• Paying the Cost

    Philemon 19-20

    In Philippians 2, Paul calls us to follow the example of Christ and put others ahead of ourselves. We seldom consider how our decisions and behavior will be regarded in the community of believers, but this should not be. Instead ...Read More

  • Receiving Onesimus

    Philemon 17-18

    John Calvin takes Paul’s willingness to help Onesimus be reconciled to Philemon as an example for us. The apostle, he writes, “warns us how affectionately we ought to aid a sinner who has given us proof of his repentance ...Read More

  • Onesimus’ Return

    Philemon 11-13

    Do you have relationships with other believers that would enable you to say with Paul that you would be sending away your “heart” if you were to move or otherwise lose the chance for face-to-face fellowship? God did not make ...Read More

  • Apostolic Authority

    Philemon 9-10

    Even though a Spirit-filled motivation is necessary to make a good deed truly good, sometimes we have to start acting before our motivation aligns itself with our deeds: C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity: “Do not waste time bothering ...Read More

  • Epaphras and Luke

    Colossians 4:12-15

    We should never despise the work of our pastors and elders in prayer, for it is this task to which they are called (Acts 6:1–7), and it is necessary for the building up of our churches. Ordained elders ...Read More

  • Praying for the Mission

    Colossians 4:2-4

    Praying for other Christians is also a way to manifest our love for them, as true love for Paul would motivate the Colossians to intercede for the apostle. John Calvin says that “it is not in vain that the Lord ...Read More

  • No Favored Parties

    Colossians 3:25

    We can be tempted to make excuses for our behavior based on our backgrounds or conditions in which we find ourselves. But we must always remember that the Lord requires righteousness from us no matter our condition, and we must ...Read More

  • Giving Thanks

    Luke 17:11-19

    We might think that we are grateful to God for what He has done for us, but if we never work to serve others, especially His people, then we must question the authenticity of our thankfulness. James 2:14–26 ...Read More

  • Honoring God

    Romans 1:18-32

    The flippant references about God and lack of respect for authority that are rampant in our culture reflect the primal sin of not giving honor to the Creator. Unfortunately, even those of us in the church are not entirely guiltless ...Read More

  • The Love and Peace of Christ

    Colossians 3:14-15

    When church elders, committees, and other bodies need to make a decision, their choice should in large measure be based upon what will bring peace to the church in the matter without compromising the gospel of Jesus Christ. Similarly, as ...Read More

  • Faith and the Means of Grace

    Colossians 3:12-13

    John Calvin offers these comments on today’s passage: “We, who have so frequently and so grievously offended, have nevertheless been received into favor, so we should manifest the same kindness towards our neighbors, by forgiving whatever offenses they have ...Read More

  • 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

  • Putting Sin to Death

    Colossians 3:5-6

    Understanding that we are already holy in Christ should not be confused with the perfectionism that we often see in other theological traditions. We will not be free from the struggle with sin before we are glorified, but knowing that ...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

  • Shades of Gray

    1 Corinthians 10:31

    Though the Spirit grants us new life in Christ, this does not mean we immediately overcome our ignorance of God’s ways. Instead, the Spirit works through Scripture, illuminating it as we read and hear it so that we might ...Read More