Redeeming Scripture

The Things that Divide Us (Ephesians 2:11-12)

There were six things that caused division and strife between Jews and Gentiles. Paul discusses these in Ephesians 2:11-12. These same six things are found in various ways today in our culture and country. As we learn how Paul wanted the Ephesian Christians to respond to these sources of division, we can learn to live at peace with others today as well. All of this is covered in this study of Ephesians 2:11-12. Before we look at that, however, we consider a question from a reader about the difference between a believer and a disciple. Question from a Reader I have read over your page on the difference between a believer and a disciple more than once. Recently I have started reading the Bible again after not reading it systematically for a long time-I tried being a disciple when I was about...

Created for Good Works (Ephesians 2:10)

Did you know God has prepared good works for you to do? In this study of Ephesians 2:10, we look at what these good works are, when God prepared them for you, and how this explanation of Ephesians 2:10 fits within the overall message of Ephesians 2. Prior to that, we will also answer a question from a reader about baptism in the Bible. Question from a Reader I am 72 years old have been a believer for 60 years. … I am not a theologian by any stretch but am filled with the Holy Spirit and KNOW how to hear and be led by Him. I am taught by the Holy Spirit and truth is truth. I have over my 60 years in Jesus seen it all and been in a lot of it, many denominations from Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, AG, Charismatic, Pentecostal, Hyper-Calvinist you name it even Hebraic Roots. I have heard i...

By Grace are you Saved Through Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I firmly believe that the Bible teaches that we receive eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. But is that what Paul is teaching in Ephesians 2:8-9 when he writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”? Though many Christians think so, I do not. This study of Ephesians 2:8-9 will explain what I think Paul is really talking about in these verses. Before we get to that, I want to address a question from a reader about whether it is sinful or not for Christians to engage in New Age practices. Question from a Reader about New Age Practices I feel like a lot of Christians are against things like manifesting, meditation, and positive affirmations. I do believe Jes...

What is Salvation in Ephesians 2:5-7?

As we continue our study of Ephesians, this study considers Ephesians 2:5-7 and the meaning of the word “salvation.” We see that a misunderstanding of the word “salvation” leads to a misunderstanding of the entire chapter of Ephesians 2. But when we properly understand what “salvation” means in context, we can then better understanding the whole of Ephesians 2. Before we look at that text, however, we answer a question from a reader about something I taught from Matthew 13 and the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Before we get to that, however, I hope you took advantage of my offer to get some free Bitcoin and Dogecoin a few weeks ago. At the time, Bitcoin was at $32,000 and Dogecoin was at $0.19. Today, Bitcoin is at $46,500, up 45%, and Dogecoin is currently at $0.32, up 68%. I am not...

The Biggest “But” in the Bible (Ephesians 2:4)

Trivia time! What’s the biggest but in the Bible? We will discover the answer to that question today in our study of Ephesians 2:4. I will also answer a quick question from a reader about the topic of Calvinism. Before that, however, I have a bit of news! I now accept Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies on my website, and if you follow some suggested steps, you can earn about $60 in free cryptocurrency, which you can then use to join my discipleship group, cash it out, or keep it invested. How to Join My Discipleship for FREE and also get paid $50! If you’ve been thinking of joining my discipleship group for a while, I have a way for you to get one month free and also get paid $50 extra in the process. If you’re already part of my discipleship group, you can do this also. I now accept cryp...

Sin Leads to Wrath (Ephesians 2:3)

Ephesians 2:1-3 explains the greatest problem humanity faces on this earth. Ephesians 2:3 reveals the root cause of this problem, and how it leads to the destruction of humanity. This podcast study explains all of this from Ephesians 2:2. Before that, however, we look at a question from a reader about Critical Race Theory. Question about Critical Race Theory I listened to your recent discussions of Critical Race Theory, and while I agree that there might be some concerns with CRT, since the goal is to get rid of racism so that all people can live in love and unity with each other, shouldn’t we accept and embrace CRT, or at least allow it to have a voice in our schools and churches? CRT is part of an overall conversation about race relations, and is therefore a good thing. Right? Everybody ...

