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David Pawson - ’Unlocking the Bible’ Podcast
39 minutes | May 23, 2022
James - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 86 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says that, although written to dispersed Jews, the book of James is very applicable to Christians today. It is a very practical word for our everyday lives. James was not focusing on doctrine or faith but was giving Christian advice to counter poor attitudes. As many of his readers were businesspeople intent on money making, James warns against neglecting God and the poor. He covers greed, envy, selfish ambition, pride, boasting, presumption, impatience, anger, arguments, gossip and litigation. If you’re not careful, money comes in and God goes out. James says we need to be alongside people but not to be infected by worldly attitudes. He encourages joy in the face of testing. He shows that we can get wisdom from above right away by asking for it without double mindedness, without doubting. This is a very helpful book though some find it objectionable that it focusses on human activity, but David points out that James’ reason for writing explains why this is so. “Legalism says we’re saved by our good deeds; license says we’re saved without good deeds; but liberty says we’re saved for good deeds.”
38 minutes | May 16, 2022
James - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 85 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says that James is concerned with practical Christianity. James is not hugely on doctrine or belief, but on behaviour which is a vital dimension to Christianity. The keyword is ‘do’. David points out that ‘do’ is a keyword to the entire Bible. Though it is well written, James is not a structured book and David describes it as ‘pearls of wisdom that haven’t been strung.’ The author was the half-brother of Jesus. David reveals two nicknames used of James which give us an insight into his character. The letter was written to help Jews understand how to behave toward Gentiles.
39 minutes | May 9, 2022
Hebrews - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 84 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says there are problems in the Bible when you don’t understand, and there are problems when you do understand but it doesn’t fit with your previous notions. He examines those passages which trouble some readers. One refers to the possibility of losing the salvation which once we have had. David explains this very clearly, giving evidence from other books of the Bible as well. It is important that we grasp the truth – that we can have assurance that we are on the way of salvation, but it is not a guarantee that we cannot turn away into deliberate sin and lose that salvation. This truth runs right through the New Testament, including on the lips of Jesus. Hebrews tells us the relationship between the Old and New Testaments; it keeps our eyes on Jesus; it is faith building; it warns us of the dangers of backsliding; and it emphasizes being an active member of the church.
42 minutes | May 2, 2022
Hebrews - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 83 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says that Hebrews is a very ‘Jewish’ letter and is appreciated by Jewish readers whereas Gentiles need familiarity with the Old Testament scriptures. It relates our Christian faith to the ritual of the temple in the old days. David says it throws new light on Jesus that no other writer of the New Testament does. A key word is ‘better’ – Jesus is better than… the prophets, the angels, the ancient leaders, the priests. While there is a continuity of faith from the Old Covenant to the New, the substance is better than the shadow. In the Old Testament they had a lot of foreshadowing of Jesus but now they had the real thing. We do not know who the author is, but David thinks it was sent to the Jewish half of the church in Rome at the time of Nero. They were suffering persecution as Christianity was at that time illegal and this drove some believers back to the synagogue where they would have to deny Jesus. David believes this was the catalyst for the letter to encourage them to hold on to their salvation and to go forward. It’s very encouraging while being severe.
39 minutes | Apr 25, 2022
Timothy and Titus - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 82 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says, though these letters were addressed to individuals, they were all about the churches they were trying to help, and these were quite different. Titus, in Crete, had the task of appointing elders and Paul’s concern was about the quality of membership there; whereas in Ephesus, the membership was good but they had the wrong elders and Timothy was given the task of replacing them with the right men. The important thing at the beginning of a fellowship is to have quality leadership and membership before numbers expand. David says that confrontation is an important part of church leadership. If you neglect a problem, it just gets worse. Ultimately, the best safeguard of a church is constant good teaching. With the Spirit and the Word of God, you grow up. With a plurality of leaders, they will contribute more strengths and balance each other out much better, whereas one man will communicate his own strengths and weaknesses to the church he leads because people do follow unconsciously a leader’s manner of living, rather than what he says. Character is of prime importance. This teaching can help us in choosing those to serve our churches.
