Teaching Notes: On Teaching

“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” James 3:1

That Bible verse has bothered me for many years – as well it should. James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote a letter that hits followers of Christ hard, especially those who teach and lead. While that verse didn’t keep me from teaching the Bible, it has been a constant reminder of being careful about what I teach. Teachers will receive a “stricter judgment.”

That said, let me add that teachers who teach correctly also receive great reward. That reward includes pleasing God, being to the praise of His glory, and making disciples.

Continue reading

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 42)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, the Apostle Paul told the Romans that “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.”  The meaning of “faith” in the Greek is a confidence based on trust in truth based on evidence. The “righteousness” of God is something He does based on the fact that He is “righteous.” The idea of “from” or “out of” “faith to faith” can be understood as moving from the origin of faith to the maturing of faith – a “faith journey.”

We now move to the last thought in Paul’s thematic statement – an idea that was centuries old even when the apostle wrote to the Romans 2,000 years ago.

Continue reading

Thoughts of Grace for a New Year

As we approach another new year, we’d like to share some thoughts with you – thoughts based on God’s amazing grace.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:16-18

Continue reading

Merry Christmas from the Angel Gabriel

Christmas really is a most wonderful time of the year, especially when we understand why. God has done great things for us, things we do not deserve. God has bestowed His great favor on us, even though we deserve His disfavor. Someone has said that God’s grace means our getting what we do not deserve and not getting what we do deserve.

We understand this clearly through special messages from the angel Gabriel.

Continue reading

GraceLife on Kindle

gracelife-coverWe’re excited to announce that our GraceLife book is now available on Kindle!

Fifth Estate Publishing made the paperback version of GraceLife: Words of Hope and Encouragement available 8 years ago for the purpose of sharing the Gospel of Christ with people who need hope and encouragement in their lives. Both versions on Amazon.com include the Table of Contents and Sample Chapters.

We invite you to buy a copy for yourself and another to share with friends and family who need hope and encouragement in their lives.

Thank you!

GraceLife

 

Meeting Your Greatest Need

Every person on earth has the same basic needs: food, water, safety, clothing, lodging, and a purpose for living. Enter any culture and you’ll find men and women, boys and girls trying to find enough of each basic need to survive. But none of these is their greatest need.

The greatest need of every human being is to have a personal relationship with God! God created human beings for the purpose of having a close, loving relationship with Him. Adam and Eve, the first human beings, had that kind of relationship with God at the beginning of their lives, but it ended suddenly when they disobeyed God (Genesis 2 & 3). Their sin placed a barrier between God and humanity. Human beings would die in their sins and be separated from God forever, unless God did something to reverse the effect of sin. God had a plan to do just that and revealed it through His Word.

Continue reading

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 41)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, “the righteousness of God is revealed” in the Gospel of Christ. That is the “judicial verdict, approval,” of Almighty God. Since God is Supreme, Sovereign and Perfect in this universe and beyond, His judicial verdict (approval) carries an absolute weight. There is nothing comparable to His approval.

We move now to the words “from faith to faith.” What impact does it have on our understanding of how “the righteousness of God is revealed”?

Continue reading

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 40)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, the Gospel of Christ is the “power of God to salvation” for all the families of the world: Jew and Greek (Gentile). The Holy Spirit called out Paul and Barnabas from their local church ministry in Antioch, Syria to take the “gospel of Christ” to Jews and Gentiles and establish new local churches in many nations of the world (Acts 13:1-4).

We move now to the next part of Paul’s powerful statement about the “power” of the Gospel of Christ.

Continue reading

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 39)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

As we shared in our last article, Romans 1:16-17 is thematic:

  • I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ
  • It is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes
  • For the Jew first and also for the Greek
  • For in it (the Gospel of Christ) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith
  • The just shall live by faith

We saw that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, “for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” God began with Abram –

Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3

God made a solemn promise to Abram: He would make of Abram a great nation, He would bless Abram and make his name great. God also said that Abram would be a blessing. God said He would bless those who blessed Abram and curse those who cursed him. God also promised that in Abram all the families of the earth would be blessed.

We come now in our study of Romans to the full realization of that holy promise made thousands of years ago.

Continue reading

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 38)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17.

We recently finished a special study about God’s Eternal Plan for Overcoming the World – a plan that Father, Son and Holy Spirit designed together before time began, before God created “the world.” If you haven’t read it yet, you may find it helpful before moving to the next part of our study.

You may also find it helpful to look back at our introduction to Acts 1:16-17 to remember some of the important aspects of Paul’s letter to the Romans and the honor-shame culture in which they lived.

Continue reading