Saturday, November 9, 2019


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday November 10, 2019


PAUL CONFRONTS PETER
Galatians 2:11-21

   In those early days in the Christian Church, it became a custom of the congregation to gather together weekly for a common meal that they called “The Agape Feast”, or, “Love Feast”. This meal was made possible by a pooling together of various dishes that were provided by the church members who could afford it. For many of the poor members, this became the only descent meal that they would get all week. In a very special way, this meal represented a moment of togetherness and fellowshipping for Christians of all races, and on all social, and economic levels.
    In Galatians 2:11-12, it was just such an occasion that Paul is speaking of, when he had to confront Peter and Barnabas about their hypocritical behavior and attitude toward Gentile Christians. Here Paul tells of a time when Peter, Barnabas, and some other Jewish Christians, even though they had dined with the Gentile Christians earlier, when their fellow Jewish Christian leaders arrived at the feast, they began to shun the Gentile Christians, for fear of what those fellow Jewish legalists might say about socializing with Gentiles.
    This act by Peter, and by Barnabas, who were both leaders in the church, led other Jewish Christians to join them in their hypocrisy. Paul, seeing that Peter and the others were not following the truth of the Gospel of CHRIST, confronted Peter and rebuked him publicly in front of all the others, because he was the “ringleader” and his offense against CHRIST’s teachings was committed publicly.
    In essence, Peter was guilty of rebuilding the old Jewish system of thinking (Judaism) that they had been trying so desperately to move away from. They were trying to be a light for those who were seeking something to believe in, and the new movement toward CHRIST JESUS was taking root all around the world as they knew it, at that time.
    Paul understood early on, that a church will cease to be Christian if it contains class distinctions, or anything else, that was contrary to the actions and attitude of JESUS HIMSELF. In GOD’s presence, a man’s race is meaningless. He is neither regal, nor less-than, and he is neither rich nor poor, but rather, “he is only a sinner for which CHRIST has died”.
    All but CHRIST has failed to reach the goal that GOD originally set for us when he made us in HIS OWN “spiritual image”, by giving us the attributes of HIS OWN nature. However, through HIS grace and mercy HE has since introduced us to a great and relatively easy way to get back into a relationship of friendship with HIM, whereby HE could adopt any man, woman, or child into the “Family of GOD”.
    It is the blood of CHRIST that allows us to walk into the store of GOD and pick up a “free” bottle of “Faith”. And we can take it home and use it to spray some “Hope” on our unclean mirrors, and for the first time, begin to see ourselves as we really are. And with our newfound “Love”, we can turn ourselves around, and begin walking in the “newness of life” that can only be found, in CHRIST JESUS.
    That is why Paul says that Faith, Hope, and Love are the three great enduring things, and of the three, Love is the greatest (1 cor. 13:13). When we are seeking something to believe in, we should seek GOD, the FATHER of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, and GOD promises that if we do, through the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, we will certainly find HIM.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website










