Love Is the Fulfilling of the Law

Paul’s letter to the Romans follows a familiar pattern that is found in many of his letters. He spends the first several chapters focusing on the Gospel. Then in chapter 12 Paul starts to focus on applying the Gospel to our everyday lives: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to…

Mercy for the Disobedient

Romans 11:32: “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.” God has consigned all to disobedience. This does not mean that God causes our disobedience. It means that he leaves us to our own devices. As soon as God removes his support we immediately turn to disobedience. The word…

Everlasting Righteousness, Innocence and Blessedness

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has a lot of memorable passages such as “What does this mean?” “We should fear and love God,” “This is most certainly true.” Young Lutherans as they go through their confirmation training have the privilege of memorizing portions of the Catechism. But the real power of Luther’s Small Catechism is that…

One Blind Man, Three Forms of Blindness

John 9 tells the story of the time when Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth. In this story we encounter three forms of blindness: physcial blindness, spiritual blindness and sacramental blindness. The physical blindness in this story is quite profound; the man had been blind from birth. To heal him, Jesus…

One Word, Two Meanings

The word temptation is used in two completely different ways in the Bible. The word is used to describe the times when the devil tempts us to abandon our faith. And the same word is used to describe the times when the Lord tests our faith to make it stronger. In Genesis 3 we read about…

On Holy Ground

At the burning bush Moses was asked to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. [1] Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. [2]…