Fifteen Ways to Know you are Growing in Holiness

Original Article fund here

Over the past few weeks I have been reading Edward Welch’s new book A small book about a big problem. Although I wouldn’t have described myself as someone who struggled with anger this book has revealed how much and how often I do fall short in this area.

All in all it is a book that I recommend everyone read. It is a short book with fifty very short chapters. Designed to help you focus each day on a various aspect of anger, patience and peace. I truly appreciate Welch’s approach in helping people grow in this area.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing about this book is its long-term focus. Welch isn’t interested in short-term fixes but rather focuses on the heart and teaches the reader to realize that the fight against anger is a life-long fight.

At the end of the book he offers fifteen encouragements. Fifteen different examples that the reader can hang onto so that he can see growth in his sanctification. These specifically apply to the problem of anger, but I thought they provide a helpful blueprint for dealing with any sin. We should be constantly fighting against sin, and going to war with particular sins in our lives. These fifteen examples will prove helpful in our ability to notice growth when going to war against our flesh.


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How to Handle Conflict in the Church

church%20conflict.001The church should be the best in the world at handling conflict. We were taught by Jesus exactly how it is to be done. Yet we often side step the issue. We gossip. We talk about other people rather than to people. We avoid conflict.

If we handled conflict humbly, gently, and bravely, the church would be in much better shape. Plus, our testimony before the watching world would be better. So, how exactly did Jesus instruct Christians to handle conflict within the body of Christ?

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What Saving Faith Looks Like

What Saving Faith Looks Like

It is important to understand that saving faith is not simply believing some historical fact with one’s mind. For example, we believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States and that Hitler ruled Germany in World War II and that Mahatma Gandhi lived in India. But such beliefs do not change the lives of those who believe. Likewise, many people believe that Jesus Christ lived long ago and that He did many wonderful things, but this belief does not change their lives.

Saving faith is different from this.

 

  1. Saving faith is an undivided

The Bible says that Jesus is the only Lord and Savior. See John 14:6; Acts 4:12. To be saved I must believe that Jesus Christ ALONE is Lord and Savior, just as the Bible says. Some people try to add Jesus to their other gods. They want to believe in Jesus while believing in other lords as well. No one can be saved this way.

 

  1. Saving faith is a trusting

The word “believe” in the Bible means to trust, to depend upon, to commit oneself to.To be saved a person must fully trusthis soul and eternal destiny to the Lord Jesus. He must rely uponJesus and Jesus alone to forgive his sin and make him right with God and carry him to heaven. Trusting Jesus is like trusting a boat to carry me across a lake. It is not enough to look at the boat and to admire it. You must get into the boat and trust it to carry you safely to the other side.

Have you trusted Jesus to take away your sin? Some people say they believe in Jesus, but they continue to go through their old religious rituals. This proves they are not truly trusting in Jesus. When we trust Jesus, we realize that we do not need any vain religious rituals for salvation.

 

  1. Saving faith is a convinced
To be saved I must be fully convincedthat Jesus is Lord and Savior and that He will fulfill His promises to me. True salvation is a know-so salvation. This is the kind of faith that Jesus’ early disciples had. See Peter’s testimony in John 6:66-69. This is the testimony of a genuinely saved person. We can be sure because of God’s promises (1 John 5:11-13). In contrast is the “faith” of those who say they “hope” they will be saved, meaning they aren’t sure. Saving faith doesn’t hope it makes it into heaven. Saving faith is sure, certain, convinced. It is not 99% faith in Jesus. It is 100% faith in Jesus. Our salvation is “by grace, through faith in Jesus” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
 
 
 


We Can Know We Have Assurance Of Salvation

We Can Know We Have Assurance Of Salvation, click link here to listen to the audio.
Pastor Kevin Inman, Grace Point at Eagle heights Church
Quest Camp 2018, Night 1 Bible Study
 
 

We Can Know We Have Assurance Of Salvation

A. What does it mean to be saved ?

Acts 16:31 — Believe in the Lord Jesus

John 1: 12-13 —  Receive

John 3:16-19

2 Corinthians 5:17 – 19

Roman’s 5:6

2 Corinthians 13:5

B. How can we be sure ?

James 2:19

Ephishlans 2:1-8

Romans 10:9-10

1 Corinthians15:1-3

How can I be sure ???

