Sunday, December 04, 2022

888. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh

It might be alarming to discover how many hours theologians and others have spent discussing, dissecting and determining what it was exactly when it comes to trying to figure out Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” We’ll avoid coming to some of the specific conclusions that are based upon speculation, but this program will discuss some other key ingredients from this passage and others that are often overlooked.

Did God tell Paul “No” when he asked Him three different times to take away his thorn? What does it mean when God said that His grace was sufficient for Paul? Would he end up being delivered from his thorn? We’ll provide a perspective with some simple answers while trying to avoid the weeds where poison ivy may be found.



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Sunday, November 27, 2022

887. Misunderstandings About "The Dispensation of Grace"

The phrase “dispensation of grace” found in some Bible translation such as the KJV and NKJV in Ephesians chapter 3 is often misunderstood to mean an age where grace is poured out for a period of time. It is also considered by some that the dispensation of grace is meant for Gentiles, while the New Covenant was meant for the Jews only. We’ll look at this passage in context to break down what the word dispensation means in the original language and why it is found in many translations as stewardship.

Paul was referring to a stewardship of grace that was given to him to help reveal a mystery that had been hidden in previous generations … and that mystery is that Gentiles would be fellow heirs with the Jews as was explained in the earlier part of the book of Ephesians. Paul preached the gospel to both groups, because everyone is justified in the same way—by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law—a ministry that Jesus abolished and tore down. The grace of God is not a temporary period of time in history … it is eternal.

There were even those named as apostles who were advocating for a gospel catering to Jews and another for Gentiles. Paul came along with a revelation on how the establishment of a New Covenant by Jesus resulted in a bringing together of these two groups—not a separation with different gospel messages. And the obsolete and abolished law would have nothing to do with the one gospel message to be ministered to all people.



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Sunday, November 20, 2022

886. The New Covenant Brought Jew and Gentile Together

In the early days of the church, there were intense disputes and disagreements among Jewish believers in Jesus regarding non-Jewish people (Gentiles) and how they would fit into the bigger picture. Since Gentiles had never been under the law, but seemingly could still be saved, how would all of this work? Most believing Jews still assumed the Mosaic law would continue to be in effect and remain part of the “Christian” culture in a post-resurrection world.

There were even those named as apostles who were advocating for a gospel catering to Jews and another for Gentiles. Paul came along with a revelation on how the establishment of a New Covenant by Jesus resulted in a bringing together of these two groups—not a separation with different gospel messages. And the obsolete and abolished law would have nothing to do with the one gospel message to be ministered to all people.



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Sunday, November 13, 2022

885. The New Covenant and the Jewish/Gentile Controversy

The world has an army of theologians who consider themselves soldiers sent to interpret the writings of the Bible. An army is more effective when they work together in sync, but the countless array of viewpoints and opinions have largely left each individual soldier fending for themselves, running in all kinds of different directions and resulting in confusion and disarray. One of the subjects that has “Bible believers” all over the map is on the topic of the New Covenant.

Some will claim it hasn’t begun yet and it will come later after Israel agrees to the terms of the agreement. Others will say it is in effect, but only for Israel. Others who believe the NC is in place and available for everyone have differing views on just exactly how the covenant should be defined. Few church denominations teach on it at all. So let’s take a closer look at the New Covenant and the Jewish/Gentile controversy that was taking place in those early days after the resurrection of Jesus.



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Sunday, November 06, 2022

884. The Apostle Paul Never Mentioned Confessing Your Sins

Our conversation this week starts out with reflecting on the transition of experiencing the truth of the gospel of grace and how it is so radically different from typical teachings within the corporate church world. It really begins within the heart of a person as God reveals it, and then the mind and understanding begin to pick up on it.

On a related note, we also follow-up from our previous program about the tremendous misunderstandings regarding a Bible verse that appears to be saying that believers need to continually confess all of their sins in order to be forgiven (again) and cleansed from all unrighteousness (again). It’s a faulty doctrine that doesn’t add up with the many writings of Paul and it has kept people in chains. So who was John talking to in this specific passage and what was he really saying?

In case you missed it last week, Joel referenced a recent blog post he'd written on this subject, which can be found here, along with an older blog post series he'd written, which can be found here.



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Sunday, October 30, 2022

883. A Podcast Without a Title

Once in a great while, we like the “rush” of recording a program without discussing what we’ll talk about ahead of time. This week, we just opened the microphones, and both talked about something randomly on our minds.

Kap: How many times is the Greek word for “gospel” found in the New Testament? And where is it most often found? What may surprise you is the books where it is seldom found or does not appear at all.

Joel: Examining the misunderstandings of “sin confession” from the book of 1 John and some little-known history behind the people John was addressing in the first chapter of his letter.  Joel referenced a blog post he had written on this subject, which can be found here.  Also, an older blog post series he'd written can be found here.



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Sunday, October 23, 2022

882. Legalistic Religion’s Push for Cheap Law (Grace Isn’t Cheap)

Those who advocate for a works-based attempt at getting right with God will often accuse the message of faith-based righteousness as nothing more than “cheap grace.” Of course, the Bible doesn’t caution against grace at all. Pure grace is not “dangerous ground” or something we can have too much of because God has poured out an abundance of grace—grace upon grace—which overflows beyond what is needed. There is no such thing as cheap grace because it cost God everything to bring people into a place of perfection through the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

However, there is something we don’t hear much about, but it dominates the corporate church communities … and that is cheap law. This is where the wolves will try to convince the sheep they can actually achieve success in keeping the rules and regulations of the Mosaic law (more accurately, a modernized, shrunken version of it). As members of the “hyper-grace” community, we realize the law of God given to Israel was something so holy, so good and so righteous, that nobody could possibly live up to that perfect standard. It was never given for that purpose … which is why it would be fulfilled by Jesus, allowing us to receive life by grace through faith, apart from works.



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