Tag Archives: Paul

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 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 2

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 2

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we will continue the Bible study on the book of 2 Corinthians. In this blog post we will go throught chapter 2. In this chapter we see the following stories:

  • Introduction
  • Forgiveness for the offender
  • Ministers of the new covenant

Introduction

Paul starts this chapter by telling the church of Corinthians, that there is an important reason for his letter. Although it might seem very strict and harsh, it is not meant to to them harm, but because he loves his brothers and sisters that they take it to heart and are not lost. We need to know that not everything that we will be learned will always be nice to hear, but with God it will always be out of love for us and to save us!

Forgiveness for the offender

This might be sometimes very difficult to do. If someone really hurt or mistreated you, then forgiving that person might be last thing on your mind. However, exactly that is what God asks of you. If you forgive someone else, then God will also forgive you. If you are unwilling to forgive someone, that the one that you will hurt the most is yourself! Also ask the Holy Spirit to also even comfort that person. Know that if you are unwilling to forgive, than you actually let the devil unfolds his scheme to destroy your life.

Ministers of the new Covenant

I believe this part of Chapter 2 is actually something that is very relevant today as we see so many times that some visiting pastors seem more interested in getting your money and not so much bringing the word.

Paul takes His time to thank God, by saying that He leads us captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and that He uses us to spread the aroma of knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other an aroma that brings life.

The aformentioned means that God asks of us that we spread His word, but that not everyone will accept it. Don’t get frustrated about this, because God only wants us to spread His word. Touching someones heart is for God to do.

He ends this chapter by saying that we should not peddle the word of God for profit. To me this means that you should never work for God, for the sole purpose of getting money. Make sure that you are serving God for the right reason. Also (on a personal note) never let any visiting pastor force you into giving Him money, because he/she is using tactics of forcing you. If you give, it should be with a giving heart!

Bible study – 2 Corinthians 1

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Bible study – 2 Corinthians 1

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today we start with the Bible study on a new Bible book: 2 Corinthians

In the first chapter we will be reading and talking about:

  • Introduction
  • Praise to the God of all comfort
  • Paul’s change of plans

Introduction

This Bible book was written by the Apostle Paul, who is travelling together with Timothy. And the letter is written to the church in Corinthe. Paul begins this letter by giving grace and peace to the church of Corinthe from God and Jesus. To me this shows how important it is to start talking with other Christians by first blessing them. In this world it might be easy to forget, but it is actually very important and powerful. I truly believe that one of the way that God blesses us, is actually through each other. If you are not willing to be a blessing to others, how can you expect that God will sent others on your way to also bless you?

Praise to the God of all comfort

Paul starts by giving praise to God Jesus, stating that He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort! Do you actually start your day by giving God the praise that He so richly deserves? If you do, than I am very proud of you! If not, than you should really rethink on what your faith actually means to you. If you are unable to start a day without giving God praise and asking Him for guiding you that day, are you really having faith? We should avoid being so busy in our lives, that we stop placing God on the absolute first place in our lives. I also ask God forgiveness for all days that I did not take the time to first come before His throne and thank Him for everything! As you might be able to read “between the lines” I am certainly not perfect and on this specific subject I also fall short to many times. But there is where I am also very blessed that we serve a forgiving God!

Paul continues by stating that it is God that actually comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can also comfort others in their troubles. The first that I get from this is, that we should always go to God, when we are in a troublesome situation and not look for help from others. But maybe you now think that I am actually contradicting myself. Actually I am not, because, yes, God uses us all to comfort each other. But is it us that does the comforting? No, God uses the Holy Spirit through us tot do that. So never give yourself any credit when you have comforted someone!

But why is it that God can help us with all our troubles? Well, simply because Jesus and He have experienced all troubles themselves! So, if someone knows how it feels to endure troubles, than it is Jesus! So, He is the perfect person to go to!

