Tag Archives: Bible study

Bible study – Galatians 1

Dear brothers and sisters in faith,

Today we will start with the Bible study of a new Bible book: Galatians

In chapter 1 of this Bible book we will discuss:

  • Introduction
  • No other gospel
  • Paul called by God

Introduction

Paul starts this letter to the churches in Galatia with a prayer. In this prayer he makes it very clear that He is not sent by men, but by Jesus. It is important that we always base our contact with our other Christians on the Word of God and not on our own desires. Paul, being quite the authority in that time, could have abused that position. But he decides to not this and remain humble, giving God all the praise. Also by starting this letter with a prayer in which He focuses on praising Jesus and asking for His grace and blessings, He actually sets the right tone for this letter. If you don’t include God in your discussions with others, then these discussions can easily go different than they should!

No other gospel

The problems of the churches in Galatia become clear directly in this first verse. The reason for Paul to sent this letter to the churches of Galatia is apparently that these churches have allowed people to pervert these churches by teaching another Gospel. Be aware that we attacks on our faith will not only come from the world, that will offer us a wide range of other belief systems. No, we also have to be close to God, very educated by the Bible and also on your guard, when we are in church and / or with other Christians. Even Christians can decide for whatever reason to change the gospel of God and change it to their own advantage. In current times we see this with the prosperity churches from the likes of Joel Osteen, Jesse Duplantis and others. They use the Bible as the basis for their teachings, but they have altered it in a very deliberate and cunny way, with the only reason being their own personal gain. When in church or listening to a preacher, make sure that you can always see that the word spoken is actually according to God’s word. If not, then you must leave that church.

Paul called by God

Paul informs the churches of Galatia that his teachings are not inspired by any human being, but only by God. And that is the way it always needs to be! He decides to not hide the fact that in his past he followed the religion of Judaism. But that he left that belief system, when he was saved by God! We all have a past and we should not have to hide it. I believe it even shows more how powerful God. Paul was a very fanatic opponent of Christians, but now he is preaching as a Christian. This shows that we all have things in our past that are not according to God’s will, but that God can even win the heart of the most fanatic enemies of Christ. If you have someone in your surrounding that is very much against God, don’t think that praying will not do any good. On the contrary, pray for that person all the time. If God changed Paul, then He will be able to change anyone!

Also being honest about your past on forehand is always better, than hiding it. Why should you? Did you not accept Christ and were all your sins from the past forgiven? Yes, they were! Also, if you hide it, then you always have to live with a certain fear that people will find out about your past, which can damage any work you will do for God in the future. So be open and know that those sins have been forgiven, but being open about them will show others that for God nothing is impossible!

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 13

Dear brothers and sisters in faith,

Today we continue our Bible study on the book of 2 Corinthians. Today we will be meditating on chapter 13. In this chapter we will discuss the following topics:

  • Final warnings
  • Final greetings

Final warnings

We see now that things are not going well in the church of Corinthe. That we are part of a church does in no way mean that we are free from sin. If we continue reading the letters to Corinthians, then we see that the sinning actually became worse over time. In this chapter Paul informs the church that he will visit them again. Apparently the sinning was so horrible, that they even came to a point that they were even defending it by acting like they were not sinning. It even came to the point that Paul was talking about having people present as witnesses. As Christians we need to be aware that we are living in a sinful world and therefore we could fall into sin. The closer we are to God the better we will be able to stay away from sin. But if we do sin, then we need to also be close to God. Because if we are, then we will be more aware of our sin and also more willing to not cover the sin, but to get rid of it.

Paul tells us something important: we need to test our faith every moment. By doing so we will also be aware of any sin, and also will be more willing to stop that sin.

Final greetings

He shows also something very important. Yes, we need to confront each other about our sins and help each other to move away from sin. But we are also brothers and sisters and we also need to encourage each other at the same time. If you only are very harsh and tell somebody about his / her sin, without any positivity then you can actually make it much worse for that brothers or sister.

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 11

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we are discussing 2 Corinthians 11 we will be talking about:

  • Paul and the false apostles
  • Paul boasts about his sufferings

Paul and the false apostles

In this chapter, Paul talks about the risk of being deceived in our faith. We need the Holy Spirit in everything we do, because it is very easy for us to be deceived or led astray if we think that we can do it all by ourself.

Paul uses the story on how Eve was deceived by the devil as an example of being deceived, and uses this example to make us aware of this risk in our lifes. Paul is very direct and tells us that if someone comes deceiving us with a different Jesus, or another spirit or another gospel, then too many times we will fall in that trap. That is why we need the Holy Spirit continiously, because this is a fight that we cannot win by ourselves. Also, this teaching of Paul shows how important it is for us to test everything in our lifes if it is in line with the Bible.

