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Is righteousness ever obtained by the law? What does it mean that God has placed a stone of stumbling in Zion? What does it mean that Christ is the end of the law? If all who call on God are saved, how do we make sure they know to call?
I suppose it's natural not to want to take the blame or admit it when we have a problem. Even us adults never really grow out of it, we just learn to paper over our issues with euphemisms or more reasonable sounding excuses: "No, not me. I'm not abrasive and rude; I'm just honest and tell it like it is."
BY BROR ERICKSON
George R.R. Martin is famous for not allowing us much hope in his characters. The heroes all die. Some storytellers are incensed for the way he plays with the hopes of his readers. He certainly hasn't set out to tell the conventional story, where good wins and evil loses, though we all keep hoping good wins out.
Chad and Daniel continue discussing the “Ten Commandments”. What does it mean to take the Lord’s name in vain? What does it mean to “keep” the Sabbath? What does coveting have to do with Eve in Eden? Israel is surprised that God speaks to them and they don’t die. What is the motivation behind the “10 Commandments”?
BY MATT JOHNSON
How are things at your church? Are people getting saved in droves, are there mass baptisms every Sunday, is giving at an all-time high, and are your members model citizens and pillars of the community? If so, praise God. Keep working hard. Ride the wave and enjoy it.
How are we to understand election in Romans 9? What does it mean that God loved Jacob and hated Esau? Is this talking about individual salvation? How is Esau actually a type of Christ? Who does God have mercy on? Does God make people to destroy them? Daniel and Erick discuss all of this.
Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Lamentations? It’s not one of those Bible books that tend to make it too often onto devotional lists, sermon schedules or motivational posters. That's too bad. At first glance, the book seems deeply depressing.
God explains what His name means and contrasts Himself with every false god. Do the “10 Commandments” apply to Christians? Is “10 commandments” the right way to view these words from God? Should the church “unhitch itself” from the old testament? Chad and Daniel discuss all of this.
Most Christians are no strangers to pleading with God to change their circumstances or relieve their suffering. Whether its physical pain/sickness or the despair we feel when we lose another battle with that same old sin we've been fighting as long as we can remember, we are desperate for God to intervene.
You have heard that after his sufferings and death Christ our Lord arose from the dead and entered upon, and was enthroned in, an immortal existence. Not that he might sit up there in heaven idly and find pleasure in himself, but that he might take charge of the kingdom
I know the inclination should be towards joy and hope, but for some of us, it's not. And I sometimes wonder, if there's enough grace for us? Can grace cover a perpetually sad-sack Christian, who knows what he or she has to look forward to, but has trouble translating that into the here and now?
All views of election and predestination are not equal. These are doctrines meant to comfort and provide assurance. Can anyone condemn a Christian? What can separate you from the love of God? Anything at all? What about when the love of God feels far off? How does the nation of Israel fit into election? Daniel and Erick discuss all of this.
BY PAUL DUNK
Well it's simple really. I don't pray enough. I don't mean "enough" in the chronological sense like there is actually a right amount of prayer. By "enough" I mean that when I waste my brain energy in worry, fear, anxiety, anger and complaint, I should probably clue in and pause to pray.
Sometimes the hardest part of the day is the time just before sleep. At that time, if struggles or stresses abound, we can be kept up by racing thoughts. This fretting and over-analyzation, the frantic search for options, can leave us exhausted and depleted, feeding the cycle of stress that is already at work in us.
We are told to fear God. Does that mean we are to live our whole life being afraid of God or is something else going on? What is the difference between listening to God and obeying Him? What is the connection between the fire at Sinai and the New Testament Pentecost? What prophecy is given in the prohibition to make images of God?
I just visited a dying woman. When I arrived, she was sleeping so deeply that she had to be gently shaken awake. It took some persistence. She was quite exhausted. Dying must be hard work. As soon as she had shaken off her sleep she was bright, alert, and clear.
BY MATT JOHNSON
If everyone would just live by the rules, the world would be a better place, wouldn’t it? Wisdom. Justice. Goodness. Any reasonable person can see God’s good creation and recognize He has ordered the universe in a certain way. Sounds reasonable, right?
Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,” they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.
Paul says that all his suffering doesn’t compare with the glory that is coming. How is this an encouragement to us? What does it mean that all of creation must be restored? Why is the redemption of the body such an important thing? What does it mean that the Spirit intercedes for us? What does it mean that all things work together for good? Daniel and Erick talk about all this and more.
BY JAY SAWRIE
Growing up in the Bible Belt religiosity that I did, there was always an emphasis on fruit bearing. I can remember countless youth rallies where the evangelist would ask sugar high teenagers, "What are you doing for God? Are you a missionary to your school or in the locker room? Is God calling you to the mission field somewhere?
When we're under stress, when we're weighed down by responsibilities, and when we feel like nobody cares and no one can help us, we run to God. We ask God to send us a preacher to remind us of his promises. We ask God, like a child asks his father, that he focus our attention on his baptismal grace…
Moses continues addressing the people. He recounts how God has fought for Israel and how he pleaded with God a final time to let him enter the promised land. Why does Moses think he can change God’s mind and how does he try to do it? Who does Moses blame for God’s denial of his request? How does Moses talk about the law and why does he think it’s important for the nation?
BY CHAD BIRD
One of my jobs in high school was helping local ranchers work cattle. We’d vaccinate, cut off horns, castrate, mark their ears, and brand them. It’s hard, dirty work. By the end of the day, my hat had been sprayed with blood, my shirt smeared with snot, my boots soiled with manure and urine.
BY MATT JOHNSON
Martin Luther knew something about economics. Well, God’s economics anyway. It goes something like this: you can’t pay your way into heaven, and it was wrong of the Pope and his cronies to say so. The Christian life is all of grace and nothing of personal sacrifice or performance. These are the big ideas that frame Luther’s 95 theses.
I did not grow up in a church that had a rich understanding of grace. I was spoon fed a strict diet of law served on a bed of threats. I was told that I both could and should be perfect, because God provides all the help, through the Holy Spirit, that I need in order to do so. Therefore, if I do not reach that goal, it is only because I selfishly choose not to.
Daniel and Erick breakdown what it means to be both sinner and saint. How do we deal with the fact that we desire to do what is good but struggle to carry it out? Where does Paul direct us for hope and comfort? If there is no condemnation for those in Christ, how do you know you are in Christ? What does it mean to have the Spirit and what is His role? What does it mean to be an heir with Christ. It’s all discussed in this episode.