References to: Michael Morrison

Paul's Farewell Letter: 2 Timothy 1

During the reign of Emperor Nero, the apostle Paul was placed on “death row” in a Roman prison. Although he had been released from prison several times before, Paul now senses that death will be his only escape. He writes his last letter to the man who had worked with him the longest. He encourages Timothy to continue his work.

Paul begins by explaining who he is: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus.

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Don’t Be Surprised: A Study of 1 Thessalonians 5

In almost every one of his letters, Paul refers to the return of Christ. But he rarely gives any details. His letters to the believers in Thessalonica are exceptions. Apparently they had asked for more information on this topic.

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Preparing for the Lord’s Return: A Study of 1 Thessalonians 4

Paul has reminded the believers in Thessalonica of their faithfulness in midst of some trials. Now he reminds them of what he taught them about Christian life. Although the Thessalonians had been idolaters (1:9), Paul does not say anything about the need to avoid idolatry. He focuses on sexual purity, love, and work.

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Paul's Concern for the Thessalonians: A Study of 1 Thessalonians 3

Paul, Silas and Timothy had been chased out of Macedonia, but they did not abandon the infant churches they left behind. Indeed, they were worried because the new believers in Thessalonica were being persecuted. Paul did not know how they would cope.

Sending Timothy to help (3:1-5)

“So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens.” Paul’s stay in Athens is described by Luke in Acts 17 — Paul went there after he was forced to leave Berea. Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea for a time, but soon rejoined Paul (Acts 17:15).

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We Were Not a Burden: A Study of 1 Thessalonians 2

Paul began preaching the gospel in Macedonia somewhere around the year A.D. 50. After some success, he was forced to leave Philippi. He and his group journeyed west 100 miles to Thessalonica. After a short ministry there, they were again forced to leave (Acts 17:1-10). Probably less than a year later, Paul heard that the believers in Thessalonica were being persecuted. Paul wrote a letter to reassure the believers that their faith and sufferings were not in vain. As he writes to encourage them, he reviews his ministry and relationship with that church.

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New Clothes for New People: A Study of Colossians 3

Paul has explained that we were buried with Christ and raised to new life in him (Col. 2:12). We are new creations, new people, and our identity is now in Christ. In chapter 3, Paul draws some conclusions about the kind of behavior that should characterize our new identity.

Throughout Colossians, Paul stresses that Christ has done everything that is needed for our salvation. But this does not mean that we sit back and do nothing — Paul gives instructions for how we should respond to what Christ has done.

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Colossians 2:14 and the "Handwriting of Requirements"

Christ "wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us...having nailed it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14, NKJ). What kind of requirements are being discussed?

The Greek word for "handwriting" is cheirographon, used in common Greek for a document written in one's own hand as legal proof of indebtedness. Some modern translations call it a bond of indebtedness.

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Already in the Kingdom: A Study of Colossians 1

Colosse was a small city in Asia Minor, not important for much of anything — it is known to us chiefly because the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the believers who lived there. The church was started by Epaphras, who had learned about Christ from Paul, so even though Paul hadn’t started the church, he felt a sense of responsibility for its health and growth.

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Victory on the Cross: A Study of Colossians 2

In chapter 1, Paul prays for the readers’ wisdom, understanding, and Christian life (1:9-14). He reminds them of how great Christ is, and that they have been reconciled to God through Christ. Paul is working hard to teach everyone about Christ. At the end of Colossians 1, Paul explains that he struggles to teach believers so they can be complete in Christ (1:28). Our goal is in Christ, and is not found in any other message. Paul continues this theme in chapter 2 and explains the power behind our salvation and transformation.

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