Week #149; Wed, Nov 04: Philippians 1–Colossians–1 Thessalonians 2

Week #149; Wed, Nov 04: Philippians 1:1–Colossians–1 Thessalonians 2:20


Philippians 1:1, I. Greeting, Thanksgiving, and Prayer; II. The Advance of the Gospel; III. To Live Is Christ

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting, Thanksgiving, and Prayer): “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel form the first day until now.” (1:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (1:6)
2. CRITERIA: “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (1:7)
3. CONDITION: “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (1:8-11)
4. CAUSE: “Paul’s desire was that the Philippian believers would be blameless in the day of Christ (1:6, 10; 2:16). That day was the broad time period of resurrection, evaluation, and reward for God’s people (cf. also 1 Cor. 1:8; 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; 5:10; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:2). Jesus linked this day to his coming as the Son of Man.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “In this Epistle the thanksgiving is especially warm and earnest; no cloud of doubt darkened the apostle’s confidence in the Philippians; he pours forth his gratitude to God for their spiritual gifts fervently and without reserve.” (The Pulpit Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There is no peace without grace. Inward peace springs from a sense of Divine favor. And there is no grace and peace but from God our Father, the fountain and origin of all blessings. Philippians 1:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Advance of the Gospel): “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.” (1:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (1:14)
1. FINDINGS: “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.” (1-15)
2. CRITERIA: “The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” (1-16)
3. CONDITION: “The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.” (1-17)
4. CAUSE: “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” (1-18)
5. EFFECT: “Even though as a prisoner in Rome, Paul looked upon the church in Philippi as his children, and, having become their father in the gospel, he was desirous by the same gospel to nourish and nurse them up.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Nourish and nurse the church or send someone who can.

III. KEY TEXT (To Live Is Christ): “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (1:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:21)
1. FINDINGS: “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” (1:22-24)
2. CRITERIA: “Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.” (1:25-26)
3. CONDITION: “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God” (1:27-28)
4. CAUSE: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” (1:29-30)
5. EFFECT: “He exhorts them to courage and constancy in suffering. Whatever oppositions we meet with, we must not be frightened at them. Those who oppose the gospel of Christ are marked out for ruin.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “If we suffer reproach and loss for Christ, we are to reckon it a great gift, always provided we behave under our sufferings with the genuine temperament of martyrs.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Philippians: 2:1, I. Christ’s Example of Humility; II. Lights in the World; III. Timothy and Epaphroditus

I. KEY TEXT (Christ’s Example of Humility): “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (2:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (2:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (2:5-7)
2. CRITERIA: “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (2:8)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (2:9-11)
4. CAUSE: “The Apostle’s confidence that whatever God begins will have its perfect end, Philippians 1:6, is very reassuring. This is what we need, though we must not take it for granted apart from faith and prayer.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Abounding love will lead to increased knowledge; and this to quicker discrimination between things that differ, however similar they may appear; and this, in turn, to freedom from blame and offense. And all will result in the fruit of a holy life, pleasing to Jesus and bringing glory and praise to God.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Lights in the World): “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (2:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (2:14-16)
1. FINDINGS: “Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” (2:17-18)
2. CRITERIA: “He exhorts them to diligence and seriousness in the Christian course: It concerns us above all things to secure the welfare of our souls: whatever becomes of other things, let us take care of our best interests. It is our own salvation. He urges this from the consideration of their readiness always to obey the gospel: And because it is God who works in you, you work out your salvation. It is the grace of God which inclines the will to that which is good: and then enables us to perform it. As we cannot act without God’s grace, so we cannot pretend to deserve it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “We must be diligent in the use of all the means which lead to our salvation, persevering therein to the end. With great care, lest, with all our advantages, we should come short. Work out your salvation, for it is God who worketh in you. This encourages us to do our utmost, because our labor shall not be in vain: we must still depend on the grace of God. Philippians 2:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It is clear from this paragraph that death is not an unconscious sleep. It is gain. It is a loosing from anchorage so that the soul may go forth on the broad ocean of God’s love.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It does not interrupt our conscious fellowship with the Lord. The moment of absence here is the moment of presence there. To die is therefore gain.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be a light in the world.

III. KEY TEXT (Timothy and Epaphroditus): “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you.” (2:19)
A. INFERENCE: “For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. ” (2:20)
1. FINDINGS: “For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” (2:21)
2. CRITERIA: “But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.” (2:22)
3. CONDITION: “I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. I have thought it necessary to send to your Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. ” (2:23-27)
4. CAUSE: “I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.” (2:28)
5. EFFECT: “So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.” (2:29-30)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Be like Timothy, a man of an excellent spirit and tender heart.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Philippians: 3:1, I. Righteousness Through Faith in Christ; II. Straining Toward the Goal

I. KEY TEXT (Righteousness Through Faith in Christ): “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.” (3:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” (3:2)
1. FINDINGS: “For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh–though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.” (3:3-6)
2. CRITERIA: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (3:7-8)
3. CONDITION: “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–” (3:9)
4. CAUSE: “–that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (3:10-11)
5. EFFECT: “The apostle had his heart set on Christ. The apostle had his heart set on heaven as his happiness.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Make Christ all in all, and set our hearts on another world.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Straining Toward the Goal): “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (3:12)
A. INFERENCE: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (3:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (3:15-16)
2. CRITERIA: “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” (3:17)
3. CONDITION: “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.” (3:18)
4. CAUSE: “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame with minds set on earthly things.” (3:19)
5. EFFECT: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (3:20-21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We look for the Savior from heaven; we expect his second coming (Rapture) from there and we expect to be happy and glorified there.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Philippians 4:1, I. Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer; II. God’s Provision and Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer): “Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” (4:1)
A. INFERENCE: “I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” (4:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be know to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (4:4-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (4:8)
3. CONDITION: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (4:9)
4. CAUSE: “This peace will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Paul’s doctrine and life consistent; he could propose himself as well as his doctrine for their imitation.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (4:6)

II. KEY TEXT (God’s Provision and Final Greetings): “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.” (4:10)
A. INFERENCE: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (4:11)
1. FINDINGS: “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (4:12)
2. CRITERIA: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (4:13)
3. CONDITION: “Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.” (4:14-15)
4. CAUSE: “Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.” (4:16-17)
5. EFFECT: “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to the riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (4:18-23)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.” (4:21)

Colossians 1:1, I. Greeting, Thanksgiving, and Prayer; II. The Preeminence of Christ; III. Paul’s Ministry to the Church

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting, Thanksgiving, and Prayer): “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing–as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us you love in the Spirit.” (1:3-8)
1. FINDINGS: “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (1:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “May you be strengthened with all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (1:11-14)
3. CONDITION: “A prisoner in Rome, Paul constantly prayed for them. He asked God to fill them with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. He asked they may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way. And that they be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “So they may have endurance, patience and rejoicing that they are counted worthy to suffer for his name.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “It comes in here as the matter of thanksgiving: Giving thanks to the Father for the Spirit of grace; for Christ the God and as Mediator; and the work of redemption for the remission of sin.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be filled with the knowledge of his will and preach of this redemption.

II. KEY TEXT (The Preeminence of Christ): “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.” (1:15-16)
A. INFERENCE: “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” (1:17-18)
1. FINDINGS: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (1:19-20)
2. CRITERIA: “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (1:21-23)
3. CONDITION: “Christ was, is, and will be in all things, always.” (1:19-20)
4. CAUSE: “We can expect the happy end of our faith only when we continue in the faith, and are so far established and firm in it as not to be moved from it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The evidence of our hope is Christ in the heart.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We are Christ’s ministers for the good of his people, to present the word of God in all its fullness.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

III. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Ministry to the Church): “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations, but now revealed to his saints.” (1:24-26)
A. INFERENCE: “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (1:27)
1. FINDINGS: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (1:28)
2. CRITERIA: “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (1:29)
3. CONDITION: “The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “This mystery of the gospel was long hidden. This mystery now is disclosed to the saints.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The mystery is the riches of God’s glory among the Gentiles. This mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Make the ground of our hope Christ in the world.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Colossians 2:1, I. Alive in Christ; II. Let No One Disqualify You

I. KEY TEXT (Alive in Christ): “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit to together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (2:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.” (2:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” (2:6-10)
2. CRITERIA: “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (2:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (2:13-14)
4. CAUSE: “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (2:15)
5. EFFECT: “The apostle desired them to be encouraged in heart and united in love.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Know the mystery, not barely to speak of it by rote, but to enter into the meaning and purpose of it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Let No One Disqualify You): “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.” (2:16)
A. INFERENCE: “These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” (2:17)
1. FINDINGS: “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” (2:18-19)
2. CRITERIA: “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations–‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things that all perish as they are used)–according to human precepts and teachings?” (2:20-22)
3. CONDITION: “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” (2:23)
4. CAUSE: “Let no man impose those things that are inventions of men on you, for God has not imposed them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Avoid proud conceits of human reason based on pride; pride is at the bottom of a great many errors and corruptions, and even of many evil practices, which have a great show and appearance of humility.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “When men let go their hold of Christ, they catch at that which is next to them and will stand them in no stead.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Colossians 3:1, I. Put On the New Self; II. Rules for Christian Households

