A popular sermon series by many pastors is entitled "All In".
This series comes from the Great Commandment verses in the Bible taken completely out of context and is intended to motivate believers to be "all in" for God, to move them from being "a spectator to a participator" in the church.
If believers are not careful, they will be misled by this series, trying to be "all in" for God, when God is not asking them to be "all in" for him.
The Story of the Good Samaritan, found in
Luke 10:25-37, is often taught by Pastors and Bible teachers to motivate their
church to “Love your neighbor as yourself” by doing good deeds as the Good
In teaching this, they totally miss the context of the story and
the reason Jesus told the story.
purpose in telling this story was not to get the average church member to do
His purpose was to confront the self-righteousness of an expert in
the law, most likely a Pharisee, who asked him a question.
In Matthew 5:29-30 Jesus said:
“And if your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from you. For it is better for you that one of your members should perish and not that your whole body should be cast into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and cast it from you, for it is better for you that one of your members should perish and not that your whole body should depart into Gehenna.”
What does Jesus mean by pluck out your right eye and cut off your right hand?
A popular phrase around the world is “Fake News”. This is due to many people in the media who present news stories as truth, when in reality, these stories are false, or mixed with a little truth and a lot of error.
Just as there is fake news in the media, there is fake news in many churches. These churches present a message to people that is filled with incorrect teachings, yet are presented as biblical. These teachings are circulated throughout the church in a variety of ways: sermons, small groups, Sunday school classes, discipleship programs, mentoring relationships, counseling sessions, revivals, and conferences.
A common response by legalists toward the message of God’s grace is “You have to balance grace with truth.” This response reveals legalists have no understanding of grace or Scripture itself. If they did, they would never make such an absurd statement.
Recently, I had a conversation with a legalist about grace. During the conversation he said, “You know Brad, you have to balance grace with truth. It can’t be just all grace.”
This person’s response to grace is the common response by many toward God’s grace, revealing their lack of understanding of Scripture.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Have you tried to share the good news (gospel) of God's grace with friends, family, and other believers, but have been met with fierce rejection? If you have, know that you are not alone.
Fierce rejection by many in the religious community was the common response to Paul when he shared the good news of God's grace, which he called the mystery of the gospel.
It is very common in the lives of grace believers and teachers to experience the consistent resistance of grace by the religious legalists around them. These legalists are in the grace-believers' families, their churches, their places of employment, their neighborhoods, their schools, and the organizations to which they belong. These religious legalists are everywhere!
I am sure you have encountered them!
But what drives these religious legalists to be so resistant to grace and to reject those who believe and teach grace?
The religious people of Jesus' time, the Pharisees and teachers of the
law, hated the abundant grace Jesus poured out on the prostitute, tax
collectors, and thieves. They hated Jesus, too!
The religious people of
our time hate the grace that God has lavished upon us in Jesus Christ.
They will sing to the top of their voices about his amazing grace. They
will sing "Jesus paid it all". They will listen passionately to songs on
Christian radio about grace. But if someone teaches
from Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, or Hebrews
on the grace they sing about, they will hate you, too!
I was recently asked by a friend this question: "Why is the message
of grace challenged so much by religious people when the Scriptural
evidence for grace is so abundant and clear as in Romans and Galatians?"
That is a great question. It is a question I have been asked over and
over again by those who have received God's grace through faith (Romans
5:17) concerning the religious group who reject God's grace. Here is my
response to that question:
Hello John! Great question. Grace
challenges the very belief system of religious people.
When mentioned in a conversation or post, or to an audience, the word grace results in different responses. I have discovered there are at least five responses to grace. Before we look at these five responses, let's first take a closer look at what grace is.
The word grace is used many times in the Bible. During the life of Jesus, before his crucifixion, it is used five times. After his ascension and appearance to Paul, it is used over 150 times. I have categorized the word