Mount Moriah Baptist Church
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Announcements
Weekly Services
Sundays
    Church School 8am
    Worship 9am

Wednesdays
    Bible Study 7pm

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To view notes for a Bible Study, make your selection from the list.


Title
Spiritual Death Ushers in Temporal Desires-Bondage

Scriptural Background
Romans 1:23; 3:9-10&23-24; 8:6-7, Matthew 6:19-21, James 1:15, Psalm 115:1, Isaiah 48:9-11, Philippians 4:6-7, Luke 21:34

Summary
The reconciled do not just exist on this earth-they live! It is not so with the estranged. Life, in the present time for them, is a mockery of what it is meant to be. For spiritual death issues in temporal death. Salvation entails more than just the "saving" and baptizing of persons; it encompasses the redemption of the whole person of God's creation. We are not to be ruled by the passions of the flesh, the eyes and the pride of life. Material things may make us comfortable, but we cannot take them with us. We must study to learn of and accept God's provisions. Unlike us, God keeps His promises. "Father, make me more aware of the eternal than of the temporal!"

Concepts for Discussion
▪Discuss temporal desires-yes, those topics that we shy away from.
▪Define estrangement and what it means in terms of our relationship with God.
▪Who are the "reconciled?"

>> See Bible Study Material


Title
Jesus Saves from Eternal Death

Scriptural Background
Matthew 18:8; 25:41& 46, Mark 3:29, John 10:10; 11:25-26a, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 1:7

Summary
The death bell shall never toll for the redeemed. Christ declared it and his followers believe it.

Concepts for Discussion
▪Explore the implications of an eternal death.

>> See Bible Study Material


Title
Cosmic Dimensions of God's Saving Love

Scriptural Background
Genesis 1:2; 2:7, Matthew 13:52, Luke 1:35, John 6:63; 7:39, Psalm 104:30; 139:7, Job 33:4-6, Romans 8:19-23a

Summary
There has been neglect of the cosmic dimension of the Spirit's operations. Often, we speak of the Spirit in terms of redemption, answering prayers and creating the world. However, we, in some instances, have made the Spirit into "an ornament of piety"-a higher being that we only worship on Sundays while we are at church. We, unconsciously and perhaps out of habit, believe we can place Him on a shelf-along with our dusty Bibles-until next time we attend services. God is not an ornament. We have read the Bible for its spiritual truth and neglected the material dimensions of its message. We have not emphasized that the Spirit who gives us life in Christ Jesus first gave life to our mortal bodies. We neglect to even try and fathom just how big He is. Okay! Let's try-from a cosmic perspective. Rain comes from the clouds. We do not fly up to activate the clouds; they just do the job for which they were issued. Ponds, streams, lakes, seas, and oceans occupy their assigned spaces-and remain their, lest we disturb the natural order of things. Otherwise, the bodies of water do what water do-the job assigned them by God. What jobs have we been assigned? Are we attending those jobs in our natural places? God established a perfect eco-system. All things work well, lest we disturb them. Viewing the cosmic dimension allows us to have a broad and generous vision of the presence of God within creation, since the Spirit is the source of life in the whole world. It suggests that, whatever life is awakened, wherever reality reaches beyond itself, wherever there is beauty and truth, Spirit is there. It corrects the narrowness with which we tend to view Spirit activities and points us to God's universal activity in the world and in cultures. It call into question a narrow association of the Spirit only with salvation or only with the church or only with special revelation. It encourages us to be mindful of God's involvement with creation down to last detail and to respect every place as a kind of hallowed ground. It leads us to expect to experience God in the whole of life and lends meaning and mystery to everything. Seeing the Spirit as Lord and giver of life makes possible a positive vision of reality. It helps us focus on the divine mystery which enlivens, graces, and renews, life everywhere in every way. It breaks with our restricting the Spirit to exclusive zones and realms and signals the presence of God in the whole world. It invites us to celebrate the presence of One in whom we live and move and have our being, who is not at all far from us but very near, and who is present with his creatures in every situation. The Psalmist gets it right when he asks: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?" (ref. Psalm 139:7). Here is a vision of the love of God filling the universe and the Spirit-breath of God breathing love at the heart of the world.

