The Letters of Paul (Part 2)

Jesus Christ is head of the Church.

This lesson is a survey of seven of the 13 letters by Paul in the New Testament: Colossians, Ephesians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, and Titus. The first two parts of the lesson are doctrinal in nature, emphasizing the relation of Christ to the church and the coming again of Christ. The last part of the lesson examines the requirements for, and the responsibilities of, Christlike living and ministry in the church. The doctrine of Christ and the church is central to all we believe and practice as Christians, the coming again of Christ is our great hope, and Christlike living and Ministry are essential until Christ comes again.


A. Christ Is Head of the Church

Colossians 1:15 (Speaking of Christ) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

…….God thought about His creation in such a way that He was willing to give to us an exact representation of Himself. If you want to know who and how God is, get to know His son. Though we can’t see Him now, He has never restricted Himself from us.

1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

…….Other than all of the “things” that God has created, our understanding must be on the fact that “we” were created by and for Him! What a thought that we exist because He desired us to exist!

1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

…….No one at all has ever been in a position of power or authority without the allowance of God. Therefore we should be without worry.

1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (first in rank, best, chief).

…….It is imperative to understand Christ’s position as head (leader) of His church. Christ is the absolute! We must never downplay or become lax in the understanding of His position! There is power simply in His name. [side note] at the same time, we must recognize how effective our representation of the church actually is. If we are a representation of the church, we are a representation of the head which is Christ.

1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

…….Because Christ’s image was so amazing, God knowing that His plan would perfect relationships throughout eternity, He was pleased to share and partnership His power and authority with Him.

1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile (restore relations) all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

…….He died for us! He brought peace back in between carnality and righteousness so that all carnality could become Holy unto God! What a thought, He thought we were worth saving!

B. The Household of God

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

…….Because of Jesus Christ, no matter what culture, ethnic group, family name, prosperity or lack there of you are from, you are of “the household of God”!

Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

…….Question: How has your foundation settled? Is your religious foundation simply a religious foundation, or are you built on Christ, the saving power that changed your very desires and passions. When we realize Christ as our foundation, we realize the ground we use to stand on. When we take that thought into how we treat others, we have compassion on every person in all walks of life knowing that I’m not standing where I am in Christ because of anything I have accomplished, but because Jesus Christ Himself is my cornerstone, foundation and absolute strength!

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

…….In order for Christ to be our cornerstone we must comply with His building standards.

Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

…….Though some have come later than others, and many have been apart of Christ’s building for years, it is all a work together and all dependency is equal! When one member is weak, the whole building is affected. Everyone has a job to do in the ministry of the church! Even in your weakest moments, be an uplifter.

Eph 4:11  And [he gave some], apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

…….Do you see that? Who gave? He gave!

Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

…….The Lord made an investment that would continue to invest into himself.

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (complete) man, unto the measure (full portion) of the stature (image) of the fulness (filled up) of Christ:

…….Could you imagine the church that has come to the point of being completely full of the image of Christ?! In this church there are no limitations or heights too great, no barriers that can’t be overcome and no ministries that can’t come into fruition. This must be the pursuit of every church member!

Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

…….An adult can look at a struggling child and nearly laugh at its struggles, that’s why the Apostle said “be no more children”. But if we never graduate from childlike faith, we will continue to struggle with the childish battles. That doesn’t mean the mature Christian will not go through trials. The testimony can never be spoken without the “test”. The test wasn’t allowed to target you for destruction, but to simply give you experience and make you stronger! When you are in a battle always remember that victory has already been promised! We must come to the point that we know, that we know, that we know that God is greater than every storm, every lie, and every trick and deception of the enemy!

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

……This is the perfect explanation of unity. Any fleshly body that has an impairment of some sort is considered handicapped. It is not the Lords will for the church to be deemed handicapped. Just as the fleshly body was created to heal itself, Christ has created and put ministries in order for the church to heal itself with the power of His Spirit. Rom 15:1  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.


A. When Christ Comes Again

1Th 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant (unlearned), brethren, concerning them which are asleep (passed from this life), that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

…….It is natural to mourn for the deceased, but it can be dangerous for our spiritual focus if we don’t turn over those feelings of sorrow to the Lord. When a Christian passes we can rejoice knowing that his/her life is eternally with the Lord.

1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

…….What a thought, that every child of God has the opportunity to meat again!

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

…….It is a comforting thought to know that this earth and its tribulations is the worst it gets! Jesus is coming, but whether we pass before He comes, or if we see the rapture we will forever be with the Lord!

B. Until Christ Comes Again

2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2Th 2:2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

…….Paul is encouraging his readers once again to stay strong in the midst of battle! Remember this, the worse it gets here on earth, the closer His appearing will be!

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

…….Though it may be wrong to try and predict the coming of the Lord, this is a sure sign that His coming is near. This is the importance of staying full of His Spirit and driven in the purpose!

2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

…….It is a mystery at this very moment what it is that causes the believer to fall, but Paul said that man will be revealed! There will be no more tricks and traps of the enemy! All of the fullness of the Lord will become perfected at His coming!

2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

…….I can only imagine what that moment will feel and look like for every believer. I truly believe that every trick and lie, every moment of confusion will be brought to light like a light switch, and the peace of God will cover every saint in perfection!

2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

…….If you remember one thing in the midst of tribulation remember this, God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you have negative thoughts about the church, if your mind ponders the reality of God, it is a trick of Satan! This is a warning, if we live to see the coming of the Lord, the spirit of iniquity will continue to grow stronger. This is why we must stay full and connected to Christ’s church!

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