Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P514 (02-21-20)
The grace of God has truly appeared to all men, teaching us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Sometimes circumstances of life have a way of leading us to fall into temptation or to compromise what we know is true. We should never let ourselves be polluted by the world, whether it is your own mother, who is old now, a non-believer, whom you bring into your own home. You should be influencing her, and not her influencing you into idol worship. You have the truth concerning Jesus Christ. It is good you let her into your home and take care of her, and you should, for religion that is undefiled is this, to look after widows and orphans in their distress. And if you do not look after your own, then you would be worse than an unbeliever. But tell her about Jesus Christ. Make use of every opportunity to proclaim Christ.
In this world, there will be false teaching everywhere you turn, even among people who proclaim they know Christ, but add or subtract from the gospel. The Church of Christ, for example, will add to the gospel, by adding the requirement of being baptized in their church by their pastor in their waters in order to be saved. Whenever anyone adds to what the word of God says to be saved, which is by faith and faith alone in Christ Jesus, he is subtracting or taking away what Jesus did. Jesus took away the sins of the entire world, so that that sin that caused our death, will never be counted against us. The only sin attributable to man is the sin of unbelief in God’s provision of life in Christ Jesus. Jesus died in order for that life that raised him from the dead will raise you and me from the dead, when we simply put our faith alone in that only provision of life, His resurrection from the dead, which was only made possible by his death.
In times past, people have heard a fire and brimstone message of hell. Yes, Jesus talked about hell quite often. So hell is definitely a place where the dead go. We are all born spiritually dead, and if we remain dead, then there is a place called hell that we, the dead go, who are not in Christ Jesus. That is a place where Jesus described as where the fire never goes out and the worm never dies. Think about this though. A person can be so scared of not wanting to go there, but at the same time, he does not want to go to heaven. He does not want to come to Christ for life, so he remains dead, despite his fear of hell. He can walk an aisle, say a prayer, and deceive himself into thinking he has a life insurance policy, but has not become born again, a new creation in Christ with new desires of pleasing God. Faith is what pleases God. How can you place faith in a God you do not know?
So also tell people about the unconditional love and acceptance of God. Tell people of how gracious and patient God is. Tell people the complete gospel so they can make a reasonable decision. Ultimately, with all the information presented clearly and accurately as you ought, the choice is theirs. A person can choose not to want to go to some place and not choose where he does want to go. The whole issue is that it not so much where you do not want to go. The issue is where you do want to go. To me, the presentation of the goodness of God and of the graciousness of God is to come unto Jesus and receive life. When we do that, we know what our destiny is. We have chosen where we do want to go rather than where we do not want to go.
Oftentimes, people have a wrong impression about God. They think of God as an angry God, not seeing God’s patience in the Old Testament, as an example. They see God as an angry God, but do not have all the information, and even erroneous information. Many a non-believer fails to come to Christ because of ignorance of who God is.
2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Romans 2:4 (TLB)
4 Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.
Many believers even, have not grasped what the Lord’s disciple means. Is God going to get angry at me, in wrath, when I sin? No, God says he took away my sins and chooses to remember my sins no more. He deals with us, who are in Christ, as a child of God, not as someone under a law of sin and death. The life of Christ has set us free from that law. The law was there for a specific purpose, and that was to reveal in us our sinfulness and condition of death, so we might seek a Savior. Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. God does not delight in the death of the wicked, but that they should turn to Him for life and live.
Now, once you are a new creation in Christ, you are not under law but under grace. In Christ Jesus, we can boldly go to the throne of grace for help in time of need. You are a child of God, and you are on God’s team. He is the coach of the team, whose members are the children of God. He trains us like a good coach, in this journey of life. He disciples our minds with truth, so we can learn to walk in the newness of life that He has given us. We have already been given the mind of Christ, and indeed everything we need for life and godliness. So we are instructed to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, to discern His ways, with our spirit longing to please God, and it is our faith that pleases God. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Jim from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jim: Thanks for taking my call.
Bob: You are welcome, Jim.
Jim: I listen to you on my way home from work. I have a question for you. I am with the Christian’s Church of Christ Independent Congregations. We believe that baptism is absolutely necessary for remission of sin and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is, it is absolutely necessary for salvation. What is your thoughts on that?
