Good morning!. We’re going to continue our series on the Grace of God today, on the topic of Grace and Inheritance. There are a number of places in the Epistles where it says something along the lines that if you do on of these things that is a bad, you won’t have any inheritance and a lot of Christian groups will use that to scare people into behaving well. And, it is true we should behave well, but scaring somebody about losing their inheritance, going through hellfire or something, is not anything that fits at all with the grace of God. And, what we’ll find in these topics, in these sections of scripture, is that it is not talking about born again Christians that will have no inheritance, if they do anything on this list of bad behavior, it is those that are so into the bad behavior that they never get around to getting born again. Those are the ones that get no inheritance, because our inheritance is absolutely guaranteed as part of our new-birth rewards. Dr Wierwille used to talk about so many things come along with the new birth, and one of them is our inheritance. So, let’s get right into the scriptures and see for ourselves. In I Corinthians six…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210829. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
I Corinthians 6:9-11 The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God – such were some of you
Galations 5:16-25 They that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (vs. 21)
Ephesians 1:9-23 We have obtained an inheritance (vs. 11)
The earnest [pledge, guarantee, deposit] (vs. 14)
The riches of the glory of his inheritance (vs. 18)
Ephesians 5:1-5 No one who is an idolater hath any inheritance in the kingdom of God (vs. 5)
Colossians 1:12 The father hath made us meet [qualified us] to be partakers of the inheritance
Colossians 3:23-24 Of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance
I Pet 1:3-4 An inheritance that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you
Revelation 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things – we already are God’s sons! (vs. 7)
Good morning. We’re going to continue our series on the grace of God today. And we’re going to cover a topic that I never covered, at least not this way. I’ve alluded to it and made comments. And I’ve never heard anyone else teach it in quite the arrangement we’re doing. And that is we are going to look at James the brother of the Lord and how grace did or did not show up in his ministry. Remember James grew up in the Roman province of Judea, what we now call Israel. And you you’ll see this in organizations and companies and politics, where it is very common for you to develop sort of a dynasty where one person in the family does well and people follow on. We know that Jesus Christ chose Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles and Peter to be the apostle to the Circumcism, or the Israelites. Yet James, being the blood brother, at least half-brother of Jesus Christ, because Mary was hist mother and Joseph was his father, he rose to prominence, to the point that he had more clout and notoriety as the head of the Church in Jerusalem then even Peter. Which again, is not what was the will of the Lord according to what we see in other parts of the scripture, but it just worked out, it is hard to beat that situation.
I even had a high school friend, the guy that was the head of our student counsel, very good fellow, he got into politics in Massachusetts, and was a Senator, in the state senate in Massachusetts and decided to the run for US Congressman. There was an open seat and he ran for it and he was a considered a shoe-in, there was just almost no competition until one of the Kennedy sons decided he wanted to run. And that was it, because this guy who had very little experience from the Kennedy clan, the Kennedy’s were so recognized in Massachusetts, that the minute he ran, my old friend from High School has no chance. And that Kennedy, I think it is Joe Kennedy, I think is still a member of Congress from Massachusetts to this day, as he has been for about 20 years.
So, that name recognition we’ve seen it like I say in business, in politics, in sports, in just about anything you can imagine. And in religious groups you see this. You see it all over the place. And I know that happened with me and my brothers, we sort of ran the Boy Scout troupe in town. My oldest brother started out running it, then my middle brother, than I took it over. Church youth group, it was just assumed that if there was another Mahone to come along and run it, they would just let us do it. It wasn’t like we had to campaign and fight for it, people were just glad to have somebody do it, do they didn’t have to. And that is the way it worked out. At any rate, I digress a little bit, but the point is, James ended up being the head of the Church in Jerusalem.
And the other thing is since those in Jerusalem were so into the Law, having grown up in it, they tended to go back to it. So that is another thing we see through Christianity, when the pagans, those from a pagan background, if you were studying the Roman religion, or Greek religion, the Persian religions, when they became Christians, they tended to bring a lot of the ceremony and rituals and holidays and worship habits into Christianity. And there are whole books about this, some of which go a little overboard, but there are books like “Babylon Mystery Religion” and other things like that where you can trace the history of where they came from. Like the idea of worshiping the saints, you had a saint you worship when you lost your car keys, and another saint you pray to when somebody wants to get pregnant, and another saint you pray to when you want to have a good crop. This is nothing more than taking the pagan practice for having a god for everything under the heaven and praying to that god. They just wanted to keep that, instead of having one god to pray to they wanted to have a lot of them, but since you only had one, or maybe three gods in Christianity, they went to worshiping the saints.
