Posts Posted in September 2015View All Posts >>

If you are not clean on the inside, your outside will never be clean, despite regular religious washings. These outward ceremonies do not cleanse the person who is unclean within. More
Common sense informs us that giving from the heart means one expects to gain nothing from the gift. When one gives from within... More
If we only read verse 8, we may end up believing good works are the point, that we must “be careful to devote [ourselves] to good works” (Titus 3:8). More
Our works are not good works—they do not please God—unless they are done in faith. They are not good works, no matter how fine they may seem to us... More
Those who trust in Christ ought to sacrifice. We no longer sacrifice animals as was done under the Old Covenant. Instead, because Christ is the once-for-all sacrifice for sin. More
The Father sent his Son into the world to save sinners from the condemnation of sin and death. When people have faith in God’s sacrifice for their sin, they are saved, justified, and reborn. More
The great mystery of the ages has been revealed in Jesus Christ. All people—Jews and Gentiles alike—have been redeemed from their slavery to sin and death by the atoning work of Jesus. More
The promise of forgiveness is bound to repentance. They are inseparable. “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.” More
We should have no other gods before the Lord (Exod 20:3). He alone is God (Deut 6:4). We think that in the churches today, idols are a thing of the past. More
The rich man wanted to know what good deed he as yet lacked so that he could earn eternal life. Having boasted that he had kept all the commandments, he nonetheless felt that he still lacked some fine deed. More
The preaching of the law must have its rightful place among us. The law sets necessary boundaries in society so that we might enjoy a measure of order and civility in society. More
You may work all day and night, trying to prove yourself worthy to God, only to discover at the break of day that you do not believe he finds you worthy. More
Consider this teaching from the Lord’s Prayer: Forgive, and you will be forgiven. The first part in this doctrine demands amendment of life and good works, while the second part adds the promise. More
So let us reject the entire squabble as not only a misunderstanding of the text, but a mistranslation as well. May we understand the gospel instead, for there is nothing uncertain in Christ. More
Daniel does not simply demand certain kingly works such as alms giving. He demands faith by saying, “Break off your sins by righteousness.” More
Even the prophets of old required faith since they too conveyed the promises of God. Promises require faith because they involve trust in the one making the promise. More
The law is used by God to achieve certain results. It exhorts us to look out for “number two,” or to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). More
As the parable indicates, we are indebted to the King. Our sin-debt should cost us our lives (Rom 6:23) but God is merciful, forgiving us and making us into new persons. More
God commands us through the prophets to do good. Yet, through those same prophets, he makes it clear that our righteousness does not come from the works worked. More
The law must be preached. Yet, it must also be taught that the keeping of the law does not bring new birth. Only God can regenerate the dead, which we most certainly were. More
Those who have been justified through faith in Christ are expected to act righteously. They are not, however, forgiven of their sins because they act in accordance with God’s will. More
Any keeping of the law requires God’s help. Before we can ever keep the law in a way that God finds acceptable, we must have faith in Christ. More
Again, James is referring to those works that should follow faith. So, it is well said that the one who has faith and good works is righteous. Righteousness is not earned through the works... More
One cannot create faith by deciding to believe in the historical Jesus, but then, going on to live the same old, natural life. This is the sort of dead faith to which James refers. More
Every good gift comes from the Father—most notably, the gift of new birth in Christ. Salvation is a gift. Forgiveness of sins and justification are not things that can be earned. More
The old real estate expression, “Location, location, location,” might be modified when it comes to reading. “Context, context, context,” is crucial when interpreting a text. More
Propitiation means appeasement of God. The argument the Lutherans were making is simply this: Christ alone is the satisfaction for our sins. What God has worked into us, we are now to work out... More
James reinforces what kind of faith he has been referring to in this passage. Faith is not mere assent, such as you hear from people today when they say things like, “I believe in God,” or “I am a Christian,” or “I go to church.” More
Presidential pardons, bestowed by outgoing US presidents, are received with gratitude but also sometimes, with irritation by those who disagree with a president’s choices. More
Think of how often the smallest spark of some perceived offense in a congregation is fanned into flame by someone who chooses to make the matter personal. More

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