grace

WORDS OF LIFE (#G6) AMAZING GRACE – CHARIS (Part 2)

(October 15, 2017) Dr Jim McClure respected theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words…

In Part 1 of this study we questioned the definition of ‘grace’ as ‘the unmerited favour of God’ as the phrase inadequately expresses the depth of meaning and significance of charis.

Some other inadequate definitions of ‘grace’ are as follows:

  • Grace is the empowering presence of God enabling me to be what God created me to be and to do what God has called me to do.’

There is much that is true in this definition but it is limited in its reach.

  • ‘Grace is the unlimited life, power, gifts, abilities, and nature of God imparted to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the complete righteousness and the finished sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, because of his love for us and his mercy toward us, to enable us to do all the will of God on earth here and now, with a victorious spirit of excellence, praise, worship, and thanksgiving unto God, thereby overcoming all things in order to go and make disciples of all nations.

This definition is essentially a more elaborate description of the previous one.

  • God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.’ Despite its appeal as an acronym, it fails as a definition.

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WORDS OF LIFE (#G5) AMAZING GRACE – CHARIS (Part 1)

(August 29, 2017) Dr Jim McClure noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words… 

‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.’

These are familiar and well-loved words from the hymn written by John Newton.  What else did Newton say about grace in that hymn?  He wrote,

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.  …
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.’

A transforming life-changing experience
Newton knew what he was talking about.  As a young man he was the ruthless and brutal captain of a slave ship.  But one night he discovered the reality of God, experienced his grace and was transformed from a cruel slave-ship captain into a preacher of the good news about Jesus Christ. Grace had made a dynamic impact on his life.

I believe that Newton understood something about the grace of God that we today largely fail to grasp.  We are confused about the meanings of the words love, mercy and grace in relation to the gospel.  We tend to think they all mean the same basic thing; but love leads to our acceptance by God,  mercy leads to our forgiveness by God, and grace, I believe, leads to a life-changing experience through God. (more…)

GRACE MISREPRESENTED!

Jim McClure(February 24, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, highly esteemed theologian, expounds a present danger…

A few years ago I wrote a book which I titled Grace Revisited. The reason behind my research on this subject and the writing of the book was the inadequate understanding that was prevalent concerning this most important word in the Christian faith.

The distinguished 16th century theologian, John Calvin, helpfully made clear varying aspects of grace, such as, Common Grace, Justifying Grace, Sanctifying Grace, Election Grace, Irresistible Grace, Unconditional Grace and Irrevocable Grace. (more…)

UNDERSTANDING ‘THE NEW CREATION’

Jim McClure(January 11, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, esteemed theologian, shares on this great truth…

The apostle Paul mentions the term ‘new creation’ twice.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’  And in Galatians 6:15, ‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.’

To help us understand the phrase ‘new creation’, let’s consider a couple of things about God:

  • Only God is the Creator
    In the first chapter of Genesis we see that he created all things – the stars, planets, earth and all that is on it including the sea, rivers, all vegetation and every animal, finishing with his creation of humankind.

Nothing has come into existence apart from him. And nothing can exist unless it has been created by God.

  • God is concerned about making things new

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WHAT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN? (July 27, 2016)

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, brings a biblical answer of hope to troubled souls…

At times I get theological questions from troubled people. Recently someone opened up to share a deep concern:  ‘I’ve been told that there is an unforgivable sin. Does the Bible really say that, and, if it does, how do I know whether or not I have committed it?

Actually a number of people, even searching non-Christians, have poised this question over the years gives. And it gives rise to another question – ‘Is it possible to commit such a big sin or so many sins that we can go beyond the point where we can be saved?’ (more…)

GOD’S MYSTERIOUS WAYS (June 4, 2016)

Dr Robert & Maureen (2)Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind us that we don’t know everything … but that God does!

Experienced those moments when we want to ask God, ‘Why?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ or ‘How come you answered my prayer as you did, not how I had prayed and expected?’

Did you get an answer? Or did you come to the conclusion that it’s better to appreciate and enjoy the benefits than to query God about his ways?

God is God!
The reality is that often we’re so caught up with asking (in faith and trust which is good and necessary, of course!) and expecting God to bring about the answer exactly how we asked. And we forget that he is God who sees everything beyond the box and knows what the best course of action should be! (more…)

BURIAL OR CREMATION – WHICH IS RIGHT? (May 20, 2016)

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, considers a touchy (to some) choice…

What a sombre topic!

I have just returned from a funeral and listened again to the familiar scriptural words that are frequently quoted at a Christian funeral.

During the service I thought of a question I was asked a few weeks ago about the rightness of burial over cremation. Eventually we will all be confronted by this choice concerning loved ones.

Arguments in favour of burial
There are many Christians who would adamantly assert that burial is unquestionably the correct way to dispose of a body. (more…)

CONFUSION IN THE CHURCH – PART 5

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, writes about three more current dangers …

‘Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.’ (1 John 4:1).

John wrote this letter towards the end of the 1st century. It is interesting to note that although the ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the church on the day of Pentecost had taken place less than 70 years earlier, already Christians had to be warned to be on their guard against the infiltration of false teaching and false ideas. (more…)

CHRISTMAS – THE PERFECT RESCUE MISSION

Ed DelphEd Delph shares a seasonal thought-provoker…

Christmas is the greatest most perfectly complete rescue mission of all time in any time!

This week I met a pastor from Glendale, Arizona who really believes this. Stuart Smith started a church three years ago called Higher Praise that has grown considerably.

Let me quote a card that Pastor Stuart gives out inviting people in Glendale to Higher Praise below.

The language is direct but that is what is needed for the people the church wants to connect with. (more…)

CONFUSION IN THE CHURCH – PART 3

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, writes more current dangers …

‘If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?’ (1 Corinthians 14:8).

Paul wrote those words to the Christians in Corinth who were using the gift of tongues in an undisciplined way that resulted in confusion and a diminishing of the effectiveness of the church in its unity and evangelistic ministry. He went on to say, ‘Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air’ (1 Corinthians 14:9).

The result was confusion! (more…)