Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P465 (8-16-19)
The gospel of good news in Christ Jesus is a practical message that changes lives. The truth of Christ lives in you and truly sets you free. The root cause of marriage is people trying to get a need met from the spouse for love and acceptance. Those are things only God can give you. So when a spouse expects this to be met by her mate then that drains him of energy and puts a strain and burden on the marriage. Such was the case with Katie who called. She called with great emotional pain, having been married for two years but currently separated from her husband for three months now. She also was worried about her future and said she was trying to think positively.
Bob addressed several truths for her to grab a hold of. It is not a matter of thinking positively on a situation or your circumstances but thinking truthfully and realistically. Do not worry about tomorrow for that is God’s country. The God who is here for you today is there for your tomorrow. So do not worry about tomorrow for all you have is today, and it has enough troubles of its own. If God notices a sparrow that falls from the sky and sees that it is fed, or the grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more does he love and care for you. Rest in God’s unconditional love and acceptance of you. He knows what you need even before you ask and longs to be gracious to you.
Bob also offered her hope by explaining the truth of God’s unconditional love and acceptance of you. Are you convinced like the apostle Paul that there is nothing that will separate you from the love of God that in Christ Jesus our Lord? When you know you are unconditionally loved and accepted by God, then that frees you to rely on the Holy Spirit to serve your mate in the same love that was provided to you from God. You are not looking for your mate to meet those needs for you are already accepted in the beloved. You are beloved of God. Your mate is not able to meet those needs of love and acceptance and was never designed to do that. God is the sole source for that. In Him we move and have our being. Bob offered her a tape series on marriage that her and her husband, if he is willing, can both listen to together. He assures them that, if both her and her husband grab a hold of these truths, then their marriage can be unbelievably successful.
Many times people live in error because they have not understood truth. Many times people hear error from the denomination they are attending. Such was the case with Todd, who was listening to a pastor talk about positional forgiveness and the need to confess your sins to remain in fellowship with God. Many people do not take the time to study the scriptures on their own nor rely on God to teach them. People also lack discernment when reading the scriptures. By reading a passage like 1 John 1:9 in context, you come to understand that it was written to non-believers. Gnosticism, a false teaching, was occurring in the time period of the apostle John, and he was called to help a church that was infiltrated by Gnostics who were bringing false teaching. By looking at 1 John 1:8-10 and 2 John, it becomes clear that those who do not have the knowledge of the truth and the truth is not in them are non-believers, the lost.
The other serious error is to draw conclusions and doctrines from one verse of scripture that totally conflicts with so many other scripture passages that clearly reveal what Jesus accomplished by his death, burial and resurrection. So such erroneous teaching of 1 John 1:9 out of context and from a poor translation, is quite serious, hindering people from walking in the joy of the Lord, in the gospel of grace, the New Covenant we are now under. Furthermore, people may not even be saved when they are presented such erroneous teaching of 1 John 1:9. A pastor is double-minded, teaching you that all your sin are forgiven, which is true, but then saying that you must confess your sins to God to keep in fellowship with God, which is a lie, and in conflict with the gospel.
What truth is a person believing in their heart? Has such a person under such teaching ever asked the Spirit of God to take residence in his heart? Have they understood that all their sins have already been forgiven, never to be seen again in the eyes of God? An incorrect understanding of 1 John 1:9 is like a Catholic going back to the confessional booth to get his sins forgiven or a Jew going back to the day of atonement by sacrificing bulls and goats to get their sins forgiven (which in reality only temporarily covered their sins until Jesus came and did what he did). Such sins are not forgiven by such acts of men since Jesus took away the sins of the entire world when he shed his blood on the cross. The Gnostic Jews are precisely whom the apostle John is addressing, and they are lost. Yet so many people also put so much emphasis or focus just on the death of Jesus on the cross. The cross does not save anyone. The resurrection is what saves you.
Here is the problem. We stopped at the cross for salvation. The cross was preparatory for salvation. It was something that had to take place in order to bring salvation to us. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life, and the only life available to us is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. That is precisely why the apostle Paul said that without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people, and are still in our sins, knowing full well that a cross had occurred where Jesus took away our sins, but also knowing, that that forgiveness that was provided for all mankind at the cross is only received in the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
Other times people are hindered in growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ because they get bogged down in less important or trivial matters. The most important matter is faith expressing itself in love, to let God live His life in you and through you. But people can spend enormous amounts of time studying details in Revelation and Ezekiel, apocalyptic literature, that is hard to discern or even precisely know certain details, at the expense of growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, those scriptures are there for us to study and learn what God would have us know but just not at the expense of forfeiting walking in the newness of life God has given you. If you are bogged down in fear and anxiety by reading Revelation, then you are not reading it in the manner in which God wants you to read it. So Bob provided encouragement, and from his vantage point, to Ricky, to not get bogged down in interpretive speculation where things are not specifically spelled out.
