Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Week 1: Day 5 and 6

Day 5: Philemon (Letters), Luke 15 (Gospels)


- Written around the same time as Colossians

- Paul: author of the letter
- Philemon: recipient. Christian living in Colosse or nearby and the owner
of the slave Onesimus.
- Onesimus: Slave stolen from Philemon and then run away. Met Paul and
became a Christian. Now willing to return to his master.

vv. 1-3: INTRODUCTION. Written to the church but very personally to Philemon.
vv. 4-7: Paul is praising Philemon and thanking him for all of his faith and love for the saints.
vv. 8-16: Paul is letting Philemon know Onesimus is on his way home, but Philemon should not punish him but embrace his as the brother in Christ that he now is.
vv. 17-20: I love this. vv. 17-18 sound like something Christ would say on OUR behalf. Paul is being Christ for Onesimus - his redeemer and savior almost. Talk about being Christ like. v.19 just proves how serious Paul is in these verses.
V. 20: The Greek word for "benefit" is another play on the name Onesimus...I thought that was really interesting.
vv. 21, 22: Paul plays on his friendship and brotherhood with Philemon. Paul plans on visiting Philemon when and if he can.

Luke 15

Luke was a doctor who wrote with the carefulness of a historian who takes us consecutively through the days of Christ. In this Gospel we see OT fulfillment that is not shown in any other Gospel record.

*DISCIPLE is a key word throughout the book of John.
- Pharisees and Saducees were angry b/c Jesus was not only talking with the tax collectors and sinners but EATING with them as well. Eating with a person indicated acceptance and recognition. I don't believe Christ was ACCEPTING their sin, but he was definitely recognizing their life and their value to the kingdom of God.
- Parables are earthly stories with heavenly meanings.
- Prodigal Son. WOW! I love this parable and always related myself to the younger son. However, re-reading this made me realize in my selfishness that I am the older brother. I have been a Christian for almost 20 years and have often been jealous of the zeal that new believers have and instead of trying to jump on board with them and grab some of that zeal, I pray, "Oh God, help me be like them." Without ever TRYING to be like them. I never think to praise Him for keeping me in his grip my whole life. The father PLEADED with the older son when he just deserved a good old "quite your whining!" The father loved both of his sons. All that was his now belonged to both of them.

Day 6: The Bible Teaching and Marks of Discipleship

John 20:31 "but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing you have life in His name."

Why am I participating in Disciple? I want to delve deeper into Scripture and develop a better routine for my personal study.

Why am I planning to study the Bible with intensity, faithfulness, and serious inquiry? It is my duty as a Christian, but more importantly my right to know what God says. I believe as American Christians we take our freedoms and thus our Bibles for granted. We're getting closer and closer to losing these rights so I want to hide His words in my heart so that I can continue to find solace and support from my Lord.

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