• 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

  • The Jews’ Failure to Keep the Law

    Romans 2:21b–23

    John Calvin comments on today’s passage, “We are here warned, first, not to flatter ourselves and to despise others, when we have performed only some portions of the law—and, secondly, not to glory in having outward idolatry removed ...Read More

  • Believing Versus Doing

    Galatians 3:10–14

    We can say with certainty that the one temptation that all people have in common is the temptation to believe we can make ourselves right with God, that our efforts, even when done with His help, are good enough to ...Read More

  • Increasing Our Guilt

    Galatians 5:2–4

    Coming to terms with the extent of our sin takes a lifetime. Even those of us who have trusted in Christ alone for salvation understand how easy it is to think that God loves us because of something that we ...Read More

  • The Threat of Legalism

    Philippians 3:2-3

    We are circumcised in the heart when we are baptized into Christ — not in the mere participation in the washing with water but at the moment the reality to which the sacrament points is ours, namely, the moment we trust ...Read More

  • The Legalist Distortion

    Romans 14

    As a modern example of legalism, some Christians have said that it is wrong for believers to consume alcohol. However, while such rules may be motivated by a noble concern that people avoid the sin of drunkenness, Scripture nowhere condemns ...Read More

  • Human Precepts and Teachings

    Colossians 2:21-22

    Scripture is actually a repetitive book, and we have seen a glimpse of this in Colossians 2 as Paul reminds us over and over that our obedience to law can do nothing to free us from evil. The Bible needs ...Read More

  • Dead to the World or Alive?

    Colossians 2:20

    Out of His great love for us, God warns His people against legalism and false religious practices because hoping in rules, astrology, and other false spiritualities only gives Satan and the flesh more influence over us. But when we pursue ...Read More

  • God-Given Growth

    Colossians 2:19

    There is a sinful tendency in all of us to cut ourselves off from Christ, the Head of the body of Christ and only source of life-sustaining nourishment. It may not display itself overtly in false worship as it did ...Read More

  • God’s Fuller Revelation

    Psalm 68:1–18

    Legalism is the inevitable result when we fail to remember that the cross was the high point of redemptive history, not the covenant ratified at Sinai. As we meditate on the cross, we recall the glory seen in His death ...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

  • Walking by the Spirit

    Galatians 5:16–17

    John Calvin comments, “If we would obey the Spirit, we must labor, and fight, and apply our utmost energy; and we must begin with self-denial.” Walking by the Holy Spirit is the denial of the self and one’s fleshly ...Read More

  • Finding Loopholes

    Ephesians 5:3

    Because it is hard to find a detailed list of do’s and don’t’s regarding sexual behavior, it is easy for us to justify certain activities or thoughts that may in fact not be edifying. Even if something ...Read More

  • The Weak Conscience

    1 Corinthians 8

    Has anyone ever called you judgmental? Do you consider something to be sinful that God has not? Do you try to be another’s conscience? Are you too loose with God’s Word? Do you feel uncomfortable around more conscientious ...Read More

  • The Weak and the Strong

    Romans 14:1–6

    Pressuring a weak believer to do something he perceives as wrong is the wrong way to help the weak become stronger. The right way is to teach the principles of biblical religion, and address the specific issues in an atmosphere ...Read More