Brief Summary of all NT Epistles

A Brief Summary of all Twenty-two New Testament Epistles

                                           Each summary is arranged in chronological order, and presented in its contextual setting.  
                                                                                                                 by Dr. D. W. Ekstrand

INTRODUCTION  (Important Read)

Printable pdf Version of this StudyPrintable pdf Version of this StudyThe purpose in putting this book together was to condense all of the New Testament Epistles down to their irreducible minimum, so that each of them can be reflected upon in a single reading. One of the problems with western Christians is the way in which they approach Scripture – the approach most commonly used when studying the Bible is called “proof texting.” George Barna in his book Pagan Christianity? says that the origin of this methodology dates back to the 16th century, when Protestant scholastics held that not only is Scripture the Word of God, but every part of it is the Word of God in and of itself – irrespective of context. This resulted in believers thinking that every verse in the Bible is independently true in its own right, and can be used to prove a doctrine or a practice – by the way, chopping the Bible up into fragments makes this relatively easy to pull off. Ultimately, this method became a very popular way for Christians to approach the Bible. As a result, most Christians rarely see NT books as a whole – instead, they deal with them as a collection of “fragmented thoughts.”

As any biblical scholar will attest,“context” is the most important interpretive hermeneutic – in short, context determines the meaning of any body of historical literature. Yet, here we are as believers, nearly 2,000 years after the formation of the church, paying very little attention to the context in which the NT was written. My prayer for believers is that they formulate a more unified, contextual approach to their study of the Word. I believe this little book will aid in that process – used properly, it will help believers focus on the “big picture” the author had in mind, thereby giving them a better contextual understanding of the content. When studying any passage of Scripture, believers should always give priority to the contextual background of that passage. Let me reiterate what I stated above – every biblical scholar will attest to the fact that “context” is the most important hermeneutic when interpreting Scripture. By the way, I incorporated into the chronological summary of each epistle, those verses that have been particularly meaningful to believers down through the ages – reading them in their context is enlightening.

When reading the NT it is helpful to remember that two-thirds of the epistolary content was penned by the apostle Paul – he wrote thirteen of  the twenty-two NT letters over a period of twenty years. Note – twenty years, thirteen letters, all written to different people, at different times, in different cultures, experiencing different problems. When the Christian community decided to compile the twenty-seven books of the NT into one volume – they did so without giving precedence to alphabetical or chronological ordering. It was popular in the Greco-Roman world to order its literature according to decreasing length; thus Paul’s longest letter, Romans, appears first, followed by First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, and so on. The NT follows this pattern until you come to that tiny little book called Philemon.

It should also be noted that the “chapters” were not added to the Bible until 1227; they are the work of a professor at the University of Paris  named Stephen Langton... some 300 years later, in 1551, a printer named Robert Stephanus numbered the “sentences” in all the books of the    New Testament; ultimately, the “chapters” and “verses” became a part of holy writ in the minds of many believers. Because these “divisions” have negatively served to fragment the Scriptures, perhaps the time has come to stop incorporating them into the mainstream of the text – they could easily be inserted in an inconspicuous place in the margin. It is true, I have employed these delineations in my book as well, but only for the purpose of assisting the reader as to content location. Hopefully by “reading entire letters” at a single sitting, these notations will become less of a distraction. I would also like to encourage the reader to reflect upon the “brief introduction” placed at the beginning of each letter, prior to reading that letter – this will assist the reader in understanding the overall content in its contextual setting.

                                                                                                “BOOK of ROMANS”
                                                                                              (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Romans is the most extensive treatise in the New Testament on the gospel of Christ – which, in a nutshell, is the righteous-  ness of God that is given to man by grace through faith. The gospel involves an imputed righteous standing before God (justification)... a progressively transformed life due to the regenerating and indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (sanctification)... and a full transformation into the image of Christ when the believer arrives in heaven (glorification).
Chapter 1 – The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe. (16)
The righteous man lives by faith. (17)
Since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes and divine nature has been clearly seen. (20)                                                                                     God darkens the hearts of those who reject His testimony; gives them over to a depraved mind. (21, 28)
Chapter 2 – The kindness of God leads to repentance. (4)
There is no partiality with God when He judges. (11)
He is not a [true] Jew who is one outwardly... he is a [true] Jew who is one inwardly. (28-29)
Chapter 3 – There is none righteous in and of himself, not even one. (10) All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (23)
A man is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (28)
Chapter 4 – Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. (3)
A man is justified by faith that his salvation might be in accordance with grace. (16)
Chapter 5 – Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1)                                                                                    Exult in tribulations, knowing that they bring about perseverance, proven character, and hope. (3-4)                                                                                            God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (8)                                                                                          Where sin increases, grace abounds all the more. (20)
Chapter 6 – Shall we sin that grace might increase? Never! How shall we who died to sin live in it? (1-2)                                                                             Those who have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into His death. (3)
We have been raised with Christ that we might walk in newness of life. (4)
He who has died is freed from sin. (7)
Therefore, consider yourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (11)
Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts. (12)
Sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. (14)
You are slaves of who you obey; either sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness. (16)                                                                            Present the members of your bodies as slaves to righteousness, resulting in holiness & sanctification. (19)                                                                                 The benefit of having been freed from sin and enslaved to God... leads to holiness & eternal life. (22)
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (23)
Chapter 7 – Sin, taking opportunity through the law, deceives the believer. (11)
The law is spiritual, but we are of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. (14)
There is nothing good in our flesh; the wishing to do good is there, but the doing of good is not. (18)                                                                                           There is the “principle of evil” in us – the sin disposition – the one who wishes to do good. (21)
Who will set us free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God, we are set free by Christ! (24-5)                                                                                      Chapter 8 – There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (1)                                                                                                                                             The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. (2)

Those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, resulting in death. (5-6)                                                                                 Those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit, resulting in life. (5-6)                                                                                     As we live according to the Spirit, we put to death the deeds of the body. (13)
We are heirs of God, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. (17)                                                                                    The sufferings of this age are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (18)                                                                                          All creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (22)
We grown within ourselves waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (23)
In hope we have been saved – and with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (24-25)
God causes all things to work together for good to those who have been called and love God. (28)
God has predestined us to become conformed to the image of His Son. (29)
Therefore, if God is for us, who is against us? (31)
We overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (37)
Chapter 9 – There is no injustice with God with regard to salvation and mercy. (14)
God has mercy on whom He desires, and hardens those whom He desires. (18)
Does not the potter have a right over the clay to make it as He chooses? (21)
Israel pursued righteousness through the works of the law; but it is only attained by “faith.” (31-32)
Chapter 10 – Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (4)                                                                                                                         All men, both Jews and Gentiles, come to faith by hearing the word of Christ. (17)
Chapter 11 – By Israel’s transgression, salvation came to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. (11)                                                                                                 Some [Jewish] branches were broken off so that we [Gentiles] might be grafted in. (19)
A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (25)                                                                                                         The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. (29)
God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. (32)                                                                                                                                                   For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. (36)
Chapter 12 – By the mercies of God, present your bodies a living & holy sacrifice, acceptable to God. (1)                                                                                    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (2)
Do not think more highly of yourself that you ought to think – have sound judgment. (3)
We each have gifts that differ according to the grace given; let us each exercise them accordingly. (6)                                                                                          Let love be without hypocrisy... abhor what is evil... and cling to what is good. (9)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love... contribute to the needs of the saints. (10, 13)
Bless those who persecute you... rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (14-15)                                                                                       Be of the same mind toward one another. (16)
Never pay back evil for evil... never take your own revenge... vengeance is the Lord’s. (17, 19)
In as much as is possible, be at peace with all men... overcome evil with good. (18, 21)
Chapter 13 – Subject yourselves to the governing authorities – they have all been established by God. (1)                                                                                  Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. (8)
Love your neighbor as yourself. (9)
Lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (12)
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its desires and lusts. (14)

Chapter 14 – Accept the one who is weak in faith... for God has accepted him. (1, 3)                                                                                                                   Determine this – not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. (13)                                                                                                                                    If because of your diet your brother is hurt, you are not walking according to love. (15)                                                                                                                   Purse the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. (19)
The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. (22)
That which is not of faith is sin. (23)
Chapter 15 – You who are stronger ought to bear the weaknesses of the those who are weaker. (1)                                                                                             Please your neighbor for his good, to his edification. (2)
Chapter 16 – Keep your eye on those who cause dissensions contrary to the teachings you’ve learned. (17)                                                                             Such men are not slaves of Christ, but slaves of their own appetites who deceive the unsuspecting. (18)

                                                                                       “FIRST CORINTHIANS”
                                                                                          (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Whereas Ephesians is concerned with the “universal church,” First Corinthians provides us with a glimpse inside “one struggling local church” in the first century. The spirit of the world seemed more influential in the Corinthian church than the Spirit of God. Essentially, Paul wrote this letter to make positional sanctification practical – he sought to bring understanding to the issues of marriage and divorce, liberty and responsibility, the exercising of spiritual gifts in the church, and the doctrine of resurrection.
Chapter 1 – Be of the same mind, and let there be no divisions among you. (10)
The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but the power of God to those who are saved. (18)                                                                                      God has chosen foolish things to shame the wise, and weak things to shame the strong. (27)
Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. (31)
Chapter 2 – Eye has not seen, nor can man imagine all that God has prepared for those who love Him. (9)                                                                                The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, because they are spiritually appraised. (14)
Chapter 3 – Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” (6)
We all build upon the foundation with gold or stubble; each man’s work will be revealed by fire. (12-13)
Chapter 4 – We are servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (1)
It is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (2)
What do you have that you did not receive? Why do you boast as if you had not received it? (7)                                                                                                        The kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power. (20)
Chapter 5 – A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough – clean out the old leaven among you. (6-7)                                                                                     Do not associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person. (11)
Chapter 6 – All things are lawful for us, but all things are not profitable for us. (12)
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ – do not make them members of a harlot. (15)                                                                                      Flee immorality; every other sin is outside the body, but immorality is a sin against one’s own body. (18)                                                                               Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit... you are not your own... glorify God in your body. (19-20)
Chapter 7 – Husbands and wives do not have authority over their own bodies... their spouses do. (4)                                                                               Believing spouses are to remain married; the unbelieving spouse is sanctified thru the believer. (13-14)                                                                                        As the Lord has assigned each person, let each walk in that manner; be you a slave or free man. (17, 24)
Chapter 8 – Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. (1)
Take care lest your liberty somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. (9, 13)                                                                                                                                    By wounding a brother’s conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. (12)
Chapter 9 – You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing. (9)
If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much for us to reap material things from you? (11)
The Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. (14)
Paul: “I am under compulsion to preach the gospel – I do this voluntarily.” (16-17)
Paul: “I do all things for the sake of the gospel” (23)
Paul: “Run in such a way that you may win!” (24)
Paul: “I run in such a way, as not without aim... I buffet my body and make it my slave.” (26-27)

