While there are many books written about Christian discipleship, there are not nearly enough books on discipleship that primarily expound the Bible itself. The Apostle John wrote three letters, however, with the main purpose of helping disciples to grow.
That You May Know: A Primer on Christian Discipleship is an enriching study that will lead you through John’s teaching on following Jesus as a disciple.
This book is more than a commentary and more than a topical book on the subject of Christian discipleship. Instead, this is a primer on Christian discipleship written as a careful reading of God’s word in 1, 2 & 3 John. It’s ideal for your own individual devotional reading or as a helpful resource for your group Bible study.
Bible Studies: Paul's Letter to the Philippians
Studies from my forthcoming pastoral commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Have This Mind: A Primer on the Cruciform Life.
Access the complete set of Bible studies from Philippians here.
Being conformed to the cruciform mind of Christ requires not only our lives, but even our wealth. (Exposition of Philippians 4:10–23)
As those who have received peace with God through Christ, we should seek peace with others and with the world through prayer. (Exposition of Philippians 4:2–9)
Christians have every reason to stand firm in perseverance in the midst of cruciform suffering: we have the hope of glory in Christ. (Exposition of Philippians 3:12–4:1)
Sinful human beings cannot become righteous through keeping the law. We need the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to us by grace, through faith. (Exposition of Philippians 3:1–11)
The soaring theology of the Christ hymn inspires more than our worship—it inspires our tedious, unnoticed, selfless servanthood. (Exposition of Philippians 2:19–30)
God calls us to struggle and strive toward our sanctification, but he promises that he will be the One to accomplish the work. (Exposition of Philippians 2:12–18)
In John 21:1–25, John closes his Gospel with a humbling reality: Jesus entrusts his flock to faltering shepherds. (Exposition of John 21:1–25)
Jesus is risen from the dead, but he will soon ascend to the Father. How, then, will the world come to believe in him? (Exposition of John 20:19–31)
After dying on the cross to finish his estate of humiliation, Jesus rises from the dead to begin his estate of exaltation. (Exposition of John 20:1–18)
At his death, Jesus finishes his work in order to become the firstfruits of a new creation—he ends his estate of humiliation in order to begin his estate of exaltation. (Exposition of John 19:28–42)
To gain his heavenly kingdom, Jesus must give up every worldly good: worldly purity, worldly possessions, and worldly parent. (Exposition of John 19:16b–27)
Jesus’ royal power is not of this world. The kingdoms of this world rage against Jesus, but they cannot harm his kingship. (Exposition of John 19:1–16a)
The final chapter of Genesis gives a fitting conclusion to the whole book, and looks forward to the rest of the Bible’s story. God is working all things together for our good. (Exposition of Genesis 50:1–26)
As Jacob comes to the end of his life, he bless all his children—especially to establish the promise of a king. God blesses the world through the King of Israel. (Exposition of Genesis 49:1–33)
Jacob reflects back on the gracious favor God has shown him through his lifetime, and Jacob passes on God’s grace through blessing Joseph’s children. God extends unmerited favor to his people. (Exposition of Genesis 48:1-22)
Joseph wisely administers food to save the Egyptians, and Jacob insists that Joseph should bury him back in Canaan. God preserves the living and raises the dead. (Exposition of Genesis 47:13–31)
Even though the Israelites are an abomination in Egypt, they possess something greater: God’s own promises. God makes sojourners into superiors. (Exposition of Genesis 46:28–47:12)
After Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, the Joseph narratives through the end of Genesis shift to a new focus: God is creating a new humanity. (Exposition of Genesis 45:16–46:27)
In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul writes about what seems like ministry management issues; however, at heart, Paul is addressing the chief priorities of ongoing life in the church: mercy ministry, the word, and our common hope in Christ’s return. (Exposition of 1 Corinthians 16)
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul teaches that Christ is the firstfruits of God’s resurrection harvest. The gospel declares that because Christ was resurrected from the dead, so will we also. In this stunning chapter, Paul traces the whole redemptive plan of God, from first creation to the final consummation when Christ returns.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul teaches that God’s word must have center stage in worship. The reason is simple: worship is a dialogue between God and his people. (Exposition of 1 Corinthians 14:1–40)
