Acts 17:16-33 (AD 49) This is the sermon and the place (Mars Hill) that has spawned church names, evangelistic strategies and fierce debate. How much was Paul ‘contextualising’ his mission? To what extent did he immerse himself in the culture he tried to reach? We won’t go a long way into that, except to note … More Day 200: Worshipping the Unknown God, Part 1
Acts 17:1-15 (AD 49) Few three-week trips have been as impactful as Paul’s to Thessalonica. Then again, most trips don’t end in a riot. Think what sin was doing in the minds of the Jesus-hating people in the city. Paul spoke to Jews, gave them the news that the Jewish Messiah had come in response … More Day 199: No reasoning with the unreasonable
Acts 16:25-40 (AD 48-49) The Romans were firm believers in…extreme motivation. For those in the prison service, this meant if prisoners escaped, it was the jailer got executed. It’s why, in verse 27, the jailer was about to kill himself rather than face the wrath of his employers. It never surprised me, then, that Paul … More Day 198: The Philippian jailer and his family
Acts 16:16-24 (AD 48-49) This passage has always confused me, for several reasons. If it doesn’t confuse you yet, read it again and it probably will. In any case, I’d like to offer a little help to those of us scratching our heads… Why does the Bible say that the slave girl’s spirit enabled her … More Day 197: Run that one by me again?
Acts 16:1-15 (AD 48-49) In chapter 15 Paul and Barnabas vigorously fought the idea that Gentiles needed to be circumcised to be Christians (15:1-2). The letter to Galatians accused those who pushed that idea of being heretics, and their doctrine of being anti-gospel, Satanic (e.g. 1:6-7; 3:1-6, 10-11 and especially 5:2-6). But here we read … More Day 196: Painful Faithfulness
Galatians 6 (AD 48) When a family member gets sick, it’s understood that you need to look after them, comfort them and give them the medication they need. Depending on the nature of the sickness, you might have to put yourself into danger of infection to fulfil your obligations to the sick person. Or maybe … More Day 195: Icky Family Stuff
Galatians 5:13-26 (AD 48) Religious people don’t merely disagree with the Biblical doctrine of salvation through grace, by faith alone. They’re horrified by it. I’ve had conversations when, after I explain grace, they looked at me like I’d just said my wife told me I could sleep with other women. The idea of grace, one … More Day 194: Grace or License?
Galatians 4:21-5:12 (AD 48) The two parts of this passage are where Paul continued the theme of grace versus the law that was his focus since chapter two. You – he told the Christians – have a gift in the same divine way that Abraham and Sarah had a gift. Not by trying to force … More Day 193: Don’t Sleep With Your Wife’s Maidservant
Galatians 4:1-20 (AD 48) Before Jesus came to earth, God made hundreds of promises over hundreds of years, about the Messiah who would come to save his people. The people’s trust and love, evidenced by obedience, brought prosperity to the Jewish people in the Promised Land. However, it all rested on a promise. Countless people … More Day 192: The Damnable Magnet of False Religion
Galatians 3:23-28 (AD 48) “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (v.28). In the early church, many people suffered grievous discrimination and persecution … More Day 191: All One in Christ Jesus