Mt. Sinai or Mt. Zion?

Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion both are real places, but they are also symbolic.  Mt. Sinai is the place Moses received the ten commandments and represents the Law.  It represents legalism and works.  It represents fear.  Mt. Zion is where Christ was crucified.  It represents grace.  It represents Jesus’ blood that paid for our sins so that we may be forgiven and saved.  It represents heaven.  Many choose one or the other.  Which would you choose?  Of course, those who are believers and have accepted the grace that God has given us to be saved, it does not mean we ignore the ten commandments.  The difference is we want to honor God and be obedient to Him because of His grace and because we love Him, not so that we can earn favor with Him.  We cannot.  There is one way to salvation and that is through the cross.  It is through Jesus Christ and Jesus alone. Continue reading “Mt. Sinai or Mt. Zion?”

Guilt and Forgiveness

In some ways guilt and forgiveness go hand in hand, but in other ways they are completely opposite.  Without guilt there is no need for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is more about the forgiver showing mercy.  We can all receive forgiveness if we just believe and trust in Jesus Christ…and we all need it.  In my last post, we talked about how we should forgive, knowing that we have been forgiven too.  Jesus not only took our sins away, but He also took away our guilt.  Knowing this, we should e able to not only forgive others, but also forgive ourselves. Continue reading “Guilt and Forgiveness”

Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental

There is a lot of talk about being tolerant in today’s society.  What does that mean? When Jesus said, “Judge not” what odes that mean?  And what is the context of it?  As Christians, we are to love all people.  Does that mean to accept what they are doing even if we know biblically it is wrong?  How do we talk to that person without being judgemental?  What does it mean when someone says, “love the sinner, hate the sin?”  Why is this offensive to some people?  Where do we draw the line between being self-righteous, judgemental, or “fruit inspectors” and being tolerant and compromising?

I had a person talk to me about churches and she was looking for a good church that isn’t “holier than thou” as she put it.  We both agreed that God is a loving God and we are saved by grace.  She talked about tolerance.  I mentioned that some churches are too tolerant (and compromising) and do not want to teach about sin.  We parted ways when she asked me my stance on gay marriage.  She said churches should be tolerant and welcome all people.  I agreed we are to welcome all people, including homosexuals.  But, we are also to teach the truth and Romans 1 is very clear on this subject.  She told me that I almost convinced her to come to my church until we talked about gay marriage.

So, how do we handle these touchy issues?  Most people will quote Matthew 7:1 to basically tell Christians to mind their own business.  I think many times they are right.  We are also to share God’s word.  I believe we must show God’s truth (we must teach and learn all of scripture, not just the part we are comfortable with), but our attitude must be in a loving manner but without compromising our faith and belief. Continue reading “Tolerance vs. Being Judgemental”

Grace and Legalism

These two words are talked about a lot these days:  grace and legalism.  Many churches are one extreme of the other.  Many people are.  Where do we draw the line between the two?  The Bible is clear we are saved by grace and not by works.  It is also clear that we are to obey God’s commands.  We show that we love God by how we live.  Our lives reflect our salvation and that Christ is in us.  To me, that is the difference.  Some people treat grace as a “get out of jail free” card.  But if you really are saved and Christ is in you, would you not want to live for Him?  On the other hand, salvation is not about rules and regulations, it is about the heart. Continue reading “Grace and Legalism”

Grace Abuse

Previously we talked about God’s grace and the promise that through God’s grace we are saved by faith not by the things we do.  It is what Christ did for us, taking our sins and paying for them by nailing them to the cross.  So does that mean if we accept God’s grace and trust in Jesus that we could do whatever we want?  I would say yes and no.  Yes, we are free.  But, we are free from sin and if you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, you are changed.  You are a new creation.  Your old self has died and you now live for Him.  Your desire should be aligned with God.  You no longer want to do the sinful acts of your previous self.  The Holy Spirit will live in you and will guide you.  Now you can live by the Spirit and not by your flesh.  If you do not see these changes, if your desires remain the same, you have to question the sincerity of your acceptance of God’s grace.  You need to be reconciled to Him.  It does not mean that you will never sin or your flesh will never creep in and tempt you.  It will.  There will be a battle.  But remember that you are victorious because of the blood of Christ. Continue reading “Grace Abuse”