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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Religion vs. The Gospel

There is a good sense of relgion, yet referred to here it connotates a pharisaical implementation.

The following is from Chris Barksdale of the hollywood church:

·      Religion says if you obey God then he loves you and accepts you. The gospel says God loves you because of Jesus therefore you obey.

·      Religion says life and the Bible is all about what I do for God. The gospel says it is about what Jesus did for God on my behalf.

·      Religion says God is like a piƱata and religious acts are the stick you hit Him with to get thing from Him. The Gospel says that God is an unconditional lover and giver to those who accept His Son.

·      Religion leads to pride, despair, uncertainty, and no assurance. The Gospel leads to humility, confidence, and joy.

·      Religion sees hardship as a punishment from God. The Gospel sees hardship as not punishment because Jesus already bore all the punishment for me. Hardship is rather sanctified affliction.

·      Religion sees the world as divided up into good and bad people. The Gospel sees the world as divided up into unrepentant and repentant bad people. 

The last one is telling.  Do you see yourself as against all others, or as a servant of others with the truth?  The dish you serve is the gospel.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Riches Beyond Comparison!!!

Believer - feast on the word of God.  Herein, and here alone, resides our infallible understanding of God Almighty.  All that we learn about Christ, even the experiential, the fantastic and the miraculous, must be submitted to the only infallible word of God, the 66 Books of the Holy Scripture.

Believer - read what is yours in Christ!  My seminary notes from Ephesians chapter 1.

There is a major thrust at the outset of Ephesians to understand that, as believers, our entire calling is “in Christ”, also referred to as “in him”. Our being chosen (1:4), being predestined “through Christ” (1:5), our blessing in “the Beloved”, having redemption (1:7) according to “his grace”, understanding “his will..his purpose” in Christ (1:9), being unified (1:10), given an inheritance according to his will and his purpose (1:11), having hope in Christ unto His glory (1:12), having belief in Him (1:13), sealed with the Holy Spirit (1:13) being the “guarantee of our inheritance” and all this “to the praise of his glory.” (1:14)  The modern phrase “it’s not about me” just doesn’t do such a marvelous passage about our Lord and Savior justice, and reminds us of our inability to comprehend “how deep and wide” is the love of Christ that was bestowed upon us.  This is how Paul starts the letter, and it grows from there into much thanksgiving and prayer through 1:15-23.

True riches are in Christ!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creation is Cursed.

Here is a summary of what was covered yesterday in our Sunday School class.  It is a class of about 75 people, ages 20 - 90 literally.  It's a wonderful group of people who pursue Christ and live for His glory.

Summary of Ed's lesson.
1.  Creation, man, beast and planet, is cursed:  Genesis 3:17-19
2.  Sin offers more of creation
    Pattern: From 1 Peter chapters 1-3 
       2a.  World suffers - Then glory
       2b.  Jesus suffered - Then glory
       2c.  We suffer - Then glory
3.  Sin is not worth it.
4.  Jesus is!

Jesus' death on the cross paid for all of the sin of those who repent and believe in His name.  His wrath is reserved for those who reject Him.  Do not put your trust in your self and your good works.  Salvation is not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9.  Salavation is by grace through faith - both being a work of Christ.