Pauline Epistles

Dr. W. Noble King
All Rights Reserved
These notes were taken by students and reviewed by a former colleague.


 1. The life of St. Paul.

Paul was born in Tarsus in the province of Cilicia, of Hebrew parents of the tribe of Benjamin.  He was born a Roman citizen.  His parents and he were strict pharasees.  Nothing is known of his mother, and but little of his father.  He had one sister at least.  One sister had at least one son who lived in Jerusalem.  Paul was probably born A.D. 1 or thereabout (Acts 22:25-28, 23:6, 16).

Paul was early trained in the scriptures and in Hebrew tradition.  He was taught the art of tent making.  At 13 or 15 years of age, he would have been sent to Jerusalem to study at the school of Gamaliel.  At the end of three years or 36 months he would have returned to Tarsus and acted as Rabbi (Acts 18:3, 22:3).

Paul returned to Jerusalem and witnessed Stephenís death.  He then became the arch persecuter of the infant Church.  On his way to Damascus he was converted, then he was led by the hand to Damascus where Ananias prayed for him.  He was sanctified and his sight partially returned (Acts 9:23).

Paul preached at Damascus without success (Acts 9:20).  He then retired to Arabia for possibly three years (Gal. 1:17).  He then returned to Damascus (Gal. 1:17).  He then visited Jerusalem and he returned eventually to Tarsus (Acts 22:17-18).

After a time Barnabas went to Tarsus, looked up Paul and brought him back to Antioch in Syria (Acts 11:25-26).  They worked together for a short time (Acts 11:26).
     First missionary tour (Acts 13:2-14:26).
     Second missionary tour (Acts 15:40-18:22).
     Third missionary tour (Acts 18:23-21:8).
     Paul visited Jerusalem (Acts 21:17).  There he was apprehended, which required his defending himself (Acts 21:7-22:21).  He was taken to Caesarea (Acts 23:23-33).  He defended himself before Felix (Acts 24:10-21).  He was two years in imprisonment there (Acts 24:27).  Paul finally appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:10).

Paul journeyed to Rome (Acts 27).  He was shipwrecked and landed on Melita (Acts 28:1-10).

Paul preached in Rome (Acts 28:30-31).  Apparently he was released after two years.  He was free for about one to three years, after which he was again arrested.  He was then slain by a sword thrust (II Tim. 4:6-8).

 2. The writings of St. Paul.

Paul spoke Aramaic and Hebrew in his home as a boy.  He learned Greek and used it outside of the home.  He learned old Hebrew as well.  He used the Greek Septuagint in study.  He could also handle Latin.

He entered "the House of the Book" at age five or seven and studed Hebrew law at age ten.  He studied the Michna (the sayings of the wise with regard to the Law).  At age thirteen or fifteen he went to Jerusalem and entered "the House of Interpretation," whose chief instructor was Gamaliel.

After three years he returned to Tarsus and probably acted as a local Rabbi.  In 37 A.D., or when he was thirty-six years of age, Stephen was stoned.

From 34-37 A.D. Paul was in Arabia.  He did some unsuccessful preaching around Damascus and also at Jerusalem.

Paulís first missionary journey occurred from the spring of 47 A.D. to 49 A.D.

The second missionary journey occurred from 50 A.D. to the summer of 53 A.D.  During this second tour Paul wrote I Thessalonians and II Thessalonians (fall of 51 A.D. and spring of 52 A.D.).

The third missionary tour occurred from July of 53 A.D. to the summer of 57 A.D.  During this time he probably wrote I Corinthians (February, 55 A.D.), II Corinthians (fall of 55 A.D.), Galatians (53 A.D.), and Romans (57 A.D.).

The return and arrest at Jerusalem.  The two-year imprisonment at Caesarea (May, 57 A.D. to July, 59 A.D.).  The journey to Rome (August, 59 A.D. to March, 62 A.D.).  During the Roman imprisonment Paul wrote Colossians  (61 A.D.), Ephesians (early 62 A.D.), Philippians (62 A.D.), and Philemon (61 or 62 A.D.).  These are the "Prison Epistles."

The release from the first imprisonment (March 62 A.D. to late summer of 63 A.D.).  During this period Paul wrote I Timothy (early 63 A.D.) and Titus (66 A.D.).

Paul was returned to Rome in September of 67 A.D., during which year he wrote II Timothy.

Paul was dispatched by beheading or by sword-thrust late 67 A.D. or early 68 A.D.


The book of Romans was written by St. Paul in the home of Gaius in Corinth (57 A.D.).  It was written in Greek by the penman, Tertius, and it was carried to Rome by Phebe, who was a worker in the church at Cenchrea.

The Roman church was not founded by Peter or Paul, or by any other Apostle.  Rome was the metropolis of the world.  Laymen returned to Rome from Pentecost and migrated to Rome from elsewhere and established the church.  It was thus a laymanís church.

Paul did not want to build on the foundation of other Apostles, none of whom had been to Rome.  He gave to the group of Roman churches a solid and doctrinal and ethical foundation.

Paulís line of thought is expressed in the following verses: Rom. 1:16; 3:22-23; 5:1, 7:14, 21, 24; 8:1-2; 12:2, 9, 10; 14:17-18.

Introduction, Rom. 1:1-16.

Paul was a slave of Jesus Christ, called by Him to be an Apostle to preach the gospel of Christ, which had been foretold by the Prophets.  This Christ was proved to be the Son of God by the Resurrection.  Through the grace of this Christ you at Rome are saved and called to be saints (Rom. 1:1-7).

 Paul thanked God for them and for their faith.  He stated that he had prayed constantly for them and desired to see them and impart to them sanctification, or establishing grace.  Being a Jew and going to a church largely Gentile, he declared that he was indebted and debtor to all.  The Gospel was nothing to be ashamed of anywhere (provided it was presented correctly), as it was the power of God to save both Jew and Greek by faith (1:8-17).

The doctrinal area, 1:18-11:36.

The doctrines of the righteousness of God, regeneration by faith, and entire sanctification and spiritual establishment (1:18-8:39).

(1) The wrath of God rests on the Godless.  Godís nature and Godís truth have been revealed through created things, but the ungodly and unrighteous have refused to recognize this (1:18-21a).
(2) The heathen became vain and conceited and senseless.  Their hearts were hardened and they made gods in the image of man at his worst.  They even worshiped beasts and birds, into which image ". . . they changed the glory of the incorruptible God . . ." (1:21b-23).
(3) God gave them up to their degraded lust, and to their vile immoralities.  They exchanged the truth for a lie and became of a reprobate mind.  They turned the light down, and that light became darkness, and the darkness was great (1:24-32).
(4) The Jew condemned the Greek for doing such things, but the Jew did the same, apparently under cover (2:1-4).
(5) Wrath, indignation, tribulation and anguish.  For the day of wrath is being stored up for those that doeth evil.  To the Jew first and also to the Greek, for there is no respecter of persons with God (2:5-11).
(6) Those who have violated the light of conscience, intuition, and nature, are to be judged accordingly.  And those who have violated written revelation will be judged accordingly (2:12-24).
(7) The Jew thought himself a teacher of the Gentiles, but he himself violated the precepts he taught the Gentile.  The Jew rested in the fact that he was a Jew (had the Law) and was circumcised.  But Paul said that the Jew was no better than the Gentile (2:25-29).
(8) The Jew had been intrusted with the oracles of God and some had profited thereby, but the vast majority had not.  Hence, the Jew as a nation is no better than the Gentile.  All are under sin and are alike condemned by the Law (3:1-20).
(9) The righteousness of God is manifested in Christ and is apprehended by faith and faith alone.  This is the sole remedy for sin, and the remedy is available to all.  Glorifying in the Law or in works is excluded.  It is by the Law of faith that men touch God (3:21-31).
(10). Abraham himself was not justified by works, but by faith in Christ.  He was justified before the Law was given or any of those things pertaining to it was given.  Those who believe in Christ, Jew or Gentile, are children and are heirs of the faithful Abraham and heirs with him (4:1-25).
(11) We are justified by the blood of Christ through faith in Him and are thus saved from wrath.  Through faith in Christ we also have access to this second state or work of grace (5:9-11).
 (12) Sin entered by Adam, the father of Jew and Gentile alike.  All were regarded as sinners by that one act of sin, but not after the similitude of Adamís sin.  That is, personal guilt rested on Adam as a result of that act, but personal guilt does not rest on us for that act.  Children are born sinful and dead spiritually, but are not born as transgressors, since the Law has not been broken by them.  The gift of eternal life was placed within the reach of all by the last Adam.  Physical death is to be destroyed for all by the last Adam (5:12-21).
(13) Being saved, the Old Man now becomes a problem.  He is to be crucified (a symbol of death).  Thus each is dead to the other.  The self is to die as he died.  On our part, this is preceded by a consecration like unto a baptism unto death.  This is Godís plan of salvation.  It is up to us to accept this plan (6:1-11).
(14) When made free from sin, the result is sanctification, or heart-holiness (evangelical perfection of heart is not Adamic or Edenic perfection), and the end is eternal life.
(15) An illustration is then drawn from marriage.  A woman is bound by law to her husband, but when he is dead she is free from that law and may marry another.  Thus, when we are free from the law of sin we become servants of Christ (7:1-6).
(16) Ethically, sin is a destructive force.  "I am carnal, sold under sin."  It turns the good that we do into evil as the selfish carnal self demands consideration.  The principle of sin within ruins the possibility of unselfish service and thus brings us under condemnation (7:14-19). 
(17) Ethically, Paul called out for deliverance from that destroying body of death, which is like unto a decaying corpse (7:24).
(18) The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, that is, the operation of the Holy Spirit, made Paul free from the body of sin and death.  His cry is expressed in 7:24 and is answered in 8:1-2.
(19) If we live after the flesh we shall die, but if we live after the Spirit we shall live (holiness or death; on to Canaan or back to Egypt).  The Spirit also bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God and that we are heirs of God with Christ (8:12-17).
(20) All creation is groaning to be delivered from the curse of sin and we groan for the redemption of our bodies (8:18-25).
(21) The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities and enables us to pray as we ought and makes intercession for us (8:26-28).  Romans 8:28 is a much-quoted verse:

   And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

(22) Rom. 8:29-39 is used as a Calvinist stronghold regarding the doctrine of predestination.  Paul does not teach it in this or any other area.  People are elected and foreordained to glory provided they meet certain conditions.  Emil Brunner points this out.  They must will to meet these conditions.  Then God will do the rest.  Nothing outside of ourselves can separate us from the love of Christ; only we ourselves can do this.  Calvinism was eloquent in this area.  Romans 8, 10, and 11 (especially 8:28-39 and 9:6-24) are used to teach that God predestinates certain people to death and others to life.  The Pulpit Commentary (Introduction, xv) says:

 "In the exposition of these passages an honest attempt has been made to view them apart from the battle-field of controversy, so as to get at their real meaning in view simply of their context, their apparent purpose, and the language used.  It will be seen, among other things, that ch. Ix, x, xii., though they have been used in support of theories of the absolute predestination of individuals to glory or damnation, do not really bear on individual predestination, but rather on the election of races of men to positions of privilege and favour . . . . 

The Pulpit Commentary belongs to the Calvinist school, but yet here correctly interprets the scripture.  We would agree.

Thus Paul established the fact that both Jew and Gentile are lost, that each has turned down the light.  The Jew has turned down the greater light.

All are sinners.  Then, by faith in Christ, Jew and Gentile alike may be saved.  In the sixth chapter of Romans the carnal nature is dealt with doctrinally.  Then in the seventh chapter it is dealt with ethically.  In the eighth chapter the experience of entire sanctification is presented as a present possession.

The present position of the Jewish people with regard to the Gentile and the children of God.  The plan of God is not considered (chapters 9-11).

1. Paul expresses deep regret for the present exclusion of the Hebrew people from the inheritance and the promise (9:1-5; Exod. 32:32).
2. Israel rejected Christ and was set aside for a time (Matt. 23:37-39; Isa. 53).  Their house or office was to be destitute as far as they were concerned.  God had a right to set them aside, for a time.  He had set Ishmael and Esau aside.  They acted a certain way, and God had chosen Isaac and Jacob.  The rejection and choice had nothing to do with personal salvation (9:6-24). 
3. The Gentiles are given the room and office of witness until the Hebrews awaken.  For the promise of God made to the Fathers still belong to the Hebrew people (9:4).  Israel is yet to come into her own (9:25-29).
4. The Gentiles occupied the witness in office because they attained faith in Christ.  The Jews tried to obtain righteousness by the Law and failed.  They were therefore rejected for a time (9:30, 33).
5. By Israelís refusal to believe in Christ, she is responsible for her own rejection.  But this rejection is not total or final for the nation of Israel (10:1-ll:ll).
6. When the Jews fell, God turned to the Gentiles (ll:ll).  Thus the rejection of the Jews resulted in the salvation of the Gentiles.  The salvation of the latter will ultimately provoke the Jews to jealousy and they will return to God through Christ (11:12-14).
7. The Gentiles had better take warning.  If God spared not the natural branch (the Jews), neither would he spare the grafted branch (the Gentiles).
8. Israel shall again become Godís witnessing body and be saved as a nation (first as individuals and then as a nation) and again become the light of the world.  Hence, Godís promises to the Jews are yet to be fulfilled (11:16-36).

 The practical or ethical or institutional area (12:1-14:23); followed by a doxology (16:25-27.

1. The whole plan of salvation and summary (12:1-2).  Partial sanctification and entire sanctification.  A holy life lived day by day.  The two verses correspond to the burnt offering and includes all offerings (the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering).

2. Exhortations to various Christians, personal duties (12:3-21).

(1) Exhortations to humility (12:3-5).
(2) Christian duties and relations to be discharged and observed with love, diligence, hospitality, and sympathy (12:6-16).
(3) Enemies are to be forgiven from the heart, and good treatment is to be given those who hurt us (12:17-21).

3. Exhortations to obey civil magistrates and to holy conduct as preparation for death (13:1-14).

(1) The powers of government are ordained of God for the protection of the good and the punishment of the evil (13:1-5).
(2) Tribute and honor must be paid to whom such are due.  We are to meet all the Christian claims that others have on us and thus fulfill the law of Christ (13:6-10).
(3) Life is short and fleeting.  Death is certain.  Governments are on their way out and hence we should not be overly concerned about them.  Rather, we should keep ready for the future (13:11-14).
(4) With regard to eating, observing days, etc., let each be fully persuaded in his own mind.  Apparently some had too scrupulous conscience in these matters (14:1-14).
(5) Be kind and considerate to those who have an overly sensitive conscience, else you will destroy him for whom Christ died (15-23). 
(6) Here was the original position of the concluding doxology of 16:15, "Now unto him . . .".

The supplementary section (15:1-16:24).

1. A further enforcement of Christian considerations to those who are weak in the Faith (15:1-13).
2. Paul then gives an account of himself and of his desire to visit Spain after visiting the Roman Christians, which we think he probably never did (15:14-29).
3. Paul then requested prayer that he might be delivered from the Judaisers who were opposing him and that he might be permitted to go to Rome (15:30-33).
4. Greetings are then sent to Christians at Rome, with greetings from Corinth (16:1-23).
5. Great principles that Paul lays down in Romans:
(1) The Gospel of Christ; the Cross.
(2) The Jew and Gentile are alike: sinners in Godís sight.
(3) The only approach to God is faith in Christ, for Jew or Gentile.  (a) Faith in Christ goes back to Eden.  (b) Brings regeneration for Jew or Gentile.
(4) The theology of the Old Man in the heart, chaps. 5 and 6.
(5) The ethical activity of the Old Man in the heart of the regenerated, chap. 7.
(6) Entire sanctification by faith in Christ (8:2-3).
(7) Regenerated and made Jewish children of Abraham.
(8) What about Jewish promise?
(9) Ethics.
6. Romans 16:24 contains the closing, or second, benediction of this supplementary section.

 I. First Corinthians

The city of Corinth was situated on a narrow isthmus that connected Macedonia and Achaia and possessed two great harbors.  One was Lechaion on the Gulf of Corinth, the other was Cencherae on the Saronic Gulf.  Small ships were hauled across the isthmus on a prepared way to avoid the voyage around Achaia.

Achaia was a Roman province and Corinth was the military capital of that province.  In 146 B.C. the old Corinth had been leveled by a Roman army under Lucius Mummius, a Roman general.  For one hundred years thereafter it was looted by relic hunters.  In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar rebuilt it.  It rapidly gained its former position of trade and wealth and wickedness.

Corinth was famous for the scene of the great Isthmian games, which attracted great crowds to the city.  It was also noted as the center of the abominable worship of the goddess Aphrodite.  They were notorious even in the world at that time for drunkenness, sensuality, licentiousness, and strife.  These were found in the church.  Paul had trouble at this point.

Paulís first visit to Corinth was on his second missionary journey.  He had to leave Athens; hence, he went to Corinth, where he stayed eighteen months.  There he met Aquila and Priscilla.  There he made tents and stayed in their home and preached in the synagogue.  On the arrival of Silas and Timotheous, he preached with more boldness.

He was then driven out of the synagogue and went to the home of Justus and taught there.  He was brought before Gallio, the governor of the province.  Gallio dismissed the case and thus protected him by the Roman law.  Gallio was a brother of Seneca and a very fine person.

Paul stayed eighteen months at Corinth, then moved to Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla.  He then journeyed on to the Passover at Jerusalem.  Apollos then came to Ephesus and was further instructed by Aquila and Priscilla.  He then journeyed on to Corinth and helped them (Acts 18:1-29).

The Epistle was probably written at Ephesus rather than Phillipi.

It is thought that a considerable correspondence developed between Paul and the church at Corinth:

(1) A letter to Corinth is thought to be referred to in I Corinthians 5:9.  This letter is thought to be incorporated in II Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1).
 (2) Apparently the church at Corinth replied in a letter brought by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (I Cor. 16:17).  The church replied with a number of questions.  Chloeís household had also brought news to Paul about factions in the church (I Cor. 1:11).
(3) Paul replied to all these questions in a letter of some length, and we know that letter as I Corinthians.  He apparently visited the church hastily for the second time, but was not well received (II Cor. 12:14-13:1).
(4) Still later Paul apparently wrote a severe letter to them by the hand of Titus.  This letter is thought to be embedded in II Cor. 2:3, 9; 7:8-12.
(5) Paul later wrote a letter of warm affection, possibly contained in II Cor., chaps. 1 through 9.  It might have been the entire Epistle.  In any case, we now have two letters to Corinth by Paul.

The church at Corinth was composed of Jews and Romans and some others.  Some members were socially at the top and others were socially at the bottom (I Cor. 7:20-22).


Paul addresses the church at Corinth and calls them sanctified.  He means partial sanctification, because not all were sanctified wholly.  Some were sanctified wholly, while others were sanctified but partially.  However, since all are called to complete sanctification, Paul calls them sanctified (1:1-2).

God is thanked for the grace and truth enjoyed by the Corinthian church.  They had many evidences of that grace, both in gifts and blessing (1:3-9).

Divisions of parties in the Corinthian church (1:10-4:21).

1. An exhortation to unity, in view of the fact that Chloeís household had reported sharp divisions (1:11-12).
2. Christ is not divided, Paul was not crucified, they were not baptized in Christís name.  Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas, were never baptized by Paul.  Christ sent Paul to preach and not to baptize (1:13-17).
3. The cross is foolishness to the unbeliever, but it is the power and wisdom of God to the believer (1:18-24).
4. Not many wise (worldly wise), not many noble and mighty, are called.  The foolish and weak things are chosen to confound the mighty.  No flesh can glory in His presence (1:25-31).
5. Paul came preaching Jesus Christ only.  In simple language, yet in the demonstration of the Spirit.  It is wisdom to the perfect, but not to the worldly wise.  Such wisdom is only spiritually discerned (2:1-16).
6. The Corinthians were brethren, but carnal brethren.  Hence, they could not enter into deep spiritual things.  Their carnal hearts took them away from the message to the men who delivered that message (3:1-4).
 7. These men themselves are nothing; some plant, some water, etc., but it is God who gives the increase.  Paul provided the foundation.  Let every builder be careful how he builds (3:5-15). 
8. The temple of God is holy and those who are sanctified are indwelt by the Spirit.  The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  Ultimately, God is all in all (3:16-23).
9. Ministers are servants of God and are accountable to Him.  Hence, there should be no rivalry among people over ministers (4:1-7).
10. The Corinthians were enjoying the temporal benefits of the Gospel.  Paul bore a burden for the people.  His purpose was to lead the Corinthians into conformity with the Gospel, with severity if necessary.

Moral disorders in the Corinthian church (5:1-7:40).

1. These incestuous persons who had their own fatherís wives must be dealt with and expelled.  An evil example like that would destroy the whole church.  Such persons were to be cut off from church influences and in that sense delivered to Satan, not for the destruction of the physical, but for the correction of their high-handed evil of breaking church standards.  It was remedial punishment, intended to bring them to their senses and consequently back to God (5:1-8). 
2. The duty of punishing similar offenders must be confined to the church, as only those that are in the church are in the sphere of its judgment (5:9-13).
3. Christian brethren within the church should have their differences settled by good men in the church.  This would not refer to legal matters, but to ethical disputes (6:1-11).
4. The body must not be sinned against by practices of impurity or by fornication, etc.  The body is the temple of the Lord and is thus holy (6:12-20).
5. Generally, single status is preferable to marriage.  Yet, because of present physical and social circumstances, marriage may be necessary (7:1-9).
6. Married people are to live together during the life-times of both.  Neither is to contract another marriage during the life-time of the other.  An unbelieving spouse is not to be put away for that reason alone.  The unbeliever is brought under the influence of the Gospel (7:9-16; especially 7:14).
7. Let each walk contentedly in the path to which God has called him (7:17-24).
 8. Due to the distress of Paulís day, he advised that the those who are married and unmarried remain so.  However, marriage is not a sin, but those who are unmarried can better serve God.  This appeared to be so in Paulís day.  If a manís virgin daughter wishes to marry, let her marry.  The father has not sinned by giving his permission (7:25-38).  The call of God comes first.  "By permission" does not mean Godís permission.  It means Paulís permission.  This is not a command.  A woman is free after her husband dies.  She may remarry, if she so desires (7:39-40).  Paulís stipulations reflect the decline of the Roman Empire and its inability to govern adequately. 

Sacrificial, social, and ecclesiastical disorders in the Corinthian church (8:1-14:40).

1. Idols are nothing, but meats offered to them bothered weak Christians.  Strong Christians should deal with the matter in love, for the sake of the weaker Christians.  Otherwise, their souls may be damned (8:1-13).
2, Paulís apostleship had been challenged.  He shows that the Corinthian church is proof of his apostleship.  In his work for Christ, Paul has the right to receive the support necessary to sustain life.  This principle was ordained by the Mosaic Law, the temple services, and the example of others (9:1-14).
3. Paulís use of Christian liberty was restrained by the thoughts of the needs of others.  This was why he preached without charge or money.  He ignored self for the benefit of others (9:15-23).
4. All need self-restraint for the benefit of others.  This is a difficult task for anyone (9:24-27).
5. The Israelites enjoyed great privilege at the hand of God in the Wilderness, but they lost it when they worshiped idols and committed fornication.  Twenty-three thousand died in one day, and most of them died in the Wilderness.  These facts are recorded for our benefit, that we might profit from them (10:1-14).
6. An idol in itself is nothing, but its worship is wicked, as it involves the belief in another God.  An idol and the true God cannot be concurrently worshiped (10:15-22).
7. We are to desire the profit of others rather than our own profit.  We are to ignore our own scruples, but regard the scruples of others.  Thus, we are to desire Godís glory and the good of others (10:23-11:1).
8. God has an order in the world.  Hence, man should not be covered in church, while women should be covered.  The covering in church is a sign of being under authority according to the natural fitness of things.  However, there are no hard-and-fast rules in the church (11:2-16).
9. To eat and drink the Lordís Supper unworthily is to be in danger of damnation.  The regular meal should be eaten at home, the Lordís Supper to be observed later (11:17-34).
10. The various gifts of the Spirit are given severally for the benefit of the whole, as the Spirit wills.  No gift, i.e., an objective gift, is to be sought.  But the gifts of grace are to be sought (12:11; see also 14:1 and II Peter 1:5-9).
11. The church at Corinth was the most troublesome church that Paul had anything to do with.  Unknown tongues came to it from the Greek mystery cults.
Paul gives three partial lists of gifts (12:8-11, 29-30).  In each list he places diversity of tongues and their interpretations at the bottom.  This is in contrast to the Corinthians, who placed unknown tongues at the top, regarding them as the mark of supreme spirituality. 
 12. The Corinthians were carnal in heart when they used unknown tongues.  Paul, in his classic thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians, preached a second work to them.  Three abiding things are: faith, hope, and love.  Of the three, perfect love is supreme.  Thus, Paul states climactically, unknown tongues are sign of nothing but noise (13:1-13).
13. Unknown tongues produce nothing but confusion, but prophecy, i.e., preaching and testifying, edifies (14:1-31).  "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints" (14:33).  Hence God is not the author of unknown tongues at all.
14. Women must not disturb the meeting by disorderly asking questions.  They can ask their husbands these questions when they get home.  All is to be done decently and in order (14:34-40).

The doctrine of the Resurrection (15:1-58).

1. Christ actually did die.  He actually was buried, which is witnessed to by Rome itself.  He did actually rise.  He was seen of Peter, then of the Twelve, then of the five hundred in Galilee, then of James, then of all the Apostles, and seen last of all by Paul himself (15:1-11).
2, The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of the Cross and of Christís deity and of Christianity.  If there is no Resurrection, Christ is not risen, and if Christ is not risen then faith in Christ is worthless and the preaching of Christ is worthless and salvation is a myth.  The glory of Christís tomb is its being empty.  The dead have perished forever if Christ is not risen (15:12-19).  (II Cor. 6:1 is the last reference made to any article of the original tabernacle.)
3. Christís resurrection is thus central in the scheme of salvation. Christ is the first-fruit.  "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead" (15:21).  Christ is to put every enemy under His feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death itself.  God is then all in all (15:20-28).
4. An argument is drawn from the lives of believers.  Burial with Christ in baptism is symbolic of consecration to the point of death.  Thus baptism is used as a symbol of the resurrection of the saved.  Why do the living Christians live in peril every hour, if the dead rise not?  If there is no Resurrection, they should eat, drink, and be merry (15:9-34).
5. The seed is sown and then dies.  But a new plant arises, which is the same but yet different.  So with the Resurrection.  It is the very same body, but changed into a spiritual body.  There will be different bodies, differing in position and glory.  The raptured ones are to be instantly changed also.  Death itself is to be swallowed up in victory, destroyed completely as if it had never been (15:35-58).

Ethical instructions and conclusions (16:1-24).

1. The collections for the saints are to be taken on the first day of the week (16:1-4).
2. Paul intends to visit the Corinthians and pass the winter with them (16:5-9).
3. If Timothy arrives, he is to be received and sent forth in peace.  Apollos will visit Corinth at his convenience (16:10-12).
4. Stephanus and his friends are to be regarded highly, as they have assisted greatly in many ways (16:15-18).
5. Then follows salutations, warnings, and the benediction (16:19-24).

  II Corinthians

The probable sequence of events with regard to Corinth:

1. Paul spent one year and six months in Corinth, teaching and preaching the Word (Acts 18:11).
2. Apollos visited Corinth (Acts 18:27, 19:1; I Cor. 1:2, 3:4-6) and then returned to Ephesus, to be with Paul (I Cor. 16:12).
3. Paul wrote a letter, now believed by some to be lost (I Cor. 5:9).  It could be, in part at least, incorporated in the first and second epistles to the Corinthians.
4. Chloeís family visited Paul at Ephesus and informed him of the trouble at Corinth (I Cor. 1:ll).
5. Timothy started from Ephesus for Macedonia and Corinth, where he preached (I Cor. 4:17, 16:10; Acts 19-22; II Cor. 1:1).
6. A letter, with a series of questions, was apparently sent to Paul from the Corinthian church (I Cor. 7:1; cf. I Cor. 16:17).
7. I Corinthians was sent from Ephesus, probably by the hand of Titus and another brother.
8. Titus then organized at Corinth the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem.  He then returned to Corinth, to be with Paul (II Cor. 8:6; 12:8).
9. The "Christ Party" increased in influence at Corinth and agitators at Jerusalem gave further opposition to Paul (II Cor. 10:7, 11:23; I Cor. 1:12).  During this visit he was grossly insulted by some Corinthians (II Cor. 2:5-8, 7:12).
10. Titus is then sent from Ephesus to Corinth with a severe letter, the greater part of which is probably incorporated in II Cor., chaps. 10-13 (II Cor. 2:3, 9; 7:8, 12).
11. Paul, in great anxiety about the affects of this letter, left Ephesus and proceded to Troas, then to Damascus, to meet Titus.  Titus brought an encouraging report (II Cor. 7:6-15).
12. Titus, in the company of certain others, arrives from Macedonia to Corinth (II Cor. 8:16-23).


1. This second Corinthian letter is one of the most personal of Paulís letters.  The church itself was in peril, and Paulís relationship with it was at stake because of the "Christ Party" and of the Jews, who were back of the "Christ Party."

2. Paulís enemies at Corinth had accused him, either directly or by subtle inference, of the following:
(1) Paulís conduct was according to the flesh, powerful on paper but weak in personal appearance (10:2-10).
(2) Paul was crude in speech (11:6).
(3) Paul refused Christian hospitality and support, because he was too proud to accept them.  Since he was not an Apostle, he had no right to them (11:7-12, 12:13).
(4) Paul professed to live by his own labors, yet he was in reality supported by the collection taken for the poor saints at Jerusalem (12:16-18).
(5) Paul claimed to be able to administer supernatural punishments, but did not administer them (13:3-4).
(6) Paul was a reprobate (13:6).
(7) Paulís word was unreliable; he commended himself; he preached concerning himself (1:17; 3:1, 5:12; 4:5).
(8) Because of his alleged mission and revelation, Paul was a mad man and diviner (5:13, 6:8).
3. Thus Paul had two matters to clear up.  They are probably the two objectives in writing the Epistle.
(1) To reestablish his own apostolic authority and to reestablish the loyalty of the Corinthians to Christ and to himself.
(2) To complete the collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem.
4. Paul opens the Letter with his usual salutations and also expresses his thanks for deliverance from imminent death (1:1-11).

Paulís vindication of himself (1:12-7:16).

1. Paul defends himself against the charges of being untrustworthy and harsh (1:12-2:17).
(1) He had fully intended to visit the Corinthians, but circumstances rendered it unwise to do so.  The delay seemed to have been for the better (1:12-2:4).
(2) The results of the earlier severe letter seemed to have been good.  The one who wronged Paul had apparently repented, and Paul advised receiving him back into fellowship (2:7-17).
2, Paul thus vindicates:
(1) His apostolic office.  His success at Corinth was the reception of his letters of recommendation.  No other letters were needed (3:1-6). (2) His status as Apostle.  By his ministry the Gospel was presented as glorious, far surpassing the shadows of the old order (3:7-4:6).
(3) The Gospel that he preached: the love of Christ (4:7-5:19).
3. Paul then concludes his appeal for reconciliation by:
(1) Urging separation from ungodly unbelievers.  It is a moving appeal (6:11-18).
(2) Urging the experience of heart holiness (7:1).
(3) Urging the acceptance of the Pauline group (7:2-4).
4. While in Macedonia, Paul feared for the Corinthian church, but he was assured by the good news brought by Titus concerning the repentance of that church.  Paulís letter had saved the situation (7:5-16).

The collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem (8:1-9:15).

1. A great example had been set by the Macedonian churches.  They had given beyond their means, to the extent that Paul hesitated to take their offering (8:1-7).
2. The Corinthians are also exhorted to give.  This would show that the Gentile Christians were one in heart with the Jerusalem Christians (8:8-15).
3. Directions are then given with regard to the management of the collection (8:16-9:5).
4. Exhortations are then given to give liberally and cheerfully, since God loves a cheerful giver (9:6-15).

 Paulís further defense of his apostolic order or authority and a final rebuke and warning to his Jewish opponents (10:11-13:10).

1. Paulís weapons are spiritual and not carnal.  They are mighty in God, to the destruction of the strongholds of Satan.  This fact is evidenced in the Gentile world (10:1-18).
2. A different interpretation of the Gospel, e.g., that of Jews who oppose the Christian interpretation, is not to be entertained or received.  Wages were taken by other churches, so that the Corinthians could receive the Gospel without cost (11:1-15).
3. Paul boasts of his labors and weakness (11:16-12:10).
(1) He requests tolerance for foolish boasting (11:16-20).
(2) He lists his advantages, labors, and sufferings (11:21-29).
(3) He points out that his escape from Damascus shows his weakness (11:30-33).
(4) He says that his thorn in the flesh checks pride in visions.  He recounts his wonderful vision, when he is caught up in heaven (12:1-10).
4. Paul contemplates a third visit, when he will not spare sinners.  He urges them to test themselves and go on to perfection (13:1-10).
5. Paul closes with an exhortation, a salutation, and a benediction (13:1-10).


1. This is one of the most personal of Paulís letters.  He dwells largely on his ministry and opens his heart and discloses his motives.  He had a spiritual passion and a tender love for the church.

2. The key chain of verses would probably be as follows: 3:1, 5:12, 7:2, 10:2-3, 11:5-6, 12:11, and 13:3.


The book of Galatians was written between II Corinthians and Romans.  David Smith puts the date at 53 to 57 A.D., or even later.  If Smith is correct, it would have been written during Paulís third missionary tour.  The place where it was written is unknown.

Galatia, located in Asia Minor, was settled centuries earlier by Gauls or Celts from Europe.  Those who did not migrate are supposed to have lived in France, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.  The name, Galatia, is taken from the name, Gaul.  The Gauls were fierce warriors.  Gaul became a Roman province in 25 B.C.

Judaizers had come to Galatia, informing the Christians that faith in Christ was not sufficient for salvation.  In addition to believing in Christ, they must join the Jewish nation and observe the Jewish rites and customs.

Wheadon says: "Under those powerful influences the impressionable Galatian churches were yielding and ready to fall.  Unable to go himself from distant Corinth Paul sent this letter to their rescue" (p. 208).  The Epistleís theme is "salvation by faith alone."  Luther used this book in his contention with Rome.  Wesley also made much use of it, although he found that he had to balance it against the message of James so as not to fall into antinomianism.  We are justified by faith, but our faith must be demonstrated by works.  We do not work to be saved, but we work because we are saved (Whedon, p. 209).

The Epistle apparently was written rapidly under strong emotion.  It sweeps all error away, in fervent proclamation of the freedom of the Gospel as opposed to the bondage of the Law.  It is also, as in II Corinthians, a vindication of Paulís apostleship.  Finally, it is an argument that the Mosaic Law must give way to Christian faith.


Paul shows that he was originally called of God to be an Apostle.  He now directs this Epistle to the Galatian church.  He commends them to the grace of God and of Christ, who gave Himself that He might deliver them from this present world (1:1-2).

Paul Apostleship is historically sustained (1:6-2:21).

1. Paul marvels that the Galatians have so soon turned away from grace of the Gospel of Christ to another gospel (1:6-7)
2. Paul pronounces them accursed who shall present any other gospel (1:8-9).
3. Paul declares that he is righteous, that he received his doctrine directly from God, that he was not taught by man (1:10-12).
4. Paul relates his conversion and his call to the Apostleship and to preach to the Gentiles.  He conversed not with man, but went into Arabia to converse with God (1:13-17, 18).
5. After three years he went to Jerusalem and saw Peter and James, the Lordís brother (1:18-20).
6. Three years later he went to Syria and Cilicia.  The brethren had heard that he who once persecuted the Church now preached the faith he once sought to destroy (1:21-24).
7. Fourteen years later he, with Barnabas and Titus, went to Jerusalem to have his Gentile converts recognized on the basis of the equality of all Christians (2:1-2).
8. Paul and Peter differ over the question whether Gentile Christians are required to observe Jewish customs.  Paul argues that faith in Christ is all-sufficient for salvation, while Peter, with some vacillation maintains the necessity of Jewish customs (2:3-19).
9. Paul declares that he is dead to the Law and that he is crucified with Christ, who lives in him.  He lives by faith in the Son of God, who loved him and gave himself for him (2:20-21).

The doctrine of justification by faith is biblically sustained (3:1-5:6).

1. The Apostle inquires with deep feeling how they could be so foolish as to renounce the Gospel and turn back to the Law.  Having enjoyed the Gospel and suffered for it, they must press on in the Faith (3:1-5).
2. Abraham was judged righteous by faith, not by observing the Law.  Those who are saved by faith are declared to be children of Abraham.  The heathen were, and are, blessed by following in the footsteps of Abraham.  In this sense they are the children of Abraham.
 3. All who are under the Law are under the curse of the Law, for the purpose of the Law was to condemn.  Christ alone can redeem us from that curse.  The Abrahamic promise belongs to the Gentiles by faith.  Here we have a great Protestant text, 3:11b (3:10-14).
4. The promise was made to Abraham and his seed, by faith not by Law.  It was first made to Abraham in Gen. 12:3, when he was 75 years of age.  Isaac was born 25 years later.  Isaac was 60 years of age when Jacob was born (Gen. 25:26c).  Jacob was 130 years old when the people went down into Egypt (Gen. 27:9).
(1) The Law was given 430 years after the covenant was made with Abraham.  25 years to Isaacís birth, 60 years to Jacobís birth, 130 years to Jacobís descent into Egypt, equals 215 years.  215 years from 430 leaves 215 years that the people were in Egypt proper (Adam Clarke).
(2) Thus the Law was an intermediate arrangement that was to pass away and allow faith in Christ to supercede it.  The Law was given to guide us to Christ and then step out of the picture.  It is faith in Christ that was first and is to be permanent.  In this sense both Jew and Gentile are the spiritual children of Abraham (3:15-19).
(3) In Exod. 12:40 we are told, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years."  The emphasis is on the sojourning and not the residing in Egypt.  Thus, Abrahamís and Isaacís sojourning is included.  Paul, as well as the Samaritan Pentateuch, accept this reckoning.
5. When the heir is a child he is under tutors and governors.  When they were under the Law, the Galatians were likewise under tutors and governors.  When the heir becomes of age, he is no longer under guardians.  Likewise, under the Gospel, the Galatians are no longer under the guardianship of the Law.  They have arrived at full maturity and are redeemed by Christ (4:1-3).
6. When the fulness of time came, "God sent forth his Son . . . made under the law," to redeem those under the Law and elevate them to maturity in association with His Son.  Under the Law, they knew not God.  Under the Gospel, they knew God (4:4-11).
7. Paul had preached the Gospel to them under great physical disability.  They had received him as they would an angel of God and Jesus Christ himself.  They would have plucked out their eyes and given them to him, if they could have done so.  But now their attitude toward him has changed.  What has happened to their zeal for the Gospel?  He pleads with them to return to Christ and the Gospel (4:12-21).
8. The allegory of Hagar and Sarah.  Hagar was a slave woman, and  Ishmael was her son, the son of a slave woman.  Sarah was a free woman, and Isaac was her son, the son of a free woman.  The Jerusalem "which now is," is the "son of Hagar," and is under bondage.  The Jerusalem "which is above" is the son of Sarah, and is free. The one group is under the Law; the other, under Gospel-freedom (4:22-27).
9. The slave-born Ishamel persecuted the free-born.  The slave was to be cast out and the son of the free was to be retained.  Gospel grace and Gospel freedom make us the children of the free woman.   We must therefore stand fast in this Gospel freedom and not revert to bondage.  Were the Galatians to do so, Christ would profit them nothing (4:28-5:6).

We must be steadfast in Gospel-freedom (5:2-6:18).

 1. In Christ Jesus the Mosaic Law avails nothing.  Circumcision or un-circumcision avails nothing.  What avails is Christ: "faith which worketh by love."  The Galatians must be either one thing or the other; for a little leaven leaventh the whole lump (5:6-12).
2. In Christ Jesus we are free, but this freedom must not pass into license.  Liberty is freedom from the ceremonial law, but not from the moral law.  Here is the error of Antinomianism.  The whole law is fulfilled in one statement: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."  The Law was given to teach this.  Hence, walk in the spirit of love and not in the spirit of the flesh, for the spirit and flesh are in conflict (5:13-17; key scriptures: 8:7 and chap. 7).
3. Paul now gives us a fine list of the works of the flesh (5:19-21) and of the Spirit (5:22-23).  Now, those who are Christians in the full sense of the word have crucified the flesh.  Crucifixion is always a symbol of death.  Hence, crucifixion of the flesh consists in the death of the old carnal nature and its attributes (5:23-26).
4. The Apostle teaches them to regard those who have fallen and bear each otherís burdens.  However, each must bear his own burden (6:1-2).
5. We must think humbly of ourselves and not deceive ourselves.  That which we sow we also reap.  If we sow to the flesh, we shall reap corruption.  If we sow to the Spirit, we shall reap everlasting life (6:3-8).
6. Let us not faint, but continue to do good, particularly to the household of faith.  We shall reap, if we do not faint (6:9-11).
7. Paul says that he has written in large letters, so that he could see what he wrote.  This Epistle is possibly the only he wrote by his own hand (6:11).
8. Paul again directs the Galatians to be aware of those who would impose the Mosaic Law upon them.  Paul suggests that they wish to impose the Law to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ (6:12-13).
9. He states that his only glory is the Cross, with which he is crucified with Christ.  Neither circumcision nor un-circumcision avails, but rather a new creature in Christ.  He bears the marks of the Lord Jesus (6:14-17).
10. Then follows the gracious benedition: "Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen" (6:18). 


The ancient city of Ephesus was situated at the mouth of the Caÿstros River on the shores of the Agean Sea, about fifty miles south of Smyrna.  The ancient city was destroyed and later rebuilt by Lysiamchus.

In 129 B.C. Ephesus became the capitol of the Province of Asia.  It was a city of splendor and beauty, but filled with idolatrous wickedness.  The Temple of Diana was there.  It was rebuilt by Herostus in 356 B.C.  It was considered one of the seven wonders of the world.

Adam Clarke says that this once most famous of all Asiatic cities is now a miserable village.  The huts were the residences of about forty Turkish families, with not a Christian among them.


 1. Paulís first visit to Ephesus is recorded in Acts 18:19-21, His stay was very brief.  He was on his way from Corinth to return to Antioch, completing his second missionary journey.  Apparently, first Apollos, then Aquilla and Priscilla, carried on the work Paul had begun (Acts 18:24-26).
2. On his third missionary journey, Paulís second visit to Ephesus occupied nearly two years.  He first preached at the synagogue, to no avail, then at the school of Tryannus (Acts 19:8-10).  His stay at Ephesus was stormy.  Later, he declared that he had fought with wild beasts.
3. Paul then passed over into Macedonia for a brief visit, before starting for home.  On his way back to Miletus he called for the elders of the Ephesian church and delivered to them his farewell charge (Acts 20:18-35).
4. Paul apparently wrote the Ephesian letter near the end of his first Roman imprisonment, just before he expected to be released.  He sent the letter by the hand of Tychius.  Some scholars believe that the Epistle was written at Caesarea; this is improbable.
5. Paul opens the Epistle with an expressed desire that the grace and peace of God the Father and God the Son rest upon them (Eph. 1:1-2).

We shall divide the Epistle into two major sections.

I. A holy church through Christ on earth and in heaven (1:3-3:21).

1. The foreordination of the divine purpose (1:3-23).

(1) We are not foreordained to repent and to believe as prerequisite to regeneration.  Neither are we foreordained to consecrate as prerequisite to sanctification.  Neither are we foreordained to grow in grace.  There is a part for us to do (Rom. 1:28, 2:12, 5:1, 12:1-2).
(2) When we repent and believe, God foreordains our regeneration.  When we consecrate and believe, God foreordains our sanctification.  When we obey and draw on the measure of grace, God foreordains us to grow in grace and, in the end, enter heaven to be glorified and to become heirs with Christ in the riches of the triune Godhead.  This is the predestination of which Paul speaks.  It is a glorious predestination, but it is conditioned by man doing his part (1:5).
(3) Everyone who will repent and believe and obey in faith thereafter is in this sense predestined from the foundation of the world to be holy in time and to be glorified in eternity (1:3-14).
(4) Paul then praises God for their conversion, and prays that they may be even more enlightened and that they may see the glory of Christ and partake of the blessings procured by His passion and exaltation (1:19-22).
2. The inclusion of the Ephesians in this great purpose of redemption (2:1-3:21).
(1) Previous to their conversion, the Ephesians were dead in trespasses and sin (2:1-3).
(2) They are now changed (made alive) by grace and not by works. They are then made to sit with Christ in heavenly places (2:4-7).
(3) They are saved by faith.  This includes both Jews and Gentiles.  Christ removes the division.  Both are now one (2:8-17).
(4) Christ is the great corner stone.  He is as a great temple, the Christians constituting the smaller stones built on the foundation stone (2:18-22).
(5) This great temple, the Church, in which Jews and Gentiles are alike saved by faith, has been kept secret from the foundation of the world and is now revealed (3:1-6).
 (6) Paul is made the minister of this mystery, that he might declare the unsearchable riches of Christ and make known the eternal purpose of God (3:7-13).
(7) Paul then prays that they be filled with all the fulness of God.  This is one of Paulís great prayers.  It rises and lifts and climaxes in splendor (3:14-21).

II. The duties of the Church on earth (4:1-5:21).

A. Church relations and obligations (4:1-5:21).

1. The Ephesians are to walk worthy of their vocation (calling) and are to live in peace and unity.  This for the reason that there is but one lord, one faith, one baptism (4:1-6).
2. God has distributed a variety of gifts in the Church, for the building up of the body of believers in Christ.  There are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachersĖeach having a special gift defining the office (4:7-11).
3. These gifts are given for the perfecting of the saints, until all come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.  The love of the sanctified is apparently to be developed (4:12-16).
4. Paul then warns them against the ungodly conduct of other Gentiles.  He gives a vivid description of this conduct (4:17-19).

B. Contrasts between fleshly and spiritual living (does not always mean the carnal mind) (4:20-5:21).

1. Put off the old conversation and the Old Man with his deceitful lusts and put on the New Man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (4:22-24).
2. Put off the five gentile vices: falsehood, anger or wrath, stealing, corrupt speech, and bitterness.  Be kind, tender hearted, forgiving as God has forgiven.  Imitate Christ, walk in love (4:25-5:2).
3. Be mindful of Christís indignation against the Gentileís moral uncleanness.  No such person has an inheritance in the kingdom of God (5:3-7).
4. The Gentiles love darkness and deeds of nightly shade, but the Ephesian Christians are to love light and righteousness (5:8-17).
5. The Gentiles spend their time in drunkenness and reveling, but Christians are to be filled with Spirit so as to express themselves in hymns (5:18-21).
C. The family as the type of Christ and the Church (5:22-9:9).

1. Wives are to be in subjection to their husbands in the Lord.  As he is the head of the wife, so is Christ the head of the Church.  Husbandís love of their wives is typical of Christís love of the Church.  The Church is to be sanctified wholly, pure and spotless (5:22-23).
2. Children are to obey their parents in the Lord.  They are to be nurtured in the home in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  Children in the home symbolize the children of God in the Church (6:;1-4).
3, Servants are to serve their masters in the fear of the Lord.  Masters are to do for their servants what is right.  For the masters have a master in Heaven to whom they must some day give an account (6:5-9).

D. Christians are to be fully armed spiritually and always ready to fight the good fight of faith (6:10-24).

1. The whole armor of God is to be put on: loins clothed with truth; breastplate of righteousness; shield of faith; helmet of salvation; sword of the Spirit.  They are to wrestle with principalities and powers, with the rulers of darkness, with spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.  Hence they are to quit themselves like men and be strong.  They are asked to pray for Paul, as he is an ambassador in chains (6:21-24).
2. Faithul and beloved Tychius is to carry the Epistle and to inform them of Paulís welfare.  Then the closing benediction (6:21-24), 


During Paulís second missionary tour he reached Troas in Mysia and saw in a vision a man of Macedonia.  Paulís party left at once and reached Samothrace.  The next day they came to Neopolis, and shortly thereafter to Philippi.

Philippi was founded by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, on the site of the ancient Crenides or "Wells", where there were gold and silver mines.  It became a border garrison of the province of Macedonia.

When Macedonia fell to the Romans, they settled a colony there, a colony modeled after Rome itself.  It was thus called a chief city and a colony (Acts 16).  In the first century, the town occupied the southern end of a hill above an extended plain and extended down into the plain, so as to comprise a lower and higher city.  The two parts were divided by the great Egnation Road, which was built six inches under the surface and covered 4000 miles and crossed the extent of Roman Macedonia.  The upper city housed the Temple of Sylvaniu, which was also a citadel.  The lower city contained the market place, the forum, and the courts.

In 42 B.C. a great battle was fought between the Republican army, under Brutus and Cassius, and the Imperial army, under Mark Antony and Octavian.  The Republican forces were defeated.  The battle marked the beginning of the Empire.  One hundred years later Paul came to the same place, to win a greater victory and found a more durable empire.


1. Philippi was composed of Romans, the dominant class, and Macedonians, the minority class, orientals from Asia, and Jews.  The Jews were the insignificant class.  There was no synagogue, but there was a meeting-place for prayer.  It was located by the river Bonarchi, a mile to the west of the city.
 2. Lydia, and possibly other women, was converted.  Next, the Roman jailer and his household were converted.  The group was small and experienced much difficulty.  The Philippians loved Paul, perhaps as no other group did. Paul visited them at least twice, and possibly after his release from Roman imprisonment.  They sent financial assistance at least four times.  The fourth time was the occasion of the writing of the Epistle, possibly ten or fifteen years after the church was started.  Paul wrote the letter from the Roman prison.
3. Paul associates Timothy to himself, and sends Christian greetings to the saints, with special reference to the officials of the church.  "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ (1:2).

I. Paulís prayer and statements regarding himself (1:3-26).

1. Paul thanks God for their conversion and expresses his confidence that God will continue His work among them.  He tells them of his strong affection for them and prays that they may be filled with all the fulness of God.  This is one of Paulís great biblical prayers (1:3-11).
2. Paulís imprisonment, during which he appeared before the authorities and presented Christ, already furthered the cause of Christ.  Others were encouraged to preach more boldly.  There were some who preached Christ to to harm; others preached from proper motives.  In either case, Christ was being made known (1:12-20).
3. Paul hoped that his imprisonment would terminate in his freedom, but he believed that it did not matter so long as God was glorified.  Then follows two classical statements (1:23-24).
4. Paul then expressed strong hopes of being with the Philippians, in answer to their faith and prayers (1:25-26).

II. Major exhortations (1:27-2:18).

1. The Philippians are to live lives worthy of the Gospel and stand fast with one spirit and soul, contending for their faith (1:27-30).
2. They are to live in unity, loving others as themselves (2:1-4).
3. Paul exhorts them to be like-minded with Christ, who, in the form of God and equal with God, made Himself of no reputation and humbled Himself to death on the Cross for the salvation of men.  As a result, He is highly exalted, and every knee shall bow, every tongue confess (2:5-11).
4. They are to work out their own salvation (meet the conditions of God) with fear and trembling.  There is something for us to do after the sin problem is settled.  They are to show the real spirit of Christ to a godless generation.  This will bring glory to God and joy to Paul (2:12-18).

III. Paul states his plan for the Philippians (2:19-30).

1. He intends to send Timothy to them shortly.  While others sought an independence, but Timothy worked with Paul as a son with a parent.  Paul promises to come to Philippi as soon as he is released from prison (2:19-24).
2. In the meantime, Paul will send Epaphroditus, who had been near death.  "Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy."  Apparently Epaphroditus was a bearer, or one of the bearers, of the Letter from Paul to the Philippians (2:25Ė30).

IV.  Paul warns against perils (3:1-4:1).
 1. Paul uses very strong language when writing to the Philippians regarding the Judaists.  He tells them to beware of dogs, of evil workers, and of the concision.  In verse three, the allusion to circumcision indicatates that he means the Judaists.  He did not use this strong language in writing to the Galatians, because there were many there who sympathized with the Judaists (3:1ó3).
2. He than contrasts himself with the Judaists, affirming that he has more to glory in than they.  Yet he counts all such advantages as refuse for the sake of Christ.  Legal righteousness is of no value, but the righteousness of faith in Christ enables one to be in the first resurrection, the resurrection out from the dead (3:1-11).
(1) The total man will be perfected in the first resurrection.  In this sense, Paul is not yet perfect, be he is on the stretch toward it (3:12-14).
(2) Paul says that he himself and many others are perfect in heart and are adult in Christian knowledge.  The word Paul uses signifies both: heart-perfection and resurrection-perfection.  Naturally, Adam Clarke is masterly at this point (3:15-16).
3. Paul then admonishes them to use him, and many others who walk as he does, as examples.  Those who walk otherwise are enemies of the Cross of Christ.  Our citizenship is in heaven, from whence Christ shall come and change our corruptible bodies and make them like unto His own glorious life (3:17-4:1).

V. Concluding exhortation (4:2-9).

1. Euodias and Syntyche, being womenís names, were, probably, two deaconesses who held some doctrinal differences.  Paul advises them to be of the same mind.  The Pulpit Commentary believes that "the true yoke fellow," mentioned in vs. four, is Epaphroditus, the chief pastor at Philippi, who has a position of more equality with the Apostle (4:2-4.
2. Paul then admonishes the whole church to forget any differences among themselves and keep their minds centered on the noblest things.  This is a wonderful piece of advice for unity at all times.  Verse eight is a classic in this respect (4:10-14).

VI. Reference to personal matters (4:10-23).

1. Paul again thanks them for their gift.  He did not ask for it.  He had learned to be content in any state in which he found himself, but they did well to remember him in his hour of need (4:10-14).
2. They had come, although deeply in poverty, to his need when he was in distress, possibly with respect to clothes and money.  Therefore, God will supply all their needs according to His riches in glory.  Paulís language indicates the appreciative manner with which he accepts a gift (4:15-19).
3. Verse twenty is Paulís closing doxology: "Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
4. The closing verses contain salutations to friends and a benediction: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen."  (4:21-24).


 Colossae was a celebrated inland city in the Province of Phrygia in northwestern Asia Minor, east of Ephesus and north of Laodicea and nearly west of Antioch in Pisidea.  The Phrygians were a great and early people, possibly earlier than the Egyptians.  Colossae was one of their chief cities.

The city was built on the river Lycus, quite near to it.  The river went under ground for three fourths of a mile and then flowed into the Maeander River.  Not long after this Epistle was written, and a few years before Nero died (A,D. 68), Colossae, and Laodicea and Hyprias, were overwhelmed by an earthquate (A.D. 60 or 61).   From that time on the city started to disintegrate.

The Province of Phrygia was at first an independent entity.  It became a province of the Persian Empire, upon the defeat of Croesus by Cyrus.  Later it came under the domination of the Romans.  And even later, it was conquered by the Turks.

The ancient site is now a small village, named Chonos.  The village was built on the ruins of the old Colossae.

Introduction (1:1-14).

1. When Paul was three years at Ephesus, he evangelized all around that area and possibly started the Chuch at Colossae.  If Paul did not actually start it in person, then his convert, Epaphras, who was a native of Colossae, started it.
2. The Letter is a prison Epistle, written by Paul and sent to the Colossians by the hand of Tychius, accompanied at least part way by Onesimus.  It was written to enhance good will and encourage believers and warn them of errors that would arise from within and also from the surrounding area, which was infested with the Greek Mystery cults.
3. In Col. 1:1-4, we have Paulís usual introduction, in which he includes Timothy.  Paul praises God for their faith.  He declares that his present informant is Epaphras, who has informed him of their love for God, mankind, and himself.

I. The glorious Person and redemptive work of the Christ (1:15-2:7).

1. Christ is the image of the invisible God (essence of Godhead) and heads all creation, for by Him all that is becameĖboth the visible and the invisible.  The laws of nature are His creation.  He upholds all.  He is also the Head of the Church.  He thus is predominant in the creation and the Church.  Thus he is the one perfect mediator between God and man (1:15-18).
2. Redemptive fulness is in Him, for all things that are reconciled in heaven or in earth are reconciled through Him.  This embraces both the world and humanity (1:19-20).
3. The Cross has reconciled the Colossians and made them perfect.  It will keep them and ultimately present them faultless before the Throne (1:21-23).
4. Paul rejoices in the suffering he has had to endure for their sakes, in his work in presenting the Mystery that had been kept secret since the foundation of the world (1:24:29).
 5. Paul is desirous that they be knit together in love and remain in full assurance of faith, remembering that in Christ the treasures of wisdom are hidden.  He is particularly desirous of those who have not seen the face of Christ in the flesh, but yet believe His messaage (2:1:5).

II. Paul warns them of Judaistic and unfounded speculation in the field of          religion (2:6-8).

1. As the Colossians have received Christ in Christian experience, so they are to walk with Him and avoid those that would deceive them by perverting the truth (2:6-8).
2. Christ transcends all creation and contains the fulness of the Godhead.  He is the head of all principalities and powers.  We are complete in Him (2:9-10).
3. The figure of circumcision is used to denote the spiritual circumcision of Christ, which is heart purity.  A second figure, baptism, denotes burial with Christ and spiritual resurrection to a new life, through the efficacy of His resurrection (2:11-15).
4, Paul cautions against legalism, with regard to meat, drink, fast days, the new moon, and the sabbath.  These are but a shadow of things to come; and these things have now come (2:16-17).
5. Paul warns against a pretended humility, against the adoration of angels, against inquiry into things invisible.  He condemns asceticism and neglect of the body (2:18-23).

III. Doctrinal and ethical considerations (3:1-4:6).

1. The pursuit of heavenly things is based on union with Christ.  Christians will ultimately be like Christ in glory (3:1-4).
2. All manifestations of carnality are to be put to death, by putting to death the Old Man.  In the experience that follows, all are one in Christ Jesus (3:5-11).
3. All the graces of the sanctified life are to be developed to the full and given expression.  This is a wonderful subject (3:12-17).
4. Family and social duties are emphasized.  Wives are to be in subjection to their husbands in the Lord, and husbands are to love their wives in the Lord.  Children are to obey their parents in the Lord.  Parents are to act toward their children in a Christ-like manner (3:18-4:1).
5. They are to be steadfast in prayer.  They are asked to pray for Paul, that doors might be opened and that he might speak as he should (4:2-4).
6. They are to walk in wisdom toward them that are outside the Church.  Their speech is to be seasoned with salt.  They are to give answers with care (5:5-6).

IV. Conclusion (4:7-18).

1. Paul makes certain remarks concerning various personalities.
2. Salutation and closing remarks.

 I Thessalonians

Most of the cities in which Paul labored have either perished or been reduced to insignificance.  Rome and Thessalonica still exist and are important centers.

Thessalonica was first called Therma, because of the warm springs in the vicinity.  The name was changed to Thessalonica by Cassander, who was one of Alexanderís generals.  After Alexander died, Cassander obtained the throne of Macedonia.  He married Alexanderís half-sister, Thessalonikeia, for whom the city was named.  This occurred in 316 B.C.  After the Roman conquest of Thessalonica, the city became more important and ultimately became the capitol of the whole province (146 B.C.).

Thessalonica supported Antony and Octavian prior to the battle of Philippi in 42 B.C., after which the city flourished.  The geographer Strabo states that Thessalonica was the most populous city of Macedonia.  Centuries after Strabo, it had a population of two hundred thousand.  Thirty years ago, its population was one hundred thousand.

First Thessalonians is the first New Testament letter to be written.


1. After Paul was released from the jail at Philippi, he journeyed to Amphipolis, thence to Apollonia, then on to Thessalonica (I Thess. 2:2; Acts 17-19).  There was a synagogue in the city, where Paul apparently preached during three sabbaths. As a result difficulties arose, and Paul decided, for the good of the work, to move on. 
2. The converts comprised three classes: a few Jews, many devout Greeks, and several of the chief women of the city.  The Greek element probably dominated (1:9).  After leaving Thessalonica, Paul went to Athens, finally to Corinth, where Timothy, who had left Thessalonica, joined him.
3. Timothy reported four problems at Thessalonica:
(1) In spite of persecution, the Christians were standing firm.  But they needed encouragement.
(2) Since Paulís visit to the city, some of the Christians had died.  Those who still lived were troubled, concerned that the death of these Christians who were waiting the Lordís coming, the Parousia, would not share in the glory of His coming.
(3) The opponents of the church were doing their best to malign Paulís character.
(4) In expectation of the Lordís coming, there were some who neglected the affairs of this life.

I. Commendations (1:1-10).

1. Paul links Silvanus (Silus) and Timothy with himself and thanks God for the Thessalonians.  He commends their faith, hope, and love.  He rejoices that they are brethren beloved, elected to salvation (1:1-5).
2. Paul acknowledges that the Thessalonians knew, properly, the kind of persons Paul and others were, they who brought the Gospel to them.  He states that they received the Word and became followers of the Apostle and of the Lord.  Their faith is acknowleged throughout the Christian world (1:6-10).

2. Paulís defense of himself (2:1-20).

 1. The Thessalonians know what manner of men the Apostle and his fellow-workers are and how they had been beaten at Philippi and that their message was not in error, not fraught with guile or beneficial to themselves.  They had not resorted to flattery.  Paul had demonstrated his authority as an Apostle (2:1-6).
2. These ministers were gentle and Paul loved them as a nurse loves the child.  They imparted to them the Gospel of God and are willing to impart their own souls if necessary.  They had labored to support themselves as they preached.  The Thessalonians witness that the ministers live holy, righteously, and unblameably (2:7-12).
3. Paul thanks God that the Thessalonians received the Word as from God and not merely from man.  They have become fellow-sufferers with the Gentiles in Judea.  The Jews killed the prophets and Jesus Himself and drove out the Apostles.  They pleased not God and were contrary to all men (II Chron. 7:14).  The wrath of God rests upon them to the utmost (2:13-16).
4. Paul states that he is exceedingly desirous to visit them, but Satan has hindered.  They are his hope and joy, his crown of rejoicing in the Lord (2:17-20).

III. Paul sends Timothy to the church at Thessalonica (3:1-13).

1. Paul could not return to Thessalonica.  He was afraid lest they be carried away by persecution, so he sent Timothy (3:1-5).
2. Timothy brought good news, that the Thessalonians were standing firmly and had not forgotten the messengers of the Cross or the message of the Cross (3:6-9).
3. Paul then utters a prayer that their hearts might be established unblameable in holiness.  He desires to see them again and impart this second benefit.  Here holiness and the second coming are related very closely (3:10-13).

IV. Holiness and brotherly love are enjoined (4:1-12).

1. Paul states that the Thessalonians are regenerated and that he desires that they be sanctified wholly.  He declares that such is the will of God.  "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (4:3a).  Then follows a series of injunctions that concern the sanctified (4:1-8).
2. They are to love each other and to study to be quiet, to work with their own hands, and to walk in a Christ-like manner before the world (4:9:12).

V. The resurrection of the Christian dead (4:13-5:11).

1. Just as Jesus rose, so will God raise up the Christians.  In fact, the dead will precede the living. The great themes of Resurrection and Rapture are discussed jointly (4:13-18).
2. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.  When all are saying peace and safety, it will come (5:1-11).

VI. Closing exhortation regarding holiness (5:12-24).

1. The exhortation to love those who labor among them, to be totally abandoned to God, to rejoice in all things, and to shun the very appearance of evil (5:12-22).
 2. These conditions being met, the very God of peace shall sanctify them wholly.  They are called to this blessing, and God will grant it (5:23-24).

VII. Conclusion (5:25-28).

Paul asks for their prayers and charges them to love one another.  He then charges that the Epistle be read to all the brethren.

 II Thessalonians

The First Epistle to the Thessalonians was written at either Athens or Corinth.  The Second Epistle was probably written at Corinth, about six months after the writing of First Thessalonians.

The Thesallonians had misunderstood certain expressions in the first Epistle.  When Paul declared that the time of Christís second coming is uncertain, they possibly thought that he meant that Christís coming was imminent.  They believed that a letter, supposedly from Paul and his colleagues, supported their view (2:2).

Because of their belief in Christís imminent coming, they neglected the affairs of this life.

For these reasons, Paul wrote a second letter.

I. Address and greeting (1:1-2).

The writers of the Epistle are named: Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

II. The thanksgiving 1:3-12).

1. Paul commends their faith and patience in persecution.  Persecution results in their being counted worthy of the kingdom of God (1:3-4).
2. Paul speaks of the judgment of God upon those who are responsible for their persecutions and afflictions (1:5-7a).
3. Paul states that this judgment will be manifested when the Lord Jesus is revealed (1:7b-10).
4. Paulís prayer for Godís blessing (1:11-12).

III. Misconceptions regarding the Parousia (Second Coming) (2:1-17). 

1. Let no man shake your mind or trouble you by word or by epistle as from us that the day of the Lord is at hand.  It is not immediately at hand.  There must first come a great falling away and the Anti-Christ must first appear and set himself up as Christ (1:1-5).
2. The mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but held in check by the restraining power of the Spirit.  When that restraining power is removed, the Anti-Christ will appear (2:6-8).
3. The Anti-Christ will deceive those who, in their unrighteousness, perish (2:9-10).
4. Thanksgiving for Godís call to the Thessalonians and prayer for firmness (2:11-16).

IV. Closing appeals, instructions, prayer (3:1-6).

 1. Paulís request for prayer contains two points: that the Word of the Lord might make rapid progress and that the Apostle and his followers might be delivered from their opponents (3:1-5).
2. Some Thessalonian Christians had ceased from their work, waiting for the Rapture.  They were not to be given assistance; if they do not work they are not to eat.  Referring to himself, Paul states that he has worked while preaching.  However, the Thessalonians are not to withhold help for the needy.
3. Paul apparently wrote the last few verses with his own hand, as a safeguard against forgery (3:7-18).
4. These two Thessalonian epistles were probably the first two New Testament Epistles.  They are treatises on holiness and the Second Coming.

 I Timothy

Early in Paulís second missionary tour, he found at Lystra a young man, Timothy, probably converted during Paulís first tour, who was well-reported by the brethren.  The young manís mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were Jewesses.  But now the three are converts to Christianity.  Timothyís father was a Greek, probably long since dead.  The best of the two races seemed to have met in Timothy.

Paul took Timothy with him, as his attendant in the place of John Mark.  He also took Silas, who replaced Barnabas.  Timothy matured in grace rapidly, and Paul soon made him an associate in the ministry.

There were probably three periods in Timothyís ministry:
(1) The novitiate period.  During this period, he is Paulís servant.  It closed shortly after he began accompanying Paul on his travels.
(2) The presbyterial period.  During this period, he is sent on missions.  Whedon says that this is the period when Timothy is close to ordination.
(3) The episcopal period.  Timothy is now in charge of the church at Ephesus and, possibly, the surrounding area.  He is now a leader.  We know of Timothy only as a young man.  He was probably thirty-two when Paul wrote, "Let no man despise thy youth."

Timothy remained in Ephesus to deal with the following errors:
(1) The fables of Jewish doctors who held that the Mosaic Law is necessary to salvation.
(2) The use of genealogies by which individuals tried to trace their descent from Abraham as a means to their salvation.
(3) Intricate questions and strife about the Law, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds.
(4) Oppositions of knowledge, falsely so named.

Introduction (1:1-2)

1. The Epistle is directed to Timothy.  Adam Clarke says that the two letters to Timothy were written only few months apart.  First Timothy is probably not a prison-epistle, but written between two Roman imprisonments.
2. The Epistle contains counsels to a young minister respecting his personal conduct and his ministerial duties. Paul addresses Timothy as his own son in the Faith (1:1-2).  Then Paul gives nine charges.

I. The first charge (1:3-20).
 1. False doctrine, such as fables and genealogies, must not be taught.  The injunction to obedience, love, and unfeigned faith.  There are those who desire to be teachers of the Law, who lack understanding (1:3-11).
2. Paul has been faithful and called into the ministry, in spite of the fact that he had been a murderer and blasphemer.  Thus Christ saves even the chiefest of sinners.  Paul regards himself as an example of the Christís power to save (1:12-17).
3. "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy . . .".  Paul charges Timothy to war a good warfare, to hold fast the faith, to keep a good conscience.  He contrasts Timothy with those who have made a shipwreck of their faith: Hymenaeus and Alexander.  Adam Clarke says that we do not know the nature of the punishment placed upon them by Paul.  Hymenaeus denied the Resurrection (II Tim. 2:17-18).  Alexander is doubtless the coppersmith mentioned in II Tim. 4:14.  They were to be excluded from the Christian society (2:18-20).

II. The second charge, regarding public prayer (2:1-8).

1. Supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, must be made for all men, even those in high position.  Nero was then the Roman Emperor.  Christ is the one great mediator; he wills that all men shall be saved 2:1-6).
2. To this redemptive work, Paul himself was appointed (2:7).

III. The third charge, regarding the behavior of women and their place in the Church (2:9-15).

1. Women are not to dress in gaudy, worldly fashion, but as becometh holiness.  They are not to teach in the congregation.  They are to be in submission (2:9-12).
2. Two reasons are given: man was created first, while woman was created as an helpmeet; woman was first tempted and the first to sin.  Notwithstanding, if she fulfill her proper role she shall be saved (2:13-15).

IV. The fourth charge, regaring Presbyters, Bishops, and Elders (3:1-7).

After Paulís day, the term Bishop meant the chief ruler of a local church.  In the two epistles to Timothy, the term probably denotes overseership of a local church.

1. The bishop is not to be a young convert, but someone who is seasoned and of unimpeachable character.  He is to be monogynous, ruling his house well (3:2-6).  (See Dummelow, who is a good reference.)
2. Verse seven is worth quoting: "Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

V, The fifth charge, regarding deacons and deaconsesses (3:8-13).

1. A deacon must also be of unimpeachable character, "a man of one woman," and not greedy regarding money (3:8-10).
2. Women who hold the Office are also to be of unimpeachable character.  They are not allowed to marry.  This stipulation was necessary, because at that time married women were excluded from public administration.  They are admitted to the Order by the laying on of hands by the bishops.  Their duties are three-fold:
(1) To minister generally to women.
(2) To assist at the baptism of women.
(3) To stand at the womenís door of the church, and to act as go-between the clergy and women.
3. I Tim. 3:14-4:10 is an appendix, given to emphasize further what has been said thus far.  It also serves to instruct Timothy as to how to proceed should Paul be absent.

VI. The sixth charge, concerning Timothyís conduct (4:;11-16).

1. His is to be an example to the believers, in behavior, in love, in faith, and in purity (4:11-12)
2. While waiting for Paulís arrival, he is to read, exhort, and teach (13-16).

VII. The seventh charge, concerning widows and the elerly (5:1-25).

1. The Christians are to care for widows with children, grandchildren, and nephews.  The church itself should not bear this burden.  The heathen do this; if Christians do not do so, they are worse than heathens (5:3-4).
2. A "real widow," i.e., one without children or grandchildren, and who devotes herself to the church, must be taken care of 5:5-10).
3. Younger widows, i.e., those under sixty, are not to be enrolled in the service of the church.  When opportunity presents, they tend to remarry, which requires withdrawal from service of the church (5:11-16).
4. Elders must be honored.  Charges against an Elder require two or three witnesses (5:17-25).

VIII. The eighth charge, concerning bond servants, or slaves (6:1-2).

1. Had Christianity openly condemned slavery, it would have caused the name of God and the Bible to be rejected by society as whole.  But eventually, Christianity changed society, which condemned slavery.  But Paul does admonish Master and Slave to show a Christlike spirit to each other.
2. A brief appendix follows, resuming the charge against false teachers and also the charge to Timothy (6:3-16).

IX. The ninth charge, concerning wealth (6:17-19).

1. In itself, wealth is not an evil.  Nowhere is riches condemned.
2. Those who are rich must not be conceited.  They are to use their wealth for the good of others and the glory of God.  By so doing, they lay up for themselves treasures in Heaven (6:17:18).

Conclusion (6:20-21): the closing exhortation is passionately addressed to Timothy.  "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called" (6:21).

  II Timothy

There can be no doubt that the same author wrote both First and Second Timothy.  Both Epistles were written to the same person, namely, Paulís son in the faith, Timothy.

Second Timothy is probably Paulís last epistle.  It was thus written at the time of his second imprisonment, just before his execution.  It is dated not later than 68 A.D.

Paul probably had two reasons for writing the Epistle:  (1) to urge Timothy to come to him, since most of his friends were gone and he felt the need of a friend to be with him as he neared his end; and (2) to urge Timothy once more to maintain the Faith entrusted to his custody.  No doubt Paul was greatly burdened: he saw the coming defections from the Faith and the pure Gospel.
In addressing Timothy, Paul mentions no associates.  He addresses Timothy as his beloved child (RV) and pronounces a benediction upon him (1:1-2).

I. Paul recalls the Past, to encourage Timothy (1:3-18). 

1. Paul again reminds Timothy of his family heritage.  He recalls his own influence upon Timothy.  As Paul is not ashamed of his imprisonment, so must Timothy not feel ashamed.  Both are partakers of Christís suffering.  Nearly all of Paulís friends had forsaken him.  He mentions Phygellus and Hermogenes, of whom we have no knowledge (1:3-15).
2. In that dark hour one man stands out, Onesiphorus, who, when in Rome, often visited Paul and provided help, as he had done in Ephesus.  Paul asks God to bless his friend (3:16-18).

II. Paul encourages Timothy and confirms him for the future (2:1-26).

1. The things that he has heard from Paul is his in turn to commit to faithful men, who will also teach others.  He, with Paul, is to suffer hardship like a good soldier.  He is not to become entangled in things of the world.  He is to play the game fairly, minding the rules in every respect.  He is to endure sufferings, in hope of final glory (2:2-13).
2. Timothy is urged to warn the people of noisy errors propagated by apostates from the true faith.  II Cor. 2:15 and 19 are two outstanding verses: "study to show . . ." and "the foundation of God . . .".  Two persons who denied the Resurrection are mentioned: Hymenaeus and Philetus (2:14-19).
3. Vessels in a house differ in glory or honor.  If a person shuns error, he is an honored vessel.  Personal purity is then urged and heresy condemned.  Holiness of heart is emphasized (2:20-26).

III. Prediction of the Apostasy at the close of the Apostolic Age (3:1-7).

1. A final word picture is drawn of the Apostasy.  From such turn away. A picture is given of the close of the present dispensation.  They resist the truth, as did Jannes and Jambres when they resisted Moses (3:1-9).
2. Timothy knows of Paulís steadfastness in the truth.  Likewise, Timothy must be steadfast.  A fine passage: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God . . ." ((3:16:17) (3:10-17)).
 IV. Paulís closing charge to Timothy, followed by salutation and benediction      (4:1-22).

1. Paul charges Timothy before God and Christ to preach the Word in and out of season.  The time is coming when people will not endure the Gospel.  Timothy is urged to be watchful, to endure afflictions, and make full proof of his ministry (4:1-5).
2. Paul triumphantly anticipates martyrdom; his course is run.  The fight is over and his departure is near, with a crown waiting him.  This passage is well worth reading (4:6-8).
3. Paul asks Timothy to come quickly.  Demas has forsaken him; only Luke is with him.  Paul had rescued Christianity from Judaism at great personal cost.  He has sacrificed everything, suffered, and is ready to die for the Cause.  He was greatly burdened for the future of Christianity.  Timothy is to bring John Mark with him.  His cloak and books are to be brought from Troas (4:9-13).


I. The salutation (1:1-4).

II. On elders and bishops (1:5-8).

III. The bishopsí function: to maintain sound doctrine (1:9-16).

IV. Sound doctrine and Christian belief (2:1-15).

1. Elderly men are to be temperate, grave, sober minded, sound in faith, loving, patient.  Elderly women are to be above reproach and are to teach the younger women (2:1-6).
2. Titus is to be sound in doctrine and in good works, an example in good works.
3. Servants are to be faithful to their masters in all things, so as to adorn the Gospel.  Again, Paul left the Gospel to change society, after which society will eliminate slavery (2:9-10).
4. We must live righteously and soberly in this world and constantly look for the appearing of our Savior.  There follow statements on holiness (2:14-15).

V. Further instructions concerning Christian conduct; the doctrinal basis     (3:1-10).

1. Regarding relations to unbelievers, Christians are to show obedience to those in authority.  They are to live righteously and show meekness to all (3:1-2).
2. Christians were once sinners, but they are now saved.  They are to do good works and show the right spirit (3:3-8a).
3. Paul gives Titus his final charge, to maintain good works, to avoid useless controversy, and to shun factions (3:8b-11).
4. To close: Paul asks Titus to come and spend the winter with him at Nicopolis.  He then names some of the all-time great ones, including Zenas the Lawyer and Apollos.


Paul had many personal friends, probably wrote many personal letters.  This is the only one we possess.  Paul was probably nearing the end of his first Roman imprisonment.

Philemon is a friend.  The term means friend.  It is a proper name, not a nickname.  Philemon lived at Colossae.  A church was probably located on his property.

Philemon was probably a layman, benevolent and of means.  Paul asks Philemon to prepare a room for him, should he visit him (vss. 5-7, 22).

Probably Paul was at Colossae during his stay ( two and a half years) at Ephesus. Philemon was apparently brought to Christ by Paul.(vs. 5).

Onesimus was apparently Philemonís slave.  He robbed his master and ran away.  He evidently heard Paul preach and was converted.  He now returns to his master.  Paul sends his letter by the hand of Onesimus and asks Philemon to receive him graciously (vs. 3, 10, 14).


1. Tradition has it that Philemon liberated Onesimus and that Onesimus became important in his day.
2. If it were merely a matter of Onesimus, Paul would doubtless have let him depart and inform Philemon that he ought not to hold a man in bondage.  The Epistle indicates this.  But, again, slavery is a matter for society to come to terms with.
3. In the Introduction, Paul calls himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ and associates Timothy with himself.  Apphia may have been Philemonís wife, and Archippus, his son.  This, of course, is guess-work.

I. The Apostle thanks God for the good report he has of Philemonís faith and kindness (vss. 5-7).

II. Paul then intercedes for Onesimus.

1. Paul does so for loveís sake, on the grounds of his age and imprisonment.
2. Paul reminds Philemon that he (paul) can keep Onesimus, but would not do so in the absence of Philemonís approval.

III. A desire never realized.

Paul stated a desire to visit Philemon at Colossae.  He asks Philemon to prepare a room for him.  However, this desire was never realized.

IV. Salutations.

The remainder of the Epistle contains salutations from the all-time great ones: Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas.  He includes thse fellow laborers, to point out the unity of the Christian ministers.

V. The final benedection.
 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."


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Sommerville.  St. Paulís Conception of Christ.

Smith, David.  The Life and Letters of St. Paul.  London: Hodder & Staughton, 1921.

Speer, R. E.  Studies of the Man Paul.  New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1900.

Spence, H. D. M. & J. S. Excell, eds.  The Pulpit Commentary.  23 vols.  Grand Rapids, 1950.

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      .  The Expositorís Bible.


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