Sunday, December 17, 2017

630. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 2)

We continue to lay the foundation for our series, as we look at some key parts of the Bible that led from Adam to Jesus, and then to the New Covenant. Is everything written specifically to us today or was it simply given as a reference point to help us see the redemptive plan God had for man all along? What motivated Adam to make the wrong choice? Why did God give Moses the law, and why did the Israelites agree to the (old) covenant? Are the Psalms and Prophets telling us how to seek comfort in our lives, or were they more about pointing Israel to the Messiah, who had not yet appeared? What was is it about the Old Testament that had convinced some of the Jews that Jesus was that Messiah? What was the purpose of Jesus’ ministry and when did the New Covenant begin? We’ll be covering some of this and more in future programs, after this week’s second half of our introduction.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

629. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 1)

This will be the first program in a series where we will focus on key points in the Scripture with the goal of helping us to see the bigger picture when it comes to the Bible. Our primary stops on the route will include Adam, Abraham, Moses and the law, the Psalms and the Prophets, and also Jesus and the New Covenant. The idea is to step back from the many trees (verses) that are often taken out of context in order to gain a better view of the forest and help summarize the Biblical map. Ultimately, our hope with this series is to gain an improved understanding of the gospel and God’s Word as a whole.

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

628. Thinking Outside of the Verses

This week’s program continues on the topic of context among the forest of Bible verses. Christians have been trained to think of the Bible as one book, when in fact, it is made up of many different books recorded over hundreds and even thousands of years. We’re not saying it’s wrong to memorize individual verses, but they should always be considered within the context of the passage, the gospel, the New Covenant, and the Bible as a whole. We touch quickly on a few examples that you may have heard from a different perspective than what the context is communicating. These include: the law of shaving thy face; you will know them by their fruits; this is the day the Lord has made; and the tithing verse from the book of Hebrews.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

627. Bible Verses Versus Bible Context

Chapters and verses in the Bible were added by publishers for reference purposes. It’s a handy tool in being able to locate specific passages in Scripture. Most of us have been taught to memorize by these individual verses, but there is an element of danger in doing this — it risks the assumption that a complete thought from the writer is contained with an individual verse. The writer may be communicating a point that is being shared over the course of many verses, or even several chapters. Plucking verses out of context not only leads to a misunderstanding of the passage, but of the gospel itself. This practice can cause Christians to slip into confusion and even despair, while often leading people into religious cults. While all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, this isn’t to be assumed that everything in the Bible is meant to be applied to us in a direct, personal way. Our understanding of the written Word will grow as we rightly divide this Word of Truth… not only from the context of the passage, but of the context of the gospel from a New Covenant perspective.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

626. Can Grace Become a Dangerous Doctrine?

Grace has been known to receive a bad rap when it is communicated as the foundation and the fullness of the gospel. When free and unlimited grace is taught, it has been known to be accused of giving people a license to sin, thereby causing sin to increase. Grace has been falsely rumored to be a dangerous doctrine when it is taught apart from the law, which came through the Old Covenant once given to Israel. Over the years on this podcast, we've been misunderstood by many who have jumped to the wrong conclusions about what we're saying. This is largely because of the established mindset they have developed which is built upon a foundation of law and grace being mixed together. On this week's program, we attempt to bring some clarity on what we've been saying — and also what we're not saying.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

625. Justified Now! Sanctified Eventually?

The religious business is well known for finding a way to put pressure on people to perform. The motivation to do so will vary by church denomination, but they all lead to robbing people of fully experiencing the grace and peace that God delivered to us through Jesus Christ. One script that is commonly found is the idea that believers are now justified through the cross, but being sanctified (set apart) is a lifelong process that gradually occurs through behavior improvement. It’s promoted in a way so that the responsibility falls upon us to seek self-improvement with God’s help, which will hopefully make us more holy, set apart, acceptable, etc. While improved behavior is a good thing, it shouldn’t be identified or confused with the work of sanctification, which God already provided by placing us in Christ Jesus.

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Sunday, November 05, 2017

624. Christian Hypocrisy: Keeping Portions of the Law; Throwing Out the Rest

Chances are pretty good that your church denomination believes the “moral commands” found within the law of the Old Testament are meant to be considered a part of the Christian life. They will also declare other parts of the law have expired and do not apply today… such as animal sacrifices, various ceremonial laws, dietary laws, etc. The inconsistencies become very obvious when the old and new covenants are mixed together like this because the entire point of the entire law—all of it—was that nobody could live up to its perfect standard. Personal or moral improvement is a wonderful thing, but “trying your best” to follow a list of impossible commands will not improve your position with God. This is why all of the law was made to be abolished and obsolete… It’s all based upon God doing what the law could not do. Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf and took the old law out of the way, freeing us from any and all condemnation.

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