Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P415 (2-15-19)
Bob answers some basic foundational questions callers asked on salvation as it relates to baptism, salvation, forgiveness of sin, and righteousness. Bob shares several passages of scriptures for each caller, showing from God’s word the truth they needed to ponder, so they can walk in that truth. Bob explained the meaning of scriptures to them so they could grasp the concepts that the Spirit spoke through him that he discerned they lacked in clarity of understanding. The callers asked sincere questions with a heart attitude of wanting to know truth. You can sense in how they asked that they really wanted to know truth and in their current walk in life these truths were being formed in them.
Bob clears up a little confusion Cletis had on what baptism is based on false teaching he was hearing from various things he has heard from new church he was attending. Leadership there were telling him that he should be baptized again. There is water baptism and there is spiritual baptism. There is water baptism, a symbol or picture of what Christ accomplished for us, but does not save you. It is only a picture of what happened. Spiritual baptism is what Christ really accomplished for you when you believed in Him, in his death, burial and resurrection that accomplished salvation for you personally. Now if someone says you must be baptized in their waters by their pastor in their church to be saved, then they are misleading you and what they are telling you is not in accordance with truth. Bob shared several passages of scripture thoroughly explaining the baptism of John, the example of baptism that did not save in Acts, and then the true baptism that John testified of that Jesus would do. Bob shares what spiritual baptism really is; identifying with Christ’s death to take away the sins of the world, seeing your sins included on that cross, Christ’s burial, where sins, yours included, are remembered no more in the eyes of God, and Christ’s resurrection, where you are raised with Christ into a new spiritual birth, placed in the body of Christ, having accepted God’s gift of life, His Spirit to live in you. Bob explained how that is distinct from John’s baptism which was for repentance only and for the purpose of Christ to be revealed as the promised Messiah to Israel. So unless you are going to be baptized in water, not to save you because a symbol cannot save, but as a public testimony to others, symbolizing that which Christ has already done for you, then there really is no reason to do so again, and certainly not for the reasons the leader was telling you.
Bill called asking Bob if he thought he was a Christian based on having asked God’s forgiveness of sin and had asked Jesus to come live in him one point in his life. Bob indicated he was a believer but then further explained truth to him, sensing his understanding of truth was a little cloudy. Bob explained what Jesus accomplished by his death on the cross to take away sin but we are really saved by Christ’s resurrection when we received his new resurrected life . Bob shares several passages of scripture where such truth was revealed to him by the Spirit of God. Truth does not come from denominations but from what God reveals to us by His word.
Lo called in to ask what should she do with someone she is dating she just found out is a homosexual. Bob firmly told her to cease dating him. You would not want to participate with him in that sin nor be unequally yoked with a non-believer. Tell him the truth in love but to continue dating him is foolish and would only induce harm to you as well. According to Romans he has chosen not to retain the knowledge of God so God has given him over to a depraved mind.
Jesus is Our Righteousness
The last caller, Michelle, was confused on what righteousness is or even where it comes from. Bob explained the gospel in the context of her question and explained that righteousness is right standing with God, comes from God through Christ’s completed work and is received in His resurrected life, along with all that is in Christ, including His holiness, redemption, and forgiveness of sin, and indeed all that is in Christ. Bob explained that man never had any righteousness of his own for righteousness is what allows us to approach God. We were spiritually dead in sin and had to be born again with Christ’s righteousness to approach Him. But we are told in scripture, that now in Christ to those who believe in Christ’s finished work, we can boldly approach the throne of grace for help in time of need. Bob also shared several passages of scripture with her and encouraged her to look up all the passages on righteousness and let the Spirit teach you.
Cletis started going to another church where he was preached to be baptized again. His question was, “Should I be baptized more than once?”
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied.
Now in Acts, we also read where some disciples were baptized by John but did not know what Paul was asking when he asked them if they received the Holy Spirit. They had not even heard there is a Holy Spirit. They were not saved yet because they did not have the Holy Spirit in them. John’s baptism did not count for salvation. No one is saved of water baptism. Such a baptism can make you wet and can symbolize something else, but still only a symbol. If water baptism by John did cause something to take place, then how could the story of Acts be explained?
