Sanctification – Ephesians 4:17–32

Read the Passage: Ephesians 4:17-32

The Old Man (4:17–19)

Earlier, as Paul began the application section of the book of Ephesians, he exhorted his readers toward sanctification, instructing them to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Eph. 4:1). In the rest of this letter, Paul gives details about the worthy walk, which displays the unity of believers in Christ. Continue reading Sanctification – Ephesians 4:17–32

Christian Unity – Ephesians 4:1–10

Read the Passage: Ephesians 4:1-10

Exhortation (4:1–3)

It was Paul’s custom in his epistles to begin with doctrinal teaching and then move on to practical application. Said differently, Paul always transitions from theology to ethics in his letters, which makes sense, since ethics is applied theology. Continue reading Christian Unity – Ephesians 4:1–10

Ephesians: Introduction – Ephesians 1:1-14

Read the Passage: Ephesians 1:1-14

Authorship and Date: The book of Ephesians is one of the thirteen (or fourteen, if Hebrews is included) New Testament epistles written by the apostle Paul (cf. Eph. 1:1; 3:1). This letter was written from Rome during Paul’s first imprisonment there (cf. Acts 28:17–31), probably sometime between 60–63 AD. Continue reading Ephesians: Introduction – Ephesians 1:1-14

The Christian Life – Romans 12

Read the Passage: Romans 12

Living Sacrifices (12:1–2)

Paul’s pattern in all of his epistles is to begin by teaching theology and conclude by covering ethics. Indeed, this structure is quite logical, for ethics is applied theology. In the book of Romans, chapters 1–11 contains theology—namely, Paul’s teaching about the doctrine of salvation—and chapters 12–16 discuss ethics for the believers in the Roman church. Continue reading The Christian Life – Romans 12

Work of the Spirit – Romans 8

Read the Passage: Romans 8

Listen to The Redeemed Mind Podcast: Romans 8

Flesh and Spirit (8:1–11)

Recall in Romans 7 Paul had taught that believers are “dead to the law through the body of Christ” (Rom. 7:4). Since the law no longer has judicial power over Christians, Paul now writes, “There is therefore now no condemnation to whose who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Note that Paul had only referred to the Holy Spirit four times in Romans 1–7; yet, the Spirit is mentioned twenty-two times in Romans 8 alone. Paul’s teaching in this chapter is that just as it is the Holy Spirit who justifies, so it is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies. Observe that Paul refers to the flesh nine times in Romans 8, included once in every verse between Rom. 8:3–9. Continue reading Work of the Spirit – Romans 8

Faith and Salvation – Romans 4:13–5:21

Read the Passage: Romans 4:13–5:21

Listen to The Redeemed Mind Podcast: Romans 4:13-5:21

Abraham’s Faith (4:13–25)

In Rom. 4:1–12 Paul had appealed to two important Old Testament figures—namely, Abraham and David—to show that salvation has always been by faith in Christ alone. In Rom. 4:13–25 Paul expands his teaching about Abraham to more fully demonstrate that God’s promise to Abraham entailed salvation by faith. Continue reading Faith and Salvation – Romans 4:13–5:21

Philip, the First Missionary – Acts 8

Read the Passage: Acts 8

The People of Samaria (8:1–8)

At the end of the account of the death of Stephen in Acts 7 it was reported that “the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul” (Acts 7:58). This is the first mentioning of Saul, who would become Paul, in the Bible; yet, he dominates the remainder of the New Testament. In Acts 8:1–3, Luke reports that Saul, possibly a member of the “Synagogue of the Freedmen” (Acts 6:9), was consenting to Stephen’s death and, furthermore, that he began to persecute the church. Continue reading Philip, the First Missionary – Acts 8

Lying to the Holy Spirit – Acts 4:32–5:11

Read the Passage: Acts 4:32-5:11

Communal Sharing (4:32–37)

In our previous study of Acts 2:42–47 we focused on the Acts communal sharing example that is reiterated in Acts 4:32–37. In that investigation we concluded that the instance of sharing in the early church is not a prescriptive model for a type of Christian communism, but rather is an example of Jesus’ command, “Sell what you have and give alms [to the poor]” (Luke 12:33). Continue reading Lying to the Holy Spirit – Acts 4:32–5:11

Arrival of the Holy Spirit – Acts 2:1-41

Read the Passage: Acts 2:1-41

The Holy Spirit’s Arrival (2:1–13)

The “Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2:1), which was also called the Feast of Weeks, First-fruits, or Harvest, was one of three annual festivals in which the nation of Israel was required to gather together in Jerusalem. The other two nationwide festivals were the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles, which was also called the Feast of Booths, or Ingathering (cf. Exod. 23:14–19). The Day of Pentecost occurred fifty days after the Passover and was a celebration of the grain harvest (cf. Deut. 16:9–12). Continue reading Arrival of the Holy Spirit – Acts 2:1-41