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Studies in 2 Corinthians

Following our study of 1 Corinthians entitled “The Foolishness of God,” we now move to 2 Corinthians. A great deal has happened between these two letters to the church in Corinth. Paul’s ‘painful visit’ followed by his ‘sorrowful letter’ (cf., 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:4). The following overview of 2 Corinthians from The Bible Project summarizes those events that moved Paul to compose this final letter.

The Bible Project – 2 Corinthians

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2 Corinthians 5:18-6:2 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, May 14, 2023

Beginning in 2 Corinthians 2:14, we now come to the conclusion of Paul’s philosophy of ministry, working with Christ to reconcile people to God.  Our mission to the world was initiated by God through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Just before He ascended back to heaven Jesus issued the Great Commission to His apostles.  These men, in turn, passed this command to the early church as Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 2:14-6:2.  Through his letters to Corinth handed down to us over the centuries, we now receive the challenge that Christ gave to them, giving us: “the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 6:1).  Indeed, every Christian generation has been entrusted with God’s ministry of reconciliation, including our own.  Our message is simple: “We implore you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God!” (2 Cor. 5:20).


2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, May 7, 2023

As followers of Christ we have been observing the apostle Paul’s analysis of his philosophy of ministry that he shares with the other apostles, with the congregation in Corinth and for us, today.  In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul tells us that we must know ourselves (verses 1-10), know the Lord (verses 11-15) and, today, we will talk about knowing the lost (verses 16-17). 

It is so easy to be caught up in the news about what others are doing to each other for whatever reasons, shaking our heads and talking about what a shame it is.  Just like everybody else.  But, in Christ, we see people differently.  They don’t need a better education, the right political party or the right religion.  What all people everywhere need is Jesus.  He is the answer!


2 Corinthians 5:11-15 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, March 30, 2023

Paul’s theme in 2 Corinthians 5 is ‘Knowing.’ As followers of Christ, there are three things Christians need to know: 1) Ourselves (5:1-10), 2) The Lord (5:11-15) and 3) The Lost (5:16-17).  There are two ways that we know the Lord: 1) we fear Him in verse 11 and 2) we love Him in verse 14.  These verses build upon verse 10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  And yet, Paul makes it clear that “the love of Christ controls us” in verse 14. 


2 Corinthians 5:1-10 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, March 23, 2023

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul focused upon what we have in Christ: 1) this ministry, 2) this treasure and 3) the same spirit of faith.  In that chapter he contrasted these possessions to the fact that they are from God and not ourselves, we are simply clay pots in which we experience the challenges of life with a belief that empowers us to speak. 

The closing verse of this chapter provides the perfect logical springboard into chapter 5 when Paul addresses the ‘transient’ versus the ‘eternal’ perspective (4:18).  Knowing that our transient bodies house eternity from God who is with us in the midst of our struggles as we reach out to others who do not yet know Him.  It is God’s Spirit, Who dwells within us, that guarantees that this life is not the end; it is only the beginning of what is to come (5:5).


2 Corinthians 4:13-18 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, April 16, 2023

“Having” is the theme of 2 Corinthians 4.  Because of what we have, we do not lose hope, Paul says, in verses 1 and 16.  So, what is it that we have, Paul?  First, we have this ministry by the mercies of God Himself (4:1-6).  Second, we have the treasure of the death and life of Jesus Christ in these ‘jars of clay’ to demonstrate the power of God to redeem us in our brokenness (4:7-12).  Finally, in this final section of chapter 4, Paul tells us that we have ‘the same spirit of faith’ that moves us to speak about what we believe (4:13-18). 

The goal is to increase those who give thanksgiving to God to His glory and praise.  This is the purpose statement of every follower of Jesus Christ as He told us in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, April 9, 2023

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)

Today’s Easter Service comes perfectly as we consider the implications of Paul’s assertion that Christians are “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal bodies.” (2 Cor. 4:10). 

This is the treasure that we carry with us in our ‘jars of clay.’  The focus is not upon the jars; it is upon The Treasure which they contain!


2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, March 19, 2023

“…having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart…”

Last week we concluded the BEING section of Paul’s philosophy of ministry to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 2:14-3:18). We are the aroma of Christ (2:14-17). We are ministers of the new Covenant (3:1-11). We are being transformed into the image of Christ (3:12-18).

