By Victor Raj Preliminary Considerations Placed midway between Easter and Pentecost, the appointed lessons for the fourth Sunday of Easter cumulatively call for a resurrection living for the Christian faithful in this world. Together, they are an exhortation for the baptized toward the demonstration of God’s righteousness in their daily living as they engage the world ..
by Paul R. Raabe During the Easter season the epistle lessons come from 1 John. The epistle lesson appointed for the third Sunday of Easter is 1 John 3:1–7. Here is the helpful translation and lineation given by Bruce Schuchard in his commentary on the Johannine Epistles: See what kind of love the Father has given us, that ..
By Henry Rowold Drawn into God’s Fellowship Not by accident does this pericope begin where John’s gospel does: “that which was from the beginning” is both pegged to and flows from the gospel’s prologue. What we have in this brief letter, therefore, is given not merely for just a few, but for those whom God has loved “from the ..
By David Peter The Occasion for Paul’s Words The first verse of the text begins with these words: “Now I would remind you, brothers.” This formula indicates that Paul is responding to an issue which had been a part of his original instruction to them. In this case, the issue is the resurrection of the body. Apparently the subject ..
By Todd Jones With its meaty theological content and rich poetic imagery, it is no surprise that the lectionary lifts this portion of Philippians from its context. Exegetical Notes Verse 6: Our English too often comes off sounding like Jesus was something less than God, as if he merely appeared to be God. However, a distinction between μορφή and ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, September 1979. by Andrew H. Bartelt Sermon Notes 1. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews continues his discussion of the “high priesthood” of Christ (and his commentary on Psalm 110) in 4:14. The importance of the office of high priest was obvious to a ..
by Wally Becker We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Christ Jesus, for the purpose of living as God’s people to this world which he loves (Jn 3:16). This passage gives us a picture of “the two kinds of righteousness.” The first portion of the text focuses on the grace of God: dead in sin, ..
by Wayne Knolhoff The Word of the Cross We are no strangers to scandal, and we know a scandal when we see it. Whether it involves a politician, a Hollywood star, a sports figure, or even a church leader scandals are, unfortunately, rather common occurrences. Scandals involve shameful, distasteful, offensive behavior. A scandal is an action or event ..
By Robert Kolb Sometimes it seems as if our lives have wandered into one of the survival shows on television and we are about to be eliminated, or at least have questions about lasting longer than a few more weeks or months. Too many false calculations, too many wrong-headed decisions. Paul tells us in this lesson that this ..
By William W. Carr “Blessed is the man (Μακαριος ανηρ; see, e.g., Ps 1:1, אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי־הָאִ֗ישׁ) who remains steadfast under trial” (Jas 1:12, ESV). Preparing this homiletical help in September makes it difficult not to think about Christians in Iraq and in several areas of Africa, who are pursued, persecuted, kidnapped, and murdered because they are Christians. The stomach churns, the ..
By David I. Lewis Literary Context The text is part of the section of 2 Corinthians where Paul is defending the integrity of his apostolic ministry and his past actions in dealing with the believers in Corinth (1:12–7:16). In the section immediately preceding today’s text, 3:7–11, Paul contrasts the ministry of Moses in mediating the Torah to Israel to ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, January 2006. By Arthur F. Graudin Textual Considerations For the Apostle Paul the proclamation of the gospel was not a basis for boasting on his part but ανάγκη, a matter of necessity, constraint, obligation. “He is under divine constraint which he cannot escape” (TDNT, I, 340). ..
By Bruce Schuchard The goal of the human person who wishes to achieve everything that there is to achieve in life is _____. How would each one of us fill in the blank? According to the Hellenistic philosophers of the apostle Paul’s day, the pinnacle of human experience, of human existence and achievement, was not faith, hope, and love ..
By David Schmitt At the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, there is an installation called Cup by Thomas Skomski. It’s basically a shelf extending out of the wall with a cup at the very end. The shelf is about the height of a countertop, making the cup perfectly within reach. Suspended there, this cup promises water for the weary. ..
By Tim Saleska Relevant Background Acts 18:1–17 describes Paul’s eighteenth-month stay in Corinth. When both Silas and Timothy came to help him, he was able to spend all of his time ministering to the Jews (v. 5). But eventually, opposition to his message forced him to stop preaching in the synagogue. He moved next door to the house ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald This pericope has all the dangers of a familiar text: we recall parts of it perfectly but may not remember how those parts all fit together. The themes of this passage are, no doubt, regular themes within our preaching. This day, however, can provide us with an opportunity to present this passage as something ..