This week we will finish up Paul's letters to Timothy, as well as the epistles of Titus, Philemon, Hebrews and the Ephesians, then read all the way through James.
Titus - Titus is mentioned in Galatians as one of Paul's traveling companions to Jerusalem. He was then dispatched to Corinth and later went to Crete as the bishop there. This letter mainly deals with the requirements for bishops and elders in the church.
Philemon - Philemon was a wealthy Christian and leader (possibly bishop) of the church in Colosse. This is the shortest of all Paul's letters and deals mainly with the topic of forgiveness.
Hebrews - The author of this letter is not known or identified although many associate it with Paul or suppose it to be written in his style by one of his followers. The book provides a unique look at Jesus as both exalted Son of God and high priest of the people. Most believe the title to be a reference to its original audience: Jewish Christians of the second century who are apparently being tempted to avoid severe persecution by "shrinking back" in their faith. It is a letter written with hope and perseverance in mind.
James - Most believe the author of this letter to be James the brother of Jesus. Many people wrestle with this letter because it appears to contradict Paul's stance on justification by faith alone. James emphasizes works, but not in the sense of justifying oneself before God; rather in the sense that works are evidence of a person's inward faith.
Here is the schedule:
14 - I Timothy 4-6; II Timothy 1
15 - II Timothy 2-3; Titus 1-2
16 - Titus 3; Philemon; Hebrews 1-2
17 - Hebrews 3-6
18 - Hebrews 7-10
19 - Hebrews 11-13; James 1
20 - James 2-5
May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing, the understanding and most importantly the living out of His holy word. Amen.