January 27, 2013 Books Written by Apostle Paul

Books Written by Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul began his ministry with a clear understanding of his purpose, as Jesus revealed in to him, as he stated in Acts 26.16-18.  This was his task which God had and would resource and support with His great power (Ephesians 1.18-19).  God had resourced him with knowledge of the Old Testament and with logic and communication skills for debating and writing persuasively.  Compare to Jeremiah 1.9-10.

In this study, you will overview Paul’s writings, most of which were written between Acts 13 and the end, chapter 28.  The following lists the date and purpose of Paul’s letter and the approximate time in Acts.  Sources include The One Year Chronological Bible by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL, 1995; Easton Dictionary of the Bible; and The Open Bible (NASB), Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1977.

AD 48; Acts 14.28; Galatians; Paul wrote this letter from Syrian Antioch to counter the teachings of Jewish Christians that salvation comes from keeping the law.  He argued that salvation does not come from keeping the law but from God through faith (5.1-6).  He wrote Galatians during his first missionary journey.

AD 50; Acts 18.17; 1 Thessalonians; Paul wrote this first letter to the young church in Thessalonica from Corinth (Greece) to commend believers for enduring persecution (3.5-8).  He also addressed a misunderstanding they had about the return of Christ (4.16-18).  Paul wrote First Thessalonians at the beginning of his second missionary journey.

AD 50-51; Acts 18.17; 2 Thessalonians; Paul wrote this second letter from Corinth a few months after writing the first and addressed another misunderstanding concerning the Lord’s return (2.1-4).  Second missionary journey.

AD 55-56; Acts 18.17; 1 Corinthians; Paul wrote this letter during his stay in Ephesus during his third missionary journey (AD 53-57).  He condemns division and immorality in the church, counsels against suing another Christian, answers questions about marriage and foods sacrificed to idols, discusses propriety in worship, teaches about spiritual gifts, characterizes true love, writes at length about Christ’s resurrection, and promotes collections for the poor in Jerusalem (2.11-16).

AD 56-57; Acts 20.6; 2 Corinthians; Paul wrote this letter from Philippi (Macedonia) to further the collection for the Jerusalem poor, to discuss the cause of an interim letter about the abuse he suffered from church members in a personal visit, about forgiveness, the new covenant and treasures in our ‘jars of clay’, about Heaven, to encourage patient endurance during suffering for the name of Jesus, and a defense of his ministry (3.14-18).

AD 56-57; Acts 20.2-3; Romans; Paul wrote Romans during his three months in Greece (Corinth) to thoroughly explain God’s plan of salvation and how salvation should affect the lives of believers (1.16-17; 8.1-11).  This was near the end of his third missionary journey.

AD 60; Acts 28.31; Ephesians; This is Paul’s first letter written during his first Roman imprisonment (i.e., under continuous guard in a rented house because Roman citizens could not be imprisoned in state quarters before a trial).  He declares to be a prisoner for the sake of Gentiles and describes how we are made alive in Christ (2.1-13).  This should result in unity among believers manifested as light to others.  He instructs children and parents about life.

AD 60; Acts 28.31; Colossians; Paul wrote to believers in Colosse concerning the heretical movement that combined Greek philosophy with Jewish legalism (2.8-10).  This letter was written from first Roman imprisonment.

AD 60; Acts 28.31; Philemon; Paul sent this letter to Philemon along with his letter to the Colossian church.  He asks Philemon to forgive and reinstate his runaway slave, Onesimus (verses 15-16).  From first Roman imprisonment.

AD 61; Acts 28.31; Philippians; Paul wrote this letter from first Roman imprisonment to thank Philippians believers for their gifts delivered to him.  He also encouraged them to remain strong in their faith (3.17-4.1, then 2.9-13).

AD 61; Acts 28.31; Hebrews; Paul (my favorite as author among Barnabas and Apollos) wrote from to a group of Jewish Christians that were attempting to return to Judaism (2.1).  He wrote to convince them of the superiority of Christ Jesus and to warn them of the serious dangers of apostasy.  If Paul, it would have been written from prison.  Easton Dictionary of the Bible agrees with me about authorship and dates the writing to Paul’s first Roman imprisonment, about AD 61.

AD 62-63; Acts 28.31; 1 Timothy; Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy while traveling in Macedonia.  In it, he admonished Timothy to refute the heresy being taught in the Ephesian church and to oversee the church’s growth (4.1-3, 6-8).  Easton Dictionary of the Bible states that Paul was acquitted and released because no witnesses appeared against him.

AD 62-63; Acts 28.31; Titus; Paul wrote to Titus to encourage him to deal with the heresy in the Cretan church, similar to what Timothy was fighting in Ephesus (2.11-15).  Paul was still traveling in Macedonia.

AD 66-67; Acts 28.31; 2 Timothy; Paul wrote this during his second Roman imprisonment.  In it, he encouraged Timothy to be steadfast in ministry, while reflecting on his own soon-to-be-completed ministry (4.7-8).  Paul had been seized along with other Christians after Nero burned Rome (AD 64) and blamed Christians, causing their persecution (Easton Dictionary of the Bible).  Easton states that wicked Nero judged righteous Paul and had him executed in AD 66.

