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Paul says that there is a life altering metamorphosis that changes every Christian into a servant of Christ. But HOW that transformation happens very succinctly gathers together all the grace Paul has unpacked throughout the book and shows us that it all happens, "by the mercies."Les Newsom
 
Paul says that there is a life altering metamorphosis that changes every Christian into a servant of Christ. But HOW that transformation happens very succinctly gathers together all the grace Paul has unpacked throughout the book and shows us that it all happens, "by the mercies."Les Newsom
 
Paul cares so deeply for his fellow Jewish countrymen that he writes an extended explanation of exactly HOW they are to come to faith, if they do. In so doing, he provides modern believing people with a new way of thinking about the challenging topic of evangelism.Les Newsom
 
Paul entertains a question about God's faithfulness to "bring us all the way home" that is potentially undone by Jewish rejection of the Gospel. The answer takes us deep into the mind of God and his purposes in election and a "love that will not let me go."Les Newsom
 
Insecurities plague us everyday and are often the root cause of the anxieties that shorten our lives. But Paul's exposition at the end of Romans 8 gives us a picture of a totally secure and convinced life, resting in the certainty of the Christian vision of the future.Les Newsom
 
Romans 8 is a chapter that is preoccupied with the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christians. But what exactly does the Spirit do? How does he drive home the "no condemnation" that Paul pronounces at the beginning of this magnificent chapter?Les Newsom
 
The law of God has picked a fight with believing people. Because what was started by grace can never be completed by law. This inevitably leads to conflict. Understanding and locating this conflict is THE key to Christian growth and sanctification.Les Newsom
 
It is the express intention of the Christian faith to bring about a change of life in the believer. The whole forward motion of the Bible is to fix the world from sin's destruction. HOW Paul leads us through that in Romans 6 is revolutionary for the doctrine of sanctification.Les Newsom
 
Justification by grace through faith is the medicine that cures believing people of doubting lives. Paul wants the Romans to live assured lives. So in Chapter 5 he unpacks the logic of assurance of salvation and how we can really know that we are standing in his grace.Les Newsom
 
Paul has hung a lot of theological weight on the doctrine of justification, but the means by which those benefits come to Christians is through "faith." But what does it mean to "have faith?" Turns out that imbedded in the life of the Jewish patriarch Abraham is the powerful answer!Les Newsom
 
Paul says that no one will be justified by the "works of the law." That was his way of confronting Jewish people for their adherence to exclusionary cultural norms. But we still have those ourselves. What are the ways we seek to justify ourselves in OUR day?Les Newsom
 
We LOVE to catalogue the details of good news! How much more does Paul revel in the precision and details of God's provision for his people in Christ. Three massive concepts: justification, redemption and propitiation, are all laid out for God's people to mine for joy.Les Newsom
 
Nothing can break up the ordinariness of our day quite like an insult can. And yet, Paul unpacks a sweeping condemnation of all people (both religious and irreligious) in the middle part of Romans 3. This week, we look at the Christian doctrine of Total Depravity.Les Newsom
 
Having broadly condemned the irreligious in the latter half of chapter 1, Paul then turns his sights on the religious community, who demonstrate their own depravity through their condescending to others, while they do the very same things themselves.Les Newsom
 
Paul says that the Gospel is about salvation, but salvation from what? His answer is not one that this generation wants to hear: we need salvation from the very present wrath of God. But is that an archaic way of talking about God? What good could possibly come from this idea?Les Newsom
 
Paul opens his letter to the Romans announcing his overwhelming desire to preach the Gospel to the Romans. The energy behind his message is a powerful antidote to the mundane and ordinary versions of the faith that occupy "Christ Haunted" churches in the South.Les Newsom
 
The last years of Paul's life bring some of the most dramatic suffering he'd ever experienced. There is no triumphalism in the last chapters of Acts. But how do Christians face the inevitability of suffering in this life? How can Paul's last years of missionary work instruct us?Les Newsom
 
In the latter half of Acts, Paul is seen engaging in the most effective long term evangelism strategy ever conceived...church planting. This pattern of establishing Jesus Communities is the model for all those seeking to be faithful to be Jesus' witnesses in whatever generation.Les Newsom
 
Many people think that in order to embrace Christianity you have to check your intellect at the door. But Paul marches right into the epicenter of Greek culture and goes toe to toe with the philosophy of the day and shows how only the Creator God can make sense of life.Les Newsom
 
One of the more compelling traits of the Christian faith is the fact that it is not locked into one culture or people group. A remarkable diversity is seen in Acts 16 of Philippian converts. Yet, through it all, the Gospel remains the same message of the Cross.Les Newsom
 
One of the more compelling traits of the Christian faith is the fact that it is not locked into one culture or people group. A remarkable diversity is seen in Acts 16 of Philippian converts. Yet, through it all, the Gospel remains the same message of the Cross.Les Newsom
 
The action in the book of Acts leads to a dramatic vision by Peter who begins to see that Jesus' mission in the world will not be limited to a Jewish revolution. Instead, he is creating a worldwide, multi cultural, multi racial people of God worshipping around the Throne.Les Newsom
 
