Sunday, March 03, 2024

952. Fleeing From Falling into the Forlorn Futility of Frequent Forgiveness

When we talk about the once-for-all forgiveness found in the one sacrifice through the blood of Jesus, we'll often notice a variety of spiritual muscle spasms from those who had a (1) particular Bible verse taken out of context and pounded into them for many years, found in 1 John 1:9.

Considering what we have covered in recent programs about forgiveness, how does this mesh with what we find in other passages? Was John really talking to believers to encourage them to remember to confess each individual sin ... sins that God declared He would no longer remember inside of a new and better covenant? And if that were true, where would it leave a person if they didn't confess every wrongdoing? Can we walk in and out of fellowship with God while consistently going back and forth between abiding in the light or darkness? Is it confession or blood that causes us to receive forgiveness?

One more question that absolutely needs to be answered within our hearts: Is the forgiveness of sins from God dependent upon you or something you do ... or is it the result of a Savior who bled, died and rose one time? Let's get some answers with a consistent context that will help make people truly free indeed.



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Sunday, February 25, 2024

951. Forgiveness Assured for All Time - The High Priest Sat Down

If a believer in Christ becomes tempted to ask God for more forgiveness over and over, this is a sign they have not yet come to realize the plenitude of God's forgiveness that came through the one sacrifice of Jesus. It implies a lack of confidence in His shed blood. But since this is what the bulk of the religious message has coached people to do ... habits and uncertainties can be a challenge to break, especially when approaching these things from an old covenant perspective.

There were many priests under the Mosaic law who daily offered animal sacrifices time after time, yet never taking away sins. They could only provide a temporary covering. Sins kept happening so the blood of bulls and goats kept rolling down the sacrificial conveyor belt. And now the good news ... But the one High Priest (Jesus) "having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God." Why was this Priest able to sit down after the sacrifice of Himself? Because the issue of forgiveness was completed. He finished the job.



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Sunday, February 18, 2024

950. How Can I Be Sure I'm Completely Forgiven?

Even those claiming to be believers in Christ have experienced a fear of not being forgiven by God, sometimes walking around in guilt and condemnation rather than peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Many have been taught that repeated forgiveness is needed when we stumble—that we are forgiven for past sins up to this moment, but frequent requests must be made to God for more forgiveness when sin rears its ugly head again.

Context is often missing and leads to misunderstandings when we see a statement like Jesus made to His disciples ... that God would only forgive them if they would forgive others. If they did not forgive others, God would not forgive them. (Gulp!). Then we assume Jesus was also speaking to us in this reference. This would not be good news for anyone.

Let's take a closer look at what religion refuses to teach—that the blood of Jesus brought a permanent forgiveness of sins with a single sacrifice "for all time" (past, present, and future).



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Sunday, February 11, 2024

949. Salvation as a Gift - But What About Sanctification?

Even many who are stuck in certain degrees of legalism might agree with our recent discussions about salvation being offered as a gift by grace through faith. But they can't resist the temptation to somehow make works a part of the equation. One way of doing this is to suggest salvation is free and instantaneous (then listen for the "but"), BUT sanctification is a gradual process that we participate in - meaning our behavior and works. Before you know it, well-meaning believers are taking credit for their "sanctification" and thereby are receiving more blessings as they boast about themselves.

It may sound correct to the religious mindset, but let's take a look at how God has already gifted us with sanctification through Jesus Christ, just as He did for salvation. We'll land in a place where our boasting is in Jesus and what He provided for us that we could not do for ourselves.



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Sunday, February 04, 2024

948. Is Jesus Truly a Savior or Not? (19th Year-Anniversary Podcast)

Welcome aboard ... as it occurred to us after starting this program that we have now been doing the Growing in Grace podcast for 19 years. Springboarding off of recent programs, we examine the typical mindset that is often adapted within a multitude of church buildings where they focus on what they consider to be wrong with people instead of the goodness we've received as believers in Christ. This leads to the futile attempt of doing or avoiding a variety of things that will "hopefully" bring people to a place where they are considered clean and more acceptable to God, but it is usually followed by repeating the same efforts over and over.

Anything that you are taught that you "must do" in order to be considered right with God is not the gospel but a fable. So let's ask the question ... is Jesus truly a Savior or is He not? Did He do everything necessary to save to the uttermost or are we responsible for our eternity by our actions? If the latter is true, then He died for nothing.



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Sunday, January 28, 2024

947. How Can I Be Sure I'm Right With God?

Deep down within the hearts of people, ultimately everyone desires to know they are in a good place with their creator and are considered acceptable and right with Him. Most will pursue a religious path that attempts to do certain things—or avoid doing certain things—that will bring them to this place. Sometimes even those claiming to believe in Jesus begin to establish a mindset by hoping their good deeds will outweigh their bad and that it will be "good enough." The problem? They will never know if they have attained or succeeded in establishing right standing with God.

Changes in behavior can be beneficial for us and those around us. But this is nothing more than quicksand when it comes to our eternity and righteousness. The same is true for ceremonial traditions found within many different church brands. So how can one know they are in a place of righteousness before God or in right standing with God? It's our discussion on this week's podcast.



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Sunday, January 21, 2024

946. Freed From Religion - Now What? (Access to a Living God by His Spirit)

We've heard from so many listeners around the world over the years who came to be enlightened by God's perfect love, grace and once-for-all forgiveness. It can be stunning when coming to realize just how good the gospel message is while experiencing freedom from religious routines ... and coming to grips with how very different it is when compared to the many things we've been taught by religious tradition that seeks to establish right standing with God through human effort.

It's different and so much better to experience Jesus as our peace. But some will wonder how they should proceed as believers in Christ who are taking on a new mindset which may go against many of the things they've embraced as their most cherished and sacred assumptions. The focus of this week's conversation will be a reminder that we have much more than writings in the Bible, but as believers in Christ, we have the unique blessing of being able to interact with the living God by one Spirit who lives within.



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