Sunday, June 09, 2024

966. "Be Doers of the Word" (But What IS the "Word" in This Instance?)

James made a statement in his letter to the twelve Jewish tribes ... believed by most historians to be the earliest writing in the pages known as The New Testament. "Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:22). This passage, along with what follows has a consistent but curious theme of externals, doing and works—and all under the topic of righteousness, salvation and justification.

In program #2 in this brief series, we continue to take a closer look at the entire context of what James said shortly before this (and after). Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what he meant by "the word?" Modern-day believers may skim over it and think that James is telling us to be a doer of the Bible (whatever that means). But in order for these Jewish believers to be able to meet this goal of identifying as a doer, it would have to be something specific that they were already familiar with ... and something they could see, hear and do—dare we say—something being read and heard in synagogues every week on the Sabbath.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book

Sunday, June 02, 2024

965. Can We Have a Word? (A Look at the Word "Word")

The popular phrase from the Old Testament known as, "The Ten Commandments" is more rightfully interpreted as "The Ten Words." Is it a big deal? Perhaps not, but we wanted to point out a few things about this to lay some groundwork before getting into something that James wrote to his believing Jewish brothers and sisters from the twelve tribes.

James made a statement to them about being a doer of "the word" and not a hearer only. It's easy to brush past this, but let's put on the brakes and check it out in context. Just exactly what did James mean by being a doer of the word? How we answer this becomes a bigger deal. He also said that the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. So what is it precisely that James believes will produce the righteousness of God? What did he mean when referring to the law of liberty? Is it a grace thing found within the New Covenant or something else? We'll dive into it and offer some perspectives over the next few programs.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book

Sunday, May 26, 2024

964. Identifying as a Doer... Or a Believer

When we shrink the message of the good news down to a few Bible verses which have been yanked out of context, it can turn into a scary place to hang out. For example, Jesus spoke about some people who would one day be told to depart from Him ... and that He never knew them. Believers can misunderstand such a passage and make it their life's goal to work at doing whatever it takes to never hear those words being spoken to them.

Jesus told some religious scholars that harlots and tax collectors would enter into the kingdom of God before they would. Why?

The disciples asked what they must do to work the works of God. Jesus didn't dictate an instruction manual but answered by saying, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

Understanding our identity as believers in Christ is a foundational launching pad for us to come to a place of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who strives to be identified as a doer by performing what they consider to be mighty works in the name of Jesus ... will mistakenly think this entitles them to a reservation in the kingdom.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book

Sunday, May 19, 2024

963. Thou Shalt Read Your Bible (And Like It!)

Never mind the millions of opinions, interpretations, and thousands of church corporations and denominations about what is inside the pages of the Bible ... there is also an immeasurable number of thoughts and assumptions just about the Bible itself and what it is or isn't. Some of us were instructed to make it required reading on a daily basis. Others may have been told it is our daily bread and without ingesting it as frequently as eating food, we might starve spiritually.

Of course, we're thankful for these writings (we talk about them every week on the podcast). But anything—even something as potentially beneficial as Bible reading—can become a lifeless religious exercise that can sadly feel like a burdensome activity because of what others have told us. And everyone will have a different viewpoint on how to read it, how often, etc., without any guarantee of walking away with a better understanding of the gospel. Knowing we can pick up the pages because we want to instead of being guilted into it will make things more enjoyable ... and probably more profitable.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book

Sunday, May 12, 2024

962. The Things We Do for Love

This week, we take a look back at some of the things we were coaxed into thinking and doing as it was being fed to us through our legalistic religious surroundings and misunderstandings ... as we strived to do whatever we thought was necessary to make sure we were in "God's good graces." After all, we were told of the risks of potentially losing fellowship with God (although the specifics were mysteriously missing in the fine print). Do more. Pray more. We thought that maybe "more" would be enough. Maybe.

You may be able to relate to our experiences a little bit, because sadly, many believers in Christ have been in a consistent state of panic—wondering whether they are still loved by God or still accepted because of things they have done. They begin to feel a false sense of contamination—and then condemnation— and will attempt to get their compass pointed in the right direction by doing things to make up for it. Their "faith" or belief becomes centered around their dedication and commitment to God instead of what God has already done for us through His Son. There will be no need for us to graduate by earning a spiritual senior discount when we begin to understand the things that have already been freely given to us by God.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book

Sunday, May 05, 2024

961. "I'm Exhausted" (How Can I Rest in the Finished Work of Christ?)

Try harder, do more, read the Bible more, be extra dedicated to church, pray more (and sometimes pay more). Someone wrote to us to share their background of feeling obligated to spend as much time as possible working to do everything they could "to connect with God." Many of us can relate to chasing the imaginary spiritual golden carrot that seemed to dangle just out of our reach. In their words, it left them exhausted—and the enemy will use this against us—while we lose sight of our identity as a believer in Christ.

Jesus had a message for the religious workaholic: He desires to give rest. It's the opposite of exhaustion. Unlike the law that the Jews were pursuing, it's the opposite of burdensome. His yoke is not one of imprisonment, but it is light and easy. When we begin feeling spiritually or emotionally weary and overloaded, we're probably traveling in the wrong direction—and God wants to help us with that.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book

Sunday, April 28, 2024

960. The Living God Revealing Himself

God desires to reveal Himself to us. It is not something that is comprehended with the mind or intellect but is spiritually discerned. While our knowledge may grow and our minds become renewed when it comes to understanding the truth of the gospel, the revelation comes from God's Spirit to our spirit in the heart of our innermost being. It opens the spiritual eyes of our understanding.

It is not rooted in an academic approach because God's revelation surpasses knowledge and Bible philosophy or theology—and it is centered on the person of Jesus Christ. As we've been discussing, God's will for us is based more on knowing the living Christ than it is simply having knowledge about Him.



Download  GIGBite  YouTube

Get the book