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Authors: Paul Ellis

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Grace Remix

BOOK: Grace Remix
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From E2R Readers

Paul Ellis is today’s voice crying in the wilderness, proclaiming the beauty and freedom of grace in a world bound up with law. His insights have led me to a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for me 2000 years ago. His writing has demolished confusing teachings that plagued me for decades.

-

Mike L., MSgt, USAF (ret.), Orlando, FL

I used to suffer badly from depression and anxiety. I was an atheist and I couldn’t imagine God being able to help me. I was recommended Escape to Reality and it was Paul’s article on the good news that truly saved me.

-

Nath C., Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

My wife and I grew up in the traditional Christian church with its teachings of saved by grace, live by law. We have found Escape to Reality to be a real blessing. Finally, we’re hearing the gospel of grace without the religious teaching of rules and commands.

-

Michael D., writer, Columbus OH

For almost five years I have being reading Paul’s articles. His teachings are kind, strong, and easily consumed.

Through Escape to Reality, Jesus has set me free from many fearful beliefs that I had held since childhood—

doctrine and Christian ideology that had me tied up in knots. After I stumbled across E2R, the lies began to unravel and I was exposed to the fantastic, enormous grace of Jesus. I am eternally grateful for Paul’s role in helping me discover the truth.

-

Connie-Louise A., public relations, Toowoomba, Australia

E2R has been such an encouragement to me. It has helped me change my entire perception of how to

successfully walk this new creation life and, in turn, relate that to my congregation. Lives are being changed!

Thanks Paul for all that you do!

-

Andrew B., pastor, Fenton, MI

When I first began to understand the grace of the gospel of Jesus, I found that there were some scriptures that seemed contradictory. Paul Ellis tackles these difficult verses head-on and explains them through the lens of grace. I am extremely grateful to Paul for helping me to get a revelation of grace that makes more sense than any law-based message ever did.

-

Bryan B., software engineer, Fort Worth, TX

Paul Ellis and his books and blog are great blessings, especially with my questions about God, grace, and Christianity. I’m not just learning, but also unlearning. I will be forever grateful to God for your life, Paul, and I’m looking forward to years more of reading your writings.

-

Love M., QA specialist, Philippines

Thank you, Paul for changing my thinking. After 40 years of wrong preaching and problems, I am now

preaching the truth found in the grace message. Your weekly email teaching surely changed my ministry.

-

Con B., pastor, Durban, South Africa

Grace Remix: Escape to Reality Greatest Hits, Volume 4

ISBN: 978-1-927230-32-9

Copyright © 2015 by Paul Ellis

Published by KingsPress, Birkenhead, New Zealand. This title is also available as a paperback. Visit www.KingsPress.org for information.

All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. Contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without the express written consent of the publisher. An exception is made for brief quotations in reviews. The use of short quotes or occasional page copying for personal or group study is also permitted and encouraged.

Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

www.zondervan.com

Scripture quotations marked “CEV” are taken from the Contemporary English Version®. Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. All rights reserved. Used by permission. www.biblesociety.org.uk/product-search/CEV/

Scripture quotations marked “Darby” are taken from
The Darby Bible
by John Nelson Darby (1890).

Scripture quotations marked “KJV” are taken from the
King James Version
of the Bible (1611).

Scripture quotations marked “MSG” are taken from
The Message
. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture quotations marked “NKJV” are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Please note that KingsPress’ publishing style capitalizes certain pronouns in Scripture that refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and may differ from some publisher’s styles.

Cover layout and design by Brad Wallace of bradwallaceimaging.com.

Any Internet addresses printed in this book are offered as a resource. They are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement by KingsPress, nor does KingsPress vouch for the content of these sites for the life of this book.

Version: 1.0 (August 2015)

Dedication: This is for all who ever heard grace mixed with law (especially those who heard it from me!) and now have to unlearn some stuff.

