GOSPEL (WHAT) AND THEORY (HOW)

THE TWENTY-SECOND DAY OF NOVEMBER IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. A gracEmail subscriber asks: "What is penal substitutionary atonement? is it the same thing as the gospel? Do you see any problems with it? * * * The New Testament word "gospel" means "good news." Specifically, the gospel is the good news that by the doing, dying, and rising again of Jesus of Nazareth, God … [Read more...]

SPIRIT SPOTLIGHTS JESUS, NOT US (2)

THE THIRD DAY OF MAY, IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Evangelism that is Spirit-powered and Spirit-led testifies to what Jesus did and what he suffered--the perfect doing and dying that set us right with God--instead of what we do in response to that work. We see more evidence today in Acts chapters 8-20. The gospel message goes beyond the Jews through Philip, whom Luke says … [Read more...]

SPIRIT SPOTLIGHTS JESUS, NOT US (1)

THE TWENTY-SIXTH DAY OF APRIL, IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN In his Gospel, Luke relates Jesus' teachings and doings while in person on earth. In Acts, his second volume, Luke describes Jesus' work accomplished from heaven and performed through his Spirit on earth (Acts 1:5). The word "Spirit" appears 70 times in Acts, almost twice as many as in the New Testament book with … [Read more...]

EVANGELISM WITHOUT EVANGEL IS AN ISM

THE NINETEENTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN My late friend J. D. Clanton faithfully attended the opening Sunday morning service of his congregation's annual "Gospel Meeting," but he also held them to their advertising. Each year the visiting "gospel preacher" decried the evils of sin, the horrors of hell, and the list of things an "alien sinner" must do to be … [Read more...]

IS THIS EVANGELISM?

THE TWELFTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Today we are accustomed to hearing the gospel presented as if it were addressed to one person at a time, assuring him or her of God’s provision for sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and urging that person to make a decision for Christ, to profess faith in him, to be baptized and begin to live as a disciple of … [Read more...]

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

THE FIFTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN The acknowledgement came slowly and with much hesitation, but the sequestered disciples finally said it: “The Lord is risen." Indeed (Lk. 24:34). This from Jesus’ hardcore survivors. Roughly ten dozen of them--if anyone is counting. Unlike other rabbinic clusters, this one includes women right alongside the men. To Jesus … [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...]

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...]

INVITATION TO PENTECOST

Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010. Today much of the Christian Church remembers and celebrates Pentecost, the day when Jesus began to baptize in the Holy Spirit as predicted by his prophetic forerunner John the Baptist. A cross-section of the population were listening when John made that promise, and he addressed it to them all (Luke 3:10-16). This baptism in the Holy Spirit was not limited to Jesus' … [Read more...]