• The Sign and Seal of Righteousness

    Romans 4:11–12

    Under the new covenant, baptism signifies and seals our separation from the world unto the Lord (Col. 2:8–15). Like circumcision, baptism is not faith or justification, but it points beyond itself to justification for those who believe. Moreover ...Read More

  • The True Advantage of the Jew

    Romans 3:1–2

    While the Jews were certainly to take the knowledge of God to the world, the Old Testament was theirs, and the Gentile nations had no ordinary way of accessing it. John Calvin concludes from this that if the benefit of ...Read More

  • Circumcision of the Heart

    Romans 2:28–29

    Circumcision per se is not bad. For Paul it was indifferent to one’s place in the kingdom—that is, until the Judaizers insisted that circumcision is required for salvation. To so insist was to go too far and to ...Read More

  • The Place of Circumcision

    Romans 2:26–27

    Many Jews in Paul’s day had a deficient understanding of covenant that reduced their relationship with God to mere externals. This is the tendency of fallen sinners, namely, to think that they are right with the Lord as long ...Read More

  • The Value of Circumcision

    Romans 2:25

    Most of us are unlikely to think that we will automatically make it to heaven if we have been circumcised. However, professing Christians are prone to think they are right before God because they go to church, and they might ...Read More

  • Faith and the Means of Grace

    Colossians 2:11-12

    Baptism may, at its administration, mysteriously “increase the grace of God in the heart, if present, but may also be instrumental in augmenting faith later on, when the significance of baptism is understood” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 642). Believers ...Read More

  • Circumcision and Baptism

    Colossians 2:8–15

    John Calvin writes that baptism does not “intimate that our ablution and salvation are perfected by water, or that [it] possesses in itself the virtue of purifying, regenerating, and renewing.” Neither is it “the cause of salvation, but only that ...Read More

  • Circumcision of the Heart

    Jeremiah 4:1–4

    One commentator has aptly said that the honor of the covenant becomes a nightmare for those who refuse to walk by faith in it. We who have been marked out as the Lord’s by our baptism must forsake all ...Read More

  • Circumcised in the Flesh

    Genesis 17:1–14

    Baptism is the counterpart to circumcision in the new covenant (Col. 2:8–15), and it is therefore a mark of God’s possession of us. We are “branded” by the Lord in our baptism, and every time we witness ...Read More

  • The Proper Use of Freedom

    Galatians 5:12–13

    Paul’s exposition of gospel freedom will largely be the focus of the rest of our study of Galatians. Today, simply note that 5:13 defines Christian obligations not in terms of the Law but in terms of loving service ...Read More

  • The Offense of the Cross

    Galatians 5:10–11

    Martin Luther says that “when the cross is abolished, and the rage of tyrants and heretics ceases on the one side, and all things are in peace, this is a sure token that the pure doctrine of God’s Word ...Read More

  • Severed from Christ

    Galatians 5:2–4

    Martin Luther says that Galatians 5:2 “is a touchstone, whereby we may most certainly and freely judge all doctrines, works, religions, and ceremonies of all men.” Any of these that promise righteousness and salvation through them are to be ...Read More

  • Bearing the Marks of Jesus

    Galatians 6:17–18

    Not all of us live in cultures or societies where physical harm is an inevitable part of faithfulness to Christ Jesus. Yet all of us should bear some kind of marks that testifies to our faithfulness to the Lord, whether ...Read More

  • Boasting in the Cross

    Galatians 6:13–14

    John Chrysostom comments on today’s passage: “By ‘world’ he means not heaven nor earth but the affairs of life, human praise, distinguished positions, reputation, wealth and all things that have a show of splendor. All such things are dead ...Read More

  • Apostolic Fellowship

    Galatians 2:7–9

    The truth of the gospel binds believers together, and by the Holy Spirit we are empowered and enabled to love those who are in Christ even if they are different than we are. It is the love of one another ...Read More