• 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

  • Teaching Oneself

    Romans 2:17–21a

    Today’s passage reminds us how seriously God takes the principle that we must apply the same judgment to others that we apply to ourselves. We should never condemn others according to a standard that is higher than that to ...Read More

  • The Work of the Law on the Heart

    Romans 2:14–16

    John Calvin comments, “There is no nation so lost to every thing human, that it does not keep within the limits of some laws.” Although human beings suppress the truth in unrighteousness apart from the grace of God (Rom. 1 ...Read More

  • Is Possessing the Law Enough?

    Romans 2:12–13

    Paul is not teaching that it is truly possible for sinners to be justified by keeping the law. This is because no one—except Christ—can fully keep God’s commandments (Rom. 3:9–20). His point is that while ...Read More

  • Guided by the law

    Matthew 15:1–9

    Under the old covenant, the covenant community was enslaved to sin and, therefore, burdened by God’s law. In contrast, we live under the new covenant, the era in which God has poured out His Holy Spirit abundantly. If we ...Read More

  • Law and Gospel

    Matthew 5:17–20

    Answer 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism emphasizes that we do good works because the God who justifies us also gives us His Spirit to conform us more and more to the image of Jesus Christ. Our Lord saves us from ...Read More

  • Not by Works of the Law

    Galatians 2:15–16

    We see people doing good things every day — loving their children, caring for elderly parents, giving money to cancer research, and so on. Nevertheless, even the best deeds of sinners are insufficient in God’s sight. Even if unregenerate people ...Read More

  • The Righteousness of God by Faith

    Philippians 3:7–9

    Not all of us tried to earn our way to God by the Mosaic law before knowing Christ. Probably, most of us just sought to do the good we could, hoping it would outweigh our bad deeds. Regardless, we had ...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

  • Confidence and Boldness in Christ

    Ephesians 3:11-12

    The gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith in Christ Jesus alone is indeed good news because it assures us that God never rejects those who approach Him through His Son. He will forgive any sin, no matter how ...Read More

  • The One New Man

    Ephesians 2:15-16

    John Chrysostom, the ancient bishop of Constantinople, writes, “The Greek does not have to become a Jew. Rather both enter into a new condition. His aim is not to bring Greek believers into being as different kinds of Jews but ...Read More

  • Jesus Our Peace

    Ephesians 2:14

    God’s law defines what is pleasing to Him, so we must always seek to understand it and follow it in the power of the Spirit. Yet while the law tells us what is right and wrong and what we ...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

  • 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 ...Read More