Friday, November 1, 2019


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday November 3, 2019

THE APOSTLES ACCEPT PAUL
Galatians 2:1-10

   The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians for the benefit of the churches that he founded in the district of Galatia very early on in his ministry (circa A.D. 49-50). He had established Christian churches at that time in Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch, all located in southern Galatia. It was most likely written shortly after the famous (Acts 15) Jerusalem Council, which released Gentile Christian converts from any responsibility to keep the laws that GOD had given exclusively to Jews, such as, for example, circumcision.
    This letter was written to rebuke the “faith/works” doctrine that the followers of Judaism, who trailed Paul from church to church, were trying to indoctrinate into the newly founded Christian churches (Galatians 1:6-10). They were also teaching that one must become a Jew first, by conforming to all Jewish laws, before one could be eligible to become a Christian.
    This seemed very logical to some new Christians since JESUS HIMSELF was a Jew, which meant that the roots of Christianity itself, was also Jewish. But Paul strongly objected to this kind of teaching and, here in this letter, he clearly explains why mixing works with faith actually robs the Gospel of CHRIST of its power to transform the lives of the new believers.
    In Galatians chapter 2, fourteen years after Paul’s first visit with Peter in Jerusalem, he returned there, this time with Barnabas and Titus, after being led to do so by the LORD. He met privately with the leaders of the Church to tell them about what he had been preaching to the Gentiles over the years. He wanted to make sure that they did not disagree with his ministry, and of course, they did not. In fact, they didn’t even request that Titus, who was a Gentile, be circumcised, as some of the so-called Christians there were demanding (Vs. 1-4). Instead, they welcomed Paul and Barnabas as co-workers, and had nothing further to add to what they had been teaching.
    As pillars of the Church, Peter, James (JESUS’ brother), and John recognized GOD’s calling on Paul, and encouraged him to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they themselves, would keep preaching to the Jews. They only suggested to Paul, Barnabas, and young Titus, that they always remember to help the poor, something they were already more than willing to do (Vs. 6-10).
    Christians always need to know when the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST is being distorted, and the only way to know that is to know what the real Gospel presents through a personal relationship with GOD. One must get into the reading and studying of the Word of GOD for themselves and let the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD guide them into all righteousness and knowledge. We must become so familiar with the truth of the Gospel that when we hear counterfeits teaching, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website



Friday, October 25, 2019


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday October 27, 2019

PAUL’S MESSAGE COMES FROM CHRIST

Galatians 1:11-24
   Paul’s letter to the Galatians, like his second letter to the Corinthians, eloquently defends his divine authority as an apostle of CHRIST JESUS. It also gives us a summarized version of the gist of his teachings, and, it contains vivid statements of GOD’s “justification by faith”, as it erects on that foundation, an excellent defense of “Christian liberties”, verses “Jewish legalism”.
    Paul’s authority as an apostle was often called into question by the false teachers who followed him around trying to change the new Christian doctrine back into the same old doctrine of Judaism, which excluded CHRIST JESUS from its teachings. Paul claimed that the gospel he preached was not based on man’s point of view, but rather, it was divinely revealed to him by CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF. He says that his message came by a direct revelation from JESUS CHRIST and no one else (v.12).
    Here Paul is relating to us about his personal experiences, before and after, that day on the road to Damascus, when he was converted by JESUS CHRIST (Acts 9:3-31). He now realized that GOD had granted him an “undeserved mercy” and had called him, even before he was born. GOD then revealed JESUS to him so that he could preach HIS Gospel to the Gentiles of the world, all the remaining days of his life (Galatians 1:15-16).
    Paul says he did not rush to consult with any man regarding his divine calling and these next few verses (16b-22) are very much like my own calling to the teaching ministry in the spring of 2001. Even today I’m not known in many Christian Churches, despite the massive amount of bible and Sunday school lesson commentaries I’ve written during that time.
    Here in verses 17-24, Paul tells of having spent time in Arabia before returning to Damascus and remaining there for three more years. He then finally went to Jerusalem and was introduced to the church leaders by Barnabas (Acts 9:27). He then visited with the Apostle Peter and abided with him for fifteen days. The only other person he met with at that time was James, the half-brother of JESUS.
    During that time, most of the people in the Church at Jerusalem were still afraid of Paul, and didn’t want to have anything to do with him because of his previous reputation of persecuting Christians wherever he went. In fact, Paul ended up having to flee Jerusalem after debating with some of the Greek-speaking Jews who sought to kill him (Acts 9:29). He was rescued by some of the Christians who believed his Damascus Road testimony, and they took Paul to Caesarea, and from there, sent him back to his hometown of Tarsus.
    Paul did not return to Jerusalem until Barnabas went and got him fourteen years later, and took him, first, to Antioch of Syria, and then, on to Jerusalem to report on the success that they had had there, converting Gentiles to Christianity (Acts 11:25-30).
    The Church at Antioch of Syria is where the term “Christian” was first used to describe the followers of CHRIST (Acts 11:25). Up until time they were widely known as “Adherents of the Way”, which meant that they abided closely to the ways that JESUS had taught HIS disciples during HIS three-year teaching and preaching ministry here on earth.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander






 