Chapter 10 – The events of the OT happened as examples for us, and written for our instruction. (6, 11)                                                                  Admittedly, there are tough things in the OT – let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (12)                                                                                         All temptation is common to man – God will not allow temptation beyond your ability to endure. (13)                                                                                          Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (24)
Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (31)
Chapter 11 – Christ is the head of every man; man is the head of a woman; God is the head of Christ. (3)                                                                     Divisions and factions exist in the church, so that those who are approved may become evident. (19)
The Lord’s Supper: “This is My body which is given for you; take eat in remembrance of Me.” (24-26)                                                                                           Let a man examine himself – if we judge ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. (28-31)
We are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world. (32)
Chapter 12 – There are various gifts and ministries; all are given by the Spirit for the common good. (4-7)                                                                               By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body... of which there are many members. (13-14)
God has so composed the body, giving more honor to that those members who seem lesser. (22, 24)
God has appointed in the church, apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. – desire the greater gifts. (28-31)
Chapter 13 – If we have the gift of prophecy (or whatever), but have not love, we are nothing. (1, 3)                                                                                            Love never fails... now abide faith, hope, love... the greatest of these is love. (8, 13)
Chapter 14 – Pursue love & earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophesy that all are edified. (1-3)                                                                                Since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. (12)
Do not be children in your thinking – in evil be babes – but in your thinking be mature. (20)
Tongues are for a sign to unbelievers – prophecy is a sign for believers. (22)
Let all gifts be exercised in an orderly manner, for the exhortation and edification of all. (26, 31, 40)                                                                                          God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. (33)
Chapter 15 – Of first importance: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised the third day. (3)                                                                                   He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time... most of whom are still alive. (6)
If Christ has not been raised; our preaching is vain; your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. (14, 17)                                                                                          If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (19)
The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (26)
If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. (32)
Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals. (33)
Regarding the resurrection of the dead: their bodies are raised to imperishable spiritual bodies. (42, 44)                                                                                     In the twinkling of an eye, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed. (52)                                                                                              Death is swallowed by in victory – “O death, where is your victory? Where is your sting?” (54-55)
Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord – it is not in vain! (58)
Chapter 16 – On the first day of every week, let each put aside his gift, as he has prospered. (2)                                                                                                        Be alert... stand firm in the faith... be strong like men... let all you do be done in love. (13-14)

                                                                                  “SECOND CORINTHIANS”
                                                                                 (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – In this letter the apostle Paul bares his soul and professes his abiding love for the Corinthian believers despite the apparent fickleness of their affection for him. What concerned Paul preeminently was the presence of false teachers in the church who were promoting their own heretical ideas. So in this letter Paul defends the authenticity of both his apostleship and his message.
Chapter 1 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord; the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. (3)                                                                              God comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort others who are afflicted. (4)
Chapter 2 – With great anguish in my heart, I wrote to you to tell you of my great love for you. (4)
Know this: we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and are perishing. (15)
Chapter 3 – We are letters, written by the Spirit of the living God on our hearts, and read by all men. (2-3)                                                                             We are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, by the Holy Spirit. (18)
Chapter 4 – The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, that they not see the light. (4)
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the greatness of the power may be of God, and not us. (7)
We are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down – but not destroyed. (8-9)
Though our outer man is decaying – our inner man is being renewed day by day. (16)
Momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. (17)                                                                                  We are not to look at things that are seen/temporal – but at things that are not seen/eternal. (18)
Chapter 5 – If our earthly tents are destroyed, we have an eternal building from God in heaven. (1)
Indeed, in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. (2)
Know this: In this life we walk by faith, not by sight. (7)
We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ – each one will recompensed for his deeds. (10)                                                                                       Christ died for all, that we should no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us. (15)
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature – old things have passed away; new things have come. (17)                                                                                       God has given us the ministry of reconciliation – we are ambassadors for Christ. (18-20)
God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. (21)
Chapter 6 – Do not be bound together with unbelievers; what partnership has righteousness & darkness? (14)                                                                        For we are the temple of the living God... therefore come out from their midst and be separate. (16-17)
Chapter 7 – Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement... perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (1)                                                                                             You were made sorrowful to the point of repentance – as God willed – leading to salvation. (9-10)
Chapter 8 – The churches of Macedonia, though suffering, overflowed in their generosity to you. (1-2)
Though Christ was rich, for your sake He became poor, that thru His poverty you might become rich. (9)                                                                              One’s generosity is weighed by what a man has, not by what a man does not have. (12)
This is God’s plan: He who gathers much does not have too much; he who gathers little has no lack. (15)
Chapter 9 – If you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly; if you sow bountifully you reap bountifully. (6)                                                                                   Let each person do as he purposes; not grudgingly or under compulsion; God loves a cheerful giver. (7)                                                                                       God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you may have sufficiency for every good deed. (8)
God multiplies seed to the sower... to increase the harvest of his righteousness. (10)

Chapter 10 – We walk in flesh, but we do not war by the flesh – our weapons are divinely powerful. (3-4)                                                                   Regarding knowledge against God: we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (5)                                                                                       He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. (17)
He who commends himself is not approved – only the one whom the Lord commends is approved. (18)
Chapter 11 – Do not be deceived by Satan, or led astray from your simple devotion to Christ. (3)
Did I commit a sin in humbling myself before you, by not charging you for preaching the gospel? (7)
Paul: “I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to serve you!” (8)
False prophets wear disguises and are deceitful; even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (13-14)                                                                              Many boast according to the flesh – so Paul lists a litany of things that he could boast about! (18-29)
Paul: “If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.” (30)
Chapter 12 – Paul then boasts about visions and revelations he received from the Lord. (1)
He had actually been taken up to the “third heaven,” and saw things he cannot even describe. (2-4)                                                                                            Paul: “To keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh from Satan.” (7)                                                                                                 God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you; for power is perfected in weakness.” (9)
Therefore, says Paul, “I will boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (9)                                                                                      Thus, I am well content with weaknesses... for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (10)
The “signs” of a true apostle were performed among you – by signs and wonders and miracles. (12)
Chapter 13 – Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith – examine yourselves. (5)
Rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace, and God will be with you. (11)

                                                                                             (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – The Judaizers in Galatia discredited Paul and proclaimed a false gospel. It was necessary that Paul vindicate his apostleship   and message. Paul was calling these early Christians back from the Mosaic Law to grace, from legalism to faith. In doing so, he expounded upon the doctrine of grace, and justification by faith alone. To show that Christian liberty does not mean license, Paul taught that believers    are to live by the power of the Holy Spirit; when they do, they manifest the fruit of the Spirit.
Chapter 1 – “I am amazed that you are deserting Him who called you by grace, for a different gospel.”
Paul: “If I were trying to please men, I would not be a slave of Christ.” (6, 10)
Paul: “God set me apart from my mother’s womb by His grace.” (15)
After experiencing God’s call, Paul spent 3 years in Arabia before meeting with Peter and James. (17-18)
Chapter 2 – Paul then spent 14 more years in ministry to Gentiles, before returning to Jerusalem. (1)                                                                                       Paul was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised... and Peter to the circumcised. (7)
Paul opposed Peter when he pulled back from eating with Gentiles, because he feared the Jews. (11-14)                                                                                       Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ; Christ lives in me; I now live by faith in the Son of God.” (20)                                                                                      Paul: “I do not nullify the grace of God [by living according to the Law].” (21)
Chapter 3 – Are you foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, will you now perfect yourselves by flesh? (3)                                                                             Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. (6)
The righteous man shall live by faith. (11)
The Law was added because of transgression... until Christ should come. (19)
The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. (24)
Chapter 4 – When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, to redeem those under the Law. (4-5)                                                                             How is it that you turn back again to elemental things... to become enslaved all over again? (9)
Abraham had two sons: one born of bondwoman (flesh), the other of the free woman (Spirit). (22-23)
These two sons represent the two covenants – Mount Sinai (slavery), and Jerusalem (freedom). (24-26)
Chapter 5 – It was for “freedom” that Christ set us free – do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (1)
In Christ there is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision... but faith working through love. (6)
A little leaven (legalism) leavens the whole lump of dough (church). (9)
You were called to freedom; don’t turn it into an opportunity for flesh; thru love serve one another. (13)                                                                                    The Law is fulfilled in one word – “love” – take care lest you devour and consume one another. (14-15)                                                                                        Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the Flesh. (16)
The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and vice versa; they are in opposition to one another. (17)                                                                                              The deeds of the Flesh are evident: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, strife, factions. (19-21)                                                                                         The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. (22-23)                                                                                        If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (25)
Chapter 6 – If a man is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore him in a spirit of gentleness. (1)                                                                                 Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. (2)
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked – whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (7)
Do not lose heart in doing good, for in due time you shall reap if you do not grow weary. (9)
While you have opportunity, do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith. (10)
Reject circumcision – may it never be that you should boast in anything but the cross of Christ. (14)

