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Bible Reading Challenge

When I last posted an update on my Bible Reading Challenge I was reading 2 Corinthians, since then I've finished Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians, and Micah.
Usually I have posted a little information on each of the books that I read, I will continue this, but make each book brief.
Micah.... I know you are wondering where did he come from in my steady stream of reading in the New Testament, well I recently taught 2 women's Bible fellowship classes on this Old Testament book. Micah was actually a great study to teach from, I taught chapters 4-7. In those few chapters, we learned about the prophesies of the judgment over Jerusalem and the kingdom falling to the Babylonians, the story of Christ Jesus' birth, the "future" reigning of Christ Jesus in Jerusalem, and that God would always preserve a faithful remnant of believer's. In chapter 7 Micah the rural country prophet was waiting, waiting on God, trusting in God, that know matter what happened, he trusted that God would work it out.
Galatians, I taught chapter 1 through 2:10 today. Galatians is a phenomenal book to teach, rich in language.
I wondered today if I fed my students too much information and their heads are ready to pop.
Galatians, named for the people that had settled there, the Gaul's. The Gaul's were originally from the area of France, and a tribe of them had migrated to what area we know as modern day Turkey. They were a war like people, fickle, emotional, fond of show, and impetuous. The Churches that Paul had founded there were Perga, Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Probably only a few years afterwards Paul wrote this letter to them. The Christian's in Galatia were confused over what a group of people we call the Judaizer's were teaching them, that they first must become Jew's-in obeying the circumcision, the feasts, and eating special foods. What they were teaching is that Jesus Christ's death on the cross was not enough for salvation, they must "work", or "earn" there way to salvation. These Judaizer's were also teaching that Paul was not a valid apostle. Paul in chapters 1 and 2 has a strong tone in his response to these charges. He said he "is an apostle sent not by men, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father." Later in verses 11-24 Paul explains his dramatic transformation on the road to Damascus (see also Acts chapter 9.) Paul's dramatic change was only possible because of God.
The law does not save in itself, it does show us what sin is, and it shows our need for a savior-in that we cannot keep the law perfectly.
Ephesians 2:8-9, "for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast."
The previous verse explains perfectly that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not by any outward work that we could do.
The previous verse is also my favorite verse from Ephesians, and it is the next book in the New Testament we will now look at.
If I could memorize in complete a book in the New Testament, I would memorize the book of Ephesians, it explains in total the basic concepts of the Christian faith.
Paul and Barnabas during their first missionary journey brought the Gospel to Ephesus. Ephesus was a busy port city, the most important city on the west coast of Asia-modern day Turkey. In the book of Ephesians Paul explains the saving work of Christ in the life of every Christian, especially the Gentiles. Paul writes on the calling of the Gentiles, instructions for household conduct, and the description of the armor of God in chapter 6.
Philippians, Paul wrote this book while probably in imprisonment in Rome. Philipi was considered a Roman colony in the province of Macedonia. The Church in Philippi was the first Church that he founded in Europe. The first convert was Lydia, a business woman, a seller of purple cloth. The book of Philippians is a book of encouragement and unity in the Church.
Colossians, Paul is the author but Timothy probably served as secretary. The letter is to the Church as Colossae, a important Greek city. This book was also probably written while Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Colossians is divided in to two parts; to correct false teaching and also to encourage correct Christian living. It is a strong Christ centered book.
1 and 2 Thessalonians, both written by Paul, but Silas and Timothy are mentioned as senders. Thessalonica was the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia, with a large population. It was a busy harbor and trade city. In the first letter Paul writes of his thanksgiving for them because they are living the Christian life. It is a book of exhortation, and reads similar to a personal letter. Chapter 4 Paul writes of Jesus 2ND coming. 2 Thessalonians, the theme is of the 2ND coming of Jesus.

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