Friday, December 26, 2014


I hope no one ever describes me a someone who “really loves the Lord.”
I hope instead I am described as someone Jesus loves dearly.
John the apostle understood this.

The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth he was talking about. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder. 
John 13:23

“Peter boasted of His love for Jesus and ended up denying Him three times.
John boasted of Jesus’ love for Him and ended up reclining with Him at the table. ” - Chris Katzer

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  
1 John 4:10

Friday, December 12, 2014

Law and Gospel

Law (what God requires):

Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.  Lev 19:27
(One of 613 commandments in the Bible)

For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws.  James 2:10

Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. Galatians 3:19
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. Romans 3:20

But the fact of the matter is this: when we try to gain God’s blessing and salvation by keeping his laws we always end up under his anger, for we always fail to keep them. The only way we can keep from breaking laws is not to have any to break!  Romans 4:15

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Galatians 3:10

Gospel (what God provides):

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13

So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. Galatians 3:24-25

For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.  Romans 10:4

"Law is to be called, and to be, anything that refers to what we are to do. On the other hand, the Gospel, or the Creed, is any doctrine or word of God which does not require works from us and does not command us to do something, but bids us simply accept as a gift the gracious forgiveness of our sins and everlasting bliss offered us." 
"Gospel is a word that promises blessing to those who are cursed, righteousness to the unrighteous, and life to the dead.
The Gospel does not require anything good that man must furnish: not a good heart, not a good disposition, no improvement of his condition, no godliness, no love either of God or men. It issues no orders, but changes a man. It plants love into his heart and makes him capable of all good works. It demands nothing, but it gives all."
-Walther, Law & Gospel: How To Read and Apply the Bible

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Difficult Verses Explained

When we read the Bible through legalistic lenses we find verses that seem to contradict other verses.
For example, John 3:16 says that we have eternal life by believing in Jesus;
 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Yet Luke 16:19-25 seems to say that the rich who have had an easy life will be tormented in the afterlife;
 There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.'

 When we find these seeming contradictions we can be sure that our understanding and interpretation of one of the verses is incorrect.
The Bible is all about Jesus, and there are multiple verses explaining that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone, such as Romans 10:9;
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
So we can know that our interpretation of any verses that contradict this are flawed.
Once we begin reading the Bible through the lens and light of Jesus' completed work, we find that previously misunderstood verses take on a whole new meaning.  

The links to blog posts below give a Gospel-centric explanation to some commonly misunderstood verses. You will find much freedom and Good News in them.
New entries are continually added, so check back.


Friday, April 25, 2014


Law and Gospel


Confession of sin


Confession of righteousness


In Christ
            In the Vine


Monday, April 14, 2014

Religious tradition vs. Bible
- John 14:26

But the Helper, the Pastor, Priest, or church staff, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things.
- Religious American Standard

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
John 14:26
- New American Standard