…covers many of the same topics as Ephesians does and in much the same order.
Please notice the following brief statement of introduction to Colossians…
“INTRODUCTION TO COLOSSIANS: Paul is writing this letter from prison in Rome. He says in the last verse of the book, “Remember my bonds” (Col 4.18). Colossae was located in the Roman province of Phrygia only twenty or so miles from its companion city of Laodicea. No doubt this accounts for the several times that Laodicea is mentioned in this book (Co 2.1; 4.13-15) and for the exchange of epistles between them. This letter was sent to the church in Colossae at the same time that Paul sent the letter to Philemon regarding Onesimus (Col 4.7-9). It is a companion letter to Ephesians, evidently written at the same time, and also sent by the hand of Tychicus (Col 4.7; Eph 6.21). It covers many of the same topics as Ephesians does and in much the same order. It was written in response to a report by Epaphras regarding the church there (Col 1.7-8). This report was mainly encouraging, but evidently (considering the topics covered in the epistle) also included news of some false teaching that might lead some astray” [Darrell Conley, “Philippians and Colossians—A Summary,” in Studies in Philippians and Colossians, Editor: Dub McClish, 2000 Annual Denton Lectures, p. 38].
I hope you will find the study guides listed below to be helpful. The first is a combination of the others, a 37-page PDF document. If you find them helpful in your study, please tell others where they can be found.
… the major news that David sought when two messengers came back from the fighting lines was: IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE?
When we read 2 Samuel 18 we read the question of this title twice, specifically addressed with regard to the SAFETY of ABSALOM (vv., 29, 32). David is the one doing the inquiring in this context. He had given strict orders to his commanding generals that they were to “deal gently for my sake with the young man” (v. 5). David’s woes have been compounded by the rebellion of this son, yet he loves him dearly and evidently feels partly responsible for the sad state of affairs that now exist between the two of them. David is finding out, day by day, about the burden of sin’s consequences. He had committed terrible sins and was reaping the whirlwind, but he desperately wanted his son spared from death. Thus, the major news that David sought when two messengers came back from the fighting lines was: IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE?
As with many great questions asked in the Bible, this question also is an interesting one to apply to others besides that single one mentioned in the text. What of young men today? What about our young people today? How is it with them? Are they safe? Time spent contemplating these questions surely is time well spent, both for the young and for those who love them.
Temptations of Satan are strong in every phase of life on this planet. Yet, who would argue with the fact that life as a young person has its particular and powerful threats to true safety? In this instance we are not so interested in physical safety (as David was about his son Absalom), but rather safety in the long run. Solomon talks about the LONG HOME or the eternal home in Ecclesiastes 12:5. For Bible-believing and wise people any thought of SAFETY for young people would involve the spiritual aspect of their lives.
Satan is so successful in implanting into the minds of young people the idea that they have plenty of time to settle down SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE. The concept used to be expressed: “Go ahead and sow a few wild oats; then pray for a crop failure.”
This concept is one that will endanger the young people–KEEP THEM FROM SAFETY–and one that will give Satan great glee as they accept it in great numbers. The Apostle Paul teaches us plainly that this concept is dangerous and can only be accepted by those who are DECEIVED. We will reap what we sow–“Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal 6:7-8).
So then, what shall those of us who are older do to help our young people be SAFE and to help them avoid the common idea that there are yet many years ahead for settling down and living a life which involves preparation for eternity? Let me propose a list of items that should be useful in seeking that worthy goal.
Let us show interest in their lives and the things that are important to them. You might be surprised just how much such interest from an older member of the Lord’s church might encourage them to do what is right.They may begin to think of you as someone to whom they might turn for a different perspective from that which they receive daily from their peers.
Let us set the right example before them. So many poor examples are out there from among those who are older that it is no wonder they often follow those poor examples. We have a great responsibility as older Christians properly to model the Christian life before those younger in the faith.Let us say to them as Paul said to the Corinthian saints: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).
Let us speak freely and often to them of the heavenly reward toward which we are headed. As Christians grow older we tend to think more about heaven. We love to sing the songs about the eternal reward. We love to read the passages which attempt to picture heaven for us. The world is telling our young people that they must JUST DO IT. Grab all the gusto of this life. The emphasis they hear from others is get all the pleasure there is in life. That emphasis is upon THIS LIFE and totally absent is any mention of life after death. What if we can help the young man or young lady see the beauty of heaven? Will that not make a strong contribution toward securing the SAFETY of the young man or woman?
Yes, this short list is only a starter and I know that YOU can continue it for a few more pages without any great effort. Is it not a worthy effort to contemplate the question: IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE? Whenever we begin to do more of this kind of thinking, as those who are older, then we will see a great impact on young lives! Of that I am extremely confident.
