Sunday, June 17, 2018

656. "Am I Right with God?"

Something many people wonder deep inside is the question of whether they are right with God. Even those who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ may question at times as to where they stand with God. Their fear or uncertainty is sometimes triggered by their behavior and performance. They may tend to assume their identity as a child of God is filtered through their works and actions, or religious rule-keeping. The gospel reveals something that isn't always heard through weekly church teaching, and it's the greatest news you could ever want to hear. We've been gifted with God's very own righteousness. Right-standing with Him is no longer something you'll ever have to wonder about ever again.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

655. Dead to Sin, Alive to Righteousness

Behavior is important. Avoiding sin is profitable. But these are not the components that represent who you are as a believer in Jesus Christ. Your spiritual identity is based purely on a work that God did in you by faith as a result of the finished work of Jesus at the cross. Many new believers are told to repent from sin, stop sinning, work at avoiding sin, etc. — and if they blow it, they should seek a renewed forgiveness from God, and work at trying harder to become more holy and sanctified. This ends up pulling people into the very thing they are trying to avoid. If we would start letting believers know they are truly declared to be the righteousness of God and have been forgiven by blood that was shed once and for all, they can begin to realize and experience God's unconditional love. This unlimited supply of eternal grace provides the ability for us to be empowered in a way that religious rules and commandments cannot.

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Sunday, June 03, 2018

654. Sharing the Gospel with Others (Part 2)

Following up on last week’s program, we discuss some thoughts about effective ways to communicate the simple gospel message. It may be with someone who has never claimed to be a believer, or it may be someone from your church who has been bound by external religion. The message of God’s grace and unconditional love has changed how we communicate the good news. Many times, well-meaning Christians will tell people the gift of eternal life is free, but after the gift is received, a list of “Christian stuff” is handed to them, telling them all the things they need to do from now on (or the things to avoid). We’ve learned through our growth in grace that a better approach will be to let believers know who they (already) are now in Christ so they can grasp the new identity they have inherited. In Him they have become partakers of the divine nature and are considered holy, righteous, forgiven, sanctified, and much more.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

653. Sharing the Gospel with Others

Oh sure, you can go out and purchase all kind of instructional books that will turn the sharing the gospel into a perfect science. You can memorize a list of Bible verses in the correct order and work on developing a script to make it sound conversational. But there may be a more effective way to share the good news of Jesus Christ — do it from the heart. Your growth in God’s abounding grace and learning about your identity as a righteous child of God will provide you with a much stronger tool than developing a sales pitch. Instead of attempting to empower yourself, the Spirit of God will empower you to communicate this message of life because He knows the heart(s) of the person with whom you are sharing. We sometimes make the gospel message far too complicated. As shared on this week’s program, here’s the gospel in a nutshell:

1. God’s demand: Be perfect.
2. God’s diagnosis: You’re not perfect.
3. God’s deliverance: Jesus was perfect for you. (Simply believe it).

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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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