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Green Tree Bible Study 12: The Christian Mind (A Study in Philippians)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

In the last article I suggested the value of studying a theme through a portion of Scripture. We then looked at the theme of joy in the book of Philippians. Another major theme in Philippians concerns the Christian mind. One’s “mind” is the way he thinks, and that undergirds all behavior. We have to think Christianity before we can act it.

The basic word for mind in Greek is phroneo. This word occurs 12 times in Philippians. Whenever it appears, it is always a verb rather than a noun. And the Greek word is always translated “mind” or “think” except in its Philippians 4:10 appearance where it is translated “care” or “careful.”

There are four other verses in Philippians where different Greek words are used. These words might also be translated “think” or “mind.” These four instances are found in l:27, 2:20 (Psyche best translated “soul” or “self” ); 4:7 (Noema best translated “mental faculties”); and 4:8 (Logizomai best translated “consider”).

Paul is here concerned about the Christian way of thinking. Let’s look at the main characteristics of Christian as portrayed in Philippians. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship, Personal Care / Family|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 12: The Christian Mind (A Study in Philippians)

Green Tree Bible Study 11: Rejoice in the Lord (A Study in Philippians)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

One helpful kind of Bible study is tracing a theme through a portion of Scripture. It is universally agreed joy is one of the key themes in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This is even more remarkable considering Paul was in prison during this writing (1:13). He had evangelized Philippi on his second and third missionary journey. After that he journeyed to Jerusalem where he was arrested. He spent two years under arrest in Caesarea. He finally appealed his case to Caesar and was transferred under guard to Rome. He spent two more years imprisoned there.

The Philippians sent Paul an offering by way of a man named Epaphroditus. Unfortunately, Epaphroditus fell seriously ill at this time. This news reached Philippi. The Philippians resulting distress got back to Paul in Rome.

Paul wrote that Epaphroditus had recovered and was preparing to return home. In fact, it was Epaphroditus who bore this letter to the Philippians (about A.D. 60/6l). The letter makes it clear that a special fellowship existed between Paul and the Philippians.

There are 19 references to joy and rejoicing in the four chapters of Philippians. All but three are either the noun “joy” (chara in Greek) or the verb “rejoice” (chairo). There are five key aspects of Paul’s joy. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 11: Rejoice in the Lord (A Study in Philippians)

Green Tree Bible Study 10: When God’s Blessings Are Restored (Haggai 2:10-23)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

A message doesn’t necessarily have to last long to have long-lasting effects. The short book of Haggai proves that. The three basic messages of Haggai’s book were all preached in one year. All three of them said and accomplished much.

The first message (1:1-15) came on the first day of the sixth month (our September). It succeeded in inspiring the Jews to rebuild the temple. The second message (2:1-9) came on the 21st of the following month. It addressed their discouragement. The third message came two months later on the 24th day of the month (our December). There are three noteworthy parts to this third message. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Leadership|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 10: When God’s Blessings Are Restored (Haggai 2:10-23)

Green Tree Bible Study 9: When Yesterday Robs Today (Haggai 2:1-9)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Haggai’s first word of rebuke had come in Darius’s second year or reign. Scripture is exact about the timing: It came on the first day of the sixth month of the year (the month Elul in the Hebrew calendar which is our September). By the 24th of that month, the Jews had repented of their neglect of God’s house and began rebuilding the temple in a spirit of real revival (see 1:1, 14, 15).

It is now nearly a month later (the 2lst day of the seventh month Tisri). Bad attitudes are hard to break. When the first flush of excitement is over and the routine sets in we find it all too easy to revert to them. Discouragement has gradually reappeared among the people. The reason for discouragement this time was different. Previously they had been hindered by political pressures, opposition from enemies, political pressures, and preoccupation with their own selfish interests. Now the problem is that some are comparing the structure they are building with the former, glorious temple that Solomon had constructed. And that comparison robbed them of a sense of the worth of what they were doing.

Thankfully God He is not quick to forsake us. He is patient with the faults of men. Haggai received another message from the Lord to deliver to the the people (2:1).  Let’s look at the story and the message. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Leadership, Vision|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 9: When Yesterday Robs Today (Haggai 2:1-9)

Green Tree Bible Study 8: When God’s Work Is Idle (Haggai 1:1-15)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

It was the second year of Darius’ long reign (521 – 486 B.C.) over the far flung Persian empire. In Jerusalem, one group of his subjects was frustrated and discouraged. These people were the remnant Jews who had returned from Babylonian captivity 17 years earlier in 537 B.C. They had been freed when Persia conquered Babylon, departing for Jerusalem in great anticipation. They were determined to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem. They longed to restore the full glory of the worship of Jehovah.

But their optimism vanished in the harsh light of reality. Yes, they had started out to build. And the going went very well for some time. Under the leadership of civil governor Zerubbabel and high priest Joshua (Jeshua) the foundations of the temple were laid (535 B.C.).

But then the work had stopped. Ezra tells the story of the political intrigue engaged in by the Jews’ enemies. No doubt some lack of full commitment to the task made it easier for the opposition to succeed. At any rate, discouragement and indifference set in. More than 15 years passed with nothing accomplished. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 8: When God’s Work Is Idle (Haggai 1:1-15)

Green Tree Bible Study 7: The Christian’s Life in the Church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Much is packed into this concluding part of I Thessalonians. Some call it a “miscellaneous” section because of its many brief exhortations. But there is a pattern. It is a pattern that can be seen in terms of the believer’s relationship to the local church. You will find here the basis for several things in our own church covenant. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 7: The Christian’s Life in the Church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28)