Redeeming Theology

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 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...

We have Salvation in Jesus … but what is salvation? (Ephesians 1:9-13)

What is the mystery that was hidden for generations, but is now revealed in Jesus? And what is salvation? Is salvation when we get eternal life so we can go to heaven when we die? These questions will be answered in this study of Ephesians 1:9-13. We will also address the current violence in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, and answer a question from a reader about Jesus’ statement from the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” Current Events: Israel and Palestine Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization, recently started launching rockets into Israel this last week. In response, Israel started shooting the rockets down and returning fire. It has been shocking to see how many people have responded to these events. Rather than condemning Hamas for launching the ro...

What is Redemption? (Ephesians 1:7-8)

Christians love to sing and talk about redemption and forgiveness, but strangely, few Christians really know what the Bible teaches about these two topics. We look at both terms in this study of Ephesians 1:7-8. Though we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, this does not mean that the blood of Jesus was used to pay God for our sins. God does not need to be paid off. He is not the mafia who demands payment for protection. Instead, the redemption of Jesus shows us how to live free from sin, which is what the forgiveness of God shows us as well. Listen to this study on Ephesians 1:7-8 to learn more. Current Event: Critical Race Theory We’re discussing some of the content in the best-selling book, FaultLines, by Voddie Baucham Jr. In this book, Dr. Baucham discusses Critical Race Theory and sh...

What is the Adoption as Sons in Ephesians 1:5-6?

Do you know what it means to be adopted? Of course you do. We all know people who have adopted children. Maybe you have adopted a child, or maybe you yourself are adopted. But did you know what the modern form of adoption has almost no similarities with adoption in biblical times? If we don’t know how adoption worked in Bible times, we will misread and misunderstand Scripture. This study on Ephesians 1:5-6 explains how adoption worked 2000 years ago, so that we can better understand Ephesians 1:5-6. But before we look at Ephesians 1:5-6, we will look at a current event and answer a question from a reader. Current Event: The Fault Lines in Critical Race Theory Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the Social Justice (SJ) movement are causing intense damage to the world, and to Christianity. Those ...

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