Classic Christianity – Unity in the Faith P1 (1-14-19)
Welcome to Classic Christianity radio with Bob George, where Bob’s clear and timeless teachings on the complete forgiveness and unconditional love of Jesus Christ will transform your life as you learn about God’s amazing grace. Let’s join Bob as he teaches us from God’s word on a three part message on the unity in the faith.
Bob shares about the the unity in the Spirit of God, who in His foreknowledge, predestination, and election, offers salvation to the Gentile in the same way as for the Jew.
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
This was a mystery, mustérion in Greek, a truth revealed at the time God chose to reveal it. A truth that was not known prior to the revelation of God to his people. This revelation came through the Apostle Paul. He was set apart as an Apostle to the Gentile. In human understanding this seems like an illogical choice. Why would God send a teacher of the Jews, a pharisee of Pharisees, steeped in law, to bring a new revelation of salvation to the Gentile, who were excluded from citizenship in Israel and knew nothing of the law and cared less? You would think God would send him to the Jews with his wisdom. Yet instead, God chose Peter, an uneducated fishermen to be an Apostle to the Jews.
For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
God chose to use the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He uses people who are available to him. You cannot depend on your natural talents when God’s Spirit is at work.
An intellectual Jew, and the worst of all sinners, was sent to the Gentiles and an uneducated Jew was sent to the Jew. Paul said he considered his background as all dung in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ his Lord.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Gentile was not given the law. He did not go to the Gentile when was he was steeped in his training under law to those who were never under the law. He decided to know n nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
This mystery was held in the heart of God before the foundation of the world. Even though the prophets spoke about the salvation of the Gentiles, such knowledge was hidden to the minds of men.
6 He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
So salvation was for the ends of the earth, to all men.
Even in the Old Covenant, provision was made for the Gentile.
6 “I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord,
who serve him and love his name,
who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest,
and who hold fast to my covenant.
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem
and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.
I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,
because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
11 Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you.
What was still unknown was how was salvation going to be revealed and through whom. This salvation is a permanent taking away of sin and the giving of new life, eternal life, to man, and is going to happen, and has already happened now, for both the Jew and the Gentile. That was hidden until Christ was revealed. And salvation came to the Jews first through Jesus Christ, a Jew. The revelation of this same way of salvation for the Jew was later made known to the Gentile through the apostle Paul.
For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence.
God had predestined all along, even before creation, that he would choose us, both Jew and Gentile, indeed all mankind, to be holy and blameless in Him. This concept of predestination is further described in Ephesians chapters 1 and 2. Predestination, election and adoption is nothing more and nothing less that God predestined the Gentile to be saved the same way as a Jew is predetermined to be saved, in Him. Salvation is for the whole category of mankind, both Jew and Gentile, in accordance with God’s will that none should perish but all should come to repentance. This is nothing to do with individuals, such as you and me, as if some are chosen and others are not, but the whole of mankind as being in God’s heart and plan all along to be chosen for salvation. But who believed the message? That is the real question!
In Romans 8, Paul explains predestination to the believers in Rome.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Look at the transition to verse 30. You have been justified, sanctified and glorified. Don’t use the transition to list all the things applicable to you. This transition is context of “you and also someone else”, a collective group of people. In this translation, the word “those” is used, referring to many brothers and sisters, including both Jew and Gentile. The book of Ephesians uses this same collective understanding in regards to recipients of God’s grace, both Jews and Gentiles, the whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord.
Think about “And those he predestined, he also called …” Who else did he predestine? The Jew only? No. The Jews but also the Gentile, that he might be the firstborn of many brothers. Not just Jewish brothers but Gentile brothers also. Predestined and called. Those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified, to the Jew and Gentile alike.
To the entire world, God put forth his plan of salvation, first to the Jew and then to the Gentile.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Continuing in Romans 8, we read.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
What shall we say in response to this? Is it just words to us?