Concepts for Discussion
▪Taking God out of the curio cabinet.
▪Explore how His Glory is revealed through the cosmos/eco-system.

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
A Victory in the Darkness

Scriptural Background
Genesis 3:15, John 8:12

Summary
God, however, turned this evil deed into a victory. By divine-ordained plan, the tiny hands of an infant, born in Bethlehem's manger, reached out and found a cross on which to bear the sins of the world. Christ died for the very thing which brought Him death. He attacked sin, and sin attacked him in turn; and for the moment, it appeared that darkness had won the battle. But not so! Evil's triumph was ended. The tide had turned. The dark news of Calvary turned into the good news of an empty tomb. Neither sin, nor death, nor the vast powers of the devil had been able to extinguish the Light. He lives!

Strange indeed that a Sovereign should reign from a piece of blood-stained wood. But it is so! Christ's cross is His throne. Here is the rallying point for His subjects where all can come to find Life and Light and to enter a Kingdom which has no end. And, as the shadow of the Sovereign's throne stretches across the globe, it is the everlasting reminder that a Light has come into the darkness which no force will ever put out. The light continues to shine!

“…I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (ref. John 8:12)

Concepts for Discussion
▪Discuss ways that evil deeds might become “victory.”
▪Religious beliefs and spirituality—Is there a difference?
▪If we are religious, does that mean we accept Jesus as our Savoir?
▪God offers the perfect Gift. Does everyone who rejects the Gift understand what he or she is rejecting? Why or why not.

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
Christ Is Risen

Scriptural Background
Matthew 28:11-17, Mark 6:8; 16:12-13, Luke 24:11-43, 50-53, John 20:4, 25

Summary
Can you see it?
▪ Mary, the mother of James; Mary Magdalene; and Salome, the mother of John, rushing away from an empty tomb, trembling, astonished and afraid.
▪ Two disciples stumbling over each other in a race to the sepulcher to see if it were true.
▪ Nervous guards scampering back to the authorities with the unthinkable truth.
▪ Two travelers on the road to Emmaus amazed with the news.
▪ The startled, frightened disciples in Jerusalem who stood staring at a live Man that they knew had died.

“And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do questions rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones and you see that I have.” And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate before them.” (ref. Luke 24:38-43)

Christ had risen, and the crumbled dreams of the faithful were reborn. New hope was upon the earth.

Concepts for Discussion
▪You have just witnessed a death and three days later the decedent is standing before you. Discuss the resurrection and possible reactions.

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
Death Is Conquered!

Scriptural Background
John 11:25-26; 14:2-3,18

Summary
Death is inescapable. Somewhere in this tenure of time, the curtain will drop on the first act. The heartbeat of each one of us will ebb into silence and stillness. All on earth shall keep an appointment with that moment when the candle is snuffed out and life in the first world is done. What then?

God has affirmed to His world that the bonds of death have been eternally broken . . . and the earthly demise is but a prelude to a larger life, which lies beyond the grave. Not one world but two, belong to God's children. Even before Jesus was crucified, he said:

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:2-3) " . . . I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die . . . " (ref. John 11:25-26)

Concepts for Discussion
▪Discuss rejoicing at funerals and what makes this possible. Is rejoicing at a funeral strange?
▪Define grace and mercy and how they each relate to victory over death.

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
Believers Shall Never Die!

Scriptural Background
Acts 2:24; 3:15, Romans 6:9, Ephesians 2:4-7, Colossians 2:12; 3:1-4, I Corinthians 15:17, I Peter 1:3, II Timothy 1:10, Revelations 1:17b-18

Summary
These short moments in eternity, spent here on the earth, are but the beginning of a greater pilgrimage which lies past the grave. We shall breathe the air of two domains. Because He lives, we, too, shall live, now and forevermore.

