Romans, Lesson 23: Living with Authorities

Us Presidential seal and flag

In Chapter 12, following 11 chapters on salvation being a result of God’s grace and doing, Paul delved into living the Christian life.  He described how one Christian responds to another in the Church but also life with the non-Christian.  As individuals, we “do not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:23). […]

Romans, Lesson 22: Life with Others, Both Christians and Non-Christians

Glowing Coals

In Chapter 12, Paul brought us to his great “therefore” in the book of Romans.  This “therefore” followed his presentation on God’s grace for our salvation, since all things are “from [God] and through Him and to Him.”  Paul continues his exploration on what this means on how we live as God’s people, listing a […]

Romans, Lesson 21: God’s Mercy and Grace Propels the Christian Life

making pottery

With his use of an olive tree, Paul compared people to tree branches, using “cut off” to show that someone is removed from the tree (the Church) through unbelief.  Through faith, God will “graft” in those branches, whether “natural” (of Jewish ancestry) or “contrary to nature (of Gentile ancestry).  Paul provides a warning not to […]

The Passion and the People: Judas

Judas and Jesus

John 12:1, 3-6; Luke 22:2-6 Such a mystery is unbelief.  The unbelief of Judas goes deeper.  For Jesus calls him to be His disciple, and he follows.  One of the Twelve, the teachings of Jesus come to him firsthand.  Still, he betrays the Son of God and dies in despair, committing suicide.  Is Judas’ betrayal […]

Exodus 33:17-23: Transfiguration: The Cross Before the Glory

What is glory?  Whatever glory is, rock stars exude its essence, inspiring many a teenager to pick up a guitar or play the drums.  So also top athletes, with an aura of mystery with its drawing power—as long as they are winning.  Earned by their sacrifices, others also hold such an allure.  Do we not […]

Lent 2017: The Passion and the People

The Passion and the People

The Passion: From the Latin patior meaning “suffer,” referring to the sufferings Jesus endured for our salvation, from the agony in the garden through His death on Calvary. The People: The men, women, and children of a particular nation, community, or ethnic group, but which can also refer to everyone in the world. “The Passion […]

2 Corinthians 12:1-10: Power Made Perfect in Weakness

Thorn

The Apostle Paul, firm in faith, with enduring character, and bold in tenacity against his many obstacles.  In 2 Corinthians, chapter 11, he reveals what many of them are.  Time in jail, countless beatings, and many brushes with death, which became the wrecked rubble of his past.  The list goes on, for he endured being […]

David, Lesson 5: The Rebellion and Its Aftermath

Absalom2

The prophet, Nathan, confronted David about his adultery and murder of Uriah.  More and more miserable David’s life now becomes.  His son, Amnon, becomes smitten with his half-sister, Tamar, and decides to have sex with her, which did not turn out well (2 Samuel 13:1-22).  Absalom, Tamar’s brother, soon found out what Amnon did, waiting […]

Exodus 17:1-7: The Rock is Christ

Water from the Rock

The hymn writer, Augustus Toplady, best-known for “Rock of Ages,” grew up in a religious English family.  Contrary to his upbringing, he later left the Church as a young man.  The Lord, however, guides in mysterious ways, using his brother, who decided to visit friends in Ireland.  So, Augustus went along.  At a religious gathering, […]

Romans, Lesson 20: The True Israel includes Gentiles

Olive Tree with Grafted Branches

When we take in the macro structure of Romans, we find: Romans 1-8: God’s inclusion of the Gentiles Romans 9-11: God’s inclusion of Israel Romans 12-15: Gentiles and Jews getting along Within this section focusing on Israel, we find a chronological arc:  Israel’s past (9:1-29): God’s fidelity to Israel revealed itself through Him choosing Israel. […]