Did any of us deserve or earn justification before God? No! Look at ourselves as God sees us. God sees into our hearts. Do you look into your own heart and say “Oh. No wonder He accepted me as wonderful as I am? ” No! You would have to intellectually dishonest and proud to think that. We are all unpredictable. We can speak out of the same mouth blessing and cursing within minutes of each other. Praising Jesus driving down the highway until someone cuts out in front of you. We know ourselves very well if we are intellectually honest.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Here we have a totally righteous and holy God. How can we go into the presence of God in our righteousness? We cant’!
When we see these terms, marvel at the significance of them. Because God in His wisdom, saw our need of salvation, our need to be reconciled to our creator. He justified, He glorified, all this predestined in the mind of God, in his foreknowledge that this should happen. Also in his foreknowledge that to all who come to him by faith, to be conformed to the image of His Son. The final confirmation is when we are absent from the body and in the presence of the Lord, the ultimate glory. Bob George is in that ultimate glory right now. The greatest event that will happen in our life is the day we die.
1 John 3:3
1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
And as to this present life, our hope is Christ in us, as Paul expressed this thought, and is for the benefit of the body of Christ.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
God did not have to do what he did for our salvation. But this was his plan before the foundation of the world, to provide these things for you and me, because He loved us.
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Hang onto that truth for we will find a lot of people against us. The only thing to bring us out of “woe is me” is this truth. It does not matter who is against if God is for me. This will Keep us on track when face rejection, insult and injury.
You cannot love if you cannot trust. That is an impossibility. How many of us are 100 percent trustworthy? Why do I have so much trouble loving? Because I find it impossible to trust. The only person I can enter into a true loving relationship is Jesus Christ for he is the only one I can trust explicitly. Some things we can trust each other for and other things we can’t. I can trust my wife explicitly for her faithfulness. Can I trust my wife to keep loving me if I was to chase all these girls around. I would not trust her to trust me unconditionally regardless of what I did. I could not trust my wife to trust me unconditionally regardless of what I did. Our trust for others is limited. In the area of love and trust, love between each other is limited. But the only way to truly love is when you know of his love.
God is love, and He alone is perfect love. I know I can trust God with every aspect of my life because He knows me the best and loves me the most. He knows my every thought and can still love me is a miracle. Enter this relationship, that man has never experienced on a human level and never will. This Agape love is the kind of love that can only come from God. Think of the magnitude of this love.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
I need to be loved and accepted unconditionally. That love cannot be initiated by you and me, but can only come from God. Deep need to believe and be accepted unconditionally. God gave that need because only fulfilled by God. Until receive that need from God then seek to meet that need by any person to fulfill that need, and yet never find it. No one can meet that need. Instead, you will meet heartache after heartache trying to get that impossible need met by another person. And that need will never be met in any person but God.
All things God did for us is explaining in detail His love.
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Jew, will you bring a charge against the Gentile? Will trouble or hardship separate us from the love of God? Paul came to know this love of God for he lived in trouble and hardship and persecution.
36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are more than conquerors! Are you convinced of something? Not just know something, but convinced so that it becomes a part of your life. What was Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians?
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Paul asked for the power to know the vast dimensions of the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Pray to know that love and be convinced of it. Why? It will change your life!
The only way to experience unconditional love is through Him and Him alone! Nothing, neither height nor depth, nor angels nor demons, nor anything in all creation, will separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Is there anything to fear? No. What is going to happen here? God does not give us a spirit of fear.
1 Timothy 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
The biggest proponents of fear it seem are the Christians. God did not give us that spirit. Perfect love casts out fear. Why does God want us to be convinced of his perfect love. Fear paralyzes you and he does not want that for you. He wants what is best for you and wants you to live in freedom. It is for freedom that Christ set you free. Illnesses and physical ailments are often caused by a continual attitude of fear. We do not know the extent of how devastating fear is to the human psychic. Why does God want you to know His love? He wants to cast out that which devastates humanity. He loves you and me. Satan lives in promoting fear. Satan has one goal, and that is, to keep you fearful so as to keep you away from the love of God. If God can keep you steeped in His love, He can keep you from fear.
