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bible study devotion

Sowing and reaping

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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John 4:30-45

After exposing and convicting the Samaritan woman of her sin, Jesus revealed  that He was the Messiah she was waiting for.  She immediately dropped her water bucket and went to town to share her testimony and invited the people to come and see the Messiah.

30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 31 In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples therefore said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 36 He who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” 43 After the two days he went out from there and went into Galilee.

John 4:30-45

Commentary

Jesus told His disciples to open their eyes and see the Samaritan people coming towards them with their white hats. The field (Samaritan people) was ripe for harvest. The Samaritan woman sowed the seed of the gospel message into the Samaritan people (the field). The seed bear fruits, and the disciples reaped the harvest. In evangelism, the sower and the reaper worked as a team to win souls. 

Today, you may be sowing the seed of the gospel into someone’s life.  One day another Christian will come along and reap the harvest by getting that person to say the sinner’s prayer. This is how evangelism work, 1 Cor 3:6.

The woman’s testimony was powerful. Many Samaritans believed in Jesus through her testimony. Jesus stayed with them two more days, and more Samaritans believed in Him. The woman’s testimony brought the Samaritans to Christ. Their encounter with Christ convinced them that Christ is the Saviour of the world. 

The Samaritans acknowledged Jesus as the Savior of the world. Note the progressive revelation of Christ’s identity. In verse 9, she called Him a Jew, in verses 11 and 15, Sir, in verse 19, a prophet, in verse 29, Christ, and in verse 42, Savior of the world.

Jesus and His disciples travelled north from Samaria to Galilee, bypassing Nazareth.. The Galileans welcomed Jesus because they saw the miracles He did at Jerusalem during the Passover.

  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow

1 Corinthians 3:6

Application

Many Samaritans believed and encountered Christ personally because of the woman’s testimony. Many of your contacts will believe and encounter Christ personally because of your testimony. Write out and rehearse your testimony. Include three parts to your testimony, the before, the during, and the after. Write about how you were before you know Christ, how you came to know Christ, and, how you are after you know Christ. Share it out on social media, with colleagues, friends, and family. You may be the only Bible that people will ever read. Personal evangelism is very satisfying and rewarding.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful story of this un-named Samaritan woman who met Christ and shared her testimony with other Samaritans. We pray for opportunities to share our testimonies to family, neighbours, colleagues, and friends. We pray for divine insight and understanding into Your word. We present our bodies as living sacrifices and spiritual acts of worship, holy and pleasing to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

New year devotion: in the beginning

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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hew year greeting

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth

Genesis 1:1

Commentary

The Bible begins with, in the beginning, God. When was the beginning? Who created what and when? The Hebrew word for create is bara, which means, to create something out of nothing. In the beginning, in the eternity past, God created the entire universe into existence out of nothing. 

God has no beginning because He is transcendent and outside our time-space continuum. God is pre-existent, self-existent, eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, from the eternity past to the eternity future. He is the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the Alif and the Tau, the A and the Z, the author and finisher of our faith. 

God created the universe in six days. God’s reckoning of time is not the same as our reckoning of time. One day for God can be long as 1000 years and 1000 years for God can be as short as one day. Time is relative. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, if you travel close to the speed of light time slows down. How fast can God travel? If God travels faster than the speed of light, time will standstill and the clock will stop ticking! So, 2000 years of our time can be as short as 2 days in God’s time. This is something for you to think about.

But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.

1 Peter 3:8

There are three theories regarding the universe. The young age theory postulates the universe to be 6000-plus years old. The old age theory postulates the universe to be 4.5 billion-plus years old. The gap theory postulates a time gap of billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. 

The Bible is not ambiguous. The Bible says that God created the universe into existence. The Bible did not say mention any big explosion in space.

The Gospel of John begins with in the beginning, Jesus Christ.

in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.

John 1:1

Jesus Christ was the Word, who was with God, and who was God.

Application

I find it is easier to believe in creation than in the big bang explosion. If you believe that God created the heavens and the earth, you will not have any difficulty believing the rest of the Bible. So, how big is your God? And how big is your faith?

