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NT Session 5 Prison Letters of Paul


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Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon & Philippians slides for Foundations Bible School (copyright Don Palmer).

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NT Session 5 Prison Letters of Paul

  1. 1. Foundations (Year Two)“Encountering the New Testament” Session #5. Encountering EPHESIANS, COLOSSIANS, PHILEMON & PHILIPPIANS
  2. 2. Written earlier: The NT Writings Letter of James (40’s/50’s)Letters of Paul: Written later:Galatians (48/49 CE) Letters of Peter (64-66)1 & 2 Thessalonians (51-52) Mark (68-70 )1 & 2 Corinthians (53-57) Matthew (70-80)Romans (56-57) Luke-Acts (70-80)Prison letters (61-62): Hebrews (50’s/60’s?) (Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon & Philippians) Letter of Jude (50’s ?)Pastoral letters (64-66): Writings of John: (1, 2 Timothy & Titus) Gospel, Letters & Revelation (90-96)
  3. 3. The second missionary journeyPaul & Silas GREECE 49-52 CE
  4. 4. The third missionary journeyPaul GREECE & ASIA 53-58 CE
  5. 5. The latter days of Paul:The journey to Rome 58-63 CE
  6. 6. Paul – imprisonment & martyrdom (ACTS 21-28)Time period = approx 12 years.Arrest in Jerusalem 58 CETwo year confinement at Caesarea 58-60 CESea voyage to Rome (several months) 60-61CETwo year imprisonment at Rome 61-63 CEPeriod of release & ministry 63-66 CESecond Roman imprisonment 66-67 CEMartyrdom under Nero 67 CE
  7. 7. The Prison LettersEphesians Union with Christ Our sourceColossians Supremacy of Christ Our headPhilemon Neither slave nor free Christ our liberatorPhilippians Appeal to humility Christ our example
  8. 8. Founding of the church in Ephesus2nd Missionary Journey (49-52 CE)Paul attempts to go into Asia (16:6)Stops in Ephesus (on return journey)Leaves Priscilla & Aquila there (18:19-21)3rd Missionary Journey (53-58 CE)Arrival of Apollos (18:24ff.)Paul in Ephesus – for 3 years (19:10; 20:31)Tour of Macedonia & Greece (20:1-6)Farewell to Ephesian elders (20:17ff.)
  9. 9. Ephesians
  10. 10. Ephesians“I owe my very life to this book…for in it I saw a new world…I received a new outlook, a new experience of God, new attitudes to other people. Everything was new. I loved the God I saw there & Jesus Christ became the centre of everything…I was really alive at last…Ephesians is surely the greatest, maturest & most relevant of all Paul’s works. We find here the distilled essence of Christianity as it relates to God & our fellow man…This letter is pure music. When we read it, it is as if truth sings and doctrine is set to music.” (John Mackay, Princeton Seminary)
  11. 11. “To the Ephesians”?A circular letterSimilarities to Colossians (theology & practice)“Prisoner for the Lord” Eph. 3:1; 4:1; 6:20 (“ambassador in chains”) Col. 4:18 (“remember my chains”) Philemon: 1, 9 Phil. 1:7, 13-14 (“in chains”) About to be released? (Phile:22; Phil.1:19,25; 2:24)
  12. 12. Ephesians – an outline“God’s new society”Blessings of God’s new people (1:1-14)Resources of God’s new people (1:15-23)Formation of God’s new people (2:1-22)Interlude: Paul’s prayer for them (3:1-21)Walk of God’s new people (4:1-6:9)Warfare of God’s new people (6:10-24)
  13. 13. …or to put it another way!Theology/ who we are in Christ (Chs. 1-3)Practice/ how we should live in Christ (Chs. 4-6)
  14. 14. Blessings & Resources“You have been blessed with “I pray that God would open every spiritual blessing” your eyes to see” vv.15-23 vv.3-14 Chosen (to be holy)  Him Adopted  His hope Forgiven  His riches Purpose-driven life  His power Present guarantee  His victory Future inheritance
  15. 15. Christian - know who you are!Blessings of God’s new people Chosen & adopted into his family Forgiven & living by his grace Sealed with his Spirit (now and forever)Resources of God’s new peopleI pray He may give you… The Spirit…to know his presence The enlightenment… to know his power
