Paul’s same mind as other fellow Christians (Rom 15:5)

Paul’s Letters

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Assignment 2

BIB2125 – Paul’s Letters

Bachelor of Theology

South African Theological Seminary

 

 

July
2017

 

 

Assessor: Jose De Carvalho

 

 

 

Assignment 2

 

Portions of Paul’s
Letters Summarized

 

Question 1

 

1.    Romans 12-16

 

a.    Romans 12 – 13                                                                                                                                 

Paul basically tells us in Romans 12 that
we should be humble and meek (Rom 12:3) and also explaining to us that we as
Christians may have different functions as other Christians within the body of
Christ (the Church) (Rom 12:4) and that we are to work to our potential
according to the faith given to us in each of the functions which have been
assigned to us (Rom 12:6-8). In Romans 13, Paul reminds that we should still
hold God in awe, and that He is the one who gives as our gifts (Rom 13:1). That
we should show respect and fear towards God (Rom 13:3-4), Paul is also
reminding to his readers that they should keep the law, and not stray or walk
into sin, motivating his readers to cast off darkness and living a sinless life
(Rom 13:12-14).

b.    Romans 14 – 16

Paul is encouraging his readers that they
should even receive someone who may be weak in faith (Rom 14:1), nor to judge
them (Rom 14:2), but that each person individually will have to stand before
God themselves, and that there is no need to judge (Rom 14:11-12). Paul is also
encouraging his readers that they should not cause their Christian brothers to
fall, and that they ought to keep righteousness and avoid letting their good be
spoken evil of (Rom 14:14-16). We are to motivate weak Christians who cannot
yet fully eat meat (Rom 15:1), and that we should be of the same mind as other
fellow Christians (Rom 15:5) as well as glorify God and receive each other (Rom
15:6-7), so that the Gentiles might be saved as all (Rom 15:9-12). Romans 16,
Paul is encouraging his readers to greet those who are coming towards their
way.

 

2.    2 Corinthians 8-9

 

a.    2 Corinthians 8

Mainly throughout 2 Corinthians 8-9 Paul is
encouraging his readers to raise funds and giving tithes. In 2 Corinthians 8,
according to Dr. Asumang, Paul is mainly “describing the arrangement for
collection of funds” (2010:92). “Christians are motivated to give through appeal
to the grace of God” (Asumang 2010:92). Paul also encourages this in 2
Corinthians 8:9, claiming that Christ became poor for our sakes so that we
could become rich. Paul is also trying to motivate his readers to give
sincerely and to give with a willing mind (2 Corinthians 8:12), asking his
readers to give so that those to whom they are giving will also be able to
supply them back when needed (2 Corinthians 8:14). In 2 Corinthians 8:15-24,
Paul is speaking about Titus going to the Church of Corinth, motivating them to
provide honest things (2 Corinthians 8:21) both in the sight of man and God.

b.    2 Corinthians 9

The readers are encouraged to and motivated
to give funds (Asumang 2010:92), as well as to give on a willing manner, and
“not grudgingly” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Paul seems to be trying to make it very
clear that his readers were to give willingly and not with any grudge being
held against giving (2 Corinthians 9:5-10). The giving was an emotional and
willing act (Asumang 2010:224). Paul also explains the donations as means of
supplying the needs of God’s people (2 Corinthians 11-12). Paul also claims
that the tithes or donations is a thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:12) In
Corinthians 9:13-15, Paul gives a theological reason for the work of donations,
as well as claims that the donations that the church is giving can be viewed as
being obedient as a form of their unity in the body of Christ (Asumang
2010:223).

 

3.    1 Thessalonians 2-3

 

a.    1 Thessalonians 2

Paul is telling to his readers how he had preached,
and as well as some information on how he preached, claiming that he had
preached without using any words to flatter anyone (1 Thessalonians 2:5), as
well stayed humble and content, and did not try to seek the attention or glory
from men (1 Thessalonians 2:6). Paul is giving an example of how a successful
ministry, Paul claims that what he had preached was “the gospel of God” (2:8),
being spoken with boldness whenever they were faced with persecution (2:2), and
as well as seeking to please God and not men (2:4-6) all done with the power of
God (2:13). Paul is also showing that he had done hard labor work in
proclaiming this Gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Paul has well as described and
given example through his holy character which he portrayed (1 Thessalonians
2:10), so that others may believe.

b.    1 Thessalonians 3

1 Thessalonians 3 may help us understand
how Paul managed to get a team of people of different ethnic groups and races
to be able to work and function together as a team. 1 Thessalonians 3:2 Paul is
describing Timothy as “our brother and God’s fellow-worker in spreading the
gospel of Christ”. This verse shows that the team which Paul had, were
considered as a family in Christ, by referring to Timothy as “their brother” (1
Thessalonians 3:2). God was also recognized by Paul and his fellow companions
in the Church, calling Timothy “God’s fellow-worker”. This shows and points
that God was found and exalted among them as One who has full authority. The
team had submitted their egos in obedience to God (Asumang 2010:113). Paul and
his fellow brothers in Christ also functioned well in unity because they were
focused on “spreading the gospel of Christ” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).