Concepts for Discussion
▪Would it be proper to say that the early New Testament community saw the resurrection as both an EVENT and a PROCESS? Note Colossians 2:12, 3:1-4 and Ephesians 2:4-7 as you discuss this question.
▪Which populations were the New Testa-ment community comprised of?

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
The Disciples

Scriptural Background
Matthew 9:9; 10:2-4a, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 24:49, John 20:24-25, Acts 1:1 – 7:60; 8:1 – 12:25; 13:1 – 28:31

Summary
Four fishermen, a tax collector, a doubter, and five relatively unknown men named Philip, Bartholomew, James, Thaddeus, and Simon (Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 9:9; John 20:24-25; Matthew 10:2-4a; Acts 1:13) were commissioned by a King to conquer the world. The King was Christ. These eleven men, under orders of their Leader, marched into Jerusalem one day, went straight to the Upper Room, got down on their knees and prayed (Acts 1:12-14); and the world has not been the same since. A day earlier they had come away from Mt. Olivet (Acts 1:12) with the command of their Master ringing in their ears: “…you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” The book of Acts is a record of a people who were obedient to that command. We shall look at that record in three parts: & The witness in Jerusalem, & The witness in Judea and Samaria, and The witness to the ends of the earth.

Concepts for Discussion
Dissect the “great commission” and how it relates to our tasks, as Christians. Jesus chose what we would consider “everyday people” to spread the Word. What do the disciples have in common? How can we learn from Jesus’ human resources selections?

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
The Fellowship Was Empowered

Scriptural Background
Acts 1:9-26; 2:1-4; 2:37-39; 2:44-47; 3:1-16 Acts 4:12-31; 5:29; 6:9-10; 7:57-60 Luke 24:53

Summary
In the interval between Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:9) and the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), a replacement had been chosen for the betrayer, Judas (Acts 1:15-26), the original nucleus of eleven had increased to “about a hundred and twenty” (Acts 1:15), and the small band of “brothers” and “sisters” in the faith had spent a great deal of time together in prayer and meditation (Acts 1:14; 2:1; Luke 24:53). There can be little question that this hard inner core of believers gained immeasurable strength, not only in their communion with God, but also in their communion with each other as they awaited the coming of the Spirit. Then it happened (Acts 2:1-4)! God took this handful of men and women who had been knit together by their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and He turned them into a revolutionary force that was destined to change the course of world events. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, this early fellowship demonstrated that it had: & a Power over evil. & a Message that could transform life (Acts 2:37-39) and bring Hope to the hopeless. & a radical concern for the needs of each other (Acts 2:44-47). & a capacity to heal the sick (Acts 3:1-16). & a clear-cut understanding of its responsibility to win the world for Christ (Acts 4:12). & a “dogged” determination to declare God’s truth with boldness (Acts 4:18-31; 5:29). a wisdom and strength from on high which would permit these people to hurdle every crisis (Acts 6:9-10; 7:57-60).

Concepts for Discussion
We hear the term “empowered” or “empowerment” a great deal. What does it mean to be empowered, particularly in terms of this lesson? Discuss the origin and meaning of Pentecost. We know what it is, but there is always growth, each time the Word is discussed. What is the benefit of Christians commu- ning with other Christians? What does it mean to be empowered by the Holy Spirit? What can we do to become empowered by the Holy Spirit?

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
The Fellowship Increased in Number

Scriptural Background
Acts 2:5, 37-41; 3:14; 4:4; 5:28, 14; 6:1, 7b;

Summary
The growth of the church after Pentecost was phenomenal. Men and women driven by God’s Spirit and filled with His power stormed the city of Jerusalem with a message that gripped the hearts of thousands of its citizens (Acts 5:28). On Pentecost day itself, three thousand believers were added to the list of the faithful (Acts 2:37-41). And as time moved on, many who were estranged gave up their rebellion against God and joined the legions of the redeemed (Acts 4:4; 5:14; 6:1, 7). Devout Jews “from every nation under heaven,” who had gathered in the Holy City (Acts 2:5); men and women who had stood in the frenzied mob and cried, “crucify Him” (Acts 3:14; and even “a great many of the priests” (Acts 6:7b) broke their ties with darkness and stepped into the bright sunlight of a new day and a new era. Disciples of Christ threw away their chains, burst their prisons, and joined the swelling ranks of God’s marching army.

