Grace & making effort: Are they compatible?

We know the message and it comforts our hearts. In his grace God pours out salvation upon us, the undeserving. We can be redeemed, made holy and adopted as God’s people because our salvation rests upon Christ, not our righteousness. Furthermore, the cleansing power of the Messiah’s blood is greater than any sin we might bring to him.

So, how compatible is grace with the command to make every effort to live up to God’s calling? If we feel like these are opposing ideas, we would not be alone. Continue reading “Grace & making effort: Are they compatible?”

Salvation and purpose

Salvation and purpose is an odd title. Yet, failure to distinguish between these ideas entangles them to the detriment of  one or the other.

On the play ground, we can easily distinguish between becoming part of a team and what  we are to do as team members. However, open the Bible and we might find ourselves blending what is distinctively different.  Continue reading “Salvation and purpose”

Are we as bad as ancient Israel?

There are three ways we can read the history of Israel in the Old Testament. We can read with disinterest, arrogance or humility. Only one of these is acceptable to God.

We read with disinterest because we don’t care about what happened to them. Moreover, we likely don’t see any real value in the Old Testament. In doing so, we set ourselves at odds with God.

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4, NKJV).

Continue reading “Are we as bad as ancient Israel?”

Taking Both "Be Prepared" And "Saved by Grace" Seriously

by Barry Newton
Repeatedly, I have experienced authors and preachers emphasizing one idea while ignoring another. Either they tend to focus upon Jesus’ insistence that how we live determines if we are prepared for judgment or they gravitate to Paul’s message that we are saved by grace, not works.

Can visiting those in prison make us right with God or can we rely upon grace regardless of our lifestyle ethic? Continue reading “Taking Both "Be Prepared" And "Saved by Grace" Seriously”