I. Background Information
- Prisoner (v 1): Paul is writing this from prison. He was put there because the authorities were trying to stop him from starting new churches.
- In past times (v 5): he is referring to all of the time before Jesus, but especially to the 4000 years of Jewish history recorded in the first half of the Bible called the Old Testament.
- Prophets (v 5): a prophet was a person God chose and used to speak His message to people. Usually they reminded the people of God’s laws and sometimes told of things that would happen in the future. Most of the Old Testament was written by these people.
- Gospel (v 6): this word means ‘good news’ and is used to refer to the news about Jesus’ life and what He did for us.
- Angelic rulers and powers (v 10): this refers to the good and evil spirits. These are beings also created by God, but not of flesh and blood like us. It is interesting that Paul says that God is teaching them things through His work in us.
- Underline main ideas as you read.
The first part of this chapter continues Paul’s thought from Ch. 2 that God has sent Jesus to bring forgiveness to all people from every nation. The plan that He would do this through sending His son Jesus was not known in the past, but now this good news is clear. By accepting this offer of forgiveness we can now come to God freely with no fear of punishment and no more shame (v 12). He ends by praying that they may understand this amazing love of God for us.
IV. Daily Thoughts (write out your answers)
- What did you learn today? Write down a few thoughts you have about what you read.
- What questions do you have after reading and thinking?
- Is there anything you think God wants you to do based on what you read today?
- For what people or situations do you need to thank God today?
- For what people or situations do you need to ask God’s help today?
- Take time to talk to God about these things. (talk and listen)