James: Chapter 5, Love Letters, 31. Oct 2017
In the last chapter of his letter James writes about the futility of accumulating riches and encourages his readers to be patient in suffering and fervent in prayer.
James: Chapter 4, Love Letters, 24. Oct 2017
In this chapter James concentrates on further aspects of Christian life. We fail in many ways to follow God’s commandments and are unfaithful to Him. But God calls us to repentance, to humble ourselves and to turn to Jesus in whom there is forgiveness of sins.
James: Chapter 3, Love Letters, 17. Oct 2017
Here James outlines how the Christian faith manifests itself in practice and teaches us how to make best use of the gifts God grants us.
James: Chapter 2, Love Letters, 10. Oct 2017
James dealt with themes related to daily life and wrote that Christian faith becomes visible in the way believers live.
James: Introduction and Chapter 1, Love Letters, 03. Oct 2017
The theme of James provides helpful instruction on how to endure trials in our lives. From the Christian perspective we may rejoice in such trials as a period of testing, to the effect of building more steadfast faith. James urges us to ask for the wisdom of God with confidence, being assured of His relief. Also in this respect, we are to enact our faith life by extending such compassion in practice to others.
Jude, Love Letters, 26. Sep 2017
The message of the lesser known letter of Jude is just as relevant to our society today: while it warns of the false teachers who pervert our understanding of the Grace of God (similar to Luther’s admonition). We must be alert to such blasphemy and distorted thought which are causes for division, also leading ultimately to destruction for those who deny the authority of God. Yet as believers we are preserved by faith in Christ, and also called to extend His mercy and message to those most needing to learn it.
3 John, Love Letters, 19. Sep 2017
In his third letter the Apostle John reproves the lack of hospitality shown by members of the church to faithful ministers of the Gospel. The only exception was Gaius, who extended the correct standard of Christian hospitality to itinerant messengers of the Gospel.
2 John, Love Letters, 12. Sep 2017
John wrote his Second Letter to help Christians distinguish teachers of the true Gospel from false teachers and to advise them that such teachers should not be supported because this would contribute to the propagation of heresy rather than truth.
1 John 5, Love Letters, 05. Sep 2017
Saving faith, love and obedience to God are characteristics of a Christian’s life style. Their source is in Jesus who overcame sin, death and the devil.
1 John 4, Love Letters, 29. Aug 2017
The Christian Church has always faced adversities originated in her midst or from outside. Heresies are among the most dangerous adversities that the Church can face. They undermine its foundation and can lead believers away from Christ.
1 John 2:28—3:24, Love Letters, 22. Aug 2017
As a father speaks dearly to his children, so John speaks to the believers encouraging them to abide in Jesus Christ. It is essential and necessary to remain in Jesus through faith, making use of His Word and Sacrament. According to Jesus, the one who endures to the end will be saved (Mat 24:13).
1 John: 2:7-27, Love Letters, 15. Aug 2017
John speaks about a new commandment of love. Not new in the sense of time but in quality that replaces what has eroded. The Biblical commandment to love is old. But its newness is seen in Christ’s true exposition of the Old Testament law and then in the dramatic display of divine love on Jesus’ cross.
1 John: Introduction and 1:1—2:6, Love Letters, 08. Aug 2017
First John is known as general epistle. It is a message to congregations across Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. The readers were Christians and very well known by the author who addresses them repeatedly as “little children”, “beloved” or “dear friends”.
2 Peter 3, Love Letters, 01. Aug 2017
In chapter 3 of his Second Letter Peter concentrates on Christ’s coming on the Last Day and reminds his readers that scoffers will rise with with corrupted teachings and follow their own sinful desires.
2 Peter 2, Love Letters, 25. Jul 2017
In this chapter Peter describes false teachers in detail so that Christians may always recognise their characteristics and methods. False teachers are those who take the inspired Scriptures and twist or isolate selected passages out of the context of salvation by grace alone through faith in Christ, purely for their own personal gain and glory.
2 Peter: Introduction and Chapter 1, Love Letters, 18. Jul 2017
In his Second Letter the apostle Peter teaches his addressees how to deal with false teachers and evildoers who have come into the church. He warns his readers against false teachers who promote sinful lifestyles and question whether Jesus would return in judgement.
1 Peter 5, Love Letters, 11. Jul 2017
Peter’s letter was addressed to Christians spread throughout Asia Minor. Some of the congregations were under the leadership of ministers whose responsibility it was to preach the gospel, administer the sacraments and give pastoral care. The work of these men was challenging because the churches they served were scattered and facing persecution.
