Category: Pauline epistles–BibleTrekToday

The New Covenant of Grace!

Scripture reading for October 23rd:  Hebrews 8, Psalm 62, Proverbs 27

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 8:6-7, 13 “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.  . . . In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete.  And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” 

Christ’s ministry was far superior to that of Moses.  Moses was the mediator of the old covenant of law.  Those who obeyed would live, an impossibility because of our sin nature.  Christ’s covenant was one of grace through faith.  If we repent of trusting in our own good works and believe on Jesus, we will be saved.  The old covenant is obsolete–out of date!  It has been replaced by something new and better–forever!

Faith Confession:  I thank God for the new covenant based on grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I live by faith in the gift of eternal life and receive grace to stand forgiven before God in Christ Jesus my Lord.  Keep me from the danger of self-righteousness.

Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”    

 

 

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The blessing of sharing our faith!

Scripture reading for October 11th:  Philemon, Psalm 54, Proverbs 19

Key Scriptures:  Philemon 4-7 “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.  For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”  

Paul wrote to Philemon, a friend and fellow church member, from prison.  This letter accompanied Onesimus, Philemon’s run-away slave who had been miraculously saved under Paul’s ministry in Rome.  Paul wrote to ask Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother.  As he began the letter,  he thanked God for Philemon’s faith and love for Jesus and for his ministry of refreshing the other believers in the church.  He prayed that Philemon would possess a full knowledge of every good thing in him through the sharing of his faith.

Faith Confession:  Through the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have come to a more complete knowledge of everything I have in Jesus Christ my Lord.   Lord, fill me with faith and love to refresh the saints!

Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rest satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”  

 

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Regenerated and renewed!

Scripture reading for October 10th:  Titus 3, Psalm 53, Proverbs 18

Key Scriptures:  Titus 3:3-7 “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  

All of us humans have a common history.  We were foolish and in slavery to our fleshly passions before hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   But when the good news of Jesus Christ was preached to us and we repented and believed on Him, He saved us by a gift of His grace.  He washed us with His own blood, and regenerated us through new birth.  He renewed our life when we received the gift of the Holy Spirit, marking us as heirs of the gift of eternal life, the nature of God Himself.

Faith Confession:  I used to walk according to my fleshly passions, but I heard the good news of Jesus Christ.  I repented of my sins and passions and received regeneration and renewal through the Holy Spirit.  I am an heir of eternal life!  Praise the Lord!

Psalm 53:3 “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”  

Psalm 53:6  “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!  When God restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”

 

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Passing on sound doctrine!

Scripture reading for October 9th:  Titus 2, Psalm 52, Proverbs 17

Key Scriptures:  Titus 2:1-5 “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.”

Sound doctrine and sound living are always linked together in Scripture.  We who teach God’s Word must model the sound doctrine and do so steadfastly and faithfully.  Older men are to teach younger men and older women are to teach younger women how to apply the Word of God in every area of life from marriage to workplace and raising of children.  God’s Word is to be exalted by faithful practice of basic respect, kindness, and love.

Faith Confession:  I teach and live out the sound doctrine of Holy Scripture and as an older man seek to train my children and grandchildren and younger men how to apply Scripture to life.  I encourage older women to do the same with their children and younger women that God’s Word may be glorified.

Proverbs 17:6 “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”  

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Hold firm to the Word!

Scripture reading for October 8th:  Titus 1, Psalm 51, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  Titus 1:5-9  “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you–if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.  For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  He must hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”  

Paul wrote another letter to Titus, another one of his spiritual sons who was an elder that Paul had left in the church on the Island of Crete.  He charged Titus to set the church in order by wisely appointing overseers who met the qualifications of character and faith in God’s Word.  They must be able to teach and correct those under their charge.  Their character would first be reflected in their own children and home life as well as their reputation in the community and church.

Faith Confession:  I thank God for the opportunity to serve in His Church and be an overseer.  I hold fast to His unchanging and trustworthy Word which enables me to give instruction and make correction of those who contradict it.

