• The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

    Ephesians 2:2-3

    Paul makes a subtle shift in Ephesians 2:1–3 from “you” (the Gentile Ephesians) to “we” (Jews like Paul and the Gentiles), indicating the universality of sin. John Chrysostom writes, “All are included. It is not possible to say that anyone ...Read More

  • Love and Evil

    1 Corinthians 13:5-6

    Gossip and slander are two of the most overlooked sins in our day. We are quick to condemn sexual immorality, theft, and murder, but at the same time we often relish the opportunity to hear and tell stories about what ...Read More

  • Sin’s Reality and the Ideal

    Philemon 8

    As today’s study shows, understanding the cultural background of a passage in Scripture is important to figuring out why an author says what he says. In turn, as we hope to show in future studies, knowing this historical context also ...Read More

  • Honoring God

    Romans 1:18-32

    The flippant references about God and lack of respect for authority that are rampant in our culture reflect the primal sin of not giving honor to the Creator. Unfortunately, even those of us in the church are not entirely guiltless ...Read More

  • Putting Off and Putting On

    Colossians 3:9-10

    Having been baptized into Christ we have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27), and a deceitful tongue has no place in those who belong to the Savior. All people should expect honesty from us, for we are followers of the Lord ...Read More

  • Life Before Christ

    Colossians 3:7-8

    One commentator has said that “we should never confuse being moral with being Christian, but we cannot claim to be Christian if we ignore morality.” An outwardly upright life is not a sure sign that somebody knows Christ, but a ...Read More

  • Degrees of Sin

    John 19:1-16

    That there are degrees of punishment in hell according to the extent of one’s sin means that there are also degrees of reward in heaven according to how we obey. Our obedience, to be sure, cannot earn eternal life, but ...Read More

  • Shades of Gray

    1 Corinthians 10:31

    Though the Spirit grants us new life in Christ, this does not mean we immediately overcome our ignorance of God’s ways. Instead, the Spirit works through Scripture, illuminating it as we read and hear it so that we might learn ...Read More

  • Appearances Can Be Deceiving

    Colossians 2:23

    God’s law is good, but in itself cannot put the flesh to death because the problem is not simply that we do not obey the Lord but that we do not want to obey Him apart from the grace He ...Read More

  • The First Gospel

    Genesis 3:15

    The protevangelium, or first gospel, of Genesis 3:15 declares that God’s kingdom will once more be present in its fullness when Satan is destroyed. Christ came and dealt the crushing blow to the Devil, triumphing over him and his minions ...Read More

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