I. KEY TEXT (Put On the New Self): “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (3:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (3:4)
1. FINDINGS: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (3:5)
2. CRITERIA: “On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” (3:6)
3. CONDITION: “In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from you mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (3:7-10)
4. CAUSE: “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.” (3:11)
5. EFFECT: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (3:12-17)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Put away all that is earthly, put on the new self.” (3:5, 9)

II. KEY TEXT (Rules for Christian Households): “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” (3:18-22)
A. INFERENCE: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (3:23-24)
1. FINDINGS: “For the wrong-doer, and there is no partiality.” (3:25)
2. CRITERIA: “We must mind the concerns of another world more than the concerns of this.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “We are to conquer passions.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Christ is a Christian’s all, all his hope and happiness.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Clothe yourselves with compassion.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 4:1, I. Further Instructions; II. Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Further Instructions): “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (4:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” (4:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. ” (4:5)
2. CRITERIA: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (4:6)
3. CONDITION: “The apostle exhorts them further to a prudent conduct towards the pagan world, or those out of the Christian church among whom they lived.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Do them all the good you can, and by all the fittest means recommend religion to them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Let all your discourse be as becomes Christians–savory, discreet, seasonable.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Though it may not always be of grace, it must be always with grace.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Final Greetings): “Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.” (4:7-9)
A. INFERENCE: “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas concerning whom you have received instructions–if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.” (4:10-15)
1. FINDINGS: “And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, ‘See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.’” (4:16-17)
2. CRITERIA: “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.” (4:18)
3. CONDITION: “It adds much to the beauty and strength of the gospel ministry when ministers are thus loving to one another.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “It must be in a Christian manner.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “It is a great comfort to have the mutual concern of fellow Christians.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Those who join in services and sufferings should thus be committed to one another in holy love.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

1 Thessalonians 1:1, I. Greeting and The Thessalonian’s Faith and Example

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and The Thessalonian’s Faith and Example): “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Grace to you and peace.’ We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers and Macedonia and in Achaia.” (1:4-7)
1. FINDINGS: “For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1:8-10)
2. CRITERIA: “The Gentiles among them were turned to God from idols, and the Jews among them believed Jesus to be the promised Messiah. All of them were devoted and dedicated to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “We should have a grateful sense of God’s goodness in our mind.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “As there is much that we ought to be thankful for, so there is much occasion of constant prayer for further supplies of good.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Wherever there is a well-grounded hope of eternal life, it will appear by the exercise of endurance.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Be careful to imitate the good examples of the apostles and ministers of Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

1 Thessalonians 2:1, I. Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians; II. Paul’s Longing to See Them Again

I. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians): “For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.” (2:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” (2:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.” (2:5-6)
2. CRITERIA: “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” (2:7)
3. CONDITION: “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.” (2:8)
4. CAUSE: “For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” (2:9-12)
5. EFFECT: “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved–so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God’s wrath has come upon them at last!” (2:13-16)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We should receive the word of God as the word of God. The words of men are frail and perishing, like themselves, and sometimes false.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Longing to See Them Again): “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you–I, Paul, again and again–but Satan hindered us.” (2:17-18)
A. INFERENCE: “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming?” (2:19)
1. FINDINGS: “Is it not you?” (2:19)
2. CRITERIA: “For you are our glory and joy.” (2:20)
3. CONDITION: “Though he was absent in body, yet he was present in heart.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “It is in heaven that holy souls shall meet, and never part more.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Satan is a constant enemy to the work of God, and does all he can to obstruct it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Those who sow and those who reap shall rejoice together in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ when he comes.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Week #150; Wed, Nov 11: 1 Thessalonians 3–2 Timothy 2

Week #150; Wed, Nov 11: 1 Thessalonians 3:1–1 & 2 Timothy 2:26


1 Thessalonians 3:1, I. Timothy Sent Ahead; II. Timothy’s Encouraging Report

I. KEY TEXT (Timothy Sent Ahead): “Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one me moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.” (3:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.” (3:4)
1. FINDINGS: “For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.” (3:5)
2. CRITERIA: “At the outset observe that marginal reading by which Timothy is described as a fellow-worker with God. What a wonderful phrase, and yet it is applicable to all true workers for God! No thought of his own comfort interfered with Paul’s efforts for the young churches he had planted; he was only eager that they should be established and comforted amid the storm of persecution that swept over them.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more we shall desire to persevere therein. The apostle’s design was to establish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object of their faith, that Jesus Christ was the Savior of the world; and as to the recompense of faith, which was more than enough to make up all their losses, and to reward all their labors.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; they will thus be kept from being improved by any devices of the tempter.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “He only longed that Christ would make a straight thoroughfare to them, and would keep them blameless and strong.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Paul spoke to please God, not people;” we should do likewise by strengthening and encouraging other in the faith. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Timothy’s Encouraging Report): “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you–for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith.” (3:6-7)
A. INFERENCE: “For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?” (3:8-10)
1. FINDINGS: “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” (3:11-13)
2. CRITERIA: “Prayer is religious worship, and all religious worship is due unto God only. Prayer is to be offered to God as our Father. Prayer is not only to be offered in the name of Christ, but offered up to Christ himself, as our Lord and our Savior. Let us acknowledge God in all our ways, and he will direct our paths.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “We are not to probe God’s secret eternal councils. Instead, we are called to love and share the gospel with people. Only when they truly turn to Christ do we learn of their prior election.” (Systematic Theology Study Bible: Salvation, Theology for Life)
4. CAUSE: “Christ died for us, that, living and dying, we might be his; that we might live to him wile we are here, and live with him when we go from here.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Several duties: 1. Comfort themselves, or exhort one another, and edify one another; 2. Labor among the people, labor with diligence; Live in peace with each other.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We must seek to do what is pleasing to God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

1 Thessalonians 4:1, I. A Life Pleasing to God; II. The Coming of the Lord

I. KEY TEXT (A Life Pleasing to God): “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.” (4:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.” (4:2-6)
1. FINDINGS: “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. ” (4:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and aspire to live quietly and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” (4:9-12)
3. CONDITION: “We should notice in others what is good, to their praise, that we may engage them to abound therein more and more. All who are savingly taught of God, are taught to love one another.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The teaching of the Spirit exceeds the teachings of men; and men’s teaching is vain and useless, unless God teach. Those remarkable for this or any other grace, need to increase therein, as well as to persevere to the end.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christianity does not take us from the work and duty of our particular callings, but teaches us to be diligent therein. People often by slothfulness reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants; while such as are diligent in their own business, earn their own bread, and have great pleasure in so doing.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is well to bring up every child to know one means of livelihood, and children are much more likely to grow up into noble and useful people, if they are encouraged to work for their living. Do something in the world!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Coming of the Lord): “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (4:13-4)
A. INFERENCE: “For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. ” (4:15)
1. FINDINGS: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (4:16-17)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (4:18)
3. CONDITION: “Here is comfort for the relations and friends of those who die in the Lord. Grief for the death of friends is lawful; we may weep for our own loss, though it may be their gain. Christianity does not forbid, and grace does not do away, our natural affections. Yet we must not be excessive in our sorrows; this is too much like those who have no hope of a better life.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Death is an unknown thing, and we know little about the state after death; yet the doctrines of the resurrection and the second coming of Christ, are a remedy against the fear of death, and undue sorrow for the death of our Christian friends; and of these doctrines we have full assurance.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It will be some happiness that all the saints shall meet, and remain together for ever; but the principal happiness of heaven is to be with the Lord, to see him, live with him, and enjoy him for ever.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We should support one another in times sorrow; not deaden one another’s spirits, or weaken one another’s hands. And this may be done by the many lessons to be learned from the resurrection of the dead, and the second coming of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Thessalonians 5:1, I. The Day of the Lord; II. Final Instructions and Benediction