So you see, so much of this. And the same thing happened in the churches in Jerusalem, these people had grown up there with the old testament Law. They liked it, they were used to it, they judged each other by it, it gave them sort of a measuring stick to measure how righteous they felt they were by how much of the law they did. And they were comfortable with it. I’ve know people today that grow up in Christian denominations that go to confession every week or every so often, and I have chatted with them and mentioned that there is nothing in the Bible about having to confess to a priest, and I’ve had be say yeah but I like it, I’m used to it. Because they grew up with it. And I’ve seem this happen so many times, and we all have. I’ve had people come to our Bible fellowship and get all excited about God’s Word and then all it does is excite them to go back to the church they grew up in. Because that is where they really feel comfortable. And I understand all of these things.
And James was not an evil guy, he didn’t do I don’t think really nasty things, or maybe one or two that we’ll read about. But, he did either bring the church back into the old testament Law or when people around him wanted to, he didn’t fight them. Sort of like, when Moses went up on the mount to get the ten commandments, Aaron allowed the people to make a golden calf, and it’s a little unclear, but it sounds like he even cooperated in it — he didn’t fight them off. Although it might not have been his idea, he saw which way the wind was blowing as far as popularity, and he just decided to go along with the golden calf. Of course Moses, the minute he saw it, he broke the calf up in pieces and got really mad. Because he didn’t care what the people thought. And we’ll see the same thing with Paul and James. James wants to put them back under the Law, Paul was resisting and trying to keep people in the grace of God. Of course, he gets sucked in too in Acts 21 and ends up in jail for several years as a result.
So, with that introduction, let’s go back to Ephesians two…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210815. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Ephesians 2:4-10 Saved by grace – a gift from God
I John 3:22-23 This is the commandment: believe on JC and love one another
Acts 15:1-29 First Jerusalem Council
Acts 21:15-26 Second Jerusalem Council
James 1 Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only (vs. 22)
James 2 A man is justified by works, and not by faith only (vs. 24)
James 3 The tongue is an unruly evil (vs. 8)
James 4 Humble yourselves in the sight of God (vs. 10)
So, we’re going to continue today our series on the Grace of God. Last time we started on the concept of sacraments, which have been a big deal throughout church history. And we talked about baptism. And today we’ll talk about the Lord’s Supper, often called holy communion, and some of the things connected to it.
Now before I start, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing at all wrong about celebrating and rejoicing and commemorating our Lord’s sacrifice. It is just some of the things throughout history that have been attached to it are rather odd. It is sort of like, there is nothing wrong with celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ by having an Easter celebration, we just need to realize that some of the things like eggs and rabbits came out of pagan fertility rights. There is nothing wrong with Easter eggs or little bunnies, just don’t confuse them with the truth of God’s word. And in similar ways, some of the things that have been connected with the concept of holy communion throughout the centuries have been nothing more than putting people under the law and trying to control people by restricting the holy communion.
So, we’ll get into the scriptures and then we’ll talk a little about the history, and then we’ll try to get a sense about how this can be important in our lives today. So, let’s start in Exodus chapter twelve…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210801. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Exodus 12:1-11 The Lord’s Passover
Matthew 8:16-17 Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses
Matthew 26:26-28 The cup and the bread
John 1:29 Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world
I Corinthians 5:7 Christ our passover is sacrificed for us
I Corinthians 10:16 The cup and the bread
I Corinthians 11:23-26 This do in remembrance of me
I Peter 2:24 By whose stripes ye were healed
What is NOT mentioned in the scriptures:
The term Holy Communion
If you are excommunicated, you cannot receive the sacrament
You need the sacrament for forgiveness of sins
Only those baptized and confirmed in my church can receive the sacrament
Good morning. We’ve been covering many things about the grace of God in these recent sessions. And, we’re going to get into an area now referred to in most of church history as sacraments, which is an interesting word. It is a word that means mysteries in Latin. We have the Greek word mysterion, basically identical to our word for mystery. In the Latin translations of the Bible use the word sacramentum or sacrament. So, the sacraments in church history started with what they called them, these holy mysteries and they consider them a sort of focus or centerpiece of Christianity. They started with baptism and what they call holy communion, which I haven’t actually found that term in the Bible, maybe it is in there, but I missed it. Also called the Eucharist. Then they added things like confirmation, ordination of priests and monks, let’s see what else they had, they had marriage, again, I don’t think is mentioned in the Bible, except in the marriage in Canaan where Jesus Christ turned the water into wine, I don’t think marriage is mentioned in the Bible. There is certainly nothing in the Bible to tell you how to perform a marriage ceremony, much of that is simply cultural and traditional.
