Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P558 (07-31-20)
As believers, we struggle at times with all kinds of life issues. A common issue is marriage, and especially so when one or the other spouse is not a believer. AS a born again believer, we have the Spirit of God living in us, and so we have access to God’s wisdom through his word, to renew our mind so our behavior is in accordance with who we are. But a non-believer does not have that resource, and therein lies the conflict. That is why the word of God instructs believers not to be unequally yoked, for what does light have to do with darkness.
Many times people call in to ask questions about sin and forgiveness. What do you do when you sin as a believer? Why do I still sin if I am saved? Those are some of the common questions people ask. These are symptoms of not fully understanding what Jesus provided for you at the cross. When Jesus died, he took away the cause of our death, which is sin, in order that life might be given. The wages, what we deserve and earn from sin, is death. Jesus took those sins away, and indeed the sins of the entire world, all the way back to Adam and forward to the person yet to be born and into eternity. His death was of such eternal value that it took away the sins of the world from the eyes of God, never to be seen again.
Jesus did this so that the next time you sinned you would not die again. Jesus paid the price of death for sin for us. He became sin for us, when his blood was shed on a cross, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. So, now with sin out of the way, Jesus rose again from the dead and ascended to His Father. So, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to anyone who is willing to put their faith in what He alone did for you.
He offers His life, eternal life, as a gift to anyone who would but their faith in Him. At the moment you receive Him by faith, you are born again, with the Holy Spirit living in you, sealed and never to leave you or forsake you. You have become a child of God, part of the family of God. Therefore, if you are in Christ, you are a forgiven person. When you have the life of God living in you, you received Him, and in Him you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. You have everything for life and godliness when you have the Spirit of God living in you.
Therefore, since there is no condemnation for you who are in Christ, since the punishment of sins was already paid in full, then the only thing you can do when you sin is to thank him for what He already did. It is not faith to ask God for what in Him you already have. You have been made complete in Christ, having all that you need. Now, what the Spirit is doing in you, is renewing your mind so that you may know what He has freely given, so that you may be convinced of His love for you, that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The reason you sin is because you stopped trusting Him, and Jesus is not dealing with you on the basis of the law of sin and death any more. You are not under that law. You are under the law of liberty in Christ Jesus. You are under a New Covenant of grace that God instituted after his death. The law was set aside, for it was weak and useless to make anyone right before God. Because man is spiritually dead, the law has no power to give life. All the law can do is condemn, and that was its purpose, so man might seek a savior. Once the law has done its work, there is no need for it in the life of a believer.
The Spirit of God deals with the believer as a son or daughter, a child of God, who needs counseling. He is called the Counselor. He is like a coach to train you, or discipline you, in the new game of life in Christ Jesus. You are trained to walk in the Spirit, to depend on Him. He wants you to abide in Him, to allow Him to live His life in you and through you. It is learning to walk in the newness of life, in the new way of the Spirit. When you walk by the Spirit, you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. That is the struggle today, in our sin-indwelt flesh, to overcome the world by the renewing of our mind. And God has made us overcomers in Him and He has promised to complete the work He began in us.
So when people understand the totality of the cross and being made complete in Christ through the resurrection of Christ, living in you, then they can walk in the new way of the Spirit. So many questions can be answered when people get a hold of this truth of the gospel. The gospel is a practical solution to the problem of man. Man is dead and in need of life. The only life available to man is the resurrected life in Christ Jesus.
So understand this also, the church is who you are, a child of God. So many believers are made to feel guilty because they do not go to church. In this day and age, with the lockdown of Coronavirus, hopefully, people are beginning to see that church is not a building on the corner of walk and don’t walk. The church is people who are born again. You do not go to who you are. You go to meet with people to learn truth, to fellowship and to prayer, to receive instruction in the word of God from the people of God.
So do not forsake meeting with believers for that purpose, but to meet among the so-called church, with stained glass windows, pews and tithing envelopes, is more often than not, is being led into manipulation and guilt and put under control, back under the law. Do not allow yourself to be put back under the law. Remember Christ is the head of the church. He is the one who guides you into all truth. The pastor, who is gifted in teaching, might help you process truth, to help you walk by faith in Christ Jesus, but God is the one who reveals truth to you. The pastor does not control you, for that is not his job. Jesus is the one who directs you.
Niles from Detroit, MI
Niles: I need some advice on something. I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I believe all you taught on salvation. Since that time, I have had a lot of marital problems. I am a father of six children. One of my children has moved out. I deal with all this stuff, and still walk in the newness of life. I do. I deal with all this stuff emotionally and mentally. Where do I start? My wife and I have been married for twelve years, and we are always at odds about something.
Bob: Niles, is she a born again believer?
Niles: Yes, she says she believes in Christ.
Bob: I mean, you are married to her. Do you believe she is a born again believer?