Bob: Well, Jim. It is dead wrong. Salvation comes from God and has nothing to do with us.
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.
Bob: Paul said he was glad he did not baptize anyone, except Gaius and Crispus, but beyond that he did not baptize anyone else. He said he was not sent here to baptize but to proclaim the gospel. We are saved by the gospel. The gospel was given to us in the scripture and has nothing to do with baptism. It is putting our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Bob: Whenever you add to what Jesus did, you are subtracting from what Jesus did. The emphasis becomes not on what Jesus did but what you are doing. I think it is typically hypocritical because, in reality, I have never seen an exception to this. I have talked to people in that denomination and I have explained to them, “I have been baptized, first of all, in a Christian church years ago, in the name of the Father, in the name of the son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, dunked three times, sprinkled in a Presbyterian church, and dunked in a Baptist church, and none of them saved me. But I have been baptized probably more than you have. I have a question, “If I wanted to join your church, would any of those baptisms have any benefit?„ The answer is no. So it tells you they do not believe in what they say. So they say “You have to be saved by baptism”, which is totally heretical, and secondly, they say, “You have to be baptized in my church, by my pastor, in my waters”. In other words, they say “Your Christian baptism would not work, your Presbyterian baptism will not work, and your Baptist baptism will not work. You have to be baptized in our place„.
Bob: That in and of itself, Jim, should tell you how detrimental that kind of teaching is. But, I do know that that is what they believe and I do know they are dead wrong because there is nothing we can do to add to the salvation of God. Salvation comes from God. It is putting our faith in what He did and nothing in what we do. We come to Him by faith and by faith alone, and we put our faith in the fact He took away my sins.
Consider what Paul preached, what he preached to the Romans, to the Corinthians and to the Colossians. Salvation is something God did for us through Jesus Christ. When we hold fast in believing what he did, we are saved, by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12). It is a spiritual baptism, not anything physical that we do. Recall what Jesus said to Nicodemus, in John 3, “The flesh counts for nothing. The Spirit gives life.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it [grace] is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, [or Peter] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
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 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.
Bob: Baptism cannot take away your sins. You had ceremonial washings in the Old Testament days and in the Judaism religion. Same as you are talking there with their ceremonial washings. You cannot forgive your own sins. You cannot cleanse yourself of your own unrighteousness. You cannot bring life to your condition of death. That is all from God. All we can do is to respond to that by faith and faith alone. That is all the way through the scriptures.
Bob: I know that is contrary to what your denomination would believe, but if I said that your denomination was correct, then I am not saved, and you guys should not be listening to me anyway. According to that teaching, I am certainly not saved, because I guarantee you, I did not believe I was saved by getting baptized. In a matter fact, my baptism did nothing for me but get me wet.
Jim: If I can interject, you made one comment. You have to be baptized in our church. That is not true of all independent churches of the Church of Christ.
Bob: Probably not. Jim, if I came to your church there in Pittsburgh, and I have said, “What do I need to be saved?” “Well you need to be baptized.” “Well, I have been baptized, baptized three times.” The answer would be that is not okay.
Jim: Were you baptized by immersion, and if you were to answer that question, yes, then for us, that would be satisfactory enough.
Bob: In other words, you are saved by being dunked. Can you understand, Jim, that nothing can save you by anything that you do?
Jim: Can I ask you one question then? I do not know if you have answered this question on air yet. One of the points we bring out, we relate as far as baptism for salvation is Peter at Pentecost. The Jews there asked Peter, “What must we do to be saved?” What does he tell them? To repent and be baptized.
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Bob: Which is the salvation, the repentance or the baptism? The baptism has nothing to do with salvation. Jim, hold again. That is why you guys are out to lunch. I do not mean to be disrespectful. You are taking doctrine out of the book of Acts. It is not a doctrinal book. Nobody who has had an ounce of theological training would ever say the book of Acts is anything but a historical book, historical around the works of Paul and Peter. You cannot take doctrine out of the book of Acts, which is what you guys are doing.