One way that God allows troubles in our lives is to help us to build endurance. Endurance to me is truly a gift from God. Why? Because if you read and fully grasp Revelations than you will know what times are coming. Times in which you will be persecuted just because you decided to follow God! Imagine if God did not allow any troubles to exist in your life. How would you be able to withstand with all that, if God never trained you to withstand it? Even in your times of trouble it is very important that you see and know that God is always with you, but also that He is actually teaching you skills that you need later on in your life!

In this part of chapter 1, Paul tells about the great distress and troubles that he is going through in the province of Asia. This is to show that he also is not without any suffering, but that he is trusting on God in those times. Another reason that Paul is telling us this is also because through our own experiences we can strengthen each other. Because if you are honest, to whom would you listen? Someone that has experienced troubles him- or herself or someone that is telling it out of the comfort of his or her easy life? Personally, I would listen to someone that also has gone through suffering and can testify how God actually guided him or her through it!

Another very important thing that Paul states is that he does not want us to be uninformed. And I agree with this! Imagine that you know that you are going through (or have gone through) great troubles and that God guided you through it, but that you keep silent and that you leave an opportunity to strengthen someone else that might be going through a troublesome situation him-/herself and was very much in need of comforting!

Paul’s change of plans

In this part of the 1st chapter Paul starts by stating these very strong words:

Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.

When I just read these words I felt so much power come from it. Why? Because he points out that we are indeed living in this world, but that we, as Christians, can and need to testifify with integrity and godly sincerity! And more important that we more and more act on God’s grace and not on worldly wisdom. Because worldly wisdom is nothing. We really have a misguided notion that our own (worldly) wisdom is something special. It is not, because unlike God we base our “wisdom” on our limited understanding. While God bases his wisdom on His full and complete understanding!

I end this Bible study of the first chapter of 2 Corinthians with praying that God makes us stand firm in in any and all situations that we are going through, or that we might go through in the future. Never despair, but trust on the fact that God is with you and will guide you not only through it, but also makes you stronger through it!

Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 16

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Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 16

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 16th chapter on the book of 1 Corinthians, we will discuss the following subjects:

  • The collection of the Lord’s people
  • Personal requests
  • Final greetings

The collection of the Lord’s people

This first part of the chapter is about our offering. No matter how much money you make, God wants us to set a part of our income apart for Him. Does He need money? Not at all, but by these offerings we can help our brothers and sisters that need help and by it God blesses those people. Also, it shows obedience. If you are willing to save a part of your income for God, than you show that God is more important than money for you!

Personal requests

Paul continues to tell the church of Corinthians how they have to help and others that come in the name of God. Why is he telling this? Because God wants us to be there for one another and help each other.

But don’t do it just because you feel obliged, but do it out of love! And also trust on God to be on your guard, to stand firm in faith, to be courageous and to be strong. This also shows that in this world, taking care of other Christians can be met with aggresion of other that don’t want us Christians to be there for each other. Know that in everything you need God even when it comes to looking out for each other!

Final greetings

It is important to always greet other Christians and strengthen them as they will also strengthen you!

 

Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 14

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Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 14

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 13th chapter on the book of 1 Corinthians, we will discuss the following subjects:

  • Intelligibility in worship
  • Good order in worship

Intelligibility in worship

Again we see the importance of love in our Christian faith. If you believe that love is not important, than in this chapter we again see that it vital to have. When we continue to read this chapter, than Paul also states that we need to eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit. Therefore, if you say that you want to receive gifts of the Spirits, than it requires more than just wanting it. It needs to be the biggest desire in your heart. I believe this is the basis of your faith. When you say that you believe in God, than this in it itself will not be enough, you need to eagerly desire to follow God!

Paul mentions the gift of prophecy, which leads me to believe that God gives special emphasis to this particular gift of the Spirit. Why is this gift so important? Because I believe this gift is the way that God is able to lead and guide us via the Holy Spirit. When we continue to read we see indeed that there is more significance to the gift of prophecy. When we speak in tongues, there is a reason that we normally cannot understand the language of speaking in tongues, because speaking in tongues is for talking with God and not with another person. We are never on the same level as God and as such God speaks a language unknown to us. It also shows, that again when it comes to your faith, God expects you to more than just call yourself a Christian. You really have to put in an effort, when you become a Christian.

