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.
1 Corinthians 15:22 says,
“For as in Adam all die, so
in Christ all will be made alive.”
Nobody wants to die.
Yet everybody dies.
But the good news is that “in
Christ” all will be made alive!
What does this mean?
What is Paul, the writer of 1
Corinthians, writing about when he says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ
all will be made alive”?
Let’s take a look at the
Some in Corinth were
believers in Christ, his death, and resurrection, but not believers in the
resurrection of those who belonged to Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:12).
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?
“All the saints send you greetings, especially those from the household of Caesar.”
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
The name Caesar was the title given to the Roman Emperor who ruled the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was the greatest power on earth and Caesar was the most powerful person on earth when Paul wrote his letter (AD 61) to the Philippian people while imprisoned in Rome. During Paul’s imprisonment, the Caesar was Nero.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul says the saints from Caesar’s household sent their greetings to the Philippians.
One of the accusations made against teachers of grace is that we do not teach people to obey the Law. Those making this accusation say that since Jesus instructed people to obey the Law, then we should obey the Law and teach others to obey the Law, too.
Those making the claim that we should obey the Law, and also teach others to do so, cite many verses from the earthly life of Jesus to prove that Jesus taught people to obey the Law. They conclude that since Jesus taught people to obey the Law, then so should grace teachers.
One rich man who thought righteousness, or living eternally in the kingdom of God, was achieved through obedience to the Ten Commandments asked... Jesus what he needed to do to gain eternal life (Luke 18:18).
Jesus, knowing his heart, told him to keep the commandments of God.
The man replied he had kept the commandments since he was a child.
Then Jesus told him to go sell all he had, give to the poor, and follow him, then he would have eternal life.
Jesus' disciples asked him how could anyone gain eternal life if this man could not, since this man had obeyed the law from childhood.
Peace on earth...that is what we long for. We long for peace in our homes, neighborhoods, villages, cities, states, countries, and world. Newspaper headlines and television news stories reflect the chaos happening all over the world. Throughout the world, violence and death have become the norm. Fear grips the hearts of most, leaving us longing for peace and asking, “Will there ever be peace on earth?”
God longs for peace, too.
God has a plan for peace.
God, in Isaiah 9:6-7, promised a male child would come from the nation of Israel, from the family line of King David to bring peace to the world.
How do we qualify for entrance into God's eternal kingdom? How do we gain possession of eternal life? The Bible tells us in Colossians 1:12 that the Father has qualified us to share in his loved Son's kingdom.
The word qualified means to be allowed entrance into an event or organization because a person met the standards necessary for entrance. It also means to be allowed possession of something because the necessary conditions were met by the person seeking the possession.
Because many people have never been told about the good news of God's grace, the very grace the Father provides that qualifies us entrance into his loved Son's kingdom, they spend their days trying to qualify themselves, leaving many feeling disqualified for entrance into eternal life in the kingdom.
The word "gospel" is used over and over within Christianity; yet, in my conversations with many many Christians, I have discovered most have an incomplete understanding of the gospel. I believe with all my heart that our heavenly Father passionately desires that those who have been saved by the gospel understand the gospel that has saved them. So what is the gospel?
In the original Greek language, the word gospel means "good news". We find the word gospel used in the Bible both before the crucifixion of Jesus and following his resurrection.