READ: “I do not mean that we rule over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because by faith you stand firm” 2 Cor 1.24.
THINK: Christians are coworkers with God in the gospel, 1 Cor 3.9; 2 Cor 6.1, and with their brothers and sisters in order to save others and promote faith, Phil 1.5; 4.3; Col 1.7; 4.7, 11; 3 Jn 8. No one has “dictatorial power” (TLNT) over another; faith cannot depend on another, except God. In God’s kingdom only Christ is Leader. Continue reading
READ: “For I have given you an example—you should do just as I have done for you” Jn 13.15.
THINK: Jesus offers himself as an example of humility and service to be imitated by his disciples. In many aspects, he and the Father ought to be imitated, Ex 12.42; Mt 5.48; Mk 10.38-39; Col 3.13; Eph 5.1; Phil 2.5ff; 1 Pet 2.21-23. To do this, it is necessary to know the Bible, know how they acted, and conduct oneself according to their example. The one who imitates Jesus becomes an example to others, 1 Cor 11.1; 1 Thes 1.6-7, and puts himself forward as such, Phil 3.17; 1 Tim 4.12; 1 Pet 5.3. Continue reading
READ: “Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires” Rom 13.14.
THINK: We clothe the body to cover its nakedness, and we clothe ourselves, figuratively speaking, with Christ’s spirit. It is “to be characterized by the named quality or attribute” (S.K. Williams, Galatians, 105), a common figure in the OT, Psa 93.1; Prov 31.25; Isa 52.1. In the NT, the language belongs to Paul, Rom 13.12; Eph 4.24; Col 3.12, 14, similar to the expression of “wearing the shirt” of a sports team. We assume the attitudes of home to whom we have been united, Gal 3.27. Continue reading
READ: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” Col 3.12.
THINK: Compassion is a “feeling of distress” for the “ills of others” (Vine), which “results in action to remove [someone] from impending difficulty” (TWOT). Compassion was a mark of Jesus, Mt 9.36; Mk 1.41; Lk 7.13. His miracles were acts of compassion, Mt 15.32. Compassion also focuses on spiritual necessity, Jude 22-23. Continue reading
READ: “But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” Gal 6.14.
THINK: Boasting or glorying is to take pride in something or “to make a boast about” something (BGAD). In the sense above, it is to base one’s importance or value upon something. God’s people glory in God himself, Jer 9.23-24; 1 Cor 1.31; 2 Cor 10.17. The world of one’s own accomplishments is dead to them. “Everything has been given by God, so to God alone belong the praise and the glory” (TLNT). Continue reading
READ: “Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven” Lk 10.20.
THINK: The saint rejoices in eternal salvation and in his participation in the sufferings of Christ, Mt 5.10-12; Acts 5.41; Heb 10.34; 1 Pet 4.13. Joy overrides circumstances. Trials are reason for joy, Jas 1.2-4. It is contagious, Rom 12.15. With so many reminders in the Bible, it seems that we easily forget our joy. Heavenly joy over repentance ought to be our joy also, Lk 15. Continue reading
READ: “So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry” 1 Cor 10.14.
THINK: Paul uses the verb flee in the sense of “to keep from doing [something] by avoiding it because of its potential damage, flee from, avoid, shun” (BGAD). Besides idolatry, the saint flees from sexual immorality, 1 Cor 6.18 (because this “is never right” 1 Cor 6.13 NBV), “all these things” (love of money, etc.), 1 Tim 6.11, “youthful passions” 2 Tim 2.22. This flight permits the pursuit of the virtues of Christ, 1 Tim 6.11. It reminds one of Joseph, Gen 39.12. Sin must be dealt with in a serious way. Continue reading
READ: “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” Lk 13.24.
THINK: Behind the phrase exert every effort is a word that means to fight (for), combat, compete, run (BGAD). This intense term, whence comes our word agonize, indicates maximum effort, “expend all one’s energy to reach a significant goal” (EDBW). This fighting effort is needed in knowledge, Prov 2.1-5, in prayer, Col 4.18, in meeting with the church, Heb 10.24-25; 12.1, and in the gospel, Phil 1.30, among other areas. Continue reading
READ: “In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven” Mt 5.16.
THINK: Our light is the light of God in us. We don’t want to appear, Mt 6, but rather God’s presence in us. So we do not hide ourselves. We want others to see God’s power and love in us. In this way, they will glorify him instead of being impressed with our performance. Light represents the holiness, truth, and majesty of God, Isa 60.1; 1 Jn 1.5. Continue reading
READ: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” 2 Tim 2.15 ESV.
THINK: The right handling of the word spares the disciple from shame and allows him to be approved by God. It also helps him to avoid involvement in useless debates and profane chatter, vv. 14, 16. Right handling is more than reading: it means a careful study in order to arrive at a correct comprehension of the text, that leads to communicating “with precision” (ISV). Continue reading