                                                                                      (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – The church at Ephesus had failed to maintain the vibrancy of its love for Christ (Rev 2:4); this is substantiated in Paul’s first letter to Timothy (1 Tim 1:5). Thus the “theme of love” needed to be stressed to the saints at Ephesus – various forms of the word "love" are used     19 times in this letter. This letter begins with love (1:4, 6), and ends with love (6:23-24). Paul also teaches that Jewish and Gentile believers are  “one  in Christ.”
Chapter 1 – God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (3)
God has predestined us to adoption as sons thru Christ... by the kind intention of His will. (5)
In Christ we have redemption... forgiveness... an inheritance... and sealed with the Holy Spirit. (7-13)                                                                                      May you know the hope of His calling, the glory of His inheritance, the greatness of His power. (18-19)
Chapter 2 – You were once dead in your sins; but God made you alive with Christ by His love/mercy. (1-5)                                                                               By grace you have been saved through faith... it is a gift of God, not as a result of works. (8-9)
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we should walk in them. (10)                                                                                        You Gentiles who were formerly far off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (13)
You are no longer strangers & aliens... you are now citizens with the saints of God’s household. (19)
God’s household was built upon the foundation of the apostles/prophets; Christ is the cornerstone. (20)                                                                                   The entire building is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; the dwelling of God in the Spirit. (21-22)
Chapter 3 – The Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. (6)
To me, the least of saints, grace was given to preach to Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ. (8)                                                                                    Paul’s prayer: “May God grant you to be strengthened with power thru His Spirit in the inner man.” (16)                                                                                  May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, and may you be rooted and grounded in love. (17)
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think; by His Spirit. (20)
Chapter 4 – Paul: “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” (1)
God gave some as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, for equipping the saints. (11-12)                                                                                        The saints are equipped to do the work of service – to build up the body of Christ. (12)
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith... to a mature man... and the fullness of Christ. (13)
Grow-up in Christ, thru the proper working of each part... that the body may be built up in love. (15-16)                                                                                          Do not walk as the Gentiles walk – darkened in their understanding and hardness of heart. (17-18)                                                                                               Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted... and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (22-23)
Put on the new self... which has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (24)
Only speak words that edify... do not grieve the Holy Spirit... be kind and forgive one another. (29-31)
Chapter 5 – Understand God’s will... be filled with the Spirit... giving thanks for all things. (17-20)
Be subject to each other in the fear of Christ – wives submit to husbands; husbands love wives. (21-27)                                                                              Husbands, love your wives as your own body – he who loves his wife loves himself. (28)
A man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (31)
Chapter 6 – Children obey your parents in the Lord; honor your parents that it may go well with you. (1-3)                                                                        Fathers do not provoke your children to anger; raise them in the discipline & instruction of the Lord. (4)                                                                              Slaves be obedient to your masters as unto the Lord, and masters render service as to the Lord. (5-9)                                                                                                Be strong in the Lord; put on the full armor of God that you may withstand the devil’s schemes.(10-17)                                                                                     Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the forces of darkness in heavenly places. (12)

                                                                                              (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote Philippians. When the believers at Philippi heard about it, they sent Epaphroditus to minister to him, along with a financial love gift to make his confinement more comfortable (4:18). While Epaphroditus was in Rome, he became so ill he almost died (2:27). After he recovered he took Paul’s letter to the Philippian believers. Paul’s initial reason for writing was to thank the Philippians for their love gift, but he also took this opportunity to address some of the problem in their church. Apparently, rivalry   and personal ambition were present among some of the saints (2:3-4; 4:2); the Judaizers were also gaining a hearing (3:1-3), and antinomianism was creeping in (3:18-19).
Chapter 1 – He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (6)
I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment. (9)
My circumstances (imprisonment) have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. (12)
Writes Paul: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (21)
Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel; with one mind strive together for the gospel. (27)                                                                                      It has been granted to you not only to believe for Christ’s sake... but also to suffer for Him. (29)
Chapter 2 – There is encouragement in Christ, consolation of love, fellowship of Spirit, compassion. (1)
Do nothing from selfishness; but with humility regard one another as more important than himself. (3)                                                                                    Do not merely look out after your own personal interests, but look out after the interests of others. (4)                                                                                      Have this attitude in you which was in Christ Jesus – He became a bondservant for your sake. (5-8)                                                                                                As such, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him a name that is above every name. (9)
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling... God is also at working His will in your life. (12-13)                                                                                         Do all things without grumbling or disputing... holding fast the word of life. (14, 16)
Chapter 3 – Beware of the dogs, the evil workers, the false circumcision; put no confidence in flesh. (2-3)                                                                                 If anyone has a mind to put confidence in the flesh – I far more. (4-6)
Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (7)
Paul desired to know Christ, the power of His resurrection; and the fellowship of His sufferings. (10)                                                                                              I have not yet obtained it, he said. “I press on to lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me.” (12)                                                                                             I have not laid hold of it yet, so “forgetting what lies behind, I reach forward to what lies ahead.” (13)                                                                                               I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (14)
The circumcision are enemies of the cross; their god is their appetite; their focus is on earthly things.                                                                                         We eagerly await the transformation of our humble estate into the body of His glory. (20)
Chapter 4 – Stand firm in the Lord; rejoice in Him always; let your forbearing spirit be known to all. (1-5)                                                                                   Be anxious for nothing; in everything with prayer and thanksgiving take your requests to Christ. (6)                                                                                             And God’s peace, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ. (7)                                                                                       Think on those things that are true and right and pure – and the God of peace shall be with you. (8-9)
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in – both humble and abundance. (12)                                                                                        Writes Paul: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (13)
I seek for the profit which increases to your account. (17)
My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (19)

                                                                                             (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – The circumstance which prompted Paul to write this letter was a Gnostic heresy that had arisen in Colossae. Paul sought                 to show the deity and supremacy of Christ (1:18; 2:9); he sought to lead the believing community into spiritual maturity (1:28; 2:6-7); and he wanted to inform them about his condition in prison, and to solicit their prayers on his behalf (4:2-8).
Chapter 1 – May you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom & understanding. (9)                                                                           May you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord; pleasing Him & bearing fruit in every good work. (10)
God delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His Son. (13)
Jesus is the image of the invisible God; by Him all things were created; in Him all things consist. (15-17)
He is the head of the body, the church; that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. (18)                                                                                       It pleased the Father to dwell in Him fully... and thru Him to reconcile all things to Himself. (19-20)                                                                                            You have been reconciled, in order that He might present you before the Father holy & blameless. (22)
I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake... filling up that which is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. (24)
Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship of God for your benefit. (25)                                                                                        Through preaching, God reveals the mystery of His will – Christ in you, the hope of glory. (25-27)                                                                                                     For this I labor, according His power, that we may present every man complete in Christ. (28-29)
Chapter 2 – May you have full assurance of understanding & knowledge of God’s mystery – Christ. (2)                                                                                      As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord... so walk in Him... and be built up in Him. (6-7)
See to it that no one takes you captive thru philosophy, empty deception, and traditions of men. (8)
In Christ all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form; in Him you have been made complete. (9-10)                                                                                         When you were dead in your sins, God made you alive together with Christ, fully forgiving you. (13)                                                                                             At the cross God disarmed rulers of darkness, making a spectacle of them & triumphing over them.
Let no one act as your judge regarding festivals; they are mere shadows; Christ is the substance. (16-17)                                                                                 Since you have died with Christ to such elementary principles; do not submit to their decrees. (20-22)                                                                                     Self-made religion has the appearance of wisdom, but is of no value against fleshly indulgence. (23)
Chapter 3 – If you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking those things above, where Christ is. (1)
Set your mind on things above, not on the things of this world, for your life is hidden with Christ. (2-3)                                                                         Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality/evil, which amounts to idolatry. (5)                                                                                       Put aside all anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech, and do not lie to one another. (8-9)
Having laid aside the old self and put on the new self, you are being renewed to a true knowledge. (9-10)                                                                                       As God’s children, be compassionate, kind, gentle & forgive one another as Christ forgave you.(12-13)                                                                                       And beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (14)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful. (15)                                                                                         Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching & admonishing one another.                                                                               Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, with thanksgiving to God. (17)                                                                                      Wives submit to your husbands; husbands love your wives; children obey your parents. (18-20)
Slaves obey your masters... whatever you do, do your work heartily as unto the Lord. (22-23)
Knowing that from the Lord you will receive your reward; it is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (24)
Chapter 4 – Masters, be just and fair with your slaves, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. (1)                                                                         Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. (2)
Let your speech always be with grace... be fully assured in all the will of God. (6, 12)

                                                                                                        “FIRST THESSALONIANS”
                                                                                                 (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – The Holy Spirit led Paul to write this epistle in order to meet several needs. He encouraged his children in the faith to  persevere despite their persecution; he refuted false charges made by the local enemies that they had simply preached the gospel in order to fatten their own wallets; he refuted the charge that he had not returned to them because he was a coward and a hypocrite; he also wrote to  correct some errors that had cropped up in the church – an inclination to moral laxity and laziness, and a tendency not to respect the church’s spiritual leaders. He also gave instruction on the subject of what happens to Christians who die before Christ returns.
Chapter 1 – We thank God for your work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope in Christ. (2-3)                                                                                 You became imitators of us & Christ, and turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God. (6, 9)
Chapter 2 – We did not come to you with flattering speech... we were gentle like a nursing mother. (5, 7)                                                                               You recall our work of labor with you, our devout walk among you, and our encouraging words.(9-11)                                                                                           We have been bereft of you for awhile... wanting to come to you... but Satan thwarted us. (17-18)
Chapter 3 – So we decided to send Timothy to you, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith. (1-2)                                                                            Timothy has returned to us, and he comforted us with good news of your faith and love. (6-7)
May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men. (12)
Chapter 4 – This is the will of God for you, your sanctification, and abstaining from sexual immorality. (3)                                                                               That you know how to possess your own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion. (4-5)                                                                                   God has not called us for the purpose of impurity... but in sanctification and holiness. (7)
Love one another... make it your ambition to lead a quiet life attending to your own business. (9, 11)
We want you to know that those who have died, will be the first one’s raised when Christ returns. (13, 16)                                                                            Those of us who are alive will be caught up together with them and meet the Lord in the air. (17)
Chapter 5 – Now as to when this will be – the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (1-2)                                                                                     People will be saying, “Peace and safety!” But then destruction will come upon them suddenly! (3)                                                                                         Therefore, let us be alert and sober, having embraced that faith which leads to salvation. (6, 8)
God has not destined us to wrath... but for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (9)
Appreciate those who diligently labor among you, have charge over you, and give you instruction. (12)                                                                                 Esteem them very highly in love because of their work. (13)
Admonish the unruly... encourage the fainthearted... help the weak... be patient with all men. (14)
Never repay evil with evil... always seek after that which is good for all men. (15)
Rejoicealways! Praywithoutceasing! Ineverythinggivethanks! DonotquenchtheSpirit!(16-19)                                                                                                     Examine all prophetic utterances carefully, and hold fast to that which is good. (20-21)
May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely, without blame at the coming of Christ. (23)                                                                                               Faithful is He who calls you... and He also will bring it to pass. (24)

