Sunday, January 13, 2013

376. Growing is Knowing (Who You Already Are)

Growing in God's grace is not about improved behavior. The foundation of growing has more to do with understanding our new identity in Jesus Christ and who He has already made us to be. Having our minds renewed to His gift of Life that He has freely given to us, knowing that we have already been given His righteousness and forgiveness and are fully acceptable to Him. Growing in this grace, knowledge and unconditional love will result in a response from us because of who we already are. Not out of fear or obligation or what we hope to become through our own fruitless efforts.

Growing is Knowing (Who You Already Are) (14 Min, 9.6 MB)
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  1. Many churches focuses on behavior,what you have to do for Christ and things that does not matter. The Bible says that He does not dwell in temples made by hands, since He gives breath to every man{Acts 17:25-26}. It is not what you can for Him but what He has done for you!

    Do any of you have podcats that is talking about how you cannot mix the law and grace? I seen too many pastors mix the two and it drives me insane.

  2. Other than the verses in James, which I think most people use wrongly, are there any scriptures that basically says you have to "prove" your faith by either "good works" ( also called "service" or "ministry") and/or obedience?

    Our Baptisit church has become very performance based and seems to be leaning towards non traditional Baptisit teachings. ( I was not raised baptist so not real sure about that. ) I was raised in an independent Grace church, but they are few and far between here in the South.

  3. Mike, I'm sure we've done several podcasts over the years that have talked about how we can't mix law and grace. Our "Covenant Confusion" series, which ran last year from mid-July to early September, had a lot of talk about that. The final podcast of that series was kind of a bullet-point list of the differences and why they don't mix.

    Here are a couple more:
    312. Subtle Legalism and the Danger of Mixing Covenants
    243. A New Covenant - Not a Hybrid Covenant

  4. Anonymous, that's a really great question, and it's something that a lot of people wonder or worry about. I really don't think that James was saying that we have to prove our faith by what we do. Rather, the natural result of faith (what we believe) will be shown in what we do. For example, if I believe (have faith that) it's raining outside, my "works" will be that I will take an umbrella with me. "Works" doesn't mean "religious works" or "law." It simply means the actions that we do as a result of what we believe.

    There are plenty of examples in Hebrews 11. By faith, Sarah conceived and bore a child. By faith, Noah built the ark. By faith, Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain. By faith, Rahab the harlot hid the spies. These are all examples of the "works" that people did because of faith. Their faith was shown to be genuine through what they did. They weren't trying to prove anything. They simply acted according to what they believed.

    A while back we did a couple of podcasts on this. Here they are:
    212. Justified By Faith AND Works?
    213. Faith, Works and Dead Works

  5. Joel, I think that everyone acts and reacts accordingly to what they believe, I think we alll are wired this way. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. So the mind that is on the flesh does the things of the flesh which is death and the mind that is on the Spirit does the things of the Spirit which is life, therefore one believes or one does not. I just posted a blog called feelings and it does a good job I think in explanation.

  6. Yep, Howard, last June and July we did a couple of podcasts called "Renewing the Mind" and "Thoughts on Thinking," in which we talked about these things. It's so true that we will act according to what we think and believe, so indeed it's important to be rooted and grounded in the truth and to have our minds kept on the Spirit.

  7. Excellent. Wondering... I think it was Kap who said he would love a few hours to spend talking about the main points of grace teaching. Could you write the main points in a paragraph, summarizing what you might say? ~ Pat Cook

    1. Pat, I will try to give some bullet points on a class that Joel & I have done together at a church we have attended as well as I have done by myself. But of course these are just the headlines/summaries without the specific details we would cover in-person.

      1. What is the Gospel?
      (A revelation of God's righteousness in us. We are righteous, that is, right with God apart from the effort of our own works)

      2. What the Gospel is Not
      (The sermon on the mount and "some" other misunderstood things Jesus said. Here we explain more about the differences between the old covenant & the new and that the new did not start until after Jesus died)

      3. Identity Challenged
      (Looking at the identity we previously had in Adam and now how that has changed by knowing who we are now in Christ. The only main, effective weapon the enemy has is to keep us from understanding who we are in Him in regards to our new identity)

      4. Faith Vs Law
      (Many have been taught more about walking in the the law of Moses rather than faith. The two do not mix and in fact are opposites. Works were heavy and hard & depended on what we would do and it always failed. Faith is light & easy because we depend on what God did through Christ. The law has been abolished under the new covenant)

      5. The Exchanged Life
      (Believers no longer have a sinful nature but rather it was exchanged for the righteous nature of God)

      6. Freedom from Guilt
      (An important hurdle for people to get past and why they can do it. Condemnation has no place in us)

      7. It is Finished
      (Our entire belief system needs to be placed on the cross. This is where God declared peace with us...Through the blood of Jesus. So what does "It" mean in this phrase? The finished work of Christ brought FULL reconciliation between God and man along with all its benefits.

      So there you go! I think I speak for Joel when I say that our hearts get the most satisfaction out of helping break many religious and erroneous mindsets people have been stuck in (as we were for much of our lives). So much of what church folks have been taught is clearly out of context. Once people really begin to understand what the gospel is and what it already provided or us, life becomes a joy because we start to realize it has always been about Him (not us). We now abide in His Life rather than trying to improve our own.