Biblical Studies New Testament Studies James, Peter, Jude, Hebrews

As Living Stones
1Pe 2.4-8

In this sermon, delivered by Mike Sperou, Senior Pastor of North Clackamas Bible Community in July 2019, the Apostle Peter is using the metaphor of the living temple to remind the believing of the nature of the church and of its twofold call: first, TO COME to Jesus Christ, as to a LIVING stone; second, TO SURRENDER to His building … not rejecting Him, but drawing near to Him, by the Bible, cooperating in being fitted as a LIVING stone into a particular local church.

As Living Stones, 1Pe 2.1-4

Full, 51-min sermon audio, delivered Sunday, July 28, 2019. If audio stops on mobile device, check “Auto-Lock” or equivalent settings (e.g., iPhone, set to “None”).

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

Apostle Peter, First Peter 2.4-8

MP3 ver. 2019-07-28
51 min.; full sermon
MP3 version history:
2019-07-28: New release; sermon delivered

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Biblical Studies New Testament Studies Pauline Epistles Colossians James, Peter, Jude, Hebrews Prison Epistles Hebrews Johannine Corpus Pastoral Epistles Philippians

New Testament Christ Hymns, Prescripts, and Doxologies

Addressing the New Testament literary foreground, the first chart of New Testament Christ Hymns, Prescripts, and Doxologies identifies and compares five Christ hymns; the second, nineteen prescripts; the third, sixteen doxologies.

  • Christ hymns: Colossians 1.15-20, Philippians 2.6-11, First Timothy 3.16b-c, Hebrews 1.1-4, and John 1.1-5, 14 — what each says about Christ’s Cosmic Significance and his Church Significance. See especially the Christ Hymn in Colossians 1.15-20 (BcR also has a related audio)
  • Prescripts: Typical elements: author (superscriptio), recipient (adscriptio), and greeting (salutatio). Includes text for each (NASB95), grouped by Paul’s Travel Epistles, Paul’s Prison Epistles, Paul’s Pastoral Epistles, and the General Epistles (Hebrews and First John lack prescripts)
  • Doxologies: Each reference and its text, its location in the letter, and where is stands relative to a greeting (if present)

PDF ver. 2014-03-01
3 pp. 9.5 x 7.08, 7.08 x 9.5″ .08 mb

PDF version history:
2014-03-01: Updated SKU; combined into set
2009-12-11: New release

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Biblical Studies New Testament Studies Jude James, Peter, Jude, Hebrews

Jude – Outline

Jude – Outline shows the structure of an epistle written to the churches of Palestine after the death of James (62 CE) and before the more intense escalation of hostilities during the First Jewish-Roman War (66-73).

  • Prescript, 1-2
  • Opening Statement, 3-4
  • Body Middle, 5-19
    • Disclosure formula, 5a
    • Precedents, 5b-13
      1. First triad: Groups, 5-10
        • Data, 5b-7
          • Exhibit A: The wilderness generation, 5b
          • Exhibit B: The fallen angels, 6
          • Exhibit C: Sodom and Gomorrah, 7
        • Midrash, 8
          (Supplementary event and midrash, 9-10)
      2. Second triad: Individuals, 11-13
        • Data, 11
          • Exhibit A: Cain, 11a
          • Exhibit B: Balaam, 11b
          • Exhibit C: Korah, 11c
        • Midrash, 12-13
    • Testimony, 14-19
      1. Non-canonical, 14-16
        • Text, 14-15
        • Midrash, 16
      2. Canonical, 17-19
        • Text, 17-18
        • Midrash, 19
  • Paraenesis, 20-23
  • Closing: Doxology, 24-25

PDF ver. 2014-03-01
1 p. 8.5 x 11″ .05 mb

PDF version history:
2014-03-01: Updated SKU
2009-07-03: Text changes
2009-05-26: New release

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Biblical Studies New Testament Studies James, Peter, Jude, Hebrews Hebrews

Warning Passages in Hebrews

Warning Passages in Hebrews: The Epistle to the Hebrews, written during the more intense parts of Jewish War (66-73), contains five “warning passages”:

  1. 2.1-4: “Do not drift away … pay much closer attention to what we have heard … we will not escape.”
  2. 3.12-19: “Do not fall away from the living God … encourage one another day after day … we will not enter His rest.”
  3. 6.1-8: “Do not fall away … press on to maturity … we are close to being cursed.”
  4. 10.26-31 (cf. 10.19-25): “Do not go on sinning willfully … encourage one another … we will experience a terrifying expectation of judgment.”
  5. 12.25-29: “Do not refuse Him who is speaking … show gratitude … we will not escape.”

PDF ver. 2016-05-05
1 p. 4.67 x 7.08″ .04 mb

PDF version history:
2016-05-05: Corrected text
2014-03-01: Updated SKU; text changes
2008-11-29: New release

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Biblical Studies New Testament Studies James James, Peter, Jude, Hebrews

Pietist Reading of the Epistle of James

Pietist Reading of the Epistle of James: Mike Sperou, Senior Pastor of ncBc, made this presentation to Pastor’s Breakfast, September 17, 2008.

Contextual assumptions: Written by James, the Lord’s brother and leader of the Jerusalem church, to the Jewish-Christian churches spread throughout Palestine sometime prior to A.D. 50.

  • Salutation, 1.1
    A figurative use of “the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad”
  • Faith in Private, 1.2-25
    The testing of our faith in our everyday personal life
    1. Growing in character, 1.2-4
      Rejoice, knowing that the various testings of your faith are used by God to fill out your Christian character.
    2. Searching for wisdom, 1.5-11
      Ask for wisdom from God in a single-minded way, and recognize it when it begins to change your perspective—with regard to eternal values.
    3. Battling with sin, 1.12-18
      Be faithful in your devotion to God, who is good, and has chosen us for a special purpose, “a kind of firstfruits among His creatures.”
    4. Applying the word, 1.19-25
      Open your heart to the word in humility, and prove to be truly doers of it.
  • Faith in Public, 1.26–5.12
    The testing of our faith in our everyday public life
    1. Transition: Governing theme, 1.26-27
      The distinction between worthless religious works and pure ones
    2. The church gathered, 2.1–3.18
      It is all about treating people with love.
      • Greeting newcomers, 2.1-13
        Show mercy without partiality—if anything, show a preference for the unimpressive.
      • Supporting the brethren, 2.14-17
        Be sure to meet pressing needs.
      • Parenthesis: on faith and works, 2.18-26
        Works are explained as spontaneous actions toward others out of a love for God.
      • Speaking and teaching with wisdom, 3.1-18
        Let the community conversation be about blessing, not cursing.
    3. The church scattered, 4.1–5.12
      It is all about patience without complaining.
      • Attitude: Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, 4.1-12
        Avoid worldly attitudes when dealing with others.
      • Activities: Seeking the Lord’s will, 4.13–5.6
        Avoid worldly aims of seeking monetary advantage at the expense of others.
      • Demeanor: Fixing your hopes on the coming of the Lord, 5.7-12
        Be patient—those who endure will be blessed.
  • Conclusion, 5.13-20
    The power of prayer

PDF ver. 2014-03-01
1 p. 8.5 x 11″ .06 mb

PDF version history:
2014-03-01: Updated SKU
2008-09-20: New release

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