40 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Timothy and Titus - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 81 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson begins by explaining why these letters to Timothy & Titus differ from others by Paul. Paul wrote from the condemned cell; he is older and so were the churches. We learn more about Paul from these than any other letters. We see both the pattern and the purpose of Paul’s life. Though trinitarian, Paul has God in priority position. David Pawson objects to these being called the pastoral epistles because they don’t have all the instructions needed for pastors. Rather than dealing with how to run the internal matters of a church, Paul here focuses on the external responsibilities. Paul’s method of follow-up was three-fold – a second visit, or a letter or he sent one of his team back to do the follow-up. David shows that Timothy & Titus were not sent to be pastors but rather troubleshooters. He sees the two as ‘timid Timothy’ and ‘tough Titus’ as Paul spoke differently to them. He also says that there is danger in one-man ministries and apostles need to plant a church, reach the point where it has elders and deacons, and leave it. His work there is done. David discusses the process of salvation, the need to persevere.
39 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
2 Thessalonians - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 80 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series In continuing his talk on Paul’s 2 letters to the Thessalonians, David Pawson shows why their hope was shaky instead of being certain. Paul gave them understanding of the 2nd coming. Paul shows that if believers are alert, sober and watching, the 2nd Coming will not come as a surprise. We need to watch for the signs we’ve been given of his coming. He has advice for the church members – 3 things they should not be and 5 things they should. There was democracy in Thessalonica, and it had crept into the church whereas the church should be ruled by the Holy Spirit via Spirit filled leaders. In the 2nd letter, he has similar subjects, but he has obviously heard bad news of them now, and has to be harsher than in his first epistle. They are being persecuted so there is encouragement as well.
39 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
1 Thessalonians - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 79 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says that the letters to the Thessalonians were the first part of the New Testament to be written. The early church had only the Old Testament and the Apostles’ teaching. Paul wrote to the same people, yet the 2 letters are different in atmosphere. The first is caring, warm; the second cooler and sharper. Thessalonica was a key town, the port for all the trade routes at the head of the Aegean Sea. Paul had needed to leave this town, but later Silas and Timothy brought good news about how the fledgling church was doing so he wrote. Paul gave them the Gospel in 3 ways – word, deed and sign – the deeds were the human proof, the signs were the divine proof that the words were true. Paul’s evangelism was based on demonstrating the Gospel before declaring it. Thus he fully communicated it. Results were 3 things - faith, hope and love. True Christianity is trinitarian – to repent toward God, to believe in Jesus and to receive the Spirit. 3 dimensions of the Christian life – to turn from idols, to serve the living God and to wait for his Son from heaven. For the sake of his converts, Paul had to defend his character because of false accusations. Among his subjects are women and work – a practical letter.
41 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
Colossians - Unlocking The Bible
Part 78 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series This study is a must for every Christian. The problems in the Colossian church are with us today as we find when we examine Paul’s letter to see what he was responding to. Paul had neither founded nor visited this church, but he’d been told of problems there. Colossae was a cosmopolitan town with many religions which presented relational problems. David believes they had brought too much from outside into the church, which is again a problem in our modern age. He says Colossians gives us a wonderful tool to analyse syncretism, the mixture of faiths. Christ loses his preeminence in the church when other beliefs are mixed in. “If there’s one thing Christ does, he saves us from religion. Christianity is not a religion… It is a relationship with Christ.” This letter can be summarised by two themes – Syncretism that makes a religion of Christianity; and the simplicity of centring everything on relationship to Christ. The New Testament does not tell us to observe Sunday as a special day, or Christmas or Easter. Colossians warns against losing our salvation.
36 minutes | Mar 21, 2022
Philippians and Philemon - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 77 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson tackles Philippians’ “controversial” passage in this study – Scholars debate: How much of God did Jesus empty himself of when he became a man? David declares “The things he gave up were not of his nature but of his privileges.” He says that the passage in question is not about theology but about ethics – it is “about Christ’s attitudes and his choices”. Paul said: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” David also warns that we need to take note of the conditions attached to promises of God. Regarding the letter to Philemon, David says that, though it is very short, it is important. It is private correspondence about a runaway slave. David answers the question: Why was it put in the Bible? He shows that when we are converted, rather than running away from our past, we should put our past right. The story in Philemon is a perfect picture of our salvation.
42 minutes | Mar 14, 2022
Philippians and Philemon - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 76 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series ‘A colony of heaven’ Paul termed the Philippian church though it was in a Roman- occupied city. David Pawson says that God had his eye on this strategic city and sent Paul there. Thus this became the first church in Europe. Paul was now under house arrest in Rome, hence the need to write a letter of gratitude for a gift he’d received, including an ‘apostle’ to help him. David discusses what it is to be an apostle, and also what healing is for. From this letter we have a glimpse of Paul as a person and the kind of relationship he had with his converts. ‘Fellowship is far more than a cup of tea.’ With real fellowship, what happens to one happens to all. Though facing possible death, Paul’s favourite word in Philippians is joy – plus rejoice and thanksgiving. He lived for Christ and therefore he had nothing to lose. Paul’s true address was ‘in Him’, that’s where he lived.