Question 2

 

1.     Paul’s Various Strategies for Rooting out
Falsehood

Introduction

This part of the assignment will be a
review on the book of Timothy, and some of the instructions and strategies that
Paul had given Timothy in dealing towards false prophets and people who were
busy spreading false doctrine. Timothy was written in such a way, that it seems
to have mainly focused on dealing with false doctrine, as well as some of the
false doctrine which was busy spreading in the church. Timothy received
specific instructions as well as on how to be able to deal with specific groups
in the church (1 Timothy 3:14-6:2), as well as working and appointing deacons
and church elders in the congregation.

Paul’s Aim for Timothy

1 Timothy has been written in a structure
that contains a singular aim in trying to help Timothy what to do and how to
deal with false teachings that could be found in the Church (Asumang 2010:179).
Paul starts the letter of 1 Timothy off with a greeting, which gives a type of
command to combat against any false teaching and doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3-20).
Paul gives Timothy a type of set or structure on how the church should be, as
this includes the worship of a church (1 Timothy 2:1-13), the qualifications
for deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13), as well as giving commands on how Timothy can
deal with certain groups found within the church (1 Timothy 3:14-6:2).

Paul’s Commands and Approaches

Paul demonstrated two main or broad ways in
which Timothy can fight off or deal with false teachings or doctrines. One of
these was for Timothy to simply tell or command those who were teaching false
doctrine to stop (1 Timothy 1:3). Paul may have told Timothy to “command” them
to stop, as the false teaching could result in a danger of soul’s falling
astray, Timothy having to mandate people to stop with their false teaching was
a very crucial function which was set out to him. Paul had demonstrated this
command to Timothy as a “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 1:18), as Paul had
come to recognize that it was the devil who had been the source of falsehood
(Asumang 2010:181). “At the time, synagogues had also excommunicated people by
pronouncing curses on them” (Asumang 2010:182).

Paul’s First Approach

The false teachers within this area may
have already had chosen to participate in the devil’s mission according to
Paul’s reckoning 1 Timothy 5:5) (Asumang 2010:182). Paul had publicly
recognized that the teachers had already made a public choice to advance in
Satan’s mission to lead people astray from the gospel (Asumang 2010:182). Paul
also seemed to have attempted to encourage Timothy to command them to stop
teaching errors (Asumang 2010:182). This process however, should be done with
love, as well as a clean conscience and pure conduct (1 Timothy 1:5).

Paul’s Second Approach

Paul had encouraged Timothy to mainly
preach in sound doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:10-11), in which Timothy had to demand
people to stop preaching false doctrine. The teaching of truth was important,
because it was necessary to defat and dismantle error. Ignorance which had
regarded the truth caused people to turn towards empty speculations and
allegorical questions (Asumang 2010:182). One of the examples of sound
teachings was the conduct of God honoring people who were edifying public
worship (1 Timothy 2:1-15). Paul had focused on prayers to be made when the
saints had gathered together before the lord (1 Timothy 2:1-8). 

When leaders abandon these virtues and
traits, they end up “shipwrecking their faith” (1 Timothy 1:19). Everything
that Timothy was to act upon had been motivated to be done in love (1 Timothy
1:5). I believe that throughout this time, Timothy also had to be careful in
discerning what had been false and as well as had to be well rooted in faith to
prevent himself from being confused from any false doctrine that may have been
brought up in his time.

Timothy was basically in a spiritual
warfare, trying to fend off any deceivers and false prophets. One of the
approaches and suggestions that Paul gave to Timothy was to intercede in
prayers (1 Timothy 2:1), so that those who were in authority would be able to
live and lead a quiet and peaceable life in godliness as well as honesty or
authority (1 Timothy 2:2).

Another approach that Paul had used or
encouraged Timothy to deal with false teachings was to “endure sound doctrine”
(1:10-11), and use it as a weapon to destroy falsehood. An example of sound
teaching and doctrine would be the practice to participate in honoring God as
well as edify public worship according to 1 Timothy 2:1-6.

The goal which Paul had endeavored to
Timothy was to engender love, pure conduct, sincere faith and a clean
conscience (1 Timothy 1:5), it was at these times, that when leaders had left
thee virtues, they would often have been left “shipwrecked” in their faith (1
Timothy 1:19).

Women in The Church

Paul may also have given Timothy the instruction
to prevent women from preaching in the congregations. The reason why is because
it has been a sort of a “theory” that the women may have been preaching a false
gospel, because the second chapter of 1 Timothy mainly speaks about dealing
with falsehood in the congregation. Therefore, 1 Timothy 2:11-15 could be
speaking about falsehood among women. It has been argued that the instructions
which Paul gave to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, may have been aimed to resolve
situations where false doctrine was being spread and taught by men who targeted
“weak-willed women” (2 Timothy 3:6) (Asumang 2010:183), as well as successfully
alienate the men in the church. It has been argued that some heretical believes
and false doctrine which was spread in the church at the time was due to women,
and that the pastorals involved women behaving inappropriately and being very
good with false teachings (1 Timothy 1:7, 4:7, 5:13) (Asumang 2010:183).

