Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P612 (02-26-21)
Many callers, as they are growing in Christ, as we all are, have questions. If you have been in Christ for some time now, there are certain questions that are commonly asked, which if you do not understand the context or the difference between law and grace or the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, some passages might be confusing to you.
This is certainly true of those who grew up under some kind of religious teaching where foundational truths were not taught. Oftentimes people are taught to memorize certain passages of scripture as a child, such as through an AWANA program or some other church program for youth. The problem with scripture memory is if the passages before and after a memory verse are not read, or not understood in its context, false teaching occurs. So, in many cases, a renewing of the mind has to occur so people can grab a hold of truth.
One of the questions asked in relation to the Lord’s prayer is this. Will God forgive us if we do not forgive someone who sins against us? People also often recite this prayer as if this is a prayer we are to repeat over and over again. Another question often asked about is what is legalism? Do I need to ask God to forgive me when I sin? What about 1 John 1:9? Do I lose fellowship with God when I sin? Is that written to me, and how does that relate to the passage in Matthew in regard to God not forgiving you unless you forgive someone else? Are the ten commandments still for us today?
So listen now as Bob George answers these and other questions. He provides the background from the book of Hebrews, which goes into detail about the New Covenant we are under today, contrasting that with the Old Covenant it replaced. He shares scriptures from Romans and other passages from the epistles of the apostle Paul, explaining the purpose of the law, and how Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for those who believe, and that we are no longer under the law but under grace. He elaborates on that, explaining what that means for us today, so we are not enslaved to legalism but are free to walk by the Spirit, to be internally led by the Spirit of God today.
Michael from Miami, FL
Michael: My question is on the Lord’s prayer. When he said to the disciples, this is how you pray. The part that says to forgive us our trespasses is that relevant for today? Because I think Paul also says that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Is Paul’s statement relevant for today?
Bob: I think there is a misunderstanding on both of those passages. First of all, Michael, there is a difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. What happens to people? That is one of the dangers of teaching people to memorize scriptures. Is scripture memorization good? It could be good and bad. If you memorize it out of context, and you do not know what is said before the verses you memorized then what is said afterwards, then you will memorize something and not know the context and spend the rest of your life misquoting it. You need to read what the Lord’s prayer says.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Is there any way that anybody can bring Matthew 6:14-16 together with this passage in 2 Corinthians 5:19?
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Bob: If He has taken away the sins of the world, and He has, not just our sins but the sins of the world, how do you reconcile that to the passage in 1 John 1:9?
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Bob: You cannot reconcile any of those because they are double-talk if you do not understand the meaning of it and the context of it.
Bob: First of all, in the Lord’s prayer, He did not teach them a prayer. He taught them how to pray. People think he taught them a prayer. No, he didn’t. No. He told them how to pray.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Bob: And when you do pray do not pray like the heathen do, that takes a prayer and prays it over and over again. So what do we do? We take a prayer that He said not to pray like the heathen do and pray it over and over again, and pray it every Sunday over and over again. You never saw that prayer repeated any place in scripture. Not in any of Paul’s writings do you see that prayer prayed, nor in any of Peter’s nor in any of the other writings in the New Testament. It was not intended to be a rote prayer. It was not even the Lord’s prayer. It was given to the disciples, not as a prayer but here is how you pray.
Bob: Everything Jesus taught on earth was for the purpose of burying us, showing us our hypocrisy, showing us we cannot live the life He came to show us. He could live it. He showed us His righteousness and in so doing showed you and me our unrighteousness. You cannot reconcile “if you do not forgive your brother here on earth, your Father in heaven will not forgive you” with the fact that Jesus Christ took away the sins of the world from the eyes of God never to see them again unless you understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Jesus taught under an Old Covenant. It is not that He did not like the New. He had not died yet in order to usher in the New.
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.
Bob: A covenant is a will or a testament. You have an old testament. You have a new testament. You had an old will. You have a new will. You have an old covenant and you have a new covenant. The new covenant replaced the old. The new will has replaced the old will. The new testament replaced the old testament. So that took place at the death of Christ.