All of this, Paul tells for a reason: to protect ourselves from false prophets. You have to be aware and accept that in this world, that there will be enough that will use our faith to deceive others for their own gain. That someone tells you that he or she is man/woman of God, then you should not automatically believe them. The Holy Spirit will let you know if someone is to be trusted. But additionally, test all that he or she says.

Paul boasts about his sufferings

The title of this chapter may sound weird, but Paul immediately explains himself. The boasting he is doing, is not the sinful boasting that is in the world. Worldly boasting is always a sin, because it is to lift us higher than we ought to! Boasting in the worldly way is to put our achievements as if they were our own, if God wasn’t responsible for it.

The “boasting” of Paul is to show that he has gone to so many trials and that in itself is not to be envied. But he went through them, because he wanted to serve the Lord. He doesn’t boast to make him the best sufferer. No, I believe that he does it to show that even him was not free from trials. That brings me to the boasting, I have unfortunately seen so many times in our churches. Pastors telling what they have done for God and how they had the most intense fasting (for example). If a person tells you how good he or she is as a Christian, then you should not even indulge that kind of boasting, because no person is perfect. Also, how are you a good man or woman of God if you use the pulpit to boast about yourself? Are you not ordained as pastor to serve His children and not yourself?

Everytime I see a pastor boasting on how amazing he is and how amazing he fasts, then I always get this feeling that it is wrong. Why? Taking the example of fasting, doesn’t it say in the Bible, that nobody should be able to see our fasting? And if you are telling us how extreme your fasting was, are you not seeking approval from other humans, instead of doing it to honor God?

Don’t allow yourself to boast about anything, especially anything of which you claim you do it for God!

Bible Study – 2 Corinthians 10

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to read from and meditate on the 10th chapter of 2 Corinthians (NIV):

In this Bible study we will go through the following subjects:

  • Paul’s defense of his ministry

Paul’s defense of his ministry

From every person in the Bible, Paul is by far my favorite, because of the way that he has served God and by the way he teaches us on faith, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. But I also love his personality. He starts this chapter by telling something personal about himself: he confesses that he is timid when he is around the people he talks with, but bold when away. I can really relate to this. And I very much appreciate that he tells himself about himself. To me that doesn’t show his weakness, but his strength. We shouldn’t be afraid to be open about the personality trades that we have.

There is also another reason that he confesses to not be so bold when around someone, because he wants to tell us that we, as Christians, should not do things according to the world (we live conform God’s standards and not those of the world!). When we “fight”, we don’t do it with the same weapons as with the world. The world will use violence, but we will use love, prayer and faith. And you know: because we follow God, then we will always be victorious!

In verse 4 Paul says something very important: we have the divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to God. When I read those last word, then I am always drawn to think about the book ‘Battlefield of the mind’ by Joyce Meyer. The first place where the devil wants to wage war, is very close to us: our mind. And although it is very easy to allow ourself to be drawn into worry, fear and all those kind of thoughts, know that Paul just reminded us that we have the divine power to make every thought obedient to God. So, we have the power to win every battle of the mind.

Paul continious to warn us from another important point: when we are aware of this divine power, we should not boast about it. Because boasting about ourself is the next thing that can too easily happen in our mind. We should always be aware that all we reach in life is because of God and not because of ourselves.

And I love how Paul ends this chapter. When you really feel to you need to boast, then boast about God and His power. Because He deserves all our praise and worship.

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 9

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we continue the bible study of the book of 2 Corinthians in chapter 9 in which we will discuss:

  • Introduction
  • Generosity encouraged

Introduction

In the introduction part of this chapter, we see a very important point of our Christianity. When you feel that the Holy Spirit has called you to either teach other people (or ask them to do something) or to inform them they are sinning and it needs to stop, that is very important to start that conversation with the good things that they are already do. If you start to talk only negative, then you can loose the person immediately. Also, if you are only condeming and negative, how are you being a good Christian. Did you ever read about Jesus only condeming people and saying nothing positive?

In this part Paul starts by telling the church of Corinthe on how good they are already in their faith. If I would receive a letter starting with the things I am already doing good, then I would be more inclined to continue reading and even listen to the part in which I am either asked to do something extra or to listen to what the person thinks I am doing wrong.

Next Paul tells them of his upcoming visit and that he will not be alone, but will be probably be accompanied by a part of the church of Macedonia. This part to me shows that we need to inform each other, and be fully open, about things we have planned. Imagine, that he would not have informed them and some time later he would come their with his Macedonian friends collecting the gifts. This could feel to the church of Corinthe as if they are being forced or tricked into giving that money. And we need to assure that the other person does someting (or changes something) with a willing heart. So never, just suprise a brother of sisters, but inform them you are coming and also on which subject you wish to speak or what your expectations are.