                                                                                                        “SECOND THESSALONIANS”
                                                                                                 (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – This epistle gives evidence that Paul had recently heard news about conditions in the church. Some of the news was good –     the Thessalonians continued to grow and remained faithful to Christ in spite of persecution... but some of the news was bad – false teaching concerning the day of the Lord had entered the church and had caused confusion; this lead some Christians to quit their jobs in expectation      of the Lord’s return. In view of these reports Paul felt constrained to write this letter.
Chapter 1 – We thank God for you, because your faith and love for each other is greatly enlarged. (3)                                                                                               We are proud of your perseverance and faith in the midst of persecution and afflictions. (4)
God will repay with affliction those who afflict you... and give relief to you who are afflicted. (6-7)                                                                                                  Our prayer is that God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness.(11)
Chapter 2 – The day of the Lord will not come until after the apostasy & man of lawlessness is revealed. (3)                                                                             He will exalt himself above every so-called god & take his seat in the temple of God, as being God. (4)                                                                                         God will send upon men a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false. (11)
Brethren, stand firm in the word... may God comfort and strengthen you in every good work. (15-17)
Chapter 3 – Pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified. (1)                                                                                                                   The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (3)
Keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life. (6)
If anyone will not work, neither let him eat. (10)
Some among you are leading undisciplined lives, not working at all – let such eat their own bread. (11-12)                                                                                   As for those of you who are diligently working, do not grow weary in doing good. (13)
May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. (16)

                                                                                                                 “FIRST TIMOTHY” 
                                                                                                   (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – This pastoral epistle is addressed to Timothy, his fellow-coworker and child in the faith. It is highly personal and                    practical, and deals with matters of church order and the evolving need for structure in the churches.
Chapter 1 – Timothy, instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, myths, geneaologies. (3)
The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart... a good conscience... and a sincere faith. (5)
Some men stray from these things, turn to fruitless discussion, and want to be teachers of the Law. (6-7)                                                                                        I thank Christ, who considered me faithful, putting me into service, though a former blasphemer. (12-13)                                                                                The grace of our Lord in Christ was more than abundant with faith and love. (14)
I found mercy, that in me as the foremost sinner, Jesus might demonstrate His perfect patience. (16)                                                                                   Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12); keep the faith and a good conscience. (18-19)
Chapter 2 – I urge entreaties and prayers and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men. (1)                                                                                                    God desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (4)
There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (5)                                                                                                                    Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly. (9)                                                                                                Rather than costly garments and good looks, let women be clothed in good works. (10)
I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. (12)
Adam was created first, then Eve was created... and the woman was deceived, not Adam. (13-14)
Chapter 3 – If a man aspires to the office of “overseer” – it is a fine work he desires to do. (1)                                                                                                Oversees must be above reproach, able to teach, uncontentious, free from the love of money. (2-7)                                                                                       Deacons must first be tested, men of dignity, beyond reproach, not fond of sordid gain. (8-10)                                                                                               Women must likewise be dignified, not gossips, but temperate, and faithful in all things. (11)
I write these things that you may know how to conduct oneself in the household of God. (15)
The church of the living God is the pillar and support of the truth. (15)
Chapter 4 – In later times some will fall away from the faith, listening to deceitful spirits. (1)                                                                                             Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; it holds promise for this life and life to come. (7-8)
It is for this we labor and strive... because we have fixed our hope on the living God. (10)
As young men, in speech, conduct, faith, purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.(12)                                                                                          Give attention to the public reading of Scripture, exhortation and teaching; use your spiritual gift. (13)                                                                                 Take pains, be absorbed and persevere in these things... pay close attention to your teaching. (15-16)
Chapter 5 – Do not sharply rebuke an older man; appeal to him as a father; to younger men as brothers. (1)                                                                     Honor true widows who have no family... who practice piety, and have their hope fixed on God. (3-5)                                                                                             If any one does not provide for his own, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. (8)                                                                                              Let women be placed on the church role... only if they are godly, and do not want to marry. (9-16)
Let preaching/teaching elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor & good wage. (17-18)                                                                                  Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily; they should be tested, proven, not new converts (3:6-10). (22)
Chapter 6 – Let slaves regard their masters as worthy of honor, that Christ may not be spoken against. (1)                                                                    Godliness is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. (6)
The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil – flee from such things you man of God. (10-11)
Instruct those who are rich to “be rich in good works” – to be generous and ready to share. (18)

                                                                                                       “SECOND TIMOTHY”
                                                                                                (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Paul was a prisoner in a Roman dungeon near the end of his life when he wrote this, the last of his epistles, to Timothy                     (1:8, 16; 4:6-13). Not long afterward, according to tradition, the apostle was beheaded. The purpose of Paul’s second letter to Timothy was                    to encourage him in his ministry at Ephesus. The primary theme of the letter is the need for faithfulness in the face of hardship.
Chapter 1 – Timothy, kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (6)                                                                           God has not given you a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (7)
God has called you with a “holy calling” according to His own purpose and grace for all eternity. (9)
For which I was appointed an apostle; God is able to guard forever what I have entrusted to Him. (12)
Timothy, “Guard the treasure which has been entrusted to you.” (14)
Chapter 2 – Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (1)
The things you have heard from me; these entrust to faithful men who are able to teach others also. (2)                                                                                   Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus – don’t get entangled in daily matters. (3-4)                                                                               Remember, the athlete wins the prize only when he competes according to the rules. (5)
The hard working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. (6)
This is a trustworthy: Though we be faithless, God remains faithful – He cannot deny Himself. (13)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, not ashamed, handling accurate the word of truth. (15)                                                                            Cleanse yourself; be a vessel of honor, sanctified, useful to God, prepared for every good work. (21)                                                                                               Flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, and a pure heart. (22)
The Lord’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to all, able to teach, patient, gentle. (24-25)
Chapter 3 – In the last days... men will be lovers of self, money, pleasure, haters of good. (1-4)
They will hold to a form of godliness, yet they will oppose the truth, and reject the faith. (5-8)
But you have followed my teaching, conduct, patience, faith, love, perseverance and sufferings. (10-11)                                                                                  From childhood you have known the sacred writings which give wisdom that leads to salvation. (15)                                                                                              All Scripture is inspired by God, profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteous...                                                                                           That the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (16-17)
Chapter 4 – Preach the word; be ready in season and out; reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience. (2)                                                                              Time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine – they will want their ears tickled. (3)
Be sober in all things... endure hardship... do the work of an evangelist... fulfill your ministry. (5)
The time of my death has come – I have fought the good fight, finished the course, kept the faith. (7)
In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord will award to me. (8)                                                                                                 At my defense in Rome – all deserted me – but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me. (16-17)
The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. (18)                                                                                          To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (18)

                                                                                                 (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Titus was a Gentile convert who had served and traveled with the apostle Paul (Gal 2:1-3). Titus had also functioned as a  faithful emissary to the troubled church in Corinth (2 Cor 7:6-7; 8:6, 16). After Paul left Timothy behind in Ephesus to continue the work               there, Paul and Titus traveled on to Crete; Paul then left Titus behind in Crete to help provide leadership for the Cretan churches (Titus 1:5).          The purpose of this epistle to Titus was to instruct him about what he should do and teach in the Cretan churches.  A special theme of the               letter is the role of grace in promoting good works among God’s people (2:11-3:8).
Chapter 1 – Paul, an apostle of Christ for the faith of the chosen, and the knowledge of the truth. (1)                                                                                         Titus was to give organization to the churches in Crete and appoint elders in every city. (5)
The overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, or fond of sordid gain. (7)
He must hold fast to the word, be able to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who disagree. (9)
For there are many empty talkers, especially those of the circumcision who must be silenced. (10-11)
Reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths. (13-14)                                                                                  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, worthless for any good deed. (16)
Chapter 2 – Speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. (1)
Older men are to be temperate, sound in faith, love, and perseverance. (2)
Older women are to be reverent, not gossips, and able to disciple and teach young women. (3-4)                                                                                                Young men are to be sensible, pure in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech, beyond reproach. (6-8)                                                                              Bondslaves are to be subject to their masters, nor argumentative, showing all good faith. (9-10)                                                                                                        The grace of God has appeared that we might deny ungodliness and live righteously. (11-12)
Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, zealous for good deeds. (14)
Chapter 3 – Be subject to rulers and authorities, and ready for every good deed. (1)
We’re not saved by works, but by God’s mercy; washing of regeneration & renewing by the Spirit. (5)                                                                                               Be careful to engage in good deeds – these things are good and profitable for all men. (8, 14)
Shun foolish controversies and disputes about the Law – they are unprofitable and worthless. (9)

                                                                                             (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, had robbed him and had run away; by divine providence, he came in contact with Paul,                       who led him to Christ – before long he became very useful to Paul in his ministry. Realizing that Onesimus had a responsibility to his                  master, Paul had him return with this letter.
To Philemon and others in a “house church” in Colossae (Col 4:9). (1)
I thank God for you because of your love, and the faith, toward all the saints. (4-5)
I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective thru the knowledge of Christ in you. (6)
For love’s sake I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment. (9-10)                                                                         Though he was formerly useless to you... he is now useful both to you and to me. (11)
Receive him back as a beloved brother, not merely as slave... accept him as you would me. (16-17)
If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account; I will repay. (18-19)                                                                                     Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord – refresh my heart in Christ. (20)