Hebrews 9 explains that very clearly.
Bob: Now we live on this side of the cross where after the cross of Jesus that we are forgiven people. There is no more forgiveness to be executed on our behalf. So in order to deceive people or whatever it might be, and Satan is behind all that. If Satan believes that they might get some joy in their life, what does he do? So he gets a hold of 1 John 1:9 and said if I can get people to believe this is a believer’s passage instead of an evangelistic passage, then I will have them trapped again. They will still not be walking by faith in the finality of the cross. If I can keep them in the Old Testament quoting the Lord’s prayer, then that works too. If they know they are in the New Testament and are no longer under the old then I got to do something to paralyze them. He has done so with 1 John 1:9.
Bob: 1 John 1:9 is not written to a believer but to a non-believer. It was to correct Gnostic heresy in the church at that time in history. The Gnostics believed you did not have a sin nature. They did noy believe Jesus came in the flesh. They were called antichrists. That is why John starts his letter.
1 John 1:1
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
Bob: We write this so that you may know that we have seen Him. We have seen Him. He was not a phantom or an illusion. He did not write that for you and me. We did not doubt he was here but the Gnostics did. The Gnostics also believed you did not have a sin nature. He wrote it for the Gnostics.
1 John 1:8-9
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.
Bob: No one deceived any more than the Gnostics. No one was devoid of truth any more than the Gnostics. The truth, who is Jesus, was not in them. They were lost, called antichrists, later on in 1 John. They were lost. He was identifying that if you are claiming you are without sin, this is an indicator of your spiritual condition, that you are lost.
Bob: But if you agree with God. There is a doubt to that. I do not know if you guys would ever come to your senses, but if you do, then today, tomorrow, next year, whenever it might be, He is faithful and just to, not to forgive you, but to have forgiven your sins, and to have cleansed you of all unrighteousness. It is an aorist tense with a past action which is applicable throughout eternity. There is no other way to properly interpret that except by the fact to know when Jesus died and we know when John wrote 1 John, 2 John and 3 John, and we know when the cross occurred, and therefore, we have no other way to fully translate than the truth that He has done already and He cleansed us of all unrighteousness. That takes care of those two passages.
Michael: Okay. Thank you so much.
Michael: It was confirmed in me from the things you explained in the first part about our trespasses forgiven. When you say that Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray. I understand it. I enjoyed your explanation. That is why I kept so quiet.
Bob: I appreciate it. I hope that helps, my friend.
Michael: Sure it does. God bless you.
Bob: Thank you so much, Michael. You call any time.
John from Corona, CA
John: I have been having financial difficulties. In the meantime, the Lord wants to bless me. Satan comes along and shoots me down. I cannot get ahead. In the last year, I changed jobs because I was not making enough money for my family to survive on. I got caught up in check cashing places. I just cannot seem to get out of it. My paycheck pays for my family. My wife’ check goes to pay the checks.
Bob: John, I wish I knew how to help you with that type of thing. Making a living today is tougher than ever. It is tough in California because housing is so unbelievably high as well as all other things are high. Getting back to and from work is high. Gas prices the way they are is ludicrous. But that is where they are that is putting financial burden on people. The whole thing of bringing in more than what is going out becomes more of a chore that people are living close to the belt like yourself.
Bob: The only thing I know, if those things are taking place, then some men have to take two jobs in order to make ends meet. If you have your overhead cut back as low as you can get it and you do not know where to cut any more, that sometimes becomes a sacrifice. It might mean if you use cable television, you might need to get rid of that. But whatever you need to cut back you need to do that. If you are at that place, the only thing I know to do is to continually search for a job that will pay you more money or to work two jobs, which is very tough to do. I certainly empathize with you. I sympathize with what you are going through. There are probably a lot of people listening today going through the same type of things. But those are the only solutions I know of. Ask God to give you wisdom to lead you to a job that would pay more money, to give you wisdom to analyze your situation there or to be sure that you are not spending unnecessary money in some place. Then go from there. I wish I knew how to tell you any different than that, brother. That is as good as I can do on that.
