Worth Dying For

READ : Hebrews 1-7 Throughout the first century, a number of Jews had become Christians. Now they were beginning to suffer great persecution and were beginning to wonder if it would be better to return to Judaism, which was still the worship of the true God. This book, whose author is unknown, was written to tell them that Christ is so central to our salvation that to believe in him is worth dying for. One can only really live to …

Social Justice

READ : Philemon Slavery is a horrible violation of the law of love. The Christian faith did not make a frontal assault on this evil institution but undermined it so that in time it collapsed. This letter of Paul illustrates how this happened. Philemon had a slave named Onesimus, who ran away and probably took some of Philemon’s money. Paul was in prison in Rome and apparently Onesimus sought him out and was converted. Now Paul sends Onesimus back to …

Godly Living

READ : Titus Titus was a Greek convert serving as pastor in churches on Crete. In this letter, Paul emphasizes the importance of godly living. A lay leader of the church is to be “a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self controlled” (1:8). In a day when shame has been brought to the church by the immoral lives of some of its prominent leaders, it is important that we show the world that these are exceptions …

More Advice for Pastors

READ : 2 Timothy In this second letter, Paul continues to tell Timothy how to be a good pastor. Apparently, Timothy tended to be too timid, for Paul reminds him that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity [or fear] but a spirit of power” (1:7). As servants of Christ, we should all have a humble boldness. We should not be ashamed to speak of him and live for him (v. 8). Again, Paul emphasizes the importance of …

Good Pastors

READ : 1 Timothy The letters of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are called the “Pastoral Epistles” because in them Paul gives advice to his helpers on how to be good pastors. The addressee named Timothy must be prayerful and teach the people to whom he ministers to pray diligently (2:1-4). They should not focus on clothing but rather on inner beauty (vv. 9-10). They must be careful to choose good leaders who have the right qualities and practices …