Friday, October 18, 2019


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday October 20, 2019


THERE’S ONLY ONE GOOD NEWS
Galatians 1:1-10

   The importance of any messenger of GOD is never his or her own status, but rather, it is the importance of the status of the ONE WHO sent them. Here in verse 1 of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he claims the absolute highest status of all when he says that he was sent by CHRIST and GOD the FATHER. This set him apart from all those false apostles who were sent by men, and who dogged him all along his missionary journeys.
    Paul was astounded by how soon those he had converted were falling away to a different type of gospel, other than the one he originally preached to them when he first established the church at Galatia on his first missionary trip there, a few years earlier (v.6). The Church was now being influenced by false Jewish teachers who claimed to be presenting the same Gospel that Paul preached, but only, theirs was the complete message. This seemed to insinuate that Paul’s message was somewhat lacking in the information that he presented, however, Paul insisted that their message radically changed, and indeed, perverted the message of GOD’s grace in the Gospel (v.7).
    Paul reacted forcefully to these distortions because he deemed it vital to do so. In verses 8 and 9 we see the word “accursed” being used by Paul. It is from the Greek word “anathema” (uh-NATH-uh-mah) which describes “an eternal damnation, or separation from GOD. Here Paul is saying that if anyone, including himself, or even an angel from Heaven, intentionally distorts the Gospel of CHRIST, that person will suffer eternal damnation in the pits of Hell. True men of GOD seek only to please GOD, they do not strive to “tickle the ears” of men.


PAUL’S MESSAGE COMES FROM CHRIST
Galatians 1:11-24

   Paul’s letter to the Galatians, like his second letter to the Corinthians, eloquently defends his divine authority as an apostle of CHRIST JESUS. It also gives us a summarized version of the gist of his teachings, and, it contains vivid statements of GOD’s “justification by faith”, as it erects on that foundation, an excellent defense of “Christian liberties”, verses “Jewish legalism”.
    Paul’s authority as an apostle was often called into question by the false teachers who followed him around trying to change the new Christian doctrine into the same old doctrine of Judaism which excluded CHRIST JESUS from its teachings. Paul claimed that the gospel he preached was not based on man’s point of view, but rather, it was divinely revealed to him by CHRIST HIMSELF. He says that his message came by a direct revelation from JESUS CHRIST, and no one else (v.12).
    Here Paul is relating to us about his personal experiences, before and after, that day on the road to Damascus, when he was converted by JESUS CHRIST (Acts 9:3-31). He now realized that GOD had granted him an “undeserved mercy” and called him, even before he was born. GOD then revealed JESUS to him so that he could preach HIS Gospel to the Gentiles of the world, all the remaining days of his life (Galatians 1:15-16).
    Paul says he did not rush to consult with any man regarding his divine calling and these next few verses (16b-22) are very much like my own calling to the teaching ministry 20 years ago. Even today I’m not known in many Christian Churches, despite the massive amount of bible and Sunday school lesson commentaries I’ve written during that time.
    Here in verses 17-24, Paul tells of having spent time in Arabia before returning to Damascus and remaining there for three more years. He then finally went to Jerusalem, and there, was introduced to the church leaders by Barnabas (Acts 9:27). He then visited with the Apostle Peter and abided with him for fifteen days. The only other person he met with at that time was James, the half-brother of JESUS.
    Most of the people in the Church were still afraid of Paul, and didn’t want to have anything to do with him because of his previous reputation of persecuting Christians wherever he went. In fact, Paul ended up having to flee Jerusalem after debating with some of the Greek-speaking Jews who sought to kill him (Acts 9:29). He was rescued by some of the Christians who believed his Damascus Road testimony. They took Paul to Caesarea, and from there, sent him back to his hometown of Tarsus.
    Paul did not return to Jerusalem until Barnabas went and got him fourteen years later, and took him, first, to Antioch of Syria, and then, on to Jerusalem to report on the success that they had had there in Syria, converting Gentiles to Christianity (Acts 11:25-30). In fact, Antioch is where the term “Christian” was first used to describe the followers of CHRIST (Acts 11:25). Up until time they were widely known as “Adherents of the Way”, which meant that they abided closely to the ways that JESUS had taught HIS disciples during HIS three-year teaching and preaching ministry here on earth. Stay tuned.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander




          

 

