Sunday, May 20, 2018

652. Freedom from a Sin Consciousness

“How many here are sinners?” Ask that question in most churches and the vast majority of hands will go up. “How many here are righteous?” Ask that question and you’ll typically see the hands remain on their lap. Why? Empty religion that has mixed the Old and New Covenants has left people with a mistaken identity, frequently trapped in a consciousness of sin… the very thing Jesus came to deliver people from (Hebrews 10). In fact, we have been delivered from the powers of darkness, and guilt and condemnation has been removed forever. We can’t do anything about our own sin problem, but Jesus did — by giving His own life. The reason people fall into condemnation and get confused about their identity is because they have tied it into their behavior and performance, instead of the gift.



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Sunday, May 13, 2018

651. Subscribing to Sin Management Inc.

When many Christians consider repentance, it is usually viewed from the perspective of turning from sin. In essence, what they are really saying is to focus on reducing your sin count. This is not how repentance is defined. Less sinning is always going to be a positive thing for you and those around you. It’s simply not a part of the new righteous and holy nature that abides in you. However, falling into the trap of “sin management” will potentially cause us to chase after the flesh, develop a mindset of self-righteousness, and lead to boasting in ourselves while judging others who fall just as short as we have. Other than Jesus, nobody has ever been able to equal the requirement of perfect behavior as it was reflected through the law. Not one … before the cross or after. There is a better place to abide than working at managing your sin count, and that is with the power of grace found inside of a new and better covenant—where the Holy Spirit will remind us of God’s unconditional love, and that we have been gifted with His righteousness as a new creation in Christ.



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Sunday, May 06, 2018

650. The Conviction of the Holy Spirit

As a Christian, you may have heard it over and over in the local assembly: “The Holy Spirit will convict you of your sins.” But is this a true statement, or has it been twisted in a way that puts believers back under a sin consciousness that He came to deliver people from? Understanding our identity in Christ, and the ministry of the Spirit within us… the Helper… the Comforter. It’s part of our conversation on this week’s program.



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Sunday, April 29, 2018

649. Does "Hyper-Grace" Give People a License to Sin? (Part 2)

Many of us have viewed grace as something that we fall back on whenever we sin or make a mistake. Grace is often seen as something we call upon when we need forgiveness. But the Bible declares the finished work of Jesus Christ removed sin and that it was taken away. The good news has revealed that forgiveness is a finished work and is received by all who believe. We can now begin to see grace as something more than a trigger we pull when we need to have sin covered or forgiven, since Jesus has already dealt with that issue once and for all. After all, Jesus never sinned but Scripture states He was filled with grace and truth. Grace isn’t just for sinners, but for us who have been gifted with righteousness and holiness in Christ Jesus. Grace empowers us to live in a way that abides in the supernatural life of God Himself, and causes us to realize truth. Grace is the Person of Jesus - He is our purpose and destination, and this free grace was given to us in Christ before time began. Beware of modern-day Pharisees who will sound a false alarm at the dangers of having too much grace, or you may both end up heading down a dead end street, where the ditch will become your destination.



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Sunday, April 22, 2018

648. Does "Hyper-Grace" Give People a License to Sin? (Part 1)

The wolves who dress as sheep have issued a warning to their flock: Grace can become a dangerous doctrine and lead people into more sin. The red flags should be flying high whenever a believer hears such misguided teaching that would suggest grace encourages people to sin unless balanced with portions of the law and commandments. It’s a myth and a fable to think that grace will encourage sin, while a modernized version of the Mosaic law will decrease sin. Those who make such proclamations are providing church folks with teaching for their “itching ears.” The gospel teaches us quite the opposite… the law and commandments brought an increase in sin - and sin ABOUNDED under a system of works. But grace ABOUNDED all the more and it’s through grace that we reign through righteousness. The word "abounded" in the Greek is where we get our English word for hyper and it means to overflow beyond measure, exceeding what is needed. Jesus was grace manifested. He never encourages people to sin. Grace teaches and trains us to live godly in Christ Jesus - it empowers us to live in righteousness. Can we have too much of Jesus? Of course not. But this is what hyper-legalists are implying, and that’s the dangerous teaching we should be running from.



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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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