Bob: I do know that there are some people that have to work two or three jobs in order to keep their head above water, which is a shame.
John: I just want to get to where I can take care of family and live for God. It just seems that Satan comes along and shoots it out of the way where I just cannot give at church or something like that. It drives me crazy.
2 Corinthians 8:12
12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
Bob: Well, John again, I have told people that have run into financial situations with us. “Bob, I feel so bad I cannot give.” If you broke one of your fingers who would take over on that hand? The other four. That is exactly right. You got five fingers but if one gets injured temporarily the other four will pick up. One of these days your thumb will get well and maybe another one of your fingers gets injured. Then the other fingers will pick up for the others. God understands these circumstances.
2 Corinthians 8:13-15
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[Exodus 16:18]
Bob: So if you are in a situation that is so tight that you are unable to give right now, God understands that. There will be others who will be blessed even more and will make up for that. So I would not get on a guilt trip on that type of thing. God knows you have to take care of family and that is your number one responsibility to take care of family.
1 Timothy 5:8
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.
Bob: If not wasting dollars on something not necessary then I would not get into a guilt trip on that. You will come back in due time, and you will come back and be able to make enough money to support your family adequately and give to the work of the Lord. In God’s timing, let Him do that for you.
John: Thank you very much for the advice.
Bob: Okay my brother. Bye bye now.
Rick from Corpus Christie, TX
Rick: Both of you are all, the entire People to People program, has been such an inspiration to me and has changed my life so much. The way I have been forgiven and the love God has for me. I know I am forgiven. I know I am a child of His and I know my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. Instead of asking for forgiveness for sins now I say thank Him for the cross. Sometimes I think I do not do enough for Him. What should I do to increase my faith in the Lord? When I pray to Him, it says to put all my cares on Him. If I am worried about something, I pray, and say “Lord, this is yours. I cannot handle it.” But I keep on worrying. What can I do to reverse that? What can I do to gain the faith and strength in Him just to let Him have it and turn Him loose?
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Bob: Quit worrying. It is like a guy at a trial who was talking about the fact he got hurt in an accident. He told the judge, “I cannot even lift my arm above my midsection anymore.” The attorney said, “How high could you lift it up before the accident?” And he lifted it up straight up in the air. So if you are worrying, quit worrying. The bible says so.
6 Do not be anxious [worry] 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.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Bob: You are trying to do something that God said you cannot do. You are a branch. You say the only problem I have, Bob, is I am not doing enough for the vine. I say, Rick, you never have done anything for the vine. You were never asked to do anything for the vine except abide in it. You cannot produce fruit on your own. You are not looking around to see how much fruit someone else has and trying to groan it out yourself. You have to realize this is God’s business. Your role is to abide in Him and His role is to produce fruit in you and you get the privilege to bear that fruit but you cannot produce it. So how do you increase faith? By increasing your knowledge of the one you have faith in, Christ Jesus. That is why it says this.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Bob: Through the one who can do immeasurably more than you can dream or imagine, put your faith in Him and keep your faith in Him.
Bob: So the more you get to know about the faithfulness of God, the more you get to know the love of God and the more you get to know the faithfulness of God, then your faith will grow in the knowledge of those truths.
2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Bob: He has given you everything you need for life and godliness so walk in it.
Rick: Do I do that by just reading scriptures?
Bob: That is the only way you are going to get to know Christ better is to read about Him and know about Him. Read about what Paul writes about, our inheritance in Christ and our identity in Christ. All of these are therefores in your life, or your policy in life. Therefore, because of what Christ has done, therefore, …
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Bob: It is after you come to understand that Christ has come to do everything for you, everything you need for life and godliness has been given to you in Christ Jesus. Therefore, make your body available to Him. Just what you would say to a branch. Make yourself available to the vine and the peace of God that surpasses understanding will be yours, branch. Why? Because you are not going out trying to produce what you cannot produce. You are living in total dependence on Christ Jesus to live His life in and through you.
