1 Timothy 6

False Teachers and the Love of Money

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Paul tells us that the Christian’s goal with respect to material things is godliness with contentment.
In Paul’s vocabulary, contentment was detachment or independence from things or possessions.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. . . . I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:11, 13).
Material things belong only to this world. Things have no lasting value and provide no eternal advantage. Therefore one’s contentment cannot stem from things.

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Romans 2

God’s Righteous Judgment

Romans 2:1-29
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

 
Whenever we find ourselves feeling justifiably angry about someone’s sin, we should be careful.
Before we accuse others, we must look at ourselves and see if sin, in any form, exists within us.
“You have no excuse. You are just as bad!”
Paul was stressing that nobody is good enough to save himself or herself. All of us must depend totally on God’s grace. We have all sinned repeatedly, and there is no way apart from Christ to be saved from sin’s consequences.
Paul says that those who patiently and persistently do God’s will find eternal life. He is not contradicting his previous statement that salvation comes by faith alone. We are not saved by good deeds, but when we commit our life fully to God, we want to please him and do his will. As such, our good deeds are a grateful response to what God has done, not a prerequisite to earning his favor.
Those who know God’s written Word and his law will be judged by them. Those who have never seen a Bible still know right from wrong, and they will be judged because they did not keep even those standards that their own consciences dictated.

2 Corinthians

Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians

12 Chapters
Often called “the hard letter”, this is an intensely personal letter. It recounts the difficulties and hardships Paul has endured in the service of Christ. The Apostle regards the Corinthians as his children in Christ.

Second Corinthians is a sequel to 1 Corinthians. The church followed some of the earlier advice, but still had some problems, so Paul continues to tell the Corinthians how to live correctly. He also tells Christians what their heavenly bodies will be like.
Summary:
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul expresses his relief and joy that the Corinthians had received his “severe” letter in a positive manner. That letter addressed issues that were tearing the church apart, primarily the arrival of false apostles who were assaulting Paul’s character, sowing discord among the believers, and teaching false doctrine.

Accusations leveled at Paul
The majority of the Corinthian Church had complied and submitted to Paul’s admonitions. Unfortunately a small group continued with their opposition and accusations against the apostle.
The members in Corinth faced many negative influences from the society around them. As the capital of the Roman province of Achaia in the southern part of Greece, Corinth was a large port city. It was the center of extensive commerce and attracted many strangers from all over the world. It was known for its wealth, luxury and licentious living. The worship of Aphrodite formed an important part of the religious life of the inhabitants. It became known as the most corrupt city in Greece.
Chapter 1
Paul explained how God comforted him during severe trials.

Chapter 2
Paul encouraged the members to forgive and accept the wayward person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:3-5.

Chapter 3
Paul explained the ministry of the New Covenant and contrasted it with the administration of the Old Covenant.
The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Chapter 4
Paul explained how Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers.
Chapter 5
He continued to illustrate what true conversion is and how Christians are brought into harmony (reconciled) with Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is [let him be] a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (5:17).
Chapter 6
Paul provided proof that he was a minister of Jesus Christ, a fact that had been called into question by the would-be teachers.
He warned the members against compromising with society, since they were now children of God.
Chapter 7
Paul was overjoyed by the genuine repentance of the members of the Church of God at Corinth. He explained the difference between a worldly sorrow that “leads to death” and godly sorrow that leads to eternal life. He listed the qualities of godly sorrow to reassure them they were “clear in this matter” (7:9-12).
Chapters 8-9
These chapters contain instruction on the importance of developing a giving attitude, “for God loves a cheerful giver”.
7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Chapters 10-11
Paul warned the Corinthians against the deceptive devices of Satan and the daily spiritual warfare Christians are engaged in (2 Corinthians 10:1-6). He then turned his attention to his critics who had attacked him on a number of fronts. He categorically proved that he was not lacking in any of the qualities of a true apostle of Jesus Christ and answered the charges leveled against him (10:7-11).

As further proof that he was not a second-rate apostle, he listed the many incidents of suffering and hardships he had endured in order to serve the churches and preach the gospel (11:22-33).
Chapter 12
Paul described “visions and revelations of the Lord” when one (Paul) was “caught up to the third heaven” (12:1-6). But he was given “a thorn in the flesh” in order to keep him humble. He asked God to remove it, but instead God said He would give Paul the strength to endure the trial (12:7-10). Despite the affliction, God would demonstrate His power in his life.
Chapter 13
Here Paul takes a slightly different approach to those questioning his authority. Paul’s accusers questioned his legitimacy as an apostle, but he admonished them to examine themselves: “Examine [put to the test] yourselves [not Paul] as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (13:5). They were to take stock of their own (not others’) spiritual condition. The likely result of this examination was that his accusers would then understand that he, Paul, and his fellow ministers were “not disqualified” (13:6).
Christ said that “unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5)
Repentance is a vital part of our Christian growth, and it is a requirement in order for us to receive the power of the Holy Spirit—and ultimately eternal life. During the process of repentance, we come to understand how much we have lived contrary to the will and the laws of God. That is when the true Christian life really begins. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

1 John

To the Christians in the City of Ephesus

Author:
First John was written by John, one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples. He was probably “the disciple Jesus loved” (John 21:20), and along with Peter and James, he had a special relationship with Jesus.
He was noted for his gentleness and his graciousness and his goodness. He became a man who was characterized by such an outstanding devotion and love for the Lord Jesus that all his life he was singled out as the apostle of love.
As an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry, John was qualified to teach the truth about him.