Now we address the HAVING part of our ministry in 2 Corinthians 4. We have this ministry by the mercy of God (4:1-6). We have this treasure in earthen vessels (4:7-12). We have the same Spirit of faith (4:13-18). This entire chapter is sandwiched by the statement, “We do not lose hope” (vss. 1 & 16). The reason we are able to live our lives with hope, no matter what we face, is not because of our ingenuity or intelligence or special talents. Our hope lies in the fact that God has taken up residence in our “earthen vessels” which I often describe as ‘cracked pots.’

God allows us to show His surpassing power to call attention to Him; not to us!


2 Corinthians 3:4-18 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, March 12, 2023

Our lessons on 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:18 have been focused upon BEING. God has called us to be the aroma of Christ (2:14-17) and to be ministers of the Spirit (3:1-11).

In this week’s lesson we focus upon the third aspect of BEING that to which God is bringing about in our lives. As we go about spreading the aroma of Christ through the ministry of the Spirit, God calls us to be transformed into the image of Christ (3:12-18). In this process, it is the Lord Himself who is transforming us from ‘one degree of glory to another’ as we gaze at Christ.

Who we are, what we do and who we are becoming are all under the care of God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.


2 Corinthians 3:1-11 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, March 5, 2023

In 2 Corinthians 2:14-6:2 Paul gives us his philosophy of ministry as he and his co-workers spread the gospel wherever they go. In last Sunday’s lesson, Paul instructs us in how we, too, accept the Lord’s challenge to be the aroma of Christ in all we do and say. For those who are receptive to the gospel message, Paul says we are “the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved.” To those who reject Jesus’ invitation, however, the aroma has the stench of death (2 Cor. 2:15-16). To amplify this message, Paul notes the glory of God’s message through the temporary covenant law of condemnation and how it pointed towards the permanent glory of Christ. It is a ‘ministry of righteousness’ (2 Cor. 3:9).

For Paul, the proof of the superiority of the gospel is found in the ministry of the Spirit in their lives. It is God who has written the gospel message upon the hearts of the Corinthians. As ‘ministers of the new covenant,’ the glory of the gospel from God surpasses the glory of the old covenant and is permanent.


1 Corinthians 2:14-3:18 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, February 26, 2023


Paul spends the opening chapters of his letter to the church in Corinth (1:1-2:13) talking about his personal itinerary and how God’s promises sustained him against life-threatening odds.

At the end of chapter 2, however, Paul moves from the personal to address his philosophy of ministry beginning in 2 Cor. 2:14 and concluding in 2 Cor. 6:2. In this section of Paul’s letter we gain insights into his approach to mission work and, by his example, we learn how to think of our own, personal philosophies of ministry to the world around us. Lord willing, in the section we are studying we focus upon what we are called to be: i.e., the aroma of Christ.

Paul concludes this section by addressing how we are being ‘transformed’ into the image of Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit. We carry Christ’s presence with us wherever we go, with whomever we meet as we gaze into the glory of Christ, spreading his aroma as we transform into His image “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18).


2 Corinthians 1:12-23 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, February 19, 2023

Lord willing, as we dig into 2 Corinthians, we will quickly review the lesson from two weeks ago and sharpen our focus upon Paul’s underlying message in chapters 1-2. That key message is that no matter what challenges Paul receives from his critics, the verification of his apostleship is in Christ. For, in Christ, all of God’s promises are “Yes!” (2 Cor. 1:20).

Furthermore, the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives as God’s down payment, “guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Cor. 1:22) verifies the truth of Paul’s life and message. Paul is not like those charlatans who say “Yes” to please their audience, when in fact their true message is “No!” With Paul, what you see is what you get and a good part of this final letter of Paul to Corinth will be focusing upon this truth as verification of his ministry to the world.

As we study his ministry in this letter, we will be able to draw important lessons in our own individual ministries in our families, among our friends and to the world around us.


(Dean Wolf – Shepherd)

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NLT)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, February 12, 2023


(Introduction to 2 Corinthians)

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, February 5, 2023

With the closing of 1 Corinthians 16, Paul lays out his travel plans which includes a return visit to Corinth. However, his plans would change and the situation in Corinth would go through some significant challenges. By the time Paul writes 2 Corinthians the dust has finally settled and Paul brings healing and hope to strengthen the church.


