The Old Testament (Covenant) is understood by most to be a collection of books (Genesis - Malachi), and the New Testament is understood to be a collection of books (Matthew - Revelation).
However, this is an incorrect understanding.
The Old and New Testaments (Covenant) are not a collection of books but each testament reveals how God relates to people at different times in history.
The OT communicates how God related to Israel under the Law of Moses (Book of the Law, Book of Moses, or Written Code - Exodus 19-Leviticus, Deuteronomy) and the New Covenant is how God relates to everyone who receives his grace through faith in Jesus.
Sharing the good news of God's grace, that he has freely given to us in Christ, with those in your church, SundaySchool class, small group, Bible Study Fellowship, etc... is risky.
Sharing that God is not counting our sins against us is risky.
Sharing we don't ask for forgiveness but accept God's forgiveness through faith is risky.
Sharing that all of our sins have been forgiven by God is risky.
Sharing we don't have to continually confess sins to stay forgiven and in fellowship with God (close to God) is risky.
How did Joseph go from being sold as a slave by his brothers to being in charge of Egypt?
Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to slave traders.
The slave traders sold him to Potiphar, the captain of the Palace Guard. Potiphar put him charge of his entire household.
Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of rape.
Joseph was thrown into prison and chained in the dark dungeon...his feet were shackled and neck was placed in iron (Psalm 105:18).
He was abandoned by a friend and left in prison for 13 years.
Are The Grace Of God And The Wrath Of God In Conflict?
The biblical answer is no.
Rather than being in conflict, God's wrath and God's grace are complimentary of each other.
The Bible speaks of God's wrath as the process of purifying the earth from all that is evil, sinful, and hurtful, and creating a new earth that is free from all that is unrighteous and ungodly...an earth where there is no more sorrow, pain, death, tears, etc...
It is a new earth that reflects his love.
Joseph was verbally and physically attacked by his brothers.
They treated him without value, selling him as a slave to slave traders.
The slave traders sold him to Potiphar, the captain of the Egyptian Palace Guard.
Potiphar’s wife took notice of Joseph, desiring a sexual encounter with him.
But Joseph refused.
Why did Joseph refuse to have a sexual encounter with Potiphar’s wife?
The reason for Joseph’s refusal is summed up in these words:
“How could I do this sinful evil against God?
Why Did Judas Commit Suicide?
Why does anyone commit suicide?
People take their lives for several reasons.
Reason #1: To Get Love
Some believe by taking their lives they will get the love they long for from their friends, family, and others.
Reason #2: To Give Others A Chance At Happiness
Some believe by taking their lives they will give those they love a chance at happiness.
They see themselves as the cause of the hurt, pain, and problems in the family, and they believe by taking their lives they will be eliminating the source of the hurt, pain, and problems (themselves) and by doing so give their loved ones a chance at happiness.
In the Bible, Jesus is called the Righteous One (Isaiah 53:11, Acts 13:14, 7:52, 22:14, 1 John 2:1).
This means Jesus was completely pure, clean, loving, holy...without a sinful thought, desire, or deed.
Everyone else is unrighteous (Romans 3:10).
Isaiah 53:11 revealed the Righteous One would come and make the unrighteous righteous by bearing their sinfulness and giving them his righteousness.
This is the Grace Exchange.
The Grace Exchange is when Jesus exchanged his righteousness for our sinfulness.
Many believers in Jesus are held hostage by their ministry or church leaders.
The are unable to enjoy their freedom in Christ because they have never been taught the fullness of God's grace freely given to them in him.
They have NOT been taught...
...they are under grace, not under law,
...they died to the law and now live by faith in Jesus, the one who loved them and gave his life for them.
They have NOT been taught...
...they have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ and do not try to earn God's blessings through tithing, obedience, etc.
Have you ever been accused of being out of your mind as you shared the good news of God's grace with people?
You are not alone.
So was Paul.
In 2 Corinthians 5:13, Paul says,
“If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.”
So why would some people say Paul was out of his mind?
To understand why, we must look at this verse in context, starting with 2 Corinthians 3.
In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul explains that God made him a competent minister of the new covenant (grace) and not a minister of the old covenant (law-10 Commandments).
Fully Devoted Followers of Jesus or Led by the Spirit of Jesus?
I know it sounds odd, even absurd, for me to make such a statement about believers not being called to be fully devoted followers of Jesus.
In this post, I hope to bring clarity as to why we are not called to be fully devoted followers of Jesus in the new covenant of grace (how we relate to God following the death, burial, resurrec...tion, and ascension of Jesus, in contrast to how a person related to him before each of these).
Here are my thoughts based on what I see in the Bible: