The Bible of most believers is most worn in the Pauline Epistles; we read them perhaps more than any section (beside the Psalms). Yet most believers have never been to the places Paul wrote to. Dr. Smith has traveled to every city Paul visited, to every archaeological ruin that yields the history of their past. The places, people and their local history affects how Paul wrote to them, and what he told them to do. Follow the journeys of Paul into each local setting as we study his life, journeys and relationships. This seminar is designed to set each epistle into the scheme of Paul’s life, and allow you to understand not only what he was saying – but why he was saying it. Each topic was selected to help believers apply the teachings Paul offered the early church to the challenges our churches face today.
Paul: The Man, The Mission and the Master
This is a “not to be missed” unique overview of the dynamic life of the Apostle, following his journeys and his writings. This seminar fits the life of this complex teacher together!
Four Seasons In the Life of Paul
As he got older, Paul’s writing changed. The early themes of the return of Jesus were maintained, but gave way in prominence to changes in the early church, and the view of the Apostle. The four seasons reflect the aging process, as well as the way God used this man to reflect different lessons that needed to be offered to the believers. If you haven’t been able to fit the various letters of Paul into some order, this seminar is designed to help you. If you want to see the remarkable “whole counsel of God” approach of Paul, this will be a treat!
Paul on the “Main Thing”: The Letter to the Romans
Paul never agreed to a “simple faith” that cost the Roman believer little, but argued that God was entitled to all of their life – a living sacrifice, based on what God did for them. We will carefully examine the reasoning Paul offered the early church and look at the application principles that touch believers through the ages.
Paul and Religious Observance: The Letter to the Galatians
Did Paul cease acting as Jew when Jesus came to him on the Damascus road? Did he continue to eat kosher, keep Sabbath, and live according to the law of Moses? Did he encourage Jews to leave the synagogue and become part of the “local church”? Paul argued that Gentiles need not become as Jews (as the Jerusalem Council stated in Acts 15), but NOT that Jews had to become as Gentiles. He understood two specific groups to exist in the community of faith, yet all one body in Messiah. We will look carefully at the way Paul solves the issue, then ask how we can apply these principles to God’s plan of outreach today!
Paul and the Hot Potato: Church Issues in Corinth
From church splits to the divorce and remarriage issue, this ‘no holds barred’ look at the first century mess will help us to sort out a series of principles of Christian behavior that should mark every group of believers through the ages. This is a “don’t miss” look at some of the toughest issues the church has ever faced!
Paul and Church Leadership: The Pastoral Epistles in Focus
As Paul closed his writing career and sensed the coming of his own death, he took the time to write to two younger Pastors serving in developing churches. Timothy needed constant reminders of his call, constant steady instruction on ministry. Titus needed organizational instruction and guidance. Through these letters we see Paul’s heart, his desire and his focus. This seminar will open these letters to apply principles that can transform our local churches and challenge our lives as followers!