Concepts for Discussion
Contrast the day after Pentecost versus the day before. Did the term “priest” suggest righteous living? If not, what did it signify?

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
The Fellowship Was Unified and Dispersed by Persecution Sub-topic—As the Fire Spread

Scriptural Background
Matthew 10:16-24, 34-39; 28:11-15 Luke 12:49-53 Acts 2:5-37; 3:1-26; 4:1-18; 5:17-18, 34-39 Acts 7:54-60; 8:1-4

Summary
Opposition was inevitable. As Jerusalem's streets became crowded with Christians, the leaders of the Judaist party had cause for increasing alarm. They suspected trouble from the very day that the guards had brought back the bad news of the empty tomb. Even then they had taken action to counteract the impact such news might have on the rank and file of their own people, but their scheming plan had not worked. The strange circumstances surrounding Pentecost, Peter's convincing arguments from prophecy and his proclamation that even David had declared Christ's resurrection from the dead all combined to produce an exodus from Judaism to Christianity. Add to this the miracles wrought by the apostle's hands and the effect which these signs had upon the observers; and it should come as no surprise that the apostles were soon arrested and taken into custody. For they were little Christs, peddling the same dangerous doctrines of their Master, and these little fires had to be put out, and quickly. So thought the leaders of Judaism. The disciples were warned to stop preaching in their Master's name, they were cast into prison, and when the prison didn't hold them, they were threatened with death. Released with a beating and another warning, they went on preaching as if nothing had happened! The fires in Jerusalem lighted by Jesus the Christ and fanned into a great flame by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit would not be put out. Not even spilled blood of the saints could dampen the enthusiasm for the message which promised the keys to a kingdom. The great persecution which began in the Holy City at the juncture of Stephen's death, issued in a dispersion. Those called by God, bearing their crosses, left Jerusalem's walls and carried the message of salvation into all Judea and Samaria.

Concepts for Discussion
Discuss how the “bad news” of an empty tomb was also “good news”. What does it mean to Christians that the tomb was empty? Are we willing to suffer imprisonment/ death to uphold the name of Jesus? We say we want to be like Jesus. What do we need to give up to become Christ-like?

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
In Judea and Samaria

Scriptural Background
II Kings 17:24-34 Ezra 4:1-4 Luke 9:51-54; 10:28-27; 17:11-19 John 4:1-42 Acts 8:5

Summary
Who had cared whether the Samaritans lived or died, except Jesus? All during His ministry, Jesus had attacked the smug, exclusive thinking of separation for its own sake. He told His followers on numerous occasions that they had been blessed to be a blessing; and now Philip, a recent convert, was demonstrating that he understood. Yet, the witness in Samaria did not comprise a total breakdown of separation. These "half-breeds," hated by the Jews, worshipped God, and shared in the traditions and the heritage which belonged to the Hebrew people. Hence, when Philip went to the Samaritans, he was in a sense, going to his own people with the message of salvation.