                                                                                                (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Most scholars believe this epistle was written by the apostle Paul, due to the support of early tradition regarding his being the author; though the evidence is not conclusive. There is a smaller group of scholars who believe it was authored by Paul’s cohort in ministry, Barnabas, who was also called “an apostle” (Acts 14:4, 14). The contents of this epistle, with its multiple references to the Levitical system and the Old Testament, suggest that the readers were principally Jewish in origin. Under repeated pressure from unbelieving Jews, apparently some of these believing Jews were tempted to give up their Christian profession and return to their ancestral faith. Paul enjoins them to hold fast to their Christian profession. Regardless of who wrote it, or where the letter was first sent, the church, down through the ages, has regarded it as a powerfully relevant message from God, who had definitively spoken through His Son.
Chapter 1 – The God spoke to our fathers thru the prophets... in these last days He has spoken thru His Son. (1-2)                                                               He is the radiance of His glory, the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things. (3)
He is God’s Son; worshiped by angels; His throne is forever; He is eternal; maker of all things. (5-14)
Chapter 2 – How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (3)
God bore witness to Jesus through signs, wonders, miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit. (4)
What is man that God mindful of him? Or the Son of Man that God is concerned about Him? (6)                                                                                                  God has put all things in subjection under His feet. (8)
For a little while, Jesus was made lower than the angels, that He might taste death for all men. (9)
It was fitting for Him, thru whom are all things, to bring many sons to glory through suffering. (10)
Through Jesus’ death God rendered powerless him who had the power of death – the devil. (14)
Jesus was made a man that He might become a merciful high priest to God to make propitiation for sin.                                                                                   Since He Himself was tempted, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (17-18)
Chapter 3 – God’s Son has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses. (3)
Do not harden your hearts to God, as your forefathers did; they provoked God in the wilderness. (7-8)                                                                                        Take care, lest there be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart. (12)
Encourage one another day after day, lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (13)                                                                                   Because our forefathers provoked God thru their hardness of heart, they did not enter His rest. (18)
Chapter 4 – The word our forefathers heard did not profit them, because it was not united with faith. (2)                                                                           Those who believe enter His rest – there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (3, 9)
Those who enter His rest has himself also rested from his works, just as God did from His works. (10)                                                                                          Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest. (11)
God’s Word is living, active, sharper than any two-edged sword, able to judge our very thoughts. (12)                                                                                            We have a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses; was tempted in all things like us.(15)                                                                                Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, to receive mercy in time of need. (16)
Chapter 5 – For every “high priest” is appointed on behalf of men to offer sacrifices for sins to God. (1)                                                                                    God said this of His Son: “Thou art a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” (5-6)
Concerning him, we have much to say, but it is hard to explain since you are dull of hearing. (11)
By this time you ought to be teachers, but you have come to still need milk rather than solid food. (12)                                                                                   Solid food is for the mature, who have trained their senses by practice to discern good and evil. (1)

Chapter 6 – Therefore leaving the elementary principles about Christ, let us press on to maturity. (1)
Those who have been enlightened... and tasted the good word of God... and have fallen away...
It is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves God’s Son. (4-6)                                                                              We are convinced of better things for you; be diligent to realize the full assurance of hope to the end. (9-11)                                                                             We are heirs of the promise of God, who cannot lie; therefore lay hold of the hope set before you.(17-18)                                                                                 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope that is sure, through which we enter the veil. (19)
Chapter 7 – Melchizedek, king of Salem, was a priest of God – he blessed Abraham for his obedience. (1)                                                                     Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils to the king of righteousness, and king of peace. (2)                                                                                       What need was there for “another priest” to arise according to the order of Melchizedek? (11)
Conversely, when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. (12)                                                                               Therefore, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness...
On the other hand, there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (18-19)
Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant – His priesthood abides forever. (22-24)
Jesus is able to save forever those who draw near to God – He lives to make intercession for them. (25)                                                                                          Jesus, our holy and undefiled high priest, offered Himself up as a sacrifice once for all. (26-27)
The Law appoints men as high priests who are weak – God appoints His Son who is perfect forever. (28)
Chapter 8 – We have a high priest who has taken His seat at the right hand of God in heaven. (1)                                                                                                Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices to God. (3)
Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. (6)
If the first covenant had been faultless, there could have been no need for a second covenant. (7)                                                                                                    God said to Jeremiah: “Days are coming when I will effect a new covenant.” (8)
Said the Lord: “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts.” (10)                                                                                                   And, “I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (12)
Because God has given us a new covenant, He has made the first covenant obsolete. (13)
Chapter 9 – The first covenant had regulations of divine worship and an earthly sanctuary. (1)
It contained a holy place (lampstand and table), and a Holy of Holies (altar, ark, mercy seat). (2-5)                                                                                                Only the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year, offering a blood sacrifice for sins. (7)                                                                                             When Christ appeared, He entered through the Greater Tabernacle not made with hands. (11)
He entered the Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption with His own blood. (12)
Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant, thru which believers receive an eternal inheritance. (15)
All covenants are inaugurated with blood – the first was with the blood of calves and goats. (18-19)                                                                                     According to the Law, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (22)
Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, but heaven itself, appearing in God’s presence.(24)                                                                                 Christ was offered once to bear our sins; He will appear next time for our salvation; we eagerly wait!
Chapter 10 – The Law was a shadow of the things to come, and could not perfect those who drew near. (1)                                                                                It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (3-4)
Jesus came to do God’s will – to take away the first in order to establish the second. (9)
We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (10)
By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (14)
The Holy Spirit bearing witness: “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (17)                                                                                             Since there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (18)
Therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus. (19)
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. (22)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (23)                                                                                                 Let us stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our assembling together. (24-25)                                                                                              If we go on willfully sinning (present tense), there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. (26)                                                                                                Vengeance is the Lord’s – it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (30-31)
Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. (35)
You have need of endurance, so once you’ve done the will of God, you will receive the promise.(36)                                                                                              The righteous man shall live by faith – God finds no pleasure in the one who shrinks back. (38)
Chapter 11 – Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (1)
By faith men of old gained approval by God, and understood that God is the creator of all things. (2-3)                                                                                Without faith one cannot please God; you must believe that He is and rewards those who seek Him. (6)                                                                                          By faith Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Sarah all died in faith... still waiting for a better country. (7-16)
By faith Abraham offered by Isaac, believing that God is able to raise him up even from the dead. (17-19)                                                                                        By faith, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses believed God and followed Him in obedience. (20-29)
Countless others followed God in obedience: Giden, Samson, David, Samuel. etc. (32-39)
All these gained approval through their faith, yet in this life did not receive what was promised. (39)
Chapter 12 – Since we have a so many witnesses surrounding us, lay aside every encumbrance and sin,                                                                                       And run with “endurance” the race that is set before you... fixing your eyes on Jesus. (1-2)                                                                                                           Consider the hostility Christ endured... that you may not grow weary and lose heart. (3)
You have not resisted to the point of shedding blood in striving against sin; remember God’s word:
Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord – those whom He loves He disciplines & scourges. (4-6)                                                                                        We endure for the ultimate effects of God’s discipline – it molds us into Christ’s image. (7)
Those who are without discipline are “illegitimate children” – and “not sons.” (8)
God disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. (10)
All discipline seems sorrowful, not joyful; yet those who are trained by it, it yields peaceful fruit.(11)                                                                                          Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (14)
You have not come to an earthly mountain (Sinai), but to the heavenly Jerusalem (Mt. Zion)...
You have not come to Moses, but to God the Judge, and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant.(18-24)                                                                                         Let us show gratitude to God, by offering Him an acceptable service; God is a consuming fire. (28-29)
Chapter 13 – Love the brethren; show hospitality to strangers; remember prisoners & those mistreated. (1-3)                                                                             Let marriage be held in honor among all... let your character be free from the love of money. (4-5)                                                                                              Remember, God will never desert you or forsake you. (5)
Remember those who led you and spoke the word of the Lord to you – imitate their faith. (7)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (8)
Through Christ, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God; giving thanks to His name. (15)                                                                                      Obey your leaders, submit to them, they keep watch over your souls as those who will give account. (17)                                                                                        Let them do this with joy and not with grief. (17)
May the God of peace, who raised the Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you to do His will. (20-21)
Working in you that which is pleasing in His sight... to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (21)

                                                                                                   (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Most scholars believe this letter was authored by James, the half-brother of Jesus (Mt 13:55; Gal 1:19).  This letter was      addressed to that early Jewish community that had been scattered because of their faith. It was written to challenge, encourage and drive       them toward the goal of a practical faith that works.
Chapter 1 – To the twelve tribes dispersed abroad: Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials,                                                                         Knowing that the “testing of your faith” produces endurance. (1-3)
If you lack spiritual wisdom, ask God for it fully believing, not doubting or being double-minded. (6-8)
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; once he is approved he will receive the crown of life. (12)                                                                                       Let no one think God is tempting him; God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. (13)                                                                                         We are tempted by our own inward passions – when they conceive, they give birth to sin. (14-15)
Every good thing comes from God; He is steadfastly consistent, and is not capricious or changing. (17)                                                                                        We were born again by the word of truth – therefore be quick to listen to it! and slow to speak! (18-19)                                                                                             In humility receive the word implanted – be doers of the word, not merely deluded hearers. (22)
He who looks intently at the word & abides by it, is an effectual doer; he is blessed in what he does. (25)                                                                                     This is pure/undefiled religion: visit orphans/widows in their distress; keep unstained by the world. (27)
Chapter 2 – Do not show partiality toward the rich – did not God choose the poor to be rich in faith? (1-5)                                                                                If you are fulfilling the royal law of love, you are sinning when you show partiality or favoritism. (8-9)                                                                                         He who keeps the whole law, yet stumbles in one point, becomes guilty of breaking all the law. (10)
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty – the royal law of love. (12)
Judgment will be merciless to the one who has shown no mercy – mercy triumphs over judgment. (13)                                                                                             If a man says he has faith, but he has no works... what use is that? Faith without works is dead. (14-20)                                                                             Abraham’s faith was working with his works – as a result of the works, his faith was perfected. (22)
Chapter 3 – Let not many of you become teachers, because you will incur a stricter judgment. (1)                                                                                           Horses are directed by a small bit! ships by a small rudder! the little tongue can cause a war!(3-5)                                                                                                      The tongue is the very world of iniquity... it sets on fire the course of our life. (6)
Every beast has been tamed... but no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil. (7-8)
With the tongue we both bless God and curse men – these things ought not to be. (9-10)
The wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits. (17)
Chapter 4 – What is the source of quarrels and conflicts? It is the pleasures and passions within you. (1-2)                                                                                You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives – your own self-interests/pleasures. (3)                                                                        Friendship w/world is hostility toward God – God opposes the proud, gives grace to the humble. (4-11)                                                                                Submit therefore to God... resist the devil and he will flee from you. (7)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... cleanse your hands... purify your hearts. (8)
Do not speak against or judge one another... there is only one Lawgiver and Judge. (11-12)
Humbly submit all you do to the “will of God” – to not do so is to arrogantly presume upon God. (13-17)
Chapter 5 – Be patient until the Lord comes; the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil. (7)
Regarding suffering & patience, God counts those blessed who endure; (cf. endurance of Job). (10-11)
Let those who suffer spiritually have elders pray for them & refresh them with oil in Christ’s name. (14f)                                                                                      The prayer of faith will restore such a person – if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. (15)                                                                              Confess your sins to one another and be healed – the prayers of the righteous accomplishes much. (16)                                                                                            If anyone strays from the truth, and one turns him back... he has saved a soul from death. (19-20)