C. These will help you know your saved 

1 John 5:10 -14

John 5:24

Romans 8:16

Jude 24

Ephesians 4:30

John 10:29

Romans 8:38-39

D. When Does Eternal Life begin?
Eternal life John 3:16 —- the moment you BELIVE!


What the Church Needs Now is Love

Pastor T. Kevin Inman, www.GPEHchurch.com

What the Church Needs Now is Love

GREATEST COMMAND

34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together.
35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question,testing Him,
36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38“This is the great and foremost commandment. Matthew 22:34–38


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How to Get in the Game

from John MacArthur, www.GTY.org

When I played college football, my coaches constantly drilled our team with the admonition: “Play your position!” They had to repeat it often because when we saw the play develop toward another place on the field, we were tempted to dash over and try to tackle the guy with the ball. About that time the play would reverse direction to the spot we had just left.

One of our best players was very aggressive and often strayed far from his position. He was all over the field tackling people, and invariably the wrong ones. Finally, he was benched. Though he was a good athlete, he proved worthless to the team because he wouldn’t stick to his position.

Since we all tended to make the same mistake, the coach would take us back to the locker room to draw the plays on a chalkboard. He would first make everyone’s position plain to see, and then he’d explain how the plays were supposed to run. There’s a parallel to that in Christian experience. God has put you on His team and given you both the resources and the obligation to “play” your position in the Body of Christ. He has given you spiritual gifts for carrying out your assignment.

Your first obligation as a Christian is to learn about your position in the Body of Christ. You’ve got to study the chalkboard, so to speak, and see where you stand; see who’s on either side of you, who’s behind you, who’s in front of you. Unfortunately, many Christians don’t know how to live, partly because they don’t know their position. I want to draw your position on the spiritual chalkboard so you can be an effective player in the game.

Basically, God’s gift of salvation in Christ brings a believer into a position of righteousness. God imputes the perfect righteousness of His Son to the believer, and thereby declares him righteous positionally. But as you know full well, believers still have sin in their lives—Christians are not practically righteous, 100 percent of the time. However, it is on the basis of our positional righteousness, that we are exhorted to strive for practical righteousness in our daily lives.

If you can set your personal struggle with sin aside for a moment, I want you to consider what the Bible says about your position in Christ. As a Christian you are: spiritually alive unto God, dead to sin, forgiven, declared righteous, a child of God, God’s possession, an heir of God, blessed with all spiritual blessings, a citizen of heaven, a servant of God, free from the Law, crucified to the world, a light in the world, victorious over Satan, cleansed from sin, declared holy and blameless, set free in Christ from the power of sin, secure in Christ, granted peace and rest, and led by the Holy Spirit.

You’re probably thinking, “The Bible may say all that, but I sure don’t always live up to those descriptions.” That’s why in the New Testament, for every one of those statements about your position, there is a corresponding practice you’re to follow. For example, the New Testament tells you:

  • Since you are spiritually alive to God, live according to that new life.
  • Since you are dead to sin, don’t give sin any place in your life.
  • Since you’re forgiven, count on that and don’t go through life feeling guilty.
  • Since you’ve been declared righteous, live righteously.
  • Since you’re a child of God, act like one of God’s children.
  • Since you are God’s possession, yield to Him in humble submission.

I’m convinced that if you will honestly study your position in Christ, your life will change. You’ll understand that failure in some aspect of Christian living doesn’t mean you lose your position. The position of a true Christian is settled forever—it’s unchanging and permanent. And on the other hand, just as stumbling won’t change your standing for the worse, growth won’t add to it for the better either. God’s favor doesn’t depend on your works. God “has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Timothy 1:9).

