Titus 1:1-4

Today, we begin a new series in the short epistle of Paul to Titus. (Why? I’m teaching Titus this semester, so it’ll be helpful to me in refreshing my memory. And, since it’s inspired Scripture, I know it’ll be helpful to you as well – most obviously in its reminder about godly living in a world that is anything but godly.)

We’ll find out why Paul writes to Titus tomorrow, since he gives an explanation in verse 5. Today, we’ll look at the first four verses. They form what are traditionally called the ”epistolary greeting” – the sender and addressee – but also function as a bit of a preview of what the letter will be about. Let’s read:

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1 Peter 1:1-12

We’re reading the first epistle of Peter over two weeks, with brief explanations and applications. The Bible text (NIV 2011) is in blue, so you can tell what bits are Scripture and what bits are my explanations.

1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect—that’s you; exiles—a minority mocked and excluded by the rest of society—scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, of Sydney, of Australia, of Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe,

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Overcoming the Beast – Part Three (Rev 14-15)

Last week, we looked at the mark of the beast – going along with the rest of the empire in worshipping the emperor as a god, in place of the one true God. And we saw how we, too, often go along with our world and its idolatry. This week, we’re looking at how Revelation encourages its readers not to go along with the world, by appealing to the four cardinal virtues of advantage, justice, courage, and self-control – how Revelation helps us to resist the mark of the beast.

The three angels

Revelation 14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

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Back next week…

Coffee with the King returns next week, looking at the second half of the book of Revelation. We studied the first half last year, so if you missed it, some good preparation would be to read this post on how we interpret Revelation.

You can also order my recent book, Catching the Wave: Preaching the New Testament as Rhetoric, from the Book Depository and other online stores. Or if you’re in Australia, directly from me – dailybiblenotes@gmail.com – for $20 including postage. It’s a great Christmas idea for that special pastor in your life.  Full details here.

Catch-up Friday

Use today (and the weekend) to catch up on any readings you’ve missed.

If you’re up-to-date, here’s some more thoughts on our current passage (John 16:16-33) introducing a story told by Philip Yancey. It’s a reminder that Jesus has already won the victory. He says to his disciples at the end of his farewell speech:

John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Jesus says farewell – Part Sixteen (John 16)

We’re continuing in our series through Jesus’ farewell speech in John 14-17. 

Yesterday, we saw how Jesus comforted his disciples ahead of what would be a long, dark weekend. He pointed forward to his resurrection – when they would see him again – as a time of joy in their future. Not just because they’d see him (briefly) again, because it would change everything. And we were reminded that for us, that joy doesn’t lie in our future, but in our present. The resurrection is the source of our present joy.

The resurrection is the basis of our future hope

But we still have a future hope, because we haven’t yet received the full measure of our salvation. There’s a tension between the already and the not-yet – precisely because we are not yet face to face with Jesus, in the age to come.

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Jesus says farewell – Part Thirteen (John 16)

We’re continuing in our series through Jesus’ farewell speech in John 14-17. 

Two weeks ago (in John chapter 14) we encountered the first significant block of teaching Jesus gives on the Holy Spirit – the advocate whom he would send in his place once he had gone. The fact that Jesus described him as “another paraclete” told us that the Spirit’s role would be very similar to that of the first paraclete – Jesus. He would be the presence of Jesus who would be with us (a companion alongside) and in us (an indwelling power), equipping us for the task to which we have been sent.

This week, we arrive at John chapter 16, in which the nature and role of the Spirit is taken up again.

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Catch-up Friday

Use today (and the weekend) to catch up on any readings you’ve missed.

If you’re up-to-date, read the last part of chapter 15 that we won’t have time to cover. What does this text have to say to Western Christians who, in general, aren’t harshly treated for being Jesus’ followers?

John 15:18-25 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’