I. KEY TEXT (The Day of the Lord): “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (5:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (5:3)
1. FINDINGS: “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” (5:4-5)
2. CRITERIA: “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.” (5:6-7)
3. CONDITION: “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for the helmet of hope of salvation.” (5:8)
4. CAUSE: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” (5:9-10)
5. EFFECT: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (5:11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We should join in prayer and praise one with another. We should set a good example one before another, and this is the best means to answer the end of society. Thus we shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live for ever.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Final Instructions and Benediction): “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” (5:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” (5:14)
1. FINDINGS: “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” (5:15)
2. CRITERIA: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophesies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (5:16-22)
3. CONDITION: “No may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (5:23)
4. CAUSE: “Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.” (5:24-27)
5. EFFECT: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (5:28)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The apostle prays that they might be sanctified more perfectly, for the best are sanctified but in part while in this world; therefore we should pray for, and press toward, complete holiness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Thessalonians: 1:1, I. Greeting and Thanksgiving, II. The Judgment at Christ’s Coming

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Thanksgiving): “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing. ” (1:3)
1. FINDINGS: “Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.” (1:4)
2. CRITERIA: “Notice the remarkable couplets of this chapter. Grace and peace, 2 Thessalonians 1:2; faith and love, 2 Thessalonians 1:3; faith and patience, 2 Thessalonians 1:4” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Where there is the truth of grace, there will be an increase of it. The path of the just is as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day. And where there is the increase of grace, God must have all the glory. Where faith grows, love will abound, for faith works by love.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It shows faith and patience, such as may be proposed as a pattern for others, when trials from God, and persecutions from men, quicken the exercise of those graces; for the patience and faith of which the apostle gloried, bore them up, and enabled them to endure all their tribulations.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Thessalonians went through much criticism and hostility because they had believed Paul’s message about Christ. The message of great blessing in Christ seemed a bit contradictory to their experience of persecution. Not only did they have questions and worries about what God was doing, they also needed confirmation that Paul, the one who first brought the gospel to them, was trustworthy. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “This letter should help believers to become honestly and deeply convinced that what God is allowing to happen is part of his process of justice. The temptation is to quietly think that God is not being fair. But the proper balance will come when believers learn to be content with present suffering without blaming God.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Judgment at Christ’s Coming): “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering–” (1:5)
A. INFERENCE: “–since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (1:6-8)
1. FINDINGS: “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on the day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” (1:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “Knowledge of Christ’s future return was to encourage powerful works of faith. The believers were to glorify Christ in the present (1:12), and he would be glorified in the believers at his return (1:10). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “ The Jews were the instigators of the populace and of the magistrates against Christians (Acts 17:6, 8). (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)
5. EFFECT: “Believing thoughts and expectations of the second coming of Christ should lead us to pray to God more, for ourselves and others. If there is any good in us, it is owing to the good pleasure of his goodness, and therefore it is called grace. There are many purposes of grace and goodwill in God toward his people, and the apostle prays that God would complete in them the work of faith with power.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Believe, abide, and obey Jesus Christ through God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 2:1, I. The Man of Lawlessness; II. Stand Firm

I. KEY TEXT (The Man of Lawlessness): “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” (2:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in this time.” (2:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawlessness one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” (2:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2:9-10)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2:11-12)
4. CAUSE: “They did not love the truth, and therefore did not believe it; and they were pleased with false notions. God leaves them to themselves, then sin will follow of course, and spiritual judgments here, and eternal punishments hereafter.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The pure word of God, with the Spirit of God, will discover this mystery of iniquity, and in due time it shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Study hard and know God’s word.

II. KEY TEXT (Stand Firm): “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” (2:13)
A. INFERENCE: “To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2:14)
1. FINDINGS: “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” (2:15)
2. CRITERIA: “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” (2:16-17)
3. CONDITION: “When we hear of the apostasy of many, it is a great comfort and joy, that there is a remnant according to the election of grace, which does and shall persevere; especially we should rejoice, if we have reason to hope that we are of that number. The preservation of the saints, is because God loved them with an everlasting love, from the beginning of the world.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Faith and holiness must be joined together as well as holiness and happiness. The outward call of God is by the gospel; and this is rendered effectual by the inward working of the Spirit. The belief of the truth brings the sinner to rely on Christ, and so to love and obey him; it is sealed by the Holy Spirit upon his heart.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “We have no certain proof of any thing having been delivered by the apostles, more than what we find contained in the Holy Scriptures.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us then stand fast in the doctrines taught by the apostles, and reject all additions, and vain traditions.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Thessalonians 3:1, I. Pray for Us; II. Warning Against Idleness; III. Benediction

I. KEY TEXT (Pray for Us): “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.” (3:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (3:3)
1. FINDINGS: “And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command.” (3:4)
2. CRITERIA: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (3:5)
3. CONDITION: “If, by the special grace of God, we have that faith which multitudes have not, we should earnestly pray that we may be enabled, without reserve, to obey his commands, and that we may be enabled, without reserve, to the love of God, and the patience of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It is our sin and our misery, that we place our affections upon wrong objects. There is not true love of God, without faith in Jesus Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The best attitude for those that look for their Lord is not in pressing their faces against the oriel window, to behold the chariot of their returning Master, but in plying their toil with deft hands and consecrated hearts.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek out, close with, and claim faith in Jesus Christ.

II. KEY TEXT (Warning Against Idleness): “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (3:6)
A. INFERENCE: “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves ‘an example to imitate.” (3:7-9)
1. FINDINGS: “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” (3:10)
2. CRITERIA: “For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.” (3:11)
3. CONDITION: “Now such persons we command end encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” (3:12)
4. CAUSE: “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (3:13-14)
5. EFFECT: “Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” (3:15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Do not be idle and warn others not to be idle.

III. KEY TEXT (Benediction): “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (3:16)
A. INFERENCE: “I Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.” (3:17)
1. FINDINGS: “This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.” (3:18)
2. CRITERIA: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” (3:18)
3. CONDITION: “It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we hope to have peace with God, and to enjoy the presence of God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire any thing better for ourselves and our friends, than to have God’s gracious presence with us and them. No matter where we are, if God be with us; nor who is absent, if God be present.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Peace by all means; in every way; that, as they enjoyed the means of grace, they might use all methods to secure peace.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Pray for grace and faith.

1 Timothy:1, I. Greeting and Warning Against False Teachers; II. Jesus Came to Save Sinners

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Warning Against False Teachers): “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope. To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” (1:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1:5)
2. CRITERIA: “Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” (1:7)
3. CONDITION: “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” (1:8-11)
4. CAUSE: “Jesus Christ is a Christian’s hope; all our hopes of eternal life are built upon him; and Christ is in us the hope of glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “That which raises questions, is not for edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes, pulls down the church rather than builds it up. Godliness of heart and life can only be kept up and increased, by the exercise of faith in the truths and promises of God, through Jesus Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Test by asking: ‘Do these words of theirs promote the health of the soul, and above all, love out of a pure heart and a good conscience?’” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Came to Save Sinners): “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.” (1:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (1:14)
1. FINDINGS: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1:15)
2. CRITERIA: “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1:16)
3. CONDITION: “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1:17)
4. CAUSE: “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.” (1:18)
5. EFFECT: “By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1:19-20)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Keep the faith; believe in him for eternal life.

1 Timothy 2:1, I. Pray for All People

I. KEY TEXT (Pray for All People): “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (2:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all which is the testimony given at the proper time.” (2:5-6)
2. CRITERIA: “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” (1:7)
3. CONDITION: “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” (1:8-13)
4. CAUSE: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” (1:14)
5. EFFECT: “Yet she will be saved through childbearing–if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” (1:15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The best ornaments for professors of godliness, are good works.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Timothy 3:1, I. Qualifications for Overseers; II. Qualifications for Deacons; III. The Mystery of Godliness

I. KEY TEXT (Qualifications for Overseers): “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” (3:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (3:2)
1. FINDINGS: “He just not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” (3:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “To encourage all faithful ministers, we have Christ’s gracious word of promise, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,’ Matthew 28:20.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And he will fit his ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “One of Timothy’s most urgent duties was to take care that those who held office in the churches were beyond reproach. The tone of a Christian community is largely that of its leaders.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “God’s minister must not only be irreproachable as far as the outside world is concerned, but exemplary in his domestic relations.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Notice how often those words grave, sober-minded, temperate occur in this chapter. The effect of a good sermon will be spoiled if a man yields to foolish levity or intemperate habits. Moderation, serenity of temper, freedom from love of money, a well-ordered household, an obedient and reverent family-these are signs that a man may aspire to the sacred work of the ministry; and these are the qualities which people should look for in candidates for pulpits, more than those of rhetoric, brilliance, or outward attractiveness.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

I. KEY TEXT (Qualifications for Deacons): “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.” (3:8)
A. INFERENCE: “They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” (3:9)
1. FINDINGS: “And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.” (3:10-12)
2. CRITERIA: “For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (3:13)
3. CONDITION: “The strength of a church is as much in the godliness of those who fill subordinate offices, as in its acknowledged leaders.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In determining who shall become a church leader ascertain that: Nothing is common or unclean, nothing trivial and unimportant, where Christ’s honor and glory are concerned.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

I. KEY TEXT (The Mystery of Godliness): “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” (3:14-15)
A. INFERENCE: “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:” (3:16)
1. FINDINGS: “He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” (3:16)
2. CRITERIA: “The church is the house of God; he dwells there. The church holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, as a pillar holds forth a proclamation.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “When a church ceases to be the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her; for our regard to truth should be first and greatest.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Let us remember that God was manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “These doctrines must be shown forth by the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Believe the mystery.

