Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P457 (7-19-19)
Bob answered questions by two people today. Glenn asked a simple question but really opened up to expose a more serious problem in his belief system. For many years he was enslaved in fear and depression over guilt over a past sin of fornication. Bob graciously helped guide him to truth so he could walk in new freedom. He no longer needs to be enslaved to the law but is free to walk in the grace of God. Andy asked a common question asked by many people still today. He asked, “What is the role of the ten commandments in the life of a believer?” The short answer is ‘not a thing’. Bob also addressed a statement he has heard by many people, “We are no longer under ceremonial laws but we are still under the ten commandments.” That is totally false but is still being said today by many people. Bob shared scripture after scripture to more thoroughly explain.
In summary, the law is designed for unbelievers, not believers (1 Timothy 1:9). The law was added in order for men to recognize their utter sinfulness, their state of condemnation, dead in sin, that they are spiritually dead, so that they might seek a savior (Romans 7:7, Hebrews 7:19, Galatians 3:19-21). The law is a ministry of death but grace is a ministry of righteousness (2 Corinthians 3:6-8). The law could never make anyone righteous (Galatians 2:21). Only the grace of God can, by having Christ’s righteousness given to you (Romans 4:22-24). Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
Being under grace is like being under the law of aerodynamics and you fly by living under that different law. But if you try to leave an airplane to get some fresh air, then that is like putting yourself back under the law of sin and death, and no longer under the law of aerodynamics, the law of the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2). If a believer is still under law, then he would be under all of the law (Galatians 3:10, James 2:10). You cannot separate the penalty of the law from the law, and the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and if anyone breaks just one part of the law, he is guilty of breaking all of the law (James 2:10). But if you are under grace, having believed by faith in Christ’s provision for you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), that he died to take away the consequences of sin, which is death, and that he rose again so that you have new life in Him, then you have the divine privilege to be led by the Spirit of God, a living person of Christ Jesus inside you (2 Peter 1:4).
You are to be led by Him and not by the letter of the law (Romans 8:14). The letter of the law kills but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10). Therefore, live in His love and grace. The desires of the flesh, where sin still dwells, will not go away and you cannot clean up the flesh (Galatians 5:17), but under grace you have escaped condemnation (Romans 8:1) and are free to let Him live His life in you and through you (Colossians 2:6, Ephesians 2:22, Romans 8:11). You have a new way of living (John 15, Galatians 5:22-25), all to the praise of God (Romans 7:25). In the old way, you were just a wretched man without hope (Romans 7:23-24).
Glenn from Colorado Springs, CO
Glenn asked a question in regards to 1 Timothy 5:12 in regards to widows. If you go get married then you incur condemnation because you set aside a previous pledge. Glenn particularly focused on the words “pledge” and “condemnation” He asked, “What is that all about?”
Bob read the full context of the scripture and explained what he knew from simple reading of the scripture.
1 Timothy 5:3-15
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 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.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
We need to look after older widows and see they are cared for. A giving person over 60 are to be put on some kind of list. I do not have a list like that. But back then they did. As for young widows, do not put them on a list for they are able to work and provide for themselves. But also their sensual desires overcome their earlier pledge and they want to get married. What is that first pledge? Maybe to not get married, but scripture does not say.
In summary, Bob said that Paul is providing practical advice to Timothy in leading the people of God under his care. In their day, widows were in need and since a church has limited funds a list was made to prioritize the need. Widows over 60 of good character were those identified to be helped by the church and younger widows who are able-bodied and able to work should do so. Also if widows have family who can help then the family should do so first so as to not to burden the church when the person’s own relatives are able. Young widows are also vulnerable to give into sensual desires and overcome their dedication to remain unmarried and therefore would no longer be a widow in need.
Bob also referenced the scriptures concerning Paul’s advice on marital matters, the choice of a person to marry or not, in 1 Corinthians 7.
1 Corinthians 7:8-10
8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
His first question essentially was: “What is the pledge?”
Bob answered by saying that scripture does not really provide enough information as to what that pledge is. We just do not know.
Glenn then asked the question: “Why then the condemnation if such a person should set aside the pledge?”
Bob answered by saying that the condemnation would be from other people, not from God. Paul is basically setting up safe-guards or practical wisdom so as to prevent a person from incurring abuse on themselves. Here a young widow, possibly immature in the Lord, could be boasting about her devotion to God but then decides to become married, and after having received income while a widow, both her and the church could incur condemnation. That just creates an embarrassing situation for her and the church who gave to help her. Even today, people are so quick to condemn a person for divorce and even condemn that person for life as if it is unpardonable sin. That should never be.
Glenn then opened up the real issues bothering him, his own condemning of himself for past sin of fornication before he became married to this other woman he now has as his wife. He has fears of God’s condemnation because of what he perceives as a pledge he broke to be potentially married to a person he was involved in sexual fornication with, justifying his behavior that they were going to be married. So 17 years later, he has turned to anti-depressants to deal with his guilt. Essentially he is not living under grace but has placed himself under law, whether he realizes it or not. He does not fully comprehend what God has done for him.
Bob answered him this way. False teaching has gotten you off base.
“You are living in disobedience to the Lord all these years by not believing what He said when He said ‘I went to the cross to take away all your sins.’ You are placing a lot of emphasis on your words rather than His words. Your sins are never seen again in the eyes of God. You are beating yourself up over 17 years of committing fornication with a girl you were hopefully planning on marriage but never worked out. In religion, you say: ‘I sinned and what do I do’. In Christ, Christ says: ‘You sinned and I already took care of that sin in the eyes of God. When I cried out from the cross, it is finished, that is what I meant.’”