The Subjects of Satan (Ephesians 2:2)

Do you understand what is going on in the world? You would, if you understand the real problem with humanity. Ephesians 2:2 begins to show us what this problem is. The verse contains three phrases that point to one single reality as the identity of our problem. Before we get to our study of Ephesians 2:2, however, we will be answering a question from a reader about hell and ultimate reconciliation. Ultimate Reconciliation? Do you think the ultimate restoration of all things (not the same thing as universalism though people could get nervous and think so) is possible? I address this question in my book, What is Hell?, but let me briefly summarize what I write in the book. First, let me state the 3 basic views on what happens to unregenerate people after they die. The first view is Eternal C...

What does it mean to be dead in trespasses and sins? (Ephesians 2:1)

Ephesians 2 is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied chapters of the Bible. This study provides a brief overview of how to understand Ephesians 2, and then takes a deeper look at Ephesians 2:1 as an introduction to the chapter. We also discuss a question from a reader about the problem of peace in the Middle East. Israel and the Palestinian Conflict I recently received this question from Aaron: Just listened to your recent podcast about Ephesians and with the comments as to the situation in Israel and Palestine. I found the two particularly contrasting – you seem to be so close and yet so far. Theologically, you are on the side which understands the immediacy of the kingdom of God and our participation in it in the here and now through loving our neighbors, and your understanding of...

You have the Power! (Ephesians 1:20-23)

Do you feel exhausted and overwhelmed by life? Is sin and temptation beating you at every turn? Do you feel defeated and ineffective in your attempts to follow Jesus in discipleship? If so, then the truths of Ephesians 1:20-23 are for you! These verses reveal that you have all the power of God at your disposal. Therefore, you can be victorious in your Christian life! This podcast study on Ephesians 1:20-23 also includes a discussion about crusade evangelism like those put on by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Greg Laurie. Are Evangelism Crusades Effective? Here is a question from a listener: What do you think of crusade revivals like Billy Graham or Greg Laurie outreaches? Don’t you think there are many ways to evangelize? Yes, there are many, many ways to evangelize. Evangel...

What Paul prayed for … and what I pray for you (Ephesians 1:15-19)

Ephesians 1:15-19 contains a list of things that Paul prays for. Seeing this helps us know what we can pray for as well. In fact, I do pray for these exact things, not only for myself, but also for everyone who reads my writings or listens to my teachings. So join me in this study of Ephesians 1:15-19 to discover what I pray for you! Before we get to that, however, we answer a question from a reader about what is going on in life and whether or not he will ever bear fruit again for the kingdom. Question about Bearing Fruit Hi Jeremy, been a believer for 12 years now. I’m 40 years old. For the first 4 years I walked with the Lord, God gave me a ministry and people were just drawn to me and were getting saved. Then I fell into grievous sin, drunkenness, and fornication (not to do with my min...

What is the Sealing of the Spirit? (Ephesians 1:13-14)

What is the sealing of the Holy Spirit? What does it do, how is it received, and how can you know that you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit? These are the questions we answer in this study of Ephesians 1:13-14. But first, let us consider a question from a listener about Calvinism and the fear of changing theological beliefs. Does Changing My Beliefs Make Me an Apostate? I have been reading your posts about Calvinism with much interest. For a while now I think I don’t believe it to be true. I have to say, the church we are members of is not very heavy on this, they never or rarely use the TULIP lingo I have been raised in a classic reformed, heavily legalistic family. I have always been afraid of not being chosen. What if I thought I believed in Jesus but just kidded myself? It hampers m...

Sealing of the Spirit vs. Filling with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)

What is the sealing of the Holy Spirit? What is the filling of the Holy Spirit? How are they different? These are the questions we will answer in this study of Ephesians 1:13. We will also look at a question from a listener about why I changed by beliefs about hell. A Letter from a Listener What prompted you to reject the traditional view of eternal conscious torment widely held by Conservative Christianity? I grew up believing in the traditional view of hell, which is that unregenerate people go to a place of eternal conscious torment where they suffer and burn and scream in agony for all eternity. I attended a Bible College and a Seminary that taught this view as well. The first step in rejecting this view was in realizing that Jesus fully reveals God to us. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen m...

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