Mark 7:24-37: Knocked Down by Sin and Death

In less than a week, two deaths—Sandy Webb and Donna Kind-Gappa.  So close together, we are left unable to make sense of this.  Inside, we are a mess of emotions, disturbed and rattled. Somehow, this smacks of betrayal.  For if God is real, how can he let this happen, a few days apart?  Only a […]

Romans, Lesson 26: What Those in Christ Have

The stronger brother is chided not to abuse his Christian freedom toward the weaker brother (Romans 14:13-21), for what does not proceed from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  Apart from faith, everything a person does is tainted with sin and, thus, not perfect enough to merit anything before God.  So, we turn to Christ to […]

Romans, Lesson 17: Christ is Our Super-Conqueror

Still on the topic of suffering in this world, Paul points us to the new world to come.  From the past into the future, God keeps us in His care: He foreknew, predestined, called, justifies, and will glorify us in splendor on the Last Day.   How then do we respond? Read Romans 8:31 What […]

Romans, Lesson 16: Living in Christian Hope

In this life, we will experience suffering, for we live in a fallen world.  “In Christ,” His suffering is ours—even if we are not suffering for being Christians.  If we are in Him, we have what He gives us, which includes being glorified with Him on the Last Day.  We know how the story ends—and […]

Romans, Lesson 9: The Hope We Have in Christ

Paul showed the absurdity of turning what God originally did to bring someone into His Old Covenant into what people did for God.  “If the adherents of the Law are to be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is nullified” (Romans 3:14).  Someone is an heir because he inherits, not by what he does.  […]

Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 7: Job’s Recognition, Repentance, and Restoration

Intro The Lord answered Job, pulling Job from an inward focus on his suffering to what is beyond: God.  By stating who He is and what that means, God inductively taught Job: If I am all-powerful, then I am taking care of you in my way and time.  I am even more powerful than the […]

Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 5: Elihu

Intro Throughout his suffering, Job’s understanding his Redeemer gave him hope. Job knew that his suffering here did not define him. He knew that in His flesh he would see God. The resurrection of the body enabled Job to remain in the faith, even as his fallen body suffered and betrayed him.   A Fourth […]

Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 3: Counsel from Job’s Friends

Intro We now explore the counsel of three friends of Job. As a backdrop, realizing that Job comes to us in to form of poetry, and also as a story, we should ask, “Why are three friends, not two or four, giving their counsel to Job?” If we look at job as “history,” we would […]

Suffering Through the Lenses of Job, Lesson 1: Introduction

The Big Picture Events in the Old-Testament book of Job take place in two realms. Amid Job’s suffering, we can see a conflict occurring between Job and Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. The “friends” of Job assert that righteous people enjoy earthly blessings and prosperity, but the wicked suffer. In their worldview, Job must then be […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 9: God Opens the Heart

Paul and Timothy just appealed to the Corinthian congregation, quoting Isaiah 49:8. They then say, “Now is a [not “the”] favorable time, now is a [not “the”] day of salvation.” Every time God’s grace comes to someone, that day, that time, is one of salvation. This shows the continuing nature of God coming to us […]