The Letters

Epistles/Letters are didactic New Testament letters that work out a theological idea or application.

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Ephesians: A Circular Letter from Prison 

Ephesians is a wonderful letter of slight paradoxes. It is a letter, but it reads more like a sermon (such as: long sentences). Paul wrote it to a church—but not exclusively (see below). It is a unique letter—but it has a slight twin (Colossians). Paul... Read More »

The Christ-Connection in Ephesians

Warren Spahn was a Major League baseball pitcher known for his craftsmanship on the pitching mound. In a 21 year career that concluded in 1964, the left-hander won 363 games and won at least 20 games a season 13 times. His pitching coach in Milwaukee, Whitlow ... Read More »

Eureka: Mining Ephesians for Illustrations

My father-in-law loves to watch Gold Rush, the reality series that documents the gold mining efforts of various family-run mining companies. Although I am not a big fan, I have found myself perched on my in-laws’ couch watching people use modern equipment an... Read More »

Important Words in Ephesians

Addressing the topic of important words in Ephesians begs the prior question of what constitutes an important word. By what measure or standard does one decide that a word or phrase is significant and deserves further study? Theologically loaded words such as ... Read More »

Finding the Pericopes of Ephesians

Ephesians seems to be written as a “circular letter” to the churches in the city of Ephesus.[1]Clinton E. Arnold, Ephesians,  ZECNT (Zondervan, 2010), 25–28; Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians. PNTC (Eerdmans, 1999), 83. A... Read More »

Theology of Ephesians

The tallest mountain in the United States is Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), located in Alaska. When the most impressive peak is in plain sight, it may be easy to overlook the fact that the second through sixth tallest mountains in the country are in Alaska to... Read More »

The Themes of Ephesians

“Good homiletics is built on even better hermeneutics.” I do not know who first made this statement or where I first heard it, but I use this axiom as a rallying cry of sorts in my preaching classes. I genuinely believe you cannot rightly preach what you h... Read More »

Applying Ephesians

God will even the score. Stay awake and He will keep you safe. Every sermon listener ought to hear a short pithy statement throughout your sermon that contains two essential elements: what is true about a Bible text, and what God expects them to do. I have bee... Read More »

Preaching the Letter to the Ephesians

The letter that Paul wrote the church in Ephesus is a high-water mark of the New Testament. It’s been called both the “Grand Canyon” and “Crown Jewel” of the New Testament for its masterful presentation of “the mystery of th... Read More »

2 Timothy 4:9–22

There are six imperatives that mark this last section of 2 Timothy Paul begins and ends this last section of the book with the command for Timothy to (σπουδασον) Make Every Effort (vs. 9 and vs. 21) (hurry; zealous) Challenge: In Light of What’s Com... Read More »

2 Timothy 4:1–8

When you get to this point in the letter, you sense Paul’s urgency increasing as he begins his final thoughts ….  He begins this section with a charge.  He used this same word in 1 Tim. 5:21. Paul grounds this charge on 4 realities: God, Jesus, Jesus’ ... Read More »

2 Timothy 3:10–17

This passage begins w/ a word of contrast designed as a reminder you heard the truth from me and have followed it Here, Paul was contrasting the false prophets just addressed … they will be exposed, but you know me … The first thing he mentions was his mes... Read More »