Classic Christianity – Call-In Bob George p392 (11-09-18)
Listen to Bob George answer calls from radio listeners on his original People to People for over 30 years. He offers practical biblical insights from God’s word to encourage people with faith, hope and love. The first caller, Ed, wanted clarification on a passage of scripture from Romans 8 to help him understand the concept and workings of the flesh and the Spirit. Bob addresses from the scripture what the flesh and the Spirit are and how a believer is intended to walk with a renewed mind. The second caller, Jack, a relatively new believer, was puzzled why there are so many different interpretations among different churches. It seemed strange for that to be when the Spirit guides the believer into all truth. Beginning with that very verse, Bob answers his question. The third caller, Vivian, called to thank Bob for his teaching of truth that set her free from 40 years of guilt. But her question was about why she has a lack of awareness of the Holy Spirit in her. Bob addressed her question that one does not rely on feelings but on the truth of God’s word. Bob then offers her practical instruction with truth to guide her into a proper walk in the Holy Spirit that is living in her.
Bob answers Ed’s question concerning the proper understanding of what the flesh and Spirit are in the Romans 8. The old man is the old identity of a lost person without the Spirit of God and in darkness. The new man is the new identity of a saved person with the Spirit of God living in him and is in the light. For those who are born again into a new identity, they have a choice to participate, or yield, to the Holy Spirit’s direction or voice. The lost can only one way, and that is to walk according to the flesh. Paul is addressing both in Romans 8, and have to follow to whom he is addressing. Look at Romans 8:1.
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
Those who are bound to the law of sin and death are the lost. Those who have been set free from such a law are under a new law of the Spirit. So the new man has the Spirit living in him. Paul transitions to speaking to the saved in Romans 8:9
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
So then what characterizes a lost person in Romans 8? The flesh. A lost person operates only in the way of the flesh. Romans 8 describes this way of life as a mind hostile to God, not submitting to God’s law, and indeed not even able to. If a person is not born again, no matter how religious he is, or moral he looks, can only operate in the flesh.
Now, when someone is born again, he is no longer in the flesh because he has the Spirit of God living in him (Romans 8:10-11). He is not obligated to the flesh but to the Spirit (Romans 8:12). The new man, the saved, has his mind being renewed with truth that set him free as God desires.
So, when someone is born again, he still has a human body with indwelling sin (Romans 8:10), so there is this human nature that wants what his nature wants that comes in conflict with a new nature that wants what the Spirit wants. If one leans on their understanding, although not lost, then one acts in a manner of one walking in the flesh. So, the believer is not to lean on his understanding but walk by the understanding of the Spirit, the mind of Christ revealed to him, as the Spirit instructs him and leads him into all truth.
Bob cites examples of John Wesley, as person once lost with a seminary degree yet later came to know Christ and was born again. Even with knowledge of scripture, preaching to many, he himself was under law of sin and dead, and only able to walk in the flesh. So too, Martin Luther, reading the scriptures but darkened in his understanding until the he had revelation from the Spirit when reading the scripture where one reads that the just shall live by faith.
Then, Ed did ask one other question about whether it is wrong to plan. Bob said that a man plans his ways but the Lord directs his steps. That is, there is nothing wrong with planning but one not cannot plan results. One cannot plan to have someone converted to Christ today. God is in charge of the results. But I can plan to hand out a “Born Free” gospel tract. I cannot plan to have 20 products sold, but I can plan to spend 1 hour going door to door or phone calls promoting the product. Plan a function with an open hand but leave the results to God. Even when you plan, let God initiate and redirect you.
The second caller, Jack, asked why there are so many different interpretations of scripture. If one goes to 5 different churches, you can get five different answers. Why i that when the Spirit is leading people into all truth? Bob answered by saying that the answer is in the scripture you just referenced.
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.
First of all, not everyone who speaks is born again. And even when someone is born again, is he listening to the Spirit or is he speaking words of men? Who is the teacher? Men or the Spirit of God living in a person? The Spirit of God leads each individual into truth. If the Spirit is leading people into truth, and someone is teaching things contrary to the Spirit, then it is not the Spirit who is leading him. So people are often taught by men and not by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit in you will reveal truth to you as you read His Word so you can test and approve what any man says. The Holy Spirit in you will validate what is being said is true. AS believers, we are to check out what you hear by the truth the Holy Spirit reveals to you.
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
So as believers we are to develop a humble attitude, one of learning from the Holy Spirit, asking God to reveal truth to us in His word. You simply ask God to teach you and he will.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
However a person approaches word will influence what he gets out of it. A lost person cannot discern the things of God and approaches word of God with a false premise. A Pharisee, for example, has a faulty premise that the Lord thy God is one and rejects the concept of Jesus being God. But if one were to look at the scriptures, the evidence is clear. The only logical conclusion that can be drawn are Jesus is Lord, liar, or lunatic. If one refuses to accept concept of hell as Jesus speaks of in scripture, because they hold onto a false premise that there is no hell, then he may indeed find himself there one day. Ask God for understanding and if a person is lost, he should ask God to reveal Himself to him, to expose his need of new life. Men can teach from a false premise, and things that could be known, they are blinded to because they would rather hold onto a false premise than the truth, even if wanting to please the flesh rather than walk in the Spirit.
The last caller, Vivian, was struggling with a feeling of loss since no one listening to her message of the finality of the cross anymore. She beginning to waver in faith, giving into feelings of a lack of awareness of Christ in her. Bob encourages her to not listen to feelings but to trust the living word, the truth that what God says has been done is done. Then he encourages her to learn take direction by the Spirit of God. Do not do anything at all and just rest if that is all God initiates for you. Earlier she had mentioned that she does not feed the person as other people seem to be doing. So Bob encouraged her what it means to walk by the Spirit. He told her that each member of the body is a unique creation of God, each being led by the head as he wants that part of the body to function. He has those whom he wants to feed the person but not everyone is directed to feed the poor. Other people besides poor need to be fed too. He used this expression: “Human doings instead of human beings”. Many churches today have people being busy but busy with what, what God wants or a church agenda or program to get numbers. He reminded her that she is loved of God, forgiven every day, accepted by the love of God, complete in Christ already, being conformed into the image of God and to rest in Christ who lavished His grace on her. He already knows what is best for each of us and what specific he would have any one of us do, or just simply stop your doings so one can rest to learn of Him.
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