1 Peter 4, Love Letters, 04. Jul 2017
Peter picks up again the subject of Christ’s suffering and the suffering of His followers. The apostle displays the suffering Servant Jesus Christ as an example to be followed. Believers must be prepared to also suffer unjustly and to face abuse but with Christ’s attitude and His willingness to suffer for doing good.
1 Peter 3, Love Letters, 27. Jun 2017
Just like citizens are to submit to authorities and servants to their masters, so also wives are instructed to submit to their husbands. This is part of God’s order of creation and it does not mean that men are more important than women but that God established different callings for them.
1 Peter 2, Love Letters, 20. Jun 2017
The Word of God found in Holy Scriptures is spiritual nourishment that makes us grow in faith, love, and hope. In the same way a person needs to take in a daily amount of food, so also Christians need to take in daily the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In doing so, we will taste that the Lord is good.
1 Peter 1, Love Letters, 13. Jun 2017
At some point before 67 AD, while Peter was in Babylon, he wrote his First Letter addressed to Christians from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds scattered throughout Asia Minor. Peter’s goal was to instruct and encourage God’s people while they endured suffering for the sake of righteousness. God’s grace shines bright in the apostle’s letter as we will note in this and the coming studies.
Philemon, Love Letters, 06. Jun 2017
This letter is about a slave called Onesimus who had run away from his master Philemon. Onesimus reached Rome and was converted to the Christian faith by Paul. Paul grew fond of the young man and would have kept him. However, Philemon also became a Christian through the preaching of Paul and both became close friends. So, Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon and wrote a letter to Philemon asking him to give his slave a forgiving reception.
Titus 3, Love Letters, 30. May 2017
In this study Pastor Arno considers Paul's list of opportunities for Christians to respond to Christ’s love in their daily living.
Titus 2, Love Letters, 23. May 2017
Paul charges Titus to carry out his ministry focusing on teaching sound doctrine. There is a prevailing notion that the church needs to adapt her teachings and practices to what is commonly held as acceptable. Teaching what accords with sound doctrine is as big a task today as it was in Paul's time.
Titus – Introduction and 1:1-16, Love Letters, 16. May 2017
Martin Luther: wrote [Titus] is a short epistle, but a model of Christian doctrine, in which is comprehended in a masterful way all that is necessary for a Christian to know and to live. [Paul] teaches what kind of man a bishop, or pastor, ought to be, namely, one who is pious and learned in preaching the gospel and in refuting the false teachers of works and of man-made laws.
2 Timothy 4, Love Letters, 09. May 2017
What was Timothy expected to do as a minister of Christ? What are pastors expected to do today? The apostle Paul answers: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
2 Timothy 3, Love Letters, 02. May 2017
Paul speaks about the last days between Christ’s ascension into heaven and His second coming. They are described by the apostle as times of difficulties and characterised by people who are lovers of self.
2 Timothy 2, Love Letters, 25. Apr 2017
Like a father speaks tenderly to his son, so Paul speaks tenderly to Timothy guiding and encouraging him in the pastoral ministry. Paul wishes that Timothy be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Introduction and 2 Timothy 1, Love Letters, 18. Apr 2017
Second Timothy can be considered Paul’s farewell letter. He exhorts Timothy to go on propagating the gospel for there were many who fell away and teachers of false doctrines appeared all around.
1 Timothy 6, Love Letters, 11. Apr 2017
This study concentrates on the last words of the Apostle Paul’s first letter to young pastor Timothy who was serving the church in Ephesus.
1 Timothy 5, Love Letters, 04. Apr 2017
Paul encourages Timothy to strengthen and help all members of his congregation regardless of their age and, as per Jesus’ example, to regard believers as if they were members of his own family.
1 Timothy 4, Love Letters, 28. Mar 2017
In this study Pr. Arno considers the words with which the apostle Paul addresses young pastor Timothy concerning false teachings. The apostle encourages him to be a good servant of Christ Jesus, holding fast to the sound doctrine, leading a godly life and teaching Scripture accordingly.
1 Timothy 3, Love Letters, 21. Mar 2017
The offices of the church, the office holders, their qualifications and their household are themes of this study.
1 Timothy 2, Love Letters, 14. Mar 2017
Prayer, focus on Jesus Christ, respect, humility, good works and the role of women in the church are topics of this episode.
