December 28, 2020

VIDEO: Has My Christianity Been Compromised?

When it comes to compromising there are two fundamental questions.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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December 28, 2020

Ep.1158: Has My Christianity Been Compromised?

Where and when compromises should be avoided or accepted

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CHAPTERS

[00:11:00]
What do the plagues of Egypt teach us about accepting compromises?


[00:29:36]
What kind of compromises might Satan present us with?


[00:47:28]
When is it required for us to compromise?


Theme Scripture: Joshua 24:15

Compromise can be so misunderstood. On one hand, we as Christians should be standing for and living a compromise-free life. Nothing should ever water down our life principles of sacrifice. Walking steadfastly in Jesus’ footsteps must always be our immovable goal. On the other hand, there are times and places when compromise is not only an option but a necessary and spiritually-based choice of righteousness. Because we are all imperfect we will inevitably come across circumstances where it is not a lowering of our standards, but a raising of them. How then do we tell the difference? What makes some compromises good and others just plain wrong?

Continue Reading

To differentiate good and bad compromise, we need to understand two fundamental questions:

  1. What are we compromising about? This is a broad area, and we need to be alert. The general bottom line is our compromises can include a myriad of subjects but must never go down one particular road. That road is the compromise of godly principles. These are NEVER up for grabs! This might sound like am easy issue, but we need to be careful. It is far too easy to confuse those things that are solid godly principles with those things that are personal preferences. Sometimes we want something to rise to the level of principle that simply does not belong there. Fortunately, there are many Scriptures that help us see the difference.
  2. Who are we compromising with? Let’s be clear, this is not going to be a clear night and day answer, except for one detail. As Christians, we should be reasonable and willing to engage in give and take with people from all walks of life.  The one exception is making a deal with the devil.  While this sounds like an obvious thing to avoid, it is far more subtle that we might think.

Moses is a great example of how to manage this. When he was preparing to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt he was following God’s direction. He took his specific instructions and appeared before the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt several times. When we observe what took place in those interchanges, we learn several profound lessons regarding appropriate compromise. This may have looked like a classic power struggle. It was really a process that revealed the mighty Pharaoh’s lying, deceit and weakness. It also revealed the importance of NOT compromising when godly principles are at stake.

Check out our December 28, 2020 podcast, “Has My Christianity Been Compromised?” for more. We examine how to avoid the entrapment of making deals with the devil. We describe the danger of falling into four specific traps, the fist of which is being an Incognito Christian. Just as important, we list many compromises that are not only acceptable, but spiritually healthy to make. Don’t miss this opportunity to lay out the whole concept of compromise and understand when to proceed and when to run!

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December 28, 2020

VIDEO: Why is Prayer Important?

We feel closer to God when we pray. Parents and Bible class teachers, this short, animated video will explain to kids why prayer is our lifeline to our Heavenly Father. Subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

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December 21, 2020

Ep.1157: How Do We Keep Jesus at the Center of Christmas?

Gifts we share with key individuals from the time of Jesus' birth

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:46]
What would Joseph have thought when he found out Mary was pregnant?


[00:29:30]
What can the shepherds teach us about their receiving a life-changing message?


[00:43:56]
Simeon waited his whole life to see the Messiah - what would fulfill your life?


Theme Scripture: Isaiah 9:6

Christmas has changed. While the holiday has always had many non-Christian aspects it seems as though the Christ based pieces of the tradition are ever fading. In its place we have Santa, reindeer, trees, gifts, lights, ornaments, food, family and for this year, social distancing. Now most of those things are not bad, with the notable exception of the social distancing. In fact, they do tend to bring a cheerful sense to our lives. Putting Christ in Christmas is about much more than good cheer – it is about a message of glad tidings of great joy, and it’s for all people! How do we get back to focusing on bringing joy to the world instead of just a moment of emotional excitement?

Continue Reading

Gifts!

