• 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

  • 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

  • Shadow Versus Substance

    Colossians 2:16-17

    We might envy the old covenant saints because we do not usually see great seas parted, manna falling from heaven, and other “spectacular” displays of God’s power. But we are in a far better position than the old covenant ...Read More

  • Jesus Our Cornerstone

    Luke 20:9-18

    Even believers are not immune to the temptation that calls us to treat the commands of God as ends in themselves. But God’s law is not in itself the end; rather, it always points us to Christ and is ...Read More

  • Law and Gospel

    Romans 3:21-31

    Our relativistic age does not like to hear that there is an eternal, unchangeable law that convicts all people. But the central message of the gospel is that we have broken this law and need to be reconciled to God ...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

  • What Really Counts

    Galatians 5:5–6

    “It is not our doctrine that the faith which justifies is alone; we maintain that it is invariably accompanied by good works; only we contend that faith alone is sufficient for justification” (John Calvin). If works of love are not ...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

  • The Gospel of God’s Glory

    1 Timothy 1:11

    Matthew Henry writes, “Much of the glory of God appears in the works of creation and providence, but much more in the gospel, where it shines in the face of Jesus Christ.” True preaching of the gospel must include news ...Read More