In this commentary on five of Paul’s letters— to the churches in Corinth, Thessalonica, and Philippi—F.F. Bruce focuses on Paul’s pastoral care and the growth of the people he loved so much. Since we face today so many of the problems and issues Paul and his converts faced, this book acts as a guide for growth. How can we encourage and build up fellow believers? How can we correct their shortcomings? How can we fulfill the desire to see them become 100% Christians?
Professor Bruce explains that this book “serves as an introductory handbook to the whole of Paul’s surviving correspondence with his converts in Europe. . . . Our primary reason for reading the New Testament letters is that we may hear what God has to say to us in our present situation.” As an ambassador of Christ, Paul speaks to the Thessalonians about the Second Coming of Christ, the Christian Hope, and the conquest of evil. He speaks to the Corinthians about Christianity in a pagan surrounding, Christian liberty, marriage and family, Christian unity, apostolic succession, Christian stewardship, co-operation of all, and the power of love. He speaks to the Philippians about the mind of Christ. When it comes to these topics, Paul is speaking not only to first-century Christians, but to Christians today as well.