Matthew’s Gospel provides the vital link between the Old and New Testaments. Matthew begins by tracing the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph; the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary; the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; and Satan’s temptation of Jesus while in the wilderness. Jesus speaks more in Matthew than in the other Gospels, and His teaching discourses include the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7); sending out the Twelve (chapter 10); parables of the kingdom (chapter 13); fellowship of the Kingdom (chapter 18); and the Olivet Discourse concerning the future (chapters 24-25). During Jesus’ final week His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection take place. Matthew concludes with the call of the Great Commission to all believers [The Rainbow Study Bible, p. 1131].
We hope these study guides linked below will be helfpul to you in a detailed study of this great account of the life of Christ. If you find them helpful please refer others to this site.
Matthew–a 337-page PDF, which includes ALL of the following links… 4000sg.Combo
You might recognize the expression of the title of this article as coming from the pen of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23. Please notice verses 22 through 25. In this section of Paul’s letter to the saints at Colossae, instructions are given to various categories of Christians. This particular instruction is for SERVANTS or SLAVES. If we would make proper application of the text to our day, we would take the principle and apply it to employer/employee relationships. The extent of the obedience mentioned is given as “in all things.” Of course, this would not include instances when an employer makes some demand that would cause the Christian to disobey God (Acts 5:29).
In verse 22 the concept is put forth that it is possible to obey WITH EYESERVICE (opthalmodouleiais); the idea being of service or labor that needs to be watched (i. e., if someone is not watching, a less than full effort would be put forth by the servant). In our modern setting, there are those who are “clock-watchers” and are not so productive at those times, as they long for the time to leave the place of employment in order to get on to their own concerns. Paul teaches that the Christian is not to work in such a fashion, but rather he is to do his work in SINGLENESS OF HEART, fearing God. There is a higher and nobler cause that drives the Christian in all that he does, including what he does at the work place. He does what he does in order to bring glory to God and out of fear of God. There is a SINGLENESS OF HEART that moves the Christian to render the kind of service that does not require constant watching and prodding along. That singleness of heart is the desire to be well pleasing in the sight of God. To please God like Enoch of old did when he “walked with God” (Gen 5:24; Hebrews 11:5).
The Christian has opportunity at the work place or wherever he finds himself to be a shining light of influence (Mt 5:14-16). In another passage written by Paul to servants, he suggests what has to be an amazingly attractive and awesome opportunity. Listen to the instructions. Titus 2:9–Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Now the possibility of actually ADORNING the doctrine of God ought to be quite exciting to all of us. As we go about our work we have opportunity to represent before others what it means to be part of God’s family. We can make Christianity attractive to those who are outside of Christ in a lost condition.
The part of the passage from Colossians that I would like us to focus in on is that part that talks about doing WHATEVER we do HEARTILY. Yes, the context is that section dealing with slaves or servants. However, can we not see how inconsistent it is for a Christian to do anything he does in any other way than the way that the Holy Spirit demands servants to work for their masters? After all, it is clearly pointed out that all Christians (whether we be an employer or an employee in the work situation) are the servants of the Lord Christ (v. 24).
If we would study the word HEARTILY in the original Greek, we would see that it is the same word root that is often translated SOUL. The idea is that of working with your whole heart, with all of your being. That is, putting your entire self into the work.
Colossians 3:24 speaks about the motivation for doing whatever we do heartily. The reward is not the paycheck at the end of the week, but the one that is coming further down the road. It is the reward that comes from serving the Lord Christ. It is the crown of life (Rev 2:10).
When I think of this passage, I think of my need to be concerned about excellence in whatever I do. I need to be doing all that I do HEARTILY. As a Christian, I serve the Lord Christ. As a Christian, people are watching me and they need to see a true and genuine Christian. Those watching me need to be influenced toward that which is right and good. They need to be led by my behavior to ask a reason of the hope that is in me, and I need to be prepared to give them that answer (1 Peter 3:15).
Next time you are called upon to perform some task, why not allow this word from the Holy Spirit to ring in your ears. Let us all decide to render the service we render in whatever place or time it is rendered, heartily!
The Bible student, therefore ought to “hang on” every word of this precious document…
I just read an article from the pen of Wayne Jackson, which seems to me to be an excellent introduction to 2 Timothy. I include here the link to his website so that you can go and benefit from reading the same.
Second Timothy was the final epistle Paul penned before his “appointment” with death was realized (cf. Hebrews 9:27). As he set to parchment his concluding instructions to Timothy, his faithful friend, he could almost hear the executioner sharpening his sword. He wrote: “For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come” (4:6). The Bible student, therefore ought to “hang on” every word of this precious document.
Please read the rest of Wayne Jackson’s article by clicking HERE.
We have uploaded a set of study Guides on 2 Timothy, including one PDF file which contains all four guides. If they are helpful to you, please tell others about this source.
The curse of Meroz teaches us that it is not wise to attempt to “sit on the fence.”
