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.



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Monday, June 20, 2022

Joel as a Guest on The UnSunday Show

For some time now, we have been friends with Mike and Susan Adams, who both formerly did a podcast together called The Grace Cafe.  Mike Adams has also been doing another podcast, The UnSunday Show, for some time, and he recently had Joel as a guest, discussing the subject of the recent Growing in Grace podcast series, "The Law Abolished."

You can listen to the episode (and all of the great UnSunday Show episodes) at UnSunday.com.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

864. "Be Holy." But How?

If the goal is to be holy, how does this occur? Is it attained by what we do? Works? Conduct? Would one even need be considered saved and a believer in Christ to accomplish an acceptable level of good behavior that could be considered holy … at least in the eyes of the religious community? And if it requires all of our conduct to be perfect, righteous and holy, who decides what is and isn’t defined as sufficient?

You can probably already see how muddy the waters can get when it comes to a works-based attempt at gaining favor with God. There is no assurance in any of it. This week, we look at some words from the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter regarding the gift of God’s righteousness and holiness through an inheritance.



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Sunday, June 12, 2022

863. The Light of the World Is Jesus (Not Us)

Another case of mistaken identity is when believers assume they are spiritually identified as “the light of the world.” The misguided assumption usually stems from something Jesus said during the Sermon on the Mount when He was speaking to His Jewish disciples who had not yet even received the Holy Spirit. When Jesus told his buddies they were considered the light at that time—He was referring to the nation of Israel—the only people who were in covenant with God before the cross. But later, Jesus would reveal that He is the true light of the world.

Nowhere in New Testament letters written to the churches are we identified as the light of the world. Whatever light comes from us is because we are in Him as children of the light—and He in us. This takes the pressure off us because we have no need to wonder or fear if “our” light will go dim. The light in us is not tied to works and performance which can be up and down or inconsistent. It’s the light of Christ that abides in us and it’s eternal. He is the light that shines from us.



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Sunday, June 05, 2022

862. The Law Abolished - Final Thoughts (Really)

Okay, okay, we admit it. Last week was going to be our final program in “The Law Abolished” series. But in case you didn’t read the fine print in our podcast contract, we reserve the right to change our minds. We felt another round would be beneficial to finish this series or topic to further address questions that may still be lingering … and there is a handful of potential “light bulb” moments here as we attempt to help bring further consistency to the message of the gospel of pure grace … fully apart from a law of commandments.

Today, God has a very different ministry than before Jesus died and rose. It’s the ministry of the Spirit, which completely surpassed the previous ministry of works from a former covenant which has absolutely no place since Jesus Christ fulfilled it.



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Sunday, May 29, 2022

861. The Law Abolished - Wrapping up Final Thoughts (Or Not)

At the time we recorded this episode, we were thinking it would be our final program in the series, so you will hear us talk about that. However, the next time we sat down to record, our brain cells started firing and we ended up having a few more thoughts to share, so there will be one more after this one!

This particular episode provides us an opportunity to tie a number of thoughts together regarding the Mosaic law, its purpose and why it is no longer needed today in a covenant of grace. What once had glory has come to have no glory at all … because of the greater and more superior ministry of the Spirit of God.



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Sunday, May 22, 2022

860. The Law Abolished (and Gentiles Were Never Under It)

Our fourth program in the series brings us to a conversation which challenges the idea that the law of commandments from Mount Sinai is still meant to be ministered to people after the cross as a tool to bring them to Christ. There is an effective way to look back on this obsolete law package from the Old Covenant … and the writer of the book of Hebrews shows an example of explaining how it was once the way that Jews attempted to attain righteousness by works—and that it couldn’t be done.

It’s not hard for we grace folks to fall into a similar trap that the legalists have been stuck in—picking and choosing selective bits and pieces of that old law while ignoring other parts that seem more obsolete or abolished. The law only spoke to Jewish people before the cross. It never spoke to Gentiles. So let’s consider a radical idea: stop trying to use the law of sin and death to persuade people and just start sharing the good news of Jesus. He did what the law never could—He fulfilled it in us.
 


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