40 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
Ephesians - Unlocking The Bible
Part 75 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says the best defense against heresy is solid, good teaching and that’s what Paul gave to the Ephesians via this letter, protecting them against false teaching. This teaching is the very foundation of Christian living. Ephesus was a key town in the history of the early church. A port city, it had an enormous temple to the goddess Diana. Silversmiths sold reproductions of a meteorite which had fallen to Ephesus, supposedly symbolizing the goddess and Paul’s preaching had brought hostility from these silversmiths. His letter is in two clear halves, dealing with our relationship with God in Christ and our relationship with others in the Lord. David terms the first half Salvation worked in (doctrine – what we are saved by) and the 2nd, Salvation worked out (duty – what we are saved for). We are not saved by good deeds, but we are saved for good deeds. David says that a Gospel that doesn’t work out in life is not the full Gospel. We need both halves – and in the order presented because we cannot live the Christian life before we’ve been saved. Paul’s teaching is couched in a hymn of praise for God’s power and purpose. Our battles are not with flesh and blood. David beautifully explains predestination.
37 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
Galatians - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 74 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says that many Christians love the letter to the Galatians while others don’t like it. Paul was emotional about its subjects. Galatians ‘strips off all spiritual veneer’. It was this book which triggered Luther’s Reformation. David says that we need to talk together about our differences. In Galatians, Paul tackles ‘fundamental issues without which you lose the Christian Gospel’. Peter and Paul had a disagreement on one of these issues and this had to be put right. Paul, though a Jew, was a Roman citizen and spoke the Greek language so he was equipped for the mission God had for him. David says that later leaders who come in and take over another’s work often lead it astray and this was happening in Paul’s time. Jewish believers had come into the church in Galatia to try to convince the members that they needed to keep the Law as well as believe in Jesus. They were adding to Paul’s message of the Gospel. This would bring them back into slavery to the flesh, and negate the work of Christ, so Paul angrily wrote against this teaching to rescue those he had won to the Lord.
44 minutes | Feb 21, 2022
Galatians - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 73 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says of Galatians, that it is the Magna Carta of Christian Liberty. It wrestles with issues caused by the differences between Judaism and Christianity in the early church. It came to a head with the issue of whether a person is saved by faith or by works. The Judaisers were saying that they needed to start with faith and then go on to keep the Law. So Paul asked the Galatians: having started in the Spirit, are you going to continue in the flesh? Paul was fighting for ‘faith alone’ as the means of salvation. He emphasized the need to ‘go on believing’. David says to introduce the Law at any stage is to put believers under a curse because the only pass mark Jesus would accept for the Law is 100%. Galatians explains why God gave the Law. In speaking on the 3 themes of the book, David says that Legalism is an enemy of Liberty but what people don’t always realize is that License is too. It is a delicate edge we walk in the Liberty of the Spirit. It’s so easy to slip either into Legalism or into License. Real freedom is the freedom not to sin.
36 minutes | Feb 14, 2022
Corinthians - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 72 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson points out that Corinth was a Greek city & the ancient Greeks separated the spiritual from the physical. The West has taken that & it has infiltrated the Church. Hebrew thinking is quite different, and the Corinthians needed to be helped to understand God’s way of looking at things. Greeks thought of the body 3 ways: they indulged them because they thought it wouldn’t affect their soul, they ignored them and tried to live a life free from physical desires, or idolized them and made statues of the perfect body. Paul had to say: Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? And what you do with your body will affect your soul. What you do with your body is part of your spirituality. David discusses the various forms of love – sexual, social and sacrificial. The cross was too bodily for the Greeks, and when you get away from the cross you start dividing over other things. Second Corinthians is particularly for leaders. There were leaders who were putting Paul down to raise themselves. The acid test of a man’s ministry is not his academic qualifications or his training but the kind of people he produces. Though tender with the people, Paul is tough with those who threaten them.
