I highly recommend Todd Friel’s new book “Judge Not” which deals with discernment and a ton of topics. He covers NAR, Youth Ministry, Jesus Culture, Short-Term Missions, and many other things. It is hard to put down, informative and thought-provoking.
Richard Bennet was a Roman Catholic Priest for more than 20 years. He is now saved by grace alone. Hear him share his testimony here. He went from whipping his back and taking cold showers in freezing weather to embracing the gospel and finding true shalom peace with God. He now speaks the truth in love with gentleness and respect. See his website here.
One of the things that all false religions have in common is their ability to make an individual a beast of burden. I see it almost daily in the culture I live in as poor people bow down to wealthy monks along the street side and offer their sacrifices in ignorance. This same works-based mentality is seen in Roman Catholicism around the world as Romanists engage in various works of satisfaction as a part of penance. They need the peace of God that is found in Jesus alone.
Rom. 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We Christians ARE saved by works, but it is the works of Jesus. Our justification before God is appropriated through faith. Faith is “the alone instrument of justification.” That saving faith, which is a gift from God, will always be evidenced/seen in our good works because that’s what we’re here for Eph. 2:10.
We must be ever-cautious in our preaching to rightfully distinguish between law and grace. We should be preaching the full counsel of God and not just the easy parts of the Bible that we’re most familiar with. The moral law of God is always there so I preach the law. Of course God expects us to love our wives and live in a righteous way. His holy nature would expect nothing less. But what about when we don’t? Are we presenting to people a better life based on principles? “Just follow these 4 steps and watch your marriage transform.” Principles can be divorced from Christ. I want Christ at the center. The preaching from the pulpit shouldn’t be a constant ringing of “do this and do that.” Jesus has done everything for us. So with the preaching of the law comes the preaching of grace – that Christ bled and died for every time we fail to love our wives and live righteously. To lose this balance of preaching both law and grace would be very costly.