Positionally, you cannot increase or decrease in the favor of God. As a genuine Christian, nothing you do, or fail to do, can change to the slightest degree your perfect standing before God—for “in Him you have been made complete” (Colossians 2:10).

Thankfully, that completeness does not mean that when you understand your position you will remain as you are—no, you will see changes in your life. The New Testament continually emphasizes your identity as a believer and urges you understand and apply your spiritual resources. As you continue to mature in Christ, you will not only come to a greater understanding of who you are, but you’ll also rely more consistently on your resources—those granted to you as a result of your position in Christ—to handle the practical aspects of Christian living. That’s the thrust of Paul’s appeal in Ephesians 4:1: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”

So what about you, Christian—do you know your position? If not, go back to the locker room and study the chalkboard—your Bible—and you’ll discover afresh the joy of who you are in Christ. If so, get in the game, play your position, and become in practice what you already are in position.



Integrity Proves God’s Faithfulness

“Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. And as for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm” (Daniel 1:18-20).

God always equips you for the tasks He requires of you.

Daniel and the other young men deported in 606 B.C. received three years of intense training under the watchful eye of the commander of King Nebuchadnezzar’s officials. At the conclusion of their training, they were presented to the king for his personal evaluation. The results were impressive indeed. Of all those who were trained, none compared to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Beyond that, they were found to be ten times better than all the wise men in the entire kingdom of Babylon! Consequently, at the age of only seventeen or eighteen, they were made the king’s personal servants.


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Applying the Word Without Delay

“If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was” (James 1:23-24).

Always respond immediately to what you know to be God’s will for you.

Men, have you ever been at work and touched your face, only to realize that you forgot to shave? Perhaps you were distracted by your wife’s call to breakfast or by one of the kids. Ladies, have you ever been out in public and suddenly realized that you forgot to apply some of your makeup? Those are common occurrences that illustrate what it means to hear God’s Word but fail to respond.


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Technology, Surveillance, and Eric Barger

Eric Barger delivered another eye opening report tonight about technology, surveillance, privacy, and how it connects to us today. There is much to consider here. Is the privacy sacrifice worth the dopamine rush provided by Facebook? Is the convenience of Google really worth the tracking and data mining? I have attached three articles from Eric’s website that deal with the issue of technology and our privacy. 
 
 
 


Common Bonds Between Islam and Catholicism

Common Bonds Between Islam and Catholicism

by Mike Gendron
Will the world’s two largest religions converge and be the catalyst for the prophesied one-world religion?  At first glance, the two faiths appear to be vastly different but under close inspection, they have more common bonds than differences. In 1994 the Vatican issued a publication entitled: “Spiritual Bonds Which Unite Us: 16 Years of Christian-Muslim Dialogue.” After extensive study and research, I put forth 10 common bonds that will help unite these two religions.

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What is Textual Criticism?

Simply stated, textual criticism is a method used to determine what the original manuscripts of the Bible said. The original manuscripts of the Bible are either lost, hidden, or no longer in existence. What we do have is tens of thousands of copies of the original manuscripts dating from the 1st to the 15th centuries A.D. (for the New Testament) and dating from the 4th century B.C. to the 15th century A.D. (for the Old Testament). In these manuscripts, there are many minor and a few significant differences. Textual criticism is the study of these manuscripts in an attempt to determine what the original reading actually was.

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Praising God for Your Election

“Having been predestined according to [God’s] purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11).

God took the initiative in salvation by choosing you and granting you saving faith.

In Ephesians 1:4 Paul says that God “chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.” In verse 11 he reiterates that marvelous truth by affirming that believers have been predestined to salvation according to God’s own purpose and will.

Many reject the teaching that God chose (predestined) believers to salvation. They think believers chose God. In one sense they’re right: salvation involves an act of the will in turning from sin to embrace Christ. But the issue in predestination goes deeper than that. It’s a question of initiative. Did God choose you on the basis of your faith in Him or did He, by choosing you, enable you to respond in faith.