In one of the most famous passages in all the Bible, Paul critiques the Corinthians’ lack of love. Everything is nothing without love. (Exposition of 1 Corinthians 13:1–13)
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul speaks about the diversity and the unity of the body of Christ, teaching that God has arranged and honored every member in the body of Christ. (Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12:1–31)
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul deals with two major issues concerning public worship. First, it is glory for men to rule, and it is glory for women to reveal. Second, Christ delivers himself to us in the Lord’s Supper. (Exposition of 1 Corinthians 11:2–34)
Over the course of John’s Letters, he has worked through three primary themes: (1) Know God, (2) Believe the Gospel, and (3) Love one another. (Summary of 1, 2 and 3 John)
In 3 John, the Apostle John contrasts living for Christ versus living for self. Everyone is someone’s disciple; what kind of master do you serve? (Exposition of 3 John)
In 2 John, the apostle John gives us a case study of the themes of 1 John. Specifically, John shows how love and truth fit together in the Christian life. (Exposition of 2 John)
In the closing section of his First Letter, the Apostle John insists that Jesus Christ is God and eternal life—and that we should therefore keep ourselves from idols. (Exposition of 1 John 5:18–21)
Building on what he wrote about faith in the previous passage, the Apostle John now shifts his attention to prayer—especially prayer for the prodigal brother. (Exposition of 1 John 5:13–17)
What is faith? Where does faith come from? How do we get faith? What does faith do? Toward the end of his First Letter, the Apostle John answers these questions. (Exposition of 1 John 5:1–12)
Bible Studies: The Gospel of Luke
Access a handful of Bible studies from the Gospel of Luke here. These were studies written during the Advent season of 2018. At the moment, I do not have plans to continue working through the Gospel of Luke; however, I wanted to make these few studies available online for whomever may benefit from them.
Jesus is glorious, but his glory is veiled. The gospel announces that Jesus reveals ever-increasingly more of his veiled glory by his word and through faith. (Exposition of Luke 2:8–20)
The Advent of Jesus is more than a child for Mary, but the beginning of a new kingdom that will reverse human power entirely. God sent Jesus into this world to overturn the kingdoms of this world. (Exposition of Luke 1:39–56)
While the glory of the old covenant was external and visible, the glory of the new covenant is spiritual and invisible. God reveals his glory in the humiliation of his Son and in the faith of the humble. (Exposition of Luke 1:26–38)
The Preacher concludes his book with an exhortation to the young and to the old, to live all of life in the light of eternity. Fear God and keep his commandments. (Exposition of Ecclesiastes 11:7–12:14)
Although everything is vanity under the sun, the Preacher does not want us to use this world’s vanity as a justification for passivity or inaction. In unsettling uncertainty, take appropriate action. (Exposition of Ecclesiastes 11:1–6)
After spending three chapters talking about the importance of wisdom, the Preacher approaches the issue from another angle: the destructiveness of folly. Leaky wisdom sinks a kingdom (Exposition of Ecclesiastes 10:1–20)
We are absolutely not in control of our own lives, but everything is in the hand of God. So, wisdom relinquishes control and readies for eternity. (Exposition of Ecclesiastes 9:1–18)
God’s wisdom trains our eyes to see—not only to avoid the dangers in this life and the next, but to discover God’s good gifts to those who fear him. God’s wisdom enlightens the eyes. (Exposition of Ecclesiastes 8:1–17)
Wisdom is far off and very deep. Thus, wisdom cannot be found in pretense, nor in pragmatics, nor in people. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Exposition of Ecclesiastes 7:15–29)
Jesus insists that the new covenant will be more inclusive of children than under the old covenant. Therefore, bring the little children to Jesus. (Exposition of Matthew 19:13–15)
While hard-hearted people have always looked for loopholes to escape the obligations of marriage, Jesus sanctifies us through faithfulness in marriage. (Exposition of Matthew 19:1–12)
Jesus reminds us of God’s lavish forgiveness for us and then issues a pointed command: forgive your brother from your heart. (Exposition of Matthew 18:21–35)
In Matthew 18, Jesus teaches us how to love back our brothers, since Jesus administers his kingdom through the ministry of the church. (Exposition of Matthew 18:15–20)
Jesus explains the very reason why he himself came from the Father into the world: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. (Exposition of Matthew 18:10–14)
Jesus redefines greatness in the kingdom of heaven as humility, for our great King humbled himself even by death on a cross. (Exposition of Matthew 18:1–9)