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands, and moves towards the goal of true maturity

Romans 12:2, J B Philips

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to enlighten and give us wisdom and understanding into Your word. Open our hearts, minds, eyes, ears, and spirits to receive, understand, hear, see, feel, and apply Your word of eternal life into our very own lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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Book Review

Joseph’s Faith, by Mary Hume Jane

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book cover

Joseph’s Faith: A 30-Day Bible Study Devotional for Women Based on the Life of Joseph from the Book of Genesis

by Mary Jane Humes

Review

An excellent devotional and bible study based on the life and faith of Joseph from Genesis chapters 37 to 50. A good prayer, commentary, and contemporary application accompanies each day’s devotion..A great work on the typology of Joseph showing that Joseph was a foreshadow of Jesus Christ in many respects. A Christ-centred, life-changing, and faith-building devotional. Recommended to all readers, 5 out of 5 stars

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bible study devotion

Devotion: For unto us a Child is born

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

“Get all my books for free from 17/12/2022 until 31/12/2022! Just go to https://smashwords.com/shelves/promos/”

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Isaiah 9:6

For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Commentary

Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ 700 years before it happened. Isn’t this mind-bogging? Who can make a prophesy 700 years before it happen and fulfill it 700 years later? The statistical chance of this occurring is 1 in 10 to the power of 17.  Suppose you put 10 to the power of 17 pieces of paper into a huge container and mark out one as special. If you pick out one piece of paper at random, the chance of getting that specially marked-out paper is 1 in 10 to the power of 17. This is statistically impossible but with God all things are possible!

A child is born to us

2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day for us.

A son is given to us

2000 years ago, God gave His Son, Jesus Christ to us on Christmas day, to save us from sin and death, John 3:16. God, the Father, and Jesus Christ are the first and second persons of the Trinity respectively.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

And the government will be on his shoulder

Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords who carries the whole world upon His shoulders. 

His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.

These are four messianic titles of Jesus Christ that are self-explanatory, Counselor, God Almighty, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace

APPLICATION: 

Jesus Christ is God’s perfect Christmas gift to humanity. This is a free gift, given by grace, by faith, and by Christ alone. A gift is only a gift until you receive it. You receive this gift by faith and by believing in Christ. Have you received God’s perfect Christmas gift for you? You can receive it right now, where ever you are. In a simple but sincere prayer, tell God that you are a sinner and that you believe that Jesus died for you on the cross to pay the punishment of your sins for you. By faith, surrender your life to Him. This is the first step to salvation, but it is the most important one. If you said this prayer, find a local bible believing church, and tell the pastor about your decision. Worship, serve, and grow your faith in the local church.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Son as the perfect Christmas gift to us 2000 years ago. Thank You for salvation, justification, sanctification, and eternal life. Thank You that human beings will live forever more because of Christmas day, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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bible study devotion

Devotion: My God shall supply

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Christmas gift! 

Grab this book for free on Smashwords from now until 31/12/2022! 

Click on the link below:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1219553

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Philippians 4: 17-20

Introduction

Paul, the author of Philippians, wrote this thank you letter to the Philippians Christians between AD 60-62 in the Roman prison, chained to a Roman Pretorian guard, According to church tradition, Emperor Nero released Paul in AD 62, but rearrested and beheaded him in AD 66 at the Mamertine prison in Rome. 

This is one of the 4 Pauline prison epistles,. Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. 

The theme of Philippians is “joy and rejoice in Christ”. 

Passage

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 1:17-20

Commentary

Paul was not greedy for money. He encouraged the Philippians Christians, and us, to give generously out of a grateful heart, to receive God’s blessings in return. Paul was in chains, hungry, secluded, and needy, but his spirit soars like an eagle. He was contented, at peace, and grateful. He thanked his supporters  for their timely and generous support. God will supply all that he needed out of the abundant riches of Christ. God is no debtor to anyone. He owned every cattle on a thousand hills.  

 

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”

1 Corinthians 9:6

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” 

Luke 6:38

Memory verse

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”

Philippians 4:19

Application

What have you got to worry about? God knows all your needs and all your problems. He will supply all that you need. Surrender your life to Him. Let Him take over the driver’s seat of your life. God will replenish the things that Covid pandemic took away. and eaten Do not throw in the towel. Trust Him. Do nor fear, just believe.

Prayer

Heaven Father, thank You for abundant provisions. Help us to sow generously to the work of Your kingdom. Help us to store up treasures in heaven that lasts into eternity, in Jesus’ name, Amen

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bible study devotion

Devotion: if God is for us

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Romans 8:31-34

A rhetorical question is a question that requires no answer. The question is asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer. Paul’s favorite way of teaching is by asking and answering his own rhetorical questions. In this passage, Paul asked an imaginary opponent four rhetorical questions and answered all of them.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:31-34

The first question is found in verse 31, ”what then shall say to these things?”

