March 2020 - GraceAndWorks


Posted by | Life Blogs | No Comments

Shared to you from: GotQuestions. org Home.

The prison epistles—Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon—are so named because they were written by the apostle Paul during one of his incarcerations. It is generally accepted that Paul wrote the prison epistles during his first Roman imprisonment. The exact dates he wrote each of the prison epistles is unknown, but the two-year period he spent under house arrest in Rome has been narrowed down to the years AD 60–62. Paul’s imprisonment in Rome is verified by the book of Acts, where we find references to his being guarded by soldiers (Acts 28:16), being permitted to receive visitors (Acts 28:30), and having opportunities to share the gospel (Acts 28:31). These details, along with Paul’s mention of being with “those who belong to Caesar’s household” (Philippians 4:22), support the view that Paul wrote the prison epistles from Rome. Paul’s Roman incarceration produced three great letters to the churches of Ephesus, Colosse, and Philippi, as well as a personal letter to his friend Philemon.

Three of the prison letters, also called the imprisonment or captivity letters, were bound for three of the churches he founded on his second missionary journey (Acts 20:1-3). Always concerned for the souls of those he continually prayed for in these churches, his letters reflect his pastor’s heart and his love and concern for those he thought of as his spiritual children. Colossians was written explicitly to defeat the heresy that had arisen in Colosse that endangered the existence of the church. In his letter, Paul dealt with key areas of theology, including the deity of Christ (Colossians 1:15–20; 2:2–10), the error of adding circumcision and other Jewish rituals to salvation by faith (Colossians 2:11–23), and the conduct of God’s people (chapter 3). The letter to the church at Ephesus also reflects Paul’s concerns for the beloved, especially that they would understand the great doctrines of the faith (chapters 1–3) and the practical outworkings of that doctrine in Christian behavior (chapters 4-6). The epistle to the Philippians is Paul’s most joyful letter, and references to his joy abound within its pages (Philippians 1:4, 18, 25–26; 2:2, 28; 3:1; 4:1, 4, 10). He encourages the Philippian believers to rejoice in spite of suffering and anxiety, rejoice in service, and continue to look to Christ as the object of their faith and hope.

The fourth prison letter was written to Paul’s “friend and fellow laborer,” Philemon (Philemon 1:1) as a plea for forgiveness. Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, had run away from Philemon’s service to Rome, where he met the aging apostle and became a convert to Christ through him. Paul asks Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a brother in Christ who is now “profitable” to both of them (Philemon 1:11). The theme of the book of Philemon is forgiveness and the power of the gospel of Christ to undermine the evils of slavery by changing the hearts of both masters and slaves so that spiritual equality is achieved.

While the prison epistles reflect Paul’s earthly position as a prisoner of Rome, he makes it clear that his captivity was first and foremost to Christ (Philemon 1:9; Ephesians 3:1; Colossians 4:18; Philippians 1:12–14). Paul’s time in prison was for the purpose of the spreading of the gospel in the Gentile capital of Rome. The Lord Himself told Paul to “take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11). Paul’s time in captivity was no less profitable to us today than it was to the first-century churches he loved so well.

SMILE God Loves YOU!! Have a GREAT day all.


Posted by | Life Blogs | No Comments

The Bible is full of stories about getting it right with what God has to say. To do things different, “It just doesn’t work.” I want to share a couple of these stories with you.

In 2nd Kings 5:9-15–Naaman had leprosy and was told to dip in the Jordon river 7 times and he would be clean. He got furious, but eventually did what he was told and became clean. He grumbled about what God had told him, just as we do sometimes, but in the end he did what he was told. If he dipped in a different river, dipped 6 times, or 8 times, “It just doesn’t work.”

In Genesis 6:8-12–Noah was told to build an Ark. God gave him precise instructions on how the Ark was to be built. Noah, through his faith, did as God had told him, just as we do sometimes. Had Noah built the Ark his own way and not done what God said, “It just doesn’t work.”

In Numbers 20:7-12–Moses was told to talk to the rock and there would be plenty of water. Moses was not happy with the people and struck the rock with a rod instead of talking to it, as God has instructed. The rock produced water, but Moses lost his right to enter the Promised Land. One mistake, not doing what God said, cost him dearly. “It just doesn’t work.”

In Genesis 19:12-26–God was ready to destroy Sodom because of the immorality that was going on. He told Lot and his wife to leave the city and not look back. Lot’s wife turned and looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. One mistake, she didn’t do what God said, cost her her life. “It just doesn’t work.”

4 Stories–2 did what they were told and things worked out good–2 didn’t do what they were told and things turned bad. So, what about in today’s world? Are we doing what God says, or doing things our own way?

In the new Testament God has precise plans we are to use.

The plan of our Salvation is laid out for us and to do different, “It just doesn’t work.”
Romans 10:17–Hear the Word of God
John 8:24–Believe His Word
Luke 13:3–Repent of our sins
Matthew 10:32–Confess that we believe Jesus is the Son of God
Mark 16:16–Be baptized
Revelation 2:10–Remain faithful until death and receive the Crown of Life
Leave any of these steps out, “It just doesn’t work.”

Jesus established His Church in Acts on the Day of Pentecost. He gave precise instruction how to Worship Him.
1st Timothy 4:2–Preach the Word
James 5:16–Prayer
Ephesians 5:19–Addressing one another with song from the heart (No example of instruments)
Acts 20:7 and 1st Corinthians–Communion on the 1st day of the week.
1st Corinthians 16:1-2 and 2nd Corinthians 9:6-8–Giving on the 1st day of the week with what you purpose in your heart
1st John 1:3–Fellowship with one another, Jesus Christ, and the Father.
Hebrews 10:24-26–Don’t forsake Worshiping with the Saints.
Ephesians Chapter 4–There is only one Church. Christ established His Church on the day of Pentecost.
Leave any one of these out, “It just doesn’t work.”


Don’t be like Lot’s wife or Moses making mistakes. If we don’t do what God says and Commands, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. “IT DOESN’T WORK!!

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.