Sunday, April 23, 2017

596. The Lord’s Prayer Part 4: On Earth as It Is in Heaven

On the last program in our series with The Lord’s Prayer, we discovered “God’s will” in regards to redemption was the sacrifice of Christ, as explained in Hebrews chapter 10. The sacrifice would be done on the earth, but after the sacrifice, Christ would not enter a tabernacle that was temporary, made by human hands, which were only copies and shadows of the original. He would enter the perfect tabernacle, into heaven itself, where He would appear on our behalf with a better sacrifice that would not need to be repeated. The prayer Jesus taught His disciples before the cross was seeking this will to be done. For us who are under a New Covenant, we now recognize the will of God has been done and accomplished through Christ, on earth as it is in heaven. This poses the question: Why ask for God to perform (again) what has already been done?

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

595. The Lord’s Prayer Part 3: Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done

In Part 3 of our series on The Lord’s Prayer, we shed more light on why this was a prayer given by Jesus to Jewish people under the first covenant, and not for those of us who are Gentiles. It was meant to be used before the cross, not after. The kingdom has already come in the Person of Jesus Christ; a kingdom must have a king, and they cannot be separated. This wasn’t referring to a future kingdom to come at the end of the world, but Jesus was speaking about something more imminent, meant for those people, at that time. In referring to God’s will being done, this wasn’t pointing towards things that occur in our daily lives, or with world events, it was about redemption that Christ would bring by doing the will of God with a sacrifice to end all sacrifices. The Kingdom has come, the King is now within you, and God’s will was done through Him. There is no need to request something from God that has already been accomplished.

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Sunday, April 09, 2017

594. The Lord’s Prayer Part 2: Our Father In Heaven

Continuing with our series on The Lord’s Prayer and why Jesus provided it for Jews to pray; we look at the opening to the prayer, which acknowledges the Father in heaven.  Some have believed the Jewish people under the law would not have understood the concept of God as Father, but there are a number of Old Testament passages that reveal otherwise.  The prayer intro was not a new revelation to His disciples, they understood God as Father, in heaven, and that His name was holy.  However, they didn’t have the concept that we now have in the New Covenant…That is, Christ in you.  A better covenant has revealed to us that God doesn’t abide just in heaven, but has relocated by His Spirit to abide in us.  Another clue this was a guide to be prayed only for those under the Old Covenant - Jesus did not instruct them to pray “in His name” as he would later tell the disciples to do under the New Covenant.

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

593. Context Leading up to The Lord’s Prayer

This is the first in a series of programs we’ll be doing on the subject of what is referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer.” What was it that led to Jesus telling the Jewish people under the law to pray in this way? Is it something that was meant to be repeated by people for generations to come? Right before Jesus encourages His disciples to pray in this manner during the Sermon on the Mount, He had given them a message of hopelessness and despair. He told them that by the standard of the law and commandments, they were required to be perfect. This meant right-standing with God was out of their reach, which is why they (the Jews) would need “to pray in this way.” But before the prayer is spoken, Jesus makes it quite clear it was not meant for us (non-Jewish) Gentiles who weren’t a part of that first covenant under the law.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

592. A Heart Condition

The sin condition of the heart entered the world through one man (Adam). This form of the word for “sin” is a noun in the Greek and appears nearly four times more often than the verb in the New Testament. Death entered through this “sin condition” and it spread to all men, because the noun would lead to sinful actions, since all have sinned (verb). Jesus came to destroy and take away the sin of the world, the condition that resulted in everyone being identified as sinners, as inherited through Adam. Through one sacrifice at the cross, God dealt with and resolved the sin problem forever; both the sinful nature and the sinful actions. If this was not the case, Jesus would need to keep suffering repeatedly, and the cross would have to be considered inadequate. Fortunately for us, His one-time shedding of blood was more than enough, and now the issue is simply choosing to believe in order to receive the new nature of righteousness within our hearts.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

591. Separating True Sanctification from Behavioral Choices

Religion without life, will seek to pursue a right-standing with God through attempts of self-improvement, and a variety of other works-based methods. Even within Christianity, belief systems will try to make this all about our ability to make ourselves progressively more sanctified and acceptable before a perfect and holy God. The problem with this? We can’t attain a more righteous position than what God has already brought to us through His Son. The standard God demanded was perfection, but not by giving it our best effort to keep certain commandments or other moral codes that will always fall short. Jesus is alive, accepted, perfect, holy, sanctified, righteous, and sinless… And as believers in Christ, “as He is, so also are we in this world.”

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

590. Good News About Sanctification

Throughout Christianity, the word “gospel” can mean many different things to different people. Ultimately, it boils down to “good news” that was first meant for the nation of Israel. The news they needed to hear was that a replacement of the law and commandments was about to occur. What would it take its place? Faith, righteousness, forgiveness, holiness and sanctification would be gifted to people apart from our own works. Where are these things found? Not through our efforts of obedience, but in the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the replacement and our destination. We have arrived “in Him” through belief in what He has completely finished on our behalf.

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Sunday, March 05, 2017

589. The Sanctification Proclamation (It Is Finished)

The past few weeks we’ve been discussing our identity in Christ and how God has already perfected us, made us complete in Him, and gifted us with His righteousness. Works-based religion will still try to find a way to put some sort of responsibility back on us, such as with the subject of sanctification. To be sanctified means to be set apart, and the gospel shows us it cannot be defined outside of what Jesus did for us on our behalf. As with justification and forgiveness, sanctification is not progressive, but was included in Christ’s finished work. We can rest in that assurance.

During the podcast, Joel mentioned this blog post of his: Instant and Permanent Sanctification.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

588. Fake News: Believers Still Have a Sinful Nature

Many Christians have been taught they are living with two natures; one that is holy and righteous, and another that is sinful. At the very least, this is misleading and at the most it’s just plain erroneous. One who has come to belief in Christ, born in the newness of life and given a new heart, cannot also have a nature of evil dwelling within the spirit of the inner man. Confusion occurs when we define the flesh as a sinful nature, and some of this stems from a popular Bible translation using the phrase "sinful nature," although it has been revised in many instances since 2011. Believers are not defined as sinners with a nature to match - we are now described as partakers of the divine nature.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

587. Jesus Became Sin - You Became Righteous

The Bible states in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that Jesus became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus had never sinned, yet He became sin. Likewise, we didn’t come to a place of acceptable behavior, yet we’ve been declared and identified as righteous. Jesus didn’t become sin progressively over a long period of time, neither is the gift of righteousness something that occurs progressively. We died with Him and rose to newness of life. As a believer in Jesus Christ, whatever struggles you continue to endure, it doesn’t spiritually define who you are as a holy child of the living God. Jesus put away sin once and for all by the sacrifice of Himself.

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