Sunday, August 20, 2017

613. Why There Is No Condemnation in Christ

Part 3 in our series on the third chapter of 2 Corinthians includes some fantastic cross references related to the former ministry of condemnation (the law and commandments). Whereas the law that came through Moses brought death, condemnation and bondage, we've been transferred into the ministry of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The law keeps a veil over hearts, and it can only be taken away when one turns to Christ, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

612. Brought to an End: The Law (The Ministry of Death and Condemnation)

Continuing this week in part two of our short series in the 3rd chapter of 2 Corinthians. The ministry of the Mosaic law (including the ten commandments written on stones), is defined by the Apostle Paul as the ministry of death and condemnation. It’s a ministry that once had glory, but now has come to have no glory at all. Why? It’s a glory that was fading from the beginning with Moses, and was replaced with something more permanent and more glorious… the ministry of the Spirit of the living God, now written upon our hearts within a New Covenant established by Jesus Christ. Although Christian “religion” has been built upon combining the Old with the New, the covenant of death and the covenant of life should never be mixed together.

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Sunday, August 06, 2017

611. The Letter Kills, The Spirit Gives Life

It’s an important chapter for Christians to familiarize themselves with: 2 Corinthians Chapter 3. There is a significant contrast that the Apostle Paul presents between the former ministry of the Mosaic law the Jews were under before the cross, and the ministry of the Spirit that we live under the New Covenant. Sadly, many Christians will never hear this exciting news taught in their church. This week, we look at Paul’s introduction from the first part of this chapter, as he explains how the former ministry written with ink and on stones did not bring life, but its ministry was to kill.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

610. Gentiles: Never Given the Law; Jews: Do the Law or Die (No Doer Found)

It comes as a surprise to many Christians who have spent years in church - those of us non-Jewish people (Gentiles) were never considered to be under the Mosaic law. Never. None of it. Not the dietary rules, the sacrificial statutes, or the moral laws. Only Israel had been placed under that law in the Old Covenant, before the sacrifice of Christ. The law brought a curse for those under it - they were required to do it… all of it. Under that covenant, only a doer of the law could be justified. The problem? Nobody had ever done it until Jesus came along and fulfilled the law on our behalf. A New Covenant would be established, where righteousness would be received through faith, apart from the works of the law. Gentiles who were without the law and had no covenant would be gifted with the invitation to enter into this everlasting covenant of life. We died with Christ and have been raised to walk in newness of life.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

609. The Wall of Law Torn Down: Jews and Gentiles Brought Together

In Ephesians chapter 2, Paul explains the gospel in the context of two different groups: Those who were born of the Jewish race, and the Gentiles who were born from another tribe or nation, outside of Israel. The Jews were under the law and had a hope within their (first) covenant with almighty God. We who would have been considered Gentiles were without a covenant, without hope, and without God in the world. The Jews were near, Gentiles were far off. What is it that divided or separated these two groups? It was the law of commandments found in ordinances. The Jews pursued righteousness through their works under the law but could not attain it, because “the law is not of faith.” Jesus broke down this wall of separation (the law and commandments) and brought the two together as one man, into one body (the body of Jesus Christ). Instead of works, it is through faith that Jews are made righteous, and we Gentiles are no longer far off or strangers and aliens, but are now members of the household of God.

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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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