Takeaway: Paul is tearing down satan’s walls separating Jew and Gentile from God’s salvation through Jesus Christ (Acts 26.16-18; Jeremiah 1.9-10).  He, then, is building up the new believers with his knowledge of the Old Testament and Jesus’ teachings and sacrifice, which the Holy Spirit continued to enlighten in his understanding (John 14.26).

You, too, are called to overcome satan’s deceptions in your life and among family members and friends (Revelation 12.11).  So, follow Paul’s counsel in 2 Timothy 3.16-17.

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2013; Sozo/Paul.  www.sozoclass.com.

January 7, 2013 Questions for the Journey of Life

Questions for the Journey of Life

There are four fundamental questions that we must answer along the journey of our lives.  Our answers will explain our lives in the past and the future as we have and will face crises of faith.  The questions and some of my answers are the following.

How does God know me?

  • His plan and purpose for my birth and life.
  • Promises He has made that I should embrace.
  • Resources He has allocated for my use.
  • The record He is keeping of my thoughts, words, and deeds.
  • Looks to see if my name is in His Book of Life.

How do I know God?

  • Maker of Heaven and Earth; nothing too hard for Him.
  • Able to change the hearts and minds of kings and my relationships.
  • My loving Father; my intimate ‘Daddy’!  Eternally.
  • His history of saving all who call upon Him to fulfill His promises and plans for them.
  • He never lost a battle to satan.
  • Faithful to all His words and promises.
  • Writer of the questions on our final test for entry into His home.

How does Jesus know me?

  • The day I accepted Him as Savior, when He wrote my name in His Book of Life.  He began building my house that day in Heaven.
  • The degree to which I have made Him Lord.
  • When my ears hear His voice and my hands and feet carry out His commands.  When they don’t.
  • My maturity; i.e., how much of His knowledge I have and how much of His faith do I exhibit in my daily walk.
  • The degree to which my thoughts, words, and deeds proclaim or profane His name.

How do I know Jesus?

  • As the only Son of God, Who paid the price for my sin that separated me from God, and, then, gave me His righteousness.
  • As Lord over satan and has given me His name to defeat satan.
  • He never leaves nor forsakes me!  Never!!!  He promised!
  • Always with me to do through me the instructions He gives me to rescue someone from satan’s abuses.
  • Coming for me someday to take me HOME!
  • Bridegroom at the head of the banquet table in Heaven!
  • Eternally seated at the right/strong hand of God the Father!

We learn about God and Jesus when we face crises of faith in our lives.  He leads us to discover His word that applies to the cause of the crisis and to His solution.  By faith agreement, we experience His salvation as He leads us through the crisis and into the security and comfort of His solution.

His promise + my faith = my salvation!

Praise God!!!  Copyright © Maurice L. Painter, 2013. www.sozoclass.com  (Paul)

January 6, 2013 How did God know Apostle Paul and vice versa?

How did God know Apostle Paul and vice versa?

The Apostle Paul wrote about half of the 27 books that comprise the New Testament of the Holy Bible.  He faced a crisis of faith on the road from Jerusalemto Damascus.  This event was of such significance to the person he was that he altered his lifestyle 180 degrees; i.e., he immediately began walking against the direction in which he was headed when he met Jesus face-to-face.  His books characterize the man he was before and the man he became…in relation to Jesus, the Messiah.  By understanding his life revealed through Scripture, you will have a better frame for reading and studying the books he wrote.  The lesson below begins with the encounter, then looks back to the man God formed before looking ahead to the powerful example Jesus crafted.  How similar is your journey with Jesus?  What was your crisis of faith?

Sudden Encounter – a Crisis of Faith; AD 34 (Ussher)

  • Acts 9.1-9 chronicle the sequence of events.  Verses 15-16 show Jesus’ plan for this particular man.  Note Paul’s message and the response it would cause.  How had Paul been prepared for this?  How was he supported through it?  How does Jesus’ description of the Christian witness in Matthew 10.16-22 answer?
  • In Acts 26.14-18, Paul revealed additional words from Jesus while His light shone on him.  What was instructed?  In summary: you are now My witness; I will deliver you from Jewish resistance to your witness (this will be important below); you will open Gentile eyes that have been deceived by satan, so they can be saved.
  • In verse 18, how do ‘opened eyes’ describe deliverance from ‘darkness to light’ and from ‘the power of satan to God’?  How do John 1.4-5 (which is ‘light’ and which is ‘life’?) and Matthew 6.22-23 (what does your eye see?) supplement your contemplation?  How do these contrasts describe the people who cross your path daily?  Read Isaiah 55.5, then, to learn why He crosses your paths with theirs.
  • From Jesus’ words, would Paul have thought he was in ‘darkness’?  What about his Jewish family and associates?
  • Paul’s crisis of faith assaulted everything he had learned…or did it?

