On the return leg of Paul's third journey, he was arrested in Jerusalem and so started a period of at least four years of imprisonment, first in a Caesarean jail and later under house arrest in Rome. After having spent so much time with the churches in Asia, Macedonia and Achaia, Paul was suddenly taken from them and would not see him for a number of years. Towards the end of his imprisonment, Paul wrote three epistles to the churches in Asia (Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon) which were taken to them by Paul's co-worker Tychicus. He also wrote an epistle to Macedonia (Philippians), carried by Timothy and Epaphroditus. Despite his imprisonment, Paul is full of the gospel and full of purpose, joy and hope.
1. A recap of Paul's arrest and relocation to Rome for historical context.
2. What's important to know when reading Ephesians and Colossians?
3. What's important to know when reading Philemon and Philippians?
After Paul's release from house arrest in Rome, it appears that he embarked on a fourth and final journey. This journey is not covered in Acts but from looking elsewhere in the New Testament, together with a bit of speculation we can reconstruct what the journey possibly looked like. During this period, between his release from house arrest and later his subsequent arrest and execution, Paul travelled and wrote the epistles of 1+2 Timothy and Titus. In these epistles we see Paul's final mentoring and investment into two of his closest and most enduring companions. The epistles are loaded with leadership material but also with 'handing over the baton' input from Paul as he comes to see that the race God set out for him is now run.
1. Reconstructing the fourth journey to give some historical context.
2. Learning about who Timothy and Titus were.
3. Important tips for when reading 1 Timothy, Titus and 2 Timothy.
This course covers Hebrews, James and 1 Peter. They are collectively called the 'suffering epistles' because they deal with the subject of the Christian dealing with hard times, suffering and trouble. They are not philosophical texts but were written into real situations that real Christians were facing. They apply the truth of the gospel to suffering to bring hope, joy and strength to the believers. In a world today where we are increasingly allergic to any form of trouble, these are valuable books to know so that we may deal well with such times. Many Christians ask God 'why?' and 'for what reason?' they are experiencing suffering--God has much to say on the subject and knowing these epistles would help us with these and related questions.
1. Some historical context as to what was going on the AD 60s.
2. What is important to know when reading Hebrews?
3. What is important to know when reading James and 1 Peter?
This course deals with the epistles of 2 Peter, 1+2+3 John and Jude. Peter, John and Jude write to the churches to urge them to remain in the message of the Lord Jesus and the apostolic testimony concerning His life, death and resurrection. Their concern is with the threat of false teachers and of false teachings that seemed to be prevalent in their days. Not only can such teachers deceive but they can also harm churches with their poor behaviour and ethics. The antidote? Jesus and the gospel. The course looks briefly at what defines heresy. The course includes a review of false teachings and false teachers encountered by the apostles during their first century ministry and how these changed over time to be dominated by forms of early gnosticism.
1. What the battle against heresy was all about, and what heresies were faced
2. What is important to know when reading Jude and 2 Peter?
3. What is important to know when reading 1+2+3 John?
Christians have either become obssessed with Revelation or have ignored it altogether. Yet it was written in a critical time in the church's history giving aencouragement and warning to them and to believers of all ages. The church in Asia is under persecution pressure, parts of it strong, parts of it compromising. John himself, exiled to an island. How do they make sense of this time? Just then King Jesus appears to unveil to John heaven's view on the situation and to encourage and warn His church. More especially, Jesus shows Himself to John to be the unequalled sovereign King of glory. He then shows what He will do to finally bring about His rule upon the earth. Not an easy book to approach but with a few tips the reader will find it is not very complicated book after all.
1. Seeing the big picture of Revelation
2. Five tips to help you read Revelation well
3. Slowly working through the text of Revelation