Sunday, November 29, 2015

525. The Curse of Seeking Self Improvement

It's one of the biggest deceptions known to mankind - the attempt to achieve a higher level of personal improvement through our works and efforts. Adam and Eve were distracted by the glossy appearance of its fruit and the rest of the world followed suit. Israel demonstrated the futility of trying to establish their own righteousness through the works of the law by pursuing a level of improvement that would make them acceptable to God. It falls short every time and fortunately, it is something Jesus redeemed us from.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

524. The Christian's Relationship to the Law

The mixed covenant culture found in the church world has brought a wide variety of confusion among believers in Christ. As Gentiles who had come to faith in the early church, what were they instructed by the lovers of the law from the Jerusalem church who still believed the law was in effect? Even those elders shared that Gentiles were not to be troubled with keeping the law. What we fail to realize is there was no list of old rules given to the church from the law, because in Christ we have no relationship to that law from the former covenant because it was replaced with God's Spirit in us.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

523. Grafted Into Israel... Or Something Else?

"We are engrafted Jews." It's another one of those commonly used phrases we often hear in Christianity. This week we take a look at the context surrounding the idea that we Gentile believers were grafted into Israel. What we'll discover is that both Jew and Gentile were grafted into Christ. Jesus broke down the barrier that had kept us non-Jewish people separated "so that in Himself He might make the two (Jew/Gentile) into one new man."

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Sunday, November 08, 2015

522. You Will Know Them By Their Fruits - Know Who?

In the seventh chapter of Matthew, Jesus made the statement, "You will know them by their fruits." We often think this is how we'll know those who are considered to be sincere believers, but the context is being aware of false prophets. They are the ones focusing on establishing themselves with good works, performance and attempting to produce their own fruit. You will know them by their fruits. This is in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit, which is not produced by our good works but rather by God who bears His fruit through us.

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Sunday, November 01, 2015

521. The Fruit of the Spirit, Not the Works of the Law

Although many Christians will work and strive to produce good fruit, sometimes they end up back under a system of works or a modernized version of the Mosaic law. There was fruit involved for those Jewish people who were under the law of works, but it brought fruit for death. In the new covenant of Jesus Christ, we have been freed into the new way of life in the Spirit. Instead of working to produce fruit through our efforts, we simply rest and abide in Christ and the Spirit bears His fruit through us.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

520. Teaching the Law Results in Fruitless Discussion

The Apostle Paul stated some have strayed from the good things of love, a pure heart and a good conscience, and have turned to fruitless discussion. How? By wanting to be teachers of law. The law from the Old Covenant had a purpose, but it was not meant for the righteous in Christ. It was a tutor to point people to faith and the promise of life found in Jesus Christ. Now that faith has come, the tutor is no longer needed. Instead of abiding in the letter that kills with a creed of "thou shall not," as believers we have the living God within to bear His fruit, against which there is no law.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

519. Old Testament Vs. The New: What Changed?

Some may conclude the Bible seems to have a split personality between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some of the differences can seem somewhat confusing, especially when portions of both are mixed into various Christian doctrines. So what changed? Was it God? No, he doesn't change. But there was a change to a different covenant, which resulted in a change of law and a change of priesthood. Our discussion this week revolves around these changes and what it means for us today in Christ.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

518. The Old Covenant Had to End and Be Replaced

Let's describe the Old Covenant God made with Israel: It caused sin to increase, it brought death, condemnation, it once had glory but came to an end and no longer has glory. Why? In order for a new and better covenant to be established through Jesus Christ, the old arrangement had to be completely put aside. It was replaced with the New Covenant of Jesus Christ which took the place of that former law. These are not covenants that are compatible with each other.

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

517. Dead to Religious Rules, Alive to God

As we recognize the identity of righteousness that belongs to us in Jesus Christ, we can put away our own efforts and rest in him. Before the cross, the Jewish people were in bondage to the Mosaic law as it demanded a perfection the people could not attain. Their works were based on pursuing their own righteousness because they did not understand God's righteousness. We are declared perfected, justified and sanctified. As the Apostle Paul stated, "For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God."

In this podcast we mentioned a couple of past episodes in which we talked about how sanctification is not a process, but is a part of who we are in Christ (our identity). Here they are:
506. The Gift of Sanctification
507. As Jesus Is, So Also Are We

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

516. Leaving the Old Behind

Continuing with our conversation on mixing the Old Covenant with the New, this week we discuss some common sense reasons from Scripture why the Old had to come to an end and be replaced with something very different. This is the basis for the gospel. If our life in Christ is meant to be centered around our dedication and effort, we've fallen back to a religious system that exalts ourselves and diminishes the work of Jesus Christ.

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