[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”]
This, is one of the letters of the New Testament especially helpful to anybody who is going through some difficulty. If you are facing suffering of any kind, I would urge you to read First Peter. If you are wondering what God is doing in the world of our day and what is going to happen in the face of all the tensions and pressures and possibilities of terror that await us in the future, this is an excellent letter to read because it was written to Christians under similar circumstances.
Peter begins with the greatest fact in the life of any Christian, his relationship to Jesus Christ with the new birth. Peter says:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew… (1 Peter 1:3a RSV)
So many things compete for our attention every day.
What is worth pursuing? What has lasting value? What is the ultimate goal in life?
The apostle Paul’s goal was to love God and people with integrity, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
“And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else. As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless and holy.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
Paul’s goal took him to the city of Thessalonica, in northern Greece. Here he loved these new Christians the way a father loves his children. Driven out of the city by persecutors, Paul was forced to leave his friends and face many trials and sufferings alone.
How did Paul encourage them to handle such opposition? We can learn much from Paul’s letter about living for Christ while being pelted by distractions and painful situations.
Learn the Bible’s answer to the loneliness of the modern world, in this application-filled study of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.
Grace is one of the foundational truths in the Christian faith. By grace we are saved. By grace we are forgiven. By grace we’ll spend eternity with the Lord. But can grace change the way we live our lives now?
The answer to this pivotal question is found in the New Testament book of Romans. Written as a letter by the Apostle Paul to Christians, Romans is considered a manifesto of freedom through Jesus Christ. Paul lays out a radical message of acceptance solely by God’s grace rather than through our good works.
This is a letter written by Paul, one of the key leaders of the early Christian movement, to a group of churches that Paul started in south central Turkey (MAP). It is probably the earliest of Paul’s letters in the New Testament, written in 48 or 49 AD.
Shortly after Paul started these churches, he had to leave. In his absence, a group of Jewish pseudo-Christian teachers (“Judaizers”) visited the Galatian churches and attacked Paul’s message and his authority. From this letter (and Acts), we can reconstruct the essence of their attack:
They said that simply receiving Jesus as their Messiah-Savior wasn’t enough for them to be accepted by God—they also had to obey the Old Testament law and become Jews, which included undergoing circumcision and observing Jewish dietary laws.
They also said that Paul lacked authority to speak about receiving God’s acceptance through Jesus. They apparently said that Paul was only a junior leader—that the only authoritative leaders of the church in Jerusalem. They further charged that Paul was a despicable man-pleaser—that he had knowingly diluted the disciples’ teaching (above) out of fear that the Galatians would reject him if he told them the whole truth.
This Bible is given to us to read. It is a great book, a tremendous book. Let us begin at the first of the Bible and go through it all, book by book — from Genesis to Revelation — and look at the setting, the message, and the relationship of each to the whole. This will be a zoom-lens view, book by book. Such a panorama is one of the most helpful ways to understand and see the divine pattern of revelation. One of the most powerful and unanswerable pieces of evidence for the truth of inspiration is to see the divine pattern that runs through the Bible. How can this be explained apart from God, that a book as diverse in its authorship, written under equally diverse conditions should have such a remarkable pattern of truth unless it comes from one divine author?
We are so familiar with the Bible that we scarcely consider what an ancient book it is. There is a Greek philosopher named Herodotus, a teacher and scholar who lived some three hundred years before Christ, who is called the father of history; he is the first historian whose writings have been preserved to us. Anyone who has studied something of ancient history knows about Herodotus. But the outstanding thing about the Bible is that Moses, who wrote the first five books of our Bible, had finished his books and was in his grave a thousand years before Herodotus saw the light of day.
The Book of Revelation. If any images come to mind when we hear this phrase, they are images of Armageddon and prophets of the end times carrying placards. We think of extremes. People either becoming obsessed with end times scenarios or ignoring the book entirely. But is this all that the Revelation of John has to say to us?
Written in about 90 A.D., this book is probably the most widely misused and misinterpreted book in the New Testament. The apostle John wrote this book near the end of his life and ministry, during a time of widespread persecution of the fledgling Christian movement. John, then in his eighties, wrote to encourage Christians who were experiencing severe persecution and struggling to understand God’s role in their circumstances. He relayed to them a vision he had seen while on the island of Patmos off the coast of modern-day Turkey.
This look at Revelation will draw out lessons for daily living from this important book of the Bible. For many, it is the most–neglected New Testament book, and yet it speaks to: questions about God’s justice in an unjust world; God’s sovereignty; suffering for the sake of Christ; spiritual warfare; and how to live in the age between the first and second coming of Christ.
Probably the best known yet least understood book in the Bible is the book of Jonah. From the world’s point of view, Jonah and the whale have become a part of literature, a part of mythical legendary history. Though the story has become a by-word among people, the book is looked upon with ridicule and disbelief, and is laughed out of the Bible as being a kind of fable. It is not taken seriously, it is not taken historically. It is merely a great fish story.
The true message of this story is found in the last two chapters of this little book. There you have Jonah — after his encounter with the whale (or fish) — going to Nineveh as God had originally sent him and proclaiming the message that God sent him to proclaim. When you ask yourself, “Why did Jonah originally refuse to go to Nineveh?” you get very close to the heart of this book’s message. Why did Jonah refuse to go?
First Kings is the gripping story of how to lose a kingdom. As we read these Old Testament books, the key to making them live and be vital in our lives is to see that they are visual aids by which God is showing us what is going on in our own lives. We can see ourselves in every one of these Old Testament stories and when we do, the words take on eyes and look at us. We discover that the words are aimed exactly and directly at us. The view that the Bible gives of man is that every one of us is intended to be a king over a kingdom. The whole purpose of the Lord Jesus coming into our lives, which is the theme of the book of Romans, is that we might learn how to reign over the kingdom of our lives in God — given authority and victory. It is this that makes human life full and complete and fascinating when we learn to walk in God’s power. One of the overworked phrases constantly bandied about in Christian circles is “the victorious Christian life.” Unfortunately that has been abused, distorted, twisted, and perverted so many times that it has lost much of its meaning for us. But if you take it in the freshness of its original intention, that is exactly what God has in mind for you — to learn how to walk in victory as a kink over the kingdom of your life and thus find its intended fulfillment. That is exactly what these books of the Old Testament illustrate for us, especially the books dealing with the monarchy in Israel.
Here is where you can come to find various cone time teachings done by the IP Team. Just be warned this is where the most obscure, frightening, yet powerful teaching that transcend a single book wind up.