• 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

  • Loud-Mouthed Boasters

    Jude 16

    While showing favoritism to those with power or money was normal for the false teachers Jude opposed, we do not have to be false teachers to commit this same error. How many of us consciously or unconsciously give deference to ...Read More

  • Mercy On All

    Romans 11:30-32

    John Calvin comments that “there is no reason why they who have a hope of salvation should despair of others; for whatever [Christians] may now be, they have been like all the rest. If [believers] have emerged from unbelief through ...Read More

  • Missing the Mark

    James 4:17

    Human beings have a universal sense of oughtness. We know that we ought to meet certain standards. We know that we ought to be better than we are, and so we are always trying to improve ourselves morally, physically, spiritually ...Read More

  • More Sin, More Grace

    Romans 5:20

    What sins do you most regret? Did you ever doubt that it would be possible for God to forgive you for those sins? How did you come to understand that His grace was sufficient even to cover your most heinous ...Read More

  • No Fear of God

    Romans 3:18

    Proclaiming that no human being in Adam—including the most outwardly pious—has the fear of the Lord before his eyes is unlikely to win us any more friends than it did the Apostle Paul and the other early Christians ...Read More

  • None Can Condemn

    Romans 8:33-34

    As if our justification were not enough, Paul also points to the objective reality of Christ’s intercession for us. In conjunction with the Holy Spirit, Jesus intercedes with us, and He has a “preoccupation with the security of his ...Read More

  • No One Is Righteous

    Romans 3:10–11

    Martin Luther comments on Romans 3:11, “This statement pertains both to those who manifestly do not seek God as well as to those who seek Him or rather think they are seeking Him, because they do not seek Him ...Read More

  • Not Under the Law

    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

  • Our First Federal Head

    Romans 5:13-14

    Federalism, Boice says, is “a proof of God’s grace,” for while the failure of our first federal head brought terrible results, federalism “was the only way it would later be possible for God to save us once we had ...Read More

  • Our Pattern for Holiness

    Leviticus 19:1–2

    We are often tempted to trivialize God’s demand for holiness and instead look to somebody or something other than God as the standard by which we measure ourselves. Remember, though, that the Lord has pronounced judgment on His image ...Read More

  • Our Union with Adam

    Romans 5:12

    Because Adam did not represent us well, we tend to grumble that God so worked. But we must be careful here, for our salvation is based on the perfect obedience of yet another representative—Christ. Continue to study through the ...Read More

  • Playing for Keeps

    Philippians 3:12–16

    Part of the discipline needed for spiritual growth is regular participation in the local church. Worship on Sunday wherein we hear the Word preached and see it made visible in the sacraments is vital to our long-term spiritual health. But ...Read More

  • Problems in Post-Exilic Judah

    Malachi 2

    Scripture tells us that marrying someone who does not share the beliefs of the covenant community leads to trouble. For example, Solomon’s marriages to pagan women led him astray and gave paganism a foothold in Israel (1 Kings 11 ...Read More

  • Purging Iniquity

    Zechariah 5

    Ultimately, the impenitent are confirmed in sin forever—they continue to experience its degrading and destructive effects in hell and feel the fury of God’s wrath. We should not think that the sinners in hell want to be anywhere ...Read More