Religious Gangsters (Matthew 7:21-23)

priest with gun_sq

A scripture that worries some Christians, but shouldn’t, is this one: Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt 7:21-23) Jesus’ words worry some people because they seem to contradict what Paul writes in Romans: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is … [Read more...]

Rewarded for Doing Good?

Christmas Epistle

Jesus and Paul both said we would be rewarded for doing good, which sounds like a punch in the face to the gospel of grace. In the previous post we looked at the words of Jesus (in John 5:28-29) and saw that “doing good” means trusting him. But what about Paul who said this: God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Rom 2:6-8) Read the preceding verses and you … [Read more...]

Judged for What We Have Done

Grace v Works

The good news of heaven declares that everything comes to us as a free gift from our heavenly Father. But the bad news of earth says you better work baby, because there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Your choice is grace or works. Either the favor of God is given or earned, but it can’t be both. The gospel that Jesus revealed and Paul preached proclaims it’s grace from start to finish. How then are we to explain these verses which suggest you must work to be blessed?  Jesus  Paul Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his … [Read more...]

Rewarded for What We’ve Done?

Rewarded for What We've done

The Bible says that we will be rewarded for what we have done. Not what we have believed, but done-diddley-done-done. So what do we have to do? In this three-part series, we’re going to look at some of the rewarded-for-what-we’ve-done scriptures, beginning with this one: For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. (Matt 16:27) Forget the gospel of grace, you are rewarded for doing stuff! Better get busy for Jesus. But let scripture interpret scripture and you will see that Jesus is not promoting … [Read more...]

Grace Remix – Out Today!


  My new book, Grace Remix, comes out today. This is the fourth and final book in my Greatest Hits series. It follows Grace Disco, Grace Classics, and Grace Party. You may be wondering why I called this one Grace Remix. This is from the book: God has given me a new song and it is a remix. It’s the timeless truths of scripture as seen through the lens of the new covenant. It’s the ancient and eternal gospel of grace as seen through the eyes of the new man. I’m no historian, but I understand that the remix movement was driven in part by DJs who put dance beats on top of old tunes. … [Read more...]

Is Grace a Person?


People sometimes ask me, “Why do you say grace is another name for Jesus?” or “Why do you say grace is a Person?” They are referring to something I wrote in my book The Gospel in Twenty Questions: Grace isn’t a bunch of rules for you to keep. And grace is not God’s lubricant for greasing the cogs of self effort. Grace is a Person living his life through you. Living under grace is like being married, only more so. It’s the adventure of life shared with Christ. (p.2) Of course, I am not the only one who says grace is a Person. Many others have, including Joseph Prince: Grace is not a … [Read more...]

Free Gift for Email Subscribers

My new book, Grace Remix: Escape to Reality Greatest Hits, Vol 4, comes out next week. But as a special gift for all my email subscribers, I wanted to give you a free copy of the book today. This is my way of saying thank you for sharing the journey. If you’ve been reading E2R for several years, you may already know some of the material in the book. (It’s the Greatest Hit’s remember?) But the book also contains original material in the form of stories and reflections about the journey. It’s a little more personal than what you’ll find here on E2R. To get your free book, follow these two … [Read more...]

The Testing of Your Faith

Testing faith

What goes through your mind when you see men in orange jumpsuits waiting to be killed for their faith in Jesus? Do you think, “I could die for Jesus,” or “Thank God that’s not me”? The earliest Christians faced the lions of the Roman circus and persecution remains a fact of life many Christians today. But most of us are’t being threatened with torture and martyrdom. No one’s holding a knife to our throats and saying, “Renounce Jesus or die.” But what if they were? Could you go through with it? I honestly don't know the answer to that question since I've never been in that situation. … [Read more...]

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayed hard

There’s a myth that we who preach grace dismiss everything Jesus said before the cross. According to the myth, we disregard the red letters of the Bible as law for to those under law. Nothing could be further from the truth! What sort of followers of Christ would we be if we ignored what Jesus said? Take the Lord’s Prayer for instance. It’s one of the greatest prayers in the Bible: This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” (Matt 6:9) Jesus doesn’t teach us to pray, “Almighty God and Judge of the Living and the Dead,” but “our Father.” God is our … [Read more...]

Sowing, Reaping and the Golden Rule

karma v grace

From the beginning of time there have been two worldviews, two trees, and two ways live. One is karma (you reap what you sow), and the other is grace (you reap what someone else has sown). This world runs on karma: Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad. But the kingdom of God runs on grace: God is good to you. Period! The old law-keeping covenant ran on karma: Obey and you’ll be blessed. Disobey and you’ll be cursed. But the new covenant runs on grace: You’re blessed because Christ obeyed. Karma vs grace Karma is about retribution and return on investment, but grace is about … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Put Price tags on Forgiveness? (Matthew 6:14-15)


The gospel that Jesus revealed declares that God loves you like a father, he holds nothing against you, and he longs for his sons and daughters to come home. It’s the good news an orphaned world desperately needs to hear. So why did Jesus say this: For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matt 6:14-15) This sounds like bad news, as though you must earn God’s forgiveness through works of forgiveness. How are we to read these words? I’m going to … [Read more...]

Win Ten Signed Copies of Paul’s New Book!


This competition has now closed and the winners have been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered. In two months my new book Grace Remix will be released. This is the fourth and final instalment in my Greatest Hits series and it’s the best one so far. Well, it’s definitely in the top four. I’ve got TEN signed copies of Grace Remix to give away now! I want to give these books to people who’ve read at least one of the other Greatest Hits books. So if you enjoyed Grace Disco, Grace Classics, or Grace Party, you could be among the first in the world to get your hands on the new … [Read more...]