365 Challenge – Epistles

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Dear 365 Readers,

As you have finished the book of Acts, you now have a historical framework for the spread of the gospel and the birth of churches throughout the Roman empire.  The remaining books of the New Testament are letters from various apostles and church leaders to these young, growing churches who needed encouragement and guidance on theology, congregation management, social issues, and a variety of other topics.  We start reading in Romans on Thanksgiving day (11/24).

Many of these letters to the churches, also called epistles, were written by Paul (Romans through Philemon).  Paul’s letters are typically split into two halves: the first is primarily doctrinal and often clarifies a theological misunderstanding a congregation was struggling with, the second half is usually very practical guidance on how to live like a Jesus follower in the first century environment.

Other epistles were written by James, Peter, and John and they each have their own writing style and favorite topics.  I will not be writing an introduction for you to each epistle… Instead, I would encourage you to pause for a moment at each new letter and figure out who is writing, who is the audience, and what is the historical context of this church (you can always check back in Acts for background information).

I will write again as we start Revelation on Christmas Eve!  Stay strong and in the Word, the end is in sight!

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