Rick: Do you know how in the world you have to go to a store and you know you have to pay for it? The way you put it across is so beautifully simple. It just seems like somewhere along a line I need to pay for something.
Bob: How can you pay God for anything?
Rick: I cannot.
Bob: We are just little pip squeaks down here. You say, “Am I ever going to pay God for something?“
Rick: How simple and pure that is. I do not see why people want to make it so difficult to understand that God can give unconditional love like that when you grow up in a world where you are told nothing is free. I guess it is hard to understand.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Bob: It is if you are comparing God’s work to the world. You have to elevate yourself above the world and to realize God’s ways are not our ways. God’s free gift and unconditional love and acceptance is something not available on a human level that has to be given to us spiritually. It has to be accepted in walking by faith spiritually. It is not human. There is nothing in 1 Corinthians 13 demonstration of what love is that is in my flesh. Not one thing in there. That has to come from God.
Rick: Keep me in your prayers for I am continually growing. I certainly feel weak sometimes.
Bob: Well, that is good for when you are weak then He is strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Bob: Paul said to rejoice in your weakness. Why do you rejoice in your weakness? Because your weakness makes you dependent upon the one who is strong. If you think you are strong, what do you need Jesus for?
Rick: Oh no. I am not to live without Him.
Bob: So you rejoice in your weakness. Thank Him he showed you your weakness.
Rick: Thank you, guys. Keep me in your prayers.
Bob: Alright, my brother. Good to talk to you.
Rick: God bless. Bye. Bye.
Bob: Same to you. Bye. Bye.
Myron from Augusta, GA
Myron: I give God all the praise. If you guys could give me a clear definition of legalism.
Bob: Myron, legalism is really about people under the law trying to live up to the law, which He says you cannot do, and are very insistent upon other people in keeping the law. When that occurs you have a very legalistic type of person. The ultimate example of that were the Pharisees and the Sadducees in Jesus time, who in trying to interpret the law, ended up with over 600 different laws just on the Sabbath alone.
You would get down to not supposed to work on the Sabbath. Then you have to define what work is. So you had them sitting around debating the law constantly just like people do today whenever they get in a law thing. As an example, in a work situation back in Jesus day, they would be talking about what is working on the Sabbath. Well, can you spit on the Sabbath? Well, if you cannot spit on the ground because that would be making mud and that would be construed as making work. So you cannot spit on the ground but you can spit on a rock. That is how dumb legalism comes.
Bob: So we have been freed from the law so a Christian walks. Also a lost person is still under the law and demands of the law that the wages of sin is death if they are still under the death penalty. But when a person comes to Christ, he is to be guided internally by the Spirit of God rather than externally by laws written on stone.
Myron: So basically it is true that the law is done away with?> Am I correct?
Bob: The law for the Christian. It is fading and will soon disappear. We are no longer under the law. In Romans 10, Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes because under the law no one will be declared righteous in the sight of the law.
13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
4 Christ is the culmination [end] of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
20 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.
Myron: What is the difference between law and the commandments?
Bob: They are all the same.
Myron: Okay. So we are not to keep the ten commandments?
Bob: No. It is not that we are not to keep them. We are not under them. We are under a greater law, which is a law of love and Jesus said if we love one another we will not be stealing, murdering and committing adultery. But there is a world of difference than being under the law saying “thou shall not” and being under a law of love that says “love does not do those things”.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Myron: So my love that I express toward my creator I would not want to do anything that is contrary to His word?
Bob: I would not say that I might not want to because we have flesh still hanging on you. But the issue is if you do want to, the Spirit of God is directing you and leading you into a different way of thinking, which is what we are in the process of continually doing.
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Bob: Turn to 2 Corinthians 3:7-9 so you have the biblical background so you are not just believing what I am saying to you.
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!
Bob: Letters on stone is obviously talking about the ten commandments. The ministry that condemns men is the law. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Myron: Okay then.
Bob: Does that help?
Bob: Yes sir. Have a good day.
Bob: You are sure welcome, Byron. Thank you for your call.
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