Nothing wrong with culture and tradition, but it is important to separate what is culture and tradition. Like Easter bunnies and Christmas trees aren’t exactly in the Bible, but their fun. As long as we don’t start thinking that God will bless you more if you have Easter bunnies, were fine. I don’t care if they are chocolate Easter bunnies or what do they call those spongy ones with the sugar on them, there is name for those — Peeps, yeah, those, they’re good. And then they have one called unction where the priest puts oil on your head and that is mentioned once or twice in the Bible. I think it is mentioned once in the gospels and then in the book of James, the legalistic epistle is it mentioned. And it is often used as what they call the last rites in the Roman church and some others where they feel it is very important for you to have the oil put on you, be prayed for and have your sins forgiven. But so much of all of these sacraments are based on a misconception that you are not really born again because of the work of Jesus Christ, they have to do all this stuff. I mentioned to you in an early session that in the Middle Ages, it was very common for knights and other medieval nobility to wait and get baptized on their death bed because they felt that of all the sacraments the one that gave you the most forgiveness of sins was baptism. And you didn’t want to die with a lot of sins hanging over your head, so you either might go to hell or spend years or centuries in purgatory, so the best thing was to get baptized on your death bed. Then all your sins would be forgiven and you would die before you would do anything else wrong. And understand the logic of it, but it is based on not believing the Jesus Christ really paid for your sins. So you need these sacraments to clean thing up.
So at any rate, we won’t get into every sacrament considered in Church history. And different groups have different sacraments or ceremonies, or rituals that they carry out, but we’re going to get into a couple of them that are mentioned widely in the Bible and are generally widely misunderstood and mispracticed. In some of them, I believe the practices are actually wrong and un-Biblical. In other ones they aren’t un-Biblical, they are just not necessary, they are stuff that people added. Again, having Easter bunnies and Christmas trees, there is nothing wrong with them, they’re just not Biblical. So it is just a fun ceremony, it is sort of like having fireworks on Halloween. There is nothing wrong with that, but I don’t know if it gets you born again quicker if you shot of firecrackers. Oh course you know with Halloween, there was this thing in Church history that the first of November was All Saints Day, and then all the ghouls and demons came out the night before to goof the saints up so they wouldn’t have a good all saints day. So maybe you shoot of fireworks to scare the demons away, I’m not quite sure how it all developed.
But, at any rate it is an interesting topic this grace. Just to let you know, I’m six or eight more topics in mind to cover on it before we’re done. So, we’ll get through as many of those as we can and then review some of them at our weekend in October 10th. So, with that not so brief introduction, I think we are going to get into Grace and Baptism, that is the so called sacrament. It is not called in the Bible a sacrament, its not called a holy mystery, but it is practiced in the Bible. Now to start, we’re going to do a little review on two churches in two different administrations. Let’s look at John chapter three…
As taught by Bruce Mahone on 20210718. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Two churches, two administrations:
John 3:29; 14:1-4 – bride; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Colossians 1:18 – body
Galatians 2:11-3:14, Romans 10:4 – Christ is the end of the law.
This never quite sunk in to the first century church. As in the days of Jesus Christ, there were always those who wanted to promote legalism at the expense of the truth of God’s Word. Matthew 15:1-9.
Baptism: ceremonial washing.
Mark 7:3, 4 – vs. 4: wash, washing – baptize; Luke 11:38 – wash – baptize
Church of the bride: water
Matthew 3:5, 6 – in Jordan
Something greater soon to come:
Matthew 3:11 – but in contrast, baptism of holy spirit is to come later.
Matthew 28:19 – baptize in my name (earliest quotations of this verse): no water is mentioned. Water has been read in by those who want to promote legalistic practices, just as others wanted to promote circumcision in the early church. This phrase used throughout Acts (check in homework assignment!)
The coming of Pentecost:
Acts 1:4-8 – talking about the gift of holy spirit (no water!) They already had water from the time of John — something greater was about to come.
Acts 2:1-4 – Pentecost: no water.
So where do people get water in Acts?
Acts 10:47; 11:16 – Peter was about to follow his legalistic habits, until he remembered the Word of the Lord.
Acts 19:2, 3 – Two baptisms: they had only heard of John’s (water).
Acts 8:38 – Philip: early in Acts, grace not fully revealed.
Acts 21:20 – Zealous for the law: still true today.
