142 results for tag: Front page


What Does ‘We Are Not Under the Law, but Under Grace’ Really Mean?

Many professing and church-going Christians fail to realize what "we are not under the law but under grace" means. Most agree that it's God's grace and not anything we can do that will make us right with God. Most realize and accept that Christians don't follow the rites and rituals of the Old Testament but they are often confused about the Ten Commandments. They believe that the Ten Commandments (except seventh-day Sabbath-keeping) are valid and required norms of behavior. Here's the Christ-centered perspective we need. When Jesus died on his cross, he completed all the terms of the old covenant. He had kept its terms perfectly, and on his ...

What is the Gospel? Part 1 – Greg Albrecht

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, "The righteous will live by faith."—Romans 1:16-17 Paul 1) categorically states that he is not ashamed of the gospel, 2) defines the gospel as the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, and 3) asserts that the gospel inherently includes a righteousness from God—a righteousness by faith—precluding any sort of righteousness which may come, or seem ...

10 Percent Grace and 90 Percent Law? – Greg Albrecht

Recently I was asked about a church pastor who preaches 10 percent grace and 90 percent law. Apparently this church has a clock counter on its website to show how fast people are getting to hell. This church believes that one of the methods of "saving" people is to expose their sins, and (by embarrassing them) guilt them into obeying God. This church is but one of many which believes that the Ten Commandments (and at times other portions of the old covenant) must be preached to sinners to prepare them to accept Christ. The idea is taught in several different ways: 1) People must be convinced that they have a problem (that they are sinners) ...

What is the Gospel? Part 2 – Greg Albrecht

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? We who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does ...

The Ultimate Declaration of God’s Grace

Americans are used to hearing the President of the United States make critically important announcements either from the Oval Office, simply speaking to television cameras, or to a combined, televised session of Congress. And, as they begin their term of office, Presidents give an inaugural address, during which many of them attempt to rally the nation behind their clear vision. In 1865, during the final days of the Civil War, addressing a nation tired of bloodshed, Abraham Lincoln, who would be assassinated only 41 days after this address, said, in part: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives ...

Go to Him Outside the Camp

On what we now call Palm Sunday, almost 2,000 years ago Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey. He was welcomed by people who had heard him preach—among whom were the poor, the diseased, the disenfranchised and outcasts, all of whom shouted "Hosanna!" to Jesus (Matthew 21:9, 15). Many Christians think "Hosanna" has always been defined as a joyful worship word. It hasn't. Hosanna means "save us now"— it was a cry of desperation, shouted at Jesus by the crowds as he entered Jerusalem. Most who greeted Jesus with "Hosanna" wanted physical relief from their physical problems and afflictions—but, in addition, there may well have been ...

Who Is It You Are Looking For?

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"—John 20:11-15 The religious lynch-mob convened an illegal trial, declared an innocent man guilty and condemned him to death. Of course, it wasn't the ...

Why Did Jesus Die?

Why did Jesus die?" may seem like an easy question, because the answer seems obvious, doesn't it? Normally, most Christians immediately answer the question something like this: "He died to atone, that is pay for, our sins. As the Lamb of God, he took away the sins of the world, redeeming us from sin through his precious blood. He died that we might die to sin, so that he might live in us, producing his righteousness within us." That answer is true—but it's not the whole story. Much of the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, presents the cross of Christ as a forensic event. That is, God uses the language and word pictures of the ...

Being In Christ

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.—John 15:12-17 When we consider our relationship with God ...

A Covenant – Not a Contract!

There is probably no other human endeavor quite like marriage—sadly, many of these partnerships that begin with such hope and expectation regularly fail. One of the reasons marriages fail is because many see marriage and the entire relationship through the eyes of a contract rather than through the perspective of a covenant. Marriage, an example of a human covenant, can help us to understand the divine relationship God offers to each of us. He offers us the new covenant in Christ, not the new contract in Christ. It's a covenant, NOT a contract! • A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties, a business agreement which ...

Going to the Dogs

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." "Yes it is, Lord," she said. "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." ...

God’s Grace is For Everyone

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.—Titus 2:11 You are invited to the kingdom of heaven, and the invitation is called "the gospel" (good news) because it has no strings attached. You and I are invited to the kingdom of heaven in spite of what we have done! The body of Christ on earth is not the equivalent of an exclusive country club or a cloistered, highly restricted religious fraternity or union. Titus 2:11 says that God's grace is available to everyone—it does not promise or insist that everyone receives and accepts it —but grace is available, and it's for everyone. There's a story I once heard ...