Articles by Paul Ellis

I Will Come Like a Thief

July 29, 2021 // 15 Comments

Once upon a time, in the iron-age kingdom of Lydia, there was a river of gold called the Pactolus River. Whoever controlled the river was rich, and this explains why Croesus was one of the richest kings who ever lived. Croesus, who lived about 550 years before Christ, built a citadel called Sardis to protect his [...]

When Jesus Speaks Harshly

July 15, 2021 // 20 Comments

Since I preach grace, I am often hit with the accusation that I have not read the harsh words of Jesus. The argument seems to be that because Jesus spoke harshly to the Laodiceans, Sardians, etc., he’s not as gracious and loving as I make him out to be. Like the Hulk, Jesus has an angry side that grace [...]

No Grace for Michael Corleone

July 8, 2021 // 39 Comments

I recently watched all the Godfather movies again. I started with Godfather 2, because it’s the best, then I watched Godfather 1, because it’s even better then best. Then I had a long break where I debated the merits of watching Godfather 3 and then I watched it, because hey, it’s still the Godfather. [...]

5 Myths about God’s Forgiveness

July 2, 2021 // 24 Comments

No religion preaches the complete forgiveness of sins like Christianity. You might say it’s one of our unique selling points. So why do we do such a bad job with it? We tell people God may forgive them if they say the right words and keep on the straight and narrow, and then we try and pass off this awful [...]

Beware the Lord with a Sword

June 16, 2021 // 7 Comments

What will you do with the Lord with a sword? I am referring to the picture of Jesus found in his letter to the church in Pergamum. In it Jesus introduces himself as “The One who has the sharp two-edged sword” (Rev. 2:12). Why is Jesus holding a sword? And what does he plan to do with it? Should I be [...]

Special Offer and the $250,000 Give Away!

June 10, 2021 // 8 Comments

Zoom. Live streaming. Online worship. Virtual meetings. Facebook groups. Drive-thru communion. Churches and ministries are adapting to meet the realities of a post-Covid world. But while the emergence of new platforms and technologies has been a boon, one thing that has not changed is the need for top-notch [...]

Is the Husband the Head of His Wife?

June 3, 2021 // 23 Comments

Headship is revealed in sacrifice. In the same way that Christ gave himself up for the church, the husband gives himself up for his wife. He crawls through traffic, fights grizzly bears, and catches bullets for her. [...]

He Who Sows Sparingly

May 20, 2021 // 15 Comments

The church does a lot of things well, but one area where we sometimes drop the ball is money. I have seen rich leaders use threats to extort money from poor people. I’ve encountered churches that publicly name and shame non-tithers. And I know struggling families that borrow from loan sharks to pay their tithes [...]

Three Treats for the Feast of Ascension

May 13, 2021 // 17 Comments

Forty days after Easter brings us to the Feast of Ascension. Which means that people all over the world are today celebrating the ascension of Jesus into heaven. I’ve been thinking about the post-Easter period because I’ve recently added several hundred verses to the Grace Commentary, many of them having to [...]

Four People You Should Never Listen To

April 29, 2021 // 24 Comments

On the day Jesus died, he encountered opposition from four powerful men. These authority figures represent the types of people who will seek to frustrate God’s plan for your life. We can learn a lot from how Jesus responded to these four men and his responses to each. 1. Annas the false father The first [...]

What Burdens Does Jesus Place On Us?

April 14, 2021 // 11 Comments

Thyatira is considered one of the bad churches in the Bible. You may recall they had allowed a woman called Jezebel to preach and she led some of the believers astray. So Jesus sent them a letter where he basically says, “I’m going to deal with this.” He ends his letter with this:  I place no other [...]

Good Friday Timeline

March 31, 2021 // 34 Comments

You probably know that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday. What you may not know was that Good Friday was one of the busiest days in Jesus’s life. As far as I can tell, no other day in the Bible receives more attention. To help you appreciate this, I drafted a timeline of the key events of the first Good [...]