Article archive

02/12/2019 10:03

Genesis (Study 2)—In the Beginning (1:1)

Genesis begins with this verse: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” A first point of interest comes in what God created: the heavens and the earth. In our Christianese, we often say that, when we die, we will go to heaven, imagining heaven as that place or location where...


02/12/2019 10:02

Genesis (Study 1)— Introduction

Genesis truly is a book of beginnings. It presents to us the beginnings of the earth and universe; of humankind; and of relationship with God, each other, and the rest of God’s creation. It reveals truths about initial covenants, how image bearers broke relationship with God, and the great embrace...


11/19/2018 06:49

Romans (Part 53) – Greetings and Doxology (16:8–27)

Paul mentions several other people in his greetings. The next three appear to be close. He calls them dear friends and coworker. And that seems to contrast with Apelles who is mentioned as “approved in Christ,” showing appreciation without that close tie. Some have wondered whether Apelles is...


11/12/2018 08:46

Romans (Part 52) – Commendation and Greetings (16:1–7)

With the topical discussion of the letter over, Paul turns in chapter 16 to final greetings. In the first two verses, however, he commends a woman named Phoebe to them. Why? Phoebe is designated in verse 2 a prostatis. This Greek word appears in the New Testament only once. However, it appears...


10/29/2018 07:01

Romans (Part 51) – The Offering (15:14–33)

So Paul’s mission goal, as apostle to the Gentiles, was to present the gospel to Gentiles and incorporate them in the believing church. As Paul discovered, incorporating them into the church was a struggle. A clash occurred with the Jews who often misunderstood their heritage and its Law to be...


10/22/2018 08:31

Romans (Part 50) – Travel Plans (15:14–24)

We begin now our last section of Romans—Section 6: Ending Comments. In the first part of this last section, Paul discusses his travel plans. But he begins in verses 14 through 24 of chapter 15 with a transition, explaining the reason he had written to them and how that interacted with his view of...


10/14/2018 08:46

Romans (Part 49) – The Blood (Addendum to Atonement Series)

In our atonement series, we failed to discuss the particular role or emphasis of the Bible on the blood. Verses such as Hebrews 9:22, which tells us, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” indicate that an intricate and seemingly necessary relationship exists of blood shed to the...


10/01/2018 07:00

Romans (Part 48) – Unity and Humility (15:7–13)

Before continuing on with our Romans 14 discussion, there is another point regarding the atonement that I want to clear up. We understood God to forgive us (our spirits) for sins we have committed, but the cross was required to cleanse our essence (what I have consistently called our physical...


09/24/2018 06:17

Romans (Part 47) – Relating in Righteousness (14:1–15:13)

Regarding the righteousness involved with New Covenant living, Paul had seemed to start his discussion of interchurch relationship in the first half of chapter 12. He moved from that to those outside the church (last part of chapter 12) and then to duties to the state in chapter 13. He seems to...


09/17/2018 07:29

Romans (Part 46) – Atonement Part 7 (13:14)

The picture—the image—of what occurs in the Day of Atonement sacrifice informs our understanding of Christ’s sacrifice. The goat upon which sins are placed is not scorned or punished. In fact, nothing is done to the goat (indicating that the goat’s body and blood are not the focus of the symbol....