Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P518 (03-06-20)
Various callers ask specific questions, such as what does it mean to be born again, about prophesies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, about the millennial reign for the church; the latter rain and the coming glory of the church. The last caller asked if a woman can be a deacon. Listen as Bob answers these questions.
The following is a synopsis of the first caller, answering the question of what it means to be born again. Listen to the audio if you have interest in what Bob shared from scripture in regards to the other callers’ questions. Being born again is the most vital question that must be understood properly.
A person called because he wanted to know what it means to be born again. He was raised Roman Catholic, and was a practicing Roman Catholic most of his life. But now he has been going to a non-denominational Christian church for many years now. That is where he heard about being born again. He wants to be assured of what that means. When he listens to Christian radio, he hears different things. Some pastors preach that people who think they are saved are not saved. Other people say you have to recommit your life every day. And someone else says that unless you know the day, hour, month and year, then you are not saved. The caller said, “I am confused and I am terrified”.
Bob first of all responds by saying that God does not give us a Spirit of fear but of love and of a sound mind. So fear does not come from God. Then Bob answers his question by explaining the gospel. Often Bob will first ask someone what their understanding of the gospel is. Most people will say Christ died for my sins. That is not salvation. Bob, in a jovial way, told the caller that maybe he needs to get himself some new friends. When you are hearing a hodge podge of opinions, you are not getting truth based upon scripture. A divine logic you cannot argue with.
Bob will also often ask someone what the resurrection means, and most people will say, “I do not know”. Salvation includes the death, burial and resurrection and all three have purpose. All have sinned, everyone was born in sin, and so everyone’s sin had to be forgiven. That is what the shed blood of Jesus on a cross did. He died for our sins and the sins of the entire world. In the Catholic and the Protestant world, they go back to get forgiveness, whether going to a confession booth or John 1:9’ing to keep short accounts with God. That is not faith. Faith is thanking Jesus for what he already accomplished. Faith does not say “forgive me”. Faith says “thank you”. He entered into our death with us, so that when he was raised from the dead, we can enter into his resurrected life with Him. That is what salvation is, being saved from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life. So the resurrection is vitally important to properly understand what salvation is, the receiving of life. Listen further as Bob explains the message of the gospel. Check out a booklet Bob George wrote: Born Free
Becoming born again cannot be performed by the energy of the flesh. You do not recommit your life, for that kills you, for that is you trying to be made right with God by what you do. Your faith is what pleases God, and you cannot produce the things of the Spirit in the energy of the flesh. When you first became born again, you believed what Jesus Christ alone did for you, that all your sins were already taken away before you were born. You recognized that you are a sinner, your condition of spiritual death, so you turned to the only one who could give you life, and that is Jesus, who rose from the dead so that the life that raised him from the dead will raise you from the dead also. So salvation is not getting your sins forgiven, but the receiving of new life. This new life means you are no longer a sinner but a saint by calling, a person called out for the purposes of God, a person made into a new creation with new desires, with the ability to discern the things of God by the Spirit who lives in you, who renews your mind with truth as you allow Him to. You have become a child of God. Being born again, like physical birth, happens at a certain moment in time, in your history, whether you remember the exact day, month, or year.
When someone is born again, they are no longer under the law of sin and death but under the law of life in Christ Jesus. You are under grace, and you have become a child of the living God. God deals with you as a child, who will sin at times, and so he picks you back up when you fall. There is now no condemnation for you. For Jesus did everything for you, he took your sins away eternally from the eyes of God. He put His life in you, that will never be taken away, no matter what sin you commit. Salvation never had anything to do with your ability to keep the law; nothing at all on what you can do. It does not even believing in a belief system that your faith causes God to forgive you. You were already forgiven over 2000 years ago. The issue is life and death. If you fail to come to Christ to receive life, you remain dead. The only sin attributable to man is the sin of unbelief in Him, and so you fail to come to Him to receive new life. Salvation depends on faith alone in what Jesus alone did for you, by means of properly understanding what his death, burial and resurrection accomplished for you, and then receiving new life.
So when you sin as a child of God, the Spirit of God in you reminds you of His truth and His grace. He disciplines, or trains your mind, like a coach that encourages and prepares a team for the big game. The Christian life is not something we can do in the energy of the flesh. Indeed, we cannot even live the Christian life. We never could and never will. Christ in you is your life. The best illustration Jesus gave to help us understand what it means to walk in the Spirit, to walk in total dependence in Christ, is the parable of the vine and the branches in John 15. He placed in you the Holy Spirit for that purpose.
Jesus, while he walked the earth, showed us what it means to walk in the Spirit. For he did only what His Father told him to do, and how to do it. He said only what His Father told him to say and how to say it. He emptied himself of his divine attributes to show us, who are not God, how to live as a man dependent on the Holy Spirit. Now that you are born again, you have the mind of Christ, who lives in you, and you now can discern the things of God. You can hear and understand His voice instructing you. You walk in a loving relationship with your Father, who is God, whose Spirit is resident in you. You grow by getting in His word, the scriptures we hold in our hands, while allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you the meaning of His word, then you act on that truth with faith.