Sunday, November 11, 2018

677. 1 John 1:9 (Part 1) Was John Addressing Believers or Unbelievers?

Regardless of your Christian background, there is a good chance the Bible verse that you've heard quoted or used more than any other is 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NASB). Generally, “the Christian religion” has put a spotlight on this verse by jumping to the conclusion that believers in Christ should continue to apologize to God by confessing every sinful thought or action in order to remain in God’s perfect way of forgiveness. As they see it, failing to do so will result in having unforgiven sin in your life and put a strain on your fellowship with God. It’s as though God’s grace and the finished work of the cross are set aside on the shelf, as you are burdened with trying to confess what God declared He remembers no more and is not counting against us in this New Covenant.

Here’s the crux of the problem: Legalistic religion has made the false assumption John was writing to believers in his first chapter of this letter, thereby leaving Christians to try and come up with ways to make this passage relevant to the Christian life. This week, we’ll begin to address why this entire first chapter was a rare exception within the epistles of the New Testament - where the writer was addressing unbelievers instead of believers.*

*This will be a multi-part series that will unfold more clearly over several weeks.



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Sunday, November 04, 2018

676. Receiving the Forgiveness That Has Already Been Given

A once for all forgiveness for sins occurred through Jesus Christ when His blood was shed at the cross. The problem of sins ever bringing a separation or coming between God and us has been dealt with by God Himself through the body of Jesus Christ. God was in Him, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them. He no longer deals with us according to our sins, which have been cast as far away as the east is from the west. When the priests under the law made offerings for sin, it was a temporary covering (atonement) and a new forgiveness was needed shortly thereafter. They kept standing, offering the same sacrifices that could never take sins away. But our new High Priest (Jesus) made one offering… then He sat down, because when forgiveness is a completed and finished work, “there no longer remains an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). Now in order to experience and enter the life of Christ, we simply believe in Him and what He did on our behalf. The gift of forgiveness that has already been “offered” is received by simply believing (see examples in Acts 10:43; 26:18).



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Sunday, October 28, 2018

675. The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sins of the World

Continuing on our journey on the subject of forgiveness of sins from God, some questions we discuss this week… when does forgiveness occur? Is it something God extends to each individual on a one by one basis, or is it a gift that has been offered and made available to everyone in the world? We know Jesus was identified as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. As it relates to the finished work of Christ and the power of His blood that was shed once for all, were sins taken away at that time over 2,000 years ago? Or is a new act of forgiveness from God still required? In other words, is it possible God has closed the book on forgiveness after the cross of Christ, and all that is left now is for people to receive it by believing the work of Christ was and is sufficient? If sin is no longer an issue of separation between God and people, is unbelief the only thing that will keep people from experiencing the life of God through salvation and righteousness? These are some of the questions we are asking in our discussion as we consider the magnitude of the cross.



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Sunday, October 21, 2018

674. Forgiveness Complete, Offerings Stopped

Good news: The blood of Jesus Christ did not cover your sins (don’t panic). Why is this good news? Because something better happened. Instead of covering them, His blood took them completely away. They were removed once and for all by one sacrifice. Contrast this with the many sacrifices of the blood of animals with ceremonies offered under the first covenant. Those sacrifices were offered daily and provided an atonement (covering), but they could never take sins away. Forgiveness was temporary for the Jewish people under the Law. In the kingdom where we grace radicals abide, we talk much about forgiveness of sins that have occurred whether they be past, present or future. As we challenge our traditional mindsets on this subject, the question we begin to ask is… when did this occur and is it synonymous with salvation where we find life in Christ? To be continued…



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Sunday, October 14, 2018

673. "Do I Still Need God to Forgive Me Each Day?"

The subject of forgiveness has been a common guest on our program over the years. Even believers in Jesus Christ will often struggle with whether they are truly forgiven or wonder where they stand with God. In their minds they may ponder whether they are they forgiven only up until this moment - until another sinful thought or action occurs. Have they confessed everything? Of course they haven’t confessed all of their sins - and we should ask if that activity even brings a renewed forgiveness from God.

When contrasting the Old Covenant to the New, we find quite a contrast as the book of Hebrews explains the true power of the blood of Jesus that was shed just one time. The Jewish people were unable to rest in God’s forgiveness. Why? Because they had to keep seeking a renewed forgiveness on a daily basis. It’s likely we haven’t fully understood what occurred on that cross when Jesus died and uttered the words, “It is finished.” The good news is far better than we think, and it’s why we live in something called a better covenant, established upon better promises.



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Sunday, October 07, 2018

672. The Spirit of the Living God (Not the Spirit of the Law)

Legalists from the Christian religion who promote and teach a combination of the Old and New Covenant will use ambiguous language which is often misleading and leaves the hearers in the state of confusion. The double talk tries to convince people they need to do something in order to become more like God, become more righteous, more holy, more sanctified and the list goes on. It begins to take the spotlight off of the finished work of Jesus Christ and put the focus on us as we try to maintain forgiveness and fellowship with God by following some sort of “Judeo Christian” mixture based upon a sandy foundation of law and grace. As believers begin hearing “Moses” out of context, they become blinded to a greater knowledge of the truth, while missing out on many blessings God has already provided. One example is where they use the fabricated phrase “the spirit of the law” when the Scripture clearly defines the passage as the Spirit of the living God.



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Sunday, September 30, 2018

671. Theological Gibberish: “The Spirit of the Law”

When mixed covenant teaching attempts to suggest Christians should follow the Mosaic Law from the Old Covenant, a concept or phrase has been known to be used to build their case as they refer to “the spirit of the law.” They will complicate the simple gospel by convincing people of the differences between what they call the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. As is typically the case, people will be begin to believe the phrase actually appears in Scripture (it doesn’t). Bible “verses” get used out of context from various passages and the message of the good news becomes confusing as the waters get muddied with misleading theories which lack clarity, while leading people into a type of spiritual bondage. If you find yourself traveling on the road of lifeless religion, watch for the warning signs: “Dead End Ahead.”

EXTRAS: On this week's podcast we mentioned Kap's 'preaching' at Heartland Vineyard Church. Here is his 40 minute message on YouTube.


We also mentioned Ralph Harris and his new book "Life According to Perfect," as well as Joel's past interviews of Ralph. Check out the book here, as well as Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview.



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