  16. 16. Formation of God’s new peopleChristian – don’t forget who you were or could be!You were… You were… Dead Separated Dominated Excluded Disobedient Without hope Doomed Without God“But God…”(2:1-10) “But now…”(2:11-22)Made alive in Christ Made one in Christ
  17. 17. Walk & warfare of God’s new peopleDaily walk: Daily warfare: Put on the armour… Spiritual obligations belt of truth (4:1-16) breastplate of Moral obligations righteousness shoes (of good news) (4:17-5:21) shield of faith Social obligations helmet of salvation (5:22-6:9) sword of the Spirit (6:10-20)
  18. 18. How should we then live? “As a prisoner for the LORD…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received…” (4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15)Live as one people (under one head) – 4:1-16Live as children of light (by one Spirit) – 4:17-5:20 “Do not grieve the Spirit…Be filled with the Spirit” …let it be seen in your relationships (5:21-6:9), at home (love your wives/ husbands) in society (train your children) in the workplace (respect your employer/ serve wholeheartedly)
  19. 19. Get ready for war!“Take your stand” (in his mighty power)Put on…. the belt (of truth) the breastplate (of righteousness) the shoes (of peace)Take up…the shield (of faith) the helmet (of salvation) the sword (the spoken word of God)Pray… in the Spirit … for your brothers & sisters … for your leaders
  20. 20. Paul writes to the Corinthians (from Ephesus)“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18)“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way…in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.” (2 Cor. 6:4, 7)
  21. 21. “Some people think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:2-5)“…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”(2 Corinthians 2:11)
  22. 22. Levels of Spiritual Warfare Ephesus (Acts 19)1. Ground level (vv. 11-12 & vv. 13-16)  Healing & deliverance2. Occult level (vv.17-19)  Destruction of scrolls/ “the name of Jesus”3. Territorial level (vv.27ff.)  “Artemis of the Ephesians”
  23. 23. Philippians
  24. 24. Founding of the church in Philippi2nd Missionary Journey:Paul attempts to go to Asia (16:6-10)Vision of “man of Macedonia”Philippi = capital of MacedoniaPhilippian Conversions:1. Conversion of a rich woman (16:11-15)2.Conversion of a poor girl (16:16-21)3.Conversion of a middle-class man (16:22-36)
  25. 25. Conversions at PhilippiThe pattern:The occasionThe miracleThe conversionThe response/ reaction
  26. 26. Philippians – an outlinePaul’s prayer of thanksgiving for them (1:3-11)  Paul’s reassurance to them (1:12-26)  His 1st appeal to them (1:27-30)  Paul’s example to them (2:1-11)  His 2nd appeal to them (2:12-30)  Paul’s warning to them (3:1-4:1)  His 3rd appeal to them (4:2-9)Paul’s thanksgiving for them (4:10-20)
  27. 27. Famous verses (from Philippians)1:6 “He who began a good work in you, Well-known will carry it on to completion” sections:1:21 “For me to live is Christ, to die is 2:5-11 gain”3:10 “I want to know Christ…” 2:12-134:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always…”4:8 “Whatever is true…think on these 3:4-6 things”4:13 “I can do all things through Christ 3:7-14 who strengthens me” 4:6-7
  28. 28. Key = humility & unity“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all Gods saints (holy people) in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons.” (1:1)“I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (1:4-5)
  29. 29. “Whatever happens, as citizens of heaven live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together with one accord for the faith of the gospel.” (1:27)“Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (2:2-4)
  30. 30. “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” (4:2-3)
  31. 31. Prayer of thanksgiving (1:3-11)“I thank my God every time I remember you”Partnership in the gospel (joy)I have you in my heart (grace)That your love may abound (righteous)
  32. 32. Reassurance & appeal (1:12-30)“Paul’s chains = a motivation” For others to witness (vv.12-14) For Christ to be known (vv.15-18) For believers to be encouraged (vv.19-26)Appeal:Contend (as one) for the faithBe ready to suffer for Christ