Contents
A word before

1

1. What is the whole gospel?

4

2. Your glorious new past

7

3. Beware the dogs of law

10

4. Is God sovereign?

14

5. What about Hebrews 10:26?

19

6. Don’t listen to Job’s friends

23

7. Does God scourge us?

26

8. Fear and trembling

30

9. Three reasons why I don’t preach “turn from sin”

34

10. What is Biblical correction?

37

11. Chop off your hand?! Was Jesus serious?

41

12. Fear God who can throw you into hell?

46

13. What is the fear of the Lord?

49

14. James: Preacher of grace?

52

Bonus track…

15. The X-Men gospel

55

Back ads

59

A Word Before

This week our baby girl received her Australian citizenship certificate in the mail. She just

became a little Aussie. This despite the fact that she has never been to Australia, she can’t name

the six states or the prime minister, and she doesn’t know what a lamington is. She’s never read

“The Man from Snowy River,” never enjoyed a Vegemite sandwich, and never seen an AFL

Grand Final.

She has done none of the things that Australians do, yet she is, by law, 100 percent

Australian with all the rights and privileges that entails.

The day you were placed into Christ, you became a brand-new citizen of the kingdom of

God, with all the rights and privileges that entails. But like my daughter, you may not be

enjoying all the benefits of your citizenship. In Christ you have received forgiveness,

righteousness, and holiness, but you may not know that you are forgiven, righteous, and holy.

This is why the scriptures exhort us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians

4:23). That’s another way of saying, “Change your thinking. Discover who you truly are. See

yourself as heaven sees you, as a beloved child of God.”

My daughter is already an Australian, but if she wants to live as an Australian, she will have

to learn how to be one. Similarly, we need to learn how to walk and talk like citizens of a

heavenly country. The Bible calls this working out our salvation and acknowledging every good

thing that we have in Christ. We do none of these things to become citizens, but because we are

citizens.

One day I may take my daughter to Australia and help her explore that amazing country,

but that is nothing compared to the adventure of discovering who we are in Christ.

I met Jesus when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I fully began to

appreciate all that he has done for me. Several years ago I had what can only be described as a

grace awakening. For the first time I understood what made the new covenant
new,
and I began

to see myself as my heavenly Father sees me—as pleasing, acceptable, and dearly-loved. After

that, everything changed.

Previously, I had been confused by a lot of stuff in the Bible. I had read it cover to cover, but

much of it made little sense to me. The problem was I saw the Bible as an instruction manual

when I should have been reading it to learn about Jesus (see Luke 24:27).

But after my grace awakening, everything came into sharp focus. I began to see Jesus on

every page and in every chapter. Old, boring scriptures became new and full of life. The words

hadn’t changed but their meaning had. Obscure stories that I had dismissed as ancient history,

sprang to life. Archaic laws, ancient proverbs, even the long lists of who begat who, came alive

with fresh significance. “This is talking about Jesus!” I realized. “Every word of it points to

him!”

1

GRACE REMIX

Since I am one of those people who doesn’t know what he is thinking until he sees it written

down, I began to write what the Holy Spirit was showing me. I started sharing my thoughts

online in a blog called Escape to Reality (E2R for short).

After five years, and half a million words covering more than 700 scriptures, and with

15,000 comments from readers, E2R had grown into one of the largest grace resource sites on

the web. But it had also become an unnavigable mess. So I decided to go through the archives,

pull out the best articles, and release them in a series of Greatest Hits. Volume 1 is called
Grace
Disco
, Volume 2 is called
Grace Classics
, and Volume 3 is called
Grace Party
. You may be wondering why I named this volume,
Grace Remix
.

A remix is something old seen through new eyes. Here’s an example. Before my grace

awakening I interpreted much of Jesus’ teachings as hyperbole. “Jesus is exaggerating to make a

point. He’s not seriously suggesting that we chop off our hands.” That’s the thin edge of a bad

wedge. Dismiss some of Christ’s teachings as hyperbole and we might as well dismiss them all.

Grace has taught me to value everything that Jesus said, including his audacious message about

chopping of hands. More on that in chapter 11.

Before I got grace I interpreted much of the Bible as dire warnings for misbehavior. “If I

don’t heed this scripture, I may be punished.” That’s the thin edge of another bad wedge. It’ll

lead you to trust in your own moral performance and fall from grace. More on that in chapters 3

and 7.

Before grace changed me, I was intimidated by many of the hard scriptures in the Bible. I

didn’t know what to do with them so I filed them in the too-hard basket. But grace has caused

me to view that basket as a treasure chest. Tough scriptures like Matthew 10:28 (“Fear the One

BOOK: Grace Remix
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