Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P512 (02-14-20)
How hard it is to grasp this concept of grace! When you are lost, you just cannot understand that there is nothing you can do to make yourself acceptable to God. But many believers also struggle with this concept of grace that is spoken of in the New Covenant that God ushered in after his death, burial and resurrection. Even your best efforts fall short. Why? You are striving in the energy of your flesh, and not living under grace.
The reaction that a lost person often has upon first hearing a message of grace is, “What do you mean there is nothing I can do to make myself acceptable to God? I have tried to obey the law.” A believer also does not always fully understand grace either. Often, upon reading God’s word, their mind is confused for awhile. They have not understood the words of Jesus in the Lord’s prayer, what Jesus said when he said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Often times, so many modern churches today co-mingle law and grace. That compounds the problem and hinders people from growing in grace. Recall in scripture where Paul had to address the church in Galatia, addressing those who were causing trouble among the believers. There were those Judaizers teaching them to return to the law to be circumcised. What did Paul say?
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?
It takes time to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not uncommon for believers to get caught up in legalistic thinking. Some are not keenly aware of their own legalistic thinking or where the error is in their own heart. They see things they do not approve in a church, and do not see that they themselves have a critical spirit, for example. To help someone who is caught up in improper attitudes, such as a critical spirit or lack of joy, when being all hung up on disputable matters, you speak truth in love, to help them see. The truth of the word of God helps us to put aside those problems in attitude, those manners we sometimes carry in our flesh. We tend to fall into those patterns of thinking we had when we were lost. We all have our own flesh to contend with. So we will always need, from time to time, to be reminded of truth. For our flesh wars against our spirit so we do not do what we ought.
We are instructed to walk in the Spirit so we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. We realize that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. We come to understand that we cannot produce this fruit of the Spirit, such as love and patience, in the energy of our flesh. We learn to abide in Christ, who lives in us. We allow Him to renew our minds, to live His life in and through us. We have been given the privilege to participate in the divine nature, the Spirit of God that lives within us, in those who have been born again.
Other times we struggle in our walk of faith simply because we have simply not heard truth on a particular matter. If you have never read the book of Hebrews, for example, and have just started out reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, then, in all likelihood, you will be confused in what you are reading, having not understood the difference between the Old Covenant of law that was replaced with a New Covenant of grace that you are now under. It is so helpful to hear teaching from those older than us in the Lord, who have been there where we are now. They can help point us to the scriptures to straighten out our understanding. When we all have the right attitude, an attitude of humility, then both are mutually encouraged in spirit. The mature brother rejoices that a person has been helped by the instruction in God’s word and the recipient of truth walks away with joy and new found freedom. That is an example of the proper functioning of the church.
Listen, as Bob shares truth from God’s word to help people in various walks of life. He shares with those who just cannot seem to grasp grace, and you can hear Bob relying on God to produce patience in and through him. Then there are those who are just beginning to understand things, and have such a teachable spirit. Then there are those who have grasped the concept of God’s grace and are wanting to share that with others, and are getting wise advice in doing so.
Steven from Bakersfield, California
Bob: How are you doing, brother?
Steven: Doing pretty good. Thank you, sir.
Steven: I had a question about baptism. I have claimed to be a Christian for several years. I began to read the bible the past year, actually. I am beginning to realize I was not a Christian. Many things in word judged me and there are many things in the bible I did not follow. I did not obey his word, therefore, I was not a Christian, although I thought I was. In the past years, I started doing that. I just turned you on the radio. I am not a regular listener. I heard you speaking while driving home. So I wanted to call and ask you about baptism, because I came across many times in the New Testament.
Bob: Steven, I think a couple of things before we address that. I think you need to get clear in regard to that you were not a Christian because you did not obey because that is nonsense. The issue is that you were dead spiritually. You were born into this world dead in your sins.
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you [us] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
(Steven interrupts frequently throughout this conversation before Bob finishes his thought.)
Bob: Again, do not agree too fast. Listen to what I am saying.
