“NEW TESTAMENT SURVEY”(The Epistles)
The Epistles are all the Books of the Bible in the New Testament except the Gospels, (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) and of course the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. When it comes to Missionaries the Apostle Paul was a great Missionary but in the true sense of the word, Paul was more a Church planter. A missionary will go to a place and start a church and then usually become the pastor of that church. The Apostle Paul would begin a church and once it was started he would move on the start other churches. The “Epistles” are letters of correspondence to those Churches.
I.) The Book of Philippians:
Formerly Crenides, “the fountain,” the capital of the province of Macedonia. It stood near the head of the Sea, about 8 miles north-west of Cavalla. It is now a ruined village, called Philibedjik. Philip of Macedonia fortified the old Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name Philippi (359-336 B.C.). In the time of the Emperor Augustus this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the district recently conquered. It was a “miniature Rome,” under the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers, called duumvir, who were appointed directly from Rome. Having been providentially guided thither, here Paul and his companion Silas preached the gospel and formed the first church in Europe. This success stirred up the enmity of the people, and they were “shamefully entreated” (Acts 16:9-40). Paul and Silas at length left this city and proceeded to Amphipolis.
Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Act 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
Act 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
1Th 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
a.) Philippi was a wicked city.
The Satriae tribe had the oracle of Dionysus, the Thracian prophet god.
The worship of Dionysus was savage and ecstatic, his votaries participated in orgia in which live animals (usually a spotted fawn, a goat, an ox or a bull) were torn apart and devoured raw. It was believed that the god entered the worshippers and possessed them through this Eucharist of living flesh, called the Omophagia. Animal skins and masks were worn, and a bull-roarer (rhombus) was used to simulate the thundering of Zeus.
b.) The Book to the Philippians is basically a THANK YOU letter to this church.
Php 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
Php 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
Php 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
c.) This church was started down by a river side.
Act 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
The number of Jews in Philippi was small, since it was a military and not a mercantile city; consequently there was no synagogue, but only a proseucha, or praying-place, a slight structure, and often open to the sky. It was outside the gate, for the sake of retirement, and near a stream, because of the ablutions connected with the worship.
II.) The Book of Colossians:
Or Colosse, a city of Phrygia, on the Lycus, which is a tributary of the Maeander. It was about 12 miles above Laodicea, and near the great road from Ephesus to the Euphrates, and was consequently of some mercantile importance. It does not appear that Paul had visited this city when he wrote his letter to the church there (Col_1:2). He expresses in his letter to Philemon (Col_1:22) his hope to visit it on being delivered from his imprisonment. From Col_1:7; Col_4:12 it has been concluded that Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church. This town afterwards fell into decay, and the modern town of Chonas or Chonum occupies a site near its ruins.
a.) The book is perfectly divided into two sections. (2 chapters Doctrinal and 2 chapters Practical for a total of 4 chapters).
We need to what we believe and why we believe what we do before we can actually be true witnesses of Christ.
Joh 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
Joh 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
Col 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
c.) This Book teaches “How to Grow into Mature Christians”
Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
III.) I Thessalonians:
A large and populous city on the Thermaic bay. It was the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia, and was ruled by a praetor. It was named after Thessalonica, the wife of Cassander, who built the city. She was so called by her father, Philip, because he first heard of her birth on the day of his gaining a victory over the Thessalians. On his second missionary journey, Paul preached in the synagogue here, the chief synagogue of the Jews in that part of Macedonia, and laid the foundations of a church (Act_17:1-4; 1Th_1:9). The violence of the Jews drove him from the city, when he fled to Berea (Act_17:5-10). The “rulers of the city” before whom the Jews “drew Jason,” with whom Paul and Silas lodged, are in the original called politarchai, an unusual word, which was found, however, inscribed on an arch in Thessalonica. This discovery confirms the accuracy of the historian. Paul visited the church here on a subsequent occasion (Act_20:1-3). This city long retained its importance. It is the most important town of European Turkey, under the name of Saloniki, with a mixed population of about 85,000.
a.) This letter was given to new Christians to “Encourage Growth”.
1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
b.) Paul and Silas were only here for a month and then run out of town.
Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and [three sabbath days] reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Act 17:10 And [the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea]: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
c.) This is one of the most practical letters in the Bible.
1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
1Th 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
1Th 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
1Th 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
1Th 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
IV.) II Thessalonians:
Paul gets a little deeper here but remains practical.
a.) This letter was to give them information about the coming of Christ.
2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
b.) Paul also writes to tell them that the work for Jesus Christ must start.
2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
c.) Paul tries to teach them to maintain christian standards:
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
V.) I & II Timothy:
a.) This book is the “Manual” for Christian LEADERS.
1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
b.) How to teach the elements of prayer and SOUND DOCTRINE.
1Ti 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
c.) HOW TO HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE.
1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
1Ti 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
1Ti 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
a.) This book teaches the importance of a good home life.
Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
b.) The importance of Spiritual Leadership.
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Tit 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
Tit 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
A standing together, as the parts of a system, or of conduct, &c.; agreement or harmony of all parts of a complex thing among themselves, or of the same thing with itself at different times; congruity; uniformity; as the consistency of laws, regulations or judicial decisions; consistency of opinion; consistency of behavior or of character.
There is harmony and consistency in all Gods works.
Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
a.) This is a story of a runaway slave.
Phm 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
Phm 1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
Phm 1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
Phm 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
Phm 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
b.) This is a story of a changed life:
Phm 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
Phm 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
Phm 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
c.) This a story of SUBSTITUTION.
In Typology this story gives us a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Phm 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
When Jesus Christ interceded on our behalf (and He still does) He told God the Father to put all my sins and yours on HIS ACCOUNT. JESUS PAID IT ALL.
I was “unprofitable”, a worthless sinner!
I’m now a Borned Again child of God.
Thank you Father and Christ my Lord!
Jesus was my “substitute” and SUBSTITUTE FOR EVERY ONE IN THE WORLD. WE MUST ONLY “BELIEVE.”
Act 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Act 8:37 And Philip said, [If thou believest with all thine heart], thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Ain’t God Good.