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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Sunday, July 01, 2018

658. The Golden Rule: A Spiritual Death Sentence

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). The religious world refers to this as the golden rule. Yep, the gold standard by which all other rules should be compared. With one sentence, Jesus summarized the impossible standard of the entire law with its hundreds of commandments. It was the ministry of spiritual death. It was meant to bring hopelessness and despair. The good news is that Jesus Christ united us together in His death, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Sin no longer has dominion over us in Christ… not because we’re able to keep rules perfectly or try to behave better, but because we have already died to sin through the death of Jesus. Now we’re led by the ministry of the Spirit of God under a New Covenant, where we are not under the law. It’s the ministry of life.

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

657. When Church Teaching Misses the Gospel Target

We are not against the church. But it’s unfortunate that much of what has been heard and taught through various denominations and organizations has led people down the wrong path. Sometimes they are taught a mixture of law and grace which will lead to more sinning and more guilt instead of less. We have heard from people around the world through our podcast ministry, and in some cases they needed to seek professional counseling for various kinds of depression and fear which resulted in having medication prescribed to treat their condition… and it was related to their church experiences or Bible teaching that brought them to this place. The gospel is meant to bring a blessed assurance, and God’s unconditional love and grace has been given to us in abundance to bring peace of mind and to equip us for every good work. Our intention at Growing in Grace is to teach and remind people of how God has freely given us all things that are good.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

656. "Am I Right with God?"

Something many people wonder deep inside is the question of whether they are right with God. Even those who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ may question at times as to where they stand with God. Their fear or uncertainty is sometimes triggered by their behavior and performance. They may tend to assume their identity as a child of God is filtered through their works and actions, or religious rule-keeping. The gospel reveals something that isn't always heard through weekly church teaching, and it's the greatest news you could ever want to hear. We've been gifted with God's very own righteousness. Right-standing with Him is no longer something you'll ever have to wonder about ever again.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

655. Dead to Sin, Alive to Righteousness

Behavior is important. Avoiding sin is profitable. But these are not the components that represent who you are as a believer in Jesus Christ. Your spiritual identity is based purely on a work that God did in you by faith as a result of the finished work of Jesus at the cross. Many new believers are told to repent from sin, stop sinning, work at avoiding sin, etc. — and if they blow it, they should seek a renewed forgiveness from God, and work at trying harder to become more holy and sanctified. This ends up pulling people into the very thing they are trying to avoid. If we would start letting believers know they are truly declared to be the righteousness of God and have been forgiven by blood that was shed once and for all, they can begin to realize and experience God's unconditional love. This unlimited supply of eternal grace provides the ability for us to be empowered in a way that religious rules and commandments cannot.

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Sunday, June 03, 2018

654. Sharing the Gospel with Others (Part 2)

Following up on last week’s program, we discuss some thoughts about effective ways to communicate the simple gospel message. It may be with someone who has never claimed to be a believer, or it may be someone from your church who has been bound by external religion. The message of God’s grace and unconditional love has changed how we communicate the good news. Many times, well-meaning Christians will tell people the gift of eternal life is free, but after the gift is received, a list of “Christian stuff” is handed to them, telling them all the things they need to do from now on (or the things to avoid). We’ve learned through our growth in grace that a better approach will be to let believers know who they (already) are now in Christ so they can grasp the new identity they have inherited. In Him they have become partakers of the divine nature and are considered holy, righteous, forgiven, sanctified, and much more.

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