Sunday, July 05, 2015

504. Confession for the Believer

The Apostle Paul wrote most of the new covenant scriptures, yet never once did he encourage or instruct believers to confess sins in order to be forgiven. But there is a confession he and others did address: not the confession of individual sins, but a confession of the Lord Jesus Christ. When combined with belief, this is the one confession that brings the guarantee of eternal salvation, and allows us to abide in God, and He is us.


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Sunday, June 28, 2015

503. Confession: A Word for Unbelievers

Considering the work of forgiveness is now complete for us in Christ under the New Covenant, why did the Apostle John make a statement about confession of sin in order to be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness? This single verse found in 1 John 1:9 has left many in fear, uncertainty and confusion, and feeling burdened. Considering the context of what was said leading up to this verse, we find that John is addressing people he has no fellowship with and does not have a joy that is complete regarding them. This is Part 1 on the subject of confession.


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Sunday, June 21, 2015

502. The Finality of Unconditional Forgiveness

Forgiveness under the Old Covenant was based upon certain conditions, which included repeated sacrifices from priests under the law which could never take away sin. This ministry provided a temporary forgiveness and covering, but sin still lingered. If forgiveness still needed to be dispensed repeatedly to us in Christ, this suggests Jesus would need to return to perform more sacrifices – over and over again – because without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Where statements by Jesus and the Apostle Paul appear to contradict each other regarding forgiveness, they can be explained by recognizing the work of two entirely different covenants, producing very different results. The Old Covenant consisted of continual sacrifices that only provided a reminder of sins. The New Covenant consisted of one sacrifice that took away all sin.


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Sunday, June 14, 2015

501. All Your Sins Forgiven and Forgotten

Christians tend to be under the mindset that we should keep seeking forgiveness from God, and that He will keep forgiving repeatedly on an as-needed basis. But this diminishes the perfect completion of the finished work of the cross. Jesus came to take away sins and usher in a New Covenant where God would no longer deal with us according to our sins, not count them against us and He would remember them no more. Was Jesus successful with His mission? Of course, the answer is yes and we take a look at what that means for us in Christ.


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Sunday, June 07, 2015

500. Reflections on Podcast #500

On the milestone of the 500th weekly Growing in Grace podcast, Mike & Joel share some personal thoughts about how they met, their journey into the free grace of the gospel and how the podcast began.


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Sunday, May 31, 2015

499. God Has Made Peace With You

It has often been said that someone has made their peace with God, as if the Lord needed some kind of assurance from us. The truth is, God has made peace with us through the cross of Jesus Christ. As we recognize that our justification has been established through faith apart from works, we begin to experience this peace. While Jesus did not come to bring peace to the world, He did bring it to us who are in Him. Though we're currently living in a fallen world where tribulation and suffering occurs, in the midst of it Jesus Himself is our peace.


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

498. Freed from Religion into Something Much Better!

Galatians 5:1 says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be put back into the bondage of what we’ve been set free from! What is it that we’ve been set free from? We’ve been set free from religion (religious rules and laws that could never provide life). Jesus didn’t come to give us religion or to make us religious. He came to free us from religion, and in doing so God has given us something much better! He’s given us His life. He put Christ in us, as our life.

Rather than being guided by rules and religion, we’re now led, guided and accompanied by the Holy Spirit in us. We were given the Spirit by grace through faith, not by our own works, and we live our daily lives in Christ in the same way – by grace through faith, apart from our own works.


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Sunday, May 17, 2015

497. Abe Gives a Tenth to Mel

During the past two podcasts (here and here) we talked about tithing under the Old Covenant – what it actually was (food), and what it was actually for (to feed the Levites). We discussed how Malachi 3 isn’t a teaching about how to tithe, but rather is a rebuke to those Old Covenant people (not New Covenant people) who had forsaken the practice of tithing that God had ordained for them. With tithing being a “law” thing, what then do we do with Abraham’s pre-law tithe to Melchizedek? That’s what we talk about this week.

What exactly did Abraham tithe to Melchizedek? Is Abraham’s tithe a “type,” “shadow” or “principle” for New Covenant giving? In Hebrews 7, we learn about the significance of Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek. The significance of it is that is shows how Melchizedek is greater than the Levites (who were still “in” Abraham when he tithed – and therefore Jesus is greater than the Levites, and He Himself does away with the entire Old Covenant and makes it obsolete. Abraham’s tithe has nothing to do with us (the people of the church) tithing. It’s all about the superiority of Jesus over the Old Covenant.


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Sunday, May 10, 2015

496. Christianizing the Tithe

In order to use Bible passages to teach the modern practice of Christians giving ten percent of their income to a church, by default the Scriptures must be redefined and handled inaccurately, as the practice is simply nowhere to be found in the Bible. This week, in the second part of our three week look into biblical tithing, we go to the book of Malachi to see what is actually said there regarding the tithes, robbing God, the storehouse and the windows of heaven. (Hint: it all had to do with feeding people, and had nothing at all to do with money).

In order to make this Old Covenant passage fit into life in the New Covenant, the church has attempted to “Christianize” and “spiritualize” these things, and in doing so has done a great deal of abuse to the Scriptures. A similar thing has been done with Jesus’ drilling of the Pharisees regarding tithing, and we share our thoughts on that as well. We hope that in listening to these podcasts on tithing, you will be become free from the erroneous teaching of tithing, and freed to give generously from your God-inspired heart!


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Sunday, May 03, 2015

495. Covenant Confusion: Tithing

"Giving" is a wonderful part and privilege of our life in Christ. God, by His very nature, is generous, and as partakers of His divine nature we have a natural desire to give generously. But does this biblical concept called "tithing" fit into all of this? What did tithing mean in biblical times? Is it for us today? This week, and for the next two weeks after this, we'll look into the various mentions of tithing in the scriptures to see if this is really something the church is called to do.

Specifically this week, we take a look into the most common passage used by the church when they teach tithing in our modern times: Malachi 3. A quick hint at what we'll be talking about: Malachi 3 was not a teaching on tithing instructions, and it also had nothing to do with giving money. Rather, it had everything to do with how a specific group of people was being neglected when it came to having food provided for them!


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