Claiming the Hope of the Psalmists for the Church. The Church has claimed Israel’s Scriptures, Israel’s story, and Israel’s God as its own. If, as we contended in the previous post in this series, the Church is to read Israel as our own “origin story,” then we would do best to also appropriate the hope […]Read More When Brothers Dwell in Unity
Overview of Verses 9-14 In this passage, Paul shares a prayer that he and his companions have been regularly praying for the Colossians. The apostle prays that the believers would increase in knowledge, fruitfulness, and strength and that they would give thanks to their Father (1:9-12). The prayer ends with a celebratory announcement that in […]Read More A Prayer for Power: Colossians 1:9-14
The Vision of Church in Colossians If you were to take a survey of people living in the twenty-first century western world and ask them what they think church is, a lot of the responses would probably mention something about a building. However, the word church is never used in the Bible to refer to […]Read More What Is the Church?
We are going to look at the opening movement of this letter in two sections: 1. Formal introduction; Paul thanks God for the Colossians (1:1-8) 2. Paul’s prayer for the Colossian church (1:9-14) Overview of Verses 1-8 The letter to the Colossians opens with a warm, affectionate tone. After his formal introduction (1:1-2), Paul informs […]Read More We Always Thank God: Colossians 1:1-8
Exploring Biblical Divisions as Familial Conflicts in the Old Testament The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) often refers to God’s people, Israel, using communal, group language. They are depicted as speaking with one voice, moving as one body and possessing a unified will. Paradoxically, this unity among God’s people is often shown simultaneously alongside a portrayal […]Read More No King in Israel
The Power of Humble Sacrificial Love Setting the Scene The first twelve chapters of John’s Gospel record multiple years of Jesus’ life and ministry. But starting in chapter 13, the story slows down and chapters 13-17 record the night before Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus and his disciples are celebrating the Passover, a dinner […]Read More The Secret to Happiness: John 13:12-17
A Look at Hebrews What is the Book of Hebrews? Hebrews is a letter written to a group of second-generation followers of Jesus (2:3); this letter is specifically addressed to a congregation of Jewish Christians (1:1-2), which is why it was given the name it now has in early Christian tradition. Canonically (meaning, in the […]Read More Follow Jesus Through the Wilderness