From Fear to Faith – Lesson 22

We have one core fear – fear of God’s punishment. We see that in the Garden – after Adam and Eve’s disobedience they were afraid and feared God’s punishment. Our sins make us afraid to approach God because we are fearful of God’s punishment. We must come to grips with Christ’s accomplishment on the cross. Through Christ’s sacrifice, God’s grace has been poured out on you. Forgiveness is yours. It is imperative that you settle this issue once for all. By grace, Jesus took your sins on himself. By grace, he suffered the punishment you deserved. By grace, he offered his blood to the Father on your behalf. By grace, he forgave your sins. Let the love of God turn your fear into faith. (Chapter 7, page 52)

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We Are Called to Love

How do you have faith expressing itself through love? Paul offers several examples. In Romans 14 we read: “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.” Neither should use this as a wedge to split the body of Christ. When you’re in the Body of Christ you will meet all kinds of people and we have the opportunity to love one another without judgment.
* Renee is struggling with moving from legalism – doing everything – to living in grace. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing.” * Brad welcomes new listeners on CSN.
* Jose asks if we can be OK praising God from home if we can’t find a new covenant grace church. * Tamara asks how she can win her husband over to be the “man of God” she needs.

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Faith Expressing Itself Through Love

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. We see the foundation of this in Galatians 2:20 ” I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” It doesn’t take a special gift or ability, but simply faith in the finished work of Christ to live the Christian life.
* William comments on faith expressing itself through love and what it means to walk by that faith.
* Samuel wonders if Jesus suffered like Adam and Eve did when he took our sin upon himself.

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The Only Thing That Counts

We’re talking about the only thing that counts. Paul used that phrase in Galatians 5:6 and in context it reads like this: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” There were “Judaizers” trying to convince new believers that they had to live as Jews under the law. But Paul writes: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
* Lind asks about Proverbs 11:29 “The fool who provokes his family to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left. He shall be the servant of a wiser man.” in light of the divorce he’s going through.

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A New Way of Righteousness

We’re called to walk by faith in the newness of life. It’s difficult because we think we have it figured out. But there is only one way to pursue righteousness. Paul writes about it in the letter to the Romans 9:30 – 32 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.”
* Could you explain the parable in Matt. 25 about the lamps and oil and the coins? And Luke 12:32-40? * Who are the rulers and authorities mentioned in Eph. 3:10?
* When they talk about him being Elijah, are they meaning literally or figuratively? * Do you have to pray for what he always wants?
* Do I have to pray for what God already wants?

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From Fear to Faith – Lesson 21

God forgave your sins in Christ and He has made the choice to remember them no more. God’s grace has been poured out on you in forgiveness. By grace, Jesus took your sins on himself. By grace, he suffered the punishment for them. By grace, he offered his blood to the Father on your behalf. By grace, he forgave your sins. Now through faith, thank Jesus for what he has done and rest confidently in the forgiveness that is yours in him. Let the love of God turn your fear into faith.

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Knowing The Faith

Is there something special about The Faith?
* What do we live by? Does Jesus live in you?
* I am waiting for a husband, how can I be patient in my singleness? Has God forgotten about me? * What is prayer all about? How can I build a relationship? * Do all believers speak in tongues?
* Should I leave my church?
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