Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P672 (09-17-21)
Growing in Grace: Study the Word to Get to Know the Author, Who lives in you
If you just recently became a new believer, born again by the Spirit of God, then you need to grow. Just as a baby born physically of a mom and dad, there is a need for food and exercise, as well as just getting to know your parents, that has to occur. So too, when you are born again from above, by the Spirit of God, the Spirit is placed in you so you can get to know the one who made you into a new creation. The food is the word of God and the one who reveals the meaning of the word of God to you is the Spirit of God who lives in you.
So as a new born infant in Christ, not much is expected of you. You certainly do not expect much fruit out of a baby any more than you can expect a baby to be driving a car. As you read the bible, relying on the Spirit to explain things to you, you will have questions. Sometimes, someone mature in Christ can help you understand a passage you have read by explaining what it means to you in its context. Then you can go back and read it again, as well as the whole chapter and the entire book of the bible, and so you can confirm in your own heart that what he says is true or not. But what you do not want to do is simply accept something as truth just because John MacArthur or even Bob George says it is true, or whoever your favorite teacher is. What happens if two pastors are both persuasive of speech, and are very convincing how they share something, with illustrations, but what they say contradict each other? So now, you have a conflict. How will you know which one is telling you the truth? Ultimately, you have to rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the meaning of the word of God. And the Holy Spirit promises to guide the believer into all truth.
Now, if all a believer does is go to a church on Sunday, carry his bible but never opens it to even read it for himself, and that church is teaching error, then that is how apostasy can occur. The pastor could be teaching error, saying tithing is for today, to keep short accounts with God, or to get the second baptism of the Spirit, and such teaching never gets tested or challenged, and so the majority there holds those things to be true. But, if you had checked out the scriptures for yourself, relying not on your own understanding, but relying on the Spirit to teach you, you would realize what the error is and replace that error with truth. That is exactly what the scriptures instructs us to do, to be transformed by the renewing of the mind to know His good, pleasing and perfect will.
See, error is what binds you and truth is what sets you free. For example, you read a passage in the gospels of John, where it says if you do not forgive your brother then neither will God forgive you, but fail to understand that Jesus said this to those Israelites still living under an Old Covenant system, then you will fail to understand that that is not written to you, who live under a New Covenant of grace. So then, you do not grab a hold of the fact that God has already forgiven you and the person you sinned against is what needs to be straightened out. You spend all your time trying to get forgiveness from God who has already forgiven you instead of going to your brother to get the matter resolved between the two of you. This and many other passages of scriptures are not understood when you have not understood the totality of the cross and of being made a new creation of God under a New Covenant of grace.
Oftentimes, many a church does a new believer disservice to their growth by trying to get them busy for God. If a person is not acquainted with God He has just come to know and this New Covenant of grace He is under, then how does He know what it means to walk in the Spirit? He will be doing things in the energy of the flesh. We have to realize that apart from Him we can do nothing. A good passage of scripture that we can read over and over again is John 15, for that is what Jesus taught us in how this Christian life is to be lived. We cannot live it. We are a branch and we rely on the vine, who is Christ, to produce the fruit of the Spirit, as we read about in Galatians 5:22-23. We can bear the fruit but we cannot produce it. There is this necessary growing in grace that has to occur where we learn to walk in this new way of the Spirit, having this relational trust in the living God, and not trying to operate in the energy of the flesh. It is the model of Jesus’ faith when He walked on this earth. He did nothing of His own initiative but did exactly what His Father told Him to do and exactly what His Father told Him to say and how to say it. There is this complete dependency of Jesus on His Father, so that although He is God, He functioned like a man, so that we, who are not God, will know how we are created to function.
So listen as Bob George answers the questions by various callers, helping them to understand forgiveness, baptism of the Spirit, walking by the Spirit, worshiping in Spirit and in truth. So let us grow in grace, not letting ourselves be tainted by the world but rather have our minds renewed with truth. Let Him lead us internally rather than externally by men.
So, be as a Berean today, read the word of God for yourself and test all things and verify by trusting in the Holy Spirit to teach you all truth.
11 Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.
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