What things was Paul referring to? All the things preceding Romans 8: 31, for example, the wrath of God, the grace of God, and so on. How do we respond to these things? We must take heed and do what is required.

The second question is found in verse 32, ”If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

God is for us. He does not condemn us. He justified us by grace through faith in Christ. He adopted us into His family as children of God. He sanctified us. 

If God is on our side, then we have nothing to worry about at all. Martin Luther said, ”with God, one is a majority”.

The third question is found in verse 33, ”who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?”

If we ever start to doubt the love of God, we must look back to the cross again. On the cross, God did not even spare his One and Only Son whom He loved. Paul’s argument is this, if God gave us His very best, He cannot give us anything less. If God gave us His Only Son, He can give us anything.

Our hearts can condemn us, but God promised no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

The fourth question is found in verse 34, ”Who is he who condemns?” 

there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1

because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God

1 John 3:20-21

Satan can condemn us, but God justified us. John Newton said,

I am a great sinner but Jesus is a great Saviour

John Newton

for the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down

Rev 12:10 b

The final answer is found in verse 34 b

Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead so that we can live. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven to make intercession for us.

Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:25

Application

Do you have trials and temptations? Do you have troubles anywhere? Are you discouraged?

You can carry everything to Jesus in prayer. He gives you peace and bears your sorrows. He knows all your weaknesses. If Jesus is for you, who cares what others think?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, Your final answer to Paul’s rhetorical questions. You gave us Your Son to die for us on the cross to give us eternal life. Thank You for salvation by grace and justification by faith in Christ. We claim the promise of Ephesians 2: 8-9,

for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast

Ephesians 2:8-9

in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

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bible study devotion

Devotion: the armor of God

Ephesians 6: 11-17

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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books on a coffee table

The Armor of God

Paul described the armor of God in Ephesians 6. This armor is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul used a Roman soldier’s uniform to illustrate the armor of God because he was chained ta a Roman soldier 24 hours a day under house arrest. The armor of God is a six-piece comprehensive uniform comprising a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. 

Paul exhorts his audience and us to put on the whole armor of God not only to protect but also to attack the enemy of our souls. We are not fighting against human beings with flesh and blood. We are fighting against evil spirits in the spiritual realm of the unseen world. Our enemies are the hierarchy of evil spirits called principalities and powers, rulers and authorities, and spiritual wickedness in the high places, We must win the war through prayer in the spiritual realm first, before we can see a breakthrough in the physical realm. In this war, we do not use physical weapons but spiritual ones to demolish strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:4.

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:4

Ephesians 6:11-17

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Ephesians 6:11-17

Jesus is the belt of Truth

Jesus sets you free from bondage. He is Grace and Truth.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free

John 8:32

I am the way, the truth, and the life 

John 14:7

Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is the truth

John 17:7

Jesus is the breastplate of righteousness

Jesus is the righteousness of God.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith”

Romans 1:17

2 Cor 5:21, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus is the gospel of peace

Jesus is the prince of peace.  We must wear the shoes of Jesus to share the gospel of peace with others.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

1 Peter 3:15

preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.

1 Timothy 4:2

Jesus is the shield of faith

Faith protects us from the fiery darts of doubt.

Contend, Yahweh, with those who contend with me. Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.

Psalm 35:1-2

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen

Hebrews 11:1

Jesus is the helmet of salvation

The helmet protects the mind from anxious thoughts. Salvation gives us the hope of eternal life. 

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation

1 Thess 5:8

Jesus is the sword of the Spirit

Jesus is the Word of God, a double-edged sword that cuts in both ways. Jesus quoted the Word of God when He was tempted by satan in the wilderness. The sword of the Spirit is prayer, fasting, intercession, and the Word of God. 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth

John 1:14

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart

Hebrews 4:12

Application

Put on the full six-piece armor of Jesus before you even go to work. Then, you will be able to stand firm against the demonic spirits. If you kneel down before God in prayer, you will stand firm before men at work. Jesus covers you from head to toe with a helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes, shield, and sword. The helmet protects your mind. The breastplate keeps you righteous before God. The truth sets you free from deception. The shoes enable you to preach the gospel of peace The shield protects you from the flaming doubts of satan. The sword enables you to defend yourself and attack for deliverance, and demolishing of strongholds. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the armor of God for spiritual protection and spiritual warfare. Teach us how to pray with perseverance, watchfulness, and supplication. Teach us how to cultivate the discipline of intercession. We claim the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14,

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land

2 Chronicle 7:14

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Book: Memoirs of a Doctor

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c0b9k4

Memoirs of a Doctor: an extraordinary journey of faith

A tale of two cities

Dr. Koh tells his amazing story of his spiritual journey and full recovery from a serious accident that paralyzed him from the neck downwards.

