Tag Archives: condemnation

The Choice

We live in a world full of choices. Sometimes I stand before a menu or I look to make a purchase of coffee or gum, and I wonder what to decide. We have so many choices, so many options. But when we look at life, there is no gray area. We have life and death. We have a blessing and a curse. God’s Word is very clear. You have the choice. He paved the way.

Don’t complicate God’s Word. The options are clear. You can choose life or death, heaven or hell, a blessing or curse. The world tells you that God sends people to hell; that is a lie. People choose hell. God’s Word is very clear. Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ is saved (Romans 10:13). Anyone who chooses not to believe in Jesus Christ will be condemned.

Today, look at the big choice you have made. Have you made the choice of life or death, prosperity or disaster? Have you made the choice between a blessing and a curse? Do not think because you are good, that you are going to heaven. Only those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will find everlasting life. Know this truth. Share this truth. Don’t love your family and friends to hell. Tell them that there is only one way to the Father, and His Name is JESUS (John 14:6).

“Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!” – Deuteronomy 11:26 [NLT]

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” – Deuteronomy 30:15-19 [NLT]

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Balancing Truth and Grace

Some people have brought it to my attention that I have a problem balancing truth and grace, hence the reason the Spirit led me to speak often about truth and grace. Often we are not only preaching for others to hear, but God leads us to preach to ourselves as well. Jesus is grace and truth (John 1:17). Life is all about balance, and this is true when it comes to truth and grace. If we have too much truth and lack grace, we have judgment and condemnation. If we have too much grace and lack truth, we have tolerance of the ungodly.

At the start of Galatians, the Apostle Paul is astonished that the people were deserting the Gospel. People were “turning to a different gospel.” We notice in the New Testament that as the Early Church was spreading, there were people who wanted to introduce something else into the Gospel of Christ. People were teaching Christ, but adding to the Gospel. In doing so, it was as if Jesus wasn’t enough. In teaching something added to Jesus or something other than Jesus, it was taking away from the grace and the truth.

As Paul notes here, there is only one Gospel. There is the Good News of Jesus Christ. As John writes, Jesus is grace and truth. As we share this Good News to others and as we live this out in our own lives, we must always have grace and truth. If we live with a lot of truth, trying to uphold the Law, we will die to the law. We are not perfect. We all fall short (Romans 3:23). It won’t work. We will beat ourselves up, and for no good reason. If we pour this out to others, we will be the judgmental, finger pointer who turns everyone away. If we live with a lot of grace, we will never be confronted with the Truth. We cannot be molded into who God created us to be if we turn away from the conviction. We will find ourselves tolerating anything and everything that comes our way. Not only will we live a life tolerating sin in our own life, but we will live like that toward those around us. We will pour out the love, but we will love everyone to hell. This truth hurts. But it is truth that must be spoken. We need truth. We need grace. We need Jesus.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” – Galatians 1:6-7 [ESV]

Colossians Study: Men of Rules

Men of Rules

[Colossians 2:16-23]

  • Let no one steal your freedom (v. 16)
    • Legalism = slavery/bondage à Christ accomplished the Law
    • Spiritual elitism – believed if circumcised, watched diets, observed days – then elite
    • Asceticism (self-denial and self-modification) – Christ does more than restrain—He puts new desire within a person
  • Let no one disqualify or condemn you (v. 16)
    • There is NO condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1)
    • Your qualification is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5)
  • Let no one beguile you of your reward (v. 18-19)
    • Beguile = to declare unworthy of a prize à “Don’t be cheated”
    • You do receive a different degree of glory (1 Corinthians 3:8)

TRADITION CANNOT BE EQUAL TO THE WORD OF GOD

Tradition of Man or Truth and Grace of Christ…

  • Does is stress man made rules over grace?
  • Is it condemning or discipline in love (truth in love)?
  • Does it focus on knowledge and formulas or on the Word of God?
  • Does it elevate rule keepers over Christ?
  • Does it act like elite group?

Bible Study Questions:

1) In verse 16-17, we read not to let anyone say we must celebrate a list of items.

What are these items we should not be forced to celebrate?

Why are these items not mandatory?