                                                                                                              “FIRST PETER”
                                                                                             (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – First Peter was written to Christians who were experiencing various forms of persecution; they became aliens                                           in a pagan society. Peter exhorted them to steadfast endurance and exemplary behavior.
Chapter 1 – You were chosen by the foreknowledge of God, sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Christ.                                                                            And God caused you to be born again to a living heavenly hope thru the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1-4)                                                                           Hence rejoice, even though now for a little while your faith is being “tested and matured by trials.” (6-7)                                                                    Regarding this wonderful salvation, the prophets and angels made careful search and inquiry. (10-12)
So gird your minds for action & fix your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Christ returns. (13)                                                                                  Do not be conformed to your former lusts, but be holy in all your behavior (as God is holy). (14-16)
For you were not redeemed with perishable things, but with the precious blood of Christ. (18-19)
Love one another from the heart... for you have been born again by the living word of God. (22-23)
Chapter 2 – Long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow with respect to your salvation. (2)                                                                             We are living stones in God’s household – a holy priesthood offering up spiritual sacrifices. (5)
We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession...
That we might proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us into His marvelous light. (9)
Abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against your soul. (11)
Submit to every human institution for the Lord’s sake. (13)
Servants submit to your masters – if you suffer for it and endure it, you will find favor with God. (20)
You were called for this purpose: suffer as Christ suffered; while being reviled, He did not revile. (21-23)                                                                                       He bore our sins that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; by His wounds we were healed. (24)                                                                                        He is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. (25)
Chapter 3 – Wives, be submissive to your own husbands – win them without a word by behavior. (1)                                                                                            Let not your adornment merely be external – let it be a heart that is gentle and quiet. (3-4)                                                                                                           Likewise you husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel. (7)                                                                                                    Let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit. (8)
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts – always be ready to give a defense for the hope in you. (15)
Chapter 4 – Christ suffered in the flesh; arm yourselves to do the same; to suffer is to cease from sin. (1)                                                                               Though some are judged in the flesh (martyred), they live in the spirit (vindicated) as God directs. (6)                                                                                         Keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (8)
Be hospitable to one another; serve one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (9-10)                                                                                   Whether you exercise the gifts of speaking or serving... in all things let God be glorified. (11)
Do not be surprised by the trials you’re going through... they are for the “testing of your faith.” (12)
To the degree that you suffer for Christ, rejoice, that at the revelation of His glory you may exult! (13)                                                                                Judgment begins with the household of God – it begins with believers first, in this life. (17)
If it is with difficulty that the righteous are saved... what then of the godless man and sinner? (18)
Let those who suffer according to God’s will, entrust their souls to a faithful Creator and do right. (19)
Chapter 5 – Elders, shepherd God’s flock as good examples, but not under compulsion or for money. (2-3)                                                                         Young men, humble yourselves under the hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. (6)                                                                                          Cast all your concerns and anxiety upon God, because He cares for you. (7)
Be alert! Your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (8)
After you have suffered for a little while, God will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (10)

                                                                                                              “SECOND PETER”
                                                                                             (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Second Peter was written primarily to address the issues of the “end times.” In this epistle, Peter focused on how to live        when surrounded by the problems and perplexities of the latter days. After painting a landscape of false teachers, fallen angels, flagrant immorality, and flaccid scoffers (2:1-3:10), Peter charged his readers to “live holy and godly lives” as they look forward to the day of God and speed its coming (3:11-12). Faithful living in difficult times – that is the lesson Peter would have believers learn through this dynamic letter.
Chapter 1 – God has given to us everything pertaining to life/godliness, thru the knowledge of Christ. (3)                                                                                  By His grace we become partakers of the divine nature. (4)
Applying all diligence in your faith supply moral excellence, self-control, godliness and love. (5-7)
If these qualities are yours and are increasing, you will be neither useless nor unfruitful. (8)
He who lacks these qualities has forgotten his purification from his former sins. (9)
Therefore be diligent to make certain about His calling and His choosing you. (10)
Remember, we do not follow cleverly devised tales... but the majestic power of Jesus Christ. (16)                                                                                                          We bear witness to the Father’s words: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (17)                                                                                                      No Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation – men spoke as God’s Spirit moved them. (20-21)
Chapter 2 – False prophets will arise among you, introducing sensuality and destructive heresies. (1-2)
If God did not spare angels when they sinned, or the people of Noah’s day, but dealt with them justly...                                                                                         He knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and keep the unrighteous under punishment. (4-9)
While false prophets promise freedom... in actuality they are slaves of corruption. (19)
Unregenerate people who seek to reform themselves through a partial knowledge of Christ...
And then come under the influence of false teachers who mock their puritanical virtue...
And then they return to the very sins they had earlier rejected – this state is far worse than the first! (20)                                                                                          It would have actually been better that they had known nothing at all of the way of righteousness. (21)
Chapter 3 – Know this, in the last days mockers will arise who follow their own desires and lusts, saying:                                                                                Where is the promise of Christ’s coming? All continues as it was from the beginning of creation! (3-4)
It escapes them that God in ages past had destroyed the earth with a flood...
And that the present heavens and earth are now awaiting their destruction by fire. (5-7)
Remember, with the Lord one day is as a thousand years. (8)
The Lord is not slow in acting, but patient, not wishing that any should perish, but that all repent. (9)
The Lord will come like a thief; the heavens and the earth will pass away and be destroyed by fire. (10)                                                                                           Keep that in mind... live holy and godly lives, and look forward to the Lord’s return. (11-12)
We are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (13)
Therefore, be diligent to be found by Him at His coming, spotless and blameless, (14)
And regard the patience of our Lord to be “salvation.” (15)
Thus, be on guard against unprincipled men, and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. (17-18)

                                                                                                                   “FIRST JOHN”
                                                                                                (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Addressed to the church at large. John is an intensely practical in this letter. He warns against the dangers of false                    teaching and exhorts believers to walk obediently before God, and love their brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s controlling theme is                “fellowship with God” and other believers.
Chapter 1 – We bear witness concerning the Word of Life, that you may have fellowship with us. (1-4)                                                                                         This is the message: God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. (5)
If we say we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we are not telling the truth. (6)
If we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us. (7)                                                                                                    If we say we do not have a sinful nature, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (8)
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from sin. (9)                                                                                              If we say that we have not committed acts of sin, we are accusing God of being a liar. (10)
Chapter 2 – If you sin, remember, we have an Advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the righteous. (1)                                                                                        By this we know that we have come to know Christ – we keep His commandments. (3)
The one who says he has come to know Him, yet does not keep His commandments, is a liar. (4)
The one who says he abides in Christ, will walk in the same manner as He walked. (6)
The one who says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is in darkness. (9)
I am writing to you, because your sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. (12)
Do not love the world & its lusts; it is passing away; he who does the will of God abides forever. (15-17)                                                                                       Many antichrists have already come; they departed from us because they were not really of us. (18-19)                                                                                         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ – this is the antichrist. (22)
You have no need for anyone to teach you this – His anointing (Holy Spirit) teaches you this. (27)
Abide in Christ that you may have confidence and not shamefully shrink back at His coming. (28)
Chapter 3 – How great a love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God. (1)
Though we are not yet fully like Christ; when He appears we shall be like Him in all His fullness. (2)
Everyone who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure. (3)
No one who abides in Christ practices sin – he practices righteousness, just as He is righteous. (6-7)
We are to love one another; the world hates because eternal life does not abide in them. (12-15)
This is love – Christ laid down His life for us... we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (16)
He who has the ability to help a brother in need, and does not; how does God’s love abide in him? (17)                                                                                               Let us not love merely with empty words... let us love in deed and truth. (18)
If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and whatever we ask we receive...                                                                                       Because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. (21-22)
Chapter 4 – Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. (1)
Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (versus Gnostics) is from God. (2)                                                                                              You have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (4)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God. (7)                                                                                                   This is love – not that we loved, but God loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.                                                                                                      By this we know that we abide in Christ – by the indwelling presence of His Spirit. (13)
Chapter 5 – Whoever is born of God overcomes the world; this is the victory that overcomes: our faith. (4)                                                                                 These things were written that you may know you have eternal life, and have confidence before Him...                                                                                         If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and grants our requests. (13-15)

                                                                                                               “SECOND JOHN”
                                                                                            (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – This short letter is addressed to a church that was personified as “the chosen lady” – its members are called                                              “her children.” The error of which they were guilty was the same as that of First John, the Gnostic denial of the person of Christ...                                and the importance of loving one another in Christ.
John addresses this short letter to a Christian lady and her children who are walking in the truth. (1, 4)                                                                                          He reiterates the tests of life – first is to love one another. (5)
Second, is to walk in obedience to Christ’s commandments. (6)
Third, is to abide in the teachings of Christ. (7-9)
Many false teachers do not teach that Jesus Christ as come in the flesh (he’s refuting Gnosticism). (7)                                                                                         Stand firm in the truths concerning Christ, that our labor among you will not have been in vain. (8)                                                                                        Anyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; he is not a believer. (9)

                                                                                                        “THIRD JOHN”
                                                                                            (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – This letter written to a faithful believer named Gaius, who was hospitable to traveling brethren; as opposed to an                        arrogant leader among them named Diotrephes, who was not hospitable.
John addresses this letter to a man named Gaius, who is walking in the truth. (1, 3)
Many bore witness to the fact that he demonstrated great love to strangers before the church. (5-6)
John chastises a man named Diotrephes who demonstrated unchristian behavior before the church. (9-10)                                                                  Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but imitate what is good. (11)