Paul may have suggested that women leaders
should teach in the congregation (1 Timothy 2:8-15). It may however have been
the “wrong form of teaching that they were busy helping to spread” (Asumang
2010:184). The women who had been instructed to stay silent in the church may
have been the women who had “fallen” for the wrong type of teachings and
followed the wrong heresies. In 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Paul had directed his
attention towards women, that they were to learn in silence and subjection (1
Timothy 2:11).

Qualifications in the Church

Paul also set out a sort of qualification
standard that he wrote to Timothy for choosing church leaders (1 Timothy 3-4).
This was done in able to help the church grow with a smaller chance of a false
doctrine creeping in toward the church (Asumang 2010:184). The qualifications
that Paul had set out before Timothy to keep in mind had been set and grouped
into three main categories. There those who had to apply to their main public
character (1 Timothy 3:2-3), those that had to apply towards their households
and family (1 Timothy 3:4-5), as well as those who had to apply towards their
teaching and ministering abilities (1 Timothy 3:4-5, 6-7).  Paul had pointed out and referred to the
church as a “pillar and foundation” of the truth. This according to Asumang
means that” the primary function of the pastors and teachers is to maintain the
Church in the truth” (2010:185). Paul had challenged Timothy to take the
function very seriously, that Timothy was to “point these things out” towards
those who believed (1 Timothy 4:6), Timothy had to prevent anybody from despising
or ignoring his teaching authority (1 Timothy 4:11-13).

Paul also had set out a specific set of
instructions to Timothy on how he was to order and organize the churches in
Ephesus (1 Timothy 5-6). Timothy had to be able to recognize and as well as organize
the church leadership.

The qualifications also included that those
who wanted to have the position of a deacon or bishop had to blameless, as well
as a husband of one wife, being “absent from wine and filthy lucre” (1 Timothy
3:2-3). They were also to be able to have full control over their household and
family (1 Timothy 3:4-5) being able to “rule it well”. As well as someone who
may have been older in the faith towards Christ, or at least experienced in
some way, this was to be able to help prevent a leader from falling into pride
or “into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6), this person was also
someone who were to have a good report (1 Timothy 3:7). Those who wanted to
apply themselves as elders or bishops at the church had to hold the mystery of
the faith in pure conscience (1 Timothy 3:9). Paul focused a that those who
wanted to be appointed had to be blameless, or pure and be of a good household,
as well as being bold (1 Timothy 3:13).

 

 

Reminding the People to do good

In 1 Timothy 4. Paul continued with his
approach towards Timothy, that he should teach sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6). Although
Paul had instructed Timothy to exhort and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2). Timothy was
not to rebuke an elder, but rather to treat him as a father, as well as the
younger men as brethren, and as well as to honor the widows (1 Timothy 5:1-3). Paul
had advised Timothy to practice and to continue in godliness, Timothy had to
reject false doctrine and “exercise himself into godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).
Paul had warned Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1 that false and seducing spirits would
come and that they would speak lies (1 Timothy 4:2-3). Paul also encouraged
Timothy that he should not neglect the gift which was in him (1 Timothy 4:14)
which was prophecy, and that Timothy was to meditate on these things, that he
would be able to profit all (1 Timothy 4:15). Timothy was to continue in the
doctrine that Paul had written or given Timothy in earlier chapters, and by
this method, he would then save both himself and those who heard him (1 Timothy
4:16). I personally think it may have been a stressful message as well as
frustrating and difficult times for Timothy, being a young man having a very
big responsibility on his hands to help prevent people from straying from the
gospel.

More approaches in discerning doctrine given to
Timothy

In 1 Timothy 6, Paul gave Timothy some more
input on the sort of doctrine that Timothy was to support, and what Timothy was
not to support. Paul had instructed Timothy that he had to flee from people who
fall into temptation and into a snare of “many foolish and harmful lusts” (1
Timothy 6:9), as well as those who had a love for money (1 Timothy 6:10).
Timothy was instructed to chase or follow after righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, patience and as well as meekness (1 Timothy 6:11), and to continue
in fighting the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Timothy had to charge
those people who were rich in the world, to prevent them from being high
minded, and to rather support them to be rich in good works (1 Timothy
6:17-18). Timothy had to keep those instructions which was written towards him
from Paul, in order to help him succeed in maintaining the church order and
sound doctrine, as well as to adhere himself from those who were proclaiming
false babblings (1 Timothy 6:20).

Conclusion

Even though Timothy was very young, he had
a big role in the church by having to attempt to remove false doctrine and save
people’s souls. Thanks to Paul and the Holy Spirit, Timothy had received
instruction as seen in the previous text, on how to deal with certain groups of
false doctrines, as well as instruction and advice on choosing elders for the
church. We should use these examples and instructions in the church today, and
use it in our own lives as well as a guideline to help us discern those in the
church, as well as help prevent us from falling astray from sound biblical
doctrine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Asumang
A. 2010. BIB2125 Paul and His Letters Textbook.
Johannesburg: SATS Press.