Romans, Lessons 28-29: Paul’s Appeal and a study on Deaconesses by way of Phoebe

Paul shared his plans to visit Rome on his way to Spain.  But first, he needs to deliver the monetary aid to the Jerusalem Christians, and so he makes a request of the Roman Christians.   A Final Appeal Read Romans 15:30-32 What does Paul ask of the Roman Christians, in general?   What does […]

Hebrews 13:7-17: Spiritual Remembering

How ironic.  The day before I leave to care for my parents because they suffer from Alzheimer’s, the book of Hebrews warns us against a spiritual Alzheimer’s.  For the Christian Church is a living reality, also with a memory.  The book of Hebrews speaks of this memory, telling those in the Church not to succumb […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 13: The Delegation Coming to Corinth

Unlike some of our translations, what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 (last week’s lesson) began and ended with God’s grace. Paul finished vs. 9 opened ended, moving from Jesus’ self-giving love to how the Corinthians will channel the grace overflowing to them in Christ Jesus to others. Now, Paul goes back to the topic […]

Titus, Lesson 2: Whom Titus is to Appoint

Paul told Titus “to… appoint elders in every town [in Crete] as I directed you” (Titus 1:6). But this appointing of elders wasn’t based on whom Titus happened to like or want, nor even that of the congregations where those elders would serve. Instead, Paul will specify who may or may not be an “elder” […]

1 Timothy, Lesson 10: Elders and Overseers Continued

Last week, Paul spoke of “honoring” elders/overseers: They were to receive a wage for their work. Moving from there, Paul then told Timothy how he was to handle accusations against an elder/overseer. Unless there were “two or three witnesses” for those accusations, Timothy wasn’t to consider them. This was to help prevent frivolous complaints or […]

1 Timothy, Lesson 5: Pastors and Deacons

At the end of 1 Timothy chapter 2, Paul covered the role of men and women during worship, pointing to fall into sin as the reason men and women have different roles. Paul’s point was that our differing roles point backward to our fall into sin and, thus, our need for redemption.  And although both […]

1 Timothy, Lesson 1 (and Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles)

Before we delve into 1 Timothy, a general survey of what we call “the Pastoral Epistles” would be helpful.   Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles What are the Pastoral Epistles? They are the New-Testament books of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. It is good to study them together because they are the last three […]

Acts, Lesson 23: Paul Gives Godly Counsel to Fellow Pastors

Paul is still on his third missionary journey. Having left Ephesus, his longest stay during his missionary travels, he makes a final sweep through Greece before going to Jerusalem. During this time, he was collecting donations to help “the poor among the saints in Jerusalem” (Romans 15:25-27, 2 Corinthians 8-9). Paul may also have traveled […]

1 Corinthians 4:1-5: Pastors as the Stewards of God’s Mysteries

John the Baptizer was a preacher’s preacher, putting the rest of us pastors to shame.  We fuss and fret over preaching what we know God wants us to preach–all because it might upset some people.  We worry about our livelihood, future, reputation, and status.  But John didn’t worry about that.  He just preached.  He didn’t […]

If It Seems Like Your Pastor Is Crazy…

This article is reprint of what was posted on Internet Monk on August 6, 2012.  The author makes some insightful points about the state of the church in North America and how that impacts pastors.   by Randy Thompson If it seems like your pastor might be crazy, it may well be that the poor […]