Sunday, May 16, 2021

807. The 800 Club: Looking Back - Avoiding the Mixture of Two Different Covenants

As we reflect on surpassing 800 weekly podcasts, a primary theme over the years has been trying to help others to see the Bible in the context of two different covenants—the Old and the New. Being mindful of this as we turn the pages will help us to avoid getting confused about what the gospel is and what it is not. This can apply to the books of the law, the Psalms, prophets, the teachings of Jesus, and the writings from the apostles ... pretty much anything we read.

The New Covenant began after the death of Jesus. It was unlike the covenant God made with Israel when they came out of Egypt during the days of Moses. The Old way resulted with sin increasing, and brought guilt and reminded people of sins. It was weak and useless because forgiveness was never complete. The entire package needed to come to an end and be replaced with something new and better. While empty religion has tried to present a “revised” covenant where the Old and New are combined, Jesus fulfilled the law contained within the Old Covenant, and that finished work has brought to a place of grace and perfect love from God. Jesus became the guarantee, because He is the covenant.



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Sunday, May 09, 2021

806. The 800 Club: Looking Back – Sanctification - It Is Finished

Since our 800th program, we’ve been looking back at some of our most essential conversations when it comes to being established in the knowledge of the truth. One piece of good news that seems to elude religious folks is that our sanctification is not a work in progress, but was completed by Jesus Christ and gifted to us as a new creation in Him. Works-based religion yearns to try and make the gospel about what we do, thereby putting us in the spotlight instead of where it belongs—on the finished work of Jesus. They will dress it up to appear humble enough by saying salvation is an instant gift, but sanctification is a gradual process which we get to participate in through self-improvement while establishing some sort of moral high ground.

God makes it clear there is no boasting when it comes to our sanctification because it’s something Jesus already took care of for us, leaving no doubt that we’ve already been declared holy and set apart. Israel wasn’t able to achieve this by works and commandments … and we can’t either. We can rest from that effort and believe Jesus did enough to complete the job. Being sanctified isn’t something we’re trying to become, it’s who we are and part of our new identity in Him.



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Sunday, May 02, 2021

805. The 800 Club: Looking Back - Forgiveness by Blood - Not Repeated Confessions

As we reflect on the benchmark of more than 800 podcasts, one of the topics we’ve spent some time on is the misunderstanding of thinking believers need to continuously ask God for a renewed forgiveness. The concept comes from a single Bible verse that often misses the context surrounding it. Thinking that one needs to keeping seeking more forgiveness for each individual sin by repeatedly asking God to extend another round again—it diminishes the power of the blood of Jesus and His finished work. And you won’t be able to confess every single wrongful thought and action, leaving you to wonder where you stand with God and whether you are truly forgiven. The gospel reveals that we already are forgiven in Him by the blood of Jesus, through one sacrifice. This brings us into a place of peace and rest, and frees us to forgive others.

We've talked about this many times in the past here on the Growing in Grace podcast.  Here are a couple of those times, if you want to explore this a little more:

A six-part series on 1 John 1:9 begins here (click on Newer Post at the bottom left of each post to get to each of the six parts), and a single episode that we did as part of a series called "Born Identity" can be found here.



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Sunday, April 25, 2021

804. The 800 Club: Looking Back - Embracing Hyper-Grace

We’re celebrating over 800 podcasts, looking back at some of our key discussions from over the years. Several years ago, we were listed in a book, along with other grace ministries, and were accused of “running from the words of Jesus.” Of course, we’ve always embraced the red letters, but there is a context of two different covenants to consider. Hyper-grace accusers are established in a legalistic mindset which tries to combine two very different covenants into one as they tout the need for a “balance” between law and grace.

So just exactly what does hyper-grace mean? It’s not what the religious business is trying to sell you, and Paul actually provides an explanation of God’s unlimited and overflowing grace in the book of Romans—where he declared that grace is indeed hyper. Don’t buy into the myths and fables that grace gives a license to sin or is considered to be cheap grace when there is “too much” of it. It is actually a legalistic, mixed-covenant approach which cheapens the law and will “license” people to keep sinning … but sinful behavior is never sourced or encouraged by the grace of God—quite the opposite. 

During this episode we mentioned a past three-part series entitled The Dangers of Mixing Law and Grace.  You can listen to the series here:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3



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Sunday, April 18, 2021

803. The 800 Club: Looking Back - "Avoiding Fruit From The Morality Tree"

Adam could eat from any tree he pleased, except one. God warned him to stay away from one tree in order to avoid death and the condemnation that would come with it. It wasn’t just a tree of good and evil, but it was called The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It represented the law that would later come through Moses—because the knowledge of sin would come through the law (Romans 3:20). It’s a place where humankind attempts to establish their own righteousness, based upon their own efforts—instead of resting and believing in who God already created them to be.

Many well-meaning believers in Christ are eating from the same tree today, perhaps having the same good intentions as Adam. Today, religion declares: “We should try to become more like Jesus!” This is the result when one fails to comprehend their identity acquired/inherited from the life of God. We’re celebrating over 800 podcasts, looking back at some of our key discussions from over the years.



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Sunday, April 11, 2021

802. The 800 Club: Looking Back - We Have No Relationship With the Mosaic Law

We continue to celebrate the recording of our 800th program as we look back over some foundational discussions we’ve had over the years. Have you ever had religious folks from church tell you that we’re meant to try to live by the standard of law that God worked out in a covenant with Israel which came through Moses? The problem is … they cheapen the law by eliminating significant chunks or changing it to fit their mold. This was a perfect standard that required perfect results—which nobody has ever accomplished.

The world needed a Savior who could fulfill the law for us and bring us into a better covenant of grace. Perfection would come to us, but not by what we do. Grace isn’t cheap, it cost Jesus everything and it was free for us. But cheap law dominates many man-made church doctrines and leads people away from the gospel.



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Sunday, April 04, 2021

801. The 800 Club: Looking Back - The Law-Based Words of Jesus

Celebrating our milestone of 800 programs, we’re looking back at some of the vital discussions we’ve had over the years. One of those topics is the many times that Jesus was not providing new information or directives to those who would eventually become Christian believers, but quite often His focus was to minister the Mosaic law to the Jews who were under it. This included the entire Sermon on the Mount. His purpose was not to try to get them to be better law-keepers, but to show them their inability to live by the requirement and reveal the need for a better option—a Savior who could fulfill the law, free them from it, and provide salvation for the world.

We’ve been accused of hyper grace by legalistic “ministries” who have stated we’re running from the words of Jesus. We’re actually running to the words of Jesus but prefer to consider them within the proper context of both the Old and New covenants.

Past podcast episodes that we mentioned in this episode:
The Non-Christian Teachings of Jesus (Growing in Grace #444​)
•Why Jesus Taught Two Covenants (series)
(Click for Part 1, then click "Newer Post" for each subsequent episode.)
Why Jesus Taught Two Covenants (YouTube playlist)



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