Sunday, August 07, 2022

871. New Covenant Context and Resisting the Bible Teacher Fan Club

One of the greatest helps people will experience when it comes to understanding the gospel of grace is to know the Bible is contextualized into two very different covenants. When one assumes the Bible is “all one book” or everything in it is aimed at them directly, it can lead to confusion and have other negative impacts.
 
Another easy trap to fall into is the “following” of men or women who have a certain celebrity status due to a nationally known ministry through media, books, etc. This doesn’t have to apply to only well-known people in the ministry, it could occur with anyone who has influence. Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying or benefitting from the teaching of the gospel from those who are gifted in communicating truth.

But Paul was discouraging people in Corinth from jumping on bandwagons in his day that had people dividing into different persuasions based upon personality and possibly other unknown preferences. Some wanted to follow Paul, others wanted to identify with the teaching of Apollos or Peter. Paul stated he didn’t die for anybody, and nobody was baptized in his name. Following preachers or people is fleshly; it’s a human weakness which Paul discouraged.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book


Sunday, July 31, 2022

870. Stranded on a Deserted Island? Pick One Book From the Bible

It’s no secret that some of our favorite information in the Bible is found in the book of Hebrews. We recently had a listener ask us what one book we felt is a “must-read” (aside from the book of Hebrews). Of course, there is plenty to benefit us throughout the pages and context is everything, but if we had a Gilligan’s Island scenario where we were stranded on a deserted island while taking a 3-hour boat tour … and the only thing we brought was a wardrobe of clothing, a radio, a suitcase full of money, an entire collection of jewelry, razor blades, hair product, toothpaste, brushes, and a Bible with only one book in it — which one book might be near the top of our list? We talk about it on this week’s program … along with some chit chat about our favorite metal rock artist — Pat Boone.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book


Sunday, July 24, 2022

869. Identifying as Believers in a Risen Savior

As Christians, we believe in a risen Jesus who is alive and lives in us by His Spirit. We are identified as believers in Christ. We should avoid identifying ourselves as “Bible believers” or as “people of the book,” as other lifeless religions may do. Your relationship is not with a written code. And yet, through the writings, we have a reliable source of information for obtaining truth as it relates to the fallen state of the human race and how a plan of redemption had been formulated by the Creator before time began.

This revelation of truth about Jesus as Lord doesn’t come by flesh and blood (human sources) nor does it come solely through words spoken or in letters on paper. If this were the case, every single Christian would believe the same things since we all have access to the same Scriptures (writings). Wrapping up our discussion over the past few weeks, we encourage people to pause and consider the significance of the role of God’s Spirit in their lives. He is in the business of renewing hearts and minds, and cultivating personal relationships with the living God.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book


Sunday, July 17, 2022

868. God’s Living Spirit - The Constant Throughout the Centuries

It’s easy to take for granted the availability of the Bible in much of our world today, but it wasn’t always this way. For the majority of centuries since Jesus rose from the dead, most people had very little exposure to the writings. The majority couldn’t read, and there weren’t the mass production capabilities we have today. Also, it wasn’t available in most languages until recent centuries (including English). And yet people still came to faith in Jesus, just as in the days after His resurrection when His Spirit was sent.

Certainly there is so much to learn and gain from the Scripture and writings of those who were witnesses of the risen Christ. And although the Bible has gone through many transitions throughout the last 1,500 plus years, God doesn’t change. His Spirit continues with the same ministry of conviction to unbelievers and the reassurance of righteousness to believers. He shows people in their hearts the need for salvation through Jesus … and it’s often by word-of-mouth messengers that this occurs. The Spirit needs nothing to reveal truth—but can use anything and anybody.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book


Sunday, July 10, 2022

867. This May Have Caused More Division Among Believers Than Anything Else

It’s easily skimmed over or swept under the rug, but it’s difficult to deny there are thousands of different church corporations and Christian denominations with very different dogmas and doctrines. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but let’s face this reality and talk this out. Think about it, millions of varied opinions from a perspective of theology, endless debates about (what should be) some of the most foundational issues from forgiveness to salvation. Who is right? Who is wrong? Why all the confusion? Which group should I associate with?

If believers in Jesus all have the same Spirit of God living within, how is it that perspectives and opinions can be so far apart in many cases? There is something that most of these religious branches—and individuals—have in common. They claim their conclusions come from a collection of books called the Bible. The Jews already had writings (scriptures) … and they pointed to Jesus. If we think the Bible is truly meant to be the final authority that ensures its every reader of being solidified in the truth, we may want to ask why Jesus said He would send His Spirit to lead, guide and reveal truth as He looked ahead to the New Covenant.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book


Sunday, July 03, 2022

866. Scriptures Inspired - But the Spirit Reveals Truth

Our focus here is to highlight the superior ministry of the Holy Spirit. But this also leads us to asking ourselves some challenging questions about the Bible, the Scriptures, and how they were chosen to be “canonized.” People who aren’t exactly household names debated and then would eventually make decisions to include the 27 books of what we know as the New Testament … but not with unanimous conviction. When Paul made mention to Timothy that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, what was he referring to and what did he mean by it?

To repeat what we’ve stated numerous times, we embrace the writings and we’re not attempting to “Bible bash” or suggest the writings are inferior or questionable when it comes to revealing the truth of Jesus. But we are encouraging believers to come to a further realization of the ministry of God’s living Spirit in us—and not to depend on a myriad of very different opinions and potential false assumptions from the written pages. Bible knowledge and theology isn’t king, Jesus is.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book


Sunday, June 26, 2022

865. The Written Letters and the Superior Ministry of God’s Living Spirit

Over the past 17 years on the Growing in Grace Podcast, we have embraced the writings of the Bible and various passages as it relates to the gospel of grace and the finished work of Jesus Christ. Part of our goal has been to talk through some things to help people escape a box of bondage containing traditional religious thinking that may have kept them from gaining a better understanding of the truth in regard to the fullness of what Jesus brought to the world … eternal life, eternal hope, securing eternal redemption, etc. We have attempted to provoke thought by encouraging others not to get trapped into spouting Bible verses by themselves without considering the context of the New Covenant and to avoid mixing it with the Old one. The writings which occurred after the resurrection by witnesses of the risen Jesus are filled with incredible testimonies and information to benefit us.

But there is something (Someone) far more superior to any writings—The Holy Spirit. Ultimately, it is He who reveals truth, while leading and guiding people from within. In the weeks ahead, our purpose will be to elevate Him and this all-important Person who abides with us at all times, as He bears witness of Jesus to the hearts of people everywhere. We will also be challenging many traditional assumptions about the Bible—a wonderful reference tool which is often elevated in the minds of well-meaning believers to a place that unfortunately surpasses the more glorious ministry of God’s life-giving Spirit.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book