Bob: Your sins had to be taken away at the cross forever from the eyes of God. That was an eternal act at the cross, in order to give you life. Had he not taken away sin, which is the cause of spiritual death, or He had forgotten one, and you committed it, and He had given you life, you would have lost that life right then, because the wages of sin is death. So you are not saved by the cross. You are saved by the resurrection.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Bob: That is what the cross did. It reconciled. He took away our sins. How much more having been reconciled shall you be saved by his life. It is the resurrection that saves us, and that is why Paul said without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins.
The whole emphasis of the New Testament was to offer him for life.
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
1 John 5:11-12
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
All of those passages of scripture teach what salvation is. It is coming alive in Christ Jesus. It has nothing to do with what you did. It only has to do with what you believed, and repented of your sin of unbelief and coming to him by faith. That is how you are saved.
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Bob: So you were not saved through obedience. And you are not sustained through obedience. You are sustained because of Him. You are sustained because of His faithfulness to you. So making a statement that you were not saved because you are not living in obedience is a dangerous one because you are still not living in total obedience to God when you take a look at the scripture that says the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Bob: Then look at 1 Corinthians 13, which is God’s definition of love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
Bob: Now consider that in my daily walk that I am always patient, I am always kind, I never keep record of people’s wrongs? I do not need to go on. We have lost it. The issue is what we are doing is allowing Jesus now, who lives in me, to produce those kinds of things in and through me, because there is nothing in my flesh capable of producing those things. I cannot do that through self effort. I have to do that through surrender. When you are dealing with obedience, true obedience is what Jesus said. Here on earth, here He is God, and He said these things.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
49 “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Bob: Jesus said that he does not do anything unless the Father tells him to do it and he does not say anything unless the Father tells him to say it and how to say it. He lived in total dependence on his Father, and then said to you and me, “as the Father sent me so I send you, and so do likewise”. We are following his example of trusting, his example of living by faith.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Bob: When we are talking about living in dependency, that is what God is looking for in us, to live in the attitude of total dependence on the Spirit of God to live in me, to live His life in and through me. If I am going to do that, I have no dependency on myself. I have no confidence in my own flesh except failure. I have total confidence in the Spirit of God who lives in me. If I will yield to Him and walk by faith in Him, He will produce that in and through me just like a vine and a branch. As a branch abiding in the vine, the life of the vine will produce the fruit in the branch, but the branch cannot produce it. It can only bear the fruit.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Bob: I wanted to straighten that out just a little bit. I am not saying you were not a Christian then, or are not necessarily now, but do not equate being a Christian with walking in total obedience, otherwise then there would not be any Christian except Jesus.
Steven: Yes, but that is what the word says.
Bob: No, the word says that He is the vine and you are a branch and you can do nothing apart from Him. That is what the word says.
Bob: So the issue is this, Steven. Again, if somebody, like yourself or me, walking around, and I have been in the ministry for a lot of years. I do not know how old you are, but as far as doing things for God, even in my age category, would put me far ahead of where you are. I look at that and say, “I have not done anything worthwhile of entering heaven except abiding in Christ Jesus”. So a person saying I live in obedience is self righteous. Number one, they are deceived. Second, they are terribly self righteous. Nobody can do that.
Steven: I think that, after reading God’s word, abiding in Christ is walking in total obedience to His word and obeying His commandments.
Bob: Steven, hold on a minute. If you are a branch, and you are abiding in the vine, then you are saying is that abiding in a vine is obeying everything the vine has to say when it says apart from the vine you cannot do anything. You see, you got everything confused. You cannot live in total obedience. I just gave you a passage. Are you saying you are living in accordance with 1 Corinthians 13? See, that annihilates you, and annihilates anyone, who thinks they are living in obedience to Christ Jesus. You can sit down and put up with easy things. It says “be baptized” and so I have been baptized. It says “go to church” and I go to church. But what about the attitude of the heart? We have to realize we cannot do that, and that is what it says, “apart from Me you can do nothing.” It is not the case I am abiding in Christ in that self righteousness of total obedience. If I am abiding in Christ, then I am depending on Him to produce it and not me. I can try but I will fall flat on my face sooner or later.