What are we to celebrate? (see v. 17)

2) The message mentioned “asceticism” which is a life of self-discipline. It involves practicing strict punishment and restriction (self-denial) to one’s body to modify or change behavior. What are some examples? What is the difference between it being part of the Law or something more?

3) Read verses 20-23.

            How does following the rules makes you appear? How is this not true?

The end of this passage says all of this doesn’t “have any power over our desires.” If this doesn’t have the power, where do we get this power over our desires?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

Grace and Truth

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:14, 17 [ESV]

God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17)

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the life (John 14:6) – The Way to the Father, Truth itself, Life eternal

What about Grace?

Grace is Enough / Amazing Grace / Scandal of Grace / Sufficiency of Grace / Outrageous Grace

Grace Abounds / Only Grace / Saving Grace / Irresistible Grace / Unmeasured Grace

Beauty of Grace/ Fields of Grace / Grace Changes Everything / Grace Flood

 

Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.

  • Gift – Gift from God (Romans 3:24)
  • Received – Received by Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:16)
  • Available – Available to Everyone (Romans 4:16, Romans 10:13)
  • Christ – Grace comes through Christ (John 1:17, Romans 5:15, Galatians 2:21)
  • Eternity – It’s Extended Throughout Eternity (Romans 6:23)

(Acrostic Credit – Rick Warren)

Grace is…

  • Restoring – wipes out guilt & helps you start over (Isaiah 43:25)
  • Sustaining – gives you power to endure (Philippians 2:13)
  • Healing – does miracles in your life (Psalm 147:3)
  • Liberating – helps you break free from perfectionism / upholding the Law (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • Assuring – helps you defeat your fear & doubt (Romans 8:37)

Vertical Grace (God to us) vs. Horizontal Grace (us to others)

Love that reaches up is adoration. Love that reaches out is compassion. But love that stoops is grace.

– Charles Swindoll

Grace brings conviction faster than rebuke!

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. – Ephesians 4:29 [NLT]

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! – Romans 12:16 [NLT]

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 [ESV]

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15 [NASB]

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. – Ephesians 4:2 [NLT]

Filthy Lips

As a mother, I remember the days when my children would eat something and get food all over their faces. I would get out the napkin, wet it and get their faces ready to see the world. Still today I check their faces before we leave just to be sure they are clean. And yes, I check mine as well.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet is standing before God and he immediately acknowledges that he is sinful. He understood that he could not stand before God filthy. God is holy. Then an angel takes a burning coal and touches Isaiah’s lips. The angel says, “Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out” (MSG).

If we accept Jesus and what He did for us, our guilt is gone – our sins are wiped out too. Through the blood of Jesus, we no longer live condemned, but we are made as white as snow. But we have to acknowledge that we are sinful. We have to acknowledge our unclean lips. Even after we repent and accept Christ into our lives, there is a need of daily repentance of our sins. The blood of Jesus wipes out each sin, but for each one, we must bow before the Lord and acknowledge our need for repentance.

“Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.” – Isaiah 6:5-6 [NLT]

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He Didn’t Leave

    I have two children and one thing they know is that they can count on me. Throughout the years, I have made it known to them that I’m here for them no matter what happens. The other day, my daughter needed help. She tried to do something on her own and things didn’t work the way she desired. She wasn’t afraid though, because she knew that I had not left her.

    In John 8, the scribes and the Pharisees took an adulterous woman to Jesus. When they attempted to get her condemned and stoned, Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7 NASB). One by one, everyone left– everyone but Jesus.

    Jesus was the only one who actually could condemn her. He was the only one that was present that was without sin. Not only did He not condemn her, but He also did not leave her. This is an important reminder to all of us. He does not leave us, even when we are not having a good day. When we fall short, when we make mistakes, when we aren’t so pleasant to be around, He is right there waiting for us with open arms.

    At times we need to show ourselves the grace that God shows us. Too often because society is so quick to condemn us, we follow suit. We fear we won’t be accepted or good enough. Today, show yourself some grace. Don’t be afraid. Seek Jesus– He has not left. Understand that no matter what you have done, He awaits with open arms.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24 [NASB]