Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P654 (07-23-21)
Jesus Makes a Believer Holy and Pleasing to God for His Purpose
There are many questions believers ask still today in trying to figure out what it means to live out the Christian life, to discern truth from error, and to properly discern the meaning of the Word of God in its context. Many times believers will be sitting under a pastor who is teaching error. They know something just does not ring true, and they may even have read scriptures on their own and it just does not seem to be consistent with those scriptures they have read. Now, that pastor indeed could be teaching error, but that does not necessarily mean he is a false teacher because he teaches error. Calling a person a false teacher puts the emphasis on the teacher being a wolf in sheep’s; clothing, and that may not be the case. Nevertheless, the pastor is still teaching error and that error hinders believers under his care from growing in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is error that is more serious than others. Disagreements on the timing of the rapture is one thing, but teaching that comingles law and grace, teaching subtle New Age teaching, or false prayer practices, where people are led into listening to demons rather than the Spirit of God, are much more serious matters.
Again, we always go to the word of God for truth and clarity. For even those in positions of authority, such as pastors, in regard to the body of Christ, are to be those who by constant use of the scriptures have discerned good from evil. We have the example in scripture where the apostle Paul was compelled to reprove the apostle Peter to his face before them all, for Peter was compromising the gospel by his actions (Galatians 2:12-14). But Peter was certainly not a false teacher. We also have the example of the apostle Paul addressing those Judaizers who infiltrated the church in Galatia, and the body of Christ was being harmed by their teaching as they were comingling law and grace. Paul was compelled to address the matter quite strongly, as you can read in Galatians (1-3). We also have the examples of the apostles calling out various people by name as people to avoid because of their strong opposition to the gospel, and some who were directly causing trouble. (1 Timothy 1:18-20, 3 John 1:9).
In the modern church today, serious error keeps being propagated from one generation to the next. In many cases, a modern church is composed of mostly infants in Christ along with non-believers in their midst. In some cases, the pastor himself is not even born again. How can such error be addressed, for all are in ignorance? Sadly, even when many leaders who are teaching error are confronted with truth, by those who are mature, having grown in the knowledge of truth, the meaning of the word of God, such leaders do not receive correction well. Many do so because they would rather teach law rather than grace, not being acquainted with the teaching of grace or the New Covenant we live under today. For to them, teaching law is how they control the people. But the role of the pastor is not to control people but to teach people to trust Jesus. So, you have more and more people leaving mainline churches and forming local gatherings in homes so as to be among like-minded believers for mutual encouragement and growth, for they can no longer remain under false teaching.
At times you hear a pastor who is humble of heart, who heeds correction, and will go back to the congregation and say, “I have taught you wrong these past number of years. Today, I am going to start teaching you truth.” That is wonderful to hear about or see. We have to understand that the pastor could be merely teaching some bias he learned when being trained under some seminary or even improper understanding of an area of scripture. So he is merely teaching whatever bias of a denomination he picked up, and has not thought through what he is saying. He was never confronted with the truth from the word of God. Oftentimes, pastors, and believers who take what the pastor says as gospel truth, will never stop to ponder over God’s words themselves to see if what is being said is true or not. So error just keeps being passed on from one generation to the next. This is why Bob George always emphasized to be like the Bereans and verify the word of God in context. For we all can be having an improper understanding of an area of the word of God and not even realize it. It’s important to not place any teacher on a pedestal as many are in the habit of doing. Bob even has stated numerous times, do not be a follower of “Bob George”, or this pastor or that pastor. Always put Jesus first in your life and trust in the Holy Spirit to show you truth from the word of God, in context and what the actual meaning of the scriptures are.
When a person is born again, the Spirit of God lives in a person and guides that person into all truth. Romans 12 tells us what our purpose should be as a believer in Christ Jesus. Our purpose is to make our body’s available to the living Christ to live His life in us and through us. For in Christ Jesus, God has made us Holy and acceptable in His sight to be used for the purpose God sets forth. We are not here to imitate Jesus’ actions, but be available for His purpose for the here and now, for what the Father told Jesus to do is not what God will necessarily tell us to do, such as die on a cross, walk on water or raise the dead. Jesus, the perfect Man/God showed us how to live. We are to imitate the faith of Jesus, who did exactly what His Father told Him to do and said what His Father told Him to say and how to say it. So, a purpose-driven church, for example, whose goal is to make everyone behave exactly the same way, and to be directed by what the pastor says you are to do (with the pastor being in a control mode), is contrary to the truth in the word of God in how the body of Christ is to function, with Christ as the head of the church, and each believer being internally led by the Spirit of God living in them.
So, let us all have teachable and humble hearts, and ponder over the word of God ourselves, asking the Lord to teach us the meaning of the word of God. Ultimately, the Spirit of God is the one who reveals truth to men. We are all at different paths on this journey. We all continually need our minds renewed with truth so we can walk in the new life God has given us; in freedom, not bondage. We do not become mature in Christ overnight, and we will always be in need of having our minds renewed, while in this sin-indwelling flesh that is in conflict with the Spirit. Those desires of the flesh have to be overcome as we learn to walk by the Spirit.
As we realize this, that teaches us what inner attitude of heart we should have toward others, a heart filled with long-suffering and patience, longing to be tender-hearted and gracious to others. We are all at a different understanding of the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said he has no greater desire than to see his children walking in the truth. But realize what we say or do manifests itself differently depending on the need and what the Lord would direct of us to say or do; at times correction is needed, at other times a strong rebuke may be needed, and certainly all of us are in need of daily encouragement.
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.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.
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