Sunday, July 26, 2015

507. As Jesus Is, So Also Are We

We can relate to Jesus being righteous, holy and perfect, but it can be quite another story when it comes to laying hold of our identity as believers. Since he abides in us, and we abide in him, we have inherited these same qualities and Jesus has become our righteousness, justification, sanctification and perfection. "By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).



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Sunday, July 19, 2015

506. The Gift of Sanctification

In the world of Christian legalism, justification may be presented as a free gift, but sanctification is often taught to be a progressive process that we must work at in order to possess or experience. This misunderstanding of what was accomplished for us through the work of the cross will eventually lead people back into a mentality of works and guilt, or self-righteousness and boasting in themselves. Jesus has (already) become our sanctification, and it cannot be defined outside of what he did on our behalf.

The word "sanctified" means "set apart," "purified," "made holy." Sanctification is a matter of being set apart to God, by His gift, by grace through faith. This is a finished work. All believers are heaven-ready right now at this very moment, because they have been sanctified once and for all!



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Sunday, July 12, 2015

505. Fellowship Forever

Have you ever wondered whether you've done something that would hinder your fellowship with God? Those feelings of doubt about where you stand with God, or the fear of being in and out of fellowship are rooted in dead works and self-righteousness. The New Covenant of Christ is an agreement God made with God, and he cannot deny himself. Whoever has the Son has life. He is our guarantee and you've been called into fellowship with Him.



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Sunday, July 05, 2015

504. Confession for the Believer

The Apostle Paul wrote most of the new covenant scriptures, yet never once did he encourage or instruct believers to confess sins in order to be forgiven. But there is a confession he and others did address: not the confession of individual sins, but a confession of the Lord Jesus Christ. When combined with belief, this is the one confession that brings the guarantee of eternal salvation, and allows us to abide in God, and He is us.



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Sunday, June 28, 2015

503. Confession: A Word for Unbelievers

Considering the work of forgiveness is now complete for us in Christ under the New Covenant, why did the Apostle John make a statement about confession of sin in order to be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness? This single verse found in 1 John 1:9 has left many in fear, uncertainty and confusion, and feeling burdened. Considering the context of what was said leading up to this verse, we find that John is addressing people he has no fellowship with and does not have a joy that is complete regarding them. This is Part 1 on the subject of confession.



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Sunday, June 21, 2015

502. The Finality of Unconditional Forgiveness

Forgiveness under the Old Covenant was based upon certain conditions, which included repeated sacrifices from priests under the law which could never take away sin. This ministry provided a temporary forgiveness and covering, but sin still lingered. If forgiveness still needed to be dispensed repeatedly to us in Christ, this suggests Jesus would need to return to perform more sacrifices – over and over again – because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Where statements by Jesus and the Apostle Paul appear to contradict each other regarding forgiveness, they can be explained by recognizing the work of two entirely different covenants, producing very different results. The Old Covenant consisted of continual sacrifices that only provided a reminder of sins. The New Covenant consisted of one sacrifice that took away all sin.



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Sunday, June 14, 2015

501. All Your Sins Forgiven and Forgotten

Christians tend to be under the mindset that we should keep seeking forgiveness from God, and that He will keep forgiving repeatedly on an as-needed basis. But this diminishes the perfect completion of the finished work of the cross. Jesus came to take away sins and usher in a New Covenant where God would no longer deal with us according to our sins, not count them against us and He would remember them no more. Was Jesus successful with His mission? Of course, the answer is yes and we take a look at what that means for us in Christ.


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Sunday, June 07, 2015

500. Reflections on Podcast #500

On the milestone of the 500th weekly Growing in Grace podcast, Mike & Joel share some personal thoughts about how they met, their journey into the free grace of the gospel and how the podcast began.


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Sunday, May 31, 2015

499. God Has Made Peace With You

It has often been said that someone has made their peace with God, as if the Lord needed some kind of assurance from us. The truth is, God has made peace with us through the cross of Jesus Christ. As we recognize that our justification has been established through faith apart from works, we begin to experience this peace. While Jesus did not come to bring peace to the world, He did bring it to us who are in Him. Though we're currently living in a fallen world where tribulation and suffering occurs, in the midst of it Jesus Himself is our peace.


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

498. Freed from Religion into Something Much Better!

Galatians 5:1 says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be put back into the bondage of what we’ve been set free from! What is it that we’ve been set free from? We’ve been set free from religion (religious rules and laws that could never provide life). Jesus didn’t come to give us religion or to make us religious. He came to free us from religion, and in doing so God has given us something much better! He’s given us His life. He put Christ in us, as our life.

Rather than being guided by rules and religion, we’re now led, guided and accompanied by the Holy Spirit in us. We were given the Spirit by grace through faith, not by our own works, and we live our daily lives in Christ in the same way – by grace through faith, apart from our own works.


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