Please consider these words… Judges 5:23— Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty. The Book of Judges may be described best by the word “neglected” as far as the amount of time Christians spend studying its content. However, there are some powerful lessons recorded within its pages. If you remember the way we divided time into Fifteen Bible Periods, you recall that the Period of the Judges was one of the fifteen.
The KJV does not clearly show it, but all except the last phrase of verse 31 in Judges 5 is poetical, it is “Deborah’s Song.” When I think of Judges, usually the word CYCLE comes to my mind. The period might best be pictured by the Roller Coaster at the Amusement Park. Up and down, up and down, was the nature of this period. For a time Israel would be faithful, then they would become more and more like their heathen neighbors. God would judge them by allowing their enemies to become their conquerors. Then the people would cry out to the Lord for deliverance and God would send a deliverer, a Judge, if you will, and the cycle would begin anew.
If we study the context of Judges 5:23, we find that apparently the people of this location, MEROZ, did not help their brethren in battle against the Canaanites. Deborah, by inspiration, is rebuking and passing on God’s judgment against their attempt at maintaining neutrality. They were near to the place of fighting, yet entered not into the fray! By the fact that they are condemned it ought to be obvious that they had opportunity, yet acted not.
Since these people of Meroz are mentioned nowhere else in Scripture, this very negative remark serves as the only remembrance of them. In this sad status they share with the New Testament city of Chorazin (Matthew 11:21). Jesus pronounced a woe upon Chorazin because of their unwillingness to take a stand with Him, even in the face of mountains of evidence.
CURSE YE BITTERLY–These strong words from the prophetess and Judge Deborah naturally stir us to inquire about the cause of the severe words. In our Bible reading if we will seek to be students of theology (study of God), we will be wise and greatly blessed in that wisdom. What does this incident from the days of the Judges teach us about God?
Quite obviously, it teaches us that we need to be careful not to seek the false comfort of neutrality when it comes to the battle of good versus evil. It is NOT pleasing to God for His people to hide from the battle when His will has called us to become involved. Rather our position must be to make our choice known, put on the whole armor of God, and stand and defend (Ephesians 6:13).
The curse of Meroz teaches us that it is not wise to attempt to “sit on the fence.” Our Lord teaches clearly in the Sermon on the Mount—Matthew 6:24… No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Of course, the context here has to do with compromise to attain wealth, but any way that we show lack of commitment to the Lord would put us into the “despising Him” category. There is great peer pressure these days just to “live and let live.” Pluralism is having its HEY DAY in our society! But we will not be any more pleasing to God today with that approach than were the people of Meroz in their day.
We might wish to ask ourselves in an honest bit of self-examination: “Is there any way that I sit as Meroz to the work of the Lord here?” The work of the Lord, the work which the Lord has placed into the hands of His church, is saving souls. Can it be said of me that I am allowing others to do this work and I am idly watching?
It is a wonderful thing to have peace. To be lovers of peace is part of living the Christian life. However, Satan is out there and he is having enormous success in causing our family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to live in such a way that their end will be that place prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 24:41). For us not to enter the battle, having knowledge that there is a cure for the disease of sin, is Meroz-like neutrality and endangers our own destiny.
May we all dedicate ourselves to the proposition that we will learn well from the folks at Meroz. That doing as they did will NOT be our course. That having the knowledge that Christ will be WITH US (Matthew 28:20), as we go forth with the gospel, we will not cease to carry that sword of the Spirit. That we will make it our practice to live in such a way that we can be “read” (2 Corinthians 3:1-2) with soul-saving profit to all with whom we come in contact. And let us be praying continually that the Lord will be able to use us mightily in the battle for truth, and right, and the salvation of lost souls.
Peter’s desire is to REMIND us of things that are very important so that we might be established in the present truth…
Peter’s second letter begins with a MOST encouraging note in verse 3 which helps us to know that we have all that we need through the knowledge of Christ. He seems unable to add enough adjectives to the word PROMISES, which ought to cause us to think about the many blessings of living a faithful Christian life. He points to some special qualities which will be ours as we diligently add to our faith the qualities which our Lord would have us to develop. We cannot be fruitless if we go about in these graces. If we are lacking then we need to think more seriously about what we have received in Christ. Peter’s desire is to REMIND us of things that are very important so that we might be established in the present truth (v. 12). He remembers the time of the Transfiguration when he and two other apostles heard the voice of the Lord (Matthew 17.5). He praises the Holy Scriptures as coming from holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit.
Please study 2 Peter with the study guides listed below. If you find them to be helpful please tell others where they can come to use them
Today, we have the gospel of Christ (Romans 1.16) and the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9) as the medicine from the Great Physician.