Audience:
The letter known as 1 John was sent to a group of believers in Ephesus. Many within their community had abandoned the original faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
Despite their denial that Jesus had come in the flesh, their immoral lives and their lack of practical love, they still claimed that they belonged to God. They asserted they had a special source of spiritual insight, and that the rest of the group didn’t know the truth as they did. They made their rejection of the original teaching about Jesus emphatic by leaving the community of those who still held to it. Those left behind were deeply shaken, uncertain about everything they’d been taught.

Background:
The main problem confronting the church at this time was declining commitment: Many believers were conforming to the world’s standards, failing to stand up for Christ and compromising their faith.
False teachers were plentiful, and they were accelerating the church’s downward slide away from the Christian faith.

Summary:
First John was written to dispel doubts a by presenting a clear picture of Christ.
First John tackles a strange heresy that claimed Jesus had been on earth only in spirit, not in body. John wrote that he knew Jesus personally.
Chapter 1
John stresses the importance of fellowshipping with fellow Christians and the acknowledgement and confession of sins.

Chapter 2
John defines some of the main traits of true Christians: keeping the commandments and not loving the world.
If someone says they’re living in God’s light but they really hate a fellow Christian, then they’re actually in the dark and stumbling around blind.
If you love the world, you do not love God.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:15-16)
John calls out love of money—”pride in riches”—as a bad thing. He equates it with loving the world.
While the elder is specific about which people deserve to get it. The elder isn’t advocating for general charity for all who are in need. He only calls out “brothers and sisters” as the folks deserving of generosity. But not just anyone who believes in Christ will do.
Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person. (2 John 1:10-11)
The elder’s hospitality only applies to Christians.

Chapter 3
Believers are “children of God.”
You know you’re alive when you love other people.
It is not enough to just say we love others; we have to prove it with our actions.

Chapter 4
John gives warnings against false ministers and tells how to detect them.
He tells how to determine if someone has the love of God and how to demonstrate the love of God.

The test involves making sure these people and ideas center on the fact that Jesus came “in the flesh.” That just means that it’s important to believe Jesus was a human being.
The speaker tells the audience that they should love each other because “God is love.” If you have love in your heart then you’re living how God wants you to.
The speaker says that God loved the world so very much that he sent Jesus. Jesus gave up his life so that people could have a sin-free relationship with God.
Believe that God sent Jesus to save the whole world.
Love your fellow Christians.
He finishes off the chapter by saying that if you go around saying that you love God but you’re hating on other Christians, then you’re just a liar.

Chapter 5
John encourages us to overcome the evils of the world (society) through faith, love and obedience and overcome trials through the power of God. He concludes with a warning against idolatry.
Anyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is a child of God.

1 Timothy

Paul’s First Letter to Timothy

Author: Paul
6 chapters
Audience: This is the first letter Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor who had been a help to Paul in his work. Paul was more than just a mentor and leader to Timothy, he was like a father to him, and Timothy was like a son to Paul. Timothy was a constant companion of Paul, accompanying him on his second and third journeys.
Purpose:
Paul begins by restating why he’s left Timothy in Ephesus. He defends his own apostleship in the process.
Paul gives advice to Timothy, a young preacher, on proper leadership and dealings with false teachers, the role of women, prayer, and requirements of elders and deacons.
Paul states his purpose for the letter in 1 Timothy 3:15: “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

 
Summary:
Pastoral Conduct
Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him in his responsibility for overseeing the work of the Ephesian church and possibly the other churches in the province of Asia.
This letter lays the foundation for ordaining elders and provides guidance for ordaining people into offices of the church. Paul’s first letter to Timothy amounts to an instruction book on leading, administrating, and pastoring the local church.

However, much of the letter deals with pastoral conduct. Paul instructs Timothy in worship and developing mature leaders for the church. He also deals the church’s responsibility toward single members, widows, elders, and slaves. All throughout the letter, Paul encourages Timothy to stand firm, to persevere, and to remain true to his calling.
Paul instructs Timothy on matters of church doctrine, church leadership, and church administration.

 
False Doctrine
Paul’s first letter to Timothy begins with a very strong charge concerning some things that others were teaching the brethren. False doctrine was creeping into the Church, and arguments were developing. Paul showed that the basis for sound doctrine and the emphasis in teaching should be on good and proper use of the law of God.
Paul begins the letter by urging Timothy to be on guard for false teachers and false doctrine.
Paul explained that teaching in the Church should be done in the right way and from the right motive. The teacher must have a pure heart and a good conscience, and not be hypocritical or motivated by the desire for power over people.
Some of the false teachers were twisting the law, but Paul taught that the law was good. “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully” (1 Timothy 1:8).
Paul charged Timothy in very strong words to guard the truth that had been committed to him as a servant of God. “You hold onto it, and faithfully pass it on to those you are serving.”

