Instructions for asymmetric power relationships

We all live in relationships with other people. Some relationships are between symmetric peers with equal power. Some relationships are between unequal people with asymmetric power at different ends of the power spectrum. In Bible times, the most powerful people were masters and the least powerful were slaves. Now, we often call a powerful person: president, chief, employer, leader, supervisor, manager, boss, teacher, admiral, captain, general, doctor, etc. We often call a less powerful person: follower, worker, employee, intern, underling, soldier, Continue reading

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Book: The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll

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The Grace Awakening: Believing in grace is one thing. Living it is another. by Charles Swindoll “Bound and shackled by legalists’ lists of do’s and don’ts, intimidated and immobilized by others’ demands and expectations, far too many in God’s family merely exist in the tight radius of bondage, dictated by those who have appointed themselves our judge and jury.”-Chuck Swindoll [from the Introduction] The Grace Awakening calls all Christians to wake up and reject living in such legalistic, performance-oriented bondage. The Continue reading

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What is a root of bitterness?

Hebrews 12:1 “…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:14-17 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root4491 of bitterness4088 springing5453 up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless Continue reading

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The bitter root of idolatry

The most poisonous bitter root that can spring up and defile many is the sin of idolatry, which is defined as 1. (n.) The worship of idols, images, or anything which is not God; the worship of false gods. 2. (n.) Excessive attachment or veneration for anything; respect or love which borders on adoration [Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary]. Consider these stern warnings. Hear, fear, and do more likewise… “Suppose someone secretly entices you—even your brother, your son or daughter, your beloved wife, or your Continue reading

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Living by the power of God

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By the power of God; literally, in power of God (2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 4:20). “For the kingdom of God is not [only] in word, but in power.” And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. (2 Corinthians 2:4-5) For I Continue reading

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The 2 religions of the world

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The Bible teaches there are only 2 religions, which are grace and debt (Romans 4). Grace is the undeserved goodness of God offered to everyone who believes, it cannot be of works. Debt is owed by God because of good works, it cannot be of faith. These 2 religions are in stark contrast to each other. Grace teaches there is nothing you can do to earn salvation. Debt teaches you have to do everything to earn salvation. They cannot be Continue reading

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Turn the other cheek vs. gird on the sword

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Jesus Christ gave 2 different teachings to 2 different groups of people in 2 different circumstances. How can we know what to do? 1) In the sermon on the mount, Jesus Christ taught the principle—to fulfill the real meaning of the Ten Commandment Law—do not retaliate in vengeance when you have suffered wrongly… “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an Continue reading

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What is legalism?

The dictionary defines “legalism” as (1) strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit. (2) Theology. (a) the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works. (b) the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws. In Christianity, the term “legalism” refers to (1) requiring works for salvation, which is the opposite of sola fide—faith alone. (2) emphasizing a system of rules and regulations for achieving spiritual growth. This is derived from Continue reading

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Do not love in word only or tongue only

When the venerable John could no longer walk to the meetings of the Church but was borne thither by his disciples, he always uttered the same address to the Church; he reminded them of that one commandment which he had received from Christ Himself, as comprising all the rest, and forming the distinction of the new covenant, “My little children, love one another.” When the brethren present, wearied of hearing the same thing so often, asked why he always repeated Continue reading

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The abundant life

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! (John 10:1) The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) Jesus Christ said, “I am come that they might have: a rich and satisfying life, and have it abundantly, more abundantly.” Do you have a rich and Continue reading

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