Bob: You have to listen to what Paul said. I did not baptize anyone (1 Corinthians 1:13-17). How can he say that baptism had anything at all with salvation? Jim, you are putting the emphasis on what you are doing instead of what Christ has done. There is only one way to enter into what Christ has done, and that is by faith. There is nothing you can do to improve upon faith. You are trying to add to faith and you cannot add to that.
Bob: You eliminate anyone, as an example, Jim, if you had these people in 911, who were in that airplane, and let us say someone said during that period of time “Lord Jesus, I want you to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior, but didn’t get a chance at baptism, they are all dead.” You eliminate the heart of man and put it into an act of man and you cannot do that, Jim. Quite frankly, if you believe you are saved by getting baptism, I am sorry, my friend, you are still lost because God does not accept that. What God accepts is faith and faith alone.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Bob: That is not faith in my being baptized. That is not faith in speaking in tongues. I do not believe you guys believe in speaking in tongues?
Bob: Well, that is in the book of Acts.
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Bob: So if that is in the book of Acts, and you do not believe in tongues, then why do you believe in baptism? You are cherry picking. That does not work, Jim. There is only one way to go into the presence of Christ and that is putting your total faith, your total repentance, that Jesus did something for me that I do not have a chance of doing for myself. That is, he took away my sins at the cross, not because of baptism. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is what Peter said, that kind of a baptism (1 Peter 3:21-22). Jesus said, “John baptized with water, but”. With a “but” there is a contrast. “but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
1 Peter 3:21-22
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, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Bob: So baptism of the Holy Spirit is spiritual baptism. It has nothing to do with water. I wish you guys would get off of that and put baptism where it belongs. You came to Christ by faith alone, and this is an outward testimony of the inward reality that you have been baptized by the Holy Spirit of God. This water baptism is merely a testimony to the people. It is absolutely true. Every person I have ever dealt with in the Church of Christ, every person without an exception to this, says otherwise. Maybe you are an exception.
Bob: Every time, when I nail it down, by asking questions, I get the same response.
Bob: “What do I need to do? Well, I want to join your church? What do I do? I want to be saved, so what do I need to do?”
Church of Christ: Come to our church and be baptized.”
Bob: “Okay, I have been baptized three times, submerged, sprinkled, then submerged. Am I okay?”
Church of Christ: “No.”
Bob: “What else do I need to do?”
Church of Christ: “Well, you need to believe in Jesus Christ.”
Bob: “Believe me, I believe in Christ Jesus. I can tell you the day I was saved, and I can give the testimony of thousands of people to testify to the fact that I went one way one day and the next day the next. Is that good enough?”
Church of Christ: “No, not really.”
Bob: “What do I need to do?
Church of Christ: Well, you need to come to my church.
Bob: I will be there Sunday. I will sit in the pew and be a part of the Church of Christ. Now, am I saved?
Church of Christ: No.
Church of Christ: Because you have not been baptized in my waters by my pastor.
Bob: Jim, whether you are aware of that or not, that is the teaching of most people in the Church of Christ. Maybe not with you. But if not, I hope you guys pull away from that and get to the point you are saved by faith and faith alone.
Bob: But I do appreciate your call, Jim, and appreciate your spirit. I pray that you will not believe in baptism to save. You do not believe in tongues, but it is in the book of Acts, and so is baptism. Realize neither one of those are doctrines to be held onto. The Pentecostals believe in tongues, but do not believe in baptism. You believe in baptism, but not in tongues. Leave Acts alone. It is not a doctrinal book. Start getting doctrine out from the book of Romans. I think God will open up your eyes to it. I appreciate your call, brother, and keep at it okay.
Jim: Thank you.
Bob: You are sure welcome, my friend. Bye. Bye.
Jim from Lakewood, Colorado
Jim: I have been wondering about the doctrine of hell. Is it literal or could you tell me something about it?
Bob: Well, Jim, Jesus talked more about hell than about heaven. It is a literal place. I was talking with someone at break, if people going to hell, you have to go to some place.