Katie from San Francisco, CA
Katie, called and it very evident in her voice she is in great emotional pain. She has a question on faith and doubt. She has been married for two years ago and her husband left her about three months ago. She has three children, and two from another marriage. Her husband left her about three months ago. She said she has been trying to be very positive with her problems. She wonders if this is ever going to end. She has also been listening to sermons on woman’s roles and men’s roles. She believes it is God’s best to be at home. She admits she was not fulfilling that role three months ago. She asks, “What is God’s best and is God’s best ever going to come to me?” After two years of marriage, her husband left her and she still has had no contact with him. She has a longing in her heart for her marriage to be restored.
Bob reminded her that the future is God’s territory. She indicated she was trying to think positively. But Bob instructed her that truthful thinking is really what you need to think because in positive thinking you incorrectly think you have control over the future and you do not. The truth is we can only thank God for what we have today for we have no knowledge of the future unless scripture informs us about such things. The source of anxiety that one feels is when one dwells on the future, and usually when we do it is bad things we are pondering over.
Katie then asked how does one go about thinking truthfully. Bob shared that we live by day and the key is recognizing the source of such thoughts, that the enemy, Satan, can put such thought before our minds. So it is not a matter of what you are listening to as much as who we are listening to.
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When we have truth from God’s word, clear instruction on what the Lord guides us to do, then we focus on those things that are true.
Does it not seem the Lord is far away yet we know he is with the brokenhearted. So then, knowing he is near, living in you, with an attitude of thanksgiving, for what we do have today, we make our requests known to God. And what does God promise to do for us? That is how our hearts and minds are guarded!
The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Julie was doing a lot of thinking about her role in her marriage, how she fell short, and not at home, and what role of a woman is in marriage, and role of a man. She asked Bob what scriptures there are about marriage that could help her. Bob indicated that there are a lot of marriage studies but such studies are really man’s opinion on the matter. Bob stated that there really is not much in scripture in regards to marriage, and he made reference to three scriptures on marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14 to not be unequally yoked, Genesis 2:24 on God’s institution of marriage, and Ephesians 5:22-24 where husband is to love his wife and the wife is to submit to her husband), and that is all there really is in scripture on marriage.
2 Corinthians 6:14
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
He summarized by saying what he concludes about the root cause of marriage. A spouse is trying to get a need met that only Jesus can meet, such as unconditional love and acceptance, through their spouse. That drains their spouse and puts a burden on a spouse in meeting a need they could never meet. As people, living by the Spirit, we simply make our bodies available to the Lord, to love and serve one another in love, as the Spirit leads. It is like a tick on a dog, sucking the life out of your spouse, trying to get a mate to meet a need only Christ Jesus can meet. Only Christ can meet the need of unconditional love and acceptance. They cannot do it. So when both spouses are relying in total faith on the fact they are perfectly loved and accepted by God, and when that occurs that will totally free you in the level of the soul and the body, which is where marriage functions. When those things become evident to one another, then a marriage can come back together and be unbelievably successful. A spouse cannot give you meaning and purpose, only the Lord can do that. After sharing all this, Bob extended an offer to help restore her marriage, if her husband was willing. He offered both her and her husband a tape series to listen to together on marriage.
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.
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.
Ricky from Los Angeles, CA
Ricky asked for confirmation about what the angels with four faces in Revelation represented. I believe he forget where he read about four faces. I believe he is referring to a passage in Ezekiel. Ezekiel provides more detail but again it is difficult to discern.
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God
14 Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
Ricky claimed that each of the different faces represented a different gospel. For example, the face of a man represents Luke. That is the first time I heard that explanation! I have heard that they represent nations, like Lion for England since a lion is a known symbol for England, or Eagle for United States, etc. Again all that is interpretive speculation since that is not spelled out in any more detail. I certainly do not know the meaning and do not claim I do.
Ezekiel is another one of those books like Revelation that are written in Apocalyptic style. As such, unless explicitly spelled out in detail for you by other scriptures, then it is truly speculation to understand what it means. Unless it is spelled out in detail, then it is truly speculation. What I do with those things is that I am not going to be preoccupied with the end or the beginning, but one day at a time. I need to get along with my wife today, my neighbor today, and not tomorrow. Prophecy is there and we do not always know what it means. We can speculate and sometimes we can be wrong on that. From Bob’s standpoint, he will personally launch onto those things that he knows is true. I know the gospel is truth and that is what sets people free. That is where Bob says he will spend his time.
Todd from Duncan, British Columbia
He goes to a Baptist church, but what he heard from his church is in conflict with what he heard Bob teaching. Once you confess your sins to Christ and accept Jesus in your heart, it is done. That is what he has held on as truth. Yet, there is much talk about the need to confess your sins to God to keep your relationship with God on a daily basis and grow in maturity. That does not ring true to him. The passage in 1 John 1:9 is what continually gets brought up. He called because he wants clarification on the truth on this topic.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
It is the only scripture they can cling to. It is amazing how people take one verse out of the bible and form a whole theology around it. There is no scripture in the bible that speaks about positional forgiveness, forensic or judicial forgiveness. Can you imagine some theologue standing at the base of the cross, with the bible tucked under his arm, tilted a little to the right side, looking up at Jesus, who is bleeding and dying to take away the sins of the world, and say to him, “Is that positional forgiveness or forensic forgiveness?” So ludicrous when you stop to think about that truth.