The story of Saul (soon to become named "Paul") is repeated no less than three times in the book of Acts. Clearly, Luke wants Christians to relate this powerful conversion. But how can we do that when we rarely see so many fireworks surrounding our own experiences?Les Newsom
 
The execution of Stephen looks to our modern eyes as ludicrously extreme. What could have caused this rioting mob to go to these extremes? Only when the Gospel exposes your deepest commitments, and threatens them, can we hope to see its freedom.Les Newsom
 
The early church was growing! But no sooner does it start than the problem of divisions in the church arise. But rather than make the new converts feel guilty about it, the Apostles appoint a new office to insure that the ministry of the Word and Deed remain together.Les Newsom
 
Opposition from outside the church is one thing, but hypocrisy from within is equally (if not more) dangerous. Only the fearlessness of a Spirit filled community could create the integrity needed to firmly establish this new revolutionary movement.Les Newsom
 
Many people who traffic on the outskirts of Christianity have weird notions of what it looks like to live a "Spirit filled life." But in the wake of Pentecost, there were tangible signs that the Spirit had come in power to transform a fledgling group into a worldwide movement.Les Newsom
 
The coming of Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the "shot heard around the world" for the Kingdom of God. This was the decisive event for the church, but it can be hard to understand the meaning behind it. What does Pentecost mean for us today?Les Newsom
 
The mission of Jesus continues with him taking his place beside his Father at the Throne of the universe. Without this key insight, God's people can (and often have) severely missed his purposes for what his kingdom is like AND how it's going to advance.Les Newsom
 
The book of Acts is the second part of Luke's Gospel, so it's not a new movement that's being started, but God's advance into the world to plant Jesus Communities and heal the world. Father, Son and Holy Spirit working together to advance a Kingdom.Les Newsom
 
There are few greater questions that a Christian can get answered than the question of "How do I change?" The world offers many paths to transformation, but Christianity is unique when it says that we only change when we abide in Christ. What does that mean?Les Newsom
 
Peter lays out the foundation for a life of service for God's people with a simple premise: we serve because we have been served. That means a unique gifting for all of God's people to be hospitable to the strangers around them. This is where real healing starts.Les Newsom
 
Paul makes an assumption that Titus and the people he leads need to be "trained" to renounce ungodliness and live upright lives. But the whole project has to be powerfully rooted in the grace of God that has appeared in my past and will appear again in my future!Les Newsom
 
The writer of Hebrews makes a dramatic statement about how essential it is that we be aware and commit to being together in public worship. Truth is: we take on the attributes of our Tribe. Why that's the case is the topic for this week's discussion.Les Newsom
 
We should be curious about any church we join "what do you want to see in me? What do you want to shape me into as a person?" We call this topic "spiritual formation" and Paul gives us some fascinating insight into how a Christian uniquely thinks about it.Les Newsom
 
Jesus ends the sermon on the mount by walking his followers through three barriers to genuine faith. False teachers, self-deception and bad foundations can all keep us from being what Jesus is forming in us. How can we make it through?Les Newsom
 
It's easy to get over-spiritual as Christians and assume that God isn't interested in the "mundane" things of life: jobs, hobbies, recreation, relationships. But the second half of the Lord's Prayer leads us directly in Jesus' take on our day to day lives.Les Newsom
 
The integrity of the Good Life requires that our prayers be more than self interested grocery lists. But how do we do that? Jesus model prayer gives his followers a framework for praying that keeps us focused on WHO exactly we're praying to.Les Newsom
 
Jesus knows us very well. The minute that genuine piety enters our daily practice, the sinful heart looks for ways to take credit for it. Before long, all our piety is nothing but a show. But Jesus has great wisdom for hypocrites and genuine faith.Les Newsom
 
The greatest threat to the Good Life is the interruption of wholeness by those who hate us. If we can't figure out what to do about our enemies, how can we ever be truly blessed? Jesus' teaching is powerfully radical on this score.Les Newsom
 
No vision of the Good Life is complete without some emphasis on protecting married individuals from the pervasive, erosive effects of their OWN sin. So Jesus lays down a dramatic vision for the permanence of marriage AND hope of relief to the suffering.Les Newsom
 
No vision of the Good Life is complete without some emphasis on protecting married individuals from the pervasive, erosive effects of their OWN sin. So Jesus lays down a dramatic vision for the permanence of marriage AND hope of relief to the suffering.Les Newsom
 
Jesus begins his catechism of the Good Life by zeroing in on the most destructive force to human flourishing: our hatred for each other. His teaching lays us bare for what is really motivating our anger and how to heal it as well.Les Newsom
 
Jesus is ready to launch into his description of the inner life of his followers, but first clarifies his relationship to the reigning source of truth of his day, the Old Testament Law. But Jesus is not an innovator, but a fulfiller.Les Newsom
 
For the better part of the last few decades, the church in America has struggled to get clear on the question of what it means to be a faithful witness to Jesus in the world. But Jesus gives us two powerful images to begin a better conversation about it.Les Newsom
 
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