Psalm 51:12-13 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You.”  

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Rescued and safe in the heavenly kingdom!

Scripture reading for October 7th:  2nd Timothy 4, Psalm 50, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 4:16-18  “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.  May it not be charged against them!  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  

Paul knew his time on earth had come to an end.  He lamented the desertion of all his friends at his trial but was encouraged by the Lord’s real presence to strengthen him and enable him to fully proclaim the Gospel of God’s grace.  He prayed for his friends for their forgiveness.  He also proclaimed his faith in God’s ability to rescue him now and eternally.  This moved Paul to worship as he ended his letter to Timothy.

Faith Confession:  I believe that God will stand by me even if all earthly friends may not be able to or willing.  He will strengthen me to fully preach the Gospel, and will take me safely into His heavenly kingdom when my time on earth is up!  I say along with Paul:  “To Him be glory forever and ever!  Amen!”

Proverbs 15:3  “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

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Wisdom for salvation and holy living

Scripture reading for October 4th: 2nd Timothy 3, Psalm 49, Proverbs 14

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 3:12-17 “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”  

The last days before Christ’s return would be marked by evil people, impostors and deception.  Godly people would suffer persecution for following Jesus and His Word.  This truth should encourage all believers to follow the truth taught by Holy Scripture and reinforced by those of faith who taught them.  God wants His people complete and equipped for every good work.  It is clear that we are now living in the last days!

Faith confession:  I receive God’s Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, as wisdom for salvation and holy living, equipping me for every good work.  I am thankful for those God has sent into my life to teach and model His Word for me.

Psalm 49:15 “But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me.”  Selah

 

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A Vessel of Honor in God’s House

Scripture reading for October 3rd: 2nd Timothy 2, Psalm 48, Proverbs 13

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 2:19-21 “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”  Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.  Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”  

Paul encouraged Timothy to stand firm in his faith and good works.  God knows those who are His and those who belong to Him must depart from iniquity (ingrained patterns of sin).  Those belonging to Jesus will always strive to be holy and set apart for God’s good work.

Faith Confession:  I desire to be a vessel of honor in God’s house.  Because of my calling and faith, I seek to live a holy life of faith and stand ready for fulfilling the good works Christ has prepared for me here on earth.

Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”   

 

 

A Holy Calling!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: 2nd Timothy 1, Psalm 47, Proverbs 12

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:6-9  “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us into a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purposes and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, . . .”

This was Paul’s last recorded letter written to his son in the faith, Timothy.  Paul was alone and faced certain execution at the hands of Rome.  He encouraged Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God, and to never be ashamed of Jesus Christ and the sacred Gospel testimony.  He also restated the holy calling that rested on his life and Timothy’s (as well as all believers) to share the Gospel and to suffer if needed as a result of the sharing.  Jesus saved us to fulfill His own purposes, established before recorded time.

Faith Confession:  I am saved by Jesus Christ and set apart by Him with a holy calling to preach the Gospel and to suffer, if necessary, for the cause of Christ.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel and identify with Christ and His followers.

Psalm 47:8-9 “God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.  The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.  For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted!”

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Learning to be content!

Scripture reading for October 1st: 1 Timothy 6, Psalm 46, Proverbs 11

Key Scriptures:  1st Timothy 6:6-10  “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”  

Paul encouraged his son in the faith to continue to be godly and learn contentment.  The pull of our world toward riches and fame is strong.  When the desire to become rich in this world replaces the desire to be rich in our relationship with God, nothing but ruin and destruction can follow.  We will take no riches of this world into the next.  If we lose our soul for earthly gain, we have lost everything.

Faith Confession:  I choose to be a godly man and live in contentment with God’s provision for me in this world.  I am thankful for daily food and clothing and a place to stay.  Lord, deliver me from the trap of seeking earthly riches and fame.

Proverbs 11:4-5 “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.  The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.”  

 

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