Hebrews

Letter to a Jewish Christian Community

Chapters: 13

Author: Many believe it was written by the apostle Paul, but this cannot be confirmed.

Audience:
The recipients were Jewish believers in Jesus. They were well versed in Scripture, and they had professed faith in Christ. Whether through doubt, persecution, or false teaching, however, they may have been in danger of giving up their Christian faith and returning to Judaism.
These Jewish Christians were probably undergoing fierce persecution, socially and physically, both from Jews and from Romans. The people needed to be reassured that Christianity was true and that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
Summary:
The message of Christ was difficult for Jews to accept. Although they had sought the Messiah for centuries, they were entrenched in thinking and worshiping in traditional forms. Following Jesus seemed to repudiate their marvelous heritage and Scriptures. With caution and questions they listened to the gospel, but many rejected it and sought to eliminate this “heresy.”
Christian Jews had to make a choice. They could not continue in Judaism and be Christians. They must decide which way to go. It was either to go back to being Jews or to go on to be Christians.

It seems that their nation had now turned against Christians. They could not now go to the temple as the Jews would not let them. The writer tries to show his readers that the right choice was to continue to trust in Jesus.

That was much better than all the ceremonies of their former religion, which Jesus had replaced.

Purpose:
This is a letter to the Hebrew Christians in danger of returning to Judaism. The writer of Hebrews continually makes mention of the superiority of Christ.
This letter shows the greatness of Jesus’ new covenant over the old covenant. Jesus’ sacrifice is better than the old sacrificial system.
This book repeatedly makes the case that Christ and Christianity is better or superior to the old way of the old covenant. Jesus Christ made a better sacrifice and established a better covenant, ensuring that the old way is obsolete and that faith is the better way to live.

Christianity surpasses Judaism because it has a better covenant.

Hebrews was written to wean Jewish Christians from depending on the old covenant, as the final rule for life. Rather the author emphasized the superiority of Jesus and the new covenant he brought.
This letter was written to explain to the Jewish Christians that animal sacrifices, to which they were so attached, were no longer of any use, that the killing of a bull or a lamb could never take away sin. God’s people must look only to Christ for redemption and salvation.
Hebrews was written to wean Jewish believers in Jesus from depending on the law of Moses or the old covenant, represented by the Old Testament, as the final rule for life. In order to do this the author emphasized the superiority of Jesus Christ.
Christ is superior to the old sacrificial system. This book repeatedly makes the case that Christianity is better or superior to the old way of the old covenant.
Jesus  fulfills the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament.
Jesus Christ made a better sacrifice and established a better covenant, ensuring that the old way is obsolete and that faith is the better way to live.

1 Peter

Peter’s First Letter

Author: Peter
Simon Peter, the apostle of Jesus.
The apostle Peter was a leader of the church in Rome. From there he encouraged and challenged believers in other parts of the empire.

1 Peter is a letter to the believers who had been dispersed throughout the ancient world and were under intense persecution. If anyone understood persecution, it was Peter. He was beaten, threatened, punished and jailed for preaching the Word of God. He knew what it took to endure without bitterness, without losing hope and in great faith living an obedient, victorious life.

These believers had been victims of serious persecution and unjust suffering and they needed to be encouraged not to lose heart. Peter wanted to remind them of a number of important doctrinal truths as well as to help them see that suffering within the plan of God serves his glory. He wrote to urge them to remain faithful to Jesus and to live godly lives, to show their opponents that they were really blameless.

Peter also wanted his readers to understand the grace of God. He wanted every Christian to know what God has done for them.

This letter is very practical. When a person becomes a Christian his life changes. Peter is writing to encourage Christians to live like Jesus.

He first tells his readers to be holy in all you do. This new life is to be lived out specifically in their community— in their relationships with one another.
Live such good lives among the pagans, he writes, that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Finally, Peter comes directly to his purpose for writing. He acknowledges that his readers are suffering for their faith, but he explains that this is only to be expected: do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. The Messiah himself suffered, and their fellow believers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings, so they should bear up patiently and faithfully.

1 Peter 1
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
Be Holy
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
Some people will suffer for their faith.
1 Peter 2
2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Be totally accepting of your masters.
Actually, this makes you just like Jesus. He didn’t do anything wrong and the powers that beat and crucified him. He never even retaliated—he just trusted that God would sort it all out.

1 Peter 3
3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Suffering for Doing Good
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

If someone does something bad to you, don’t try to get even by seeking revenge. Bless them instead.

Don’t be afraid if someone asks you what you believe. Tell them politely.
1 Peter 4
Living for God
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others
Suffering for Being a Christian
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ
Jesus suffered and died, and that means that you’ve got to be ready to suffer too.
Be serious and disciplined. Pray. Love each other. Don’t complain. Help everyone.
Those who suffer as Christians will be blessed by God.
1 Peter 5
To the Elders and the Flock
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.