False Doctrine

I often say that I love the academic environment of seminary or anywhere that is set aside for in-depth learning about theology and the Bible. However, there is one negative aspect to seminary when I attended that is very easy to assume as the reason you are there. Seminary students (and I include myself) can be some of the most …

The Yoke of Slavery

One of the greatest works of literature in the history of the English language is the allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. Many of the themes of Galatians take great prominence in Bunyan’s masterpiece. Not least of these is the comparison between works of religion and salvation by grace through faith. A great illustration of this juxtaposition takes place on one of the occasions …

Motives

Religion vs Relationship

Galatians 4:21-31 offers a bit a sidetrack in the straightforward message that has been presented throughout the letter. The sidetrack is important, however, because it uses a well-known story from the Old Testament to illustrate the overall point that salvation by grace through faith is greater than the covenant of works found in the Mosaic covenant. To understand the illustration, …

Shepherds and Wolves

Matthew 20:25-28 The paradigm of leadership that Jesus gave to his followers is one that turns every non-Christian view of leadership on its head. Whereas the world (Gentiles) typically view leadership as an exercise of power (lording authority), Jesus teaches that those who would lead in his kingdom must be servants first. Leaders who lead the way that Jesus taught …

What Does It Mean to be Adopted?

In Galatians 4 Paul gives extended usage to a metaphor to describe our relationship to God as well as the former relationship that God’s people had to the law. That metaphor concerns how the relationship of an heir to his father changed over time under Roman law.  An heir becomes such because he is the son of his father. Nothing …

The Purpose of the Mosaic Law

One of the great themes of Galatians about which we have discussed in many different ways over the last several weeks is the comparison between religious law and relationship with God by grace through faith. Grace is superior to religion in every way imaginable. A natural question for people reading Galatians might be “so if the law of Moses is …

The Story of Religion 

The story of religion can be summed up as the story of making and trying to keep divine laws. Even Biblical religion can be described in this way. There is no doubt that God gives laws in the Scriptures and that the laws that he gives are good. But the greatest gift that God gives to humanity is his Son, …

Holy Thursday • Authentic Worship

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worshipdoesn’t.” John Piper As individual Christians we should find our purpose in life by looking at God’s purpose for hisbody. We often refer to the purpose of the church as missions….doing the things that Godcommissioned the church to do (Matthew 28:18-20). The problem is that many …

Becoming Stupid

Galatians 3:1-6 One mistake that we often make when referring to the Gospel is to believe that God’s salvation is cheap. We think this way out of a misunderstanding of grace. Our salvation is a gift from God to us which we did not and cannot earn. But that does not mean that the Gospel is cheap. Jesus paid a …

The Foundation of a Relationship with Christ

Galatians 2:15-21 The theme in Galatians over and over is that no work can ever justify us before God. Only faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient to make us right before God.  What is remarkable about Christians is how we so easily slip back from pure faith in Christ to religious works as a means of justification. Paul is pushing …