Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P638 (05-28-21)
We have this struggle between our flesh and the Spirit more than we like to admit or even realize. When you think of sin, as God defines it, as anything that does not come from faith is sin, how many times are we anxious? Many of us have been incorrectly taught that you need to confess your sins to God to keep in fellowship, but that is not biblical. Jesus took away our sins at the cross, without which there is no forgiveness of sins, and He did that before we even asked Him to. He is not going to shed His blood again, and has chosen to remember our sins no more. The sin of the world that must be repented of, and the only sin, is unbelief in Him. So it is not faith to ask for what in Him you already have, the forgiveness of sins. Again, that forgiveness was provided before you and I were ever born physically into this world. In Him is the redemption, the forgiveness of sins, as we read in Ephesians 1:7. Are you in Him?
If you are a child of God, you became a child by receiving what God came to offer you, His very Holy Spirit of life to be placed in you, the same life that raised Jesus from the dead. You realized the wretched state of death you were born in, that you were a sinner, and that you are now saved by the pure grace of God, all of Him and nothing of what I have done or do.
Yet how often do we get our focus off of grace, and think we need to do something? We must realize that faith is what pleases God. Faith is believing in what God has said, that your sins are already taken away. So what do you do when you sin? You thank Him for what He has already done, and that in Him you have become a forgiven person. In Him, in His life, is where forgiveness is. Because He placed His Spirit of truth in you, as a child of God when you believed, you have become a new creation with the mind of Christ.
So you now have the privilege to participate in the divine nature, who lives in you. So we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body by replacing error in our head with truth and start trusting Christ, just as we trusted Him for our salvation. Recall the parable of the vine and the branch in John 15. Ponder over how a branch does not grunt and groan to produce fruit. It remains attached to the vine, rests in the vine, allowing the vine to produce fruit in and through it. So too with Christ. We abide, or trust Christ, who is the vine, to live His life in and through us, the branch. We cannot live the Christian life. Christ does that. We are to abide in Him, for He is the one who produces the fruit of the Spirit, as in Galatians 5:22-23, and then we bear the fruit.
So listen as Bob George explains the scriptures as callers call in with questions about forgiveness, what do you do when you sin, and about how to live the Christian life. What does it mean we have the mind of Christ? Why did Jesus say to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect? No one can do that. That is the whole point Jesus asked the question, so we might come to the end of the law for righteousness and seek Him to receive the life He came to give as a gift of God to be received by faith. And what does James mean when he says that faith without works is dead? Is he really talking about salvation and does it contradict what Paul wrote in Romans? No, because James is talking about living by faith after having been born again, and Paul is talking about salvation, coming alive or being born again, by faith alone in what Jesus Christ alone accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection.
Janice from Dale City, VA
Janice: In Genesis, God is talking to Abraham to be perfect. Also it is in the New Testament. Be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect. What level of perfection are we supposed to obtain? Just as your Father in heaven? That is more perfect than I can muster.
Bob: You caught the reason for what He said. There is no way you can be perfect. Anything that Jesus said before the cross was to bury us, to show us you cannot. To say “to be perfect” and you say “I cannot be perfect”, and Jesus is saying, “now you got it, Janice. Now you are ready for the cross and for the resurrection. Until you see yourself that you cannot be what I need you to be in order to go into heaven, and only I can provide that for you, you are not ready for salvation.”
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Bob: He had to make you complete. You cannot make yourself complete. So, it is like saying “Don’t lust or it is the same as adultery.” James says that if you kept the entire commandments and yet violated at one point, you have broken all of them. How are we going to stand before God? You cannot in your own strength and our own righteousness. We do not have any.
10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Bob: The purpose of Christ here on this earth, he was headed to a cross and a resurrection in order to forgive man’s sins and to restore man to life what was lost in Adam, the Spirit of God living in us. That is the reason for Him being here on this earth. In order for us, who are dumb as mules, to catch the fact that we need salvation, Jesus had to come in tht flesh and take upon Himself our flesh and blood, and in so doing, show us what pure righteousness is, in Him and in so doing, showing us that we have no righteousness.
10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one
Bob: Now I am prepared for salvation. If I keep thinking I have some good in me, that I am righteous in and of myself, then what do I need Jesus for? That is why He made these statements. The only thing that will do is perfection. You will not go into the presence of God unless you are perfect. You say “how perfect, Lord? “As perfect as your Father in heaven.” “But I can’t.” “Good, now you got it because I did. I will make you what you cannot do in the energy of your own flesh.” So, those things bury us. Those kinds of statements annihilate us in regard to our own self-righteousness and prepare us for salvation that Christ Jesus came to offer us.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Janice: Amen. What a blessing.
