works of the flesh

What about those who cry “Lord, Lord?”


On four occasions, Jesus spoke about people who would cry out “Lord, Lord” yet not be received into his kingdom. Who are these people and what have they done, or not done, to find themselves on the wrong side of Christ? First, note that Jesus is NOT talking about believers. Whenever Jesus used the phrase [...]

Is Forgiveness like a Debit Card?


Are you completely forgiven or partly forgiven? It’s a simple question that reveals whether you appreciate all Christ did for you on the cross. Recently I heard a critic of the grace message say two contradictory statements: Christ paid for your complete redemption (amen!) but you are not completely forgiven [...]

Keep Plowing or Die! (Luke 9:62)


Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62) Is Jesus calling you to a life of unswerving service? Is he saying, “You’re here to work and work hard”? Well if he is, then he’s contradicting what he says here: Come to me, all you [...]

Healthy vs Unhealthy Confession


Grace is God’s response to our messes. If you don’t acknowledge your messes, you’ll never receive his grace. In the last post we saw that confession is one way to receive grace and break the power of sin. However, confession is a word that is poorly understood. Like the word repentance, confession has been [...]

Why Repentance is like Football


What comes to mind when you hear the word “football”? Your answer to that question says a lot about where you come from. If you’re a fan of football and you travel the world you’ll often have conversations like this: “So you like footy. Who’s your favorite team?” “Collingwood.” “Never heard of [...]

What is the Unforgiveable Sin?


I have heard of people who lived their entire lives thinking that they were cursed because they, or their parents, had committed the “unforgiveable sin.” It was partly this conviction that made Søren Kirkegaard the gloomy Dane. If you sincerely believed that you were utterly beyond redemption and without [...]

1 Peter 4:17 – It’s Judgment Time!


“For it is time for judgment to begin with the house of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet 4:17) Here’s a passage that seems to come up whenever something bad happens to Christians. If a pastor stumbles in sin and his church splits, [...]

What are the Works of Abraham? (And Why Should We Do Them?)


If we are saved by faith in Christ alone, why does James insist that our faith must be matched with works? How can you balance the grace of God with the works of man? You can’t! In Part 1 of this study we looked at how James appears to contradict much of what Paul teaches about faith. If you hold James 2 [...]

How Do We Pervert the Gospel of Christ?


If you were on a sinking ship and had a choice of going into the water holding an anchor or a life preserver, which would you choose? Silly question? Yet this is the same choice we make when we choose which gospel to be believe. Choose a gospel? Isn’t there only one? Many so-called gospels are preached, but [...]