Over the last few months I have been exploring the books of the New Testament that were written by the apostle Paul. The story of his conversion to a follower of Christ can be found in Acts 9. The influence that he had on the church as he “ran his good race,” I believe, is second only to that of Jesus Christ. The story of his early life, his conversion, and his later years is proof that how your story starts is now how it has to end.
In June, we explored the book of Romans. The book of Romans was Paul’s letter to the Romans serving as a way of introducing himself to believers that he had not yet met. He also took the opportunity (he never missed and opportunity) to share his faith with them.
In July, we explored the book of 1 Corinthians. Corinth, at the time that Paul wrote this letter, was struggling. Sin, corruption, immorality, and spiritual immaturity. They were struggling in their faith, because they were a new church and did not yet know how to battle back when temptation came knocking. Paul wrote this first letter to identify the problem in Corinth, to offer solutions, and to teach the Corinthians believers how to live their lives in Christ amid their corrupt society.
In August, it was the book of 2 Corinthians. Despite the teaching from Paul’s first letter, the Corinthians continued to struggle. They were weak. They were surrounded by immorality, idolatry, and they struggled with their faith and upholding their Christian lifestyle amid their continuing corrupt society. Paul sent this second letter to affirm his ministry, defend his authority as an apostle despite people who tried to disregard him, and refute the rampant false teachings of others in Corinth.
In case you missed the scripture writing plans for June, July, and August, they can be found here.
For September, because they are both fairly short books, each only 6 chapters apiece, we will be working through Galatians and Ephesians.
Galatians is Paul’s letter to the churches in Southern Galatia. There were plenty of people who fought tooth-and-nail to keep people believing that Gentile believers had to obey Jewish law in order to be saved. But we know that Christ died for everyone, Jew and Gentile, so that we all might be saved. Paul wrote this letter to refute the claims of the Judaizers that were preaching that following Jewish law was the only way for a Gentile to be saved. And again, never missing an opportunity to share the gospel with unbelievers, Paul also called everyone to faith and freedom in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians is the letter that Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus. But, like a good post on Facebook that you have to share with your friends, this letter got shared with neighboring local churches. (Imagine using Facebook to share the gospel instead of stupid celebrity gossip and cat memes. How much influence for the cause of Christ would that generate?!?) Paul wrote this letter to offer strength to the Ephesians in their Christian faith. He explained the nature and the purpose of the church. Paul knew that being led to Christ was only part of the job. I can give you a car, but if you don’t know how to drive it then that car is useless to you. He wrote this letter to give direction to an already strong base of believers so that they could continue to move forward in their faith. A good leader’s job is never done.
I hope you enjoy this continued journey through Paul’s books of the New Testament. For October we will be exploring Philippians, and more than likely Colossians, since they also are both fairly short. Please feel free to share this plan, and the others. All I ask is that you please link back to my blog.
Until next time . . .