Concepts for Discussion
Compare and contrast Philip’s Samaritan experience to Paul’s Damascus Road experience? “Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.” (Ref. Acts 8:5)

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
Total Breakdown of Separation

Scriptural Background
Matthew 8:5-13; 15:21-28 Mark 7:24-30 Luke 13:29-30 John 10:16 Acts 9:1-31; 10:9-35, 45-48; 11:1-20

Summary
As bold as Philip's move was, it was not as revolutionary as the step which Peter took. Peter's vision which, when interpreted and acted upon, literally shocked the followers of the Way. Jesus had acquainted His disciples with the universality of God's love many times, but somehow, his followers had not understood what the Master was doing or saying until the Holy Spirit came to enlighten them. The revelation that the message belonged to Jew and Gentile alike came as if it were a totally new idea that had never been expressed before. Peter's vision and the experience with Cornelius opened the eyes of the devoted followers of Christ. Now, and not a moment before, the saints were ready to carry the banners of Christ to the far ends of the world! Unto the Ends of the Earth - The great crusader, Paul of Tarsus, was being prepared by God to take the message of the cross to Jews and Gentiles everywhere. Here was God's trailblazer, who with a relentless energy and a magnificent power gained from God, hurled the message of Christ around the world. Paul and believers like him proclaimed a Redeemer who was more than an example, more than a teacher, more than a friend, more than a Savior. Indeed, Christ to Paul and to the early Christian church, was no less than Sovereign and King and Lord of life!

Concepts for Discussion
Discuss similarities between the Apostles and today’s Christians. Saul and Paul? “Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.” (Ref. Acts 8:5)

>> See Bible Study Material  


Title
A Treasure to Be Coveted

Scriptural Background
II Corinthians 5:7 I Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:14 Hebrews 11:1-40 I Timothy 3:9 Proverbs 1:7 Matthew 11:25 Romans 10:17

Summary
It is a daring walk, for it asks us to leap th efences of logic, to believe in things we cannot prove, and to place confidence in things we cannot see. Are th ardents of faith dreamers or escapists who hobble off into an unreachable world where truth cannot touch them? NO! They do not run from truth, they seek it. They do not scorn reason but neither do they worship it and expect it to reveal all that is to be known. The believer has no illusion that all truth can be crammed into wht tiny space of a person's head. Not God's truth! There is a mystery in God's way, and many of the truths which he has proclaimed are embraced, not by logic, but by faith.
While the philosophers of the age ponder the question, "Does God exist?", people of faith ponder the question, "What is God's will?" Those of faith bein with the presupposition that GOD IS, and demand no proof of it. We do not need to touch Him in the side. That is why it it called faith. "By faith, we understand that the world was created by the Word of God...." (Hebrews 11:3).

Concepts for Discussion
What is faith?
What does the scripture mean by, "substance of things hoped for?"
Faith is a gift from God. How do we aquire the gift?



Title
Treasures Inherited, Blessings Claimed, Divine Responsibilities

Scriptural Background
Hebrews 11:4-8 Matthew 9:2,28-29: 17:20-21 Romans 3:28, 5:1 Galatians 2:16, 3:24 Acts 26:18

Summary
"...whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Hebrews 11:6b)
The weak are made strong and the blind see. The sinner is forgiven, is accounted righteous, is justified, and is sanctified.
God can be many things to many people: a topic for discussion; an idea; a nebulous, impersonal something; Heaven's lever man with a beard; and absent-minded divine-all which are different from the

  • Creator of the Universe
  • God of faith
  • Sovereign of Heaven and Earth
  • Triune God...Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • A personal God who commands obedience and who elicits response among those who believe.

  • It is difficult to bring people to God, when we do not know why we believe in Him ourselves.

    Concepts for Discussion
    How do we know God exists?
    How might faith cause our behavior to change?"
    How can we enlarge our faith?
    In what ways might knowledge get in the way of our faith?


    Title
    Fear, Frustration, Miracles, and Victories

    Scriptural Background
    Hebrews 11:23-34a, 12:1-2 Luke 13:34 II Timothy 1:7 I Chronicles 29:11 Isaiah 25:8 I Corinthians 15:55-57

    Summary
    Fear and Frustration Are Allayed - Fear is real; none escape it. People receive it in different ways. Some invite it into the heart as a permanent guest and spend all their lives wasting days because of anxieties over tomorrows. They worry and fret about many things and spend sleepless nights because they feel abandoned and alone in a hostile world. Not so with people of faith. When fear an anxiety call upon them, the visit is short. It is terminated when the promises of a faithful God are remembered and believed. God cares, and loves, and protects, and preserves, and watches over his children. History is in God's hand, and life is in his keeping.
    Miracles Are Fashioned and Dramatic Victories Are Won - "By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land; but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given friendly welcome to the spies. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets - who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strenght out of weakness . . . " (Hebrews 11:29-34a)

    Concepts for Discussion
    We have all been afraid on occasion. What does it mean to have a spirit of fear? Is that just occasional fear?
    What are some ways that we can invite victory into our lives?


