"Man Shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"- Matthew 4:4- "My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it" - Mark 8:21
Having received this day as a gift, I (We) thank You Holy Trinity, for through Your goodness and patience You were not wrathful with me (Us), and idler (s) and sinner (s), neither have You cast me (Us) down in my (Our)sins...But You have shown Your love towards me (us) and have guided me (us) to keep my (our) daily watch to glorify Your power...Enlighten my (our) mind (minds) to study Your teachings in Scripture...Help me (us) to apply what I (we) learn and to praise You with all my (our) heart and glorify Your Holy Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!
Shine within my (our) hearts, loving Master, the pure Light of Your Divine Knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings...Instill in me (us) also reverence for Your Blessed commandments, so having conquered sinful desires I (we) may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You...For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I (we) give, glory, together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!
CHANT PSALM 23
INTO YOUR HANDS LORD YESHUA (JESUS CHRIST) WE COMMIT OUR SOULS AND BODIES, BLESS US AND HAVE MERCY ON US AND GRANT US ETERNAL LIFE!!!
ACTS 17 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
THE CHURCH IN THESSALONICA
17:1: THE LARGEST: and most important city in Macedonia, THESSALONICA was very cosmopolitan, possessing an excellent harbor and superior commerce: With the flow of goods, communication, and people to and from the city, word of what was happening there spread quickly, and the Church there became highly influential- (1 Thessalonians 1:8):
17:2-3: REASONED-(GREEK- dialegomai): does not mean engaging in rational debate, for the proclamation of the gospel is not about winning intellectual arguments: Instead, this term indicates speaking or conversing about truths, ideas, or things that have been witnessed- (note how this term is used in Acts 20:9): The English word dialogue comes from the same root: THE SCRIPTURES are the OT writings- (see my notes at Act 8:35; and Acts 13:17-41):
17:4: DEVOUT: as used here is a synonym of "God-fearing": It was used to designate a Gentile who followed the percepts of the Jewish religion, but had not yet become converted- (see my notes at Acts 10:2):
17:7: THE TRUMPED-UP CHARGE: that Christians claimed ANOTHER-KING-JESUS is reminiscent of the charges brought against Jesus of being a political king: Instead Paul was proclaiming the Kingdom of God, with Jesus as King- (see- also my notes at Acts 14:22; read Acts 19:28 and Acts 20:5 notes for these coming in a few days):
17:9: SECURITY: A deposit of money held as a bond to encourage Jason to uphold public peace in the future!!!
THE CHURCH IN BEREA
17:13: THOUGH UNWILLING: to search the Scriptures to see if Paul's message is true, as the Jews in BEREA did- (v. 11), THE JEWS FROM THESSALONICA were willing to travel the 60 miles to Berea to stir up the crowds against Paul!!!
17:14: BRETHERN: The New Christians!!!
THE CHURCH IN ATHENS & TO THE UNKNOWN GOD
17:17: IN FREETHINKING ATHENS: Paul, moves beyond THE SYNAGOGUE and makes open contact with Gentiles IN THE MARKETPLACE!!!
17:18: BOTH THE EPICUREAN AND STOIC PHILOSOPHERS: believed that fulfillment could be achieved in this life through emotional calm and impassivity: They, however pursued this subject differently: The Epicureans pursued pleasure, while the Stoics renounced it!!!
17:22-31: PAUL CONSISTENTLY PREACHES CHRIST: from a starting point familiar to his hearers: To the Jews, he preaches from the OT- (vv. 2, & 3): To these Gentiles, he uses one of their own altars to proclaim Christ- (v. 23) and emphasizes: (1): GOD IS THE CREATOR OF ALL; (2): GOD IS THE GIVER OF LIFE; (3): GOD DESIRES ALL PEOPLE TO SEEK HIM; (4): REPENTANCE IS A WAY TOWARD GOD; (5): GOD IS JUDGE OF ALL; AND (6): GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD- (See also my notes- Acts 14:15-17):
17:32: THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD: is the point at which some Gentile philosophers react negatively, while the other aspects of Paul's speech go unchallenged: This rejection is due to the Platonic view that the body was a prison for the soul and unworthy of salvation!!!
ACTS 18 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
THE CHURCH IN CORINTH & TEACHING IN CORINTH
18:1-5: SEE MY NOTES- ACTS 8:35; AND ACTS 16:14: These GREEKS were God-fearers, those who accepted Judaism but had not yet fully converted!!!
18:6: SHAKING OUT HIS GARMENTS: was a sign of God's judgement: Quoting the OT- (2Kg 1:16; Ezekiel 18:13), Paul declares the fulfillment of his responsibility and these Jews' own accountability for their rejection of the gospel message...
THE PROCONSUL'S REFUSAL
18:12: GALLIO: was governor of Corinth and Achaia in AD 51-52, which firmly dates Paul's first visit to Corinth...
REPORT TO JERUSALEM AND ANTIOCH
18:18: THE VOW PAUL MAKES: is likely a form of the Nazirite vow- (Numbers 6:1-21) given in thanksgiving for deliverance from danger!!!
18:19: ENTERED THE SYNAGOGUE: See my Acts 16:14 Notes!!!
18:21: GOD WILLING: underscores Paul's constant reliance on God and the continual submission of his own plans to God's- (see- James 4:13-17): The coming feast was either Passover, which became the Christians celebration of Christ's Resurrection, or Pentecost, which became the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit- (see Acts 20:16): Note there was already a budding liturgical calendar among the apostles, revealing their deep desire to gather in remembrance of the great Christian feasts...
IN EPHESUS: APOLLOS INSTRUCTED
18:24-28: TWO OUTSTANDING QUALITIES: characterize Apollos: (1): HE IS FERVENT IN SPIRIT, AND (2): HE IS HUMBLE...A fervent person can be useful to God even if he is not yet well taught: Apollos apparently was not yet in the Church, but still spoke BOLDLY IN THE SYNAGOGUE- (v. 26): His humility is shown in that he submits to correction by two tentmakers, one of whom was a woman- offensive to most educated men in his culture: AQUILA AND PRICILLA displayed great decency and wisdom: they did not correct Apollos publicly, but rather TOOK HIM ASIDE privately!!!
Apollos displayed humility and so my closing message is about tender mercies, such as in kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering we are to bear each others sufferings and forgiving one another regardless of what has been done...I get my reflection from COLOSSIANS 3:5-14-Passages!!!
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
TRUE ASCETICISM: (from Greek askeō: “to exercise,” or “to train”), the practice of the denial of physical or psychological desires in order to attain a spiritual ideal or goal. Hardly any religion has been
without at least traces or some features of asceticism. As baptized Christians- we are putting into practice what we already are in the spirit: As we died with Christ, we must will ourselves to experience daily death by killing old sinful and disintegrating passions-(vv. 5-9): As we were raised with Christ, so we must will also to experience life daily by the virtuous and unifying desires of the NEW CREATION we all are in the body of Christ- (vv. 10-14):
END WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER-LET'S DEPART IN PEACE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD