Paul's Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon: Study Guides for LIFE

Paul's Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon: Study Guides for LIFE

by James K. Crews


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The book of Acts closes with Paul languishing under house arrest, being guarded by Roman soldiers while awaiting Caesar's decision about his life. What could he do but greet visitors and write letters? We have the following four letters he wrote during this time.
EPHESIANS: He explained believers are seated with Christ in the heavens, far above all governments, authorities or powers. Regardless of our condition or status on earth, we are present and exalted in the spiritual realm with Christ. He further instructed Christ's followers how to stand against the wiles of spiritual forces of wickedness.
PHILIPPIANS: Paul highlighted Christ's submission to the will of God to set forth the ideals of Christian maturity. Paul described the guiding force of his life; namely, to know Christ, to experience the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His suffering, and ultimately, to run with meaning and purpose to attain the rewards that Christ provides. He urged his readers to pursue these same attitudes and maturity to maximize their fruitfulness for the kingdom of God.
COLOSSIANS: He warned of false teachers who were teaching empty philosophies instead of Christ. He strongly and explicitly spoke of the preeminence of Jesus Christ. He urged believers to keep their attention and focus on Christ and Him alone. He richly expressed the centrality of Jesus' person, work and all He provides believers. In Him, all things were created and all things hold together. In Him, dwells the sum total of divine perfection. Through Christ comes peace from the blood of His cross and ensures believers will be presented to God holy, blameless and beyond reproach.
PHILEMON: Paul pleads with a slave owner to take back a run-away slave. This personal letter is a model of the grace of Jesus Christ as Paul tactfully appeals to Philemon to receive Onesimus without punishment. Paul generously assumes all the debts and obligations Onesimus incurred in running away. At the same time, he subtly reminds Philemon that Paul was responsible for bringing the message of salvation to him and his family. Paul's letter is a healing balm for Onesimus. who could have been severely punished or even put to death for his actions.
These letters have been extremely influential for the Church of Jesus Christ. For centuries, they have profoundly edified, encouraged and exhorted believers since Paul wrote them. Their influence to the Church and even to our western culture has been inestimable and profound.
As you use this Study Guide for LIFE you will be helped by three specific tools: 1) explanatory notes which offer insight into difficult or controversial passages; 2) searching questions which direct you back to the text for answers, and 3) probing questions that expand the context and challenge you to apply the truths in these letters to your own life and culture. Our goal is that you will know what the text says, what it means and will be able to apply it appropriately.
Through these tools, you will discover and understand the purpose, power and passion that invigorated Paul during this dark time of his life. It is our hope that you will be able to use these discoveries to experience the same closeness and intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, who was his ever constant, always present, Lord and Savior.
These Study Guides are appropriate for the study efforts of individuals, small groups or teachers preparing to explain this book. Whether you are a curious seeker or a professional minister, "A Study Guide for LIFE" will direct your studies deeply into the Word of God and ultimately into the life and intimacy of Jesus Christ. May it also stir your own heart to expand the influence of Christ in yourself, your circle of friends and into the uttermost parts of the earth. For in this day, Jesus is purifying the church and drawing to Himself the last of the lost in anticipation of His soon return to establish His Kingdom on earth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781540862464
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/07/2016
Pages: 118
Sales rank: 486,416
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

James K. Crews, B-Th, MA-Th, (he prefers "Jim") is an ordained minister who has served as Bible teacher, church leader, missionary, international conference speaker, author and academic dean of a Bible college. He's done all those things, but that's not who he is. He's just your basic, shy analytical kind of guy who sees himself as a follower of Jesus, one who has spent his life studying God's Word and getting to know Him. He has assembled a lifetime of learning to create the Study Guides for LIFE to point believers toward Jesus so they can also know Him and make Him known.
His theology is thoroughly conservative, evangelical, charismatic and Wesleyan. His study guides strive for unity in the body of Christ and a dependency on the Scriptures rather than on denominational dogma. With theology degrees from both the Independent Assemblies of God and a conservative Baptist seminary, he presents both sides of conflicting views. His goal is to expand the readers' awareness of the issues while directing them to the Scriptures and the father-heart of God so they can develop their own understanding and conclusions.

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