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
5because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
16 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.
When Jesus cried out “It is finished”, he meant just what he said. It is finished. When people talk about “in and out of fellowship”, there is no scripture that gives any indication of that. You are either in the fellowship, saved, or out of fellowship, lost. That is bible teaching, not Baptist teaching or Campus Crusade teaching. If you study that scripture enough, then the truth is clear. If you are a baptist, you just go along with it. And so people just hear it often enough to repeat it to someone else.
Todd says he has no joy telling a drug addict to come to Christ to get sins forgiven and you have to keep it up. He has to know forgiveness is there and joy is complete.
Here is the problem. We stopped at the cross for salvation. The cross does not save anyone. The resurrection is what saves you.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were (past tense) still sinners (lost), Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood (accomplished fact), how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
10 For if, while we were (past tense) God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son (accomplished fact), how much more, having been reconciled (accomplished fact), shall we be saved through his life! (his life saves you)
The cross was preparatory for salvation. It was something that had to take place in order to bring salvation to us. Salvation is being saved from the consequences of sin, which is death, by the gift of God, which is life, and the only life available to us is the resurrected life of Christ Jesus. That is precisely why the apostle Paul said that without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people, and are still in our sins, knowing full well that a cross had occurred where Jesus took away our sins, but also knowing, that that forgiveness that was provided for all mankind at the cross is only received in the resurrected life of Christ Jesus.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
In Him, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sin! Where do you get that forgiveness? In His resurrected life.
Do you walk the aisle and come forward to get sins forgiven? No. If you do come forward, you should come forward to get life. You already have forgiveness but that forgiveness is received in his resurrection.
So all the emphasis is on the cross and not on the indwelling Christ Jesus, who lives in us. So people concentrate on what people think salvation is, and how I keep salvation, the cross, the cross, the cross.
Jesus had to eternally take away the sins of the entire world in order to offer us resurrected life. Sin is what caused death. If he gave me life but did not eternally take away the cause of death, which is sin, then the next time I sinned I would die. In order to get eternal life, the cross had to be eternal in nature. When you do not teach that then you take away a person’s security in eternal life. If you say, “but I do believe I have eternal life”, but then Satan comes along and says, “you are out of relationship with God”, do you believe his lie? So whether out of fellowship or out of relationship, it seems you would have a problem with God. The issue is you do not have a problem with God. God has a problem with that teaching.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are
waiting for him.
4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
God has clothed you in His righteousness, given you everything you need for life and godliness, he had taken way eternally the cause of death, which is sin, in order to give you life eternally. No, he has no problem with you at all. He has a problem with that teaching. Most baptist preachers pound that down the pulpit, with one side of the mouth saying, “Your sins are forgiven, past present and future” but then with the other side of the mouth say, “if you confess your sins, God will forgive you”. That is double talk and causes a man to be unstable in all his ways.
8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Your view is the minority view and hard to find a church that teaches that pure grace teaching.
Todd says he still stumbles on stuff and constantly feels defeated. There is no place in the bible except in the gospels, such as the Lord’s prayer. How can you reconcile what sounds contradictory when you read it?
15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
How can you pull those verses together if you do not understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Bob said he never heard a teaching on the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. (Hebrews is a great resource in the bible that contrasts the Old Covenant with the New Covenant while explaining the New Covenant.) So you have all those kinds of seeming contradictions.
In 1 John 1:9, John is addressing the Gnostic. The Gnostic problem is dealing with those who claim they do not have a sin nature.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
So when someone is cleansed out of all unrighteousness, can he not sin in the next hour? If so, would he have all his sins cleansed?
We never had any righteousness of our own. We have imputed righteousness. So if we have no righteousness of our own, then does more righteous get imputed? And how can we get cleansed of all unrighteousness, when there is none there, having already been all cleansed out? Either it is all cleansed out or it isn’t?
The literal translation of that verse is dealing with a person claiming to be without sin and who is sinning against the knowledge of the truth. If we read just one verse before and one verse after, we get to understand the context of 1 John 1:9.
1 John 1:8-10
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
If there is no truth in him, then he does not have Christ in him, and he is still dead in his sins, and is lost. If you also turn to 2 John, you will gain more understanding. 2 John was written to a special lady and to her children who knew the truth and the truth was in them.
2 John 1-3
1 To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth – and not I only, but also all who know the truth –
2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
The truth lives in us and will live in us forever. So if the truth is in you and will be with you forever, how can you say you deceive yourself and the truth is not in you, unless the truth was never in you? So 1 John 1:9 is not talking to saved people but is talking to lost people.
The “if” is an “if” with a doubt. In the Greek, it is an aorist past tense. It could be expressed this way.
“If you ever come to your senses, and I doubt if you will, but if you do, he is faithful and just to have forgiven you and to have cleansed you from all unrighteousness.”
It is a past act with a continual effect. It is not a movie camera but a snapshot. It never gets translated in that tense. So problems are in translation. But if you ever go to a Greek scholar, who is honest in interpretation, and who studies it, then that is the only conclusion he can come up with.