Janet and Anton Hein are the co-publishers of Apologetics Index.
Most Christians know that the Bible teaching they are saved by grace, through faith.
Yet there are countless Christian who do not realize that God's desire and will for us is to continue to relate to Him on the basis of grace alone. Instead, they get trapped into a legalistic, performance-based relationship that leaves them disillusioned and frustrated.
Thank God for failure! Why? Because if I had not failed miserably as a legalistic Christian, I could never have known the transforming power of the grace of God - Jeff Harkin
We have access to more teaching and preaching than any other church in history -- but our knowledge has outstripped our ability.
If we are honest, most of us must admit that we're not applying what we've learned. We're not living up to God's expectations. We're striving too much. And our righteousness is falling short of the mark.
The Bible constantly declares that all humanity is imprisoned not only under the penalty for sin-death-but also under the power of sin-enslavement. We suffer both the penalty and the power. That is, we human beings are unable to extradite ourselves from sin. Sin has power over us.
Our imprisonment is effective because it leaves us with only one alternative: If we want to be forgiven and freed from the penalty and the power of sin, we must accept God's mercy.
The grace of God is essentially the gift of righteousness -- right standing before God -- and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Not only are these gifts, but they are also unmerited gifts.
Justification, as it applies to what God has done for us in Christ, is simply this: an act of God whereby the believer in Jesus Christ is declared absolutely righteous and acceptable before God through the shed blood of Jesus.
There is so much teaching out there that either asserts or implies that if you are not sanctified you cannot continue to be justified! The Bible teaches the exact opposite -- that without justification you can never be sanctified.
The Bible teaches that Christians are to apply scriptural principles of discernment regarding beliefs, teachings and actions.
Discernment is the act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment. In other words, discernment is the ability to judge well.
Yet many Christians are confused when it comes to the Bible's teachings regarding judging.
Faith healing refers to healing that occurs supernaturally, as the result of prayer rather than the use of medicines or the involvement of physicians or other conventional medical care.
But some churches and movements twist the Bible's teachings regarding faith healing -- often with deadly results.