43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
7 This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
Bob: Where the lost go is to a place called hell as a result of choosing not to want to go to heaven. People not wanting to go into the presence of God, have chosen where they want to spend eternity. God does not send you to hell. You send yourself there by refusing to choose a life. God is a living God and in order to go into His presence, we have to be made alive, which is what the purpose of the resurrection is for. When we refuse life in Christ Jesus, we remain dead and go to a place of the dead. That place is called hell.
Bob: Not a desirable place to reside through eternity.
Jim: I think not.
Bob: I do not know, Jim. There are some people who use hell, fire and brimstone in regard to an evangelistic technique. There is a case of somebody saying, “if there is a hell, I do not want to go there, for sure.” But you can choose not to want to go to some place and not choose where you do want to go. The whole issue is that it not so much where you do not want to go. The issue is where you do want to go. To me, the presentation of the goodness of God and of the graciousness of God is to come unto Jesus and receive life. When we do that, we know what our destiny is. We have chosen where we do want to go rather than where we do not want to go.
Jim: Alright then. Thank you very much.
Bob: Okay, brother. Good to hear from you, Jim. Bye bye, now.
Steve from San Carlos, California
Steve: Thanks for taking my call.
Bob: You are welcome.
Steve: I have a problem. My mother is moving into my house. She is getting old, but she is a Buddhist. She has a little temple, a Japanese traditional Buddhist. She worships the ancestor. She is bringing those things into my house. Is it okay for her to bring it? What should I do? Eventually she will die now, and I have to carry on the tradition. Do you know what I mean?
Bob: You have to carry on the tradition of worshiping idols?
Steve: No, I am not going to worship idols, but I have to keep it.
Bob: Keep it? Why would you have to keep it? Keep what, Steve?
Steve: To keep the little temple.
Bob: Why do you have to keep it?
Steve: That is what my mom wants me to do.
Bob: I do not care what your mom wants you to do. The issue is it is idol worshiping. When you are dealing with Buddhists, they have the big old fat Buddha sitting there, and that type of thing. Who is Buddha? He died and he is in the grave. You are dealing with tradition and religion that has no biblical basis at all, Steve. If you are in Christ Jesus, or come to Christ Jesus, then you have to make a stand for that. You cannot compromise that. If it was my mom, I would say to her, “you can come and live in my house but we are not going to have idol worship in my house. I am a believer in Christ Jesus. You can bring the stuff you want to, and put it in your bedroom. I am in Christ Jesus and Christ Jesus is the God of this universe. It is not Buddha.” So, use that as a way of witnessing.
Steve: Yes, I know that. I already told my mom about it. She knows I am a Christian. I already told her about idols in my house. She worries because if nobody take care of her. You know what I mean. After she died, maybe I could send the stuff back to Japan. I am not going worship that stuff.
Bob: Your obligation is that you are doing exactly what Christ wants you to do. You are taking care of your mom. You are providing her a place to live and stay and she should respect your belief system in that.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
1 Timothy 5:8
8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Bob: If it was in reverse, and you wanted to bring a Christian symbol in, or wanted to come in and talk about Jesus, and she said, “no, you cannot do that because I am a Buddhist”, and you would not be real happy with that. The same is true on the other end. You have to provide for your mom, and that is certainly biblical. But as far as allowing idol worship to take place in your home. you say to her, “Mom, I would appreciate that you would not do that”. If she is going to have her own private bedroom some place, and she wants to put that kind of stuff up, that would be her prerogative, but the issue is you have no obligation to hold onto that thing after her death.
Bob: But what I would be more concerned with Steve, is where she is going after her death, and not what instruments you are going to keep after her death. Your main job is to show her the love of Christ and to continually talk to her about Christ Jesus. That is your job. I would forget about the idols and what you are going to do with them. Forget about that. What you need to do is to take that time your mom is going to be in your home and be sure she comes to eternal life. If she does not, as much as you love your mom, there is no other name under heaven given among men that you must be saved.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Recall how Paul made use of every opportunity to proclaim the message of Christ Jesus.
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship – and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus]
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone – an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Steve: Yes, I am working on that.
Bob: Keep loving her. It is a loving act you are doing for her. She knows that, and I am sure she deeply appreciates that, to have a son like that. I would use every opportunity to lead her to the Lord.
