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07.22.15

In the world of construction and buildings, "condemn" means "needs to be demolished and destroyed." The building is no longer considered fit for use or occupation.

In the world of people, the definition really doesn't change all that much. Merriam-Webster says that condemn means "to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually...

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07.21.15

In writing the Romans, Paul made it clear that a Christ-follower is no longer under the control of sin. Jesus has emancipated them from the power and authority of sin. It cannot master them any longer.

But the apostle also made it clear that this is not the same as saying that they have been removed entirely from the reach of sin. While...

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07.20.15

Have you ever bought a car that had one mechanical issue after another? Do you recall what you called that car after a while?

Yes. A lemon.

But lemons come in more shapes and sizes than just cars. A house with one structural issue after another can be a lemon; so can an appliance that forces you to constantly call the repair...

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07.19.15

Baptism is a death. We don't often look at it this way, because we like to focus on the "new life" aspect of baptism. Rightfully so!

But we shouldn't miss what Paul tells us here in Romans chapter 6. Paul states that we were buried with Christ through baptism. And he tells us this in answering a...

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07.18.15

Sometimes a single impulsive action can have larger than life consequences. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they probably weren't thinking that people like you and me would still be negatively affected thousands of years later.

Eternally affected thousands of years later, really.

But...

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07.17.15

In yesterday's reading from the book of Romans, Paul made the point that Abraham -- the "spiritual father" of all believers -- never had to earn his way into heaven. It was God's gift to him. Paul even quotes a passage from Genesis to show that this was nothing new or shocking: "What does...

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07.16.15

Paul uses all kinds of different metaphors to help us understand what Jesus has done for us. For instance, he uses the comparison of a courtroom to show us that due to Jesus' willingness to pay our penalty for us, we are declared "not guilty" of sin in God's courtroom.

At other times he uses the metaphor of an adoption. By living and...

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07.15.15

Early in Paul's letter to the Romans, we have the beautiful basics of Christian teaching -- law and gospel.

God's law teaches us what to do and not to do. Initially, this can be deceptive because it makes us feel good to know precisely what God expects of us.

But ultimately the law fills us with a sense of foreboding, as we try to...

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07.14.15

Human change is often worked from the outside in. We set up rules and guidelines. It's all about clarity of what the boss desires.

In contrast, Godly change works from the inside out. The good news of our salvation and forgiveness in Christ changes our hearts. This kind of change is all about clarity of how big God's grace is, how much...

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07.13.15

God is gracious and forgiving. That is his very nature. It's literally the meaning behind his name: the LORD (the Hebrew name Yahweh).

That means we can ask him to restore our sin-broken relationship and no longer be angry with us. And we can keep on asking for this again and again.

...

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07.13.15

It's not easy to talk about these things. These are decidedly inconvenient and unpleasant truths.

But the apostle Paul did not hold anything back. He really wanted to tackle a question that he must have been asked many times. I know I have been asked this question more than once.

And the question is this: "What about all the...

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07.11.15

Life is often full of constant activity, consistent pain, and confusing issues. And frankly, there's quite a bit of pressure that goes along with all these situations.

If nothing else, we can simply end up feeling "busy, busy, busy!" on a constant basis. All of this is why it's so important to have a place of...

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