Home Bible Study: Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2:15
Is there more than one gospel in effect today?
About two years ago, after many months of prayerful consideration, I decided to move this Bible study beyond the living room and onto the WWW. My decision was based exclusively on my personnel experiences and this logic:
o There is a “hunger” for Truth in this world.
o Only in Truth, is there real freedom.
o The only place you’re going to hear Bible Truth is in the home…
William R. Newell
I wanted you to know the Lord has responded to this prayer request.
Our small group is growing. God is using this Home Bible Study ministry to assist people in their search for Truth.
I’d like to formally welcome those Bible students who are following along with us from the following countries: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States
Thank you for taking the time to study God’s Word along with us.
We have a question and answer period after each one of our classes here in Lutz, Florida, and I imagine you have a few questions yourself from time to time.
When that happens, you can contact me at: TruthisTold3@GMail.com
I will read your questions and respond to them as quickly as possible.
I’d like to begin this lesson with some “house-work.”
Why did God change Saul’s name to Paul? Answer: He didn’t.
Saul of Tarsus, a Hebrew, was named by his parents.
But his father was a Roman citizen; therefore, Saul inherited Roman citizenship.
Saul also had a Latin name Paul. Dual names were common in those days.
Since Saul grew up in a strict Pharisee environment, the name Saul was by far the more appropriate name to go by.
But after Saul’s conversion, and because he was chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His apostle to the gentiles, Saul used his Roman name (Paul) which is a name gentiles were more accustomed to.
His intention: to put people at ease and to approach them in a language and a style they could relate to. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
From this point on, I will refer to this man as “Paul” when it’s appropriate.
When we last left Paul, he was preaching “the Lord” to the Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem; and we discovered these same Jews were anxious to put him to death for it.
We know by their reaction they were not receptive to his gospel.
Before we go any further there’s something you need to know.
From Acts 9:25-26 there is a three-year gap in time. (There’s that #3 again!)
The Apostle Luke wrote the book of Acts. He was a historian and a physician.
If you carefully study the book of Acts, you’ll see Luke focuses on two individuals for the most part, Peter and Paul. Luke was a detail- oriented individual to be sure.
But Luke does not mention this 3-year gap in Paul’s life.
You have to “dig deeper” into God’s Word to find this truth and this is why I remind you from time to time that the Bible is meant to be studied – not read.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church he established in Galatia between the years 48-52 AD. This is where we find the information about these missing 3 years.
15: But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s and called me through His grace (“grace” = unmerited favor) was pleased
16: to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, (read carefully) I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood (or the living),
17: nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me (What’s Paul saying? Paul did not confer with Peter, James, John, or any of the apostles. Paul did not receive instructions from any of them concerning the Lord. Furthermore Paul is letting us know that HE IS ALSO AN APOSTLE); but I went to (where) Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. (How long was Paul in Arabia? Read on.)
18: Then (how long) three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas (Peter) and stayed with him fifteen days.
(Verse 18 takes us back to where we were in Acts 9:26: - “When he (Saul) came (back) to Jerusalem…”)
Are you still with me? I don’t want to lose anyone.
Let’s work with what we know.
- We know that when Paul escaped from those Jews who planned to kill him in Damascus, he went to Arabia.
- He had been preaching the Covenant Gospel to Jew only.
- We know this is all the information he had to work with.
- Paul was in Arabia from 37 – 40 AD (approximately)
- After this, Paul returned to Jerusalem.
Paul was a changed man when he returned to Jerusalem and so was his message.
1: For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles
2: if indeed you have heard of the (what) stewardship (manager) of God’s grace which was (read carefully) given to me for you (gentiles);
Read that verse again. Let the meaning sink in…
3: that by (what means) revelation (revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with Deity) there was made known to me the mystery, (what mystery – the “secrets” pertaining to the Church Age. There isn’t a hint of it anywhere in Scripture before Paul’s conversion. In fact, if you take the writings of Paul out of the Bible, there are no Church Age teachings left.)
I prefer the King James Version translation.
1: For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2: If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward:
3: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4: Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (Only Paul writes/speaks of these Church Age mysteries – no one else.)
5: Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6: That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9: And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11: According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Paul wasn’t speaking this kind of language after his conversion or in the synagogues at Damascus. Do you see that?
Logic dictates that Paul received this “revelation” from the Lord sometime after that.
I believe it’s safe to assume Paul was “made a minister” of these “mysteries” after he escaped the attempt on his life in Damascus and while he was away in Arabia.
I also believe there are parallels in Scripture or “foreshadows” of things to come.
We’re going to examine one of these from the Old Testament to see if it applies here in our next lesson.
(To be continued)
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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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