  33. 33. An early Christian hymn? (2:5-11)1. Jesus = God 1. Glory of God2. Relinquished equality 2. Jesus Christ is Lord3. Emptied himself 3. Every tongue will4. Took the position of a confess servant 4. Every knee shall bow5. Born as a human 5. Given the highest name6. Lived in humble 6. Exalted to highest obedience to God place7. Died on a cross 7. Raised from the dead
  34. 34. The application“Your attitude should be the same (let this mind be in you) as the messiah, Jesus” v.5“Continue to work out your salvation… for God works in you to will and to do…” vv.12-13
  35. 35. The warnings (3:1-4:1)Watch out for the legalists vv.2ff. “I consider it all loss” “I consider it all $*#Җ” “I want to know him”Watch out for the perfectionists vv.12ff. “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” “I’ll never stop striving for it”Watch out for the greedy vv.17ff.Enemies of the CrossMinds set on earthly thingsDestined for destruction
  36. 36. Final encouragementsAlways learn to agree“I plead with & to be of the same mind in the Lord…whose names are in the book of life.”Don’t ever lose your joy“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
  37. 37. Stop worrying/ start praying“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  38. 38. Think on the positive“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.And the God of peace will be with you.”
  39. 39. Colossians centre Jesus of it all
  40. 40. Christ, Christianity & Culture• Where is Christ in relation to culture?• How are Christians to live as followers of Christ within culture?
  41. 41. The Message of ColossiansChrist & Culture Theology – how knowing Christ should guard our convictions (Col. 1:3-2:5) Lifestyle – how knowing Christ should govern our conduct (Col. 2:6-3:17) Relationships – how knowing Christ should guide our contacts (Col. 3:18-4:17)
  42. 42. Understanding culture/ understanding scriptureThe culture in which the book was writtenThe context of the author & readersHow to read the Bible for all it’s worth:1. Learning to read slowly (get the big picture first & then look at the details)2. Learning to read in paragraphs3. Learning to read sentences4. Learning to read words
  43. 43. What does it say?A letter!WhoWhatWhereWhenWhy
  44. 44. Who? Paul, the author (1:1,23; 4:18) Colossian Christians, the recipients (1:1,21,27) Epaphras, the minister/ pastor (1:7-8; 4:12) Tychicus, the letter carrier (4:7-8)
  45. 45. Where?Paul under housearrest in Rome?Writes Ephesians,Colossians/Philemon &Philippians(60-63 CE) Epaphras to Paul Paul sends Tychicus Laodicea, Hierapolis & Colossae. Cosmopolitan trade route/ Pluralism Earthquake of 61 CE/ Living in former glory
  46. 46. When? From imprisonment in Rome, 60-63 CE (Acts 28:30-31; Col. 1:24; 4:3,18) From imprisonment in Caesarea, c. 59 CE (Acts 23:23-24:27) While in Ephesus for 3 years (52-55 CE) (Acts 19)  “Eusebius Church History” (11.22.1)
  47. 47. Context: Missionary Journey #3“After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.” (18:23)“Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.” (19:1)
  48. 48. “Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way…This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them... In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. After all this had happened, Paul...stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.” (19:8- 12, 20-22)
  49. 49. Why?Epaphras’ report (1:7-8; 4:12; 2:1-4; 4:16) To warn them of impending danger (false teaching. Gnostics: 2nd major Christian heresy) To encourage them to remain true to Christ To instruct them how to live out their faith To inform them of his circumstances & his prayers for them
  50. 50. What?The Colossian Problem (Heresy = an alternative choice)Attempt to mix… Greek philosophy (knowledge) gnosis Pagan practices (deceptive) Jewish legalism (externals) “Christian” (appearance)
  51. 51. Introductions (1:1-14)Paul & TimothyThanksgiving (“faith, love & hope”)Prayer: filled with knowledge live a life worthy of the LORD you have been rescued & reclaimed by God Theme: The supremacy of Jesus Christ.