Strictly speaking, baptism in holy spirit refers to the day of Pentecost. Since then, the gift of holy spirit has been available for anyone to receive by getting born again — being baptized in the name of the Lord, cleansed in everything that name represents. Gal. 3:27, 28; I John 1:7.
NOTE: No mention of baptism just prior to death to ensure forgiveness of sins and salvation!
Good morning! Here in the United States, it’s Independence Day 2021. What a wonderful day, not only for our political and governmental independence, where we became a sovereign nation a few hundred years ago, but what we’ll read in God’s word: how we’re independent from the laws of the Old Testament because of the work of Jesus Christ. We’ve been studying that for a number of months, and we’ll continue to study it; we’ll have another class on it in October and eventually end up with a book sometime next year. ‘Should be great. But what we’re going to look at today is one of the key elements of the law in the Old Testament. And, it was also one of the key elements of the law that was argued over in the First-century Church and caused great division. As you may know, in the history of the Christian Church there has always been division. People arguing over different attitudes towards the scripture and the Christian life and this one today is one of the primary ones they argued about in the First-century Church and that is circumcision. We’ll start in Genesis 17…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210704. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Genesis 17:9-14 This is my covenant…every man child shall be circumcised (vs. 10)
Leviticus 12:1-4 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumsised
Joshua 5:1-9 Circumcising those born in the wilderness
Luke 2:21 Jesus Christ’s Circumcision
Acts 10:44-46 They of the circumcision which believed were astonished (vs. 45)
Acts 15:1-2 Except ye be circumcised…ye cannot be saved
Acts 15:24 No such commandment
Romans 2:28-29 Circumcision is of the heart
I Corinthians 7:18-19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing
Galatians 2:3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.
Galatians 5:6 For in JC neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth anything
Galatians 6:15 For in CJ neither circumcision availeth (means) anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation
Ephesians 2:11 Circumcision/uncircumcision
Philippians 3:1-9 We are the circumcision, which have no confidence in the flesh (vss 3-4) [dogs: backbiters; concision: those that mutilate the flesh]
Colossians 2:10-17 Circumcision made without hands
Colossians 3:10-11 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision – Christ is all and in all
Good morning! Welcome to this class on “Let Grace Abound.” From my point of view having studied much of the Bible and much of the history of the Christian Church. Whether we are under the law, whether it be the law of the Old Testament, the rules in the Gospels, or laws and rules made up by people, whether we are under that law or whether were under the grace of God has been one of the great debates of Christianity.
Recently I have been reading a lot about the Middle Ages and Crusades, and it’s interesting. Two things about the Middle Ages are clear, there were a lot of monasteries and there were a lot of crusades, where the knights from Europe went to reclaim the holy land from the “infidels” as they called them. And, in both cases the reason the nobility of Europe spent all that money on monasteries and on the crusades was they felt it would earn their salvation. They talked about Jesus Christ being their savior, yet they were convinced they had to earn their salvation. And this was particularly true with the knights. Because knights, being warriors went around killing a lot of people, and in the medieval theology, killing anybody, even of a good cause was a sin you had to repent from or due penance. So, the typical lord of the manner would fund a monastery in his district, with the idea that there would be a lot of monks in there would pray for his soul. And then the Popes gave what they called a “plenary indulgence:” you go take a pilgrimage to the holy land, reclaim Jerusalem, get back the holy, true cross from the Persians who stole it and took it to Persia and all your sins will be repaid and you’ll go to heaven.
And so that is where much of that medieval history came from. And there is much more detail, obviously if you read it, but much of the medieval history we know about is based on that one idea that you had to earn your salvation. Whereas, what you will see in this class is Jesus Christ paid for your salvation. So, whether joining a monastery was a good thing because it gave people a place to live and pray, that is another story. Whether it was good to fight for the holy land and get the land back for the Christians who use to own it, that is another story. But it had nothing to do with the salvation or the eternal life of those knights. Because, if they were born again – they simply accepted Jesus as lord and believe God raised him from the dead – they already had it.
So, here we go, let us start on the Introduction here…
As taught over a weekend, 20210619-20 by Bruce Mahone. All rights reserved.