Reviews:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What people are saying

“It was a very inspiring read about Dr. Koh’s humble beginnings, reaching great heights in his career, remembering God’s providence and grace”

— J. Sharmani, Amazon, 5 stars

“Koh shared his interesting and colorful memoir with stories that show God’s providence through life’s struggles and challenges”

— J R Wu-Wong, Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads, 5 stars

What people are saying

“Dr. Koh shares his truthful and insightful journey in an easy, engaging, interesting manner, sharing stories about his childhood, education, a career in different town”

— Pamela Anne Reinert, Amazon, 5 stars

“ This book introduced me to cultural life in countries I had no opportunity to explore. One scene that surprised me that of a woman who was swallowed by a crocodile while doing laundry in a river”

— E O Carroll, Amazon, Goodreads, 5 stars

What people are saying

“An inspirational and heart-warming book about faithfulness to God reminding us to stay strong when the days are hard. Dr. Koh reveals moments of his life in a motivational, educational, and engaging way

— Valentina, Goodreads, 5 stars

“A beautiful life story of Dr.Andrew and his childhood memories, overcoming many hardships to become a cardiac doctor”

— Sharmani Jeyaram, Goodreads, 5 stars

.

What people are saying

“Dr. Koh provided glimpses of his life reminiscing about the kind of life he lived in the cities and villages in Malaysia before the arrival of social media. His varied experiences as a government, private, and military physician were a novelty to read”

— Bob, Amazon, 4 stars

“Took me back to the stories my grandmother told me of the days when she was growing up”

— Rowan E. Creech, Goodreads, 4 stars

What people are saying

“A concise memoir of the doctor’s path from freethinker to Christianity, as well as his feeling of God’s hand of provenance at key junctions in his life!”

— Jan Paessler Amazon, 4 stars

“An interesting memoir of a Malaysian medical doctor. His childhood, his education, his family, his travels, and his faith and continued learning” about God and the Bible”

— Texas, Amazon, 4 star

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Book: Galatians

Justification by faith

A Christ-centred, life-changing, verse-by-verse expository commentary, bible study guide, and daily devotion on the book of Galatians, by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

https://drandrewcskoh.dashnexpages.net/galatians-a-man-is-not-justified-by-works-of-the-law-but-by-faith-in-jesus-christ-dr-andrew-c-s-koh

Foreword

Archbishop Ng Moon Hing Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

The Epistle to the Galatians is commonly considered as one of the earliest foundational instructions of Christian faith. It was believed that Apostle Paul wrote this epistle at the early days of his missionary ministry. He was adamant to teach proper foundation of faith, especially amid heretical teachings by the Judaizers. After some years of laying the foundation of faith in the district of Galatia, he quickly realized that many so-called believers are straying away from the fundamental belief i.e. Justification by Grace through Faith.  Apostle Paul was required to draw out all his convictions and learnings to re-convince the Galatian Christians what he has taught when he was first with them. He was conscious of the Judaizers and the fleshy and worldly syncretic teachings which were indoctrinating and causing confusion to the believers. He laid a strong contrast between the ‘keeping of the law’ and the ‘faith in Christ’ as two opposing ends.

What people are saying

“A beautiful study of Apostle Paul’s teaching to the Gentiles and Jews and his clear message about the doctrines of the church. He wrote the epistle himself in the early days of his teaching and mission. This is a great book to read and learn Apostle Paul’s teaching and his strong advice that “Keeping the Law ” and ” Faith in Christ are two different teachings. I received this book for free and I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers”

— J Sharmani, Bookbub, 5 out of 5 stars.

“Paul the Apostle wrote this epistle in the early days of his mission and teaching. He wanted to teach the fundamental beliefs of the church to the Gentile and the Jews. This book is a great study of the Apostle Paul’s teachings and avoids any confusion to the believers. I am on the ARC team and I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers”

— J Sharmani, Goodreads, 5 out of 5 stars