1. John’s excitement invites his readers to lay hold of this above all else: The lavish love of God.
  2. For Christians, Advent is the time when the Church patiently prepares for the coming of the Great King, Jesus the Christ.
  3. Whatever else may be said about the Last Day it consists of these two inseparable things: Christ’s coming and His kingdom people being gathered to Him.
  4. The phrase “works of the law” has an antithesis when it comes to righteousness—faith. What keeping the Law could not do, the gift of faith does.
  5. The Word and the Spirit go together. The Spirit, the breath of God, illumines and makes alive through the Word of God; both written and external, that is, preached and sacramented.
  6. Paul is talking about military-level allegiance here, the strongest kind of allegiance sworn to a king.
  7. This ministry of the Gospel, this standing in the stead and by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, is demanding business and is entirely unsuitable for the weak-willed or those who compromise with the zeitgeist of the day.
  8. St. Paul extends to us the call to arms. In particular, there is one weapon which is effective against so elusive an enemy. The weapon is prayer.
  9. As the Spirit does His work, He produces new ways of living for individuals, households (like Philemon’s) and communities, that is, the Church.
  10. Love for the brethren should be the hallmark of the Christian Church. It is basic to our witness to an unbelieving world .
  11. We need to know the Christian faith—such as it does not capitulate with Zeitgeist—always comes with a price of being maligned, persecuted, marginalized, blamed, you name it.
  12. The battle is not so much recognizing sins as admitting them. It is also not so much confessing them as repenting them or laying them aside. But we can do it. Looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith...

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