  52. 52. What’s the point of theology?“Filled with…growing in…strengthened by the knowledge of God” (1:9-11)“We proclaim him…that we may present everyone perfect in Christ” (1:28-29)“To know the mystery of God in Christ” (2:2)“That no one may deceive you by: fine-sounding arguments…hollow philosophy…human tradition… worldly principles” (2:4, 8)
  53. 53. Scripture – Theology - Faith Holy Spirit Exegesis Theology Hermeneutics (what we Biblical (the processinspiration (the principles believe) of studying, & & of interpreting understanding authority the Bible) a text or Lifestyle section) (how we live) Human disciplines
  54. 54. Theology: Who Jesus Christ is & what he has done for usHe is… You are… “the image of the invisible Complete God” “ruler over all creation” Set apart “the head of the Church” Raised up & alive “the beginning & end” “fully God…fully man” Redeemed “our saviour” 1:15-22 Delivered 2:9-15
  55. 55. How does this apply to us today?The scandal of the evangelical mind (Mark Noll)1. The heart has replaced the mind!2. The Spirit has replace spiritual disciplines!3. How we live has replaced who we are!A passion for understanding truthA passion for a mature faithA passion for knowing Christ
  56. 56. Lifestyle: How should we then live?The basis for real living:“Since you died with Christ…” (2:20) We died (our old self, mortally wounded)“Since you have been raised with Christ…” (3:1) We have risen (our new self, new nature) (** Romans 6:1-14; Galatians 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17)
  57. 57. Application (What is God’s part?)“For he has rescued us from the dominion (authority) of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves… in whom we have redemption (freedom/ new life) and we have the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14)1. Die to the basic principles of this world2.Live by the basic principles of another world
  58. 58. Dying to the principles of this worldYou don’t become good… by trying to keep the rules!1.Because they are human2.Because they are an illusion3.Because they are worthless
  59. 59. Living by the principles of another world “Set your hearts on things above” (desire these things) “Set your minds on things above” (think on these things)Your true life …is now hidden with God …will one day appear, perfect with God
  60. 60. Application (what is our part?)Put to death ( 7 vices):  Put on ( 7 virtues):1. Sexual immorality 1. Compassion2.Impurity 2.Kindness3.Lust 3.Humility4.Greed (Idolatry) 4.Meekness5. Anger & rage 5. Patience6.Malice & slander 6.Forgiveness7. Swearing & lying 7. Love“you have taken off “you have put on the the old self” new self”
  61. 61. Relationships 101Foundation for how we relate to one another:1. We are part of one common body (“the body of Christ”)2.We live under one common head (the person of Christ)3.We share one common blood (salvation in Christ)
  62. 62. The 3 great sins of North America!The sin of individualism (“It’s all about me”)The sin of independence (“I did it my way”)The sin of freedom (“I can do whatever I want”)
  63. 63. The source of good relationships“Let the peace of “Let the word of Christ Christ rule in your dwell in your minds” hearts” (3:15) (3:16)Whatever you do… Whatever the circumstances “do it all in the name “give thanks to God the of Jesus” Father”“Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (3:14)
  64. 64. Wives & husbands“Submit to your “Love your husbands, as is wives, and do fitting in the not be harsh Lord.” with them.” ** Ephesians 5:22-33
  65. 65. Children & parents“Obey your “Do not embitter parents in your children, or everything, for they will become this pleases the discouraged.” Lord.” ** Ephesians 6:1-4
  66. 66. Workers & employers With integrity Pay them what they are due With industry Treat them with respect Because you are Because one day you really working for will stand before God! your Employer!** Ephesians 6:5-9
  67. 67. Brothers & sisters 1. TychicusKnow their names 2. Onesimus 3. AristarchusPray for them 4. Mark 5. Justus 6. EpaphrasEncourage them 7. Luke 8. DemasBless them 9. Nympha 10. Archippus
  68. 68. Philemon
  69. 69. Structure“In Christ…there is neither slave nor free” (Col. 3:11; Gal. 3:28)Introduction & greetingsThanksgiving: for his faith in Christ for his love for othersAppeal: ”Forgive him, and accept him back” Because he is now useful Because he is your brother Because I vouch for himConcluding remarks