Gifts are a great way to bring Jesus back to the center of Christmas, but not in the way you might think. Let’s focus in on some of the key individuals surrounding Jesus' birth and observe the gifts they were given.  We will find their gifts are bigger and more important than we can imagine. We will also notice these gifts were not given without the massive responsibility to care for them.

Let’s touch on Mary, for example. She was young, not of noble birth, and not counted in any social circle as significant. On the contrary, she was a simple woman who was betrothed to Joseph, a humble carpenter. He was from the city of Nazareth.  And everyone knew that not much good came from that city. Mary and Joseph did display one outstanding feature:  They were both humbly dedicated to serving God by following the Jewish Law to their best ability. Their humility and drive to serve God must have been profound, for they were chosen of God. He chose them to be the people through whom the world’s salvation would be nurtured. For Mary, this would begin with a miraculous, fearful and life-changing event.

Not many people in Scripture were ever visited by an angel.

Fewer were given tasks by those angels. Only Mary was told by an angel that a miraculous human life would be conceived in her, and that she would be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah! It is mind-boggling to think of how to process the news of such a gift. It is beyond imagination to think about how you manage the responsibility of such a gift!

Mary’s gift from God was to serve Him in a very unique way. As footstep followers of Jesus, our gift is also to serve God in a unique way. While the differences are obvious, the similarities are profound. Check out our December 21, 2020 podcast, “How Do We Keep Jesus at the Center of Christmas?” for more. We detail both Mary and Joseph’s gifts and responsibilities as well as the gifts of a few others. What we find are examples of our gifts from God, and how to glorify Him as we accept them. Don’t miss this opportunity to keep His son Jesus at the center of Christmas!

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December 21, 2020

VIDEO: How Do We Keep Jesus at the Center of Christmas?

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December 14, 2020

Ep.1156: Is It Faith or Works That Gets Us to Heaven? (Part II)

The role works play in making our Christian faith transformative

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

Play Part I

CHAPTERS

[00:09:26]
Every Christian wants to go to heaven, but is there a chance a true believer won't make it?


[00:32:02]
If faith is dependent on work, what kind of works should they be?


[00:48:03]
Isn't it enough that Jesus saved us from sin? What is our part in salvation?


Theme Scripture: Romans 5:1 and James 2:24

In part 1 of this two-part series, we discovered several very clear scriptural statements and lines of reasoning that showed us we are justified by faith. Having established that, the most obvious next question is, what about works? How does the Bible define “works of faith”? Is it a work of faith to go to church, or is that just a result of faith? Is financially contributing to your church considered a work of faith, or is it just a good thing to do? Are there certain things every Christian is required to do, or is it all based on who you are? To what degree is our pathway to heaven based on works? How do we know if we are doing enough?

Continue Reading

The bottom line is, you can't live a life of faith without works.

As Christians, we often to get focused on a specific scriptural phrase and make it the centerpiece for our belief system. This can be a good or bad thing. To focus on the scriptural phrase “God is love” is a good thing, as the rest of the Bible powerfully confirms this. The flip side is when we point out that the Bible says we are "justified by faith" and end it there.  Another Scripture says that God justifies, so does that mean faith doesn’t? James repeats that works are part of justification. Does that mean God and faith play no role? Of course not.

If someone says you need food to survive, they’re right. Someone else says you need water to survive, and they are right. Yet a third person says you need shelter to survive, and they are also right. The fact is, you need all three. Similarly, you simply cannot live a justified life without

  1. faith in the ransom of Jesus
  2. God applying that ransom to you individually, and then
  3. doing the works of a justified person.

So, what are the works a true Christian must engage in?

It turns out there are many and varied. We see evidence of these works of faith throughout the entire New Testament. Jesus began our understanding of them by showing us a big picture approach. When he taught the Sermon on the Mount, he said his followers were to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Basically, he was telling us that we have powerful influence on the world around us. We need to work at preserving godly righteousness by being “salty” and lighting the way to godliness by shining out God’s truth through our lives.

