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?”

If faithful versus never fall

by Barry Newton

Who would confuse, “If you practice every day, you will not be cut from the team” with “You will never be cut from the team.” If anyone were to strip away the conditional nature of the former forcing it to be understood as the latter, the motive might be desire.

The impulse to hear what we want is powerful. It can deafen us to the actual message.

Just listen to Jesus’, Paul’s, Peter’s and James’ voices as they frankly inform God’s people, not the lost, that their reception of the reward is conditional upon persistent faithfulness. Continue reading “If faithful versus never fall”

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”