Posts by Fayetteville Church of Christ

Posts by Fayetteville Church of Christ

Basic Facts from Hebrews (Part 1)

The letter to the “Hebrews” is the anonymous book of the new testament – no human writer’s name is referenced anywhere in it. Many bible scholars suppose that the apostle Paul was the inspired penman because of the style of writing and the content of the letter, and this is a reasonable assumption. Others, however, have offered arguments in favor of Christians such as Apollos, Barnabas, Luke, or even James as being the inspired writers of this treatise. One fairly…

Basic Facts from Philemon (Part 2)

Paul could have commanded Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his household, verse 8; he explains why he did not do so in verse 9 – “…for love’s sake.” He had already commended Philemon’s love for the Lord and for his fellow-Christians (vs. 5), and we could suppose Paul is here appealing to that reputation. More likely, however, is that Paul is concentrating Philemon’s attention on the principle of love, in effect saying that “Christian love should motivate you in…

Basic Facts from Titus (Part 3)

Titus 2:2-7 explains the “how” of verse one’s instruction for Christians to “beautify” or complement sound doctrine. We conform to the beneficial teaching of God’s word when we acknowledge the differences our Creator established between the two genders He created (cf. Genesis 1:27; 2:7 & 18-24). There is some noticeable overlap between the qualities laid out for men and women in Titus 2:2-7 as well as for the aged compared to those who are younger. Sobriety, reverence, and self-control should…

Basic Facts from Philemon (Part 1)

Paul’s very brief, pointed letter to Philemon deals with the relationship between a Christian slaveowner and a runaway slave. This letter is NOT what many modern readers think Paul “should” have written. In the modern passion for social justice, many readers are greatly offended that Paul does not issue a full-throated and explicit condemnation of chattel slavery – and thus miss the fact that the Holy Spirit leads Paul to “dig deeper” than the surface issue of these two men’s…

Basic Facts from Titus (Part 2)

Opposition is a reality of the Christian’s life, according to Titus 1:10. In the context of this letter, Paul is describing those among the early Christians who were trying to require Gentile converts to be circumcised and observe Jewish dietary restrictions as part of their conversion to Christ (see vs. 14). In the larger principle, he is acknowledging that – people being people – Christians will always encounter someone who responds to the scriptures will be “yes, but…” (even within…

Basic Facts from Titus (Part 1)

Titus was a Gentile Christian. He had accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem (almost certainly during the events of Acts 15), where he was accepted as a brother by “those of reputation” (the other apostles, and elders of the Jerusalem congregation) despite the fact that he had not been circumcised. Whether he is also the “Titus Justus” of Acts 18:7 is not clear. It IS obvious that he was a close and trusted companion of Paul in some of his…

Basic Facts from 2 Timothy (Part 5)

Paul’s instruction for Timothy to continue in the things he had learned (2 Timothy 3:14) is actually a parallel to Jesus’ own statement to the disciples in John 8:31 – “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” In effect, Paul is telling Timothy that the way to stay completely prepared/equipped for serving God in this world is to “stay where God put the equipment for your task” (vv. 15-17). Christians sometimes make the mistake of trying…

Basic Facts from 2 Timothy (Part 4)

For many Christian, 2 Timothy 2:15 may be the most familiar verse in the entire letter. Paul’s instruction that we “study” (lit. make an effort, try, exert ourselves) is actually a counterpoint to the “efforts” of those who “strive about words to no profit” in verse 14. It also sets the stage for his command in verses 16-18, to “shun” (avoid, keep away from) the behaviors – unholy, empty “chattering” – of those like Hymenaeus and Philetus, whose actions and…

Basic Facts from 2 Timothy (Part 3)

Just as children sometimes protest that they “have no choices” or are “controlled” by their parents’ rules and requirements, so immature Christians sometimes resent the limits God’s word places on our behavior. Paul did not imply that Timothy was spiritually immature, or even that he was in any way feeling “boxed in” by being a Christian, but in 2 Timothy 2:3-7, Paul indirectly addresses this attitude (as something Timothy would undoubtedly confront, and need to answer, in others). Through three…

Basic Facts from 2 Timothy (Part 2)

After vividly expressing his own commitment to the Lord, his affection for Timothy, and the purpose of his writing, Paul issues the first actual instruction of this letter in chapter 1:8 – “don’t be ashamed of either the Lord’s ‘testimony’ or of me as a prisoner for His sake.” The word “ashamed” has the same range of meanings in our English bibles as in the original Greek text; a sense of guilt or remorse, fear of embarrassment or humiliation, lacking…

Basic Facts from 2 Timothy (Part 1)

It is generally believed that Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written in 68 A.D. (or possibly late 67), roughly 4-5 years after the letter we know as 1st Timothy. When Paul had appealed to Caesar in Acts 25:11, it seems very clear that he was confident of being acquitted of the false charges brought against him by the Jewish leaders – even though he would spend about two more years in the Roman legal system (Acts 28:30). Since it…

Basic Facts from 1 Timothy (Part 3)

One of the most “controversial” topics in the new testament appears in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, when Paul addresses the subject of a woman’s public role in the church. Through the last half of the twentieth century, and especially now, in the twenty-first, much of western society has recoiled in disgust from the very idea that there could or should be any distinction at between the roles of men and women within the church. Liberal protestantism led the way in asserting…