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Christ is who helps you through the day. You turned to drugs to alter your mind rather than to Christ to renew your mind. If you are truly born again with the living Christ in you to guide you into all truth, to make the truths of God made known to you and to replace truth with error. You are doing this or you would not be calling to ask these kinds of questions. Just like those who study the dollar bill, study the real thing to recognize the counterfeit. Stay strong in the grace of God as a child of the living God, not because I am a good or bad person but because of the mercy of God. Do not ever negate that mercy. The mercy of God is the most important truth to hold onto. God is merciful. God looked down on our condition and said “forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”. That is a merciful statement.
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
He said this to those who just beat the daylights out of him. Learn to stand in the grace of God with the full knowledge my sins are taken away from the eyes of God once and for all and forever which Jesus did on the cross. He entered into my spiritual death with me so I can enter into his resurrection with Him. When I came to Him I came to Him for life. The consequences of sin is death and the solution to death is life and the only life available to me is resurrected life of Christ Jesus, born again, forgiven forever, eternally saved person. Truth is what will set you free.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Counseling and pills do not set you free. Jesus sets you free. Truth sets you free. A true counselor is going to lead you to one who can set you free.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Put aside that guilt behind you and start walking in the grace of God. Take the marriage you now have, praise God for it, and continue on in the new life God has given you. Do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You have been freed from the law. You are now standing in the grace of God.
5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Andy from Sierra, British Columbia
Andy said, “He has listened to people who have talked about 10 commandments, and how that does not entirely go away. What is the role of the ten commandments in the life of a believer?”
The law was given to lead you to Christ. So are the ten commandments still applicable to a lost person? Absolutely!
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
What was the purpose of the law? The question asked is not, “What ‘is’ the purpose?” but “What ‘was’ the purpose of the law?”
It was added until the seed to whom the promise was made had come. That was the promise of Abraham. He believed God and that was credited to him as righteousness.
Abraham was saved by faith that was revealed to him. Our salvation is on faith in Christ.
What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Before Jesus came or faith came into your own life, you were locked up until faith was revealed.
8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
After accepting Christ, you are no longer under the law. If you have the laws in your heart, you cannot live by grace. Leave the law where it is to be left, at Mt. Sinai.
Those led by the Spirit, walking by faith, are sons of God. Those who are walking in faith, those led by the Spirit, are not under the law. If you are led by the Spirit, then you are not being led by the law. I hope nobody here is saying, “I do not want to be led by the Spirit but I want to be led by the law?”
People say, “We are no longer under ceremonial laws but we are still under the ten commandments.”
2 Corinthians 3:7-9
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
The ministry that brought death, written on stone, what was that? That was the ten commandments. Moses gave us the law.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
When you see law in the singular form, it is always referring to the first five books of the bible, called the Pentateuch. That is the law of God. When scripture talks about “putting my laws in their hearts” as in Hebrews, it is supposed to be a quotation out of the Old Testament, but in Hebrews, it says “I will put my laws in their hearts”. It is not the laws of Moses but the laws of Jesus.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The ministry of the Spirit is more glorious. If the ten commandments came with glory, how much glorious is the ministry of the Spirit! What is the law? The law is a ministry of condemnation. What did the Spirit bring? Righteousness! How much more glorious is the ministry that bring righteousness.
When scripture is referring to being dead to the law, it means being dead to all of it. If you have to be under the law, then you have to be under all of it. You cannot separate law from the punishment of the law. The law can only apply to those under the law for that is the only people the law can speak to, to people under the law.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
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.
So if you are under the law, then shut your mouth. You will not be declared righteous by observing the law. Under the law, scripture instructs you to shut your mouth. You can give the law a try or you can walk by faith. Those are your only options.
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.
That is what Paul said, that he worked himself to death. He finally said, “what a wretched man I am”. If you are going to be under law, then you are under the law of sin and death. As Paul said, “Who will free me from this bondage?” Paul came to accept the grace of God by faith and said, “Praise God”.
We are now guided internally by the Spirit of God in us, by the living person of Christ Jesus. He is our guide. He leads us and guides us into all truth.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
2 Corinthians 3:6
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The law condemns and the Spirit gives life.
Andy then said, “I feel like doing things wrong all the time”.
In order to feel guilty then you must be guilty for a reason. But are you guilty in the sight of God? Your sins were guilty but they were all punished at the cross.
Andy then said, “But I still have these stupid habits hanging on”.
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.
Join the crowd, Andy. You do not think you are all by yourself, do you? That is unrealistic expectations. You have indwelling sin still living in your flesh. You also have the Son of God living in you. You have the privilege of participating in the divine nature living in you.
2 Peter 1:4
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.
You can also choose to participate in yucky flesh that lives in you. You have a choice. When you give yourself to God, called walking in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
It does did not say, “The desires of the flesh will go away”. It did not say, “Clean up your flesh and you will be spiritual”. The only solution to not giving into the flesh is walking in the Spirit. It is like saying the only way to escape the law of gravity is to stay under the law of aerodynamics and stay there. If you decide to step out of an airplane to get a breath of fresh air, then you are no longer under the law of aerodynamics and are now under gravity and will fall to the ground. Do not get preoccupied in what the flesh is doing, and keep preoccupied with what Christ Jesus and what he is doing. If you are sitting under guilt then you cannot love Him.
We love Him because He first loved us.
You cannot love God if you think He is beating you to death. It is only when you can come to the conclusion that nothing can separate you from the love of God.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Live in that love and you will be controlled by the Spirit of God.