church

God’s Plan A for the world

Does God Scourge Us? 7 Reasons to say “No!”

June 18, 2013 // 71 Comments

Much of what we believe about discipline in the church is informed by the old covenant. For instance, if you think God’s discipline entails punishment in any shape or form, you’re living in the past. You haven’t seen the cross (Is 53:5). Think about it. If the cross was the once and final solution for sin [...]

6 Examples of Confession in the Bible

November 4, 2012 // 20 Comments

Confession has become a touchy subject in the grace community. Judging by some of the comments I have received in the past week, there are some folks who think we must never confess sins, that to do so is to slap Jesus in the face and run back into works-based religiosity. It’s true that confession has been [...]

Healthy vs Unhealthy Confession

October 28, 2012 // 22 Comments

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 [...]

Do Everything Jesus Said?

January 30, 2012 // 24 Comments

“We should do everything Jesus said,” is one of the most dangerous and thoughtless doctrines you’ll ever hear. And you’ll only hear it from hypocrites. I guarantee you that those who say we must do everything Jesus said aren’t doing everything He said themselves. Jesus said, “Be perfect” (Mt 5:48). [...]

What is the Unforgiveable Sin?

April 20, 2011 // 45 Comments

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 [...]

Taking Communion in an Unworthy Manner

April 10, 2011 // 198 Comments

I remember as a 10 year old boy watching in terror as the communion plate came closer and closer. Why was I afraid? Because there was unresolved sin in my life – I had argued with my sister before church! I knew that those who took communion in an unworthy manner risked condemnation, even death, for the Bible [...]

Are You Religious?

March 28, 2011 // 29 Comments

Religion can be defined as man’s attempt to impress God. It is an attitude that says, “I can make something of myself, I can earn God’s favor.” Although it may lead to works that are charitable, this mindset is fatally opposed to grace of God. It causes a man to stand when he should bow and to strut when [...]

1 Peter 4:17 – It’s Judgment Time!

February 24, 2011 // 63 Comments

“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, [...]

Laodicea, Part 2: What Makes Jesus Sick? (Rev 3:16)

May 16, 2010 // 33 Comments

UPDATE: This is an old article. An updated and expanded commentary on this passage can be found in Paul’s book Letters from Jesus. God never makes us sick but did you know it’s possible for people to make him feel sick? Now there’s a staggering thought. Yet this is exactly the reaction the Laodicean [...]