1 Timothy 4:1, I. Some Will Depart from the Faith; II. A Good Servant of Christ Jesus

I. KEY TEXT (Some Will Depart from the Faith): “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence for foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (4:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (4:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God’s law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord’s blessing upon it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “We have here the Apostle’s forecast of the last times, i.e., the condition in which men will find themselves as the age draws to a close. Notwithstanding all that Christ has done, the prevalence of evil will be enormous, not because of any failure in God but because the Church has failed to be the organ through which His saving help could reach mankind.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The symptoms are set forth with great clearness, such as demon spirits dwelling and working in men, error taught under the specious guise of excessive religious devotion, consciences seared, natural instincts thwarted and outraged.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “On the contrary, let us believe that the whole body, and all gifts that are natural and innocent, are to be cherished and used under three sanctions: 1. They must be accepted and enjoyed with thanksgiving to the Creator and Father. 2. They must be sanctioned by the Word of God. 3. Their use and enjoyment must, not interfere with our prayer-life.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The minister of Christ must be daily nourished by the words of Christian truth. If he is not fed on Christ’s body and blood, his teaching will soon deteriorate, John 6:1-71. He must also exercise himself in godliness with as much care as the gymnast, who is continually exercising his joints and muscles so as to keep supple and alert. This is also God’s purpose in the spiritual trials and discipline which He sends.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (A Good Servant of Christ Jesus): “If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.” (4:6)
A. INFERENCE: “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (4:7-8)
1. FINDINGS: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” (4:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (4:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all my see your progress. Keep close watch on yourself and on the teaching.” (4:13-16)
4. CAUSE: “Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (4:16)
5. EFFECT: “Those who teach by their doctrine, must teach by their life. Their discourse must be edifying; their conversation must be holy; they must be examples of love to God and all good men, examples of spiritual-mindedness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The doctrine of a minister of Christ must be scriptural, clear, evangelical, and practical; well stated, explained, defended, and applied.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Timothy 5:1, I. Instructions for the Church

I. KEY TEXT (Instructions for the Church): “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.” (5:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.” (5:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach.” (5:7)
2. CRITERIA: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (5:8)
3. CONDITION: “Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows. Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (5:9-19)
4. CAUSE: “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)” (5:20-23)
5. EFFECT: “The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.” (5:24-25)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “As we are not to make our bodies masters, so neither slaves; but to use them so that they may be most helpful to us in the service of God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

1 Timothy 6:1, I. False Teachers and True Contentment; II. Fight the Good Fight of Faith

I. KEY TEXT (False Teachers and True Contentment): “Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealth craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprive of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” (6:1-5)
A. INFERENCE: “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (6:6-7)
1. FINDINGS: “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (6:8)
2. CRITERIA: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (6:9)
3. CONDITION: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” (6:10)
4. CAUSE: “It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (6:10)
5. EFFECT: “Those that make a trade of Christianity to serve their turn for this world, will be disappointed; but those who mind it as their calling, will find it has the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “He that is godly, is sure to be happy in another world; and if contented with his condition in this world, he has enough; and all truly godly people are content.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Fight the Good Fight of Faith): “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” (6:11)
A. INFERENCE: “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (6:12)
1. FINDINGS: “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper tine–he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (6:13-16)
2. CRITERIA: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” (6:17)
3. CONDITION: “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (6:18-19)
4. CAUSE: “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, . . .” (6:20)
5. EFFECT: “. . . for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.” (6:20)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Those who advance reason above faith, are in danger of leaving faith. Grace includes all that is good, and grace is an earnest, a beginning of glory; wherever God gives grace, he will give glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

2 Timothy 1:1, I. Greeting and Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You): “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (1:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” (1:3-5)
1. FINDINGS: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (6:7)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.” (6:8-12)
3. CONDITION: “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” (6:13-14)
4. CAUSE: “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.” (6:15)
5. EFFECT: “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me–may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!–and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.” (6:16-18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “God’s soldiers must be brave and unflinching in meeting the opposition of the world. When once we realize that the stores which reside in God are at the disposal of our faith, we, too, shall be invulnerable and irresistible.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

2 Timothy 2:1, I. A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus; II. A Worker Approved by God

I. KEY TEXT (A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus): “You then my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2:3-5)
1. FINDINGS: “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” (2:6)
2. CRITERIA: “It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” (2:7)
3. CONDITION: “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” (2:7)
4. CAUSE: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” (2:8-9)
5. EFFECT: “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.” (2:10-13)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

II. KEY TEXT (A Worker Approved by God): “Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.” (2:14)
A. INFERENCE: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.” (2:15-17)
1. FINDINGS: “Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.” (2:18)
2. CRITERIA: “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,” and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” (2:19)
3. CONDITION: “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2:20-21)
4. CAUSE: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord for a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” (2:22-23)
5. EFFECT: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2:24-26)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The more we follow that which is good, the faster and the further we shall flee from that which is evil.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Week #151; Wed, Nov 18: 2 Timothy 3–Titus–Philemon–Hebrews 8

Week #151; Wed, Nov 18: 2 Timothy 3:1–Titus–Philemon–Hebrews 8:13


2 Timothy 3:1, I. Godlessness in the Last Days; II. All Scripture is Breathed Out by God

I. KEY TEXT (Godlessness in the Last Days): “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” (3:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. ” (3:2)
1. FINDINGS: “Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” (3:3-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. ” (3:8)
3. CONDITION: “But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.” (3:9)
4. CAUSE: “Even in gospel times there would be perilous times; on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. Men love to gratify their own lusts, more than to please God and do their duty. When every man is eager for what he can get, and anxious to keep what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another. When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. 2 Timothy 3:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. 2 Timothy 3:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The last days of the present age are to be black and sorrowful. Sinful rejection of Christ will come to a head. We must not be misled by the wide-spread profession of the forms of religion; this may co-exist with the rankest apostasy.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (All Scripture is Breathed Out by God): “You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra–which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.” (3:10-11)
A. INFERENCE: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (3:12-13)
1. FINDINGS: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (3:14-15)
2. CRITERIA: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (3:16-17)
3. CONDITION: “Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. The age of children is the age to learn; and those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:14” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. 2 Timothy 3:14” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:14” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In the stern experiences of human life there is no stay that is comparable to the Holy Scriptures. The infinite variety of Scripture adapts itself to different states of the soul. Whatever our need, we can find its solace and remedy here. Thus we may live a complete life, finding in the Bible an equipment for all our emergencies. In this armory is every weapon for offense and defense; in this pharmacopoeia is a medicine and antidote for every wound.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

2 Timothy 4:1, I. Preach the Word; II. Personal Instructions and Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Preach the Word): “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (4:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (4:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (4:5)
2. CRITERIA: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (4:6-7)
3. CONDITION: “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (4:8)
4. CAUSE: “People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. 2 Timothy 4:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel. 2 Timothy 4:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “To the end Paul held to the appearing of Jesus, though he might not live to see it; and it was to precede and usher in the coming of the Kingdom. The world of that time was sad and sick, and Paul’s sole panacea was the preaching of the gospel.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Personal Instructions and Final Greetings): “Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books and above all the parchments.” (4:9-13)
A. INFERENCE: “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.” (4:14-15)
1. FINDINGS: “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!” (4:16)
2. CRITERIA: “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.” (4:17)
3. CONDITION: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” (4:18-22)
4. CAUSE: “The time had come for him to go on board the good ship which was waiting in the offing to sail at sunset for its port of glory. He was a veteran who had fought valiantly and successfully-keeping the faith as in the old Roman story the heroes kept the bridge. But he was soon to be relieved.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The crown at the end of the course was already in sight. He was lonely-only Luke is with me. He needed to be ministered unto-take Mark. But his courage was unabated. Demas might forsake, but Christ failed not.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “A man is justified gratuitously by the merits of Christ through faith; and when he is so justified God accepts his works and honors them with a reward which is not their due, but is given of grace.” (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)