The answer is clear in Scripture.


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Resting in God’s Sovereignty

 

“[God] made known the mystery of His will according to His kind intention which He purposed in [Christ] with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth” (Eph. 1:9-10).

God is intimately involved in the flow of human history and is directing its course toward a specific, predetermined climax.

For centuries men of various philosophical schools have debated the cause, course, and climax of human history. Some deny God and therefore deny any divine involvement in history. Others believe that God set everything in motion, then withdrew to let it progress on its own. Still others believe that God is intimately involved in the flow of human history and is directing its course toward a specific, predetermined climax.

In Ephesians 1:9-10 Paul settles that debate by reminding us that Jesus Himself is the goal of human history. In Him all things will be summed up—all human history will be resolved and united to the Father through the work of the Son.

As Paul said elsewhere, “It was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness [of deity] to dwell in [Christ], and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:19-20). The culmination of Christ’s reconciling work will come during His millennial kingdom (Rev. 20). Following that, He will usher in the eternal state with a new heaven and earth (Rev. 21).

Despite the political uncertainty and military unrest in the world today, be assured that God is in control. He governs the world (Isa. 40:22-24), the nations (Isa. 40:15- 17), and individuals as well (Prov. 16:9). God’s timetable is right on schedule. Nothing takes Him by surprise and nothing thwarts His purposes. Ultimately He will vanquish evil and make everything right in Christ.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the wisdom and insight He gives you to see beyond your temporal circumstances to His eternal purposes.
  • Live today with that perspective in mind.

For Further Study

Read Revelation 20.

  • What happens to Satan prior to the millennial kingdom?
  • How does Satan meet his final doom?
  • What happens at the great white throne judgment?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources



Living to the Glory of God by John MacArthur

Living to the Glory of God

God chose us “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in [His beloved Son]” (Eph. 1:6).

You were created to glorify God.

Englishman Henry Martyn served as a missionary in India and Persia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Upon his arrival in Calcutta, he cried out “Let me burn out for God.” As he watched the people prostrating themselves before their pagan idols and heard blasphemy uttered against Christ, he wrote, “This excited more horror in me than I can well express. . . . I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me, if He were to be always thus dishonored” (John Stott, Our Guilty Silence [InterVarsity, 1967], pp. 21-22).

Martyn had a passion for God’s glory—and he was in good company. Angels glorify God (Luke 2:14), as do the heavens (Ps. 19:1) and even animals (Isa. 43:20). But as a believer, you glorify God in a unique way because you are a testimony to His redeeming grace.

You were created for the purpose of glorifying God—even in the most mundane activities of life, such as eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). You are to flee immorality so you can glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19– 20). You are to walk worthy of your calling “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified” (2 Thess. 1:12).

Glorifying God is an enormous privilege and an awesome responsibility. When others see His character on display in your life, it reminds them of His power, goodness, and grace. But when they don’t, it dishonors God and calls His character into question.

Aim your life at God’s glory and make it the standard by which you evaluate everything you do.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for the privilege of glorifying Him.
  • Ask Him to show you any areas of your life that do not honor Him.
  • Find a trusted Christian friend who will pray with you and hold you accountable for the areas you know need to change.

For Further Study

Read Exodus 33:12-34:8.

  • What did Moses request?
  • What was God’s response and what does it teach us about His glory?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.  Find original post here: Living to the Glory of God

Additional Resources



Apostasy Warning: A Study of the Book of Jude

Apostasy Warning: A Study of the Book of Jude

 
On Wednesday evenings at GPEH (Grace Point at Eagle Heights Church) we are spending this year making our way through the book of Jude. This epistle is one of 5 Jewish epistles alongside Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter. Though this is a short book, containing only 25 verses of text, it is nonetheless packed full of relevant, useful information.  This letter could have been written today, as we are struggling with the same problems, same heresies, same errors in the church.
 
