A new life, His life.

'Why did we have to die with Christ? Isn’t that a bit dramatic' you might think. ‘Couldn’t God have done it another way?’ The New Testament tells us that we died with Christ for good reasons. First we died to the law so we could live in a new way (Gal. 2:19; Col. 2:20). Second, we died to the power of sin so we would have a free choice (Rom. 6:2, 7, 12). Third, we died to receive a new heart, a new mind, and a new spirit—to become a new creation (Ezek. 36:26; 1 Cor. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:17). Some of us … [Read more...]

The Surprise Ending

“There’s a load of debate out there about law and grace: Should we adopt some of the law? Don’t we need a balance of law and grace? And the truth is that 99 percent of the people debating the issue are Gentiles. For us, it’s the new covenant or nothing at all. So let’s enjoy everything from Genesis to Revelation, knowing it’s all inspired. But let’s also recognize that there’s a surprise ending to the story—the cross and the resurrection! This surprise ending inspires us to go back and reinterpre … [Read more...]

Thinking, Choosing, and Feeling.

“We humans tend to think first, then feel, then choose. While this is very common, it is not what God wants for us as we live by faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, the Healer would have us think, then choose, then feel what we may. This is what it means to walk by faith, not by sight or feeling. We shouldn’t wait to feel that something is true before we choose to walk by it. Our emotions may or may not ever line up perfectly with the Healer’s truth about us. Nevertheless, we can discard error and ch … [Read more...]

How righteous are you?

“Many of us are quick to say that we are redeemed, but we are slow to agree that we are also righteous and holy. ‘Oh, yeah, in Christ’ we say, as if that’s some sort of distant, far-off righteousness that is useless for now. But how righteous are you if Christ Jesus has become your righteousness? And how holy are you if Christ Jesus has become your holiness? These are qualities that we possess because Jesus has become our life (Col. 3:4). Once we realize our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection … [Read more...]

A Reason To Give

“From Romans to Revelation, there is no passage that instructs Christians to give a required 10 percent. In fact, we find the opposite—under God’s new way, there’s no minimum and no maximum. It’s entirely up to us: ‘Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’ (2 Cor. 9:7) So why give? Three good reasons for giving are discussed in the New Testament. First we’re told to give when there’s a need (2 Cor. 8:12). … [Read more...]

God’s great success

“God did something in the past and fully met the law’s requirements. He sent his Son to be a sin offering so he could condemn sin. Did God succeed? Of course. When did he succeed? Nearly two thousand years ago. So is God still trying to fulfill the law today? No, he has fulfilled it already. It’s a past event. Notice that God did this so that the law would be fully met in us, not by us. When we come to Christ, all that he did to fulfill the law is placed in us and credited to us. This makes our r … [Read more...]

God’s new way of grace

“But what did Jesus do with our sins? He took them away forever (John 1:29; Heb. 10:14). That’s why the Spirit of God will never leave us. Bam! That’s the simple, logical, and liberating difference of God’s new way of grace—permanent relationship, permanent indwelling by God’s Spirit, no matter what. Yes, even when we commit sins, he remembers them no more (Heb. 8:12). Even when we are utterly disobedient, he remains faithful. The Holy Spirit is sealed within us, forever, and he will never leave … [Read more...]