Generosity encouraged

We now continue to another important lesson in our faith. When we pray, the chance is big that we are praying for certain blessings. If you wish to receive big blessings from God, then you need to be aware that you are also told by God to be generous as well. If your heart is unwilling to be generous (and this does not have to be with money alone) to other people, then we should not expect from God to be generous in His blessings as well.

In the very sinful world that we are living, it is made normal that we can be thinking of only ourselves. However, this is not how God has raised us!

I believe that the way God brings blessings in our lives is by activating all of us to be generous to each other. You could bring the point that it then must not be God that has blessed you but another human being. Wrong! Is it not God that touched his or her heart to help you out?

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 7

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to meditate with you on our Bible study of the book 2 Corinthians 7 (NIV):

In this chapter we will discuss the following:

  • Paul’s joy over the church’s repentance

The opening of this letter/chapter begins with something allo fus need to follow: “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from anything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence of God.”

The opening of this chapter shows us that we need to be different than from the world. Before we God we need to make sure that we are pure and for this reason we need to examine our lives and determinewhich things contaminate our body and spirit. On my site I have written a few blogs regarding music and the satanic influence in them. This is a very good example what we need to do to purify our bodies. If we determine that for example a certain music (genre) has bad influences, then we need to stop listening it. If we have a nice statue, but after some research you find out that this is actually a ‘god’ in another culture or religion, get rid of it. But even we need to check our way of talking, do we gossip and all those kinds of well need to be part of this purification process.

Paul’s joy over the church repentance

Paul’s letter to the chruch of Corinhians was because there was a problem there in God’s eye. This letter was sent to them to let them know that 1) it was not to hurt them, and to let them know the good things that they have done. And that is very good and important that they have repented those sins. It was noted by God that they had deep sorrow. If you truly want to be forgiven by God for a certain sin, then asking forgiveness will not suffice if it is not supported by sorrow in our heart. Actually asking forgiveness from God, while you don’t even feel sorrow in your heart, then it is (to me) an insult to God. Do you really have the arrogance to think that God can’t see what is actually in your heart?

That is good and important that we also uplift each other, becomes evident in this chapter. Paul’s shares his great joy for their sorrow and repentance. I also believe it is very important not be only busy by condeming each other or confronting each others with our sins, but that we also take great care that we also motivate the other when you see the progress in succesfully stopping a sin. Just saying that someone has sinned is not enough as Christians. Don’t judge the person for sinning, but without any condemnation and help the person to succesfully stay away from that sin and congratulate/motivate the other, when he or she is making progress.

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 6

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we will be meditating on the words from 2 Corinthians 6 (NIV). In this chapter we will be talking on the following subjects:

  • Paul’s hardships
  • Warning against idolatry

Never take God’s grace to lightly. It is not something we are entitled to, but that God decides out of His love to give us that grace.

Paul’s hardships

As a Christian we should not lay any stumbling blocks in anybody’s way. If we would do so, then it would reflect bad on ourselves and also on Christians as a whole. Why would you discredit yourself in such a way (or all Christians for that matter)?

As Christians we should commend our selves in every way: in great endurance, in troubles, hardships and distressses, in beatings, imprisonments and riots, in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger, in purity, understanding, patience and kindness, in the Holy Spirit and sincere love.

See how as Christians we have to understand that we also have to learn to act in a positive way even in the toughest of moments. This chapter shows us that even Paul had to endure hardships because He was serving God and was still expected to behave in a good way. As Christians we must understand that hardships will be part of life and that a time of hardships we still have to behave as Children of God.

Warning against idolatry

We should never allow ourselves to be to connected with unbelievers. As a Christian we need to follow God and as such it should be evident that in a lot of subjects we will oppose the opinions and rules of this world. We should not allow ourselves to connect with people serving other Gods. Because how can you serve God and also be together with people that serve other gods (of course God is the only God).

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 5

Dear brothers and sisters,

In our Bible study on 2 Corinthians we will now meditate on chapter 5. In this chapter we will discuss on the following topics:

  • Awaiting the new body
  • The ministry of reconciliation

Awaiting the new body

Paul start this chapter by reminding us on the temporary state of this world and our own bodies. We should never get to attached to either of them. Because there will come a time that your time on earth (or even the time of this world) is over. Do you really want to focus on this body and world and run the risk not entering heaven?