Steve: Yes, I am doing that. I even gave her a Japanese bible to her. I told her to read about it. I tried to explain what Christianity is. She is almost 80 years old. She has been a Buddhist for all these years.
Bob: Yes, she had a lifetime of tradition. What you have to ask her, Steve, is this. Is Buddha going to provide eternal life? Was Buddha raised from the dead? To bring things up about Jesus that need to be brought up about him, and compare him to any other man on the face of the earth. Did Buddha ever raise someone from the dead? Did he ever live a sinless life? All of that type of thing. To say, mom, “I know your tradition back there, and your tradition is tied to your nationality. Let us forget that nationality because Christ died to take away the sins of the entire world, not just because Caucasian, not just Asian and not just blacks, or not just Mexican or not just Spanish, but he came to die for people in the entire world to take away their sins. There is no man that can do that except the risen Christ. Continue to talk along those lines and love her, and see what happens. If she wanted to set those things in her bedroom or where you allow her to have them. They are idols to her but there really are not any idols. On the other hand, she could put that up if she wanted to, but I would just talk to her about Jesus.
Steve: It is okay to put in her room then?
Bob: You can put them up in any place, but I would say, “We have a Christian home here. If you want to put that kind of thing in your bedroom, you can do that. Jesus loves you.
Steve: Okay. Thank you.
Eddie from Clinton Township, Michigan
Eddie: I have about five minutes to talk to you. The last time I spoke to you, you were telling me that you were not saved by the repentance of sins. I hope you remember. This was on Thursday.
Bob: You did not hear me say that. You have to repent of your sin (singular). Your sins have all been placed on the back of God, never to see them again. The only sin attributable to man is the sin of the rejection of Christ Jesus.
John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me;
1 John 2:2
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
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.
Eddie: Okay. I told you that I have walked away from the Lord. Now, I want to come back. You told me that there is no punishment for me because He took it on the cross. That is understood. But is there any discipline, since I am His child?
1 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 free from the law of sin and death.
Bob: He already disciplined you. That is what the word of God does. Discipline is what prepares you for the game. He disciplines the team. Why? To prepare them for the game. This word of God you are reading is discipline. You read the word of God that says “Come back to me”. Eddie, the direction you were going in is contrary to the word of God. Eddie begins to read this and says “Lord, thank you”. Thank you for what? “The discipline. The discipleship you are giving me through the word of God. You are right.” I need to come back to the loving arms of Christ Jesus. That is discipline upon your mind.
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Bob: Whatever you want to call that Eddie. If you want to call that repentance, you can do so. The fact of the matter is, biblical repentance towards salvation is such a strong thing, that it is not like I am doing something that I want to stop doing. It is that I am something and I am going to totally change it. It is like a caterpillar talking to a caterpillar, and saying “Do you want to be a butterfly?” “Yes, I really do. I have been watching butterflys and I want to be one.” “If you decide, I can make you into a butterfly, but you will never be a caterpillar again.„ It is not the case that I used to act this way and now I do not. This is a total change in identity.
2 Corinthains 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Eddie: Why am I still doing wrong?
Bob: We all do, Eddie. There is flesh you have and you have indwelling sin living in you. Quite frankly, Eddie, if you did not have that you would forget Jesus in a New York minute. You have to come to the point as Paul did, “I rejoice in my weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Bob: My weakness keeps me dependent on Christ. You will never be without temptation of sins and not without sometimes giving in to them. That is when you look back to Jesus and say “Thank you”. That is what keeps you loving toward Jesus, that there is no condemnation. You say to God, “I deserved it, but you, Lord, took it.” That is what draws you to the heart of God. That is what Titus is talking about.
Bob: Grace is what teaches us to say no to unrighteousness. You have tried to use the law to do that and it draws you away from God. Grace draws you to God. Law draws you away from God.
Eddie: Give me a scripture to read.
Bob: I would read that Titus passage. Go back and read Titus and that is where you will read that.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Bob: It is a phenomenal passage of scripture to get you back to where you belong and that is into the arms of a loving, merciful God.
Eddie: God bless you. Thank you.
Bob: Okay, my friend. Okay, Eddie. You call any time, Eddie. God bless you. Bye. Bye.