John the Baptist also testified of another baptism, the one he said who would come after him, and that only he would do. Jesus is the one who will baptize with the Spirit. Notice in the scripture, Jesus never actually baptized anyone with water, although the Pharisees thought he did.
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
And if water baptism was so important for salvation, why didn’t the apostle Paul baptize anyone? Well, he did baptize a few people but nothing he even considered of significance for salvation.
1 Corinthians 1:13-17
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
The power of salvation is in the preaching of the gospel, in regards to the cross of Christ and its power.
Until the day of Pentecost, no one was saved prior to that time. No one can be saved by the life of Jesus until the resurrection. The old testament saints were saved on a credit card, waiting for the finality of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and then went to the presence of God. You are saved when you are baptized by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ. So we have become the body of Christ when we believed the message of the gospel. The Holy Spirit has come to live in us and placed us in him, and that is being identified with and being baptized, or placed into, the body of Christ.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Advocate is another name for the Holy Spirit. An advocate is one who stands in your defense before God. Righteousness is the work of the Holy Spirit living in us. That is salvation when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, who raised you from spiritual death.
As 1 Peter also specifically makes it clear that baptism with water does not save. But water baptism provides a symbol, or picture, of what Jesus accomplished spiritually in saving you.
1 Peter 3:21
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Water baptism is symbolic of that which saves, the true spiritual baptism that saves. If water baptism is symbolic, how can it save? We cannot do anything to even bring about or even add a little thing to be saved. Jesus died on the cross alone. We were never with him period. We were not alive spiritually before we were alive physically, as the cults teach. Jesus lived a perfect life, and then he died to take away the cause of death, which is sin, to never be seen again in the eyes of God. He fulfilled the law by walking in perfect love. He entered into his life with me and I entered into his life with him. He baptized me by the Spirit into His body.
1 Corinthians 12:
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body — whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
So we are all the body of Christ, those who are born again spiritually, having the Holy Spirit come to live in you. The body is one but has many parts. That is the finality of salvation. Not body of Christ because joined a man-made organization. Not the body of Christ because joined a Catholic, Baptist, or some other denomination. Those are man-made organizations. Salvation has nothing to do with what we do, nothing to do with speaking tongues, going to church, baptizing, or tithing. Jesus never baptized anyone and neither did Paul, except Crispus and Gaius. Paul came to preach the gospel and did not come to baptize. There is nothing in the gospel about baptizing. It was a before pointer to a ceremonial washing and an after pointer to a spiritual baptism. Water baptism is a picture of what has taken place, but it is just that, a picture. Being baptized by a pastor in his waters in his church is about joining a club not about salvation. Following up by participating in a public testimony in water baptism, where you are identifying with your true spiritual baptism, then after that there really is no need or purpose to be further baptized.
Then Cletis asked a further question, “What is the difference between our dipping in water and what Jesus did?”
John’s baptism was for Jesus to be identified to Israel as the promised Messiah.
31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
John testified that the one who told him to baptize with water will baptize with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had told him that when he sees the one on whom the Holy Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and land on him, then that man is the Messiah.
Later, Jesus asked to be baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness.
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
To fulfill all righteousness means to fulfill prophesy given to John in revelation.
Lo from Waco, TX
Lo called to say that she just found out her male friend she is dating is homosexual. So she asked Bob, “What should I do with him? ” Stop dating him. He has bought a lie of Satan and fallen under the trap of Satan.
27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.
According to Romans, he has chosen not to retain the knowledge of God and so God has turned him over to his own lusts. He decided not to retain the knowledge of God that he is not a male and chose perverted thinking. You might as well face the reality of that and whatever relationship you had with him, and you must stop.
Now earlier in the conversation she had heard this about him from another friend. So Bob also thought it wise, or to be fair to him, to ask him directly if he truly is homosexual for you heard that he was from someone else. You ask him the question directly and do not just accept what the other person said. And when he asks, “Who told you?”, then you can tell him who did and then proceed to tell him that you must stop the relationship immediately.
