Prodigals VIII: Prodigals and the Covenant

The Bible teaches both that God doesn’t lose any of His sheep, and that real covenant members do become prodigals and fall away from the faith. No one can snatch you out of God’s hand, but branches do get cut out of the vine. A right understanding of the doctrines of covenant and election as different but not contradictory perspectives on the reality of salvation will help us see how the Bible can give us both blessed assurance and stern warnings.Prodigals: We began this series with this definition: a prodigal is a covenant member who falls away from the faith.…

Posted on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 by CJ Bowen

Sola Gratia: Salvation By Grace Alone

The Reformation doctrine of Sola Gratia is that salvation is by grace alone. Biblically speaking, the highest form of grace is God’s gift of salvation (see Titus 2:11) as His response to human sin. Ever since Adam, we are all born guilty and sinful, and so we need more than creation grace. We need saving grace, grace that deals with our sin. Thanks be to God, that’s exactly what He gives us in Jesus Christ.The most important thing about grace is that it is a free gift, not earned wages. If you hire me to work for you, and then…

Posted on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 by CJ Bowen

Prodigals VII: Grace for Prodigals

Maybe this has happened to you: a prodigal demands “grace” in response to their sin. You know that God is gracious, and so you should be too, but something about the “grace” they’re looking for seems off. How can you get past the hurt and wrong of what they’ve done to you? Is “grace” a magic wand that makes sin disappear? In order to try to figure out how to show grace to prodigals, let’s look at a clear example of grace in action from Joel 2.The prophet Joel calls God’s people to repentance in the face of imminent judgment.…

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 by CJ Bowen