In considering the two groups Jesus had contact with in Luke 5.27-32, a riddle to solve is which group is in a better place, spiritually speaking. Please take the time to read these verses right now. Was it the pompous and self-righteous scribes and Pharisees who would not deign themselves needful to come to Jesus for healing? The very ones who came to criticize the fact that Jesus was seeking the lost by being in their midst? Or, would it be the friends of Levi, who were tax collectors and sinners—WHO KNEW THEY WERE SINNERS and willing to listen to Levi’s new friend? Both groups are sinners, without doubt, but one group seems nearer understanding that fact and thus being nearer the possibility of doing something about it.
I fear that we often lose sight of the real lesson to be gleaned from this passage in Luke. We do have here one of the names or titles given to Jesus in Scripture. It is most comforting and appealing to think of our Lord as a physician who can heal us from the ravages of sin! I love the song: The Great Physician, by William Hunter and J.H. Stockton. The words of the first stanza are as follows:
The great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
O hear the voice of Jesus.
Certainly the words of this song are true and they are comforting. However, we may miss something very important about this text by focusing too much on the idea of Jesus as physician. In context, He was giving an answer to the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees, remember. It seems to me that using the figure of Himself as physician is almost incidental.
Evidently, Jesus felt that these publicans and sinners were “live” and “valid” for prospecting. Jesus would be teaching them just as He did anyone else while He went about His mission of seeking and saving that which was lost (Luke 19.10).
Are you more or less likely to respond to the good news when you are fully aware of your sinful condition? Brother Winkler used to teach us in preaching school that the job of the preacher is to: comfort the afflicted and likewise to AFFLICT THE COMFORTABLE. The Pharisees could not begin to commence to start to think of themselves being in need of anything that Jesus of Nazareth could provide them. How foolish they were and how foolish is anyone who thinks as they did! Jesus lowers the boom on them in Matthew 23 because of their self-righteousness, showmanship, and hypocrisy.
It certainly is taught in Scripture that Christians need to be wary and watchful about the associations that we make. Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 15.33… Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. The NKJV has it: Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” We must not allow ourselves to have the kind of contact with sinners that will put us at risk for being influenced negatively. But if we follow the example of Jesus, we will not be isolating ourselves completely from the world. We must come into contact with lost souls in order to save lost souls. Good judgment will have to be exercised in this matter, to be sure.
In this context when Jesus talks about the SICK needing a PHYSICIAN, He teaches an important lesson as He answers the faulty criticism spat out by the scribes and Pharisees. He is referencing Himself as the PHYSICIAN. He is referencing all men as the SICK. All men do need the balm that is possible because of the completed mission of our Lord Jesus. The lesson is, the ones who are willing to acknowledge a need for the medicine are the ones most likely to be helped by the efforts of the physician.
Today, we have the gospel of Christ (Romans 1.16) and the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9) as the medicine from the Great Physician. What are we to do with such valuable medicine as this? It has to be obvious that we must find the SICK (with all diligence) and administer the healing balm of the gospel and doctrine of Christ! As we go forth with this task, when we find precious souls who already realize their lost condition, we are at an advantage in placing before them the healing balm of the gospel of Christ! Let us be wise in following the example of THE GREAT PHYSICIAN!
The Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ. John was the human penman, but it was given him by our Lord (v. 1). The first verse also urges upon us the need to reject any view of the Revelation which makes it deal only with FUTURE happenings (e.g., the Premillennialists’ view). It was intended to mean something to those first century saints. The fact that a blessing is pronounced upon those who read and keep its sayings take away the view that it deals only with the past. The first chapter begins by heaping praise upon the beloved Son of God.
John, himself, was a companion in suffering with those other suffering Christians of the day and had been banished to the Isle of Patmos (v. 9). John is told to write these things he sees down in a book. The first readers of the book would be the seven churches of Asia and we learn more about them from chapters two and three. The first vision of the book is an especially comforting one for Christians who are suffering in that it pictures Jesus in and around and amongst the seven candlesticks (which symbolize churches, v. 20). That we have such a Lord and Savior as Him who speaks the words which end this chapter should bring us entirely sufficient comfort!
I hope the study guides listed below will be a help to you. There are many approaches to the study of Revelation. In these guides, I have leaned heavily on Lonnie Woodruff’s book: Revelation for Christians Today. We are posting here each individual chapter PDF in Revelation along with a combined PDF file for all of them combined. If they are a help to you in your study we are thankful. If you care to tell others about these guides, please do.
A 9-page, 9-part study of 3 John, including 2 puzzles.
3 John was written to Gaius, a faithful member of the Lord’s church. This church wanted to assist some missionaries and Gaius was leading in the effort, but he and the faithful ones were opposed by a brother named Diotrephes, who was an obvious tyrant in that congregation. The Apostle John instructs the church to support the preaching of the gospel and promises to deal with Diotrephes.
Please study this short epistle from the inspired Apostle John using our study guide. If you find it helpful, tell others where they can come find a copy.