                                                                                              (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – Most scholars believe Jude was the brother of James and half-brother of the Lord Jesus (Mt 13:55). He wrote with a                              heart of love and understanding, and with a note of concern and authority. His love for them caused him to sound a solemn warning             because of the danger of encroaching adversaries.
Jude did not exploit his natural relationship to Jesus; he saw himself as a “slave of Jesus.” (1)
Jude was concerned with apostasy – he urges his readers to “contend earnestly for the faith.” (3)
Certain ungodly persons have turned the grace of God into licentiousness, and denied Christ. (4)
Jude reminds them that God saved a people out of Egypt... but destroyed those who disbelieved. (5)
And the angels who abandoned their proper abode – God bound them in darkness until Judgment. (6)                                                                                     And those of Sodom and Gomorrah will undergo the punishment of eternal fire. (7)
All those individuals who reviled against the truth “like unreasoning animals” will be destroyed. (10)
Woe to them! says Jude; they’re like clouds without water; eternal darkness is reserved for them. (11-13)                                                                              Enoch prophesied that God would come with His holy ones & execute judgment on the ungodly. (14-15)                                                                           Ungodly sinners grumble, live lustfully, speak arrogantly and flatter others for selfish advantage. (16)                                                                               Remember the prophetic word: “In the end men will be mockers and followers of ungodly lusts.” (18)
Build yourselves up in faith; keep yourselves in the love of God; anxiously await eternal life. (20-21)                                                                                              To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and make you stand in the presence of His glory...
Blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, and dominion forever. (24-25)

                                                                                         (Major Teachings and Injunctions to Believers)
Introduction – This book is the climax of many lines of revelation running through both the Old and New Testaments, and it brings                     to conclusion the revelation of many prophecies yet to be fulfilled. The future second coming of Christ and the years immediately preceding             it are revealed here more graphically than in any other book. So the book of Revelation expands upon the great end-time events, and culminates with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.
Chapter 1 – The revelation of future events was given to Jesus, then to angels, and last to John in a vision.                                                                       Blessed is he who hears and heeds the things which are written in this prophecy. (1, 3)
John addressed the book to the seven churches located in the Roman province of Asia. (4)
This message was from the One who is and who was and who is to come – the ever-existing One. (4)                                                                                              He has made us a kingdom and priests to God – to offer spiritual sacrifices to Him. (6)
The Blessed One is coming back to earth in chariots of clouds, and every eye will see Him. (7)
Says the Lord Jesus: “I am the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End.” (8)
John was in prison on the island of Patmos when he heard and received this revelation. (9)
Jesus directed John to, “Write what you see and send it to the seven churches of Asia.” (11)
John saw seven lampstands and the Son of Man [standing] in the midst of them...                                                                                                                                     and He said to him – Write the things which you have seen, the things which are, and the things which shall take place. (12-19)                                   The seven lampstands are the seven churches; the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. (20)
Chapter 2 – To the angel of the church of Ephesus write what Jesus says: “I know your deeds, but...                                                                                             You have left your first love; remember from where you’ve fallen; repent and do your first deeds.” (1-5)                                                                                             If you do not repent, I will remove your lampstand out of its place. (5)
To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God. (7)
To the angel of the church of Smyrna write what Jesus says: “I know your tribulation and poverty...
The devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested.” (9-10)
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (10)
He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the “second death.” (11)
To the angel of the church of Pergamum write what Jesus says: “I know you have held fast My name;                                                                                              But some of you hold to the teaching of Balaam (eating things for idols & sexual immorality). (12-14)
Repent or I will make war against you with the sword of My mouth. (16)
To him who overcomes, I will give him some hidden manna (heavenly food), and a new name. (17)
To the angel of the church of Thyatira write what Jesus says: “I know your deeds, love, faith, service;                                                                                                 You tolerate Jezebel who leads My bondservants astray into immorality and eating food for idols.(18-20)                                                                                          If you do not repent, I will cast her and her followers upon a bed of sickness and great tribulation. (22)
He who overcomes and keeps my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations. (26)
Chapter 3 – To the angel of the church of Sardis write: “I know your deeds; some think you are alive...                                                                                       But you are dead; your garments are soiled; thus wake up and strengthen the things that remain.” (1-4)
Remember what you have received... keep it and repent... or I will come upon you in judgment. (3)
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments; I will not erase his name from book of life. (5)                                                                                              To the angel of the church of Philadelphia write Jesus’ words: “I know that you have kept My word...                                                                                            Since you have persevered, I will keep you from the hour of testing (Rev 6-19) that is coming. (7-10)                                                                                               Hold fast to what you have... do not let anyone rob you of the victor’s crown. (11)
He who overcomes, will be made a pillar in the temple of My God; I will write My Name on him. (12) 28                                                                                      To the angel of the church of Laodicea write what Jesus says: “You are neither cold nor hot; you are...                                                                               Lukewarm, so I will spit you out of My mouth; though wealthy, you are wretched, miserable, poor. (15-17)                                                                                     I advise you to buy gold from Me refined by fire, that you may become rich and wear white garments. (18)                                                                             Those whom I love I reprove & discipline; be zealous therefore & repent –  “I stand at the door & knock;                                                                                  Open the door and dine with Me; and I will grant you to sit down with Me on My throne. (19-21)

Chapter 4 – Christ next reveals to John “those things that must take place after these things.” (1)
John beheld a throne in heaven, and God was sitting on it, with twenty-four elders in white garments. (4)                                                                                    There were seven lamps of fire (fullness of the Holy Spirit) burning before the [judgment] throne. (5)
And four living winged creatures saying night & day, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.” (8)                                                                                            The 24 elders fell before God, “Worthy art Thou, Our Lord, to receive glory, honor and power.” (10-11)
Chapter 5 – Then John saw a book in God’s hands that was “sealed with seven seals.” (1)
And a strong angel proclaimed, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” (2)
No one was able to open the book and its seven seals but the “Lion of Judah” – Jesus Christ. (5)                                                                                                           When He took the book, the 24 elders fell down before Him saying, “Worthy art Thou who was slain!”                                                                                     Jesus purchased with His blood men from all nations, and made them a kingdom & priests to God. (8-9)                                                                                   Many other angels around the throne joined in the chorus, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!” (11-12)                                                                                        And: “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing, glory, and dominion forever!” (13)
Chapter 6 – Then the Lamb broke the first seal – a white horse and rider with a bow went conquering. (1-2)                                                                                 He broke the second seal – a red horse, the rider took peace from the earth; men slew one another. (3-4)                                                                                           He broke the third seal – a black horse, the rider had a pair of scales in his hand to measure food. (5-6)
He broke the fourth seal – an ashen horse, the rider’s name: “Death;” a fourth of earth was killed. (7-8)                                                                                           He broke the fifth seal – beneath the altar, souls of martyrs were crying out, “avenge our blood.” (9-10)                                                                                                He broke the sixth seal – the sun became black; every mountain and island was moved out of place;
the kings of the earth and the great men, rich and strong, slave and free, hid themselves in caves;                                                                                                       and they shouted to the mountains, “Fall on us and hide us from the wrath of the Lamb.” (12-16)
Chapter 7 – John saw four angels holding back four winds of the earth; a great storm is being readied! (1)                                                                             Another angel said, “Do not harm the earth, sea or trees until we have sealed God’s bond-servants.” (3)                                                                                           The number of those sealed was “one hundred and forty-four thousand” – 12,000 from each tribe. (4-8)                                                                                             A great multitude of Gentiles stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, (9)                                                                                           And they cried out, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (10)
One elder inquired as to their identity – “These are those who come out of the great tribulation.” (14)
The Lamb shall be their Shepherd, and guide them to the water of life, and wipe away every tear.” (17)
Chapter 8 – When He broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (1)
John then saw seven angels standing before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. (2)
The first sounded, and there came hail and fire... and a third of the earth was burned up. (7)
The second sounded, a great burning mountain was thrown into the sea; a third of sea became blood. (8)                                                                                   The third sounded, a great star fell from heaven, a third of the waters & rivers became wormwood. (10)                                                                                          The fourth sounded, a third of the sun/moon/stars were smitten; everything was significantly darker. (12)                                                                               And John heard a voice: “Woe to those who dwell on the earth because of the remaining trumpets!” (13)
Chapter 9 – The fifth sounded, a star from heaven fell, the key of the bottomless pit was given to him; (1)                                                                                When it was opened, powerful locusts & scorpions tormented those without God’s seal on them; (2-5)                                                                                             The sixth sounded, an angel said: “Release the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates, so that
they might kill a third of mankind” – yet even then the rest of mankind still refused to repent. (13-21) 29