Bob: Yes. Until we see, like Paul says, “Wretched man that I am.” Until I see my wretchedness, I am not ready for Jesus. If I think I am about 90% okay, then all I need is a 10% Jesus. No, I am zero percent okay. I had to see myself for what I was. There is no way in the world I am going into the presence of a pure holy God in my own holiness and purity. So God, if you do not do it for me, I will not be there.
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.
Janice: That is true./p>
Bob: That is what that was for.
Janice: The closer I get, the more wretched I look.
Bob: I agree with you. The older you get, the more you realize you will not have a chance in the world of ever entering into the presence of God apart from Christ Jesus.
Janice: You continue to bless others. Thank you very much.
Bob: Thank you, Janice, for your call. Bye. Bye now.
Leland from Dallas, TX
Leland: I appreciate what you shared. I understand what you are talking about fully. Ironically, this call goes right along with the question I was about to ask. I understand and agree with you fully with forgiveness and what Christ did at the cross. Everybody thinks that baptism is salvation. But that has nothing to do with that.
1 Peter 3:21
21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Leland: My question to you is, how do you handle it on a day to day basis? In your life, how do you handle the fact when you do sin, and you feel so terrible about it, that you just beat yourself up, and get so disappointed, knowing that you did something to displease God. Everything I do, I try to please Him and make Him happy that I am one of His children. But we fail. Instead of getting ourselves, knocking ourselves down. We seem to beat ourselves up on it. How do you deal with that?
Bob: Leland, that is a good question. That is a good example, I want to please God.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Bob: The only thing that pleases God is our faith. So faith is thanking Him for what He has already accomplished. Faith is not asking God to do something He has already done. Faith is recognizing what God has already done. I do not deserve to be forgiven and I could not earn it. But I am going to thank Him for it. That is what truth is. And He says that which is not of faith is sin.
everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Bob: I say that if a person is continually trying to do what God has already accomplished, then he is not walking by faith. We would never think of confessing that sin to God because we do not think it is sin, but it is. If I kept asking God, as a child of God, asking, “God, please give me eternal life?” That would be sinning, for that is not faith, because I already have eternal life.
Leland: But knowing that, when we do sin, you hear people talking about getting back into fellowship with God. When you fail, you sort of fall out of fellowship, according to what I have been taught.
Bob: But again, Leland, that is not biblical. That may be taught historically in your church denomination. Fellowship in the bible is being in fellowship saved or out of fellowship lost. There is no place in the bible about being in and out of fellowship. As a matter of fact, this is what it does say. If you are saved, you are in the light and He, Christ Jesus, is in the light. The result of you being in the light as He is in the light, is that you and Jesus have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son continually cleanses you of unrighteousness, which prohibits you of ever getting in darkness.
1 John 1:7
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Bob: So you have that fellowship and are being dealt with as a loving father dealing with his son. What do you do? Change your mind. You go to God, “Why was it that I sinned?” Every sin you commit is because you believed a lie of Satan instead of God. That is why you did what you did. Every sin, every sin you ever committed is because I started believing a lie of Satan, and in so doing, denied truth of God.
Bob: But to get back to how do you deal with it in a personal relationship when you do sin, knowing that you have done something that is not in God’s will, and knowing you committed a sin? How do you not beat yourself up? Because God is not beating me up. There is no condemnation. You have to get away from this earthly idea. If we are going to walk by faith, I am not going to walk by faith in what I am doing. I am going to walk by faith in what He is doing.
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. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Leland: I thank you that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
Bob: Again, Leland, why? God is not paddling us or taking us to the woodshed. Wages of sin is death. We have been free from the consequence of sin, which is death, by the gift of God called life. I have to thank Him for that out of the bottom of my heart. Therefore, when I sin, I recognize that this is not God’s will. It is my own stubborn will. “Therefore I thank you that you took that away 2000 years ago at the cross. Why is it, Lord, I did what I did?” “It is because you stopped believing Me and started using Satan.” “I agree. Now what do I do?” “Renew your mind.” He says to let us reason together. So you say, “Lord, you do not understand. I really needed this thing so I stole.” “Bob, you have forgotten that I will provide all your needs in Christ Jesus. So, Bob, do you think you had to steal something when I already have given you everything you need?” “That was stupid, Lord.” And He says, “It sure was.” That is how you deal with it.
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.
Leland: I believe that with my whole heart. I try to beat myself up when I do something. But I have to know in my heart what Christ did for me. That is how I can continue to walk in this daily life.
Leland: We are going to sin until we get a glorified body. It doesn’t matter who you are. That is what is going to happen. That is the only thing I can tell people who have a tendency to disagree. I do not because I can understand it. But people will say that they can go out and sin and do whatever I want to. But it should not be in your heart. If you are a child of God, you are a new creation. You do not have those desires. So it does not give you a free will to just go out and sin and do whatever I want to because I know what God has done for me. That is not salvation. I am not judging anyone’s hearts, but their actions are speaking.