Again we are ask to focus on the fact that we should not focus on what we can see, but on what we cannot see. Because the part which we cannot see is actually where God is at work. And the part that we can see is actually quite deceiving. What seems to be reality in this world, will often be prove to be nothing. God can change anything He desires. Do you not know of the stories were a rich person thinks he is on top of the world, to find him a while later in poverty? Or the otherway around.

We need to focus our time on earth to pleasure God, because wether you like it or not (or if you want to believe it or not) we all will have to come before His throne and undergo His judgment. And at that moment you wil wish that you did your best to pleasure Him and serve Him.

The ministry of reconciliation

This deals with all that changed when Jesus died at the cross for our sins. Because all this is from God, who reconciled Himself through Christ not counting people’s sins against them. And He has commited to us the message of reconciliation. This should make you happy as it shows that God does not condone sin, but after Jesus dying on the cross, we can now come to God through faith and when we ask forgiveness with a repentant heart, then we shall receive it.

Bible Study – 2 Corinthians 4

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I will do a Bible Study with you on the book of Corinthians – Chapter 4 (NIV):

The subjects of this chapter are:

  • Present weakness and ressurection life

Present weakness and resurrecction life

Paul begins to let us be aware that all that we have to thank God for all that we have and do not have the misinformed thought that what we have in life is by our own acts. Paul also gives God the honor of the Ministry that he was having at that moment. Let us also always give God the praise and honor for providing all that He has provided in our lifes.

God expects us to be truthful also to ensure not that we are saved ourselves, but also that we do not sent a bad signal about Christians, the gospel and God Himself. We have an obligation to share the gospel, but know that God has put a veil on the gospel to certain unbelievers. I believe these are the unbelievers to whom God has done more then enough to let them know the gospel and they rejected it. This shows that we cannot simply reject God. He is more than willing to accept us with open arms, but if we are shared the gospel and still we decide to reject him over and over, then He will close our eyes and minds for the gospel.

But we read the beautiful part where God tells about the light in the darkness in our hearts. Why the darkness in our hearts? Are we not Christians? Yes, we are. But we are also born in a sinful world and as such our heart in nature is dark and we need God to bring light.

God continues this chapter by building us to be strong Christians by confirming that we are pressed from so many sides to the point of persecution. And especially that He will never abondon us! I really read and feel the love of God for us. I don’t even feel remotely worthy of His love, but still He loves me so much! This alone is so much reason for trying my best to life according to His will!

God is continiously at work in our body. Why? Because evil is also continiously working in our body and as I stated above, God never abondons us and never let us go through a trial alone!

The next part of which Paul speaks is the saying: “I believed, therefore I have spoken”. Since we have the same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one that raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you Himself.

He states that all that we are going through is actually for our benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we should never lose heart (e.g. be afraid). Paul continues to say that outwardly we are waisting away (our body is but temporarily), but inwardly we are being renewed every day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we need to focus on what is not seen instead of what is seen, since what is seen is only temporary, but what is seen is eternal.

This is a very powerful chapter of 2 Corinthians which to me deals with the importance of God in our lives especially in times of trials and tribulations. Always look to God and never to your current situation. It is temporary and God is eternal!

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 3

Dear brothers and sisters,

Welcome to the 3rd part of the Bible study on 2 Corinthians (NIV). In chapter 3 we will read and meditate on:

  • Introduction
  • The greater glory of the New Covenant

Introduction

Paul starts this chapter by teaching us on ourselves. We should never boast on ourselves or think that all that we have achieved, is actually achieved by us. What is more important is that we willingly or unwillingly are a representation of God. This in it self brings a lot of responsibility, because are you certain that you are giving a good image on Christians in general based on your actions? We need the Holy Spirit in our lifes and we need to follow Him. And the more we do so, the more this will positively reflect on us and on Christians in general. But also, it can be (sometimes) the difference for other people to accept Jesus in their lifes or not. I wouldn’t want my actions to be the result that other people get a wrong image of Christians and decide not to follow Jesus. I pray for myself and all of us that God forgives all those moments that I or we gave a wrong image to others.

Also we should never think that we are the reason of our successes. It is through the blessings of God that we have achieved that which we have achieved.

The greater glory of the New Covenants

With the Holy Spirit came the New Covenant, which is so mucmore glorious than the Old Covenant, which was based on death. If we realize that the Ministry that brought condemenation was already glorious, just try to imagine how much more powerful and more glorious the New covenant is. Know that the New Covenant through the Spirit is made possible through Jesus has brought freedom!

IN the above it becomes very evident that the Old Covenant through Moses still exists and we need to uphold it, but that we now also through Jesus have the New Covenant