• Abraham Took Ishmael

    Genesis 17:22–27

    Today the church often uses marketing strategies to maximize numerical growth and tailors ministry in order to reach one specific age group or walk of life. Yet the church must be the one institution on earth where race, age, gender ...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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • Cut Off

    Genesis 17:14

    The visible/invisible church distinction and the reality toward which circumcision points make this discussion all the more meaningful. Today, consider your thoughts on church discipline. Do you understand the authority elders have to discipline those in flagrant sin? Understand ...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

  • False Brothers in Jerusalem

    Galatians 2:3–5

    It is the duty of all believers, not just our pastors and other leaders, to contend for the faith. We must be especially wary of incremental steps to undermine biblical authority and the historic Christian faith. Denominations do not typically ...Read More

  • Maligning Paul’s Character

    Galatians 1:10

    The context of Galatians 1:10 refutes any notion that Paul was a people-pleaser. Would a man concerned to win the acclaim of all people call down curses upon some of them (vv. 8–9)? Paul’s becoming “all things ...Read More

  • Merely in the Flesh

    Jeremiah 9:25–26

    Matthew Henry writes, “The condemnation of unrepentant sinners who are baptized will be as sure as that of unrepentant sinners who are unbaptized.” Regardless of whether we were baptized as adults or children, we shall be judged if we have ...Read More

  • Native and Foreigner

    Genesis 17:11–13

    Like the rainbow given after the great flood, circumcision testifies to the Lord’s gracious salvation from judgment. The rainbow guarantees God will never totally flood the earth again and will thus preserve a portion of humanity from destruction. Circumcision ...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