In Luke 18:8, Jesus asks the question, “ When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”. Jesus was not speaking out of ignorance. Nor was He questioning whether all believers would be gone when He returns. Instead, He asked the question to spur the disciples on to faithfulness in prayer, to encourage them to keep on in their praying. The church today needs to pray.

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Matching Your Practice to Your Position

God chose us “that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4).

The challenge of Christian living is to increasingly match your practice to your position.

God chose you in Christ to make you holy and blameless in His sight. To be “holy” is to be separated from sin and devoted to righteousness. To be “blameless” is to be pure without spot or blemish—like Jesus, the Lamb of God (1 Pet. 1:19).

Ephesians 1:4 is a positional statement. That is, Paul describes how God views us “in Christ.” He sees us as holy and blameless because Christ our Savior is holy and blameless. His purity is credited to our spiritual bank account. That’s because God made Christ “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).


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Blessing the God of Blessings

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us” (Eph. 1:3).

When we bless God, it is with words of praise; when He blesses us, it is with deeds of kindness.

Paul’s brief doxology identifies God the Father as the ultimate recipient and source of blessing—the One to whom blessing is ascribed and the One who bestows blessings on those who love Him.

“Blessed” translates the Greek word eulogeō, from which we get eulogy. To bless or eulogize God is to praise Him for His mighty works and holy character.


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Bible Reading Plans for 2018

Bible Reading Plans for 2018

Here are some great reading plans from  Dec 26, 2017

Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits, and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe in 2018 you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below:

5 Day Bible Reading Program

Read through the Bible in a year, with readings five days a week.

Duration: One Year | Download: PDF


52 Week Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year, with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan

Read through the New Testament in a year, reading Monday to Friday. Weekends are set aside for reflection and other reading. Especially beneficial if you’re new to a daily discipline of Bible reading.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


A Bible Reading Chart

Read through the Bible at your own pace. Use this minimalistic, yet beautifully designed, chart to track your reading throughout the year.

Duration: Flexible | Download: PDF


Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in the order the events occurred chronologically.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings beginning in Genesis, Psalms, Matthew and Acts.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings taken from four lists: Psalms and Wisdom Literature, Pentateuch and History of Israel, Chronicles and Prophets, and Gospels and Epistles.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


Every Word in the Bible

Read through the Bible one chapter at a time. Readings alternate between the Old and New Testaments.

Duration: Three years | Download: PDF


Historical Bible Reading Plan

The Old Testament readings are similar to Israel’s Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament readings are an attempt to follow the order in which the books were authored.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


An In Depth Study of Matthew

A year long study in the Gospel of Matthew from Tabletalk magazine and R.C. Sproul.

Duration: One year | App: Accessible on YouVersion. Download the app.


Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System

Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and the OT History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.

Duration: Ongoing | Download: PDF


Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Read the New Testament and Psalms twice and the Old Testament once.

Duration: One or two years | Download: Website


Straight Through the Bible Reading Plan

Read straight through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


Tabletalk Bible Reading Plan

Two readings each day; one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


The Legacy Reading Plan

This plan does not have set readings for each day. Instead, it has set books for each month, and set number of Proverbs and Psalms to read each week. It aims to give you more flexibility, while grounding you in specific books of the Bible each month.

Duration: One year | Download: PDF


Two-Year Bible Reading Plan

Read the Old and New Testaments once, and Psalms & Proverbs four times.

Duration: Two years | Download: PDF



Dealing with “Problem Passages”

Dealing with “Problem Passages”

Remember, our Lord Jesus Christ clearly stated that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). 

There are no contradictions in the Bible, because God does not contradict Himself.  The problem is not with God and not with His Word, but with man and his faulty understanding.  Even when we do not have the answer, God does.

When there may seem to be contradictory statements and someone claims that the Bible contains errors, keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the critic.  Let the critic prove it. 

