Theologians are calling the virgin birth of Christ a biological impossibility and a theological superfluity.
Be ye transformed – changed-by the renewing of your mind.
Satan’s plan is to completely alienate men from God. He has organized the media to capture the thought-life of man=the mind. He has liberalized morals – glamorized music. He has taken control of men’s minds, and has ruined the unguarded life.
Sequence in Romans – Consecration. (Keswick story.) The tragedy of so few young men answering the call of God. Warning – Annanias and Saphira – they promised to give all, but kept back a part – God took their lives in judgment.
Apply this to ourselves.
This epistle was written from a dungeon death-cell. It is the last of Paul’s letters. 1 Thessalonians is the first.
Chapter 2. In this first section the subject dealt with is that of service and rewards. The believer is seen as “a son” V1. - “a soldier” V3. - “an athlete” V5. – “a farmer” V6.
The soldier. The first duty of the Christian soldier is “obedience.” In contrast to the military, the Christian soldier gets his instructions at “Jesus’ feet”.
Describe the secret of God’s presence. “The still small voice”.
No man is greater than his prayer life. Success in the pulpit depends on the travail in the closet.
V15. Study etc. Approved unto God – not men. Ishmael – “he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.” (Gen 10:12) “He died in the presence of his brethren.” (Gen 15:18) Ishmael was a man who never was in the presence of God. He was a man’s man – he was admired – he enjoyed the great open spaces – he was a daring warrior – a great hunter. He certainly had the approval of his brethren, but he did not have the approval of God.
The Christian’s resources in the day of declension and departure.
1. Faith – ch 1:5
2. The Spirit – ch. 1:6-7
3. The Word of God – ch 1:13; 3:1-17; 4:3-4
4. The grace of Christ – ch 2:1
5. Separation from the vessels of dishonor – ch. 2:4, 20-21
6. The Lord’s sure reward – ch. 4:7-8
7. The Lord’s faithfulness and power – ch. 2:13-19
From the book of Acts we learn that Paul was sent to prison in Rome. For two years he remained a prisoner under guard in his own hired house. Eventually he was set free by Caesar.
He took up his work at preaching the Gospel. And went to Spain and preached there for a while.
On his return he continued to preach as vigorously as ever.
A great persecution broke out against the Christians, and he with many others was imprisoned.
Around this time the city of Rome was burned down, many believed that Caesar ordered his men to do this. In order to turn suspicion from himself he blamed the Christians, and ordered that they should be put to death.
Paul was imprisoned in a dungeon. The dungeon is there to this day. There is just a little hole in the roof from which Paul’s food was dropped. There is no window. There is a hole in the floor which exposes a river running underneath.
How cold and damp it must have been, especially in winter.
It was from this place that Paul was led to the place of execution, and there he laid down his white head. Upon a great stone, and in a moment the executioner’s axe had decapitated him, and Paul was absent from the body and present with the Lord.