Sunday, April 15, 2018

647. Those with "Itching Ears" - Who Are They?

With this message of the gospel of grace that we’ve taught and proclaimed over the years, sometimes legalistically based church-goers have accused us of sharing a message of cheap grace, easy grace, hyper-grace, etc. (although they seldom understand the fullness of what we’re saying). They’ll warn the sheep about “extreme grace teaching” by referencing a phrase that the Apostle Paul used when referring to people with “itching ears” … seeking teachers who would turn their ears from the truth and be turned aside to myths or fables (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Paul used the same language in his first letter to Timothy when he warned against such teachers. But was Paul warning against those who would wander from FAITH by teaching grace to an unbalanced extreme? No, he was warning people against those who desired to be teachers of the LAW. Galatians tells us the Mosaic law is not of faith, but many with itching ears would be turned aside by such teaching that will focus more about them “doing” instead of believing in what Jesus has done. And what about those who have had their own “conscience seared with a hot iron?” A reference to sinful activity or is it something else? It’s all part of our discussion on this week’s program.

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

646. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 17): Summarizing the Series: Adam Fell; Jesus Rose

Our final program in the Summarizing the Scripture series takes a quick look back at the past 16 weeks of conversation. There is no reason to be afraid of God’s goodness and grace. Religious rules or a modernized version of the Mosaic law will only slow you down. Jesus came to deliver people from that type of bondage and has gifted us with righteousness and life in a new and better covenant. The ministry of the Spirit within us and upon us will lead and guide into all truth, and He can change your desires because of a new heart which came by believing — grace through faith has made us into new creations — and it is now God working in and through us. Adam fell and sin entered the world… Jesus rose and took sin away.

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Sunday, April 01, 2018

645. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 16): Contradictions or Different Covenants?

Why did Jesus sometimes tell Jewish people to keep the commandments and obey the law? How do we reconcile that with writings from the Apostle Paul and others who revealed in Scripture that all people have been freed from that very same law? The contrast is clear, yet it is seldom addressed head-on by Church Incorporated. Religious tradition has adopted most of what Jesus taught as a new Christian teaching, when instead He was frequently ministering the law to people from Israel who were under that law. Gentiles were never under the law of commandments which came through Moses, and in fact, we find in New Testament writings where they (we) were never to be considered under that former ministry. Jesus delivered people from it, and brought them into a New Covenant (Himself), to live within a new life by the ministry of God’s Spirit.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

644. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 15): What the Teachings of Jesus Were Meant to Accomplish

Generally speaking, the Bible talks about two kinds of people — Jews and Gentiles. Jesus said He came to minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The book of Galatians states He was born of a woman, born under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law. They needed to be redeemed from the curse the law brought. This wasn’t a ministry extended to us who were born outside of the Jewish race. Gentiles were never given the law. Many of the teachings of Jesus were not meant to be considered as Christian doctrine under a New Covenant. But rather, Jesus was often elevating or magnifying the law so the Jews could see it for what it really was, which was the requirement to keep it perfectly… it was impossible for them to enter life through those commands within the first covenant. It was meant to close their mouths and stop their boasting. Occasionally, Jesus would point to the new and better covenant that would be given to all people after His death, and both Jew and Gentile would become one, grafted into Himself.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

643. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 14): The Transition to a New Covenant

Many beliefs found in the world of the organized Christian church are based upon certain assumptions, which in some instances, have led people down the wrong path or the wrong mindset. This is why so many traditionalists will sound the alarm and issue “grace warnings” whenever they hear about faith-based righteousness that comes apart from the law of works. It will be beneficial for us to shift to an entirely different paradigm in order to rethink many foundational teachings we’ve been bombarded with over the years. As we do this, and begin growing in our understanding of the gospel of grace, we start to see things from a fresh and new perspective. We’ll even begin to realize some of the inconsistencies and contradictions found within our (previous) belief system.

One example from this week’s program: The New Testament page, found between the books of Malachi and Matthew. The New Covenant/Testament did not begin with the birth of Jesus, but after He died. Begin to transition into realizing that much of what Jesus taught was not a new Christian teaching for believers living in a New Covenant, but was ministry aimed at the Jewish people who were still under the law. They were without life, and in a hopeless situation living under the command. They needed something new. They needed Jesus to do the will of God and fulfill the law on their behalf.

During this week's program we mentioned the twenty-part Growing in Grace podcast series that we'd recorded a couple of years ago entitled "Why Jesus Taught Two Covenants." In that series we (obviously) went into much more detail on Jesus' ministry to the Jews who were under the Old Covenant. Here's a link to Part 1 of that series in case you're interested in listening to it. (Then click on "Newer Post" to hear each subsequent part of the series).

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

642. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 13): The Law, the Prophets & the Psalms Are Fulfilled

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” Paul wasn’t referring to the four books known as the gospels, but the passages from the law which came through Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. The Old Testament is filled with many hundreds of references to Jesus Christ, subtly pointing the Jewish people to a coming Messiah who would provide an eternal deliverance for the world. Jesus revealed to His disciples what all of the old Scriptures meant, as they referenced Him and His mission.

Luke 24:44: “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’”

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Scriptures, including the law, on our behalf.

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Sunday, March 04, 2018

641. Summarizing the Scripture (Part 12): The Psalms: They’re More About Jesus

It can change the way we see everything. Reading Old Testament passages from a New Covenant perspective, through the eyes of grace. There were those who recognized Jesus as the Messiah because of what they knew to look for in the Mosaic law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. After Jesus was resurrected, He opened the minds of the disciples to understand the (Old Testament) Scriptures, by revealing what they said about Him. “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). Christians often see verses out of context when they are seeking a special Word from God within the Psalms for application in their personal life situation. While this can certainly occur, in reality, quite often it may be written from the perspective of someone who was trapped under the curse of the law, or looking forward to something better (Christ). We don’t live under that heavy requirement of those commands, but now abide in Christ. Instead of relying on some of these passages to figure out where we are supposed to go, we can look back and begin to see them as a road map that brought us to where we already are… in Jesus. That’s where we find wisdom, peace and comfort - while being led by the Spirit.

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