Of course, Paul is not instructing his readers to use profanity, as might be interpreted in today's society. He is encouraging them and us to live and speak in such a way that every opportunity with outsiders would be used to the very best end....Keep Reading
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Everyone wants to be blessed. The problem is that we often view blessings as our gain at other’s loss. We are blessed if we win the lottery. Of course, that means that everyone else did not, and we got their money. We even tend to think that for God to bless us, others must not be blessed. And even further, we begin to feel that we are only blessed when we have more good things happening to us than are happening to others....
In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures....
Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?...
Since God has restored us to the original status of being his partners on earth, we get to participate in the greatest adventure ever known. Even when we aren't the ones declaring the great revelation, we can participate. Remember! It was the word of God that created everything. It is the word of God that restores everything. When the gospel is preached, order begins to re...Keep Reading
It is interesting how often Paul exhorts his readers to continually pray or pray without ceasing. He obviously didn't view prayer primarily as a scheduled religious activity. It seems to be something he expected believers to do as a continual practice. Why would he think otherwise?...Keep Reading
The partnership has been restored! God created mankind to be his partner in developing what he had made. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve did life together with God as they loved him, each other, and the work they were given to do. But, as a result of their sin, work took on the burden of toil as they fought the hostility of sin and its curse. But, that is not the end o...Keep Reading
When the "word of Christ dwells in us richly" (v. 16), we can have relationships beyond what could be expected in the natural. Since we have the very life of God as our source, we can enjoy and employ the same kind of submission found in the eternal triune Godhead. There, no rivalry exits between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. All find both honor and joy in exalting ...Keep Reading
The new perspective on life affects how we approach every detail. We are hidden with Christ in God and we simply live from that perspective. There is no separation between the secular part of life, like work and play, and the spiritual part, like prayer and fasting. We do everything in his name---as him, representing him---and for his honor....Keep Reading
This text seems to be a parallel admonition given by Paul to the Ephesian church. "Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs..." (Ephesians 5:18-19). We notice that being filled with the Spirit and being indwelt by the word of Christ produces the same kind of fruit. This is no surprise to those who remember that Jesus promise...Keep Reading
Just like we can wear appropriate clothes, we can put on the attitude and behavior that is consistent with our new identity in Christ. When we were alienated from God, outside his favor and unaware of his love, we behaved as such. It was common for us to fight and claw for our portion, while we strutted to prevent others from seeing how insecure we were. Holding a grudge w...Keep Reading
There are not many legitimate short cuts in life, but maybe the closest thing to one is thankfulness. There is never a time when it is inappropriate. It always causes the focus to readjust. It is the heart of true worship. It is not a discipline or a habit, but it can become a regular response to any and every situation....Keep Reading
Since being expelled from the Garden of Eden, mankind has been desperately trying to find something that would provide an edge in returning to fellowship with God. The dignity that was given to God's highest form of creation suffered a fatal blow. Adam and Eve were partners with God! They enjoyed a relationship that nothing else had ever had. They were created in his image...Keep Reading