Titus 1:1, I. Greeting; II. Qualifications for Elders

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting): “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior. To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” (1:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Paul’s introduction shows the scope, function, and nature of his apostleship and message. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Paul used the term “slave of God” (1:1; ‘bond-servant of God,’ NASB) only in this letter. This term emphasized Paul’s function of doing God’s bidding.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Paul presented the major concern of this letter here: he desired to teach the “truth that shows them how to live godly lives.” Paul insisted that the truth of the gospel should result in personal godliness in the lives of believers.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “God’s elect are known by their faith, and wherever they hear the voice of truth, which makes for godliness, they recognize and acknowledge it. They are also inspired by a great hope, and that hope cannot be disappointed, because it is founded on the promise and oath of the God who cannot lie, Hebrews 6:19.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “God’s promise for us has been in His heart from all eternity, but it was hidden until the gospel was proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit. The germ-thought of eternity has been realized in Jesus and is unfolded in the gospel.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The gospel is truth; the great, sure, and saving truth. Divine faith rests not on fallible reasonings and profitable opinions, but on the truth itself, which leads to godliness.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “To bring to this knowledge and faith, and to the acknowledging of the truth which leads to godliness, is the great purpose of the gospel ministry.The ministry is a trust; none takes this honor , but he who is appointed to it; and whoever is appointed and called must preach the word.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Qualifications for Elders): “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you–if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.” (1:5-6)
A. INFERENCE: “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” (1:7-8)
1. FINDINGS: “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (1:9)
2. CRITERIA: “For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” (1:10-11)
3. CONDITION: “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’” (1:12)
4. CAUSE: “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.” (1:13-14)
5. EFFECT: “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable,disobedient, unfit for any good work.” (1:15)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “But the sharpest reproofs must aim at the good of the reproved; and soundness in the faith is most desirable and necessary.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Titus 2:1, I. Teach Sound Doctrine

I. KEY TEXT (Teach Sound Doctrine): “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (2:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.” (2:2-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” (2:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” (2:9-10)
3. CONDITION: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (2:11-14)
4. CAUSE: “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (2:15)
5. EFFECT: “The doctrine of grace and salvation by the gospel, is for all ranks and conditions of men. It teaches to forsake sin; to have no more to do with it. An earthly, sensual conversation suits not a heavenly calling. It teaches to make conscience of that which is good. We must look to God in Christ, as the object of our hope and worship. A gospel conversation must be a godly conversation.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “See our duty in a very few words; denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly, notwithstanding all snares, temptations, corrupt examples, ill usage, and what remains of sin in the believer’s heart, with all their hindrances.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Titus 3:1, I. Be Ready for Every Good Work; II. Final Instructions and Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Be Ready for Every Good Work): “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” (3:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” (3:3)
1. FINDINGS: “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (3:4-7)
2. CRITERIA: “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.” (3:8)
3. CONDITION: “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” (3:9)
4. CAUSE: “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (3:10-11)
5. EFFECT: “It is wise advice that we should try to shun controversy and disputations. Small benefit accrues from such methods of advancing the truth. After all, the Lord’s test is the true one for all teachings which are in question-What is their fruit? ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us, therefore, cultivate the grace and beauty, the righteousness and purity, of a holy life. Let us yield ourselves to Jesus to be wholly possessed and used by Him; and let our one aim be to get glory for Him and success for His Kingdom.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Final Instructions and Greetings): “When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.” (3:12)
A. INFERENCE: “Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.” (3:13)
1. FINDINGS: “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” (3:14)
2. CRITERIA: “All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.” (3:15)
3. CONDITION: “Paul, having been liberated from his first imprisonment, was itinerating in Asia Minor and Macedonia, accompanied by several friends.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “He was intending to winter at Nicopolis in Epirus, and was about to send Artemas or Tychicus to relieve Titus in Crete, so that Titus might join him in the winter sojourn.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “These plans were probably canceled by his own sudden arrest at Nero’s instigation.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Grace is the chief thing to be wished and prayed for, with respect to ourselves or others; it is “all good.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Philemon 1:1, I. Greeting and Philemon’s Love and Faith; II. Paul’s Plea for Onesimus and Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Philemon’s Love and Faith): “Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” (1:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” (1:7)
2. CRITERIA: “We must remember Christian friends much and often, as their cases may need, bearing them in our thoughts, and upon our hearts, before our God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Onesimus had known the Apostle well in the old days when Paul visited at the house of his master Philemon, who seems to have been a man of importance. His house was large enough to admit of a church assembling in it, and to accommodate the Apostle and his traveling companions when they came to the city.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Onesimus had been a runaway slave, and fleeing to Rome, had been converted by the ministry of Paul-whom I have begotten in my bonds. The converted slave had become very dear and useful to his benefactor, Philemon 1:12-13. The Apostle now sends him back to his former owner with this letter, pleading that he be once more received into the household of Philemon.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The good which Philemon did, was matter of joy and comfort to him and others, who therefore desired that he would continue and abound in good fruits, more and more, to God’s honor.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Rather than trying to overthrow the cultural institution of slavery, Paul sought to work within the system, requiring that slaves obey their masters (Eph. 6:5–8; Col. 3:22–24) and that masters not mistreat their slaves (Col. 4:1; 1 Pet. 2:18–20). Although Paul seems to have been supportive of emancipation (cf. 1 Cor. 7:21), he was definitely more concerned with spiritual freedom than with the release of slaves.” (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary) We should seek similar piety and justice.

II. KEY TEXT (Paul’s Plea for Onesimus and Final Greetings): “Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you–I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus–I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.” (1:8-10)
A. INFERENCE: “(Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.” (1:11-12)
1. FINDINGS: “I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother–especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.” (1:13-16)
2. CRITERIA: “So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it–to say nothing of your owing me even your own self.” (1:17-19)
3. CONDITION: “Yes, brother; I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.” (1:20-21)
4. CAUSE: “At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.” (1:22)
5. EFFECT: “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (1:23-25)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Paul delicately reminds his friend, in Philemon 1:19, that Philemon owed him a great deal more than a trifle of money, namely, his spiritual life. Does not our Lord address us in similar terms? We surely owe ourselves to Him!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Hebrews 1:1, I. The Supremacy of God’s Son

I. KEY TEXT (The Supremacy of God’s Son): “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (1:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’? Or again, ‘I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son’? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’ Of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.’ But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’ And, ‘You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are same, and your years will have no end.’ And to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?” (1:5-13)
1. FINDINGS: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (1:14)
2. CRITERIA: “Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ’s being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “To prove this, several passages are brought from the Old Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels, with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels to Christ plainly appears.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is declared how Christ was qualified for the office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he has the name Messiah from his being anointed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “. . . he is above all prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in the service of God on earth.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) We need to remember this.

Hebrews 2:1, I. Warning Against Neglecting Salvation; II. The Founder of Salvation

I. KEY TEXT (Warning Against Neglecting Salvation): “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” (2:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (2:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” (2:3-4)
2. CRITERIA: “Unless we watch, the strong currents of the world will drift us away from God’s great harbor of Salvation; and sins against His offered love are even more to be dreaded than those under the ancient Law.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “To neglect is the equivalent of to reject.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Our minds and memories are like a leaky vessel, they do not, without much care, retain what is poured into them. This proceeds from the corruption of our nature, temptations, worldly cares, and pleasures. Sinning against the gospel is neglect of this great salvation; it is a contempt of the saving grace of God in Christ, making light of it, not caring for it, not regarding either the worth of gospel grace, or the want of it, and our undone state without it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Lord’s judgments under the gospel dispensation are chiefly spiritual, but are on that account the more to be dreaded. Here is an appeal to the consciences of sinners.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Even partial neglects will not escape rebukes; they often bring darkness on the souls they do not finally ruin.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Do not be a leaky vessel; constantly plug up the leaks.

II. KEY TEXT (The Founder of Salvation): “Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, ‘What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.’ Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (2:5-9)
A. INFERENCE: “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, ‘I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children God has given me.’” (2:10-13)
1. FINDINGS: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (2:14-15)
2. CRITERIA: “For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.” (2:16)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (2:17)
4. CAUSE: “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (2:18)
5. EFFECT: “Our Elder Brother has encountered our foes, and won deliverance for all who believe. Death remains, but its teeth are drawn and its power is annulled. We need not fear what men call death; to us it is only as falling asleep.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “He has made reconciliation for our sins, and as our merciful and faithful High Priest, pleads the cause of our souls.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary) Claim it.

