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  1. Richard E. Bengtson

    The confusion between grace and works has been a problem since the early church was founded. i am of the belief that one must become fully aware of their own sinfulness, to even come to repentance. Jesus gave the sermon on the mount to show all of us just how far we fall short. when a young man confident in his righteousness asked Jesus what he had to DO to qualify for eternal life; Jesus seemed to raise the bar more. Even his disciples wondered how anyone could be saved. Jesus simply stated the with God, all things are possible. When Nicodemus; “the teacher of Israel” came secretly to ask Jesus who he was; Jesus went right to the real issue at hand. Nicodemus was a master of Jewish law. Yet, Jesus was saying that even a man like Nicodemus needed a savior. he needed to be born again and receive the holy spirit to receive eternal life. John 3:16 & 17 is part of that conversation. Jesus gave a parable about a publican (Tax collector) and a law keeping Pharisee praying. the publican beat his chest and begged for forgiveness. The Pharisee pats himself on the back, and boastfully thanks God that he is not like that tax collector. Yet, notice Jesus justifies the tax collector. Gal 2:21 sums up the matter.

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