Niles: I am going to have to say no. Compared to what I know now, and compared to what I did not know, no.
Bob: Well, there is your problem. You are unequally yoked.
2 Corinthians 6:14-15
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
Bob: You see, Niles, the thing with marriage is this. God intended a marriage between a man depending totally on his creator, and a woman depending totally on her creator, and that is what brings unity between you on the parallel level. In other words, your relationship to God, and then on the horizontal level, is your relationship with one another. So if the two of you are depending upon the wisdom of God, you are going to get along with each other. It does not mean you may not have problems, or you may not have disagreements. You can say, “that is a man thing” and “that is a woman thing”. You have to come to the point of saying, “who cares”. “What we want is a God thing. I do not want to think like a man or think like a woman. I want to think like God.”
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Bob: That is male and female, having their minds renewed, away from this nonsense, “Oh, that is just a man thing”. “That is just a woman thing.” I know that is why you are in trouble. What God wants us to do is ask what God has to say about this subject. When you have two people living in dependency on wisdom from God, and advice that comes from God, then it is no longer what I think or she thinks but what God thinks on this matter.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[Jeremiah 9:24]
Bob: That is what causes unity, in the midst of diversity between male and female. You cannot have that when one person is lost and one is saved. Or, you cannot have that if one or the other is not living in dependence on God, leaning on his own understanding, trying to make determinations of life based on your own understanding, instead of going to the wisdom of God. The only solution to that type of thing is to try to discern, try to determine whether your wife really does know Christ as Lord and Savior, and if so, then we need to get into the scriptures, both of us. I am not saying you, but both of us. “We need to get into the scriptures to seek the wisdom of God in regard to all of these decisions, especially in regard to the children. We have not been doing that. We have been leaning on our own understanding. I am as guilty as you are. I want to turn over a new life. How about you?” That is the way I would approach that Niles. That is the only way you are going to make decisions predicated on the wisdom of God.
Niles: Alright. I appreciate that. Thanks, that helps. It really does. I appreciate that.
Bob: You are welcome. You keep us posted. If there is any way we can be of help, let us know.
Beth from Temple, TX
Beth: If a person is not going to a local church. I have been listening to the radio and listening to scripture. Is it a sin? Do you have to have a local church and somebody over you besides Christ, like a pastor?
Bob: You are not even supposed to have a pastor over you if you are sitting in church. But if you are asking if you have to be in church, the answer is no. There is no place in the bible, Beth, where it tells somebody to go to church. It tells the church to go to people, but there is no place it tells people to go to church. You are the church. How can you go to who you are? It is like I am going to the body. You are the body of Christ.
Beth: When I asked the question, then the passage says, I gave some to be a pastor, some to be an evangelist, …
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Bob: For the equipping of the saints for their work of ministry. What is our work of ministry? When they asked Jesus, “what was the work of ministry?”, he said “to believe in Me”.
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
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: That is the work of the ministry, to believe in Him. There is only one thing that you can do. That apart from Christ you can do nothing, then there is only one work you can do and that is to abide in Christ who can. You can’t and He can, and He did and He does. The issue is you are the church, the body of Christ so how can you go to yourself? You already are the body of Christ.
Beth: It does say to not forsake the assembly of yourselves together.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (KJV)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Bob: But does that mean go to a building on the corner of walk and don’t walk or does it mean that wherever you meet with other believers that is the church? Did not Jesus say when two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of you?
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Beth: Yes, sir.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Bob: So are you saying that two or more gathered at a coffee shop, that Jesus would not be there because you were not inside a building you called a church? In the early days there was no such thing as church buildings. That happened unfortunately when Constantine made it a national religion. Everybody had to go to church so they had big buildings to house them. Prior to that, they all met in homes. How many people met in those homes? I do not know. Two, three, or forty? We do not know. We do know that whenever people are gathering together for the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer, which is what the early church said they gathered for.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Bob: It is not the church. That is the church meeting together. You are the church. That is the church meeting. As far as the local church, there is nothing in the bible about the local church. The local church means the body of Christ is meeting in a local area. The church of Ephesus, what was it? The people in Ephesus, who are born again, meet together. So, they are all a part of the universal church, but they lived in Ephesus. So what is the church in Ephesus? Born again believers meeting together in Ephesus.
Bob: When they began to make church a requirement, why of course you have what you have today, a building filled up with people and the majority do not know the Lord from an apple tree. On top of that, we accentuate that by coming up with programs to reach the lost, and they never get saved, so you have to keep building bigger buildings to house people, who do not know the Lord or do not have any interest in knowing the Lord.
There is only one way to be saved and that is knowing Jesus. It has nothing to do with church at all. Faith in Jesus alone is what saves you. We placed all this emphasis on the local body. We have got our mind on the body instead of the head.