Hebrews 3:1, I. Jesus Greater Than Moses; II. A Rest for the People of God

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Greater Than Moses): “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.” (3:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses–as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)” (3:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son.” (3:5-6)
2. CRITERIA: “And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.” (3:6)
3. CONDITION: “He was and is as much greater than Moses as the architect than the foreman and the son than the servant.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Every meditation on his person and his salvation, will suggest more wisdom, new motives to love, confidence, and obedience.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is not enough to begin the Christian race; we must hold fast our confidence and hope to the end.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There must not only be setting out well in the ways of Christ, but steadfastness and perseverance therein to the end.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (A Rest for the People of God): “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden you hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” (3:7-11)
A. INFERENCE: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” (3:12)
1. FINDINGS: “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have com to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (3:13-14)
2. CRITERIA: “As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’” (3:15)
3. CONDITION: “For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? ” (3:16-17)
4. CAUSE: “And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?” (3:18)
5. EFFECT: “So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” (3:19)

Hebrews 4:1, I. Let us Fear; II. Jesus the Great High Priest

I. KEY TEXT (Let us Fear): “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” (4:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” (4:2)
1. FINDINGS: “For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, ‘As I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter my rest,’ although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (4:3)
2. CRITERIA: “For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works. And again in this passage he said, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’” (4:4-5)
3. CONDITION: “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’” (4:6-7)
4. CAUSE: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” (4:8-10)
5. EFFECT: “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (4:11-13)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Still men disbelieve and disobey; still they doubt that God is able; still they err in their hearts and therefore fail to understand with their heads; still they wander to and fro, with weary souls and restless feet. But if they who failed to believe in words given by Moses were wrapped around by the winding sheets of sand, what will not be the fate of those who refuse the words of Christ!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary) Believe the words of Christ.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus the Great High Priest): “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (4:14-15)
A. INFERENCE: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (4:16)
1. FINDINGS: “For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.” (5:1-3)
2. CRITERIA: “And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.” (5:4)
3. CONDITION: “So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you’; as he says also in another place, ‘You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.’” (5:5-6)
4. CAUSE: “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (5:7)
5. EFFECT: “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” (5:8-10)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Having to act for men, our High Priest must be man, acquainted with human conditions; having to do with God, he must be appointed by God. Is there one of us that is not conscious of liability to ignorance and wandering? We all evermore need the high priesthood of Jesus.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Hebrews 5:11, I. Warning Against Apostasy

I. KEY TEXT (Warning Against Apostasy): “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” (5:11)
A. INFERENCE: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.” (5:12-13)
1. FINDINGS: “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their power of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (5:14)
2. CRITERIA: “Many cannot get their spiritual nutrition direct from God’s Word, but have to live on what others have obtained and have passed on in speech or book. Seek a first-hand acquaintance with the things of God. We grow by feeding and exercise.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “So long as men continue to tread the love of God under foot, they cannot repent and be restored. The failure, as with unproductive soil, is not on account of a failure of heaven, but because the soil is hard and obdurate. If we are unproductive, it is due to our own hard-heartedness.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Being made perfect for this great work, he is become the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ has left us an example that we should learn humble obedience to the will of God, by all our afflictions. We need affliction, to teach us submission. His obedience in our nature encourages our attempts to obey, and for us to expect support and comfort under all the temptations and sufferings to which we are exposed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Feed on God’s word and exercise it.

Hebrews 6:1, I. Let Us Go On to Maturity; II. The Certainty of God’s Promise

I. KEY TEXT (Let Us Go On to Maturity): “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits” (6:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” (6:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.” (6:7)
2. CRITERIA: “But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.” (6:8)
3. CONDITION: “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation.” (6:9)
4. CAUSE: “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” (6:10)
5. EFFECT: “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (6:11-12)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The keynote of this passage is patient continuance. We should seek not only faith but its accompaniments. It is not enough to manifest faith, hope and love, but to continue to do so unto the end. Notice that the two conditions on which the promises are inherited are faith and patience.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Certainty of God’s Promise): “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, ‘Surely I will bless you and multiply you.’” (6:13-14)
A. INFERENCE: “And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.” (6:15)
1. FINDINGS: “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” (6:16-18)
2. CRITERIA: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (6:19-20)
3. CONDITION: “God’s promise and oath are a double door, behind which they who have fled for refuge are safe–a double window beyond which all noise dies down. The allusion is either to the cities of refuge, or to a ship safely riding out the storm. Hope is sure, because the anchor has fastened in a sure ground; steadfast, because its cable will not snap in the strain; and entering, etc., because it unites us to the unseen. Jesus has taken our anchor into the inner harbor, and has dropped it down into the clear, still water there.” (F. B Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We are in this world as a ship at sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Gospel hope is our anchor in the storms of this world. It is sure and steadfast, or it could not keep us so. The free grace of God, the merits and mediation of Christ, and the powerful influences of his Spirit, are the grounds of this hope, and so it is a steadfast hope.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ is the object and ground of the believer’s hope.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us therefore set our affections on things above, and wait patiently for his appearance, when we shall certainly appear with him in glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Hebrews 7:1, I. The Priestly Order of Melchizedek; II. Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

I. KEY TEXT (The Priestly Order of Melchizedek: “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.” (7:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils!” (7:4)
1. FINDINGS: “And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham.” (7:5)
2. CRITERIA: “But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.” (7:6)
3. CONDITION: “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives.” (7:7-8)
4. CAUSE: “One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.” (7:9-10)
5. EFFECT: “The one thing for us to notice is that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, thus confessing him to be the greater. Levi was, so to speak, included in his grandfather’s act, so that the Hebrew priesthood, which sprang from Levi, was confessedly inferior to Melchizedek’s. If, then, Melchizedek is a type of Christ, we are taught that Christ’s priesthood is evidently and eternally superior to all other priesthoods whatsoever.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us go forth in our spiritual conflicts, trusting in his word and strength, ascribing our victories to his grace, and desiring to be met and blessed by him in all our ways.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Compared to Melchizedek): “Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?” (7:11)
A. INFERENCE: “For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar.” (7:12-13)
1. FINDINGS: “For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.” (7:14)
2. CRITERIA: “This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, ‘You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.’” (7:15-17)
3. CONDITION: “For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” (7:18-19)
4. CAUSE: “And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made priest with an oath by the one who said to him: ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’ This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” (7:20-22)
5. EFFECT: “The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.” (7:23-28)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is hard to keep ourselves pure, so as not to partake the guilt of other men’s sins. But none need be dismayed who come to God in the name of his beloved Son. Let them be assured that he will deliver them in the time of trial and suffering, in the time of prosperity, in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Hebrews 8:1, I. Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant): “Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.” (8:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, ‘See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.’” (8:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” (8:6)
2. CRITERIA: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” (8:7)
3. CONDITION: “For he finds fault with them when he says” ‘Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.’” (8:8-12)
4. CAUSE: “In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” (8:13)
5. EFFECT: “A covenant is a promise, made on conditions to be fulfilled, and attested by an outward sign, like the rainbow, or circumcision, or the Lord’s Supper. The covenant under which we live is between God and Christ on behalf of those who belong to Him.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We need not ask that God should do as he has said, but with lowly reverence expect that He will-especially when we drink of the cup of the New Covenant at the Lord’s table.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Week #152; Wed, Nov 25: Hebrews 9–James 5

Week #152; Wed, Nov 25: Hebrews 9:1–James 5:20


Hebrews 9:1, I. The Earthly Holy Place; II. Redemption Through the Blood of Christ

I. KEY TEXT (The Earthly Holy Place): “Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.” (9:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.” (9:2-5)
1. FINDINGS: “These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing. (which is symbolic for the present age). ” (9:6-9)
2. CRITERIA: “According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.” (9:9-10)
3. CONDITION: “The apostle shows to the Hebrews the typical reference of their ceremonies to Christ. The tabernacle was a movable temple, shadowing forth the unsettled state of the church upon earth, and the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The keynote of this passage is patient continuance. We should seek not only faith but its accompaniments. It is not enough to manifest faith, hope and love, but to continue to do so unto the end. Notice that the two conditions on which the promises are inherited are faith and patience.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Inferiority of the Old to the New Covenant in the means of access to God: The blood of bulls and goats of no real avail: the blood of Christ all-sufficient to purge away sin, whence flows our hope of his appearing again for our perfect salvation. (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Thus was the Lord Jesus Christ, all and in all, from the beginning. And as interpreted by the gospel, these things are a glorious representation of the wisdom of God, and confirm faith in Him who was prefigured by them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) See homepage at paragraph V.III, for links to related figures.

II. KEY TEXT (Redemption Through the Blood of Christ): “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. ” (9:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (9:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” (9:15)
2. CRITERIA: “For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.” (9:16-17)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.” (9:18)
4. CAUSE: “For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.” (9:19-21)
5. EFFECT: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (9:22-28)
6. RECOMMENDATION: As no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from being condemned at the day of judgment, except the atoning sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Eagerly await his second coming. The figures in the links at paragraph VIII of the homepage pertain.