When you receive the gift of prophecy, then it is to strengthen, to encourage and to comfort others. This also shows a difference between fortune tellers (which is a satanic activity as it is not from God and will never be done for the aformentioned reasons.

Paul continues and now on the gift of speaking in tongues. When you indeed receive the gift of speaking in tongues, then we also need to pray that we will be made able to also interpret what we are speaking in tongues. Our Christian faith needs to be an active faith, as God so many times tells us in the Bible. Just speaking in tongues, would be a “nice” trick, but will be fruitless if you are unable to interpret it.

Good order in worship

God is the God of love and not disorder, for this we need to have order in our church services. Not just anyone should start talking in tongues, if they cannot interpret it. In that situation, you need to go before God by yourself and ask for the interpretation of that which you are speaking in tongues. God wants to hav prophecies in church, but also in an orderly way.

I believe it is important for the leaders of your church to make sure that there are rules on when and how speaking and tongues and prophecies are included in the church services. If they forbid it at all, then you should know that you are not in the right church. A church should never forbid to let the gifts of the Spirit to be used. Doesn’t your church believe in the Spirit of healing, than you are in the wrong church. However, it is important that there are specified times when prophecies can be given, when you worship. So to summarise, your church needs to allow the gifts of the Spirit to be part of your church services, however it should happen in an orderly way. Do you think that God just does thing disorderly? No, all that God does, He has thought of it very specific and all happens in an orderly way. That blessing that you received just recently, did you think that God just thaught of it just on that moment and decided. No, He already knew that you would receive that particular blessing even before you were born!

 

Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

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Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 12th chapter on the book of 1 Corinthians, we will discuss the following subjects:

  • Concerning spiritual gifts
  • Unity and diversity in the body

Concerning spiritual gifts

Paul starts this chapter be telling us that he does not want us to be uninformed about the gifts of the Spirit. This is a very significant statement by Paul, as it should show you that we have an obligation to ourself to continiously grow in our faith and as Christians. For this we need to know how to do this. And luckily God has given us a way by studying the Bible.

The first thing we need to be aware of that God has given us spiritual gifts via the Spirit. There is therefore NO gift where the Holy Spirit is not present. If you feel and/or know that you have a gift, but you don’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, than know that that “gift” is not from God! Paul continous to say that there are different kind of gifts, but that they are ALL distributed by the Holy Spirit. And that their are different kind of workings, but in all of them  and in everyone it is the same God at work!

It is important to realize which gifts are from God, because if you have a “gift” that doesn’t fall under them, then you need to be delivered directly.

The spiritual gifts are:

  • Gift of wisdom
  • Gift of knowledge
  • Gift of faith
  • Gift of healing
  • Gift of miraculous powers
  • Gift of prophecy
  • Gift of distinguishing between spirits
  • Gift of speaking in tongues
  • Gift of interpretation of tongues

Know that all of these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines. This last sentence is important, because it is God that determines which gift(s) are for you!

Unity and diversity in the body

We as followers of Christ are often compared with a body. Why? Because although we are one, we consist of many parts. We as Christians are one, but yet we are all different. When it comes to our faith and the body we are in faith, we need to realize that we are baptized by the same Spirit, to ensure that we form one body. And we were also given the same Spirit to drink.

When it comes to the body of Christ (we as His followers) know that God has put us together as part of this body and that He knows exactly in which part of the body you are and need to be. Don’t question God, but ask God to show you what part you serve in His body and ask Him to let the Holy Spirit guide you. Know that even the least important part of the body in our eyes is invaluable in God eyes. For this reason God needs there to be no division and only unity in the body. Because if one of us suffer, than all of us should feel that and work on it to take away that suffering. This is a call to us to never be passive, especially when you see that a fellow Christians needs help.

Furthermore, I believe that God also gives us certain gifts, taking into account that others around you will receive other gifts, so that together all of us can serve God as a unified body!

Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 5

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Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 5

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 5thchapter on the book of Romans, we will discuss the following subjects:

  • Dealing with a case of incest

Dealing with a case of incest

To me this is a very shocking chapter, and as we can read for Paul this was exactly the same. But as we can read in Corinthians people actually were in the sin of incest, but were also proud of it! But we should not think that this only happened in those times, or in places far away. No, it could even be happening in the street where you life. The world has become so wicked that even incest is not even a no-go for some people.

Considering Paul immediately took this as an prayer point to lay before the Holy Spirit, we should also do this. And especially, when we know exactly wo is doing this (or even any other sin for that matter). Than we need to pray specifically that all sexual sins are broken out of our lifes and will never have any ground in our lifes, but also that incest and any kind of sin , will ever be part of our lifes or worse: be accepted as normal.

Also something that I consider a very important part of this chapter is that fact that Paul tells us (and I believe through the Holy Spirit) that should not associate us with sexually immoral people. Paul however is mentioning our Christian brothers and sisters, specifically, because they should (and us neither) not be sexually immoral, greedy, an idolater and swindler.

God, I pray to you that you really help us not to be in any kind of those sins. And if someone is, please help them to move away from it and follow you and ask forgiveness!

Amen!

Bible study on Romans – Chapter 9

Bible study on Romans

Bible study on Romans – Chapter 9

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 9th chapter on the book of Romans we will go through the following:

  • Paul’s anguish over Israel
  • God’s sovereign choice
  • Israel’s unbelief

Paul’s anguish over Israel

Paul starts this chapter by confirming that the nation of Israel, was not just a nation. No, there are in fact that lineage from which Jesus would eventually come. Paul knew the importance of this nation and the love he had for this nation, that he was even willing to die for its sins to ensure that this nation would not perish. To me this shows it is possible for a person to really dedicate his or her life for God and faith.

God’s sovereign choice

In this part it is made clear that sonship as a child from Israel  and God is not determined based on the your heritage, but based on your faith in God. Furthemore, this part of the chapter deals with God. We should not think that we are on the same level of God, because we are defintely not! I do believe we can talk with God and talk with about things we don’t understand, but we cannot talk to God and talk to Him and put His works into doubt. He is our potter and it is up to Him what He does. But if you really believe in God and love Him, than you will know that all He will do in your life is to bless you and make it better. I think that God will even use moments of hardships to better your life and to help you grow.

Israel’s unbelief

Paul talks about the unbelief of Israel. A lot of children of Israel did not enter heaven, because they depended on their works and not on their faith to come into Heaven. Don’t think that calling yourself a Christian and depending on your works will make you able to go to Heaven. No, only by your faith in God you can enter Heaven. This means that we need to change our way of thinking: God is the center of our world and not we ourselves.

 

Bible study on Romans – Chapter 6

Bible study on Romans

Bible study on Romans – Chapter 6

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 6th chapter on the book of Romans we will go through the following parts:

  • Dead to sin, alive in Christ
  • Slaves to righteousness

Dead to sin, alive in Christ

When you are baptized, than you have died to sin. That God will forgive us for our sins, does not mean that we have a “wild card” to sin, whenever we want. If we do sin, than it is an insult to God if we decide to sin again. Know that your baptism is very important and should never be taken lightly. From the moment you were baptized, you have been set free from sin, so do your best to life without sin!

I love God very much and I thank Him, that He freed us from sin and that sin is no longer our master!

Slaves to righteousness

Paul continues onthe subject of sin. He asks us, if we can continue to sin, because we are no longer under the law, but under grace? He is very clear on this subject: NO!

What happens when you sin? Then you choose to let sin be your master again. And the master called sin will lead to one thing: dead!

But now Paul lets us know that we should not be in despair, because through God we became slaves to righteousness! As long as you are a slave to sin, then the only benefit will be death! But from the moment that you become a slave to righteousness, then you will be reaping the benefit which lead to holiness and the result of that will be eternal life!