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
Beth: They always ask me. Right now I do not attend a local church. They always ask me, “What church do you go to?” The first thing a person asks is, “What church do you go to?”
Bob: Tell them it is the person of Jesus Christ. I am the church. I would answer them with what truth is. I am the church. What do you mean go to church? I am the church, if you are in Christ Jesus, not in a denomination. I am not talking about where you park your body on Sunday or Saturday, but if you are in Christ Jesus, you too are the church. What are you talking about? Quite frankly, you will stump people with that.
Beth: Yes, sir.
Bob: See, we need to learn this is not Christianity. Christianity is not something of conformity. There was nothing to conform to in the early church. They were rebels, in essence. They were totally contrary to the traditions of the day. That is why people hated Jesus. He did not conform to their traditions. The same is true today. Everyone says that, again, that you have to go into a building with stained glass with an organ, a choir and tithing envelopes and you are in church. The issue is, “I am sorry, but in most of those places there probably isn’t one person in it who belongs to church. It is a bunch of lost people gathering together to practice religion”. That is not true in all cases, but in many cases it is.
Beth: You got to this church, and you have to do whatever the preacher says, because the bible says to obey those in authority over you, who watches out for your souls.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
1 Peter 5:2
2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;
Bob: I will tell you something. I am a pastor. I do not hold anything over anybody. I am not there to do that. I am there to equip the body for work of ministry. I have one goal and that is to help people to walk by faith in Christ Jesus. I do not want to control people. If I am controlling them, then how is God going to control them? We have nothing to control. The reason that you meet is for the apostle’ teaching, fellowship and prayer. It does not say the reason you meet is to get controlled by some control freak who calls himself a pastor. I am a pastor, so I am not against church. I have a church, but I have a church who is not under control by control freaks.
Beth: So, watch for the soul. Does that not mean the pastor is to be that way?
Bob: You have a multiplicity of pastors in the New Testament. You have elders and you have pastors, not a pastor but pastors. Their job is to be a shepherd to the flock. That is not a control thing. That does not say to be controlling people at all. What would I control you with? Would I tell you what to do?
Beth: But it says to obey them that have rule over you.
Bob: Who is over us? It is Jesus. Not some pastor. You may be under a pastor who does not know the Lord. I will tell you something. I never went to church. At San Bernardino, CA I never knew a pastor who knew the Lord. So does that mean I am to be under him?
Bob: Forget it. Get rid of that organization type of thing. It doesn ’ t matter where you park your car on Sunday. If you are going to church, you ought to be going to receive instruction, to receive bible teaching, and for fellowship and prayer with other people. You are not going there to be controlled. You are going there to learn, to express that love that has been expressed to you by God to the body of Christ around you. People need to get rid of all this organization stuff. That is what organizes the Holy Spirit right out of the joy of the Lord that you have.
Beth: Yes, I know.
Bob: So get rid of that idea. If you cannot find a place where you can go and be yourself and not be controlled and learn scriptures and turn around and love people who are learning with you. If you cannot find a place like that, stay at home. Find believers in your home. What is the difference in home and church? You probably do not have stained glass in it. What is the difference? It is church meeting. If you had three people who met in your home that would be the church meeting. You are not under this organizational structure.
Beth: They say you have to be with everything that goes on.
Bob: That is intellectual suicide. Then tell them you are leaving. In order to remain there, you have to do everything they say, then say ’Good bye. Farewell, forever”. Yes, why would you want to stay around with a bunch of control freaks. I would not want to stay there for five minutes.
Beth: I understand real good now. Thank you again, okay.
Kenneth from Denver, CO
Kenneth: My concern, and it is a big concern, because in the process of giving myself over to the Lord, and I talk to all these people, and I listen to preachers, listen to television and read the bible. After you become saved, you give yourself to the Lord, and you ask Jesus to come into your heart. You have no real assurance it has happened except for a change of action, right?
Bob: Change of attitude, Kenneth. A change of action? You can change actions about knowing the Lord, but you cannot change your heart or attitude.
Kenneth: Okay, I understand that. Okay, let us say, that I halfway believe I am, what I call vested in the Lord. What happens if I go sin again?
Bob: What do you mean when or if? You already have, probably. Well, let us get it straight, Kenneth. Let me see if I could help you.
Kenneth: I wish somebody could.
Bob: Well, I guarantee I can help you. If you listen carefully, we will get that problem solved for you tonight. It says in scripture, in 1 John 5:9-12, “This is the record. We accept man’s testimony”. We are so eager for man to tell me what to believe. “Pastor, tell me what to believe. Tell me what to believe.” We are not the ones to tell you what to believe. God is. This is what God says. It says in this passage of scripture. ”We accept man’s testimony but God’s testimony is greater, because the testimony of God what He has given about His Son, is greater”.
1 John 5:9-10
9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.