Go bless you! Welcome to our final session on the Grace of God, before we have our weekend class on the grace of God, next week, which is all moving towards our book on the grace of God
Now I have to clarify something that I said a few weeks ago, when I was talking about my wonderful brothers in Christ, who based on their study of the chronology around the book of Revelation, feel that there will be born again Christians there present in the early part of the book of Revelation, when all of those tribulations, and the mark of the beast, and all that nasty stuff happens. The way I worded it turned out to be not exactly correct. I said that they were claiming we could lose our salvation, but I heard from them since then and apparently they didn’t actually say that. But, what they did do, so I was incorrect in saying they said we could lose our salvation, but what they still continue to do is, based on their study of the Word is put Born-again Christians there during that time where there are verses that say “if you’re faithful to the end, then you won’t go in the lake of fire.” “If you’re faithful ’til the end, then you’ll inherit the crown of life.” So, by implication, I still believe their teaching implies it strongly. So, I stand by what I taught, just the way I worded it, I admit was not 100% correct. Because they never actually said we’d lose our salvation, but by putting us in a time-period and in an Administration where you can lose your salvation and end up in the lake of fire, I think it all comes out the same. Even though they didn’t say that, I think it is implied. And if those wonderful saints can convince me otherwise, I will gladly retract that. But, having spent many, many hours talking with them and reviewing their materials as couple of years ago, again, based on what I know now, I stand by that. But we’re still brothers in Christ, and we still love each other and pray for each other, and one of these days there will be a trumpet, and if the trumpet sounds before the stuff in the book of Revelation, I was right. If we go through a bunch of tribulation in the book of Revelation, and the trumpet sounds sometime later, they were right. Either way, we’re born-again and the Lord is returning.
So, with that brief clarification of what I taught a few weeks ago, let’s get into today’s session, which is entitled: “Let Grace Abound,” and this is going to get into some fairly deep doctrine in the book of Revelation and in Corinthians, because the problem you come into when you get deep into the grace of God is whether you should just go do any silly thing you think and claim the grace of God as justification, or whether their are some guidelines for Christians today. Many Christians groups can’t figure out this balance, so they do what they consider the safe thing, and put every body under the law. We’ll I’m neither going to put everybody under the law, at least my teachings won’t say that. And neither am I going to say, go do any dang fool thing you want. But, where the balance is, that is a challenge because we’re talking about walking by the spirit of God and enjoying the freedom we have in Christ. And the freedom we have in Christ is massive, but there are still some guidelines we want to follow. We won’t have time to go into all of them today, but I hope to set the groundwork for that.
Just a historical note, as you many notice by some of the comments made, I’ve been studying a lot of medieval history recently, just as I drive around, I got a great series of lectures I got from a library in audio. So, I’ve studied that extensively, but I’m continuing to learn more things. And the thing that hit me this week was why so many European knights in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, roughly, AD; why they were willing to leave everything behind, risk all their fortune, and their lives to go to the holy land and to try to recapture Jerusalem. Well the reason is very simple, the knights were soldiers, they were fighting men, the killed people, which was considered sinful at that time. And they felt that because of their lifestyle of running around killing people that they would go to hell. That is what the theology of the time was. Well, the Pope offered them an Plenary Indulgence, which simply means that if they went and fought to try to reclaim Jerusalem, get back the true cross from the Arab groups that had gotten it and that kind of thing, if they made the crusade, then all of their sins would be forgiven. And they’d get into heaven. And it was a very good ploy.
The popes at the time were very good, they wanted to reclaim the holy land from the Muslims, and they used this plenary indulgence as a way to do it. The knights just flocked by the hundreds and thousands because they wanted to get into heaven and they realized that based on the theology of the time, their lifestyle wouldn’t allow them to. Now, wouldn’t it had been fascinating if they knew that salvation was by grace, and all they had to do was accept Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead, they would be born-again and have eternal life, but no, that wasn’t the theology of the time. They were under the law, they thought they would be judge by their works, which is why I get so adamant when I see anybody trying to put Christians under the law and saying that anything they do other than getting born again affects their salvation. What you do after you’re born-again obviously affects your life, you know if I run around killing people and worshiping the devil, I’m not going to live a very happy life, but I’m still born-again. And I’ll still be there when the Lord returns.
So, any rate, that was my little historical note for this week, that I enjoyed. Let’s go to Romans chapter five…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210613. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Romans 5-6 Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (5:20)
Romans 7 I delight in the law of God after the inward man (vs. 22)
I John 5:1-5 His commandments are not grievous (vs. 3)
II Corinthians 3 Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (vs. 17)
Matthew 6:1-5 They have their reward (vs. 2)
II Corinthians 10:12 They comparing themselves by themselves are not wise
Good morning. Today, we’ll continue our series on the grace of God. A very deep subject, which touches on every part of life for us and we’ve already had a few sessions and we’ll be covering this in some more detail in a class in late June at the Dundon’s country home down in Ebony, Virginia. Details are on the website if you’d like to join us in person or listen to it being streamed live, or listen to the recordings afterwards. Then eventually we want to put this into a book called “Why Grace is Sufficient,” and if there is too much material for one volume we’ll come up with two or three over the next few years.
