Sunday, July 16, 2017

608. Jews, Gentiles and the Gospel

Today in the New Covenant, Jew and Gentile have been merged together as one. However, gaining an understanding of the separation or the differences between them prior to the cross will help us to see a clearer picture of the gospel, and why Jesus ministered (to the Jews) in the way that He did. Because it is often erroneously assumed by Christians today that Jesus was always ministering a New Covenant teaching that was meant for everyone, believers will lack understanding that references to Gentiles were simply non-Jewish people — those born outside of the Jewish race. Coming to a realization of this will help us to avoid getting confused when it comes to the (expired) old covenant law, and the New Covenant that we abide in today.

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

607. Forgiveness Complete! Now Empowered to Walk in Newness of Life

The issue of the forgiveness of all sins has been fully dealt with once and for all by Christ at the cross. Does this mean we should use our freedom as an opportunity to seek after sin? Of course not! We’ve been baptized into Christ Jesus and into His death (not to be confused with water baptism). One who has died has been set free from sin and we are no longer spiritual slaves to it. We were also raised with Him in order that we can walk in newness of life - the life of God that has been gifted to us. God’s grace now empowers us to live in a way that reflects the righteousness of God. Living in the reality of this will become easier as you begin to understand the identity of who God has already made you to be. As a forgiven, holy, perfected, and sanctified child of the King, we should now consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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Sunday, July 02, 2017

606. Faithfulness

As believers in Jesus Christ, it’s natural to have a desire to be faithful. But our ability to perform may not always be as consistent as we desire. Whereas the Old Covenant was centered on the faithfulness and obedience of the people and their (in)ability to abide by all the commandments and rules under the law, the focus of New Covenant is highlighted in the faithfulness of God. This faithfulness is centered on the obedience of Christ, which will never fail. He is the completion of our forgiveness, our hope, our life, righteousness, sanctification, and so much more. Even when our faithfulness towards Him waivers, His dedication and faithfulness towards us remains forever.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

605. Faith and Believing

When the word "faith" is mentioned, it will likely bring a wide variety of different thoughts and viewpoints, depending on what people have been taught about the subject. There are some today who proclaim that faith and believing is no longer relevant and may suggest it's unnecessary. Others on the opposite end of the spectrum will turn faith into a work that leads to legalism. So how does faith and believing factor into our lives today in the New Covenant? That's our conversation on this week's Growing in Grace podcast.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

604. Why "Trying Harder" Doesn’t Work

Those Christians who are seeking to improve right-standing with God through their efforts are guaranteed to fail. Many will often wonder where they stand with God as they work to improve their behavior in order to attain more of God’s forgiveness, righteousness, holiness, sanctification, and even His love and acceptance. Don’t be discouraged by the guarantee of failure and the inability to acquire these blessings through your works. As the Jewish people under the law could’ve told you, it only leads to self-righteousness, which profits nothing. What if you could discover a guarantee to experience the fullness of the life of God on a daily basis, without fear, and without it being dependent upon your ability? It’s already been gifted to you in something called the gospel.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

603. Believers ID’d as Righteous, Apart from Behavior

How you are identified as a believer in Jesus Christ is entirely separate from your works and actions. Israelites under the law declared that the attempt to keep the law of works would be righteousness for them, but there was never an individual who could accomplish the demand of doing it to the point of perfection, as was required. In order to receive the perfection and righteousness that was needed, Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf and God placed us in Him. He became like us so we could become like him. Instead of pursuing works in order to establish ourselves (which leads to boasting), we abide in the faith of His finished work, where we have nothing to boast. Faith-based righteousness has brought us new life by God’s grace, which empowers us to live in the way of the Spirit, apart from the works of the law.

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Sunday, June 04, 2017

602. God's Love: Jesus Became Sin; We Became Righteous

Experiencing God’s peace and joy will be connected to gaining the understanding that His love for you has no strings attached. People often go through life wondering where they are positioned with God or they live in fear that God is angry with them. They have been smothered with teaching which proclaims faith, hope and love are based upon working at attaining a higher level of morality, an area where they are constantly falling short. God loves you because He loves you! He demonstrated this unconditional love through Jesus Christ dying for us, when all humans were still identified as sinners. He took our place by becoming sin, so we could receive His righteousness through belief, apart from works.

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