    Title
    Knowledge, Assent, Trust, Faith

    Scriptural Background
    Romans 10:14-17 Galatians 3:2-5 Proverbs 9:10b Hosea 4:6 Acts 17:32a-34, 24:22 Ephesians 2:8 Luke 17:5 Mark 9:24 I Peter 2:2 II Peter 1:5, 3:18 Matthew 28:16-20

    Summary
    What Are the Constituents of an Adult Faith? There can be no faith in a vacuum. If a person knows nothing about God's will and purpose for the world as revealed through the historical experiences of Israel and in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, he or she will be hard pressed to believe in that will and that purpose. We cannot embrace things which we do not know, nor can we respond to a message about which we are ignorant. Faith assumes KNOWLEDGE.
    The second ingredient of faith is ASSENT. It is not enough for a person to know about God's revelation in Christ. He or she must assent (fully accept, willingly) to its truth if they are to lay claim to faith. Those who listened to Paul preach in Athens had varying reactions to the knowledge revealed to them. Some mocked, some put off their decision, and others assented and believed.
    The third ingredient of faith is TRUST. What is trust?

  • It is the response of positive action to the truth known and believed..
  • It is the response of personal involvement in the message known and believed.
  • It is active participation in God's will, purpose, and promises as revealed in Jesus Christ.

  • Faith Is a Gift of God! - Though I may resolve to have faith, that resolve will be futile unless God empowers me to believe and to trust. Faith is a gift of God and comes to those who lean upon him, who trust in him, and who incessantly implore him to dwell in their midst with the presence and the power of his Holy Spirit.
    Miracles are born from such trust and dependency! Knowledge which gives birth to faith produces a faith which seeks more knowledge; and as knowledge of God's truth is enlarged, as assent is made more absolute, and as trust is without reserve, faith grows; and in the process, it purifies.

    Concepts for Discussion
    Okay. We have received the gift of faith. We have enlarged our faith and increased our knowledge. Now what do we do with it?
    What is the Great Commission? How can we commit to it? What do we do to carry it out?


    Title
    How Would the New Church Fare?

    Scriptural Background
    Acts 16:9—17:1-10

    Summary
    Questions loomed large in Paul's mind for good reasons:

    • With such a short stay in the city, there had been little time to establish the converts in their new found faith. Would they stand firm in the message delivered them?
    • Many of the converts were Gentiles and were unfamiliar with the traditions out of which the fulfilled hopes had come. They would have many questions. Who would show them the broad implications of the Way?
    • Persecution had already begun in Thessalonica, even before Paul & Silas had left. Could the new believers stand in the face of it?
    • The new church lived in the midst of strong pagan influences. How would the cults of Dionysus and Orpheus affect the Christian fellowship?

    Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how the church was faring. Timothy returned with good news! The church lived. It had stood firm in its faith. With this information in his hands, Paul sent a letter to the fellowship.

    Concepts for Discussion
    Who was Silas and what was his relation- ship to Paul?
    What was going on at the time of this story that made travel and stay in this city a dangerous mission?
    Who were the Dionysus and Orphesus? What were their functions, in the midst of the new converts?


