The lesson on December 29, 2013 was part 11 of the "Ephesians" study. As usual, a review of previous lessons started this lesson reviewing the great truths discovered in chapter two. One of those themes was the distance the Gentiles had from God which is now abolished. Israel had the preferred status. In Ephesians, that now is gone because the middle wall of partition was abolished in Christ. This lesson starts chapter three and teaches the revelation that PAul the prisoner is revealing the mystery which is different from the mystery of Christ. This doctrine is sent specifically to the Gentiles and it is very special and is the cap stone of truth that is placed on top of the mystery of Christ. The scripture reading was in Psalms 8:1-9 KJV
The message on December 22, 2013 was a break from the Ephesians study and celebrated Christmas time. We learned the correct interpretation of the phrase "Xmas" which turns out that it isn't a modern convention at all. It was used commonly in 16th-century Europe, when many people began using the term "Christos," the Greek translation for Christ, to refer to Jesus. The letter chi in the Greek alphabet is symbolized by an X and translates to "ch." So along with the Greek letter rho for "r", the term Xmas was used to refer to the birth of Jesus as an informed abbreviation, not an offensive one. Xmas was a way for Christian scholars to refer to Jesus respectfully in an ancient language -- not to disrespect his name with a harsh symbol by simply X-ing out Christ at Christmas. However, that is a current trend in the world today. Christmas time is the celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the reason for the season. This message teaches why Jesus came, and what He achieved on the cross. The fullness of time was discussed and we learn about time in the bible. It is Christmas time and this message celebrates the fullness and how the Gentiles fit into it. The scripture reading was from Galatians 4:4-5 KJV
The lesson on December 15, 2013 was part 10 of the "Ephesians" study and continued almost to the end of chapter two. As is usual, we reviewed the previous lesson where we learned the proper interpretation of verse 8 where we learn that "for by grace are you saved through faith" not of yourselves. The "not of yourselves" applies to the entire idea together. We learned that we have been created in Christ as a new man who has been prepared for good works. This is the proper order because your works have nothing to do with your salvation. The remaining part of chapter two involves the theme of distance. Paul is explaining how Gentiles were far from God where the Jew was very close to God. Even in the Acts period, the Gentiles were brought near but still within Israel's calling. Post Acts, there is a new man created removing the enmity between the Jew and Gentile bringing them together without conflict. The scripture reading was in Ephesians 2:11-18 KJV
This lesson was given on December 8, 2013 and is part 9 of the "Ephesians" study. We reviewed verses 1-7 which was taught in the previous lesson and moved on to versus 8-10. In learning how the KJV uses italics, we reviewed a powerful verse in Hebrews 1:8 where God calls His son God! We learned of three time perspectives: Times Past, But Now, and Ages to Come where we are in the "But Now" and to really understand this position, you have to understand the message that PAul the prisoner is teaching. This is not Paul's pre-Acts 28 ministry. In this lesson we learned how to read verse 8 of chapter two. "For by grace are ye saved" which means there is no work in this faith, God simply accepts this faith as righteousness. Grace and Faith are linked just like Works and Law are linked. You cannot combine Grace and Law nor can you combine Faith and Works because they are like oil and water. The scripture reading was in Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV
The lesson on December 1, 2013 was part 8 of the "Ephesians" study. A review of chapter one was given where we learned about looking for pentecostal gifts is wrong because of the change in God's revealed plan due to the revelation of his hidden purpose. In this age, PAul talks about the one gift of the spirit of wisdom and revelation that may be given (verse 1:17). We learn how the King James uses italicized font to correctly reflect the case being communicated. When we get to the main lesson we learn of the amazing position God has placed us in Him and how the prince of the power of the air that is currently working against us. The scripture reading was in Ephesians 2:1-7 KJV
Leland Maples runs the LOOP's Ministries (Loved Ones Of Prisoners) and leads a Thursday night bible study held in the Rec Room at Life Change Baptist Church in Odessa Texas. The Rec Room message on Thursday, November 14, 2013 was the testimony of Laura Smith and was given by Laura who went from being a church member to an alchoholic to a relationship with Christ. Special music was by Kenny Cowan.
The lesson on November 17, 2013 continued the "Ephesians" study with part 7. This lesson reviewed what we had learned in the previous lesson and added new material from the remainder of chapter 1. We reviewed the three prayers Paul cites in Ephesians where two are where he prays and the other he asks for prayer. The structure of the book is reviewed again and we look at the hope of His calling, the riches of the glory, and the exceeding greatness of His power. This power that is demonstrated is the power over death in the resurrection. Even further, we learn of a special reward that Paul strived for in Philippians 3:11... The resurrection out from among the dead! The scripture reading was in Ephesians 1:19-23 KJV
Leland Maples runs the LOOP's Ministries (Loved Ones Of Prisoners) and leads a Thursday night bible study held in the Rec Room at Life Change Baptist Church in Odessa Texas. The Rec Room message on Thursday, November 14, 2013 was entitled "The Mercy of God" and was given by Leland. Special music was by Charles Reynolds.
The lesson on November 10, 2013 was part 6 of the "Ephesians" study and continued in chapter one with verses 15-19. This lesson looks at the three prayers of Paul. The review of the previous lesson recalled the mystery (or musterion) of his will which had been revealed for the first time in Ephesians after the close of Acts. This was a secret that was hidden in God before the foundation of the world. The exhaulted position and hope has been revealed through PAul the prisoner of the Lord and is relevant truth for today. Two of Paul's prayers are in the doctrinal part of Ephesians and involve being enlightened. Paul prays that the Lord may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. The prayer in 1:15-19 involves the eyes. The second prayer in 3:14-21 involves the heart and the last prayer in 6:19-20 involves the mouth. Isn't it interesting that the first two involve enlightenment in the doctrinal section and the third prayer involves getting the word out, and that is in the practical section. The sinners most important need is Christ Jesus. The Christian's greatest need is right division so he or she may be given this revelation and become enlightened of the secret revealed to them. The scripture reading was in Ephesians 1:15-19 KJV
Leland Maples runs the LOOP's Ministries (Loved Ones Of Prisoners) and leads a Thursday night bible study held in the Rec Room at Life Change Baptist Church in Odessa Texas. The Rec Room message on Thursday, November 7, 2013 was entitled "Why Men Keep Changing the Bible" and was given by Leland. Special music was by Dolores Andrews.