Before the Encounter

  • Acts 7.58 is your first introduction to Saul/Paul in the Bible.  How does what he is doing answer the question above about his darkness?  So, what do you conclude about Who determines ‘darkness’ and defines it?  How does Hosea 14.9 confirm or correct your answer?  Will this question be on the ‘final’ exam?  People on the ‘broad way’ will miss it and Heaven!  (Matthew 7.13-14)
  • How does Jeremiah 13.10 explain why Stephen was stoned to death?  How does this verse explain Matthew 6.22-23?  What is the correlation with Paul’s blindness in Acts 9.8-12, 17-18?  How is Jeremiah 13.10 the process of satan’s lie in Genesis 3.5?  Why does this explain societal devolution today?  How low can it go?
  • So, Jesus’ accusation in Matthew 15.1-6 and John 8.30-47 of Paul’s associates brought even him to the emotional extreme of imprisoning and killing Jesus-followers!  This shows just how far Judaism had strayed from God, which Jesus infers in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and John 15.24 (Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18).
  • But, had God not trained Paul with the best teachers in Judaism, just not for this purpose?  Note his credentials in Acts 22.3, Galatians 1.14, and Philippians 3.5-6.  Is there a similarity here with Moses’ first forty years spent in Pharaoh’s court?  In fact, how does Paul’s life illustrate Jeremiah 1.5 and 7-10?  Notice how verse 8 and 15.19-21 read like Acts 26.17.
  • Paul had not seen God’s hand leading his journey and providing the preparation and opportunities for growth along the way.  Contemplate why God may have repeatedly encouraged Israel to remember their past with Him.  Is frequent remembrance the antidote to Jeremiah 13.10?

After the Encounter

  • You probably have experienced the exuberance of someone after receiving Christ Jesus as Savior.  You could not wait to tell someone; Paul, too!  Acts 9.19-22 tell how his classical Hebrew education became the tool of this scholar for persuading all who would listen and learn.
  • But, not everyone was enthusiastic, as verses 23-25 detail, and just like Jesus had warned and assured (see Acts 26.17).  Acts 9.26-30 repeat this similarly inJerusalem; not a warm reception!
  • Knowing how God had equipped Paul using Gamaliel, how would He now credential him and reveal Jesus more fully to him?  Paul wrote in Galatians 1.15-19 that his trip to Jerusalem was not immediate, as Acts 9.26 infers.  Rather, like Jesus, the Holy Spirit sent him to the wilderness for some days (perhaps up to three years) of guided contemplation, I believe.  Note that Paul invested 15 days of learning with Peter and with James, Jesus’ half-brother and author of the book of James.  (How much do you invest?)
  • Acts 12.25 picks up with Paul after 14 years have past (Galatians 2.1).  He has been evangelizing with Barnabas, who took him to Jerusalem the first time (Acts 9.27).  They had apparently not met resistance.  There is no Scriptural record.
  • Acts 13.1-3 describes Paul and Barnabas being chosen by the Holy Spirit for more intense confrontations with the Jews.  The Holy Spirit speaks when you are quiet enough and still enough to listen.  (Similarly with Elijah in 1 Kings 19.11-13.)  Do you prepare like Paul for the big challenges you face?
  • Acts 13.4-14.28 chronicle God showing up and showing off through Paul in Cyprus, Antioch (in Pisidia), Iconium, and Lystra.  (Ussher, AD 45.)  satan also showed up and showed off through the Jewish people, just as Jesus had warned (Acts 26.17).  Read this in Acts 13.42-50, Acts 14.1-7, and Acts 14.8-20.  Paul commented on these in 2 Timothy 3.11 to illustrate the context for evangelism to people deceived by satan’s lie.
  • I believe that Paul specifically remembered the stoning of Acts 14.19 when he wrote 2 Corinthians 12.1-10 some 14 years later (Ussher).  He recounted his death experience in verses 2-4.  His main point, though, is the opposition from the Jews which he describes as a ‘thorn’, like the scholar Paul was using the metaphor in Numbers 33.55, Joshua 23.13, and Judges 2.1-3.  Like these ‘thorns’, the Jews fulfilled satan’s opposition to Paul.
  • I also believe that Paul heard Jesus’ words of 2 Corinthians 12.8-9 during his death and, after being resurrected, he acted in Acts 14.20 with boldness that he did not have before…a second encounter with Jesus.  Would you have gone back to the crowd that had just stoned you to death?  Imagine the looks on their faces!
  • In 2 Corinthians 11.22-33, Paul discussed his many troubles during the approximately 26 years after his first encounter on the Damascus road, even repeating in verses 32-33 the events of Acts 9.23-25.

Paul’s summary about knowing and being known by God and Jesus.

  • Near the end of Paul’s years, about AD 70 (Ussher), Paul discussed his life in 2 Timothy 4.6-8.
  • How will you write about your life near its end?

Praise God!!!  Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter.  www.sozoclass.com. Sozo/Paul