Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P674 (09-24-21)
Be Set Free From the Law by the Grace of God
We were all born dead. Some of you are raised under one denomination or another, whether Catholic, Protestant or Jehovah Witnesses or something else. Or maybe you had no religious background at all. In any case, at some point you are exposed to truth. Maybe you believed in reincarnation, but you willing listened to someone who challenged you as to why you believe what you believe and pointed you to what was written concerning Jesus Christ. And if you never heard of him before, even our calendars make reference to him as being a historical person of significance.
Now, if you are a believer, and you are conversing with the lost, it is good to be patient, kind and gentle while you hold out truth to them. It is good to listen much and ask questions, to dialog with someone to understand why they think the way they do, and then offer them an alternative way to think from what you have read from the bible, an account of Jesus Christ by those who walked and talked with Him, and witnessed His death, burial and resurrection. Listen as Bob George provides some pointers with a caller on communicating with her lost neighbor or friend.
Now, if you grew up in church, you may have also had confusing or even erroneous teaching. And as you come to know Christ, you begin to ask questions about the purpose of the law and are getting more familiar with what grace is. So you ask, “What is the purpose of the law?” and “As a believer, every time I sin, do I not break the law?” These are good questions and to your surprise you find out that the bible answers these kinds of questions. Listen as Bob George talks to a caller from what the apostle Paul has to say on the matter in Romans and Galatians. Take a look at Romans 3:19-20, Galatians 3:19-24, Romans 6:23 and James 2:10.
Bob George uses the illustration of a mirror to explain this concept that you are no longer under the law but under grace. The law can no more remove sin than a mirror can remove dirt from your face. The law can only make you conscious of sin. The law can only condemn you, and cannot do anything to make you right before God. You need the grace of God to deal with your sin and to give you life. God sent His Son to take away the cause of our death, which is sin, by becoming sin for us and dying on a cross. That took care of the sin problem so life could be given. That allowed us to be out from under the law of sin and death, that the wages of sin is death. He did this in order to give us what we really need, which is His righteousness. Since Jesus rose from the dead, the same life that raised Him from the dead is offered to you as a gift to be received. By faith in Him, He comes to live inside you. So when you have Jesus living in you, then you have been made holy, or set apart from the thinking of the world, having received the holiness of God. When this transaction occurs, then you are no longer under the law but under grace. The law was made for the unrighteous, the lost, so they may recognize their condition of wretchedness, of spiritual death due to sin, that they might seek a Savior in Jesus Christ.
As you grow in Christ, you will probably want to be among like-minded believers for mutual encouragement and growth in the Lord. By reading the word, allowing the Spirit to teach you truth, your mind gets renewed. Oftentimes, people who are mature in Christ can be of help to your growth in the Lord as well, pointing you to what the Spirit has revealed to them what truth is, that you can confirm as true by the Spirit living in you, and will teach you to trust Jesus while modeling before you what that looks like.
As you read the scriptures, God gives people as gifts to the church, to the people of God. There are overseers, deacons, elders and pastors. The overseer is essentially overseeing the people in a church, as a person in a position of authority, to make final decisions in regard to the church. Deacons are often the servants, such as waiting on tables or looking after widows and orphans, and taking the burden off of a pastor so he can dedicate his time in the word so as to preach and teach truth to the people. The elders are often those mature in the Lord who ensure that truth and proper doctrine is taught among the various ministries and bible studies going on. But all of them serve in some capacity as pastor-teachers, who can correctly handle the word of truth and have wisdom to care for the needs of the body.
One thing that needs not be done is have women in positions of authority over a man, as scripture instructs us. Women can certainly serve as teachers, but just not in a capacity of having authority over a man. There is a design in God’s creation, where women have different roles than men. Certainly, only women can have a baby. In this culture, there has been a trend to push women into military service or to work outside the home. But those trends tend to hinder the most important function for proper church growth, and that is to build strong families. If a woman is at home, she can instruct her children and nurture them in the way of the Lord, teaching them to love and care for one another and hold onto sound teaching, living under the grace of God, and modeling that before her children at home.
As your own individual family is growing in the Lord, certain practical matters arise that have to be dealt with. Children of all ages have their unique needs and as children become teenagers, do not hesitate to address those topics about God’s design for sex in the context of marriage. Provide them guidance and warnings as to those issues we all have to deal with, the battle of the flesh in conflict with the Spirit, who lives in us. We are vulnerable to all kinds of temptations in this world, and it is good to train your children and teach about those dangers that can happen if they do not guard their heart. So have those conversations with your son and his girlfriend openly about dating or sex and the boundaries God has for us because God knows what is best for us. Do it in the spirit of grace, not as a letter of the law. Remember that the law is what stirs up sin, but grace actually frees you to mold the attitudes of your heart, and it is out of your heart that comes the issues of life. So let us hold onto that faith in God. When you know God loves you perfectly, then what kind of life will you be living in response to God’s love for you?
So remember all of us have and will fall short of the glory of God but we can go boldly to the throne of grace for help in time of need. There is no one who is righteous and the righteousness we do have, if you are in Christ Jesus, is the righteousness of God, for we have none of our own. Some of us may have had a very difficult upbringing, of a father who was never home or abused you, and lived under any manner of harsh conditions, maybe even an alcoholic father, or someone who is violent or cruel. Maybe that affected you so bad that you could not comprehend what love is. Maybe you got involved in all kinds of evil behavior and you wonder how God could even love you. But God does love you. He loved all of us while we were yet sinners and demonstrated that love by dying on a cross, bearing all our sin and shame, knowing all about us. So listen to this testimony of a pastor who once was lost in such a terrible upbringing and sinful lifestyle. He is so grateful to God and thankful to Bob George and expresses that gratitude. What stands out is this. He who is forgiven much, loves much.
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