Classic Christianity – Call-In Bob George p388 (10-26-18)
Bob George answers calls from listeners for over 30 years on People to People to radio, providing practical biblical insights to help them experience faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ. The first caller, Lauren, had a question about why Melchizedek is mentioned in Hebrews. Bob addresses his question by explaining the reason Hebrews is written. Thee second caller, Edwin, asked a question about the reason for water baptism and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Bob answers by explaining the meaning of being baptized of the Holy Spirit, and only that baptism saves you. The third caller, Mark, asked a question with his 8 year old daughter on the line, about children and salvation. Bob answered by stating that knowing the nature of God as perfectly loving and justice, then it is not something we need to be concerned about. The next caller Todd, asked a specific question about John 20:23 and about Ananias in the book of Acts dropping dead. Bob answered both questions by looking at the scriptures more closely so as to guide into correct interpretation and not formulating a conclusion that is not stated in the scriptures. Bob also noted that translation are not always as clear as they ought and the verb tense in a translation can sometimes steer someone into an improper interpretation. The last caller, Stan, did not have a question but called to thank Bob for helping him re-train his thinking in regards to overcoming depression. Bob reiterated with him that truth sets you free, but error binds. Bob emphasized that the way to overcome is by the renewing of the mind with truth through Jesus Christ and His word.
As Bob answered Lauren’s question on Melchizedek, he explained that the book of Hebrews was a written to show the superiority of Jesus Christ. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and the Old Covenant have all been replaced by someone greater. Since the Pharisaical Jews put a lot of confidence in Abraham as their father, Hebrews makes a special point to emphasize that there is someone greater than Abraham, namely Melchizedek. From the reading of scripture, he is King of Salem, king of righteousness, no beginning and no end, and with spoils of war, Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. The whole point is that there is no one greater than God. Even the Old Covenant was set aside, for if perfection could be obtained through the Levitical priesthood there would be no need to seek another covenant. And, if there is a change in priesthood, there is a change in the law. Jesus was not born in the lineage of Levi, no priests in his lineage. So, someone greater, an oath of God, established Jesus as the head of a new priesthood, a priesthood of believers, who come to faith in his resurrection unto new life. So only in Christ has one been made perfect.
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
The second caller, Edwin, asked a question about two baptisms. Bob shared the scripture that clearly indicates two baptisms and the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Those baptized by John with water, that baptism did not save them. Yes, they were sincere, but no saved until baptized with Holy Spirit. I think he knew the answer already but wanted Bob to provide more insight. Bob emphasized that water baptism cannot save anyone, it can only make you wet. Churches use water baptism as a means for acceptance into local organization of its members, but there is really no scriptural basis for it. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is what really matters for salvation. Salvation is really how one becomes a member of the body of Christ, where the Holy Spirit takes residence within a person. When someone understands the complete gospel and comes to faith in the resurrection unto eternal life, that is when the Holy Spirit is sealed in him.
Mark asked a question about young children and mentally handicapped people are saved. Bob answered by stating the character of God. Basically, accept by faith that God, being perfectly loving and just, will be the one who will make the right decision in line with who He is. Therefore, one does not need to be worried about such things with those who have not developed the ability to reason. Churches typically have practices of baby dedication and other things, possibly out of unwarranted fear, and there is no support in the bible for such things. Also, if a person has never heard the gospel, if such is possible, then same inference can be applied – trust God to do the right thing because of who He is.
Todd asked a specific question about John 20:23.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Bob answered by explaining that translations are not always as clear as they ought, and as in 1 John 1:9, verb tense tends towards misleading people to God’s intended meaning. Also, by reading the scriptures before and after the reference in question, one gains more clarity of meaning. Knowing the context that Jesus just made an unusual appearance to the disciples by walking through a wall after having been dead not so long ago, then this concept of Holy Spirit being given is a new concept to be grasped by the disciples. Ask yourself, when Jesus said “Receive the Holy Spirit”, at that time did the disciples receive the Holy Spirit? At times, by knowing truth in other scriptures, one can discern that one’s initial understanding is misguided. One knows that the Holy Spirit has not been given until after Jesus returns to his father (John 16:7). One also knows from John 16:9 that the world’s sin is the unbelief in Jesus Christ.
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.
The world’s sin is unbelief in me
And, when one knows that Jesus already died for the sins of the world, then all sins have already been forgiven. So the correct rendering of this passage would be since sins have already been forgiven, you have authority from God to tell someone their sins have already been forgiven. Jesus is simply providing instruction to his disciples of a coming Holy Spirit and reminding them that by his death he has forgiven the world of sin. So, tell this message to others. Recall that translations are not inspired, but only the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. As such, translations can sometimes not be as clear due to the translation.
Another related scripture Bob mentions, because often misunderstood by many, is the passage about loosing and binding.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Again, applying the same reasoning as before, what this passage really mans is that since truth has already been bound in heaven because Jesus finished the work he came to do. Jesus shed his blood on the cross, a total propitiation, complete satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin. Jesus blood of such high quality and value to God, that completely satisfied an eternal payment of death for all sins of the world. So, again those who are born again of the Spirit of God, share this truth with others.
Concerning Todd’s second question concerning Ananias and Sapphira dropping dead, Bob addressed a common misunderstanding that God zapped them. There is no scripture that explicitly states that and so one should not come to a conclusion without clear scriptural support. In Acts is where one reads they said they did something that they did not do to make themselves look good in the eyes of men. They had every right to do what they wanted with their money, but their lying about what they did is the real issue. So instead of thinking God zapped them, a more likely reason is they had a heart attack from shock, having been confronted for lying to the Holy Spirit. Recall also this is the early church and God used this situation to make it clear that the church is not about playing games.
The last caller, Stan, called to thank Bob for materials he had been reading from Bob George that helped him retrain his thinking to overcome depression. Bob mostly listened but did respond with appreciation or his call. He did reiterate with Stan this thought: “Truth sets you free. Error binds you.” as a practical insight from John 8:32.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Stan retold his long battle with depression, where he was on medication for depression that almost put him over the edge. But by applying truth from God’s word, with the aid of insight from Bob’s materials, he was able to retrain his thinking and walk in freedom from dependence on medication. The real battle was in his mind and from what he claims is improper training from his upbringing. He mentioned a history of relatives that also battle depression. Renewing of the mind with truth through Jesus Christ and His word really set him free. As one is aware of thoughts that are contrary to learned truth, then one can replace such error with truth, if ever you find yourself with depressing thoughts, which come from the lies of Satan. Also, let Christ live through you. The life of a believer really is a supernatural life, whose motivation and source is from God, not necessarily miraculous, but supernatural!
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