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 […]

Romans, Lesson 15: Life in the Spirit Directs us to Our Redemption

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Paul is now going full bore into what it means to be living life in the Spirit.  This life in the Spirit is the Christian reality because the Christian is “in Christ,” which Paul earlier revealed takes place in baptism (Romans 3:3-5).   Life according to the Spirit and according to the flesh Read Romans […]

Titus, Lesson 5: What Now? The Implications of God’s Salvation for the Christian

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Having told Titus what he was to teach (“speak”) to various groups in the congregation in Crete, Paul now moves into what God’s salvation means, not for some, but for all Christians. Read Titus 2:11 “the salvation of God”: “Salvation” is not a noun but an adjective (soterios, found only here in the New Testament). […]

Your Future Reality Invades Your Darkness

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Malachi 3:1-4, Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6 The name Malachi means “my messenger.” And it’s a fitting name, since that prophet so powerfully spoke about God’s coming messenger. That messenger would be like a powerful soap to purify and cleanse the Levites, the chosen priesthood of Israel. God chose that tribe of Israel to be His […]

Dealing with Our Culture’s Sexual Standards

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This is our pastor’s article for our October, 2014 newsletter.   Dealing with Our Culture’s Sexual Standards By Pr. Rich Futrell An older person may feel out of step because he has spent much of his life living in another culture–the culture that once was. Think back to when you were a child. Do you […]

1st Peter, Lesson 3: Being Brought into the Church

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We ended our last lesson with the idea that even as God’s redeemed children, we are still to fear Him.  Today, we have largely explained away this idea of fearing God and often focus on God being our friend, comforter, et cetera.  But a proper understanding of God sees Him in fear and love (as […]

Hebrews 10:19-25: Spurring One Another On

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God wants you to be calculated and deliberate.  He tells us: “consider how we may spur one another on to love and good works.”  That’s what the word “consider” means.  It doesn’t mean doing something at the last moment, in an impromptu way.  It means thinking about something ahead of time. So, God wants you […]

How to Seek God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness: Matthew 6:24-34

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If a father loves fishing, he teaches his son how to fish.  If a mother loves quilting, she teaches her daughter how to quilt.  What you love, you talk about and do.  That’s just obvious.  What you love, you pass on to your children, because you love them.  You want them to love what you […]

Epiphany 8: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Mary and Jesus

St. Isaiah foretold it.  St. Paul described it.  Jesus lived it.  But even more, Jesus is it!  I am speaking of Love.  So, what is love?  What is real love?  Our world has become used to seeing emotions and feelings as love.  In our fallen world, love is not an action verb, but more often […]