So, with that in mind, today we’re going to look at a topic I call Food, the Law, and Grace. Food is an area, which as you know is very controversial. You may have wonderful Jewish friends who have one or two kitchens in their house. Sometimes they have a Kosher kitchen, which they attempt o keep clean according to the Old Testament laws. Sometimes for various reasons they cook things that aren’t Kosher, or somebody in their family isn’t Kosher, they’ll have two kitchens. Because if somebody in the family really likes bacon sandwiches, you can’t cook that in a Kosher kitchen. So you need a totally different kitchen, with totally different pans and utensils, and plates and everything. And then of coarse we know people that may not follow dietary laws because of the Old Testament, but they may have grown up in a culture where they only eat food that is organically grown. Or they don’t eat meat because their concerned about animals being killed. Or they don’t even eat eggs and milk because they think all animal products are bad for their health. And, we have friends that follow this and many other approaches.
Some people will eat any kind of meat, but they still don’t like pork — even though they know they aren’t under the Law, they think that pork is bad for you. And for them and their health, it might be bad. So the point is, not to say some people have bad dietary habits, the point is to say: peoples dietary habits are all over the map, and sometimes they’re based on the Old Testament Law and sometimes they’re not. But as we will see in the scriptures, in this grace administration, there is no restriction on what we eat. Another thing that comes up as far back as the Book of Daniel, is not eating food offered to idols. You may recall when Daniel and Meshack, Shadrack, and Abednego are taken as captives to Babylon they asked their supervisor that they not eat the meats that come from the King’s table. It doesn’t say it explicitly in Daniel, but the strong implication is that they don’t want to eat the meats because they have been dedicated to the Babylonian idols. So they asked to eat just vegetables, which weren’t dedicated to the idols and they actually come out healthier and stronger. And of course the vegetarian community looked at that and say: see, a vegetarian diet is better for them, which it might be but I don’t think that is the point. I think the point is they weren’t eating food offered to idols and as a result God blessed them and they became very healthy.
But, all of these things aside, anything with food is going to be controversial. I just sort of chuckle at things. I’ve had various people living here at the lake, off and on over the last several years, renting rooms and helping out with the chores and stuff and everyone of them has a different view on what to eat. Some don’t eat gluten because it makes them sick, some don’t eat certain foods because someone told them years ago that it will kill them and when they say that to me, I say: “well it better hurry up because I’ve been eating that for 50 years, and I’m pretty healthy.” But the point is, everybody has different points of view. And everybody is allowed to have different point of view. I don’t pick on them; I just try to figure them out and work with them, and they can eat what they want to eat. But, all of that personal experience aside, let’s get into the scriptures: Leviticus eleven…
As taught by Bruce Mahone 20210530. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Leviticus 11 Dietary Laws – prohibition about eating many things
Matthew 15:1-20 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which goeth out of his mouth
Acts 10:9-15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common [cf. Acts 10:28; 11:9]
Acts 15:1-29 Abstain from meats offered to idols… (vs. 29) [Acts 21:20 – zealous for the law]
I Corinthians 8 Meat commendeth us not to God (vs. 8) [we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat – NIV] NOTE which brother is “weak”
Good morning. We’re going to continue our series on the grace of God. And, just to let you know, if you haven’t been listening, this is a build up to two things: one, a weekend, the weekend of June 18th, 2021, when we’ll be having a fellowship weekend at the Dundon’s home in Ebony Virginia. And I’m going to call that class: “Let Grace Abound,” and it will be a typical class as a I often teach with four to five hours of teaching. And, we’ll cover many aspects of the grace of God. And, that is a build up towards a book, that we plan to put out sometime in the next year called: “Why Grace is Sufficient.”
Last session when we met on Sunday morning, I gave a general introduction to the grace of God, and that was actually part of a class I taught several years ago called: “The Grace of God.” That a was a sort of warm-up/introduction, today we’re going to go into the next topic, about salvation and eternal life. And the whole class and perhaps the book will have two major sections, one is the grace of God for us to be saved and have eternal life and our inheritance with God and everything that goes with that, and the second part will be grace in daily life. You know, do we have to follow the old testament laws in our daily living, do we have to be worried about what other people think. And, I was listening to my daily Bible recording — I like these one-year Bibles and the other day it was covering some sections in the gospel where Jesus Christ was speaking very forcefully against the Pharisees. And the things he was speaking forcefully against them was that everything they did was to please man and not God. They just wanted to look good, they wanted to look religious, they wanted to dress in just the right clothes, to show your supposedly more spiritual, and say just the right prayers, in just the right public place, and sit in just the right seat, and Jesus Christ said: you guys already have your reward, because what you wanted was for people to be impressed by what you did, and you got that. What you ought to be concerned about is impressing God.