Steven: Then what do you do? How are you saved?
Bob: The Holy Spirit of God, Steven, is alive and the Holy Spirit of God lives in you if you are truly saved. It says if you do not have the Holy Spirit living in you, then you do not belong to Him.
1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Bob: We are indwelt by God and we literally have the mind of Christ living in us.
1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Steven: Of course, we are a branch abiding in Him, and you say we have the mind of Christ. I totally agree with you, that we would have the mind of Christ. Then, can I just go on living any way I want to live and doing anything I want to do, what I feel is right to my own eyes? Where do you draw the line?
Bob: Steven, there is no line to draw. You are confused. If you are in Christ Jesus, I have the ability and privilege to participate in the divine nature that lives in me. I can also participate in my flesh.
2 Peter 1:4
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature [flesh]. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Bob: That was Paul saying that. He also said praise be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, who will rescue me from this body of death. How is that possible?
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Bob: You have everything you need for life and godliness, living in you, in the person of Christ Jesus. I can participate in that and yield to that or I can yield to the demands of the flesh. That is the option. That is the conflict that is in all of us. So the hearts desire of a true born again believer is to live, as it says in scripture, to have the privilege to participate in the divine nature. In other words, yielding to the Holy Spirit’s desires. But at times, I yield to the flesh. That is the conflict. When I am walking in the Spirit, I will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Steven: When you say, sometimes yield to the flesh, give an example of yielding to the flesh.
Bob: Having bad thoughts about people. It can be all kinds of things. You can irritate people. Take love as an example.
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Looking at the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, are you always patient? I am not always patient. When I am not patient, I am yielding to the flesh.
Steven: I am trying to be.
Bob: Trying. A dollar will get you a cup of coffee. Trying is not the issue. Trusting is.
Bob: What we are discussing here, you are discussing self righteousness and God’s righteousness. Self righteousness is saying I am doing everything okay, or if I am not, I am at least trying. Will God accept that? No. He won’t accept that.
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel [the Jews], who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.
Bob: How come? Because they pursued it, not by faith, but by works. Therefore, they stumbled over the stumbling stone. So when you are pursuing righteousness, in your own righteousness, that is called self righteousness. In other words, I say “I am going to go do”, but He says, “No, you cannot, Steven”. I recognize your desire, but you cannot pull it off. Only Jesus can pull it off.
Steven: I agree with you one hundred percent. It is only in Christ that I can give the Holy Spirit and can change a person’s life and change their mind.
Sharon from Indianapolis, Indiana
Sharon: Thanks for taking my call. I do not know if I am being a little legalistic or if some of these churches are just being carnal. I am a born again believer, because I believe Jesus died on the cross and his blood was shed for my sins. My husband and I do not attend the same church because I do not like when the church does things like this, such as a sporting event, and then they sell hot dogs and sodas after an event, or take money from the government to hold AID prevention clinics. If you are preaching the word, then you are teaching abstinence and not telling people to wear condoms. I do not agree with them.
Bob: Sharon, hold on a minute. You named at the beginning that maybe you are a little legalistic. No, you are not a little legalistic. You are a lot legalistic. The things you are talking about are not in the bible. If you do not like what a church does, you do not have to complain about it. Just get out of it and start where you are. Do not get into a critical spirit because someone has a Halloween party or people celebrate Christmas or people celebrate Easter. There are people that are literally anti all of that, anti-celebrating the church of Christ. That is how deep you can go into that stuff once it starts.
Grace is the way to approach these types of issues that people disagree on, such as choosing to celebrate a certain holiday or not. If you know something to be in error, then you should speak as the Lord leads you to do. Discern what is a disputable matter and what is error. There are people with a lack of knowledge on such things, or have no knowledge of such things. Others think they have knowledge but do not know as they ought. In all cases, let us know the way of love. Let love be your guide on these matters. If you know something is in error, then feel free to speak what you believe, but guard against a critical spirit and speak as the Lord would lead you personally, with an attitude of grace and love.