Bob: If you have truly put your faith in the totality of Christ Jesus, the testimony that you are in His son is in your heart.
1 John 5:10-12
Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Bob: This is the testimony. God has given you, Kenneth, this testimony. You, Kenneth, who has Son has the life.
1 John 5:13-15
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Bob: He did not say “hope so”. It says “so that you may know you have eternal life”. How do you know you have eternal life? Because you have the Son. How do you know you have the Son? Because I believe with all my heart what the bible says what He did for me. What did Jesus do for you?
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 2:2
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
We are told in Romans that while you were yet an enemy, and that means when you were lost. You and I were born lost, not saved. We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son. Reconciliation is what took place at the cross, where He who knew no sin became sin for you so you could become the righteousness of God in Him. It is where Jesus took your punishment and put it on Himself, and He came in between you and God and said, “I will take it. I will take Kenneth’ punishment on Himself”. There He went to a cross and took away the sins of the entire world. When He went to the cross, He took away the sins of the entire world, back to Adam forward to eternity from the eyes of God never to see them again. Those sins are gone. Why did He do that? Because, we are told, the wages of sin is death. You and I are born into this world dead spiritually. Now, if I am dead, I need life, don’t I?
Bob: The only way that Jesus could give you life eternal was to take away eternally the cause of death, which was sin. So he had to go to a cross and take away all sins from the eyes of God before he could give you life eternal. Because if he gave you life and did not take away all the sins, the next time you sinned you would die again. The reason that you and I know we have eternal life is because we know, at the cross, Jesus took away the sins of the world. He did not continue sacrifices.
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Bob: By that one offering he made forever perfect, complete. You are complete right now in the eyes of God, all of those who are the holy ones. When God looks at you, He sees the righteousness of Christ, not your righteousness, you never had any, but His. It is all His salvation. You did not earn it, and therefore you cannot try to keep it. You just relax in it. You take a vacation in Jesus and say “thank you.” That is why you know you are saved. That is why that testimony in John says this is God’s testimony. This is not man’s testimony. You can go to man and he will tell you all kinds of testimonies. But this is God“s testimony.
1 John 5:11-15
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Kenneth: What is it?
Bob: Before you go somewhere else, do you believe what you have heard?
Kenneth: Yes, I believe that or I would not be where I am at?
Bob: Do you trust that Jesus has taken away your sins?
Kenneth: Yes, I do. That is the problem. I trust Him but I feel no different. Okay?
Bob: Feelings will deceive you, Kenneth.
Kenneth: I know they do. The devil bombards me every day. Every day he has these fun and games with me.
Bob: Do not think you are alone and do not get all upset on that one.
Kenneth: God says those God does not chasten, they are bastards and not God’s sons.
5 “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[Proverbs 3:11-12]
Bob: Kenneth, where did you get into this? You are brand new, saved, and the first thing somebody taught you is that you are not a son if you are not chastened.
Kenneth: No. No. Somebody did not teach me.
Kenneth: Hebrews 12:5-6. It is talking about chastening.
Bob: Do you want to know what that means?
Bob: Kenneth, hold on a minute? Are you a brand new Christian. I have been a Christian for forty years, so let me talk and you listen to me.
Kenneth: I have a problem with that, Bob.
Bob: Yes, you really do. You are not going to learn by talking. You are going to learn by listening.
Kenneth: Okay. Go.
Bob: Okay. In that place that you are reading is a quote out of Proverbs 3:11-12. This is a quote out of Proverbs.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
Bob: The only difference is it is misquoted because in Proverbs, it reads, “My Son do not make light of the Lords discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you because the Lord disciplines those he loves as a loving father with a small child.”
Bob: We do not need to go into all the difficulties of that, but when it was translated from the Hebrew into the Greek. We are going to get complicated here. The word had changed it’s meaning from “inquiring deeply with, in love” to “punished”. That is how it was translated in some translations, but it was a quote out of proverbs and if you read it you will understand what it means. So the discipline of the Lord is not punishment.
Kenneth: I know that. The word chastens tells you that.
Bob: Yes. Discipline is preparation for the game. You do not punish football players. You discipline them so they know how to play the game. Discipline is out of the word of God. The word of God is what disciplines our mind and teaches us truth that sets us free. Forget about punishment. Romans says there is no punishment for those who are in Christ Jesus.
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.
Bob: The punishment that you deserved went upon Jesus. That is why there is no more punishment for your sin. Discipline looks forward to discipline. It is what teaches you. You will never be punished by God. Jesus took that punishment for you.
Kenneth: So let’s say I jumped the rope and sinned again?
Bob: Sure you will. Thank him for His forgiveness. You just got through saying you believed He took away your sins. So the only thing you can do when that occurred is to thank Him for it. Realize the reason you sinned is because you stopped trusting Him, and ask Him to continue teaching you why He is worthy of being trusted.