Be convinced of God’s love. There is nothing in this world that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Predestination, God’s plan all along before the foundation of the world, and motivated by His love, for both the Jew and the Gentile to be conformed to the image of Christ. He predestined to have the gospel presented so as to allow man to respond to truth.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
What is that power for? To grasp in your head how high, how wide, how deep, how long, is the love of God. That takes power because Satan does anything in his power to snatch that seed away.
To Him be glory in the church. Who is the church? People, the Ecclesia, not building, not a place go to on Sunday, but you are the church. Born again people only are God’s church. When meeting in an assembly on Sundays, there are believers and unbelievers present, those who just parrot verses and homilies or who just act as a Christian ought to act. There are assemblies where neither the pastor nor the one’s sitting there in the pews know the Lord. Such people cannot present what they do not know. So the church is not something that is on the corner of walk and don’t walk. If what we call churches on every corner are so effective then why do we have crime all around? Nothing going on in these buildings unless someone proclaiming truth and the gospel. Only those by faith and faith alone are called Ecclesia, is his church, and are in his body.
Bob continues sharing from Ephesians 4.
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
If you are a child of God, a recipient of His unconditional love and acceptance, then I urge you to live a life consistent with who you are. You are a recipient of the love of God. What are the only two commands he gave us?
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
If man is not a recipient of God’s love, can he really love? No. But if God is lived in you and through you, then truly the love of God is manifested for the world to see. WE love because he first loved us. Jesus said this to the religious Jew under law so he wold recognize his inability to obey this law even though he answered correctly. Yes, if he could obey this perfectly and not sin once, then he would live. But only Jesus completely obeyed the law and only he could. That is why scriptures is stated that the just shall live by faith, by faith in the son of God who loved him and gave himself for him.
Love God and love your neighbor are the only two laws that God said he will put in the hearts of those who believed the gospel.
That is not so in the Old Covenant, under the law of Moses. In the Old Covenant, the work of Jesus was not completed, so the Jews were put under the law of Moses, as a tutor to their hearts to lead them to Christ. Jesus said in reference to the New Covenant he will start after his death, that replaced the Old Covenant, that he would write the laws in their hearts, not the law of Moses. In Hebrews, a letter explaining the New Covenant, contrasting it with the Old Covenant, is the only place you will see laws (plural). I will put my laws (plural) in their hearts. Everywhere else is law (singular).
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
We have been recipients of God’s unconditional acceptance and love. So we are instructed to go and do likewise, because the Spirit of God dwells in us. Can we love and accept others unconditionally in the energy of the flesh? No. Not in the flesh, for the flesh is in conflict with the Spirit so that I do not do what I want. So, walk in the Spirit so you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. But if the Spirit of God is not in you, how can you walk in the person you do not have?
So, who has the right to become children of God?
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
And if you are a child of God, you are adopted into the family of God, and have the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ dwelling in you, so you can discern the things of God. Those who are born again are born again spiritually, that is, having the Holy Spirit placed in you, as your teacher and comforter, to be with you forever.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
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Taking The Confusion Out of Predestination
PREDESTINATION is one of the most misunderstood truths of the Bible. In a clear, concise way, Bob George cuts through all the confusion surrounding this important topic. See how the mystery, that was hidden in the heart of God since the beginning of time, was revealed by the Apostle Paul to bring about unity of faith among Jew and Gentile believers alike. In this series, Bob tackles other related topics, such as: the foreknowledge of God, adoption, and man’s free will. If you’ve ever had difficulty understanding predestination, or trying to explain it to others, this series is for you.
This amazing study presented by Bob George also includes a 25 page PDF follow-along document with study notes and Bible verses.
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