Sunday, March 01, 2015

486. You Are Not the Salt of the Earth

Jesus made the statement -- "You are the salt of the earth..."

It's important for us to gain understanding as to whom Jesus was speaking and what He was saying. We often apply these things to us as Christians today, but He was speaking to Israel here and throughout this teaching. His Jewish audience understood the connection between salt and covenant, also known as the covenant of salt. When the salt becomes tasteless, it's not good for anything except to be thrown out. It would be the (old) covenant that needed to be put away, not the people.

Check it out! --- After this podcast we'll be taking a break from the usual "Mike and Joel" only, and we've invited Andrew Farley (author of The Naked Gospel, God Without Religion, Relaxing With God, and various other books) to be our guest on the podcast! He'll be joining us for the next three weeks on Growing in Grace!


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Sunday, February 22, 2015

485. They Did Not Receive the Promise

The writer of Hebrews spent nearly the entire book comparing the former covenant to the New Covenant. Chapter 11 is sometimes referred to as the hall of faith as it reflects on well-known people from the Old Testament. The subject of faith wasn't a new topic from the writer, but was the result of what was said in the ten chapters leading up to it. Though these elders had gained approval and saw tremendous acts occur from God through faith, they did not receive what was promised. Christ is that promise that we've obtained in the New Covenant. He is the very substance of what was hoped for and provided something better for us with His perfection.


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Sunday, February 15, 2015

484. Comparing the Copy to the Original

In the world of art, it is the original that has substantial value when compared to a mere copy. When it comes to the New Covenant found in Christ, He is the original. Jesus is the substance, while the law contained in the Old Covenant was only a shadow of that substance. The shadow was useless and ineffective and was unable to deliver us into perfection.


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Sunday, February 08, 2015

483. Celebrating 10 Years of Growing in Grace!

Wow! How did we get here?! As coworkers at a Christian radio station 20 years ago, Mike and Joel began talking "grace" with each other in countless private conversations. Then ten years ago they began to let you in on their chats. This week marks a full decade of those weekly chats in the form of the Growing in Grace podcast!

To celebrate, we asked you to send us your comments about Growing in Grace, and your comments are the highlight of this episode! (Which is why this episode is a bit longer than usual.) But first, we share a little bit about how our weekly podcast came about. With God leading us in this, it's truly been our joy and honor to bring you the Growing in Grace podcast every week for 10 years. Thanks so much for being a part of this fantastic journey with us!


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Sunday, February 01, 2015

482. The Old Commands - Weak and Useless

As Gentiles who were never under the former covenant and the Mosaic law, why would we want to try to apply portions of it to our new life in Christ? The Old was weak, useless, unprofitable and had been put away to be replaced with something better. Mixing them brings confusion and condemnation. There was a change of priesthood which resulted in a change of law, so let's get some fresh perspectives on why we should avoid combining them, as though they were one covenant.


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Sunday, January 25, 2015

481. You Are Not a Witness

Religion has taught us that we are defined as witnesses for Jesus. Sometimes we'll even encourage each other to "go out witnessing." That's a phrase not found in the Bible. References to witnesses in scripture are actual eye-witnesses who were with Jesus after His resurrection. Not all people saw Him, but there were witnesses who were chosen that did. Jesus had witnesses, but they were not us. Being a witness is not part of our identity in Christ, and we shouldn't feel guilt or discouragement when we feel as though we're not effectively performing the act of "witnessing." We can still freely proclaim the message of the good news to others, but it will be from a perspective of love, not duty or obligation.

We want to hear from you! In just two weeks we'll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Growing in Grace podcast! Would you be willing to record an audio or video greeting for us (or write us a quick note), that we might include on our special 10th anniversary podcast? If so, details on how to send it to us are here. Thanks!


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

480. Condemnation to All Vs. Justification to All

We continue looking further into the sin and death that came through Adam, compared to righteousness and life that came through Jesus. In the book of Romans, Paul explained through the first several chapters, how the people of Israel were also considered sinners, not just the Gentiles. They fell short because Adam's one transgression came to "all men." On the other hand, the one righteous act of Jesus brought justification to all men. In the context of many chapters, "all men" is referring to both Jews and Gentiles. Through Christ's obedience, "many" are made righteous: those who receive the abundance of grace.

We want to hear from you! In three weeks we'll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Growing in Grace podcast! Would you be willing to record an audio or video greeting for us (or write us a quick note), that we might include on our special 10th anniversary podcast? If so, details on how to send it to us are here. Thanks!


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  YouTube version of this episode.


This week's GIG Bite - A bite-sized chunk of this week's program.


Monday, January 12, 2015

We Want to Hear from YOU!

Growing in Grace is about to hit a milestone - 10 years of weekly podcasts! February 8th will be our 10th anniversary podcast, and to celebrate, Mike and Joel would like to hear your voice for a change! If you would be willing to send a recorded mp3 greeting to us, it may make it onto our program. Your greeting could be a simple "hello," or you could possibly give a brief testimony about how the podcast and/or the message of God's love and grace has affected you. We're sure this would be quite a blessing to others, so would you be willing to do this? Alternatively, you could post a video online and we could possibly link to it and/or extract the audio from it, or if audio/video isn't your thing, you could write us a quick note that we could read.

Feel free to state your first name along with whatever you want to say. Email your note or mp3, or a link to your audio or video to:

Don't forget!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

479. Satan to Jesus: Can I See Some ID Please?

One of the greatest battles for us in this life is the battle of identity. That is, understanding who we are as children of God. The first Adam lost that battle in the garden and the human race became identified as sinners. The last Adam (Jesus) came to offer the free gift of becoming God's righteousness and receiving life. This was made possible because Jesus won the battle of His identity. As a boy growing into a man, He believed and understood who He was as the Son of God and conquered on the basis of that identity. Jesus did not have to do anything to prove who He was. We can experience the same victory as new creatures in Christ.


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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Grace Makes People Free

There are many reasons why people preach and teach the gospel of God's grace and peace, and why people want to evangelize the church with the message of God's grace and peace. One of the big reasons is this: It makes people free. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and yet many believers are bound up and are far from free in Christ.

Next month marks the 10th anniversary of the weekly Growing in Grace podcast that I do with Mike Kapler. The reason we've continued to do it each week is because it continues to help people find and stay in the freedom of Christ. Over the years we've received many emails and comments from people, sometimes simply asking questions about grace and other times pouring out their hearts and souls to us. In this video I share a couple of these emails, as they go to show the bondage that people have found themselves trapped in through what they've been taught in the church, and then the freedom that they've found through hearing the good news of God's grace and peace!



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