Ponder over the meaning of these scriptures.
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.
4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
Now, if you are convinced of something, that you should not do this or that, in regards to disputable matters, consider what scripture says in regards to keeping it to yourself, and what kind of attitude you should have in regards to someone else who thinks differently on such disputable matters.
4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
Sharon: Christmas does have biblical ties, but when you are saying we are going to have jeopardy game or we are going to quiz kids on black history, I do not think the church needs to be talking about black history but about Christ.
Bob: Sharon, I think I know where you are coming from. The issue is this. Lead a quiet life and tend to your own business.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Bob: Do not worry about what is going on over there. Just rejoice what is going on where you are. Forget about what is going on over there. Otherwise, you will be just criticizing what is going on over there instead of rejoicing in your relationship with Christ Jesus. I am not saying you are saying anything wrong.
Sharon: But, is it appropriate?
Bob: If it is not appropriate, then do not do it.
Sharon: If I teach anything other than Christ and Him crucified, what does black history have to do with Christ?
Bob: Sharon, come on. What are you hung up on black history for? Or white history? Why does it make any difference? If that is a church like that, why even talk about that? There are thousands of churches doing worse than that. If you knew what I know about churches around the country, you would probably commit suicide. You cannot do that. You get off the deal and start rejoicing in what you have and rejoice in what you are doing. Quit criticizing other people. What you are talking about is going on in Christendom all over the place. And you are talking about some little church there in Indianapolis. You are hung up on something that you should not be hung up on. That is called a critical spirit. That is not of God either. You should have a spirit of loving one another. On the other hand, where there is error, and you are in a situation, where you belong and where error is taught, there is nothing wrong about standing up and saying this is what I believe. Speak truth in love and leave the results to God.
Bob: Okay, Sharon. Thanks for your call.
Terra from Hamilton, Ontario
Terra: Thank you. Nice to speak with you, Bob.
Bob: Thank you, Terra.
Terra: I have been listening to you since last month. I agree with everything you said about how we do not need to ask for forgiveness because Jesus said it was finished on the cross. I am confused as to how the Lord’s prayer fits into that.
Bob: It does not.
Terra: For in the Lord’s prayer, we ask for forgiveness.
Matthew 6 is the passage that people refer to as the Lord’s prayer. At the end of this model way of praying, Jesus says the following.
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Bob: Think about that for a minute. Certainly we do not believe the bible contradicts itself, and yet it does. In the Lord’s prayer, if you do not forgive your brother here on earth, your father in heaven will not forgive you. On the other side of the cross, what does it say? Forgive one another even as Christ Jesus forgave you. Terra, and to the listeners across the country, the bible does not contradict itself, and yes it does contradict itself if you do not understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Bob: The New Covenant did not go into effect until the death of Christ. We read that in the book of Hebrews.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.
Bob: So in the gospels, in what we call the Lord’s prayer, is in the Old Covenant. Jesus had not died yet. The New Covenant was not in existence yet. The finality of the cross had not taken away the sins of the world yet. His resurrection had not occurred in order to give life to the spiritually dead, as of yet. So, all of Jesus teaching, while he was here on earth, was under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was his teaching and was an extension of the law, where he buried us under the law. This, the Lord’s prayer, was one of the examples.
Bob: He did not teach us a prayer to pray. He taught you how to pray.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
In that, do not pray like the heathen do, who take a prayer and pray it over and over again. Instead, pray along these lines. So what do we do? We take a prayer, where he said to pray along these lines, and pray it over and over again as the heathen do. You do not see this prayer prayed by Paul or Peter or any of the apostles praying this prayer. It was not given for that purpose. It was given in order to bury us again. Everything was great until you get to the point of “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. For if you do not forgive your brother here on earth, your Father in heaven will not forgive us”. There were tons of unforgiveness taking place. There was hatred toward their neighbors. All through the scripture was a description of that, and that buried them. The same way that Jesus said to be perfect. How perfect? As perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Perfection is all that will do. That buries us.