Chapter 10 – Then another mighty angel came down from heaven; he held a little book of judgment. (1-2)                                                                             The mystery of God would be fulfilled during the time of the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15). (7)
John was commanded to eat the little book; reflect upon the judgments; it would be sweet & bitter. (10)                                                                                    John was told that he must prophesy again concerning many nations and tongues and kings. (11)
Chapter 11 – John was commanded to measure the temple and the altar, and number the worshipers. (1)                                                                                  The temple of the Tribulation period would be tread upon by the nations for 42 months (3.5 yrs). (2)
God will raise up “two witnesses,” and they will prophesy for three and one-half years (42 months). (3)                                                                                           They will be miraculously preserved from harm – fire from their mouths will consume their foes. (5)
When they have finished testifying, the beast from out of the abyss will overcome and kill them. (7)                                                                                              Their dead bodies will lie in the street for three and a half days – and God will raise them up!
and great fear will fall upon all who behold them... and they will ascend to heaven! (8-11)
In that hour there will be a great earthquake killing 7,000 people, terrifying many. (13)
Then the seventh trumpet sounded... loud voices arose from heaven saying, “The kingdom of the
world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever!” (15)                                                                                                          The unbelieving nations will be angry with Him and try to prevent His coronation... but the time
comes for Him to judge those who do not believe in Him, and to reward His own. (18)
Chapter 12 – And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman (Israel) dressed in glorious attire...
She is in labor, awaiting the birth of a baby – Jesus Christ. (1-2)
Another sign appeared in heaven, a great red dragon (Satan) having seven heads and ten horns, his
tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to earth. And the dragon (Satan)
stood before the woman who was about to give birth, that he might devour the Child (Christ). (3-4)                                                                                               And she gave birth to a Son (Christ), who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron... and he was
caught up to God and to His throne. (5)
And there is war in heaven – Michael and his angels wage war with the dragon and his angels; and
the dragon (the Devil/Satan) is thrown down to earth with his angels (during the Tribulation). (7-9)                                                                                                And the accuser of the brethren, who accuses them before God day and night, is thrown down. (10)
And the persecuted Jewish believers overcome the evil one by the blood of the Lamb, and in faithfulness
to Him they sealed their testimony with their own blood. (11)
The heavens rejoice over the dragon’s departure – but it is bad news for the earth, because the devil is
full of wrath, and knows that he only has a short time to execute it. (12)
Then the dragon will persecute the woman (Israel) who had given birth to the child (Christ), particularly
those who have kept God’s commandments and held onto the testimony of Jesus. (13, 17)
Chapter 13 – Then John saw a “beast” coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads. (1)                                                                                             And the dragon (Satan) gave him his power and his throne and great authority. (2)
One of the beast’s heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but was healed – the world was amazed. (3)                                                                                               And they worshiped the dragon and the beast. (4)
The beast was given authority to arrogantly blaspheme against God for 42 months (3.5 years). (5)
And he made war with the saints and overcame them, and all the earth worshiped him. (7-8)
Then John saw “another beast” coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb. (11)
He makes everyone worship the first beast; he performs great signs; he makes an “image” of the beast,
and then gives “breath” to the image and causes it to “speak!” (12-14)
He kills those who refuse to worship the image... all others are given a “mark on their forehead.” (16)                                                                                 Without this “mark,” no one is able to buy or sell anything – the number of the beast is “666.” (17-18)

Chapter 14 – John then beheld the Lamb standing on Mount Zion... and he saw the 144,000...                                                                                                   Singing a “new song” before the throne... and they kept themselves chaste. (1-4)
Another angel warned the world of coming judgment saying, “Fear God and give Him glory!” (6-7)                                                                                                  A second angel proclaimed, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” (8)
A third angel shouted, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, he will drink of God’s wrath!” (9-10)                                                                              Blessed are the saints who persevere in faith and die in the Lord – their deeds shall follow them. (12-13)                                                                                      John then beheld one like a Son of Man, wearing a golden crown, with a sharp sickle in His hand. (14)
The hour to reap has come! and the harvest was thrown into the great wine press of God’s wrath! (15-20)
Chapter 15 – John then beheld seven angels in heaven with “seven plagues,” to complete God’s wrath.                                                                                             And the martyred saints who refused to worship the beast were singing the “Song of Moses” –
“Great and marvelous are Thy works! Righteous and true are Thy ways! Thou alone art holy!” (1-4)
Then in the temple of heaven, seven golden bowls full of God’s wrath were given to seven angels. (5-7)
And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power. (8)
Chapter 16 – The first angel poured out his bowl on earth – malignant sores to those with mark of beast.                                                                                     The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea – it became like blood and everything in it died. (3)                                                                                              The third angel poured his out into the rivers – they became like blood... and the angel proclaimed:
“Because they poured out blood of saints, God has given them blood to drink; it is deserving!” (4-6)                                                                                                The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun – and men were scorched with fierce heat. (8-9)
The fifth angel poured his out on throne of the beast – his kingdom became painful and darkened. (10)                                                                                       The sixth angel poured his out on the Euphrates – preparing the way for the kings of the east. (12)                                                                                                   John then saw coming out of the mouths of the dragon (Satan), the beast, and the false prophet, three
unclean spirits, gathering kings of the earth for war of the great day of God – Armageddon! (13-14)                                                                                                 The seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air – a loud voice from the temple, “It is done!” (17)
And there was lightning & thunder, and a great earthquake unlike any other... and the great city of Babylon                                                                                  was split into three parts... every island fled away, and the mountains were leveled... and huge hailstones                                                                        weighing one hundred pounds each came down from heaven upon men... and men blasphemed God                                                                               because His punishment against them was extremely severe! (18-21)
Chapter 17 – Then an angel showed John “the judgment against the immorality of the great harlot.” (1-2)
John saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, with blasphemous names having seven heads & ten horns:                                                                                           On her forehead was written the name, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS!”
The woman was drunk with the blood of the saints; the seven heads are seven kings, five of whom have fallen,                                                                            one is, the other is yet to come. The ten horns are ten kings, who have not yet received kingdoms as yet;                                                                                        they will receive their authority from the beast, but will only be for one hour. (3-13)
These ten kings will wage war against the Lamb... but the Lamb will overcome them. (14)                                                                                                          Ultimately, the ten horns and the beast will hate the harlot (woman is Babylon) and make her desolate,
because God will put it in their hearts to execute His purposes. The woman is the great city of Babylon                                                                                 which reigns over all the kings of the earth. (16-18)
Chapter 18 – John saw an angel come down from heaven saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” (1)                                                                              Another angel shouted: “Her sins have piled up as high as heaven... and it is now pay back time!” (5-6)                                                                                           To the degree that she glorified herself, to the same degree she will be given torment and mourning. (7)                                                                                     The kings of the earth who embraced her, will weep and lament when they see her destruction. (9)
They will say, “Woe the great and powerful city, Babylon! In one hour your judgment has come!” (10)                                                                                       The merchants of the earth will weep & mourn because no one will buy their goods any more; they
became wealthy because of her, yet in one hour all their great wealth will be laid waste! (11-19) 31                                                                                                   Rejoice over her, O heaven and saints, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her! (20)                                                                                 Thus Babylon the great will be thrown down with violence... and she will never be found again! (21)

Chapter 19 – John heard shouts in heaven: “Hallelujah! Salvation, glory and power belong to our God!”                                                                                And: “Halleluljah! The great harlot has been judged, and her smoke rises up forever and ever!” (1-3)                                                                                            Then a great multitude shouted out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!” (6)                                                                                                 Give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready! (7)                                                                                            John saw heaven opened; he beheld a white horse and He who sat upon it was “Faithful & True!” (11)                                                                                              In righteousness He judges & wages war; His eyes are a flame of fire; in His mouth a sharp sword. (15)                                                                                        And on His robe is written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS!” (16)
Then a shout to all birds, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God! Eat the flesh of all men!” (17)                                                                                            And the beast and the kings of the earth assembled to “make war against God!” (19)
And God seized the beast and the false prophet, and threw them into the “lake of fire!” (20)
And the rest were killed with the sword of His mouth, and the birds were filled with their flesh! (21)
Chapter 20 – John saw an angel coming down from heaven with a “chain” and the “key of the abyss” –                                                                                        Then John saw an angel coming down from heaven with a “chain” and the “key of the abyss” – and
he laid hold of the dragon (the serpent of old – Satan), and bound him for a thousand years! (1-2)
Then he saw the souls who had not worshiped the beast; they reigned with Christ a thousand years! (4)                                                                                        At the end of the thousand years all unbelievers are raised for the Great White Throne Judgment. (5)
The “second death” has no power over the righteous (believers) – following their resurrection they
will reign with Christ for a thousand years, and will be priests of God and Christ. (6)
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison for the final battle. (7)                                                                                         Satan will deceive the nations & gather them for war; God will rain down fire from heaven on them!
and devour them! the devil, the beast, and false prophet will be tormented in hell forever! (8-10)                                                                                                     Then John saw a Great White Throne, and the dead standing before it, and the books were opened...
including the book of life, and the dead were judged according to what was written in the books...                                                                                               and anyone whose name was not found in the book of life, was thrown into the “lake of fire”...                                                                                                          and Death and Hades were thrown in the lake of fire – this is the “second death!” (11-15)
Chapter 21 – John saw a new heaven and new earth – the first had passed away, there was no more sea.                                                                                      He saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the dwelling of God, coming down from heaven to earth. (2)
God Himself will dwell with His people; there will be no more pain/death; they have passed away! (3-4)                                                                                     God then said, “I am making all things new – he who overcomes shall inherit these things.” (5-7)
The unbelieving and the abominable will be in the lake of fire – that is the “second death.” (8)
The holy city had a high wall; twelve gates (12 tribes); twelve foundation stones (12 apostles). (10-14)                                                                                                  The city was laid out in a square – a cube 1,500 miles in length, built with precious stones. (16-21)
There was no temple in it – the Lord God and the Lamb are its temple! (22)
The city has no need for a sun, because the glory of God and the Lamb will illumine it! (23-24)
And the gates will never be closed, and nothing unclean will ever come into it. (25-27)
Chapter 22 – John saw a river of the “water of life” coming from the throne, and a “tree of life.” (1-2)                                                                                             And God’s bond-servants will serve and worship Him forever. (3, 9)
God then said, “Behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me.” (12)
Let the one who is thirsty come... and let him partake of the water of life without cost. (17)
Jesus says, “Yes, I am coming quickly!” Amen! writes John. Come, Lord Jesus! (20) 32

                                                                                                              ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Donald W. Ekstrand is a graduate of Arizona State University, with undergraduate degrees in Finance and Business Education... a graduate of Talbot Seminary, with a Masters of Divinity in Bible Exposition... and a graduate of Western Seminary, with a Doctor of Ministry degree that focused on the secular, postmodern mindset of college students in North America. Ekstrand has served in pastoral ministry in six different churches over a period of thirty years, and has taught in several Christian and Secular colleges, universities and seminaries in Arizona for about fifteen years – frequently these pastoral and teaching ministries overlapped. His passion has always been to make a difference in people’s lives through the teaching of the Word. In addition to this booklet, and numerous other studies, Dr. Ekstrand has authored two textbooks – one is titled CHRISTIANITY: THE PURSUIT OF DIVINE TRUTH; this college textbook gives an introduction to Christianity, and was largely written with the secular college student in mind. A second book is titled SOUL TRANSFORMATION: THE SANCTIFICATION EXPERIENCE OF THE BELIEVER; the target audience for this textbook is church leaders, Bible colleges & seminaries, and believers committed to the sanctification process. Essentially this book is a compilation of twenty-two studies on the transformation, sanctification, and liberation of the believer’s soul.


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