Sunday, August 19, 2018

665. The Gospel Is the Gift of God’s Righteousness

Something commonly found in our Christian vocabulary is the word gospel. But just exactly how is it defined from a scriptural perspective? Ask a room full of believers what the gospel is, and it’s likely you’ll receive many different answers. So even something as commonplace as “the gospel” is often described in many different ways. This isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, but often our personal perspectives about what we think the gospel is will sometimes contradict what other believers think. Can’t we agree on something that should be so simple? In order to drill through all of the traditional fluff, we take a look at a foundational passage from the Apostle Paul as he reveals the primary meaning of the gospel, and how it differs from the “bad news” that was in place before Jesus came along.

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

664. Successful Christian Living: What Must I Do to Achieve it?

Churches are known for pushing an agenda containing a variety of principles and moral standards for the members to work at trying to live up to in order to attain a higher level of dedication and perhaps even a greater degree of blessing and acceptance from God. It sounds right and it will preach good on Sundays. But this has led many parishioners or former church-goers to a place of frustration and guilt… even unworthiness, as they struggle to live up to the standard they have been taught by others who haven’t been able to live up to the standard they teach themselves. A question should be asked… what specifically do we need to do in order to achieve the status of successfully “living the Christian life?” Rest assured, the list provided by religion will change and evolve, and usually without the specifics. Our program this week encourages believers in Christ to stop chasing the imaginary carrot that religion will dangle in front of them but will never bring the satisfaction they are seeking.

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Sunday, August 05, 2018

663. Reigning in Life

When the focus of our belief in God is merely built upon good and evil—trying to avoid evil and working at doing good—it will not set us free, nor will it help us to do what is good and right. Instead our mindset should be on the person of Jesus Christ and God’s love and grace. Once we begin to understand that we died and were raised with Jesus Christ—and have received His life in us—we can begin to experience the gift of righteousness that will allow us to be more aware and conscious of what He accomplished on our behalf. A deeper revelation of the gospel and the finished work of Christ will help us to escape whatever bondage empty religion will try to burden us with.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

662. What About "Christian Laws and Rules"?

Letter from a Growing in Grace podcast listener:

“I have not been able to keep any rules the Bible or the church says to keep. I am at a loss as I write this because I am so sick of failing and being miserable. I can’t seem to live the Christian life as has been taught to me by various people in the church and even in my own reading of the Bible. I so desire to be freed from this law inside of me to do what is right. I just want to enjoy my life. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I almost want to just stop believing. Please help.”

If you can relate to these types of struggles in your own life or of someone you know, check-out this week’s program.  If you’ve been taught a rules-based religion that puts the pressure upon you to work at being sanctified, accepted by God, blessed, forgiven, etc., with “Christian laws” that nobody can live up to, it’s time to remember what the gospel is about.

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

661. Living in Grace and the Will of God - Part 2

Christians have often been working from a mindset that has encouraged them to continually seek the specific “will of God” in our everyday lives. It sounds religiously correct, and it will preach pretty good during Sunday sermons, but in some instances, it may lead people into a type of bondage that leads to fear and worry. There’s nothing wrong with seeking guidance from the Lord regarding specific situations in our lives. But you need not fear as to whether you are in God’s will as a believer in Christ.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

660. Living in Grace and the Will of God - Part 1

Unlike those who lived under the Old Covenant, after the cross we’re told by the Apostle Paul that believers have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). With that in “mind,” it’s entirely possible that believers can begin to overthink when it comes to living our daily lives while seeking the will of God in all kinds of situations. The Spirit of God is able to communicate to our hearts in a way that surpasses our natural understanding. Live life, enjoy it, be free to make choices without fear and depend upon Him to accompany you every step of the way.

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Sunday, July 08, 2018

659. Walking in God’s Grace in Our Daily Lives

We hear a lot about grace and may talk about the grace of God quite often, but what does it mean when going about our normal everyday lives on planet earth? Ultimately it may begin with realizing grace isn’t just a sermon topic, but its roots are tracked back to the Person of Jesus Christ. Grace doesn’t revolve around various religious practices, but it’s about abiding in an intimate relationship which God has extended to you. As Christ is revealed to us and in us, we can set our minds on Him and what He has done, instead of focusing on self-efforts to change our behavior. The walk becomes much easier in all facets of our lives when we relax and keep our eyes on the One who is the author and finisher of faith.

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