Studies in 1 Corinthians

Contrasts Between God’s People and The World Around Them

New Series Began Sunday, September 11, 2022.

Just like in first century Corinth, so Christians today face sharp contrasts between the world’s morals and values and those to which Christ calls us. At the beginning of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, he makes it clear: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25, ESV).

Please Note: Several of our services were not able to connect online. This explains the gaps between posts below.



1 Corinthians 16 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, January 29, 2023

In this final chapter 16 of 1 Corinthians Paul takes care of business, anticipating a visit to Corinth to spend some time with the saints there.  What a great way to let them know that he is very interested in how they are doing and that he intends to follow up to monitor their progress.  When he arrives he plans to collect funds from them to support the church in Jerusalem which is still under persecution and enduring a famine.  So, he begins by asking them to prepare for his visit by making collections regularly, even weekly, when they come together for worship.


Survey of 1 Corinthians with Dean Wolf

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, January 22, 2023

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 (NLT)

We are approaching the final chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth.  Lord willing, we will address 1 Corinthians 16 on the final Sunday of this month.

This coming Sunday, Dean intends take a moment to review and summarize our journey.  So many of the lessons taught in this book are relevant to our own struggles in our world today.  Lord willing, this Sunday we will review those lessons together and apply them to the lives of Christians in 21st century America.


1 Corinthians 15 (NIV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, January 15, 2023

At 58 verses, 1 Corinthians 15 is the longest chapter in this great book.  Apparently, there were people among the brothers and sisters of Corinth stating that there is no such thing as a resurrection!  This dramatic chapter is the apex of Paul’s correspondence as prepares to close his letter.  

If there is one thing the Corinthians must understand, it is that Jesus rose from the dead.  It is at the heart of the Gospel story and it is the centerpiece of our faith.  It is our pillar of hope that leads us through times of suffering and loss.

Paul spends a lot of time here because without this one reality, our faith is worthless and we are to be among the most pitied in the world (1 Corinthians 15:19).


1 Corinthians 14 (NLT)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, January 8, 2023

God gives the gifts of the Spirit to members of Christ’s church as He wills (1 Corinthians 12).  But, if those gifts are exercised without love, they have no value (1 Corinthians 13). 

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul shows us how love infuses the use of those gifts to accomplish specific objectives.  First, the use of tongues is primarily used by individuals to commune with God (verses 2, 4) and to speak to the hearts of unbelievers (verse 22).  Unless someone is present to interpret what is being said, they are not appropriate in a public gathering (verse 13). 

Secondly, the ability to prophesy serves three purposes that all involve the entire church: to strengthen others by educating them about God’s word, to encourage others in their walk with Christ and to comfort those who are suffering or struggling (verse 3).  This is why Paul places the greatest value on the gift of prophecy (verse 5). 

Building up the body of Christ is among the most important tasks of God’s love, working among His people.


1 Corinthians 13 (ESV)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, January 1, 2023

With all of the problems and challenges with which the church in Corinth was dealing, Paul’s admonition to love is more than an afterthought.  It breaks right into the middle of the discussion of spiritual gifts to underline Paul’s point. 

Following Christ is not about the things we do to distinguish ourselves from each other, elevating the importance of one gift over another.  It is about the cross of Christ as the ultimate expression of God’s love and the transforming power it provides for those who exhibit those gifts.  Remove the principle of love and those gifts become meaningless and, in fact, work against the very core of the gospel: God’s love expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ!


Philippians 2:1-11 (NLT)

Facebook Live Post – Sunday, December 18, 2022

As we prepare for the Christmas Holidays we marvel at the miracle of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of mankind.  Had it not been for God the Son, choosing to release His place in the glorified presence of His Father, God, to take on the form of a man, we would still be without hope and without God in the world.  Dean Wolf will be presenting a lesson this Sunday celebrating the coming of the One Who was from the beginning to dwell among us (John 1:1-18), perfect in every way: fully God and fully human. 

In Philippians 2, Paul encourages each of us to strive to have the same attitude of Christ as a humble servant, faithful to the very end, so that we, too, can share in the glory that was revealed in Christ’s example.


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, December 11, 2022

 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (ESV)

Every person who has been baptized into the body of Christ has been given the same Holy Spirit.  Furthermore, through the Holy Spirit, God has gifted each member of the body of Christ by His Sovereign Choice.  Paul tells us that “…in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”  All of us!  No one is excluded. No one!


