By Erik Herrmann, Easter is the start of something new: the resurrection of Jesus is the dawn of new creation. As Carl Michaelson puts it, Jesus is the “hinge of history.” In Him the story of the world has made a decisive turn; indeed, He is the fulcrum upon which history turns. The First Epistle of ..
By David I. Lewis, Introduction: In the three year lectionary the Fourth Sunday of Easter is also designated “Good Shepherd Sunday” with readings from John 10 as the Gospel text dispersed over the three years. Today’s Epistle is read on this Sunday perhaps especially because of verse 25 which does relate to this theme—”For you were ..
By Arthur E. Graudin, Textual Considerations: The words “judges each one according to each one’s deeds” (1:17) (ESV) are a reminder of the final judgment described by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46. Good deeds do not earn salvation but are the evidence of faith. The words εv φοβω (1:17) have been translated “with fear” (ESV), “in fear” ..
By Glenn A. Nielsen, Good Hopes that Die; The Better Hope that Lives Hope is good. In a book by John Ortberg (If You Want to Walk on the Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001], 159), he cites medical research that studied men after they had had their first ..
By Jeffrey A. Gibbs, This well-known reading from Colossians presents two (at least!) opportunities for mis-interpretation in our present context. The first might be called an overspiritualizing of the reading. The second would be a moralizing of the text. I will offer brief comments on the text itself, and then speak to each of these ..
By Arthur F. Graudin, The Introit for the Day in the Altar Book, LSB reminds the worshippers that the One who is the subject of the day’s worship is “the King of Glory.” “The King of Glory” is identified as “the Lord of hosts”—who is in charge of human and angelic armies, the sun, the moon, ..
By Jeffrey A. Gibbs, Romans 8:1-11 is a rich and theologically important text. Here Paul expresses in remarkable fashion both the distinction and the proper relationship between the Spirit’s work to bring salvation to believers (subjective justification) and the same Spirit’s presence in believers to empower them for Christian living (sanctification). Moreover, because the Spirit ..
By Joel P. Fritsche, All of the Lenten epistle readings in series A are from Romans with the exception of this one from Ephesians. The pericopes from Romans have provided a number of opportunities to ponder justification in a number of ways. We know that all men are condemned to death through the sin of ..
By Glenn A. Nielsen, That’s Core, That’s Basic Sometimes it’s good just to go back to the basics, just to hear once again the core of what we believe, just to listen to what brings peace, hope and joy to our hearts. Romans 5 does just that. The Apostle Paul is assuring us of the basic, ..
By Joel P. Fritsche, In the verses preceding our text, St. Paul beautifully proclaims the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. This is a gift of God that comes through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Since justification is purely God’s action, there is no room for boasting on the part of the ..
By Erik Herrmann, With Lent’s traditional emphasis on repentance and self-denial, the season runs the risk of turning one inward. That is to say, the danger lies in seeing Christ and His cross from the perspective of our personal piety and penance rather than the other way around. This reading from Romans sets our Lenten meditations ..
By David I. Lewis, Introduction: This Sunday provides one key point of structure within the church year, both in how it looks back over the season of Epiphany and how it also looks forward through the season of Lent to Easter. The Sundays in Epiphany are “framed” between the Baptism of our Lord and His ..