Friday, September 20, 2019


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday September 22, 2019

UNDERSTANDING WHO JESUS IS (Part 4)

JESUS’ SONSHIPS

   In the bible JESUS is presented as having five son-ships while HE was here on earth: HE was known as the SON of GOD, SON of man, SON of David, SON of Abraham, and SON of Mary:

SON OF GOD

   In the biblical Greek, the word used for “only begotten” is “monogenes” and it is used five times in the Gospel of John to reference, just WHO JESUS is. GOD is eternally the FATHER of CHRIST JESUS, and CHRIST JESUS is eternally the SON of GOD. The TRINITY (GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON, and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT) is quite literally the “ETERNAL GENERATION”, and this terminology lends reason to the fact, that, even though it is not “generation” in the ordinary sense of the word, THEIR generation is unique and eternal because there is no beginning or end to it, and, there was never a time when it did not exist (Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1-18 & 3:16-17, Galatians 4:4).  

SON OF MAN

   CHRIST is called “The SON of Man” 80 times in the New Testament. It is a term that speaks to the “humanity of JESUS, and signifies that HE represented “the human race” in what HE did here on earth. In fact, HE spent HIS first thirty years on earth, showing us how to live perfectly as human beings under GOD.
    In the Old Testament the term “son of man” is used in the Book of Ezekiel 90 times by the LORD to address the prophet Ezekiel, who HE used to represent the concept of a “coming MAN” from Heaven, WHO would be blessed by GOD (JESUS). Failure to emphasize and declare the humanity of JESUS is just as destructive to Christian doctrine as denying HIS deity, and is indeed, a sign of a “false prophet”, or antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).

SON OF DAVID

   JESUS is the ONE WHO the bible says will reign on the throne of David forever (2 Samuel 7:11-13, Matthew 1:1, 6, 20, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30-31, 21:9). JESUS is also seen as a descendant of David in Revelations 3:7, 5:5, and 22:16. The fact that JESUS is called the SON of David tells us that GOD’s plan was for HIM to fulfill the covenant promise that HE had given to David when HE said that one of his descendants would always sit on his throne in Israel.

SON OF ABRAHAM

   The “Abrahamic Covenant”, the “Davidic Covenant”, and the Covenant ushered in by JESUS are all linked together and serve to give CHRIST an inseparable role in the eternal promise of GOD’s blessings upon mankind. The title “SON of Abraham”, like the “SON of David” relates JESUS to the promise given to Abraham by GOD (Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:23-34, & 19:9).
    The promise to David links JESUS to the throne of Israel, while the promise to Abraham links JESUS extensively to the entire human race (Genesis 12:3). It indicates the wide extent of JESUS’ ministry, and also forms the basis for the Gospel to be preached throughout the world (Matthew 28:18-20).

SON OF MARY

   Another title given to JESUS is that HE is the “SON of Mary” (Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-7, Matthew 13:55). In order for JESUS to be presented as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of man, HE had to be, first, born of woman so that HE could operate here on earth as a 100% human being.
    GOD’s requirement as payment for sin has always been in the form of a perfect, unblemished sacrifice. Mary was the woman chosen by GOD, through which HE would deliver JESUS to mankind as an propitiation for our sins, once and for all time. HE lived HIS first thirty years or so on earth specifically to show us how to live and operate perfectly under GOD, without the embodiment of the HOLY SPIRIT.
    Remember, the HOLY SPIRIT did not come upon JESUS until HE was approximately thirty years old, after HIS baptism by John (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:29-34), and HE had lived perfectly under GOD even up to that point, because HE shared “GOD’s nature” just as all human beings do, who, do not live perfectly under GOD. And so the absence of the HOLY SPIRIT in man can no longer be used as an excuse to sin.