Bob: There are a lot of people who live with that attitude of “Do not confuse me with the facts. My mind is made up.” You have that with people using their own interpretation of scripture. It does not matter what scripture says because this is what I have been taught. We had a lady who said, “No one will ever convince me that Mary was not a virgin all of her life.” So I said, “Let us go to the scripture.” I just read scripture to her about Jesus’ brothers and sisters. After the end of that, her comment was, “I did not know that.” So she got straightened out by truth from scripture.
3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Leland: People are so strong-willed they just do not want to give into anything. They are heard-hearted. I really enjoyed listening to you. I appreciate you taking my call.
Bob: You are sure welcome. Thanks for your call. Bye. Bye now.
John from Plymouth, MI
John: I had a question about James 2:14.
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
John: It seems to contradict somewhere else in the bible that with some Christians, that everyone thing they do will be burned up, but they will be saved so as by fire. Evidently, some Christians get into heaven with almost nothing. Their works are burned up but they are still saved. But James says if he has no works, apparently he is not in a saving situation. What is your view on that?
Bob: First of all, John, you cannot have contradiction in scripture.
John: I know there isn’t. I just say a seeming contradiction.
Bob: Yes. So you cannot have a contradiction. James says that faith without works is dead, which is true. And Paul says that you are not saved by works. If you were, then you could not be saved by grace. Paul tells us that in Romans.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,
Bob: So it goes ahead.
Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Bob: It is not a contradiction. So what is it? James is not talking about salvation. He is talking about after salvation. Salvation is by faith and faith alone. You cannot be saved in anything other than what Jesus did. If you add to that the bible says you are to be condemned, if anyone teaches that you add to that. That is salvation.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.
Bob: Now if you are branch, and now connected to the vine, and if you have truly been connected, and you abide in the life of the vine, the vine is going to produce Christian works in and through you. You will bear the fruit of it but you cannot produce it.
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: Now some people come to Christ and are then immediately taught in the energy of their own flesh to sick them for Jesus. Those works are going to be burnt up.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved – even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Bob: They can be serious as a heart attack. Those works will be burned up because they are not works produced by God. They are works produced by their own flesh even though they appear to be good works. The only thing we are going to be rewarded for is those things we allow Jesus in us to do in and through us. He gave His life for you to give His life to you to live His life through you. We cannot live the Christian life. We cannot give it. We cannot live it. But we can abide in the one who did and does, who is Christ Jesus. That is precisely why Jesus said he world’s sin is unbelief in me. That is for salvation as well as after salvation. James is not talking about salvation. He is talking about faith. You show me your faith, I will show you my works. True faith in the true Jesus is going to produce Jesus’ works.
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me
John: I see.
Bob: If that is not the way to interpret that, then the bible contradicts itself. We are on dangerous ground if we believe that.
John : When James is speaking about the double-minded, is he talking about believers or non-believers?
5 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. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Bob: Well I think he is talking to Christians, double-minded people, unstable in all ways. You have a person with one foot in the law and one foot in grace, then trying to hobble down the street at the same time. You cannot do that. In the Christian setting today, people are double-minded, not teaching the purity of grace, commingling law and grace just exactly like the Galatians. Paul called them foolish Galatians./p>
2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain – if it really was in vain?
Bob: “You did not come to Christ by works, so why are you trying to perfect yourself by human effort.” The church is in the same state as back then. It is self-effort instead of allowing Christ, who lives in you, to live His life in and through you. People are out trying to build the Christian life in the energy of the flesh, depending on our own works. It is going to be burnt.
Bob: Laughingly, I say my ash pile is bigger than yours, but it is still an ash pile.
John: I have been a Christian most of my life. James has always been a disturbing, finger-pointing book to me. I do not see a lot of works. I see some things I have done, but I do not have a lot to show for my Christian life. That passage did bother me, so I wanted your view on that.
Bob: Again, John, if you are in Christ Jesus, and you have accepted the fact that you cannot, never could, never will be able to produce what is necessary for you to get into heaven. That is all what Jesus did for you. All of Him and none of me. You put your faith in Christ and Christ alone, then you are in Christ Jesus and possess eternal life.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Bob: Again, it is the abiding. If God is not producing fruit in and through you and you are not bearing it, it is because you are not abiding, not trusting Him to do that. But again, that can be corrected today. A person just gets out of the way and says, “Lord, if you want to use me.” Maybe you have been doing that all your life and you are being used as God wants to use you. That judgment is God’s.