Bill from Langley, British Columbia
Bill stated that he was raised in Armenian / Wesleyan doctrine. When he was saved, he said his sins were forgiven then and not at any other time. Bill asked Bob, “Does that make me not a Christian according to your belief?” Of course not. Well, first, forget about my belief. People may say, kind of wish-washy, “Well, it is really what you believe?” No it isn’t. Everyone is believing something but are they believing in truth? I am not saved because I believe something but because I put my faith in what the bible says is true. Put faith in what bible does not say or add to the bible or put it in error then I am going to be lost. Even though sins forgiven 2000 years ago, that is a fact, and is not up for grabs or to just be talking about as just a fact. One must understand why Jesus died, why he was buried, and why he rose again, and for you personally. What did he do that, by believing, accomplished new spiritual life in you?
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
When is that applicable to your life? Sins were forgiven, when that becomes real, that is when becomes real to you. That was whatever day was you were born again. Not born again by getting sins forgiven. You were born again by coming to receive the resurrected life of Jesus. You are saved by his life. Forgiveness was a preamble to what saves you. You could not have eternal life without the eternal consequence of the cross. The eternal consequence of the cross does not give you eternal life. The resurrection gives you eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:3-22
3 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
Without the resurrection we would be the most pitied of men and still be spiritually dead in sin. Forgiveness provided then only received in his resurrection. Come to Christ for his life.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
So that is where it is received, in Him, in his resurrection. What he provided then was provided for the whole world.
Bill seemed to lack confidence with the truth, somewhat contemplating about what if believed something else, and seemed that the pull of denominational teaching was getting him sidetracked in his thinking. If you are believing the truth, then why believe something else. Do not hang onto Wesleyan or Armenian or Presbyterian or Lutheran, or whatever doctrine. Now whoever taught you truth may have come out of that seminary, but the Spirit revealed to you truth from the bible and you received it as truth.
Then Bill relayed an example of false teaching he had heard when he said he had learned something about the tenth as redeeming, referring to the tithe. Bob responded that is not true. Tithing is under the Old Covenant. On this side of the cross, there is no mention of tithing and the reason it is not mentioned is because tithing is to support the Levitical priesthood. Bob referred Bill to study the book of Hebrews, here all this is explained quite thoroughly.
For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
People who say you will succeed financially because of tithing are deceiving you. That is teaching godliness as a means to financial gain. That is teaching from a man whose mind is deceived, one of perverted mind.
1 Timothy 6:2-5
These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
So many in Dallas,TX broke buying into that mindset of tithing, robbing people for financial gain under the pretense of godliness. Tithing is not there to benefit us. It never was. Tithing was to support the Levitical priesthood, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. We are not under that Levitical priesthood, and as a Gentile we never were. Christ Jesus is our high priest. Nothing in the new covenant even mentions anything about tithing. There are two chapters in Corinthians that provide instruction on giving, and one on the attitude of giving.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Michelle from Santa Rosa, CA
Michelle struggled in understanding what righteousness is, so she called Bob to help her understanding. She asked, “Since righteousness is life, and the debt is paid, and the righteousness under law does not give life, then what is righteousness?”
Righteousness is right standing with God. Christ is a living God. We do not have any righteousness of our own. We were born dead spiritually. Righteousness comes from God. He is our righteousness. We do not have any righteousness of our won. He, living in you, is the reason you are alive spiritually and the reason you have right standing before God. That is why in His righteousness we can go boldly go to the throne of grace and call him “Abba Father”.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
That is why you have a relationship with God. To have the means to relate to God is when you are made alive. Jesus, who is alive, raised from the dead, came to take residence in your spirit and the moment that took place, you are born again.
She then asked about a passage in 1 John 1:9 about continually cleansing from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Bob addresses this particular passage more thoroughly at other times. But Bob told her that this work that Jesus is doing in you continually, the renewing of the mind, this sanctifying work since the time you believed, is a work he does and has nothing to with what we do. There is really nothing we are involved in here.
Jesus took the sins of the entire world so they will never be seen again in the eyes of God.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh.
The law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death. Bob encouraged her to look up all passages of scriptures for righteousness. as You read, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, and He will. Truth is revealed to you by the Spirit.
Michelle then asked, “Are righteousness and life interchangeable?” No, they are not interchangeable but you cannot have one without the other. When you have the life of Christ, the you have His righteousness and everything else. You have everything in Christ. Righteousness, redemption, holiness, everything we possess comes from Christ.
There are many scriptures on righteousness. Here is just a sampling. Ask the Spirit to teach all that he has freely given you. When Christ looks at you, he sees the righteousness of Christ.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.