Philippians – Christian Joy

Books of the New Testament
Background The book of Philippians is probably the last of the four epistles that Paul wrote while he was in prison. That means it was written close to his execution by the Roman authorities. Paul ministered at Philippi during his second missionary journey, spending about three months in the city. This letter was written to the church in Philippi to thank them for the financial support that they have been giving to Paul. It is frequently called the epistle about joy because the joy of Paul exudes from this letter even though Paul went through tremendous hardship. Paul tells us that we can rejoice because: Everything works together for good Phil 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.22 If I am to go on…
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2 Corinthians – Trials of God’s Servants

Books of the New Testament
Background Paul wrote a total of four letters to the Corinthian church. Only two of these letters have been preserved as 1 Corinthians (the second letter) and 2 Corinthians (the fourth letter). 2 Corinthians is a special book for Christians because it offers a great deal of personal insight into Paul’s life that is not present in any other New Testament book. Through the reading of this book, we saw behind the scenes at the sufferings that Paul went through as a servant of God. Criticism by others 2 Cor 1:12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on…
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Matthew – Jesus the King

Books of the New Testament
Background The book of Matthew was written by Matthew, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Matthew was a tax collector before Jesus called him to be one of His disciples. The central message of Matthew’s gospel was about Jesus the King. The words “kingdom of heaven” are mentioned 33 times in this book. The gospel starts with magi from the east coming to Jerusalem to look for Jesus the King. Matt 2:2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? The gospel also contains many of Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of heaven. For example… Matt 13:24 Jesus told them another…
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Acts – Work of the Holy Spirit

Books of the New Testament
Background The book of Acts is called Acts of the Apostles but more aptly it is the work of the Holy Spirit working through the apostles. It is written by Luke as a sequel to the gospel of Luke, picking up exactly where Luke left off. Luke was one of the followers of the apostles and was closed to Paul. This book details the events that took place among the early believers immediately after the ascension of Christ. It tells of how the church spread throughout the Roman empire and how it moved from the Jews to the Gentiles. The Spirit enables us to speak the word of God boldly Acts 4:27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city…
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Colossians – Superiority of Christ

Books of the New Testament
Background Paul wrote this epistle in AD 60–61 during his first imprisonment in Rome. This letter was written after he had received a report that they were struggling with a christological heresy. This made it necessary for Paul to correct on the false teachings and emphasize the superiority of Christ. Creator of all things Col 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Jesus is not only the second Person of the Trinity through whom God the Father created all things, this verse says that all things were created for Jesus. That means that He is the heir of all things that are…
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1 Thessalonians – Discouragement

Books of the New Testament
Background After Paul started the church in Thessalonica, he wrote this first letter to the believers there within just a few months of leaving. Several things have cropped up in the church causing its members to be discouraged. Paul’s objective of writing this letter is to encourage them. Satan tries to discourage us 1 Thess 2:18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 1 Thess 2:14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews... We can easily get discouraged when Satan obstructs our plans. One of the ways he does this is by persecuting God’s servants.…
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Hebrews – Superiority of Jesus

Books of the New Testament
Background The author of the letter to the Hebrews is not mentioned in the book itself and has been the subject of debate by Biblical scholars. Many churches in the Roman Empire believed Paul to be the writer of Hebrews and this led to its early acceptance into the Canon by the churches. Throughout the book of Hebrews, the author emphasized the superiority of Jesus over all things. He also lays out the present priestly ministry of Christ in the life of the believer.   This message of the superiority of Jesus was particularly important to Jewish Christians in Rome, who were struggling under Nero’s persecution and were considering moving back toward the Mosaic Law. The writer to the Hebrews showed these Jewish Christian believers that, though they were faced…
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2 Thessalonians – Second Coming of Christ

Books of the New Testament
Background Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians from Corinth in AD 51 within months of writing the first letter. Paul had probably heard that the church in Thessalonica were confused about matters regarding the end times. This is because false teachers had infiltrated the church to inject these false teachings. The second coming of Christ is near 2 Thess 2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion…
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Luke – Jesus the Son of Man

Books of the New Testament
Background As Matthew portrayed Jesus as the King and Mark as the Servant of the Lord, Luke portrays Jesus as the Son of man, emphasizing the fact that Jesus was not only fully God, He was fully man. For example, Luke recorded for us the childhood days of Jesus when He was at the temple (Luke 2:41-52). Portraying Jesus as a man helps us to identify with Jesus and learn from Him how human beings can live their lives in a way pleasing to God. The book of Luke was written by a physician Luke who carefully researched and recorded the testimonies of those who encountered Jesus. Luke 1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they…
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Galatians – Grace vs. Law

Books of the New Testament
Background Paul wrote this letter to the church in Galatia after he found out that they had fallen into error. A group of false prophets had infiltrated the church and preached a message that salvation is earned by obeying the laws of Moses. Paul had to write a letter to refute this and bring the Galatian church back on the right path. Saved by grace through faith and not by obeying the law Gal 2:16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one…
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