Bob: Consider the fact you led one guy to Christ, and that man led thousands to Christ. We are not the judge of that. He is.
John: I totally depend on Him to get into heaven by what He did for me.
Bob: And depend on Him to lead you why you are here. He did far more than try to get man out of hell into heaven. But He came down from heaven to get Himself into us. It is not just getting into heaven as the issue. From my vantage point, it is whipping cream. When I get up there it will be everything. Right now it is worth being a Christian if there was no such thing as heaven. It is what Christ will do in you and through you now if you let Him. Just let God use you anyway He wants to, maybe giving a glass of water in the name of Jesus to someone. Just however you want to use me, I will make myself available to you and I will let you use me any way you want to use me.
John: I have had intermittent salvation doubts almost through my whole Christian life. Not that I disbelieved the word, but I always asked myself, have I done my part? Has my response been enough? All I can do is believe the report. Know that I am a sinner, and ask to be saved. That is all I can do, and that is what I have done.
Bob: And realize you are a new creature now. You are no longer a sinner. You are now called a saint. Can you believe that?
John: Yes, I do
Bob: God calls you a saint not because of how you act, but because that is who you are. He called the Corinthians saints and they were having orgies at the Lord’s supper. The issue is, how did you get to be a saint? You were an old sinner saved by grace. Now you are a new creature. Just like a worm metamorphosed into a butterfly. He will never be a worm again. He doesn’t call himself a worm saved by grace. He calls himself a butterfly. That is what you need to see yourself as, as God sees you as a saint created in the image of God for good works. And let Him do those good works through you.
John: Okay. Alright. Thank you very much.
Bob: You are welcome, John. God bless you, pal.
Peggy from Temple, TX
Peggy: This is wonderful talking to you. I never thought I had the nerve to call in.
Bob: I am glad you did, Peggy.
Peggy: I have one question on one verse. But I preface that with Don and I appreciate your ministry very much. And we are to financially support you. Just your sermons recently on Sunday and your teaching sessions, they have been so pertinent and powerful. We really appreciate you.
Bob: Thank you.
Peggy: Now my question is on 1 Corinthians 2:16.
1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”[Isaiah 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ.
Peggy: My question is I have the propensity for anxiety with bad thoughts that pop into my head. So how do I appropriate this mind of Christ that I know is in me by the Holy Spirit? Why do I have all these anxieties and fears? I do not want you to address all of that. Basically, what does He mean we have the mind of Christ?
2 Peter 1:4
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.
Bob: Peggy, I think you have identified that already. All of us have anxieties. All of us have dumb thoughts. I would hate to record all of mine. You would probably hate to listen to me. That is because you have fallen flesh. We have the ability to participate in the divine nature that lives in us. Inasmuch as the Holy Spirit of God, not an it, but a He, we have the mind of Christ living in us, so we can access the mind of Christ in regard to our decision-making and in regard to our knowledge as to what is truth and what is error. When we have all those thoughts that come in our minds, the only thing we have to do is ask if this is truth or error, and who is putting those thoughts in there? Which, of course, is Satan.
Peggy: And my flesh.
Bob: Yes. Who is putting those thoughts in there? It is Satan. You recognize who has spoken to you and ignore it, grab a hold of truth and walk on. Do not think it is unusual that you have those thoughts or anxiety or anything else. If it was unusual, why would God tell you not to be anxious at all.
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.
Peggy: Do not be anxious about anything. Exactly.
Bob: Yes, it is not unusual at all. It is very commonplace.
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Peggy: The mind of Christ is available to me when I reject error.
Bob: His mind is in you and you have the ability to participate in that divine nature that lives in you.
Peggy: Oh, okay.
Bob: You have access to grab a hold of His truth. You also have the ability to grab a hold of the error that is in your flesh.
Bob: Unfortunately there is the conflict, but thanks be to God we have the mind of Christ living in us. I do not have to depend on mine. I have to learn how to participate in the divine nature that lives in me.
Peggy: I like the way you say participate. This is kind of like to experience or appropriate it in your life by rejecting error.
Bob: Absolutely. His truth lives in me through Christ Jesus. And I can grab a hold of that truth any time I want to.
Peggy: You did such a great explanation as usual. Again, I thank you. I appreciate your teaching throughout the years. You are a gifted teacher but in the end you are so potent and online. You have always been online but you are so potent and powerful and succinct in your teaching.
Bob: Thank you, Peggy. I appreciate that. I do not think it is deserving but I appreciate it and will take it for what it is worth.
Peggy: It is deserving because God lives in you and works through you.
Bob: I appreciate that Peggy. I hope that helps.
Peggy: It helped a whole bunch. Thank you so much for taking my call.
Bob: You are definitely welcome. God bless you, my friend.
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