THE HYPOSTATIC UNION

   The uniqueness of the person of CHRIST JESUS includes all that GOD is, and all that man is, apart from sin. The Apostle John calls HIM “Monogenes Theos” in the Greek (John 1:18b), which means “the only begotten GOD”, or, in other words, “the only human who was born of woman and later became GOD”.
    In our understanding of Scripture as it pertains to the incarnate CHRIST, one must be extremely careful not to neglect all the evidence of HIS deity, or, the essential character of HIS humanity. And while it may be difficult to detect exactly how these two natures meld in their work and activities, it is only necessary that we understand that the embodiment of the two natures constitute history’s one and only “Theanthropic Person”. No one, before or after CHRIST JESUS, will ever possess both these characteristics. JESUS CHRIST, was both, 100% man, and, 100% GOD, but not at the same time. HE is the GOD WHO became human for our sake, and the human who returned to HIS glory as GOD, through HIS victorious mission on earth, and HIS perfect obedience to GOD the FATHER, in Heaven, while performing HIS mission.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website




Friday, September 13, 2019


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday September 15, 2019


UNDERSTANDING WHO JESUS IS (Part 3)

JESUS’ OFFICES

The title “CHRIST” in the New Testament, as well as the title “MESSIAH” in the Old Testament, imply a “threefold” official divine responsibility or function of JESUS, our SAVIOR. They are;

·         Prophet
·         Priest
·         King

JESUS is the only person in Scripture WHOSE ministry involves all three of these offices.

AS PROPHET

   In the biblical Greek, the word used for “messenger” is “angelos”, and it describes one who brings news or tidings by divine order from GOD. JESUS came to usher in a “New Covenant” from GOD. It is a Covenant that is far superior to any before or since that time. The message of the “Good News” or “Gospel” that was announced by John the Baptist, and, ushered in by JESUS, is the greatest and most important fulfilled prophecy of all time.
    In the Old Testament, prophets were reformers of sort, who, not only delivered GOD’s Word, but also, at one and the same time, challenged the people to actually serve the LORD and obey HIS Word. They were called “men of GOD” or “seers”, and were distinguished by their holy lifestyle before men, under GOD. They were able to see beyond that which is natural in the eyes of man.
    JESUS wholly fitted the role of the Old Testament prophet. In fact, in the Old Testament, JESUS served in the role of a prophet as “The ANGEL of GOD” and “The COMMANDER of the LORD’s Army” (Joshua 5:13-15). HE delivered many messages from GOD the FATHER to men such as Abraham (Genesis 22:11-17), Moses (Exodus 3:2-3), Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15), Baalam (Numbers 22:21-35), and to the Israelites in general at Bokim (Judges 2:1-5).

AS PRIEST

   JESUS completely filled the office of priest, as it is described in the Old Testament, and as it is taught in the New Testament, in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 7:1-14). HE fulfilled the “Aaronic Priesthood” type, as one who offers up gifts and sacrifices, and as an interceder for the LORD’s people. JESUS’ priesthood is also compared to that of Melchizedek, the historical, obscure figure to whom even Abraham paid tithes (Genesis 15:17-20).
    JESUS, like Melchizedek, is a King/Priest. As King/Priest, JESUS heads the Christian Church, which make it a holy and royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5 & 9). And so, the Christian Church is a Priesthood, whereby every believer is a priest. And the fact that the Church itself is a Priesthood, makes CHRIST JESUS, WHO is the head of the Church, our High Priest.
    JESUS received priesthood by divine appointment from GOD. Like Melchizedek, HE did not derive HIS priesthood from HIS lineage, and there are no descending priests who succeeded HIM. As priests under CHRIST, Christians must offer a fivefold sacrifice:

·        Their own bodies (Romans 12:1, Philippians 2:17, 2 Timothy 4:6, James 1:27)
·        Praise to GOD (Hebrews 13:15)
·        The sacrifice of good works (Hebrews 13:15)
·        Sharing gifts of money and service to those in need (Romans 12:13, Galatians 6:6, & 10, Titus 3:14)
·        Be intercessors in prayer for others (Colossians 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:1)

AS KING:

   JESUS fulfills the office of King as it is foretold in the “Davidic Covenant” (2 Samuel 7:11-13). Also see Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 1:31-33. Scripture tells that JESUS will come again, not just as “King of the Jews”, but rather, as “LORD of all Kings” (Revelations 19:6). Recognition of JESUS’ three offices is paramount to Christian Theology and Faith, for they not only describe HIS person, but also HIS work in the three spheres that man must travel through, the past, the present, and, the future.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website