1 John 1:9 – Ask the right question

June 3, 2014 // 85 Comments

In many grace books it is common to find some discussion on 1 John 1:9. This verse is special because it is the only verse in the new covenant that appears to link confession of sins with God’s forgiveness. If this verse was in the old covenant it would be no great thing, but because it’s in the new it stands [...]

The Cure for Guilt

July 31, 2013 // 57 Comments

The other day I lost my temper. It was only for a moment, but it was enough. Damage was done. Later I felt sick about what I did and took steps to make amends. This is how guilt works. Guilt is a signal that our lives have been disrupted by sin. Guilt is a sign that a hurt needs to be healed. But there’s a [...]

How Does God Deal With Me When I Sin?

March 15, 2013 // 126 Comments

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my sin. Don’t panic. I haven’t done anything stupid. It’s just that I rarely think about my sin as sin. Let me explain. I know I am far from perfect. I make mistakes. I confess that occasionally, I sin. And when I sin, God corrects me. So why am I telling people God [...]

Biblical correction – old vs new

March 11, 2013 // 55 Comments

My three-year old son is a regular Michelangelo. The other day he drew a purple-crayon masterpiece on the walls of his bedroom. Needless to say, I was furious. I told him he was a vandal and a crook and I belted him within an inch of his life. Then I said if he did it again I’d kick him out of the family. Of [...]

Conviction vs correction

February 28, 2013 // 79 Comments

What I say: “God never convicts us of our sins.” What they hear: “God is oblivious to our sins. He never corrects us nor rebukes us.” What they think: Hebrews 12 says otherwise so Paul is in error. This issue of conviction of sins is fast becoming an unnecessary shibboleth among Christians. Sincere [...]

Is Grace a License to Sin?

September 24, 2012 // 57 Comments

Grace-preachers attract sinners and that is a good thing. If you consider yourself a sinner you have come to the right place! Sinners are welcome in the House of Grace. I wish our churches were magnets for sinners for that would be a sure sign that we are preaching the true gospel of grace. If this scandalizes [...]

An Open Letter to Hot-Blooded Young Men

August 21, 2012 // 72 Comments

Grace attracts sinners. Since I am someone who preaches radical grace, I often hear from people who are fooling around. Some are looking for help in overcoming sin, but most want an assurance that God will continue to love them despite their bad behavior. More often than not, these messages come from young men [...]

A New Covenant picture of repentance

February 20, 2012 // 21 Comments

Two classic signs of covenant confusion are: (1) you interpret repentance as turning from sin and (2) you think repenting will get God to forgive you. As I have explained elsewhere, God does not need your permission or even your repentance to forgive you. He forgave you before you were born in accordance with the [...]

Are sinners forgiven too?

October 18, 2011 // 119 Comments

I get asked more questions about forgiveness than any other subject. “Am I really forgiven? What if I sin and don’t repent? What if I don’t confess? What if I backslide?” I have written numerous posts on all these points, but forgiveness seems to be a blind-spot for many. We just can’t get it into our [...]

Do NIV readers have a sinful nature?

September 4, 2011 // 118 Comments

Here are two verses that seem to say contradictory things about our sinful nature: 1. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, (Col 2:11) 2. So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to [...]