Not Available: Facebook Live Post – Sunday, December 4, 2022

1 Corinthians 11 (ESV)

In 1 Corinthians 11 the apostle Paul addresses two issues that help distinguish the Corinthian Christians from the cultures out of which they came and in which they continue to live. The ‘traditions’ he implemented among them at the beginning have now become more a reflection of Corinthian culture than the Lord’s church. 

The first issue relates to head coverings of husbands and wives when the church comes together to worship in contrast to their Corinthian practices during idol worship.  The second issue concerns class divisions during the common love feasts of the congregation. 

More specifically, Paul insists that whenever the church comes together to celebrate the Lord’s supper, all social class distinctions become irrelevant.  The distinction between the rich and the poor in the Corinthian culture have no place among God’s people. 

All believers have a place at the Lord’s Table!


Not Available: Facebook Live Post – Sunday, November 27, 2022

 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (ESV)

In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul was concerned about those Christians who were offended by the eating of meats that had been sacrificed to idols.  Paul protects the conscience of the ‘weaker’ Christians by encouraging the ‘stronger’ to be thoughtful about their influence.  Why let meat or drink influence others to go against their conscience?  It simply is not that important. 

However, here in chapter 10, Paul takes a very different stance against those who are actually entering the pagan temples.  Once they join the feasts and frenzied celebrations in front of idols, they open themselves to the temptations of demons, to sexual immorality and more.  Paul states clearly, “I do not want you to be participants with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:20-21). 

There are places in this world where Christians do not belong.  “Flee from idolatry,” Paul exclaims (verse 14).


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, November 20, 2022

1 Corinthians 9:15-23 (ESV)

While he was in Corinth Paul supported himself as a tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3). Referring back to that time, Paul now shares with the Corinthians in chapter 9 that he intentionally supported himself while he preached the gospel there in Corinth. As an apostle, he could have insisted upon their financial support. He had that right! Nonetheless, he chose not to accept their money so that he could preach freely without anyone suggesting that he had a profit motive.

This one decision set him apart as someone with an important message that needed to be heard. This was because, in the end, he wanted to serve people in hopes of winning them for Christ so that they, too, could share in the Lord’s blessings.


Not Available: Facebook Live Post – Sunday November 13, 2022

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 (NLT)

Dean Wolf will be presenting this morning addressing caring for new Christians whose consciences are sensitive to eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols.  For the more mature Christians, they know that meat is meat, no matter where it has been cooked.  But those weaker believers whose consciences are sensitive as they learn how to discern between the world from which they have come and the kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

If there is a risk that one weak Christian will question their own conscience, Paul says, I’ll never eat meat again!  Our faith is all about helping each other through life to remain faithful to the end.


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, November 6, 2022

1 Corinthians 7

In 1 Corinthians 5 and 6 Paul condemns sexual immorality outside of marriage by upholding the commandments of the Law. Those who are sexually active outside of the boundaries of marriage “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:10).

In chapter 7, however, Paul sharpens the focus upon those Christians who are married, single, engaged, widowed and divorced to help them grasp Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels in the context of their own experience, their culture and the times (see Matthew 5:31-32, 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:17-18). The overriding principle Paul promotes is found in the heart of this chapter: “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches” and “So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God” (1 Cor. 7:17, 24).


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, October 30, 2022

1 Corinthians 5:9-6:20 (ESV)

The church in Corinth was in trouble. While undermining the authority of Paul’s apostleship (1 Cor. 4), condoning the sexual immorality of a brother (1 Cor. 5) and removing the boundaries for moral behavior (1 Cor. 6:12-20), brothers were taking brothers to court in the public square (1 Cor. 6:1-8).

In the process of his analysis of what is happening in the church in Corinth, Paul clearly makes a distinction between the community from which the church has come and brothers and sisters that are members of the church. There is a different standard that must be applied to God’s people as they begin transforming into faithful followers of Christ. Their calling lifts them up from the condemned corruption of the world around them and brings them into God’s moral code of behavior through the Lordship of Jesus Christ.


FaceBook Live Post – Sunday, October 23, 2022

1 Corinthians 5 (ESV)

In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul takes those to task who would question his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ.  When a person questions the authority of God’s messenger, as they did with Jesus, that person is challenging the very sovereignty of God. 

This is not a good place to be.  This is because once you jettison God for your guiding principles, you become your own judge of what is right and wrong, eating from the tree of knowledge.  The path that follows is very predictable as we see in 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 where what God has forbidden is embraced and welcomed.  Today’s lesson will require some uncomfortable passages in God’s word in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24-25, Leviticus 18 and 20 and Deuteronomy 22.  Better to listen to God by eating of the tree of life!


With Dean Wolf

Facebook Live Post: Sunday, October 13, 2022

1 Corinthians 4 (NLT)

In 1 Corinthians 1-3, Paul addresses the divisiveness that it troubling the church as people gravitated to their favorites.  The challenge is that elevating one person or group of people over others is wrong among God’s people.  Paul’s encouragement is to keep Jesus at the center of their lives. 

In chapter 4, however, Paul moves to address those Christians who have started questioning his authority as Christ’s apostle.  This must be resolved before he begins to address the list of problems that have emerged in a church that is striving to live for Christ in sharp contrast to the lifestyles of the cosmopolitan world around them.


Not Available: Facebook Live Post – Sunday, October 9, 2022

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (ESV)


It is becoming increasingly obvious that we are presently in a time of cultural transition and change at a level we have never experienced before.  Just as Paul was being challenged in the community of ancient Corinth, so, also he endured challenges to his authority from within the very churches that he had personally planted (see 1 Corinthians 4, next week).  How does this happen and how should followers of Christ proceed when the culture around them is in such sharp contrast to their faith?


Not Available: Facebook Live Post – Sunday, October 2, 2022

1 Corinthians 3:16-23 (ESV)


How do God’s people deal with the diversity of the body of Christ?  In the world, what people think and believe often serves to divide and separate, inspiring conflict over differences of opinion.  This can be true in the church of Christ as well.  So, we must be vigilant keep our focus upon Christ.  As Paul says, “21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23, ESV).


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, September 25, 2022

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (ESV)

Among us believers in Christ there is a supernatural connection between God, His Holy Spirit and our spirits.  The wisdom that this connection inspires does not make sense to the non-believer until they come to know and to believe in the Lord of all creation, Jesus Christ. 


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, September 18, 2022

1 Corinthians 1 (NLT)


Facebook Live Post – Sunday, September 11, 2022

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (ESV)

After spending a year and a half evangelizing Corinth, Paul moves on to take the gospel to other parts of Asia Minor. Towards the end of three years later in Ephesus he receives news of trouble in the church in Corinth.  The new Christians there are struggling with whom to believe: the apostle Paul himself or those who are trying to bring the church into mainstream Corinthian society.  Now, as then, this is the real challenge of the church. 

We begin setting the stage for Corinth in order to apply Paul’s teaching to our own struggles today.


Looking to the Cross of Jesus to be Transformed.

Join our Shepherd, Dean Wolf, as he guides us into a Bible study of the people who were transformed because they knew Jesus. Lord willing, our study will begin on Sunday, April 3 and continue through Easter Sunday, April 17.

Facebook Live Sermons

Transformed: The Spirit

Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, April 17, 2022

2 Corinthians 3:5-18 (NLT)

So far, Dean has focused upon how Jesus transformed the great men of faith: the apostles Peter and Paul.   This Easter Sunday, Dean will conclude this series to bring home for us God’s plan to transform all who gaze upon His Son with humble, obedient faith. 

As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

Transformed: Paul

Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, April 10, 2022 – Part 1

Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, April 10, 2022 – Part 2

Romans 12:1-10 (NLT)

Wherever Jesus went, people had to make decisions about Him.  Refusing to believe in His divine nature, most people presumed him to be an everyday human.  So, as a regular person, they concluded that He was a liar, making stuff up to deceive His followers.  Others thought He was a lunatic who saw Himself as a legend in His own mind.  However, for those who believed in Jesus as fully divine and fully Human they could not remain the same; they became transformed.

The Apostle Paul was one of those who was not only transformed himself by an encounter with Jesus; but, he taught others that they, too, could be transformed.  This principle is true today, as well.  Whomever comes to know Jesus cannot remain the same as they were; they begin the process of transformation into His image.

Transformed: Peter

Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, April 3, 2022

Dean Wolf – Transformed: Peter

Jesus transforms people into His image when they couple their faith in Him with obedience.  This is a process of growth and maturation as can be seen by men like Peter and Paul who changed over time as they walked with Christ with the aid of the Holy Spirit.  Their transformation was a process that began with Jesus’ promise of eternal life. 

