By Victor Raj Preliminary Considerations For a serious study of our text there is no better place to turn than Professor Louis Brighton’s commentary Revelation. Readers are encouraged to consult it. This text and the other appointed lessons (Acts 9:1–22; Psalm 30) for this day focus on the theme, “The Big Picture.” Notes on the ..
Textual Considerations The number seven (ἑπτὰ) has been understood to denote completeness. Interpreters differ, however, as to whether the “seven spirits” in verse 4 signify the Holy Spirit and provide a reference to the Holy Trinity. Louis A. Brighton agrees with the Trinitarian understanding in his commentary on Revelation. For a helpful discussion of the ..
By Tom Manteufel From time to time novels have appeared which depict the ramifications of the discovery of alleged archeological evidence that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ never took place, such as When It Was Dark (in the early twentieth century) or more recently Dr. Paul Maier’s theological thriller A Skeleton in God’s Closet. ..
By Paul R. Raabe The epistle lesson for the Sixth Sunday in Lent/Palm Sunday (series C) is the famous Carmen Christi of Philippians 2:5–11. Because verses 6–11 display poetic hymn-like qualities, Greek editions rightly present them as a poem. It consists of two halves of equal size: verses 6–8 (10 lines—90 syllables) and verses 9–11 ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald Paul’s “putting out of mind the course already covered and straining toward the goal that lies ahead” (Phil 3:13), warns today’s preacher not to forget that the race is not over. Philippians 3:4b–14 offers its own beautiful way to convey that warning, with an emphasis on the present straining toward the ..
By David R. Maxwell New Creation, New Identity In this reading, Paul employs two dominant themes: 1) new creation and 2) reconciliation. Are these the same thing? Or does reconciliation correlate with justification, while new creation correlates with sanctification? Or is there some other distinction being made here? I would suggest that new creation and ..
By David Wollenberg In our text the Apostle Paul is addressing the issue of how we live as brothers and sisters in Christ in this evil age. His concern is with those (both in Corinth and in our own day and places) who claim to “possess knowledge.” “This ‘knowledge,’” he says, “puffs up, but love ..
By Robert Kolb Introductory thoughts “Walk this way,” Mel Brook’s Igor the hunchback said (from the movie Young Frankenstein). Following in his footsteps, Doctor Frankenstein imitated his awkward gait. Children imitate their parents, sometimes to their parents’ pleasure, sometimes to their embarrassment. Models of faithful following of Jesus are significant parts of the Holy Spirit’s ..
By Joel P. Okamoto Notes on the pericope This pericope is a portion of Paul’s lengthy discussion of the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles in his letter to the Romans. At this point in the discussion, Paul is explaining how the Jews, who pursued righteousness, could fail to attain it when Gentiles, who did ..
By Glenn Nielsen Goal: That the hearers are more confident in the hope we have in the One deserving of all glory. The writer to the Hebrews wants us to have confidence, and the courage to stand strong in our hope. A confidence that doesn’t back down in the face of opposition. A courage that ..
By Jeffrey Kloha Some texts don’t need sermons. What more needs to be said about love than the praise that the apostle lavishes on it in 1 Corinthians 13? Perhaps nothing more needs to be said, but showing love within the body of Christ as it lives in the present day is far easier said ..
By Andrew H. Bartelt Exegetical Issues The central point is clear: the unity of the corporate body of Christ, made up of diverse parts with different functions, all working for the common good. This is integral to the overall theme of 1 Corinthians, in which Paul deals with a conflicted congregation that, ironically, “was not ..
By David Peter Contextual Considerations This text begins a series of lectio continua from 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 which extends through the season of Epiphany. The first verse of the text begins with these words: “Now concerning spiritual gifts.” This formula indicates that Paul is responding to a question which the Corinthian Christians have ..
By Henry Rowold There are fewer occasions more pleasant for the family of God than baptism. For an adult, it marks a capstone of growth in faith and identity. For an infant, it marks, in the presence of family, initial steps of faith and growth as a Christian child of God. For both, baptism brings ..
By Francis C. Rossow Comments on the Text Lulled either by the familiarity of our text or by its complex sentence structure, we may not at first be aware of the surprise—even the shock—it contains. Verse 6 drops a bomb: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members ..
By David L. Adams Introduction In this brief section the Apostle Paul gives Christians guidance for understanding how the life of Jesus, received in baptism, manifests itself in the communal life of love, in worship centered in the word of God, and in a heart at peace that receives all things from God in a ..