The Critic must:

  1. Show that the statement was in the original God-breathed text.
  2. Show that the translation he uses is absolutely correct.
  3. Show that his interpretation is the only possible one.
  4. Show that the present state of our knowledge, with respect to the passage, is final.
  5. Show that the task of reconciliation is impossible.

 

Remember, the words of our Lord, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).



Paul and James: The Teaching of Both Compared on the Matters of Faith & Works

Paul and James

The Teaching of Both Compared

Paul and James did not contradict each other; but rather they complemented each other. What both men wrote was inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16) and true. Paul’s focus was on the unsaved man and how he might get right with God. James’ focus was on the saved person and how he might show his faith and demonstrate the reality of his faith.

 

Paul’s Teaching James’ Teaching
You cannot be saved by works(Ephesians 2:8-9) You cannot show that you are saved without works (James 2:14,18)
How can a person be saved?By faith alone (Rom. 3:28) How can a person show that he is saved? How can he “show his faith”?Only by works (James 2:18)
Faith without works saves (Romans 3:28)This is a living faith (saving faith) Faith without works does not save (James 2:14)This is a dead faith (James 2:17,20,26)
Faith alone saves The faith that saves is not alone
A person is not saved by works(“works” are rejected by Paul as the means of salvation:it is wrong to say that a person must do good works in order to be saved)These are meritorious works, that is, works done to try to merit or earn salvation A saved person will perform good works(“works” are understood by James to be the result of salvation: a person does good works because he is saved)These are faith works, that is, works that spring from a faith that is real and living.
Paul agreed with JamesHe taught that good works must accompany saving faith (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 3:8; Gal. 5:6; Phil. 2:11-12). James agreed with PaulHe taught that a person inherits the kingdom only by faith (James 2:5) and that Abraham was justified by faith (James 2:23)
Paul used the example of Abraham when he first believed in God (Rom. 4:3 and compare Genesis 15:6). James used the example of Abraham when his faith was tested by God, about 40 years later (James 2:21 and compare Genesis 22)
The error Paul corrected:Salvation is by the works of the law (the error of legalism) The error that James corrected:Works are unnecessary after a person is saved (the error of antinomianism)
Paul wrote about how a guilty sinner may be justified before God. James wrote about how a believer can show that his faith is genuine (justification or vindication before men)
At the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 the key issue was that salvation is by grace through faith and not by the works of the law. See the error in Acts 15:1 and Peter’s conclusion in Acts 15:9,11. James, who took a lead role in this discussion never voiced any disagreement with Peter or Paul over this crucial matter.
Paul’s perspective: He was viewing the guilty sinner who needed to be right with God. (The sinner is in view) James’ perspective: He was viewing the believer (or professing believer) who needed to demonstrate that his faith was real. (The believer is in view)
 
 
THe above information may be downloaded in a single page chart here.


8 implications of calling Jesus “Lord”

Image result for Jesus as Lord

from the Jesse Johnson…I recently preached 2 Corinthians 4:5 (“We do not breach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord”), and in preparation I came across this powerful list of 8 implications of preaching Jesus as Lord. These are from Murray Harris’s New International Greek Testament Commentary (p 332), where he writes: 

Whenever worshiping Christians repeat the church’s confession “Jesus is Lord,” they are:

1. Implying that the Christ of faith was none other than the Jesus of history (Acts 2:34–36),

2. acknowledging the deity of Christ (John 20:28; Phil. 2:6, 9–11),

3. admitting the Lord’s personal rights to absolute supremacy in the universe, the church, and individual lives (Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:12; 14:8; 1 Cor. 8:6; Jas. 4:15),

4. affirming the triumph of Christ over death and hostile cosmic powers when God raised him from the dead (Rom. 10:9; 14:9; Eph. 1:20–22; Col. 2:10, 15) and therefore also the Christian’s hope of resurrection (1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:14),

5. epitomizing the Christian message (Rom. 10:8–9; 2 Cor. 4:5) and defining the basis of Christian teaching ( Col. 2:6–7),

6. declaring everyone’s accountability to the Lord, the righteous judge (1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8),

7. making a personal and public declaration of faith (Rom. 10:9), which testifies to their being led by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3), and

8. repudiating their former allegiance to many pagan “lords” and reaffirming their loyalty to one Lord through and in whom they exist (1 Cor. 8:5–6; 1 Tim. 6:15).

