Many, including myself, have complained the tone of Paul’s letter, even the wording, seems manipulative. How could Philemon make an honest decision, sprung from God at work in his heart, with Paul first complimenting him (ego strokes), then talking about Onesimus in such affectionate terms (pressure) and finally referring to himself as a mere elder asking permission (which seems to pluck the strings of guilt and shame)? Continue reading Philemon: Only With Your Consent
did Onesimus lead the way, full of hope, confident both in Paul and Timothy’s letter, and in the Spirit at work in Philemon? Was it Onesimus who handed Philemon this personal note, and told him, “This is from our brother Paul,”? Continue reading Philemon: Encouragement
So, Paul wrote a short, personal note to Philemon as a cover letter to accompany the open epistle for the Colossian churches, and to discuss their mutual acquaintance, Onesimus. Continue reading Philemon: An Introduction
Paul shook his head and muttered to himself. He could feel his temperature rise, even against the close heat of the small room he’d been given, to spend the night. But, there was no mistaking what he was reading, as the simple, clay oil lamp flickered its light across the papyrus. “God!” he thought. “God! Why!” Continue reading A Better Reading of 1 Corinthians 11 and 14
Paul worked from the teachings of Jesus. Everything Paul wrote must be sifted through the Gospels, or it won’t read right. Jesus was very clear—a point we have tragically ignored for most of Christendom’s existence—that we are not to rule over anyone within the kingdom. Continue reading Colossians 3: Household Codes
In a message originally delivered for New Hope Chapel, in a series on Paul’s epistle to the believers in Philippi. This twenty minute talk finishes up with Paul’s letter to his beloved sisters and brothers in the Lord. Continue reading Secret of Contentment
The Chiastic Structure or Pattern shows a different emphasis in 1 Timothy, one in which proto-gnostic teaching was becoming a problem that must be addressed head on. Timothy was to make sure everyone was properly educated before they were entrusted with being deacons and elders, teachers and leaders within the church. Continue reading What is the Point of 1 Timothy 2:12?
The part people often miss is that Paul wanted women in the classroom, learning scripture, theology, Greek and Hebrew, reading and writing, and presumably teaching and evangelizing, right alongside the men. Continue reading 1 Timothy 2:11-12
There are four important points to consider before wading into a Bible passage in order to try to understand what it’s saying and what it means, let alone to try and figure out how to live it out. Continue reading “Twisted Scripture”
How do we live in the place of is great joy, in the humility of Christ, to be like Christ in willingness to surrender all, even to death, for love?
This was Paul’s focus in his letter to the believers in Philippi. Continue reading Way of the Cross