This course, the eleventh in the Journey through the Bible Series, covers the following Epistles and their key biblical teachings: Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John and Jude.
The Epistle of Hebrews is written to a group of Hebrew Christians who were in the midst of terrible persecution. Since most of the original eyewitnesses had long since died, the author was writing to this second-generation group, trying to show them the superiority of the Christian faith over the law of Moses and the Hebrew doctrines of the Old Testament. The writer of Hebrews was not trying to abolish the law, but show that it was an arrow pointing to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Whether you are a Christian, practice the Jewish faith, or subscribe to the teachings of another religious affiliation, the book of Hebrews will challenge you to believe God, to learn the power of your own faith, and how it works today.
The Epistle of James was written about 30 years after the death of Jesus. It was written by Jesus’ half-brother James, the pastor of the church in Jerusalem, and he primarily writes about the trials, tribulations, and temptations that Christians may go through. As you study the book of James, you will learn practical ways to acquire the wisdom of God as opposed to the wisdom of this world. Also, you will learn how your faith is to be proved by your works and deeds.
The apostle Peter, the writer of 1st and 2nd Peter, had the incomparable privilege of walking with Christ for three years. He was one of the original twelve disciples and was part of an inner circle of three men closest to Christ. He was on the Mount of Transfiguration when the glory of God was revealed in Jesus. He was the man to whom Jesus always paid a lot of attention. The books of 1st and 2nd Peter reflect Peter’s nature. Though he faced shortcomings, Peter never gave up. He was dauntless and fearless and his writings quickly get to some of the issues we face in following Jesus.
In the books of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, the apostle John gives us some of the finest practical advice and teaching of all. In 1st John, he bears witness to the Christ he knew personally so that we may also know Jesus and that our joy might be full. In 2nd John, the main burden of John’s heart is that we love one another, for that is the supreme proof that Christ lives in us. In 3rd John, we have only one chapter but it is so very important. In 3rd John 2, you will discover God’s wish of wishes, that you would prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.
In the Epistle of Jude, it is evident from his writings that Jude had been close to Jesus and the apostles. He was a student of the Holy Scriptures, knowing the details of the children of Israel, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of the angels that fell, of the prophecy of Enoch, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, during that period of time. Jude was a zealous contender for the faith. He wanted each of us to operate in the Word of God by our faith.