Paul’s big concern for the Galatian church was that they risked being captured by a different Gospel. The other day, I wrote something about this and observed that if we are to avoid falling for different, false Gospels, then we need to know what the true Gospel is. Now, we might assume that the answer… Continue reading What is the Gospel?
A different Gospel
You get the impression that Paul is writing in a hurry when he sends his letter to the Galatians. Not for them, a lengthy introduction with prayers of praise and descriptions of what they are doing well. Paul gets straight down to business, identifying the problem in the church. 6 I am astonished that you are so… Continue reading A different Gospel
Our church are about to embark on a teaching series on Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Here are some introductory notes. When was the book written? Nowadays it is usually viewed as an early letter, if not the earliest of Paul’s letters. Some reformers including Luther considered it to have been written later though, seeing… Continue reading Introducing Galatians
How Reading Proverbs has helped my understanding of the rest of the Bible
I love the Proverbs but my appreciation of them has grown when I’ve spent time reading them as a book of the Bible, not just selecting memorable ones to quote. You see, whilst we tend to treat them as a source book for lots of anatomised wise advice, I believe that we are meant to… Continue reading How Reading Proverbs has helped my understanding of the rest of the Bible
What does 1 Corinthians 7 actually say about slavery?
In amongst what Paul has to say about singleness, celibacy, abstinence, non-Christian partners and divorce in 1 Corinthians 7, he talks about the situation that slaves find themselves in. Whilst our focus has been understanding the issue of sexual ethics, I want to pause on this particular example because the question of Paul’s attitude to… Continue reading What does 1 Corinthians 7 actually say about slavery?
What does 1 Corinthians 7 actually say about singleness?
Previously I wrote about what 1 Corinthians 7 has to say about marriage and sexual abstinence. The chapter is a key passage for our understanding of relational and sexual ethics in the light of the Gospel touching on marriage, sex, singleness and divorce. It’s often cited but I’m not sure that it is always fully… Continue reading What does 1 Corinthians 7 actually say about singleness?
What does 1 Corinthians 7 actually say about sex, marriage and abstinence?
My social media timeline has been dominated recently by controversies about what Christians believe and the Bible teaches about sex and relationships. In the context of those controversies, 1 Corinthians 7 crops up frequently. The three particular contexts in which it has come up have been: I think that in fact, all three debates are… Continue reading What does 1 Corinthians 7 actually say about sex, marriage and abstinence?
What does your pastor need to know?
Every so often I see comments about what pastors and church leaders need to have studied, to know and be reading now. At one end of the spectrum is the view that “all we need is the Bible” and we don’t need to make it complicated. At the other end of the spectrum is the… Continue reading What does your pastor need to know?
Are you ready to have the tough conversations?
If you are a pastor or elder in the church, then your responsibility is to provide and protect. We see this in Acts 20:28-31 28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood[h]—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.[i] 29 I know that false teachers, like… Continue reading Are you ready to have the tough conversations?
Did Paul disobey the Holy Spirit? (Lessons on guidance in Acts 21)
In Acts 21, we are told about Paul’s final journey to Jerusalem. It’s an illuminating case study on interacting with God’s guidance through the Holy Spirit. Paul travels from Miletus where he has met with the Ephesian elders and given them the commission to provide for and to protect the flock. He has spoken there… Continue reading Did Paul disobey the Holy Spirit? (Lessons on guidance in Acts 21)