Posts from May 2019

Posts from May 2019

1 Corinthians 5 | Blind to Blindspots

“Many people don’t know that the human eye has a blind spot in its field of vision. There’s a part of the world that we are literally blind to. The problem is that sometimes, our blind spots shield us from things that really shouldn’t be ignored. Sometimes, our blind spots keep our lives bright and shiny. When it comes to our blind spots, maybe our brains aren’t compensating. Maybe they’re protecting us” (Grey’s Anatomy). The intensity of Paul’s relationship with…

1 Corinthians 4 | All that and a Bag of Chips!

  “Already you have all you want!  Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign – and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!” 1 Cor 4:8 When I was a freshman at college (a long time ago), I remember distinctly learning about a phenomena that was frequently discussed, especially at the beginning of the school year.  This phenomena was called ‘being Sophomoric’. It basically…

1 Corinthians 3 | To God Be The Glory As We Are Changed

Thank you for joining me as we look at chapter 3 in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Corinth was at the heart of an important trade route of the day and like many cities then had its fair share of sexual immorality corruption and diverse religious beliefs. The church Paul had planted was floundering and needed a good dose of his loving yet firm hand. Perhaps, I should say pen? Paul sets the tone immediately with the first three verses. “But…

1 Corinthians 2 | Don’t Reason, Know!

How do we know what we know? How can human beings know genuine truth? That seems to be a challenge today. Everything that humans touch seems to get polluted. News may be phony. Scientific fact may be politically manipulated falsehoods or just plain wrong conclusions from incomplete data. So, how can we ever come to any real understanding of truth? As much as finding truth may appear to be a 21st-century problem, it isn’t. Paul discusses an aspect of this…

1 Corinthians 1 | Saints Or Aints?

“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2). If I were searching for a word to characterize the church at Corinth it would not be the word ‘saint’. Remember, this is the church where an incestuous relationship was occurring without being challenged (see 1 Corinthians 5:1). Not to mention some believers at Corinth were involved in lawsuits against other church members (6:1). And if that wasn’t…

Romans 16 | It’s About People

In some ways, Romans 16 is anti-climatic. Apart from some theological meaty exhortations, there is just a list of people to whom Paul sends his greetings. These are all names of people we know very little about. After fifteen chapters of theological dynamite, this almost seems like a let down. We would expect this glorious book to end in a more dynamic way. Yet, this is perhaps a most fitting conclusion to Romans. Look at how many people Paul knew…

Romans 15 | Playing Second Fiddle

An admirer once asked Leonard Bernstein, the world-famous orchestra conductor, what was the hardest instrument to play. He replied without hesitation. “Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm, or second French horn or second flute, now that’s a problem. And yet, if no one plays second, we have no harmony.” If no one plays second, we have no harmony. No beauty. No symphonies. No glory. One of…

Romans 14 | Who Is Your Grand Poobah?

 “For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end, Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” Romans 14:8-9   For those of us old enough to remember the Flintstones cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera, you may recall that Fred was a member of the Loyal…

Romans 13 | God and Government, Laws and Love

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” Romans 13:1 Wait. Our political leaders are ordained by God? Seriously? I know that is what Paul says, but it can’t be what he means, surely. Especially in this election year where all the bets are off and conventional wisdom is out the window – and most available candidates do not think like we…

Romans 12 | For The Love of God

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God,” (Romans 12:1 ESV). In The Christian Leader, Don Ratzlaff recounts a story from Ernest Gordon’s book, Miracle on the River Kwai.  Set in some of the most difficult days of World War II,  Ratlzlaff tells of Scottish soldiers who were forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad under cruel and barbaric conditions. In spite of their adversity, one afternoon something happened that would change the…