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[Exodus 20:14] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Bob: The law says do not commit adultery but I say if you look at a woman with lust in your heart, you already committed adultery. That buries me. The bible says do not murder. Jesus says, “I say if anyone is angry, he already committed murder in his heart”. That buries me. But it prepares me for the cross.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,“[Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18] also said, “You shall not murder.”[Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
Bob: All of Jesus teaching in the Old Covenant was preparing us for the New Covenant, that took place at his death, and burial and resurrection.
Bob: So the Lord’s prayer is not a doctrine to hold onto unless you are lost. If you are lost, it will show you that you do not have the ability to forgive people who have offended the Lord. Now you are ready for the cross, to see that “you cannot, but Jesus did”. That is the difference between teaching after the cross and teaching before the cross, Terra. So you do not go to Christ teaching for doctrine. He proclaimed the coming of the New Covenant, but the New Covenant did not go into effect until the day he died, and after he dies, it is done. It is finished. It is over.
Terra: Right. Thank you.
Bob: Does that help?
Terra: Yes, that is wonderful. Thank you.
Bob: I am glad you got back on. I do not know what happened to us there. I am not sure.
Terra: Thank you so much. That explains it a lot.
Bob: Thank you so much, Terra.
Terra: Okay, you have a wonderful day.
Bob: You too. Bye. Bye.
Dennis from Williamson, North Carolina
Dennis: Good to hear you guys. I miss you. It is unfortunate. We are living out here in North Carolina, temporarily. Our home is 90 miles from Mt. Herman. I wish you could have come when we were there. We were only 1 1/2 miles away. Now we are in North Carolina. But I would love to be at that. I have been to one of them [conference]. The fellowship and growth in the Lord is just amazing when you go through those conferences.
Dennis: I have a question for you today. The last time I talked to you, how it was so difficult to reach bible belt preachers out here. They totally combine the old and the new. They co-mingle law and grace. They use this verse.
2 Timothy 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
Dennis: They use that to justify going into the Old Testament and taking passages that were written to rebellious Jews who were following after Baal and try to take those judgments and try to apply them to the life of a Christian believer today. When I talked earlier, if you remember this conversation, you had said I will really have a hard time out there, Dennis. I sure am. You know what. I find that I reach people better one on one. I can visit someone in church, and teach grace to them, trying to show them the difference that we are not under the law. You cannot reach the pastors, but you can reach the people.
Bob: Dennis, we have to move on here. The issue is God has you there for a purpose. You are not running up against anything we have not run against for 27 plus years. The people in North Carolina are not any different than people anywhere else. The entire Christian world is co-mingling law and grace. It may be a little bit more evident in a bible belt because in other places they do not even mess with the bible. The issue is the use of that passage.
Bob: Of course it is useful for all those things. But that does not mean teaching of the Old Covenant is the same as the teaching in the New Covenant when it tells us that it has been replaced. But you will not get any place with people who’s head is as hard as a brick. My feeling to that is start a bible study with some people who want to learn and enjoy your life instead of trying to buck the system. You are not going to buck the system.
Dennis: You are right.
Bob: any more than Paul and Peter bucked the Jewish system. A few people came out of it and a few people grew in home bible studies. To those be very grateful to that and move on. I am through trying to buck my head against a goad and trying to do that. So what did we have to do as a ministry? We went to the whosoever wills. That is who are the followers of this ministry, those who are the whosoever wills. That is who we minister to. You do the same, Dennis, and you will save yourself a ton of frustration.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
Dennis: I sure will.
Bob: We have to move on. Thanks for your call, my friend.
Dennis: Thanks for your advice. That is just what I am going to do. We are having a bible study at this one home. We reached those two people. They are really responding to the grace message.
Bob: That is two more that were there before you were. Keep it growing. Let the Lord grow you.
Dennis: Okay. Thanks, my brother.
Bob: Okay, Dennis.
Dennis: We love you guys.
Bob: We love you too, brother.
Dennis: I pray for you often.
Bob: Thank you, my friend.
Bob: Okay. Bye Bye.