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What is "grace" and what does it mean for the believer?

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John MacArthur notes the following on the word “grace:”  ________________________________________________________
Grace is a single-word definition of the gospel. The gospel is the good news of God’s grace to sinful mankind. The nature of grace is giving, and the Bible tells us much more about giving than getting, because God’s nature is to give. God is a God of grace because He is a God who freely gives. It has nothing to do with anything we have done or have failed to do; it can only be received.
God is gracious because of who He is, not because of who or what we are. His grace is therefore unmerited, unearned, undeserved. It depends entirely on the One who gives it, not on those who receive it. Grace is God’s self-motivated, self-generated, sovereign act of giving.
God’s grace has another dimension that places it still further above every other kind of giving. The greatest gift of grace is self. Grace is therefore God’s Self donation, His Self giving. He not only gives blessings to …

Is Deuteronomy 28:68 A Prophecy Concerning Blacks?

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If you've had any interaction with the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI), you have probably heard that the true identity of the Hebrew people is the African peoples (or some such nuance).  As evidence of this, BHI adherents will point to the blessing/cursing chapter of the Law, Deuteronomy 28, and see there a prophecy concerning Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.  Perhaps even outside of BHI, you've wondered if this chapter discusses this.  
The Prescribed Truth Podcast takes on this reading:

SERMON: The Church’s Resources in Christ | Ephesians 1:15–23

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The Church’s Resources in Christ | Ephesians 1:15–23
Ephesians: Building the Church | Shaun Marksbury | Grace Bible Church
Sunday Morning Service | July 25, 2019

Paul expresses his thanksgiving for the testimony of the Ephesians while encouraging them to continue growing in Christ.  He does so by informing them of his prayers for them and reminding them about the power of God wrought in Christ.  As we study this, we will learn how God works Christ’s resources in our church.  We’ll see God establishes a church (vv. 15–16a), enlightens a church (vv. 16b–19), and empowers a church (vv. 19–23).
Audio: Video:

Manuscript (PDF):
We’ve finished the long sentence of though that ran from vv. 3–14.  There, we saw how God blesses the church, moving them from their predestination by the Father to their redemption in Christ to their security in the Holy Spirit.  The one message we should walk away with from those verses is that all that God is saves us, and all that God is keeps us secure.  That message…

Idolatry can Come Even in What God Ordains

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh,
who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,”
which is performed in the flesh by human hands
(Eph 2:11).

The Jews circumcise male infants as a sign of God's covenant.  It's obvious that such an act requires "human hands," so why does Paul point it out here?  The Faithlife Study Bible notes, “In the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the ot), this word is used to refer to idols (e.g., Lev 26:1; Isa 2:18; 10:11; Dan 5:4).”[1]

Interestingly, even though God commanded circumcision, Paul uses the same terminology for idolatry. 

Even that which is good and ordained by God — in this case, a mark to identify a people with God — becomes an object for pride and self-worship.  For a New Covenant application, remember that Paul had to confront those at Corinth who took pride in who baptized them (1 Cor 3).  Our hearts are idol factories, as one theologian famously said, and we mark and …

SERMON: Blessed in the Holy Spirit | Ephesians 1:11–14

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Blessed in the Holy Spirit | Ephesians 1:11–14
Ephesians: Building the Church | Shaun Marksbury | Grace Bible Church
Sunday Morning Service | July 21, 2019

We’ve seen our blessings in the Father and the Son, but what about the Holy Spirit?   In these verses, we’re going to learn about the root of the Spirit’s blessing (vv. 11–13a), the report of His blessing (vv. 13b–14a), and the result of His blessing (v. 14b).
Audio:

Video:

Manuscript (PDF):

We traverse a wicked world each week.The flesh in which we dwell produces sinful impulses that war against the ways of God.Society draws us down as those around us, even those close to us, encourage and applaud sin.The enemy of our souls, the devil, alternately tempts us and accuses us when we fail, causing us to feel ineffective for God.By the time we reach Sunday, we might wonder if God even wants to keep His promises concerning us.
That’s what makes the preaching of the Word so important in our lives.We may question what God has for us now and in…

Mature Manhood in an Immature Age | 2019 Founders SBC Event

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A conference posted at https://founders.org/events/2019/06/mature-manhood-in-an-immature-age-2019-founders-sbc-event/

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MATURE MANHOOD STARTS WITH MALENESS | Tom Nettles MATURE MANHOOD IN THE MINISTRY | Tom Ascol MATURE MANHOOD AND WOMEN | Mark Coppenger MATURE MANHOOD IN THE PULPIT | David Miller MATURE MANHOOD AND ABUSE | Josh Buice MATURE MANHOOD AND SEXUALITY | Owen Strachan MATURE MANHOOD | PANEL DISCUSSION SHOULD WOMEN PREACH IN OUR LORD’S DAY WORSHIP? | Tom Ascol & Dwight McKissic

The Influence of Plato on Christian End-Times Theology

For those of you wanting some heftier reading on the subject of eschatology, consider how Greek philosophy might have impacted some of the early church fathers.  Specifically, Plato spoke of universal ideals, and that is exactly how many interpret the imagery of the Book of Revelation.  Such ideas translate into a hermeneutic of spiritualizing or allegorizing the meaning of the text.

Dr. Michael Vlach wrote an academic journal article on this subject titled "Platonism's Influence on Christian Eschatology."  Below is the abstract, and you can read the PDF here.
Much attention in recent years has been devoted to the influence of Greek philosophy on Christian doctrine. This has been especially true in regard to the nature and attributes of God. Some have also contended that Christian eschatology has been negatively influenced by Greek Platonic assumptions and ideas. Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, for instance, asserts that biblical eschatology has been largely replaced by Chr…