    Title
    I Thessalonians: Praise, Problems, and Counsel

    Scriptural Background
    I Thessalonians 1:10; 2:1—3:5-9 II Thessalonians 3:8 Matthew 10:10 Luke 10:7-8

    Summary
    The Praise—Paul explains the reasons for Timothy's visit and conveys appreciation for the good news brought back to him. He congratulates the new converts for having endured the persecution which had befallen them.
    The Counsel—Yet, all the news had not been good. There were problems amongst the saints that needed attention. Paul speaks to these situations:
    The First Problem—Distrust of the Apostle Himself - We cannot be certain what has happened which caused a number of the members of the fellowship to distrust him but Paul builds his defense upon three things:
    1. Silas and he had risked their lives to bring the message to Thessalonica.
    2. Their motive for coming had been to proclaim God's will and nothing more that that.
    3. They had been extremely careful not to be a burden to anyone and had worked for their own bread although they had every right to make "demands as apostles of Christ."
    As there were many wandering philosophers and teachers in the Greek world who lived on the gullibility of simple people, it is possible that the Judaist party in Thessalonica had accused them of being fakes who had duped the converts. Or Paul's motives may have been in suspicion due to his long absence from the fellowship in trying times.

    Concepts for Discussion
    Why was Paul in Thessalonica and where was he when he wrote these letters?
    Briefly review Paul’s referenced vision.
    What was the purpose of Paul’s show of praise/appreciation to the people?
    Discuss reasons why the people might not trust Paul. Would we trust Paul, in 2008?
    Briefly discuss our “great commission” and the willingness/unwillingness to go beyond the call of duty to carry it out.


    Title
    Sex, Idolatry, and Expectation without Work

    Scriptural Background
    I Thessalonians 4:3-11; 5:1-11, 23 II Thessalonians 3:6-14 I Timothy 6:14 Titus 2:13 Matthew 24:36; 26:64 Mark 14:62 Luke 21:27 John 2:28; 14:3 Philipians 3:20 Collosians 3:4 I Corinthians 1:7, 4:5

    Summary
    The Second Problem—Sexual Immorality—With the temples of Dionysus and Orpheus filled with "sacred prostitutes" and encouraging sexual orgies in the name of religion, there can be little question that the general moral tone of Thessalonica was at a low ebb. Add that many of the new converts had come into the church out of pagan traditions, and it is not strange that Paul reminds the new believers that there is a vast difference between the morals of a pagan and those of a Christian.
    The Third Problem—Why Work? Early believers expected Christ's return to earth at any time. Jesus had said he would come again and the apostles had proclaimed the identical message everywhere they went. The believers persisted in looking for his reappearance today, tomorrow, or the next day. This "expectancy" created a problem in the Thessalonian church. The first letter implies that some believers were living a life of idleness and were creating a bad impression upon those outside the fellowship. We can conjecture that they were idle because they thought it foolish to work in view of Christ's imminent coming. What is implied in the first letter is declared openly in the second letter. To be sure, the Lord would come! But it was Paul's concern that while believers watched, they must also work, lest they fail to fulfill their responsibilities to God in this vineyard and in this kingdom.

    Concepts for Discussion
    What might have created the impression in the early believer’s mind that Christ would come so soon?
    Paul was concerned that the converts would cease working. Discuss the necessity of working while we wait for Christ’s return?


    Title
    The Fourth Problem and a 2nd Letter—Internal Division

    Scriptural Background
    I Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:12-13a II Thessalonians 1:1-9; 2:3b-12; 3:11-14 Acts 17:4; 20:29-30 II Corinthians 11:12-15 I Timothy 4:1 Daniel 11:36a The Great Apostasy II Thessalonians 2:3a Matthew 24:9-12 Man of Lawlessness II Thessalonians 2:3b-4 Daniel 7:25