39 minutes | Feb 7, 2022
Corinthians - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 71 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson shows from 1 & 2 Corinthians that the early church, as in every other era, was not perfect. But seeing how their problems were handled is a help for us. Corinth was a port city with its attendant sins which had to be dealt with in the church. Without these letters from Paul we would not have the song of love in chapter 13 or the record of Jesus’ earliest resurrected appearances in 15. David says the biggest two battles in any church are how to keep the church in the world and how to keep the world out of the church. The world was sadly entrenched in the church in Corinth and Paul sent 1 Corinthians in answer to practical issues such as division among the members, immorality, members suing each other, idolatry creeping in, relationships and roles for men and women, remarriage after divorce and getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper - whereas 2 Corinthians deals with personal insults which Paul had suffered at their hands. David untangles some of the misunderstandings about 1 Corinthians. He teaches that we are not so much to slavishly copy the practice, as to find the principle that Paul is employing.
40 minutes | Jan 31, 2022
Romans - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 70 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series In Part 1 of Romans, David Pawson showed that the reason for Paul to write to the Roman church was the tension between Jew and Gentile within the fellowship. Because of their different backgrounds, he deals specifically with the issues confronting them – whether to eat food offered to idols, keeping one day special each week. David shows that the keyword in Romans is ‘God’, occurring more than any other. Paul had to discuss the Law for the sake of the Jews and license for the sake of the Gentiles. The main theme is the righteousness of God, and David says their own good deeds are more likely to keep people out of Heaven than anything else. Salvation is a process that must continue to the end. God justifies us before he sanctifies us. David’s brief outline of the book: Chapters 1-4 Faith which looks to the past; chapter 5 Hope which looks to the future; chapters 12-16 Love which is concerned with working out the present. Chapters 9-11 dwell on the Jews. Paul communicated the Gospel by word, deed and sign. David encourages us to examine a book to break it up to find the structure to aid our understanding.
37 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
Romans - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 69 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson says that Paul’s letter to the Romans is the longest letter we have from the ancient world, and is very important. Paul is obviously countering arguments. Paul has never met the Roman church so why did he write to them? David believes that chapters 9 to 11, where Paul speaks so much about the Jews, are the key to the whole letter. David asks what the need in Rome was. There were serious social issues there and that is why Paul deals with such subjects as homosexuality, antisocial behaviour, disobedience to parents, uncontrollable violence and crime. Paul seeks to minister to Christians who have to live in the midst of this city of vice and crime. David explains that what had begun as a church of Hebrew believers in Rome had become one of Gentiles as Jews had been expelled by the Emperor Claudius. But then, when the next emperor invited the Jews back for financial reasons, they found that their church had changed in the hands of Gentiles. David says that everything in this letter is to get those two groups back into fellowship. Chapters 9 to 11 counter replacement theology, the thinking that the Church has replaced the Jews.
40 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
Acts - part 2 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 68 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series David Pawson shows the book of Acts is a vital part of our Bibles. Having looked at the original intention in the writing of Acts, David now shows how it can be applied to our lives. The early church wasn’t perfect, but had life and power of the Holy Spirit. The growth of the early church is the most astonishing phenomenon and we need to learn from it. David gives wise advice and says that Paul’s conversion and some other experiences should not be expected as a pattern for further events. Acts gives clarity to some of the issues and people mentioned in the gospels and is a link between the gospels and the epistles. Only Acts shows how Paul counselled enquirers. The gospels, written before Jesus died and rose again, were too early to tell us how to become a Christian. The letters and Revelation were written too late because they were written to people who were already Christian. After Pentecost, nobody was born again without #repenting for their sins, #believing in the Lord Jesus, #being baptized in water and #receiving the Holy Spirit. That is the basic teaching of this book. John the Baptist and Jesus – and the letters - actually mention all four, but separately.
40 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
Acts - part 1 - Unlocking The Bible
Part 67 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series In looking at the book of Acts, David Pawson says that most of the Bible was written for human reasons but was ‘edited’ for divine reasons. In this first talk, he looks at the human side. The author, Dr. Luke is the only Gentile writer of scripture. Medics were trained to be observant, careful and analytical and this comes out in how Luke wrote his gospel and Acts. In Acts he recorded how the good news of the Gospel went from Jerusalem to Rome – from the Jews to the Gentiles. He had insight because he travelled with the Apostle Paul, possibly to look after his health, on his missionary journeys and he was a skillful writer and at heart, an evangelist. Luke wrote for ‘Most Excellent’ Theophilus and it is possible that he was a judge, or a lawyer who was going to defend Paul at his trial. And from details in the Bible, it would seem that Paul’s lawyer was successful at this particular trial and he was released and able to proceed with his great work. David Pawson says that it was really Christianity that was on trial in Rome, rather than Paul. Luke draws attention to those seemingly small events which resulted in spreading the Gospel.
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