1 Timothy: Introduction and 1:1-20, Love Letters, 07. Mar 2017
Martin Luther commented that Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy “in order to provide a model to all bishops of what they are to teach and how they are to rule Christendom in the various stations of life, so that it may not be necessary for them to rule Christians according to their own human opinions”.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-18, Love Letters, 28. Feb 2017
Paul repeatedly encouraged believers to pray for him and for the advance of the gospel. Now he asks the Thessalonians that they should pray that the Word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17, Love Letters, 21. Feb 2017
Let no one deceive you in any way. The day of the Lord has not yet come! “That day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”. Learn more about the day of the Lord in this study.
2 Thessalonians: Introduction and 1:1-12, Love Letters, 14. Feb 2017
Paul’s purpose in writing his second letter to the Thessalonians was to encourage persecuted believers to remain faithful; to exhort them to be steadfastly at work and to correct some misunderstandings concerning the Lord’s return.
1 Thessalonians 4:13—5:28, Love Letters, 07. Feb 2017
Death is not the end. Paul didn’t want the Thessalonians and us to be uninformed about what will happen to the dead. In the same way that sleep lasts for a time and is followed by being awake, death will last some time before we are awakened by the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 3:6—4:12, Love Letters, 31. Jan 2017
Good news cheer us up. The good news that the Thessalonians were standing fast in the Lord meant so much to Paul that he said “For now we live”. The Good News of Christ gives us plenty of reasons to thank God and to pray.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-3:5, Love Letters, 24. Jan 2017
Not all that is proclaimed in the name of Christianity is in accordance with the Scriptures. Not all who claim to be messengers of Christ can be believed. Learn more about this matter in this study.
Thessalonians: Introduction and Chapter 1, Love Letters, 17. Jan 2017
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in order to give them support in the midst of persecution, to encourage the new converts to remain firm in the faith amidst their trials, to provide instruction concerning Christian life, to urge some not to neglect daily work and to give assurance concerning the future of believers who die before Christ returns.
Colossians 3:18—4:18, Love Letters, 10. Jan 2017
In our last study we considered relevant aspects of Christian living that flows from the fellowship of the believer with Christ. The apostle Paul continues to explore this theme in his letter to the Colossians.
Colossians 3:1-17, Love Letters, 03. Jan 2017
The life we have received from Jesus is rich in gifts that we cannot make or purchase, namely, forgiveness, love, peace, and thankfulness. The life we received from Jesus fills us with virtues and enables us to be a blessing to our neighbour.
Colossians 2:6-23, Love Letters, 27. Dec 2016
The apostle Paul encourages the Colossians and us to continue in Christ and to remain steady. Christians can only resist deceptive philosophies and false teachings if they are rooted and built up in Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:15—2:5, Love Letters, 20. Dec 2016
Writing to the Christians in Colossae, the apostle Paul pictures the identity of Christ with powerful statements. Jesus Christ is the Messiah promised since the beginning of the world. He became Man and, at the same time, always was and is the Son of the living God.
Colossians 1:1-14, Love Letters, 13. Dec 2016
This letter is especially rich with descriptions of Christ, His work, and the blessings He extends to us through Holy Baptism. Paul’s main purpose with it was to refute false teachings, guiding the Colossian congregation away from heresy and into the truth about Jesus and His saving work.
Philippians 4:2-23, Love Letters, 06. Dec 2016
In this study of Paul’s letter Pastor Arno talks about rejoicing in the Lord. He tells us what to do when we are anxious, how to be content in any situation and that we can do everything through Him who strengthens us.
Philippians 3:1—4:1, Love Letters, 29. Nov 2016
Christians are aliens in this world, fully involved in it, yet not of it. We have been born from above by God’s Word and Spirit. Our true citizenship is in heaven where Christ is.
Philippians 2:1-30, Love Letters, 22. Nov 2016
A Christian is someone who has been united with Christ. This union is the basis of salvation. The Holy Spirit grants us faith, keeps us in the faith and makes our faith productive. From this union with Christ and the communion of the Holy Spirit flow the fruits of salvation.
Philippians 1:3-30, Love Letters, 15. Nov 2016
The apostle Paul advises the Philippians to live lives consistent with what the gospel teaches. He encourages them to stand firm in one Spirit, to be united and work together, particularly when the gospel is under attack.
Philippians: Introduction and 1:1-2, Love Letters, 08. Nov 2016
Paul greets the believers in Philippi saying "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". Grace is God’s favour towards sinners who desperately need it. Peace expresses God’s way of relating to sinners, forgiving their trespasses and removing any reason for conflict or enmity.
Romans: righteousness, unrighteousness, wrath and judgement, Love Letters, 09. May 2012