And, I think so much of the Christian walk in so may groups is based on the same thing. Think about even groups we’ve been involved in through the years, where there was much more interest in pleasing the leaders and being able to show that you had greater progress or greater accomplishments than other people. And that is where we focused. I remember vividly being involved in one group that some of us were involved in where you sort of had an annual review, like you’d have for a job, to help decide what your ministry assignment would be in the following year. And everything was basically sales numbers. I mean that is what you would call it today, we didn’t call it that, but it was: how many people did you get to come to fellowship, how many classes did they sign up for, or how much or how many financial donations were they making, But there were no questions — I remember vividly thinking this when I was in Los Angeles going through one of these review sessions, there were no questions about: are you more peaceful, do you trust God more, do you believe God’s word more than you did last year, do you love God more than you did last year, do you walk in love towards other people? Those kind of things.
Those are the things that really matter, and that is the type of thing that Jesus Christ was talking about when he was getting mad as the Pharisees. Because all they were doing was looking good before people. And so much, in so many Christian groups comes down to: can I behave in such a way that everybody thinks I’m a good Christian? Based on the laws and rules and regulations in that Christian group. And, I’ve even gone with people to their churches in recent years, because they wanted me to come along. And so much, I was given instructions as I walked in the door, don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t make it look like this is going on, because we can’t let them find that out. And then one time, someone got mad because I think I wore flip-flops — it was a very hot summer day, so I don’t wear shoes and socks in the summer if I can avoid it — but I got some grief because I was wearing flip-flops in this “august house of worship.”
The point of it is, everybody has their quirks, and I’m not saying I don’t have my quirks, we all do, but at the end of the day, we want to be pleasing God and walking and living according to the grace of God and not be worried about what people think. It is amazing how freeing and liberating life is when you get to where you don’t care what people think. I mean you still obviously want to be kind to people, you want to walk in love, but we don’t want to run around being scared everyday. My gosh, if I say this or do this, they won’t talk to me. I’ve gotten to the place where if there is somebody that doesn’t wasn’t to talk to me because what I say or do, well then, I don’t want to talk to them either. Because when it comes right down to it, it is your relationship with God that matters and the people you want to be around are people that know that and appreciate that and love you and help you. If you have people that just want to judgeyou and put you in a box, its probably not very worthwhile being around them.
Any rate, with that not too brief introduction, we’re going to go into today’s topic, which is salvation and eternal life. I can probably have five time as much scripture in here as I have, but I tried to hit the highlights and if any of you would like to recommend other verses on the topic, please do. I’m sure I’ll be adjusting these notes as I continue to study the topic and just as I read the Bible everyday I’ll notice stuff that I hadn’t put in before. But this is salvation and eternal life, how the grace of God affects that, how the grace of God affects your daily living, that will come up in further sessions. So, please turn to Ephesians chapter two…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210516. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Ephesians 2 By grace are ye saved – the gift of God (vs. 8)
Romans 11:1-6 If works, then no more grace (vs. 6)
I Peter 1:23 Being born again of incorruptible seed
I Corinthians 15:51-58 We shall all be changed (vs. 51)
Ephesians 1:10-11 We have obtained an inheritance
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 We will meet the Lord in the air – so shall we ever be
I Peter 1:3-4 An inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away
Colossians 3:4 When Christ…shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory
Some Difficult Verses
Ephesians 5:5 No whoremonger has any inheritance in the kingdom of God [NOTE: this refers to idolaters – those not yet born again]
Hebrews 6:6 If they fall away, impossible to renew them to repentance [NOTE: once you are born again, it is incorruptible seed – no need to renew]
Revelation 21:8 Second death
Revelation 20:12-15 Judgement and lake of fire
Revelation 2:10-11 He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Good morning. As you know in past sessions, we’ve been looking at some Old Testament records. We started in Joshua, we went through Judges, and Ruth, and part-way through first Samuel. We got through much of the period when Saul was King, and haven’t quite gotten to the end of that and haven’t gotten to when David became King, let alone Solomon. But we’ll save that for a later date. For the next several sessions we’re going to talk about the grace of God. Two reasons; one, we’re going to have a fellowship weekend, the weekend of June 18th, at the Dundon’s country place, down near the North Carolina border, sort of between Petersburg, Virginia and Duram, North Carolina. And the focus of that will be why grace is sufficient, which that again is preparation for a book, which Brian has been encouraging me to write on the topic. And that will be very interesting.