Dean Wolf will be leading us through this study over the next few weeks, concluding on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022. This lesson focuses upon Peter. The next lesson will look at the life of the apostle Paul.


Peter’s Letters to a Persecuted Church

In the first verse of 1 Peter chapter 1, Peter begins with the greeting: “To those who are elect exiles….” For Christians who may lose their home, their family or their very lives for the sake of Christ it is best to live according to the reality that ‘this world is not my home, I’m just passing through.”

This reality is coming true for so many Christians all over the world. First and second Peter are wonderful letters from a man on death row to churches under pressure to grow in their love and appreciation for Christ.



Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, March 27, 2022

2 Peter 3

In the end, when Jesus returns to bring everyone before God’s judgement there will be a great many things that will no longer matter to us. Our cars and houses, our jobs and paychecks, our schedules and our plans…none of these things will matter anymore.


In the end, what will really matter? Perhaps Peter’s final words in his final letter can instruct us.

Are you growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”? How horrifying it would be to hear Him say, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:22-23).

Know Jesus! There is nothing in this world that is more important than this.


Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, March 20, 2022

2 Peter 1-2

In Peter’s first letter his focus is on strengthening the faith of those followers of Christ who have already begun to suffer persecution from their governments and neighbors.  They must stand strong in their faith in the face of losing their possessions, their health and freedoms and, even, their very lives. 

When Peter writes his second letter his focus is upon those within the fellowship of Christians who are taking advantage of the love and trust that they share for each other.  Lord willing, our lesson will begin by summarizing the internal threats to the early church in 2 Peter chapter 2 in order to sharpen our focus upon chapters 1 and, next Sunday, chapter 3.  It is in these chapters (1 and 3) that Peter’s encouraging words about the certainty of our faith are expressed with majestic confidence and assurance. 

In troubled times, being certain of the promises of God through His word, Peter’s words offer confirmation of our belief in Christ and hope for the future beyond the grave as he points to a new heaven and a new earth “where righteousness dwells.”


Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, March 13, 2022

1 Peter 5

The Apostle Peter encourages the elders of the churches in Asia minor as ‘a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ.”  He tells them to shepherd the flock of God  willingly and eagerly, being examples to their people.   These leaders, who have been shaped by the suffering example of Christ, guide their younger members to humbly listen to them. 

The quality of humility is the universal attitude that is to characterize God’s people; humility towards God and towards one another.


Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, March 6, 2022

1 Peter 3:13-4:19 (ESV)

After warning his audience that “The end of all things is at hand,” Peter talks to a persecuted church about rejoicing when sharing in Christ’s sufferings.

When happiness is a person’s goal in life this phrase makes no sense. Living for the present moment we want to do things that make us happy. So, rejoicing in times of suffering sounds insane!

The radical difference is found in Christ and in Christ alone. In Christ, suffering has meaning and purpose! So, Peter says, be prepared to make a defense of why you are joyful in the midst of suffering. Our suffering, like Christ’s suffering, is God’s megaphone to the world!


Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, February 27, 2022

1 Peter 2:1-3:12 (ESV)

Peter begins his letter by affirming those known as “the elect exiles of the dispersion…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.” Christians are living examples of the unfolding of God’s plan, foreseen by the prophets and guaranteed by the very blood of Jesus Christ.

With chapter 2 Peter turns to those Christ followers to ‘grow up into salvation’ as living stones of God’s spiritual house; priests who are called to be holy. As such, they are called to live consistently with their calling in regard to 1) human institutions and the emperor, 2) slaves their masters, 3) wives and their husbands, and 4) brothers and sisters in Christ as they address each other and their persecutors.

Why? “Because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer.”


Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, February 20, 2022

1 Peter 1

Peter’s teachings were likely the primary source for Mark’s gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Written to a persecuted church, therefore, Mark’s account lends itself to examine the apostle Peter’s writings towards the end of his life, known today in our Bibles as first and second Peter.  After concluding our study of the gospel of Mark with the abrupt ending of Mark 16:8 we are left with the question, “Do you believe?”  If, indeed, Mark was writing to a persecuted church then this urgent plea insists upon an answer because it will be severely tested very soon under Emperor Nero’s reign. 