It is good to be reminded that “Lord” is more than a title, and more than a name. It reveals the identity of Jesus, and compels a response from us that is more than simply a phrase we say–ie. there is more at stake here than saying “Jesus is Lord.” That phrase implies so much, that when rightly understood it alters our worldview.
 
Original post here.


What Does the X in Xmas Mean?

FROM  Dec 11, 2017 Category: Articles

The X in Christmas is used like the R inR.C.My given name at birth was Robert Charles, although before I was even taken home from the hospital my parents called me by my initials, R.C., and nobody seems to be too scandalized by that.

X can mean so many things. For example, when we want to denote an unknown quantity, we use the symbol X. It can refer to an obscene level of films, something that is X-rated. People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

There’s no X in Christmas

First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ.Christosis the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek wordChristosis transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.

We don’t see people protesting the use of the Greek letter theta, which is an O with a line across the middle. We use that as a shorthand abbreviation for God because it is the first letter of the wordTheos, the Greek word for God.

X has a long and sacred history

The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.
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Quick thought from Pastor K…
When you see this written during this season, use it as a teaching moment. Talk to those around about the meaning of the “X”. Make the most of the opportunity to kindly educate people on the true meaning of Christmas.
 
The Word became Flesh…


THE FIVE SOLAS 

THE FIVE SOLAS 
 
 The five solas are five Latin phrases popularized during the Protestant Reformation that emphasized the distinctions between the early Reformers and the Roman Catholic Church. The word sola is the Latin word for “only” and was used in relation to five key teachings that defined the biblical pleas of Protestants.
 
 
They are:

1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”
2. Sola fide: “faith alone”
3. Sola gratia: “grace alone”
4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone”
5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”

Each of these solas can be seen both as a corrective to the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church at the start of the Reformation and as a positive biblical declaration.

Sola scriptura emphasizes the Bible alone as the source of authority for Christians. By saying, “Scripture alone,” the Reformers rejected both the divine authority of the Roman Catholic Pope and confidence in sacred tradition. Only the Bible was “inspired by God” (2 Peter 1:20-21) and “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Anything taught by the Pope or in tradition that contradicted the Bible was to be rejected. Sola scriptura also fueled the translation of the Bible into German, French, English, and other languages, and prompted Bible teaching in the common languages of the day, rather than in Latin.

Sola fide emphasizes salvation as a free gift. The Roman Catholic Church of the time emphasized the use of indulgences (donating money) to buy status with God. Good works, including baptism, were seen as required for salvation. Sola fide stated that salvation is a free gift to all who accept it by faith (John 3:16). Salvation is not based on human effort or good deeds (Ephesians 2:9).

Sola gratia emphasizes grace as the reason for our salvation. In other words, salvation comes from what God has done rather than what we do. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Solo Christo (sometimes listed as Solus Christus, “through Christ alone”) emphasizes the role of Jesus in salvation. The Roman Catholic tradition had placed church leaders such as priests in the role of intercessor between the laity and God. Reformers emphasized Jesus’ role as our “high priest” who intercedes on our behalf before the Father. Hebrews 4:15 teaches, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus is the One who offers access to God, not a human spiritual leader. 

Soli Deo gloria emphasizes the glory of God as the goal of life. Rather than striving to please church leaders, keep a list of rules, or guard our own interests, our goal is to glorify the Lord. The idea of soli Deo gloria is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The five solas of the Protestant Reformation offered a strong corrective to the faulty practices and beliefs of the time, and they remain relevant today. We are called to focus on Scripture, accept salvation by grace through faith, magnify Christ, and live for God’s glory.