New Life in Christ

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ephesians 4-6 Believing the truth about Christ must lead to new life in Christ. Paul always begins with doctrine and ends with ethics. This section begins with the words, “Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (4:1). Since the church is the body of Christ, it must be united, which is only possible when we have “all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (4:2 ESV). The talents …

In Christ

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ephesians 1-3 Notice how often the term “in Christ” is used in this passage. It was “in him” (1:4) that God chose us from before creation that we might be “holy and blameless.” Therefore the grace that has been “freely bestowed on us” is “in the Beloved” (v. 6). God’s whole great plan is “set forth in Christ” (v. 9). Our hope (v. 12) and our faith (v. 15) is in him. God showed his great power “in …

By Faith Alone

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Galatians Galatia was an area in what is now Turkey, which included such churches as Lystra and Derbe. After Paul founded them and left, others came along insisting Gentiles had to adhere to the law of Moses, including circumcision. Paul writes this letter to counteract this false teaching and to reemphasize that we are saved by faith in Christ alone. Galatians was one of the biblical sources which caused Luther to emphasize that central truth and thus begin …

Pure Devotion to Christ

Claudia Elzinga

READ : 2 Corinthians 11-13 Paul is concerned that his readers have a “pure devotion to Christ” (11:3). He himself is an example of such devotion to which each of us is called. Such devotion leads us to share God’s Word with the world: “We have made this plain to you in all things” (11:6 ESV). Such devotion calls for paying a price. Paul tells of the price he paid in terms of the dangers and sufferings he endured. We …

Giving to the Cause of Christ

Claudia Elzinga

READ : 2 Corinthians 6-10 Paul was a great missionary and theologian; he was also a great fund-raiser. Christians in Jerusalem are starving, and Paul seeks to raise funds to help them. After speaking about his feelings for them, he tells them of this need. They are in Achaia (southern Greece). He tells them of the generosity of the Christians in Macedonia (northern Greece). He sees this fund as an opportunity for the Corinthian Christians to show that they love …