Hebrews 10:1, I. Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All; II. The Full Assurance of Faith

I. KEY TEXT (Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All): “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.” (10:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (10:2-4)
1. FINDINGS: “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” (10:5-7)
2. CRITERIA: “When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will.’ He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (10:8-10)
3. CONDITION: “And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (10:11-14)
4. CAUSE: “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’” (10:15-17)
5. EFFECT: “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer of any offering for sin.” (10:18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Under the new covenant, or gospel dispensation, full and final pardon is to be had. This makes a vast difference between the new covenant and the old one. Under the old, sacrifices must be often repeated, and after all, only pardon as to this world was to be obtained by them. Under the new, one Sacrifice is enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the world to come.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Seek an interest in this Sacrifice by faith; and the seal of it to our souls, by the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience.

II. KEY TEXT (The Full Assurance of Faith): “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (10:19-22)
A. INFERENCE: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (10:23-25)
1. FINDINGS: “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (10:26-27)
2. CRITERIA: “Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (10:28-29)
3. CONDITION: “For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (10:30-31)
4. CAUSE: “But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.” (10:32-33)
5. EFFECT: “For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (10:34-39)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “All things here are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven will last for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods. This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here. The greatest part of the saints’ happiness, as yet, is in promise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to be content to live after their work is done, and to stay for their reward till God’s time to give it is come.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Hold on for the ‘Crown of Life.’

Hebrews 11:1, I. By Faith

I. KEY TEXT (By Faith): “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (11:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “By faith Able offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. No before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named. He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as 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 prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a 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, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated–of whom the world was not worthy–wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” (11:4-38)
1. FINDINGS: “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” (11:39-40)
2. CRITERIA: “We should be pleased to think, how great the number of believers was under the Old Testament, and how strong their faith, though the objects of it were not then so fully made known as now. And we should lament that now, in gospel times, when the rule of faith is more clear and perfect, the number of believers should be so small, and their faith so weak.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The world considers that the righteous are not worthy to live in the world, and God declares the world is not worthy of them. Though the righteous and the worldlings widely differ in their judgment, they agree in this, it is not fit that good men should have their rest in this world. Therefore God receives them out of it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The apostle tells the Hebrews, that God had provided some better things for them, therefore they might be sure that he expected as good things from them. As our advantages, with the better things God has provided for us, are so much beyond theirs, so should our obedience of faith, patience of hope, and labor of love, be greater. ” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “And unless we get true faith as these believers had, they will rise up to condemn us at the last day.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us then pray continually for the increase of our faith, that we may follow these bright examples, and be, with them, at length made perfect in holiness and happiness, and shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father for evermore.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Hebrews 12:1, I. Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith; II. Do Not Grow Weary; III. A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith): “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (12:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “What an incentive to lay aside all “cumbrances”; that is, whatever in your life may be a hindrance, though hardly a sin! But above all, we must put away the sin of unbelief, which we can best do by looking unto Jesus.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus began and finished His life-career by the same faith-“the faith of the Son of God”-which each of His children has to exercise. The light beyond the Cross beckoned to Him and so enamored Him that he counted no cost too dear, if only He might realize the possibilities that gleamed before His vision, of an elect church and a transformed world.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “This is a most important exhortation; for while a man’s darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By steadfastly looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy affections, and keep under their carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “There is a proneness in believers to grow weary, and to faint under trials and afflictions; this is from the imperfection of grace and the remains of corruption. Christians should not faint under their trials. Though their enemies and persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, yet they are Divine chastisements; their heavenly Father has his hand in all, and his wise end to answer by all.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “They must not make light of afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are the hand and rod of God, and are his rebukes for sin. They must not despond and sink under trials, nor fret and repine, but bear up with faith and patience. God may let others alone in their sins, but he will correct sin in his own children.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “In this he acts as becomes a father. Our earthly parents sometimes may chasten us, to gratify their passion, rather than to reform our manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor afflicts his children. It is always for our profit.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Our whole life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a state.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Do Not Grow Weary): “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?” (12:3-5)
A. INFERENCE: “’My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’” (12:5-6)
1. FINDINGS: “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (12:7)
2. CRITERIA: “If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (12:8)
3. CONDITION: “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” (12:9-10)
4. CAUSE: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (12:11)
5. EFFECT: “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” (12:12-17)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Faith and patience enable believers to follow peace and holiness, as a man follows his calling constantly, diligently, and with pleasure.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken): “For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.” (12:18-19)
A. INFERENCE: “For they could not endure the order that was given, ‘If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.’ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I tremble with fear.’ But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (12:20-24) [“enrolled” could be read as the Lamb’s Book of Life.]
1. FINDINGS: “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less with we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’” (12:25-26)
2. CRITERIA: “This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken–that is, things that have been made–in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (12:27-29)
3. CONDITION: “Mount Sinai, on which the Jewish church state was formed, was a mount such as might be touched, though forbidden to be so, a place that could be felt; so the Mosaic dispensation was much in outward and earthly things. The gospel state is kind and condescending, suited to our weak frame. Under the gospel all may come with boldness to God’s presence. But the most holy must despair, if judged by the holy law given from Sinai, without a Savior. The gospel church is called Mount Zion; there believers have clearer views of heaven, and more heavenly tempers of soul.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Let a soul be supposed to join that glorious assembly and church above, that is yet unacquainted with God, still carnally-minded, loving this present world and state of things, looking back to it with a lingering eye, full of pride and guile, filled with lusts; such a soul would seem to have mistaken its way, place, state, and company. It would be uneasy to itself and all about it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ is the Mediator of this new covenant, between God and man, to bring them together in this covenant; to keep them together; to plead with God for us, and to plead with us for God; and at length to bring God and his people together in heaven. This covenant is made firm by the blood of Christ sprinkled upon our consciences, as the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled upon the altar and the victim. This blood of Christ speaks in behalf of sinners; it pleads not for vengeance, but for mercy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “See then that you refuse not his gracious call and offered salvation. See that you do not refuse Him who speaketh from heaven, with infinite tenderness and love; for how can those escape, who turn from God in unbelief or apostasy, while he so graciously beseeches them to be reconciled, and to receive his everlasting favor! God’s dealing with men under the gospel, in a way of grace, assures us, that he will deal with the despisers of the gospel, in a way of judgment. We cannot worship God acceptably, unless we worship him with reverence and godly fear. Only the grace of God enables us to worship God aright.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Hebrews 13, I. Sacrifices Pleasing to God; II. Benediction and Final Greetings

I. KEY TEXT (Sacrifices Pleasing to God): “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (13:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (13:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (13:6)
2. CRITERIA: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” (13:7-9)
3. CONDITION: “We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.” (13:10-13) [“outside” could be read to help locate the crucifixion site.]
4. CAUSE: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” (13:14)
5. EFFECT: “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.” (13:15-19)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We must, according to our power, give to the necessities of the souls and bodies of men: God will accept these offerings with pleasure, and will accept and bless the offerers through Christ. The apostle then states what is their duty to living ministers; to obey and submit to them, so far as is agreeable to the mind and will of God, made known in his word. Christians must not think themselves too wise, too good, or too great, to learn. The people must search the Scriptures, and so far as the ministers teach according to that rule, they ought to receive their instructions as the word of God, which works in those that believe.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Benediction and Final Greetings): “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (13:20-21)
A. INFERENCE: “I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings, Grace be with all of you.” (13:22-25)
1. FINDINGS: “There is no good thing wrought in us, but it is the work of God. And no good thing is wrought in us by God, but through Christ, for his sake and by his Spirit.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “So bad are men, and even believers, through the remainders of their corruption, that when the most important, comfortable doctrine is delivered to them for their own good, and that with the most convincing evidence, there is need of earnest entreaty and exhortation that they would bear it, and not fall out with it, neglect it, or reject it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Religion teaches men true civility and good breeding. It is not ill-tempered or uncourteous. Let the favor of God be toward you, and his grace continually working in you, and with you, bringing forth the fruits of holiness, as the first-fruits of glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Notice that though the ancient sacrifices have been abolished, there is one which can never grow old-the sacrifice of praise. This incense must ever ascend from the heart-altar. And to this we must add the sacrifices of doing good and distributing our goods.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “’Obey’ your living rulers; nay, more, not only obey in cases where no sacrifice of self is required, and where you are persuaded they are right (so the Greek, for “obey”), but ‘submit yourselves’ as a matter of dutiful yielding, when your judgment and natural will incline you in an opposite direction. (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The author concluded his letter focusing on Christ as the Shepherd and his eternal covenant, the new covenant (13:18–21). (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary) Focus on Christ.

