Spiritual Gifts

There are three passages in the New Testament that speak about spiritual gifts. However, we need to understand what is the meaning of spiritual gifts. As natural human beings, we have many different talents that we can use at school, work, in public speaking, writing, or even in sport and music, and so on. These are talents that God gave us so that we can use them in our spheres of life, but not in the local church. As Christians (anyone who accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour), God can use the talents that we have, and is able to turn them into spiritual gifts, in order to be of benefit to our local church. So, a talent is something we use in the world outside, but the spiritual gift is what we should use inside our local place of gathering, or among each other as born-again Christians.

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Epistles to the Thessalonians

The epistles to the Thessalonians is generally believed to the the earliest of the epistles that were written by Paul the apostle. The epistles focus on faith, love and hope, which are three essential characteristics of the Christian faith. Why faith? Our faith is in One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His accomplished work on the cross. It is in a risen Person, Man and God at the same time. It is very difficult to grasp this, and we can only accept it by faith, and believe in God, who cannot lie. Why love? As Christians, we are different and show love for the people who God Himself created in His image. Why hope? The essence of Christianity is in the hope of the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ when He takes us to be with Him one day, and we will be with Him forever (1 Thess 4:13-18).

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Overview of Daniel

The book of Daniel is perhaps the most well-known of the prophetical books in the Bible. The main reason is that just about everyone who has been in Sunday School as a child grew up learning about Daniel in the lions’ den in chapter 6, which again is a very well-known Sunday School story with many lessons and things that we as Christians can appreciate. However, it is not the intention to re-iterate these stories or comment in length on them, but the intention is to give an overview of the wonderful and amazing book of Daniel, which brings before us prophecies concerning the future.

The book of Daniel can be divided into two main sections. The first section is chapters 1 to 6, and the second chapters 7 to 12.

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The Message in 3 John

Having seen the message of 2 John, we now come to the next short book, which is 3 John, has a different message, and John writes to a different person and for a different purpose. He writes here to the beloved Gaius. If we notice in 2 John, he does not write to the beloved lady, although he can, as an elder and apostle, but he uses wise discernment in his writings, and we too should use wise discernment in who we address, whether it is verbal or in writing. The thought of the truth is also brought out here in verses 1-4. This is the same truth that is in 2 John.

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The Message in 2 John

Two of the shortest books in the Bible are the second and third epistles (or letters) of John, known as 2 John and 3 John. If the Bible has such short books, is there a message from God to us in these very short books, that could both be read in one sitting? There definitely is a message in these two short epistles. We will take a look at what 2 and 3 John are about, to whom is John writing, and what is the message for us. It is needful to note that John wrote these epistles around the year 90 A.D or shortly after – many years after the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and even many years after all the other apostles had left the scene (died in Christ).

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Outline of 1 Corinthians

The first epistle of Corinthians was written after Paul had visited Corinth in Acts 18. Many people there converted from their idolatry and became Christians, and a local church was formed, an expression of the one body of Christ. This epistle is full of teaching and setting things in order in the local church where believers gather to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not attempting to commentate on each chapter, but give a brief outline. When we pick up a book of the Bible, we need to look for a key to open up the rest of the book. This key is usually found in the first chapter.

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Genesis to Deuteronomy

It is very striking that we have the first five books in our Bible, Genesis to Deuteronomy, in the particular order, and for a reason also. The names of these books have meanings, and the meanings will help unravel the reason as to why they are in this particular order, why Genesis is first, then Exodus, and so on. These are known as the five books of the Law of Moses, also known as the Pentateuch – Penta means five.

Genesis is a Greek word, meaning ‘origin’, ‘source’, or a better word is ‘beginning.’ Therefore, it is quite fitting that Genesis is the first book of the Bible, just by its meaning. We have in Genesis an introduction as to Who God is – the Creator of the earth and all its fullness. The time span of the events in Genesis reaches over more than 2000 years, from about 4004 BC to about 1804 BC.

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Overview of Proverbs

The amazing and interesting book of Proverbs has seven main sections which are clear. The beginning of each section is not a proverb itself, but about hearing instructions or inclining the ear. The book is attributed to king Solomon, with the exception of chapters 30 and 31. The Bible mentions that Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32) but the ones in the book of Proverbs are there for us and for our learning, and if we count them all, it will not be 3,000, but less than that. The idea is not to give a commentary or even outline the main themes that occur in this book, but only to provide a division of the book for private study. It is good to read this book, as there are proverbs in there for even everyday living.

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Overview of Job

The events in the book of Job is perhaps in between Genesis 11 and 12, while God was dealing with Abram (before his name was called Abraham) at the same time. Job is one of the oldest books, and it is generally believed that the events occurred just after the flood. It was just after the flood that the age of death was much lower than before the flood. It is suggested that Job lived about 200 years, because he lived 140 years after his experience and after God had blessed him when he confessed his sin (Job 42:7, 16).

Job is a historical person and is mentioned in Ezekiel 14:14,20 and James 5:11.

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Tabernacle Divisions

This is an attempted division of the Tabernacle, found in Exodus 25-30 as per the instructions that God gave to Moses when he was on the mountain for 40 days.

I used the aid of respected writers/commentators, along with clear sections/divisions in the Bible, the Word of God. This is to encourage a study of this wonderful subject, looking for Christ in these pages and divisions.

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