Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P656 (07-30-21)
Salvation: Totality of the Cross, Being Made Complete in Christ and Growing in Grace
As people are growing in grace, they have questions. Oftentimes, they read passages of scriptures like Hebrews 6:4-6, that they just do not understand it yet. So they call up on a program such as this, or if they are around like-minded believers, where they are free to ask questions in order to grow in grace, they get guidance from mature believers, who rightly divide the word of truth. Many times people have not grabbed a hold of truth because there is something missing in their understanding. Of course, if you just got saved yesterday, you are still on the milk of the word, and that is where you are at. You have not had much time in the word of God yet. So it is helpful to have pastor-teachers that teach truth, help out in our understanding.
Many times people grow up in the church world and they may have memorized all kinds of scriptures, but it as if the scriptures are all put in a basket, and as they pull out scriptures, they do not seem to connect or relate to one another. You are missing the context of the scripture in the book that it was written, and so you do not understand the meaning of the scriptures you have memorized. You are lacking the big picture of the whole of the bible. You do not understand the purpose of the Old Covenant, or that the Old Covenant has been set aside for a New Covenant of grace, which God ushered in after His death, burial and resurrection, and under which we live under today. You may have even heard half a gospel, or an incomplete gospel, that Jesus died for your sins, but you have not heard much about the resurrection. Or you may not have heard or had much teaching on the New Covenant. You may have even been taught error, that tithing is for today, which is an example of commingling law and grace, or that you must ask God to forgive you when you sin.
People come to conclude they have not fully grasped that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, all the sins back to Adam and forward to eternity, for the person yet to be born. Otherwise they would not keep asking God to forgive them when they sin. There is this concept of the totality of the cross that many people have not quite grasped yet. God reconciled the world unto Himself through the death of Christ on a cross, in order that through life received in Him we may live a new life. We are saved by His life but His death was a necessary preparation for life to be given. For if Jesus had not died, then if eternal life could have been and was given, then the next time man sinned he would die again, for the wages of sin is death. But, He is not counting our sins against us, and He remembers our sins no more. 2 Corinthians 5:19
Salvation is not getting your sins forgiven, for they already were, but in Him you receive forgiveness of sins provided then and become a forgiven person, a new creation, with Christ alive living in you. Salvation is receiving, at a certain moment time in your life, Christ as your life and then coming to understand that new life God has given. Salvation is becoming alive from the dead, as you were born dead, without the Spirit of God, so the Spirit of God had to be placed in you at new spiritual birth.
As you grow in grace, being born again and having spent enough time in God’s word, you come to realize more fully all that Jesus accomplished for you by His death, burial and resurrection. You start asking questions like, “What did Jesus’ death accomplish for me?” or “What is the meaning of His resurrection?”, as you read 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul talks about these things, and how without the resurrection we are still dead in our sins. What does it mean to be dead? Death is the absence of life. Whose life? So you ask these questions and you come to the conclusion that God restored you to true humanity, with the Spirit of God living in you, that you have been made complete in Christ. Note that our bible study booklets are excellent resources for studying the word of God and prompt you with questions like this. They are available from our ecommerce website.
Have you understood the totality of the cross or that you have been made complete in Christ? If not, that hinders you from understanding passages in scriptures, in Hebrews for example, because you do not have a solid foundation on truth. Jesus is the cornerstone, the solid foundation that you build on. Your mind is replaced with truth as you rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you through His word. You read John 15, the illustration Jesus gave us to describe how man is designed to function, as Jesus is the vine and you are the branch. You come to understand how Christ is alive living in you. You depend on Him, and you learn to trust Him, so He produces the fruit of the Spirit, what you read about in Galatians 5. Then you read about walking in the Spirit, and you find yourself sinning less as you understand what that means. You are not focusing on trying to stop sinning but on Christ who is your life and so you do not carry out the desires of the flesh. You understand what it means where it says the law kills but the Spirit gives life.
It is helpful to ask questions of scripture as you read through the word of God. For example, in 1 John 2:2, in the New American Standard bible, you read that Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. So you ask what propitiation means? You ponder over the fact it says He died for the sins of the whole world. When you come across phrases in Hebrews like, “sinning against the knowledge of truth”, you ask what does that mean? What is sin according to Jesus? You come across a passage in John 16:9 that says sin is unbelief in Jesus, and in John 17, where Jesus came to prove the world wrong about what sin is. So when you then read in Hebrews 9:22, that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness, you can come to certain conclusions. So if Jesus shed His blood on a cross, which sins have been forgiven? All of them since he is not counting sins anymore, as we read in Hebrews in regard to the New Covenant we are under, and He is not coming back again to die on a cross. So what is the only sin that God cannot forgive, and that needs to be repented of? The sin of unbelief in Jesus. You start connecting scriptures together. If Jesus died for the sins of the world and sin is unbelief in Jesus, and Jesus took away the sins of the whole world and remembers them no more and all my sins were in the future when Jesus died, and He is alive forevermore and I received His life, then He is living in me. You come to conclusions as you read the scriptures. I think that is how we grow in grace. We magnify the Lord in our heart. We are amazed by His mercy and grace. We respond to His love and allow His love to change us, and so we make ourselves available to the living God to live His life in us and through us. We have the mind of Christ to instruct us and teach us the meaning of His word and allow truth to set us free.
So listen as Bob George explains the meaning of scripture to various callers. He is explaining truth by what He believes God has revealed to Him by the Spirit, over much time spent with the Lord in His word, as He seeks to walk out this faith in the day to day. He desires as a pastor-teacher to help those with questions they have. You have the Spirit in you and so you can look up these passages and read whole chapters and books of the bible to confirm whether what he says is true. You have the mind of Christ, who has promised to guide you into all truth. If you have the Spirit of God living in you, God will reveal truth to you through His word.
Rest on the word of God today. Jesus is not counting your sins against you!
2 Corinthians 5:19
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
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