Monthly Archives: August 2015

Galatians 6:3-5 — Focusing on what God has given us to do

It’s amazing, but on this day 20 years ago, I moved to Japan for the first time.  Over these past 20 years, I can honestly say I have seen God work to touch the lives of people through me.  At … Continue reading

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Galatians 5:13-6:2 — The fruit of the Spirit in our relationships

A lot of times, we think of our relationship with God merely in terms of how we relate to him.  We think, “Am I reading my Bible?  Am I praying?  Am I going to church?” But as we look at … Continue reading

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Galatians 5:16-25 — A whole new way of life

We talked yesterday about staying out of the pig sty of sin that we were set free from.  But once again, Paul reminds us that this is not a matter of keeping the law in our own strength. Rather, he … Continue reading

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Galatians 5:13-15 — Returning to the pig sty

For most of this book, Paul has been addressing those who thought they needed to turn to the law for their salvation.  And while Paul strongly disagreed with them, I think he did understand one of their huge concerns:  If we … Continue reading

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Galatians 5:7-12 — Abolishing the offense of the cross

I mentioned not too long ago that many people find Christianity narrow-minded.  They take offense at the idea that it is only through Christ’s work on the cross that we can be saved.  Paul calls this, “the offense of the … Continue reading

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Galatians 5:7-9 — Getting cut off

If there is one thing I hate, it’s getting cut off in traffic.  To be cruising along the road, and to have someone cut in right in front of me.  At best, I have to break suddenly to avoid an … Continue reading

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Galatians 5:2-10 — Severed from Christ, fallen from grace

I don’t know about you, but I think most people looking at today’s title would think, “Wow!  What terrible thing must a person do to be severed from Christ and fall from his grace.” In fact, we often use that … Continue reading

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Galatians 4:21-5:1 — Children of promise

In this passage, Paul makes a very interesting allegory to drive home a simple point:  We are children of God based on His promise, not children of God based on our keeping his law. He talks about the story of Hagar and … Continue reading

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Galatians 4:14-20 — Zealous for what?

In this passage, we see two kinds of zealousness.  One that leads to good and one that does not. We see here that the Galatians used to be zealous for Paul.  Because of the gospel he had preached and the … Continue reading

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Galatians 4:14-16 — How to lose our joy (and blessing)

You can really see how perplexed Paul is with the Galatians in this passage (actually going all the way to verse 20). When he had first come to the Galatians, he had had some sort of physical problem, and yet, … Continue reading

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Galatians 4:8-12 — Going back to worthless religion

Many people wonder why Christianity is so “narrow-minded.”  Why can’t all religions be considered equally valid ways to God? I will admit that most if not all religions have some good in them.  Most preach avoiding evil and doing good, … Continue reading

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Galatians 3:26-4:7 — The wonder of adoption

It’s really amazing to me that God would actually adopt us into his family.  He could have accepted us as “pets.”  He could have recognized our status as people, and yet kept us at a distance as acquaintances.  He could … Continue reading

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Galatians 3:22-25 — What the law is and isn’t. What the law does and doesn’t do. (Part 3)

We saw yesterday that the law was not some alternative way God developed to bring about salvation, but rather was something that was meant to lead us to Christ.  Paul goes into further detail in the next few verses. Paul … Continue reading

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Galatians 3:15-25 — What the law is and isn’t. What the law does and doesn’t do. (Part 2)

We talked yesterday about what the law does not do, namely, it doesn’t replace the covenant God made with Abraham.  God’s covenant with Abraham was a one-way contract solely based on God’s promise, not on anything Abraham or any of … Continue reading

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Galatians 3:15-25 — What the law is and isn’t. What the law does and doesn’t do.

A lot of times, people look at the ten commandments and other laws that God gave in the Old Testament and they think, “This is what makes us righteous in God’s eyes.  If I want to have eternal life, I … Continue reading

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Galatians 3:6-14 — The true children of Abraham

As I look at this passage, I can’t help but wonder if Paul thought back to the argument Jesus had with the Jews in John 8.  Because essentially, it’s talking about the same issue:  who are the true children of … Continue reading

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Galatians 3:1-5 — Starting by faith, continuing by faith

It is so easy, especially in Japan, to fall into the trap of trying to follow “the rules” after becoming a Christian.  After all, every other group the Japanese are a part of, whether it’s a school club, a company, or even their … Continue reading

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Galatians 2:21 — The main problem with a gospel of works

Throughout this chapter, Paul has kind of been on the defensive, fighting the claims that God’s gospel of grace leads to a promotion of sin. But here in verse 21, he goes on the offensive.  He says, I do not … Continue reading

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Galatians 2:19-20 — That we might be made righteous

We talked yesterday about how the Judaizers were basically accusing Paul of preaching a gospel that would make Christ out to be a promoter of sin.  That whenever they saw Paul or any other Christian fall in any way small … Continue reading

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Galatians 2:15-18 — A promoter of sin?

One of the accusations Christians face, particularly from the cults, is that by adopting a gospel of salvation by grace alone apart from works, we actually promote sin.  After all, if we are saved by faith in Christ apart from … Continue reading

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Galatians 1:11-2:16 — Fighting for the gospel

In this passage, we see Paul fighting for the truth of the gospel.  First he went to Jerusalem to make sure he was on the same page as the rest of the apostles concerning salvation by grace apart from law.  And … Continue reading

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Galatians 1:10 — A people-pleasing gospel

Let’s face it, the gospel we preach is hard for many people to swallow.  And because of that, sometimes Christians try to dilute it or sugar-coat it in order to make it more palatable for people to accept. “Oh yes, … Continue reading

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Galatians 1:1-9 — Deserting God

A lot of people today see Christianity as a set of rules.  They think that you have to keep these rules to be accepted by God.  Even many Christians tend to think this way.  But is this what the Bible … Continue reading

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2 Corinthians 13:5-14 — Seeking God’s best in people

As we wrap up this letter, we see Paul’s heart for the Corinthians, that they would know God’s best in their lives. Paul starts out by challenging them, saying, Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 13:1-4 — When Jesus returns

In Paul’s warning to the Corinthians in this passage, I see a warning to us as well. Paul told them, I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 12:11-20 — Marks of a leader (part 2)

A couple of blogs ago, we looked at some of the marks of a leader.  In this passage, I think we can see more of what a true leader in the church looks like. One is that they do not … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 12:7-10 — The problem of self-sufficiency

I was raised by my parents to be pretty self-sufficient.  I remember one thing my dad told me after I had grown up and left the house was that the one thing he was happy about concerning my brother, my … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 12:1-6 — What is far more important than our boasting

Well, this is my last day of vacation before I head back for Japan.  It will be an exceptionally long day, so your prayers for safety and strength would be appreciated.  Needless to say, I won’t be posting a blog … Continue reading

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II Corinthians 11:16-33 — The marks of a true leader

As Paul compares himself with the false apostles that had crept into the Corinthian church, I think we see the marks of a true Christian leader, what he does, and doesn’t do. A true leader shouldn’t have to boast.  That … Continue reading

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