It was during this time that Peter was likely executed as Jesus had been, by crucifixion. So, Peter’s letters take on special significance for encouraging us all to stand strong in our living hope in Christ. 

This is especially true after considering Dean’s summary of Peter’s role while he was with Christ and, as Peter approached the end of his own life, as he appealed to those early Christians to prepare for persecution for their faith.


Facebook Live Worship Service – Sunday, February 13, 2022

Presentation by Dean Wolf, Shepherd.

Preparing for our study in First and Second Peter, we are reminded of the importance of living out our Christian lives every day. This is especially true when our faith is challenged, even to the point of being persecuted.

Dean summarizes Peter’s role while he was with Christ. As Peter approached the end of his own life, as he appealed to those early Christians to prepare for persecution for their faith. His encouragements and example speak to us today as we strive to stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ.


They say that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  In Ephesians 5:1 Paul encourages his readers to “be imitators of God.”


In our study of the first 3 chapters of Ephesians over the last few weeks we have covered the first half of the book.  Paul tells us that by God’s power, strength and might Jesus was raised from the dead and seated at God’s right hand (Eph. 1:18-21).  More than that, God also made us “alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6, NASB).

Simply stated, Paul is telling us “Sit down and listen while I tell you what God has done for you!”  Chapters 1 through 3 are an incredible review of God’s divine plan from before the beginning of time.  Center stage: Christ and the church (Eph. 3:20-21).

Sitting down and resting in what God has done for us in Christ is so important!


Currently we are in the midst of chapters 4 and 5 of Ephesians. Here Paul places a great emphasis upon how we walk all day, every day.  In fact, Paul literally uses a word we literally translated as “walk” to describe our lives once we have been seated in God’s throne room.  He contrasts between the way we once walked, in the futility of our minds (Eph. 4:17), and the new way we walk, renewed in the spirit of our minds (Eph. 4:23-24).  Likewise, on Sunday mornings, we will spend time on more practical application.

It is in this context that Paul encourages us all to be ‘imitators of God.’ This truly is the sincerest form of flattery plus a few other things like honor, glory and praise.  In his book, Just Like Jesus (1998) Max Lucado gives a great illustration of what this looks like. He asks a simple question: “What if, for twenty-four hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, assumes your schedule?”  Essentially, He lives your life with His heart.  Would anyone notice a change?

This intriguing question is a great focus point for personal meditation, confession, and repentance.  But, more than that, it is a great tool for contemplating the changes that need to occur in our lives.  That’s one reason I love the subtitle of Lucado’s book: “God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.  He wants you to be Just Like Jesus.”

Ephesians 1-3 keep us from falling into despair when we contemplate fulfilling the challenges Paul places before us in chapters 4-6.  Learning to imitate God is an overwhelming task that is greater than we are.

Of course, God knew that.

This is why He sent His Son, “while we were yet sinners.”


Lord willing, by December, we will be concluding our study in Ephesians.   We will be talking about how God’s actions (ch. 1-3) have changed believer’s daily lives (chapters 4-6:9).  These people are now ready to make a stand and pray!

Shoreline Church

Jesus is our Shoreline.

Speaking to His people through the prophet Jeremiah, God asks a simple question:

“Have you no respect for me?
    Why don’t you tremble in my presence?”

God’s people, Israel, had messed up terribly, trying to make it through life without God.  Because of this they were suffering heavily and God was warning them that there was more to come.

And so, God tells them,

“I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set.”

– Jeremiah 5:22 (NLT)

God’s point was that no matter how badly the storms may become He is still in control.  He sets the boundaries of the winds and waves,  providing a shoreline of safety to those who will seek Him.

In life we all struggle with wanting to do things our own way instead of surrendering ourselves to God’s ways.  Then, when the storms of life visit us we find ourselves making poor choices under pressure that often make our situations even worse than they were before.

But God is still in control.

So, when we find ourselves in the middle of life’s storms, bobbing up and down in its currents and rip tides, taking on water, we look for the safety of land.  And standing on the shoreline, calling us to safety is God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Isn’t that what church is supposed to be?  A place to safely gather with others who struggle with life’s storms.  A place to rest in the promises of a God who is in control and has provided just what we need to make it.  A place where life makes sense and is filled with meaning and purpose in spite of all of our mistakes.

This is the meaning behind our name: Shoreline.  Here, Jesus stands, arms open wide, welcoming God’s children home.