In Romans 4, Paul is still wrestling with those who want to make righteousness with God a matter of works (i.e. circumcision) rather than a matter of faith. To buttress his argument, Paul goes all the way back to the patriarch Abraham to explore just what it was about Abraham that justified him.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
It is very intimidating to take on the task of blogging through such a book as Romans! Many regard it is as Paul's masterpiece of theological reasoning. There is a power contained within it that has changed lives, birthed churches, and launched spiritual movements and reformations. Yet it is precisely because Romans is such a critically important work that we must give it all the time and attention that we can.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
"I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking sober truth." (vs. 25)
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Verse 7 is probably the most famous part of this psalm: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." It is fitting that this is so, for this line encapsulates the message of the Psalm - trusting in God for His deliverance.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
On trial (again), Paul continues to assert that he is in trouble because he believes in the resurrection (vs. 21). He insists that his faith is not something novel, but that he "worships the God of our ancestors, believing everything laid down according to the law or written in the prophets" (vs. 14).
Monday, May 15, 2017
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
The next leg of Paul and Silas' missionary journey (this is considered Paul's second trip, by the way) takes them to three Greek cities: Thessalonica, Berea, andAthens. In each location, the apostles contend for the faith and present the claims of Christ in previously unreached areas.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Acts 16 is a turning point for a number of reasons. From now on, Acts will mostly tell the story of Paul and his companions. We see the Church expand its reach into a new continent (Europe), and new characters are introduced, including Timothy and - apparently - Luke himself.
There are many famous phrases in this psalm that have echoed as allusions and references in other works down through the ages. (Especially songs and hymns!) The imagery is one of deliverance - even more than that, vindication. David goes from a near-death experience at the hands of his enemies to reigning and ruling as a God-favored monarch. While that may not be our own individual story, as Christians we have a God who delights to hear and answer the prayers of His servants!
Thursday, May 4, 2017
How Jewish do you have to be in order to be a Christian? While that may not be much of a live issue these days, it was a front-burner topic in the first-century Church!
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017
Interestingly enough, it is when the Gentiles begin streaming into the Church that the followers of Christ pick up their most widely-used name: "Christians." The disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians in Antioch. The Bible uses the word "Christians" three times: in Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and I Peter 4:16. Each time, the context suggests that it was simply a label applied to believers - and quite possibly a negative one, used as an insult!