Slavery in the New Testament

roman-slave-masterDear Zion,
In our sermon series looking at God’s transforming grace in the book of Colossians, we note in chapter three, verse twenty-two: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything… Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly…” (Colossians 3:22; 4:1). Slaves?! Reading along about how the Lord wants us to live in the power of Christ’s resurrection (Col. 3:1-4), and how that power should transform our families (Col. 3:18-21), it can be jarring to come to these verses and hear the Apostle Paul talk about slavery. Why doesn’t Paul scream out against slavery? Is he condoning it? Why does Scripture speak this way? Continue reading

Ridderbos Uses Circumcision to Understand the Law for Christians

Ridderbos_PaulOutlineTheologyRidderbos reflects on “how much Christ, the law, the Spirit, and love constitute a unity may appear from a comparison of the following parallel pronouncements.” I found his insights illuminating, and tried to reconstruct some of what he shows below.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Galatians 6:15-16 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision but a new creation.  And as for all who walk by this rule [= canon], peace and mercy be upon them,
1 Corinthians 7:19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

 

Philippians 3:3 For we are the real circumcision Who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh

The true “[S]pirituality” that the New Covenant in Christ produces is the work of love as it keeps the commandments of God born out of regeneration in the Spirit.

Paul: An Outline of His Theology p. 285ff.