These are the big picture start. Check out our December 14, 2020 podcast, “Is It Faith or Works That Gets Us to Heaven? (Part II)” for more. We uncover many of the Christian works we are called upon to do and lay out the details on what they require. Join us as we walk through the practicality of actually being a Christian!

 

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VIDEO: Did Jesus Have Any Brothers or Sisters?

It’s interesting to think about Jesus growing up and interacting with his siblings. Who were they and how many were there? Parents and Bible class teachers, subscribe to our channel at ChristianQuestions.com/YouTube and never miss a new video!

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December 07, 2020

VIDEO: Is It Faith or Works That Gets Us to Heaven? (Part I)

The debate over what justifies a believer has raged for centuries.  Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.

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December 07, 2020

Ep.1155: Is It Faith or Works That Gets Us to Heaven? (Part I)

Understanding the fundamental role of faith in our Christian walk

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

Play Part II

CHAPTERS

[00:15:21]
Are we justified by God? By faith? By works? Which is it?


[00:34:07]
Why does the method of how to be justified change between the Old and New Testaments?


[00:34:07]
How does salvation relate to our justification before God?


Theme Scripture: Romans 5:1 and James 2:24

I’m a Christian. I have been called by God to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. I believe that as a sinner, I cannot do anything to earn God’s favor. Jesus’ sacrifice gave me a standing before God that I could not have had without it. So, what now? Jesus promised that all his true followers would be with him in heaven, but what does that mean for me? Do I just focus on building my faith and not works, as it says in the book of Ephesians? Should I be living my life with ever-greater expectations that God’s providence will always come through and answer my heartfelt prayers? Or should I primarily focus on works and not faith, as it says in the book of James? Should I be out and about, always doing things to show that I am a person of faith? How can something that should be so simple be so confusing?

Continue Reading

The Reformation

The debate over what justifies a believer has raged for hundreds of years. The biblical phrase, “The just shall live by faith” became the rallying cry of the Martin Luther Reformation in the 1500s. As a result, the Protestant movement was formed and never looked back. When you think about that Scripture it would seem the conclusion of living by faith over works would be a no brainer. Of course, it is not.

Contradictions?

As a matter of fact, the Bible says three seemingly contradictory things about being justified. All three are in the New Testament. Romans 5 says we have been justified by faith. Romans 8 says it is God who justifies us. James 2 says we are justified by our works. Let the head scratching begin! Being faithful as a Christian depends on being justified. If something as basic as the way we are justified is in question, how can we have confidence in our journey? The good news is there is a sound and clear biblical explanation for all of this. The challenging news is, the answer is not necessarily plain and obvious.

It all has to do with the meaning of being justified. Here again, there are details that seem to cause trouble. Consider that Abraham was spoken of as being righteous before God. While we look at this as a good thing, we also realize that he wasn’t a follower of Jesus, and therefore was not invited to heaven. What now?  Check out our December 7, 2020 podcast, “Is it Faith or Works That Gets us to Heaven? (Part I) for more.  We break these challenges down one at a time. We examine the words and their context in a broad-based approach that brings us logical and harmonious answers.

The conclusion is that the just do live by faith. So, what about works? What about God’s role? Parts I and II together show how the harmony works, and what it means for you and I as we follow Christ.

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The Bible discusses four types of love and we can learn about them all!
happily ever after

VIDEO: Can My Marriage Be a “Happily Ever After”?

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hypocrisy

What Did Jesus Really Think of the Pharisees? (Part II)

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What we can learn from the deep hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees
hypocrisy

VIDEO: What Did Jesus Really Think of the Pharisees? (Part II)

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Pharisees

What Did Jesus Really Think of the Pharisees? (Part I)

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How Jesus exposed the deep hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees
why some disliked Jesus

VIDEO: Why didn’t some people like Jesus?

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It's hard to imagine, but some folks didn't like Jesus. Who were they and why?
Pharisees

VIDEO: What Did Jesus Really Think of the Pharisees? (Part I)

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