Some people will love agreeing about how we are saved by grace, that our salvation is guaranteed; other people will probably get fairly upset because some of the things they accepted as requirements for Christians are not a requirement for Christians, they may be something that is good for you to do. You know I still know Christians that won’t eat pork because it is in the Old Testament law. Well, if you don’t want to eat pork for whatever reason: you don’t like the flavor, you don’t like to see pigs killed, you have a dietician or a doctor that says it is bad for you, well then don’t eat pork. But don’t try to tell me it is not Biblical to eat pork. And that is just one example. There are so, so many. Everything from circumcism, having long hair, to having fabrics that have more than one kind of thread in them, to… oh, there are just so many things. Even in the Old Testament law (my memory is a little foggy on this, but I’ll have it in detail when I finally teach on it) I think in the Kosher Old Testament dietary laws, you couldn’t have meat and dairy in the same meal. So, you could have a nice steak, but you couldn’t have cream in your coffee afterwards, or you couldn’t have an ice cream desert afterwards, or whipped cream on your cherry pie.
So, again, those are Old Testament laws that no longer apply. So, we’ll go through many, many them. Some, like the ones I just mentioned are very obvious, others take a little more thought and review, but the bottom line is Christianity as a whole, not everybody, but as a whole I think is still extremely legalistic and focuses way too much on trying to control people’s behavior with laws and rules instead of encouraging them to trust God for deliverance. We’ve all had people give us rules and tell us how to behave and most of it has done very little for us. But, what has helped us, again I’m speaking for me and people I’ve talked to, I’m not speaking for the whole world, but I’ve found what helps people is learning to trust God and ask Him for help, and be confident that He’ll be there to deliver us. And that is all the grace of God, not the Law.
At any rate, what we’re going to do today is to do a brief introduction to the topic. About fifteen years ago, in 2006, I taught a class called “The Age of Grace,” which is on our website. And that was sort of an introduction to this topic. So, just to sort of get a running start, I’m going to go through the first session of that class this morning and just as an introduction. The weekend in June, in Ebony, Virginia we’ll go into much more detail. Way beyond that class form fifteen years ago. And then the book we’ll go into more detail than that.
I’m sort of pondering a little about how to put the book together, I’m not sure what I’ll do, but I’ll try to make the bulk of the book be very simple, very inspirational, without a lot of academic detail. And then where I want a lot of academic detail to really confirm a point, I’ll either put it in footnotes or better yet I’ll put it in appendices. So, your page isn’t all cluttered with footnotes. So, if chapter two is on dietary laws, for instance, the main chapter on it may be five and ten pages, and have a half-a-dozen examples, so it is very easy and fun to read; and then for the student that likes details and wants to be proved, without just taking my word for it, they can read the appendix, which will go into excruciating detail that only the very avid student or scholar will want to bother with. But they don’t have to you see, if they just want to read the fun part and enjoy it, great. If you like the details, it’s in the back. I’ll probably do it something like that, but I’m still pondering over it and I expect to go through a few iterations and get some opinions on it so you two and probably some others will get a chance to read early drafts of it, and if you have opinions on it, you’re welcome to offer them. And, if you don’t, that is OK too.
So, with that in mind, let’s start in the book of Deuteronomy…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20210502. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Deuteronomy 6:25 Law
Romans 3:20-26 Grace
Romans 4:4-5 Believing is counted for righteousness
Romans 5:1-2 This grace wherein we stand
Romans 6:14 We are under grace
Romans 11:5-6 If by grace, then no more of works
Romans 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all
I Corinthinians1:3, 4 Grace unto you, I thank God for the grace
I Corinthinians115:10 By the grace of God I am what I am
II Corinthinians1. 9:6-8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work
Sufficiency: vs. 8 – autarkeia: A perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed;
Sufficiency of the necessities of life; A mind contented with its lot
II Corinthinians112:7-10 My grace is sufficient for thee (vs. 9)
Galatians 1:3, 6 Grace to you, called into the grace of Christ
Galatians2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God
Ephesians 1:2, 7 Grace to you, the riches of his grace
Ephesians 2:5, 7-8 By grace are ye saved
Ephesians 3:1-13 Administration of the grace of God (vs. 2)
Titus 3:7 Justified by his grace, heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace
I Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind and be strong: Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)