Thread: MHF Bible Study
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:51 PM
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Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,097

Here are my thoughts

Verse One tells me that the Episcopal set up of the Church had already happened, or was begining to. Paul mentions people in authority of others within the church.

Interesting to note that Paul is already refering to believers as "Saints" confirming the believif that the Communion of Saints was probably something that become theologically apparent as soon as the first generation of Christians began to die.

Verse Two, commonly used as the introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer in Anglicanism

Verses 3-6

Paul likes Community. The mixing of Christians with other Christians should be a joyous occasion because both are united in their faith. It is more then a shared believif. It should inspire prayers of thanksgiving.

Before he has even Died, the day of Judgement is on the mind of the Early Church. Paul writes as if to imply that there will not be the passing of much time before "The Day" which is a reference to the Old Testament Prophets who called Judgement by the Title "The Day of The Lord" I wonder how prevelent in the Early Church thr thought was that Christs return would be VERY in a matter of Years not a matter of Centuries.

Verses 7&8

Paul very much sees himself as a Christian Authority, and a mentor in the Faith. He likens his own love, to that of GODs love. Thus if we take this to be true, GOD feels the same joy in Community, I pleased by Communion with other Christians, and continually dwells upon those who he has Saved with kindly affection.

There is no distinction for Paul in personal circumstances between those positive and negative when it comes down to Opus Dei. He doesnt care what situation he is put in, for he believes it doesnt change GODs ability to work through him. His empowerment is not based on Freedom, or on Happiness

Verses 9-11

Paul has a wish that those who he advises progress enough to be able to discern for themselves. In a sense he wants them to take their own responsibility for choosing how best to follow GOD. This would evidently be an achievement, therefore one wonders how often he writes to the Church. This Church may either be extremely young, or full of Christians who relay quite heavily on Pauline imput, for He says that such an achievement would be a testimony to the Power of GOD. His hopes are then not so much for growth, but for maturity.

Verses 12-14

Paul believes that GOD is useing him to get a foothold within those who are against him. He does not remain silent on the issues of his arrest, indeed everyone in the probation service knows not only that he is under arrest, but also why.

Perhaps he writes this to show how GOD can work through negative circumstances, but maybe he also writes it to reassure. If this church relays upon his imput heavily, it may fear that because he is under arrest Opus Dei might suffer and that they dont know what to do. It may cause this Church far more distress then it causes Paul. Knowing that, Paul may be writing to reassure the Church that GODs mission goes on regardless, and rather then become distressed, his imprisonment should serve to make them speak more.

Paul has a good idea about how public Pressure can be used to put heat onto institutions, he uses the tactic several times during the book of Acts of The Apostles. He is teaching some basic skills. Dont quit or flee in the face of adversity, and dont go quietly into the night neither.

Verses 15-18

Even Before his Death, Paul is making reference to Work placed Politics. He recognises that there are other people who would jump at the chance to be writing to Churches just like him, perhaps even succeeding him in some way within the church heirachy. He also admits that they have the potential to deliberatley do him harm whilst he isnt physically present.

He never says these people are false believers. Indeed, I believe, from my own personal experience, that he's simply talking about the motives of other Believers. They are doing a disservice to him on a personal level, but so long as it brings recognition to the cause, Paul doesnt seem to mind.

Verses 19-30

There is personal motive in Paul wishing the Church to mature. He wishes to go home. He recognises that at present if he were to die, the Church would suffer. But he would rather like to be on his way.

Paul recognises that times are hard for the Church, and tries to show empathy and indeed a way for the church to have hope by knowing that even when they are frightened and suffering, so has Christ before them, and so does Paul presently.

Makes you wonder how desperate that Church might have been. I wonder if anyone knows the History of the Church after Paul died
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