One mighty act that includes all

Did Jesus' work merely make it possible for sinners to enjoy at-one-ment with God if they follow through, correctly and precisely, so that they complete what Jesus only started? We find answers in the opening words of a single sentence: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). From the moment of the first human sin and even before, restoring right relationship between … [Read more...]

GracEmail special

THE ASSIGNMENT The first rays of morning gradually illumined the volcanic mountains before me, and the cobblestone streets of Antigua glowed softly beneath my feet. It was August 2007, and I was in this picturesque Guatemalan village on professional retreat with my employer, the Lanier Law Firm of Houston, Texas. During this early morning walk, I was asking God for a new assignment -- something … [Read more...]

THE KINGDOM OF GOD – 3

Because Jesus personally embodies God's kingdom, New Testament writers do not mind saying that those who believe in Christ through the gospel even now participate to some extent in kingdom membership and blessings (Rom. 14:17; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9). Yet the church as institution is not the kingdom. A simplistic identification of the two always results in self-conceit and triumphalism by the church … [Read more...]

A man like no other

The Greek word used of Jesus and translated "only-begotten" in the King James Version of John 3:16 is monogenes. This means that as son of God, Jesus is unique or one of a kind. He is also unique as a man. And how? Not in his physical appearance, we will see in this gracEmail, nor because he died, or even because he died by crucifixion. On a few subsequent Sundays we will explore some ways that … [Read more...]

JESUS: NEW MAN FOR A NEW WORLD

Mama Cass Elliott sang the song and her words echoed the good news Jesus himself had preached. "There's a New World Coming / And it's just around the bend / There's a new world coming / This one's coming to an end" (Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing). Jesus called it "the kingdom of heaven," the new dimension of reality in which God will restore everything, redeem our bodies and liberate creation … [Read more...]

Christianity On Trial (Book Notice)

Imagine for a moment that someone was able to locate, juggle schedules, arrange transportation, and bring together into one room all the following: * a high school prodigy whose minister sometimes invited him to preach in the largest congregation of their association; * a biblical languages major and avid Bible student; * a national debate champion in university competition; * a … [Read more...]

Hopeless Mike

You would never suspect it from his appearance--tall, pleasant smile, brushed back white hair--someone's "Grandpa Mike," you imagine (not his real name). Nothing he does betrays his secret either, as we work side by side in occupational therapy this morning, here at Rehab Hospital in Houston's western suburb of Katy. Suddenly Mike grimaces and a look of pain crosses his face. "It's so … [Read more...]

THE LINCH-PIN OF OUR FAITH

.The Age of Reason was dawning, and an anti-Christian intellectual named Lepeau was desperate for advice. He had created a rational new religion, Lepeau told French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, but, despite its superiority to Christianity, it had failed to catch on. Might Talleyrand have any suggestions? “M. Lepeau," the diplomat dryly replied, "to ensure success for … [Read more...]