• Impact

    Life in the Spirit

    Romans 8:1–11 is part of the lectionary readings for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, which is July 12th. In chapter 6, Paul explained that we are dead to the absolute control (though not the continuing influence) of sin. Next, in chapter 7, the apostle clarified how, through our baptismal union with Christ, we have died to the Mosaic Law, which sin used to stir up evil within us. Then, in chapter 8, Paul explained how we can walk in newness of life. Because we are God’s children, we must not continue in our former relationship to sin. Towards the end of chapter 7, Paul conveyed his distress over his paralysis…

  • Impact

    Called to Be Holy

    First Peter 1:17–23 is part of the lectionary readings for the third Sunday of Easter, April 26. In this passage, the author summoned us to cultivate hope, holiness, and love in our lives, especially during trials. Many Bible scholars consider this early Christian letter to be part of the persecution literature of the New Testament (which also includes Hebrews, Revelation, and possibly James). The epistle would have been written during one of the three periods of Roman persecution endured by early Christians—under emperors Nero (AD 62–64), Domitian (AD 90–97), and Trajan (AD 111). If one holds to Peter’s authorship of the letter, the only period that fits would be the…

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    Proper Feeding of Newborns

    “And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation,” 1 Peter 2:2 I recently heard a relatively new Christian adult woman say, “I just get lost in our small group Bible study especially when people start throwing out Greek words and what they’ve learned in other studies. I just want to understand the words that are actually printed here. They lose me. I feel so ignorant like I can never understand the Bible.” My heart just hurt for her. And, from my experience, I know this precious new-to-the-Bible Christian is not alone in how she feels in our Bible studies.…