be strengthened and established in moral purity (holiness).
  • The result of their holy character is they will be free from blame before the Father at the coming of Jesus and all His saints.

A) Hearts

  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
  • καρδία, kardía, kar-dee’-ah means of the will and character.

B) Holiness

  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines this Greek word as moral purity in the passages context.

C) Blameless

  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
  • ἄμεμπτος means blameless, deserving no censure, free from fault or defect.

Discussion Question:

Explain how specific sins against others weakens our moral purity (holiness)?

Explain how loving those who are ‘difficult’ to love strengthens our moral purity (holiness)?

Why do you think Paul associates loving others with being blameless before God the Father at the coming of Christ and all His saints?

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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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How is The Lord Causing You to Abound in Love?

Bob,

Are you praying night and day for the faith of others? Your prayer life is improving, but you need to love others more to make this spiritual discipline of prayer firm in your life.

Keep sharing your faith with other believers. Listen too. Mutually make up what is lacking in each other’s faith. My scripture is complete. Keep studying hard to grow in your faith.

Your church is doing well loving each other, but you need to improve in loving others outside the church. Pray as a body about this.

Personally grow in your love toward those who are difficult to love. Love is patient. It is not easily angered. I have placed them in your life to cause you to abound in love.

What will you be found doing when My Son arrives with His saints? I will mature you so you will be ready.