    Summary
    Disrespect for Appointed Leaders—Since there were some Jewish converts and many Gentiles, it is reasonable to assume that the church would have its difficulties in determining who should lead. Paul makes a plea to the congregation to pay due regard to its designated leaders and strive for harmony within its own ranks.
    Questions from the Church—What happens to the person who dies before Christ comes again? Would the early death cheat such a one of the promises which belonged to the saints? (See answer at I Thessalonians 4:13-18.)
    II Thessalonians - When Paul's first letter didn't have its desired effect, he followed it with a second one. Again, he commends the believers for their courage and steadfastness in the face of a growing persecution. He explains to the dedicated that though they are suffering now for their faith, this anguish will terminate when the Kingdom comes. And when it does, the wicked will be judged for the pain which they have inflicted upon God's righteous ones.
    Then Paul exhorts the church not to be misled by false spirits who declare the Lord has already come. Let know one deceive you! Specific events and circumstances will precede that coming:
    1. The great apostasy (falling away) prophesied by Christ.
    2. The appearance of the man of lawlessness prophesied by Daniel.
    Throughout the Scriptures, both themes are noted: The apostacy will set disciple against disciple, goats claim to be sheep, people of faith will be led astray by the doctrines of demons. Meanwhile, "the man of lawlessness" will proclaim "himself to be God" and "shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods." When you see these things, Paul implies, then the Kingdom shall come.
    Turning his attention then to the idle, whose concern over times and seasons has turned them into "mere busybodies not doing any work", Paul commands a halt to this pilfering away of time and charges the church to take action to erase this disgrace in its midst. And with that, a benediction, and the letter ends.

    Concepts for Discussion
    Discuss the importance of respecting the ‘seat’ of the leader/pastor. What is the roles switched and you were the leader. How would you want to be treated.
    Do we have to agree to love and respect each other?
    Define apostacy and discuss its impli- cations.
    Who is the “man of lawlessness.”




    Scriptural Background
    Acts 18:1-11, 1 Cor. 1:11-13, 18-25; 1 Cor. 5:1b; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 1 Cor. 6:1; 1 Cor. 7:1a-15; 1 Cor. 8:9; 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Cor. 11:20-26; 1 Cor. 12:14; 1 Cor. 13:1-13;II Cor. 10:1-13, II Cor. 1:3-4; II Cor. 3:17-18; II Cor. 8:3-5




    Scriptural Background
    Gen. 12:1-3; Deu. 7-6; Acts 3:22-26; John 15:16; John 15:12; John 20:21; John 8:3-11; Matt. 25:34-40; Eph. 1:22; Eph 1:9-10; Phil 2:13; II Cor. 6:16b; James 2:15-16; Col. 3:13b


    Title
    The Gospels and Epistles

    Scriptural Background
    Deu 7:6; Gen. 12:1-3; Isaiah 42:6, 49:6; Luke 2:32; Matt 21:43; Acts 3:22-26; John 15:16; Matt 25:34-40; Eph 1:22; John 15:12; Eph 1:9-10; Phil 2:13; II Cor 6:16b; John 20:21; James 2:15-16; John 8:3-11


    Title
    Scriptures 1 and 2 Timothy

    Scriptural Background
    Acts 15:1-3a; Acts 16:3-5; 1 Thessalonian 3:1-5; 1 Timothy 1:2-3; 2 Timothy 1:2; 1 Corinthian 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:23-25


    Title
    1 Peter

    Scriptural Background
    Gen3:1-13; 4:3-5; 9:20-22; 13:8-11; 25:29-34; Exodus 32:1-8; 1 Samuel 18:6-11, 6-11; 2 Samuel 11:1-24; 1 Peter 1:2-4


    Title
    False Teaching

    Scriptural Background
    Colossian 2:4-8, 18-23; Colossian 1:15-18, 21-25; Colossian 2:3; Colossian 1:9;Colossian 2:16; Jude 1:8-23; 2 Peter 3:5-7; 3:14-18


    Title
    Sanctification

    Scriptural Background
    Genesis 5:1-2; John 10:10; Phil.1:6; 3:12-18; 2 Cor.3:18; 1 Cor. 9:24; 1 Timothy 6:11-14; 2 Timothy 3:14-172 Thess. 1:11-12; Eph. 5:1


    Title
    Revelation

    Scriptural Background
    Revelation 16:16; Revelation 20; 1 Thess. 4: 15-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52;



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