Theology

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)

Green Tree Bible Study 6: Watching for the Lord’s Return (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

These eleven verses continue with the theme of the last six verses in the previous chapter. A large part of this theme is the Second Coming. But the intent has transformed somewhat. Previously, Paul’s point has been to encourage and reassure those whose loved ones had already died. Here the point is that all Christians should be carefully watching for Jesus’ return.

We can summarize Paul’s approach to this subject with three closely related truths: […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 6: Watching for the Lord’s Return (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

Green Tree Bible Study 5: The Second Coming and the Dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Paul strongly preached that Jesus was soon to return. He considered “waiting for God’s Son from heaven” the very epitome of Christian conversion (see 1:9, 10). So the Thessalonian believers fully expected Jesus to return any moment.

While he was preaching these things in Thessalonica, Paul was forced to leave before giving detailed teaching on the subject (compare 2:I7 and 3:10). A few months passed and Jesus still had not returned. This must have troubled the Thessalonian believers.

Part of what worried them is that some of their members died during this time. The friends and family of these Christian deceased wondered what would become of them. They did not yet know there would be a resurrection of the dead. Unprepared for such things, the Thessalonian Christians were uncertain and anxious. In this passage, Paul puts their minds at ease. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 5: The Second Coming and the Dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Green Tree Bible Study 4: The Walk That Pleases God (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

In chapter 4 Paul’s tone changes. Up to this point, he has reviewed events that led to writing the letter:
• The founding of the church (ch. 1)
• His ministry there (ch. 2)
• Timothy’s visit and report (ch. 3).
Now Paul turns to the practical needs of the Thessalonians. The rest of the letter is instruction. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 4: The Walk That Pleases God (1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

Green Tree Bible Study 3: The Preacher and His People (1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

The heartbeat of Paul is the essence of this passage. It is captured it in the message of 3:8: Now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

Paul’s own sense of being alive was tied in with the success of his converts. So far, Paul has been reviewing his ministry at Thessalonica. That ministry was cut short and Paul and his co-workers were forced to leave the city (see Acts 17:1-9).

But with Paul out of sight was not out of mind (2:17). He had labored to give spiritual birth to the Thessalonian believers, and he had no intention of abandoning them. So his ministry to them continued. He tells how he had attempted to return to Thessoloníca (2:17-20). At least twice (“once and again” – v. 18) he made specific plans that fell through. Satan (adversary) was at work. How Satan hindered Paul we are not told; he has a thousand ways. But understand this: even Satan’s roadblocks can come only as God permits (compare II Corinthians 72:7 and Job 7:6-2:8). It was God’s will that Paul continue to be interested in the Thessalonians’ spiritual welfare and make plans to return. But it was also God’s will to allow Satan to stop him. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 3: The Preacher and His People (1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13)

Green Tree Bible Study 2: The Ministry the Lord Blesses (1 Thessalonians 2:1-17)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Sometimes we think the success of a man like Paul lies in something he had that we can’t have. Before you decide for yourself, study this passage. Here Paul reviews his successful (“not in vain” – v. 1) ministry at Thessalonica.

Verses 1-12 describe The Character of Paul’s Ministry. At least eight characteristics stand out. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 2: The Ministry the Lord Blesses (1 Thessalonians 2:1-17)