James 1:1, I. Greeting and Testing of Your Faith; II. Hearing and Doing the Word

I. KEY TEXT (Greeting and Testing of Your Faith): “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (1:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (1:5)
1. FINDINGS: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (1:6-8)
2. CRITERIA: “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower fall, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.” (1:9-10)
3. CONDITION: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (1:11-15)
4. CAUSE: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (1:16-17)
5. EFFECT: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (1:18)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The crown of life is promised to all who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Every soul that truly loves God, shall have its trials in this world fully recompensed in that world above, where love is made perfect.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) Run your race for the crown; love God fully–be ‘Born Again.’ (See link to video on homepage at paragraph 5.II for a clear illustration of one becoming born again)

II. KEY TEXT (Hearing and Doing the Word): “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (1:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (1:21)
1. FINDINGS: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (2:22-25)
2. CRITERIA: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (1:26-27)
3. CONDITION: “If we heard a sermon every day of the week, and an angel from heaven were the preacher, yet, if we rested in hearing only, it would never bring us to heaven. Mere hearers are self-deceivers; and self-deceit will be found the worst deceit at last.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “If we flatter ourselves, it is our own fault; the truth, as it is in Jesus, flatters no man. Let the word of truth be carefully attended to, and it will set before us the corruption of our nature, the disorders of our hearts and lives; and it will tell us plainly what we are.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Our sins are the spots the law discovers: Christ’s blood is the laver the gospel shows. But in vain do we hear God’s word, and look into the gospel glass, if we go away, and forget our spots, instead of washing them off; and forget our remedy, instead of applying to it. This is the case with those who do not hear the word as they ought. In hearing the word, we look into it for counsel and direction, and when we study it, it turns to our spiritual life.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Those who keep in the law and word of God, are, and shall be, blessed in all their ways. His gracious recompense hereafter, would be connected with his present peace and comfort. Every part of Divine revelation has its use, in bringing the sinner to Christ for salvation, and in directing and encouraging him to walk at liberty, by the Spirit of adoption, according to the holy commands of God. And mark the distinctness, it is not for his deeds, that any man is blessed, but in his deed. It is not talking, but walking, that will bring us to heaven. Christ will become more precious to the believer’s soul, which by his grace will become more fitted for the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

James 2:1, I. The Sin of Partiality

I. KEY TEXT (The Sin of Partiality): “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (2:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” (2:5)
1. FINDINGS: “But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?” (2:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love you neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well.” (2:8)
3. CONDITION: “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (2:9)
4. CAUSE: “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (2:10)
5. EFFECT: “For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (2:11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “All professions of faith are vain, if not producing love and justice to others.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Faith Without Works Is Dead): “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (2:14-17)
A. INFERENCE: “Faith precedes love and the works of love; but without them it is dead.” (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible) [Exercise: See homepage at paragraph V.III and use the second link to show a 3-D graphic; plot the point on the “life line” where both faith and works are alive. Answer: Anywhere beyond the third dot, Romans 3:28 pertains.]
1. FINDINGS: “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” (2:18-20)
2. CRITERIA: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’–and he was called a friend of God.” (2:21-23)
3. CONDITION: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (2:24)
4. CAUSE: “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” (2:25)
5. EFFECT: “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (2:26)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God’s friend, or God’s enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

James 3:1, I. Taming the Tongue; II. Wisdom from Above

I. KEY TEXT (Taming the Tongue): “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (3:1)
A. INFERENCE: “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” (3:2)
1. FINDINGS: “If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.” (3:5)
2. CRITERIA: “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” (3:5-6)
3. CONDITION: “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (3:7-8)
4. CAUSE: “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” (3:9)
5. EFFECT: “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” (3:10-12)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Man cannot tame the tongue, but Christ can. He goes straight for the heart, for, as He said long ago, the seat of the mischief is there. See Mark 7:14-15; Psalm 51:10.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Wisdom from Above): “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (3:13)
A. INFERENCE: “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” (13:14)
1. FINDINGS: “This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” (13:15)
2. CRITERIA: “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (13:16)
3. CONDITION: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (13:17)
4. CAUSE: “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (13:18)
5. EFFECT: “The true wisdom is not the child of the intellect, but of the heart. It consists not only in what we know, but in what we are.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Mercy and good works follow, “free from favoritism and insincerity”; and as the peace-loving soul goeth through the world, dropping the seeds of peace, those seeds produce harvests of righteousness. Those that in peace sow peace, shall reap a harvest of righteousness, the fruit of peace.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

James 4:1, I. Warning Against Worldliness; II. Boasting About Tomorrow

I. KEY TEXT (Warning Against Worldliness): “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (4:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (4:3)
1. FINDINGS: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (4:4)
2. CRITERIA: “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (4:5)
3. CONDITION: “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.” (4:5-9)
4. CAUSE: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (4:10)
5. EFFECT: “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy.” (4:11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (4:12)

II. KEY TEXT (Boasting About Tomorrow): “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’–yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (4:13-14)
A. INFERENCE: “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” (4:15)
1. FINDINGS: “As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (4:16)
2. CRITERIA: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (4:17)
3. CONDITION: “We are prone to make plans without reference to God’s will. Life is so transient and brief that if we are to make the most of it, we should ask the divine Spirit to choose for and guide us. Our one endeavor must be to discover God’s will and do it. If we are not constantly saying, “If the Lord will,” the sentiment it expresses should always be uppermost with us. “Thy will be done” in me as in heaven!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God. Our heads may be filled with cares and contrivances for ourselves, or our families, or our friends; but Providence often throws our plans into confusion. All we design, and all we do, should be with submissive dependence on God. It is foolish, and it is hurtful, to boast of worldly things and aspiring projects; it will bring great disappointment, and will prove destruction in the end.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Omissions are sins which will be brought into judgment, as well as commissions. He that does not the good he knows should be done, as well as he who does the evil he knows should not be done, will be condemned. Oh that we were as careful not to omit prayer, and not to neglect to meditate and examine our consciences, as we are not to commit gross outward vices against light!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “When making plans, the Christian should acknowledge his dependence upon God and submission to his will. (Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary)

James 5:1, I. Warning to the Rich; II. Patience in Suffering; III. The Prayer of Faith

I. KEY TEXT (Warning to the Rich): “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.” (5:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.” (5:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” (5:4)
2. CRITERIA: “You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” (5:5)
3. CONDITION: “You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.” (5:6)
4. CAUSE: “There are many among the rich who are using money as a sacred trust. Not against these does the Apostle utter his terrible anathemas, but against those who make money by oppression and hoard it for their selfish ends. Riches, which have not been gotten righteously, ever bring a curse with them; and the rust of unused or misused wealth eats not only into the metal but into the miser’s flesh.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “There is a sense in which the Lord is ever at hand and present. But He shall come again at the end of this age. Then all wrongs shall be righted and the oppressed avenged. Everything comes to him who can wait for it; do not judge the Lord by His unfinished work.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Be patient till He unveils the perfected pattern in glory. Await the end of the Lord!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Patience in Suffering): “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.” (5:7)
A. INFERENCE: “You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (5:8-9)
1. FINDINGS: “As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” (5:10-11)
2. CRITERIA: “But above all, my brothers, do not swear either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.” (5:12)
3. CONDITION: “In view of the judgment-seat, at which we shall have to give an account of our words, we shall do well to employ the simplest, plainest speech, Matthew 5:34; Matthew 12:36-37.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Consider him that waits for a crop of corn; and will not you wait for a crown of glory? If you should be called to wait longer than the husbandman, is not there something more worth waiting for? In every sense the coming of the Lord drew nigh, and all his people’s losses, hardships, and sufferings, would be repaid. Men count time long, because they measure it by their own lives; but all time is as nothing to God; it is as a moment.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Let us serve our God, and bear our trials, as those who believe that the end will crown all. Our eternal happiness is safe if we trust to him: all else is mere vanity, which soon will be done with for ever.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “So the Christian, James says, is not to lose patience in the face of adversities but is to stablish his heart in view of the fact that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Prayer of Faith): “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (5:13-14)
A. INFERENCE: “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (5:15)
1. FINDINGS: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (5:16)
2. CRITERIA: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (5:17-18)
3. CONDITION: “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (5:19)
4. CAUSE: “There are two reasons why we should endeavor to convert men: (1) for their salvation, (2) for the arrest of their baleful influence.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is no mark of a wise or holy man, to boast of being free from error, or to refuse to acknowledge an error. And there is some doctrinal mistake at the bottom of every practical mistake.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The salvation of one soul is of infinitely greater importance than preserving the lives of multitudes, or promoting the welfare of a whole people. Let us in our several stations keep these things in mind, sparing no pains in God’s service, and the event will prove that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)