Sunday, December 30, 2018

Top Picks of 2018

Happy New Year from the Growing in Grace podcast! We'll return in 2019 with brand new weekly Growing in Grace episodes, but this week's topic is the Top Picks of 2018. Mike and Joel have both independently selected two of their favorite episodes from this past year.

We'll start with this pick from Mike: Dead to Sin, Alive to Righteousness. (Podcast 655).

"This is one of my personal favorite Growing in Grace podcasts in 2018. It quickly and simply covers a handful of topics that are commonly misunderstood within the vocabulary of legalistic religious circles:

Under grace, can we just go out and do whatever we want?
Sin, repentance, and struggles.
Understanding who you are: The righteousness identity of a believer.
Already forgiven and sins taken away."


Joel's first pick comes from a 17 part series that we did called "Summarizing the Scripture." As we were nearing the end of the series, we did an episode called Contradictions or Different Covenants? (Podcast 645).

"I like this episode because it's a great summary of the differences between the Old and New Covenants, and we talk about why did Jesus often taught works-based teachings that seem to contradict the essence of the New Covenant.  Under the Old Covenant, it was up to the people to keep the covenant, but all they ever did was fail.  Everything in the New Covenant is based on the finished work of Jesus and God's oath that He made to Himself, and not the works of the people.  It always confused me why Paul seemed to teach righteousness as a free gift that we receive apart from works, and yet Jesus seemed to teach that it was all works-based.

What I eventually came to understand is that Jesus was teaching the Old Covenant to those who were under it (Israel), for the purpose of showing them that they were not keeping it (and could not keep it), and they instead needed to turn, by faith, to this other covenant that was based upon God's oath to Himself and not their ability to keep a covenant with God."


Next, from Mike, The Golden Rule: A Spiritual Death Sentence (Podcast 658).

"Here is one of my top 5 favorite Growing in Grace podcasts of 2018. It takes a traditional mindset 'head-on' with the subject of The Golden Rule as stated by Jesus:

'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).

Traditional Christianity has mistakenly mixed this law from the Old Covenant into church tenets and creeds. With one sentence He summarized the entire law which nobody could keep and it brought a sentence of guilt, bondage and death … not life. There is a better way."


Another of Joel's favorites from 2018: The Gospel Is the Gift of God's Righteousness. (Podcast 665).

"Back to the basics with this one. We talk about questions such as What is the gospel? and How does it differ from the 'bad news?'  The 'bad news' is that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but yet the 'good news' - the gospel - is that God justifies ungodly people by gifting them with His very own righteousness.  The gospel reveals the righteousness of God that is given as a gift to those who do nothing but believe. Those trying to attain righteousness by their own works don't find it, and yet it's given freely to those who aren't even trying.  This episode is one of my favorites because it's a great reminder to me that I have nothing to boast about before God, and I can stop trying to perform for God in order to attain or maintain right standing with Him.  I've already received it, solely as His gift to me."


We hope you enjoy our year end picks!  Do you have any favorites?  If you'd like to hear more, check out the "Most Popular Posts" in the column to the right, which lists the most viewed posts on this website in the last year.

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