Faith or Works?
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After getting this far into the book of James, chances are you might be a bit confused. After all, James seems to contradict nearly everything Paul says in the book of Romans. He consistently talks about “works” whereas Paul was the “champion of grace.” However, how can the Bible contradict itself on such a major theological topic? For example, Paul writes in Romans 3:28 that “a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” However, James […]

Can the Dead Talk to Us?
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A Bible student excitedly told me about a movie he saw where someone died and went to heaven where he saw his dead loved ones. When I reminded him about the state of the dead, he told me, “Well maybe they did not actually die. Maybe it was a dream.” He was quite emotional about the movie and told me it had strengthened his faith in God.

What could be wrong with that?

Well, it raises the issue of whether we regard movies as […]

Showers of Blessing
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in my house.
And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts,
if I will not open the windows of heaven for you
and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10 ESV

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

I was four-going-on-five when my father died. My oldest sister was married, two others were college age and the one closest to me was 12. Mother […]

Why Didn’t He Say Anything?
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Several years ago one of my superiors made a false accusation against me at church. I asked a couple of friends how I should refute what was said. One friend answered wisely, “Don’t defend yourself against the accusation. Doing so will only give the accusation merit.” My friend was right. Sadly, the leader who made the accusation left the Adventist Church shortly after. As I continued my ministry I realized everyone forgot what he said. It may sound cliche, but some […]

“Who’s Allelon?”
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

This blog will depart from my usual gentle, winsome tone. I’ve avoided using my posts as a bully pulpit, but I can no longer forbear. It’s time for a stern rebuke regarding our spiritual condition. Earth’s probation will soon screech to a halt when Jesus comes with his glorious retinue of angels, and I must testify that we are not ready.

In particular, one standard has been ignored, neglected, even despised among us. God will soon hold our shady lives up […]

HopeSS: Faith That Works
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Derek Morris 14d

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

What Does “Perfect in Christ” Really mean?
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One hot July afternoon at an Oklahoma Camp meeting, I visited a friend in her tent. Just outside sat my friend’s 13-year-old daughter with a friend she had just met. This was her friend’s first camp meeting. He had come with his grandfather who just became a Christian. He did not know what to think about all the meetings and asked my friend’s daughter, “What do you think about Jesus? What is He really all about?” My ears perked up, as I was quite interested […]

HopeSS: Love and the Law
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Derek Morris 14d

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

Jesus Doesn’t Kick Us Off The Team When We Mess Up
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Thursday’s section of this week’s Sabbath School lesson asks:

Have you ever messed up really badly and when you expected only condemnation and judgment, you were given mercy, grace, and forgiveness instead?

Peter  vowed to follow Jesus even if it cost him his life. When Jesus was arrested, Peter whipped out his sword and swung at a soldier’s head, catching only his ear. Then Peter found himself in the judgment hall.

A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of […]

What Does it Mean to be Under Grace?
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Friday’s section of this week’s Sabbath School lesson asks,

“What do you say to those who claim that because of the grace of Christ, they are free from the law? What do they often really mean by that, and how would you answer them?”

I have heard Christians tell me not to worry about keeping the law because we are no longer under the law. We are under grace. Funny thing is, they only tell me that when it comes to Sabbath keeping. […]