The church in Rome had Christians who were Jews and Christians who were Gentiles. Naturally there would have been friction between them. The relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christians was a major issue in the New Testament church. (See Acts 15 for an account of how the issue was resolved.)Read More
Is There Any Place for Privilege?
The Jews believed they were the chosen people, and that God had blessed them by revealing himself to them. Yet when they read here what Paul was saying to them about their traditions they must have thought that he was making light of all they held as precious.
Paul anticipates this criticism. He assures them he is not discrediting all that God has done for them.Read More witness, responsibility, privilege
Law and Faith
When the Jews were rescued from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, God gave them the Law. This was much more than what we normally think of as the law. It comprised all the things that God wanted them to do to represent him as their God.Read More Gentile, Jew, acceptance with God, law
The Christian “Take” on Abraham
The Jews traced their ancestry back to Abraham, a man who first came to Israel from Ur of the Chaldees (in present day Iraq) to settle in the Promised Land. They put a lot of stock in the fact that they were God’s chosen people, They were circumcised as a mark of this. When the Christian gospel came to people outside the Jewish faith, this raised a burning issue for the Jews.Read More acceptance with God, faith, Jews, gentiles, circumcision
There are some difficult words in Romans 4. Difficult not because they send us running to the dictionary, but difficult because in the biblical context they don’t mean what they do in everyday speech and can be misleading.Read More faith, righteousness, translation
You are King!
Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the world is falling apart? The morning news brings reports of murders, bombings, warfare, financial trouble and more. Our own lives experience illness – our own and that of others, fractures in relationships, difficulties at work. The list goes on and on.Read More king, water, Near Eastern imagery, trouble
The Fruits of a Good Wife, Part 1
What makes a person – a woman, a man – good and noble is their character, not what they do or how they look or who they know. As Jesus noted, we must start with our hearts if we want to be good (Matt 23:25–26).
Proverbs 31 is a long list of examples of fruits that a good wife bears.Read More character, work, woman, wife