“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
Did you catch that? John, using a term of gentle affection (little children), tells us that when we sin… remember. Remember what we already have in Jesus, the forgiveness of sins. “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.” (1 John 2:12)
We get ourselves all worked up over sin because we think we’re supposed to confess all of our sins over and over again up to this point in time in order to be forgiven all over again up to this point in time. We don’t read past 1 John 1:9 and its context into chapter 2 to see what John tells believers to do when they sin: Remember. Let’s talk about it in this edition of Take Five…
Welcome to episode 84 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. When John wrote, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17), was he giving us a formula to keep grace in check with truth? Does grace need balanced with truth in order to keep it manageable? Is truth somehow opposed to the free operation of grace? I lost count years ago of the number of times I’ve heard John’s words explained this way.
Welcome to episode 82 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, Mike talks about taking up our cross and following Jesus. When Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24) was he referring to a spiritual discipline that involves denying my own needs and bearing up under trials? That’s a common interpretation of this passage. We’re told that when trials come, we all “have our cross to bear” and my ability to hold up well under trials becomes the litmus test for revealing how strong or weak my faith is, based on my ability or inability to deny myself and bear my cross.
But is that what Jesus meant? A more intentional look at the context reveals something completely different. This is not a spiritual discipline, but an invitation to believe. Here’s a link to the blog post I quoted from in last week’s edition of Take Five as well as this week’s:
Welcome to episode 80 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, let’s talk about what is often referred to as spiritual disciplines. Specifically, the assumed discipline of dying daily. Paul told the Corinthians he died daily. I believe we have incorrectly inserted ourselves into that passage in an attempt to make dying daily a spiritual discipline that we’re to be actively doing. But is that what Paul had in mind? Let’s talk about it.
Welcome to episode 78 of the Grace Cafe Podcast and this edition of Take Five. Let’s talk about how to have a Jesus-lite theology of the New Covenant and the dark side of making the New Covenant more about our performance than Jesus’ shed blood. This episode is based on a blog post I wrote by the same title. For your convenience, here’s a link to that blog that serves as a loose transcript for this episode.
Welcome to episode 76 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Susan takes the mic again in this edition of Take Five to talk about loving those who are deconstructing and/or reconstructing their faith. This deconstruction/reconstruction is going on all around us. Susan speaks from her own experience with this reminder to stand down and love one another instead of trying to fix one another or give up on one another.
Welcome to episode 74 of The Grace Cafe Podcast. Let’s talk about performance-based Christianity in this edition of Take Five. Nothing will cripple you faster than a view of God that sees him as never satisfied and always demanding more. But that’s how performance-based Christianity views him whether we admit it or not. In performance based Christianity, how I think I’m performing at any given moment is the barometer for what God thinks of me and my identity in Jesus gets lost in the shame and guilt. Let’s talk about it….
Welcome to episode 72 of The Grace Cafe Podcast! In this edition of Take Five, let’s talk about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has a bad reputation in many Christian circles. We’ve been told, and we tend to believe, that the Holy Spirit is policing our sin and policing our every move, anticipating our next failure and waiting in the wings to bring heavy-duty conviction when we sin.
But is the Holy Spirit treating believers like convicts? Does he convict us of our sins or guide us deeper into truth? Let’s talk about it…