Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Law & Grace P45 (01-23-23)
Jesus Is The Vine We Are The Branches ~ Only Jesus Can Produce The Fruit
~ Jesus said: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
~ “The question is, is very well put, because every command that Jesus ever commanded us is an impossibility for us to carry out in the energy of our flesh. It is a total impossibility. When it says to be holy, as your Father in heaven is holy, how are you going to carry that out? It talks about the fact of being perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect? How in the world are we going to carry that out? It talks about all of the things that Jesus taught, they are absolute standards of what what holiness is, and what perfection is, and what goodness is and everything connected with God. But it has nothing to do with us, in our fallen state. And so even though the command is there, you can you can approach a command of God in two different ways. One is Lord we’ll do it. Well, that’s of course, the way that the Hebrews responded when the law was brought off of Mount Sinai, by Moses do what what did they say we’ll do everything that you commanded us to do. So that is an approach that you can take to the law, we will do it. The other approach, I guess, that you could say is we will try to do it. Well, again, and it says, well, the trying of it, let me show you the demands on that if you’ve, if you’ve obeyed all My commandments, and yet violate the least of these my commandments, you violated all of them. So that kind of annihilates trying to do it. Because if you just stumbled in one point in all of your life, you could never say that I have, I’m able to go into the presence of God with the perfection of God. So, so number one, is we will do it. The other one is we’ll try to do it. And that doesn’t work either. And the other one is to say, I can’t do it. Now, the latter is the Christian life of realizing that I cannot but he can.”
Jesus asked how does God love and accept us? And how does he expect us to live the Christian life? To answer those questions, this insightful study explores a vital issue at the heart of the Christian experience, the biblical relationship between law and grace, understanding their role in our relationship to God will bring joy, freedom and spontaneity to your Christian life. Now, let’s take A Closer Look at Law & Grace.
Bob George 0:40
The question is, is very well put, because every command that Jesus ever commanded us is an impossibility for us to carry out in the energy of our flesh. It is a total impossibility. When it says to be holy, as your Father in heaven is holy, how are you going to carry that out? It talks about the fact of being perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect? How in the world are we going to carry that out? It talks about all of the things that Jesus taught, they are absolute standards of what what holiness is, and what perfection is, and what goodness is and everything connected with God. But it has nothing to do with us, in our fallen state. And so even though the command is there, you can you can approach a command of God in two different ways. One is Lord we’ll do it. Well, that’s of course, the way that the Hebrews responded when the law was brought off of Mount Sinai, by Moses do what what did they say we’ll do everything that you commanded us to do. So that is an approach that you can take to the law, we will do it. The other approach, I guess, that you could say is we will try to do it. Well, again, and it says, well, the trying of it, let me show you the demands on that if you’ve, if you’ve obeyed all My commandments, and yet violate the least of these my commandments, you violated all of them. So that kind of annihilates trying to do it. Because if you just stumbled in one point in all of your life, you could never say that I have, I’m able to go into the presence of God with the perfection of God. So, so number one, is we will do it. The other one is we’ll try to do it. And that doesn’t work either. And the other one is to say, I can’t do it. Now, the latter is the Christian life of realizing that I cannot but he can. And the reason he can is because he lives in us with the capability of producing his life. And and through us. You go and command a branch, bear fruit, the branch would say, Well, I’ll try. Or the branch could say I’ll do it. Or I’ll try to do it. Now I want to ask you a question, folks. Just what would be your response to that branch? If a branch said back to you, if a branch could talk, and you went up to it and commanded, I want you to bear fruit. And the branch voice came back and said, I will I will bear fruit and did and another voice came back and said I will try to bear fruit. What would you say to that branch? you’d say branch, I’m sorry, but you’ve missed the point. You can bear fruit but you cannot produce fruit. So if you’re command rather, if you’re if you’re asking the branches to produce fruit, he would say I cannot produce fruit. Now, if you said I want you to bear fruit, the branch could come back and say, I can bear fruit but only if I don’t try to bear fruit. And only if I abide in the only thing that can produce fruit and that is the life of the vine itself. And when I abide in that life, and that life abides in Me, the byproduct of that is we together will be bearing the fruit of what energize this whole thing. And that is the life of the tree itself. And so if you see apples hanging out of a tree, you know what the nature of that tree is. It’s apple, because of the nature of the tree was not Apple, you would not see any apples coming out of the tree. So it how ludicrous would it be to see a cherry coming out of an apple tree? You’d say that just doesn’t work. That’s something’s wrong here because the nature of that tree is is apple.
So Bob, when we’re talking about in this last chapter of living by a higher law, you’re going to see that throughout the writings of the apostle Paul, you’re going to find him continually commending and encouraging his fellow Christians for their faith, hope and love. Now this higher law we’re talking about the law of love. But he always puts those in triplicate. And whenever you hear him talking about love, it’s always in the context of the triplicate of faith, hope and love. I commend you for your faith, hope and love for your faith, hope and love. And I can remember when I first started looking at that, and seeing why is that a triplicate? And I think the I think the answer is very obvious because the Christian life has to be lived and produced by him. And how do I live that life? by faith in him. I am encouraged by the hope, this bless and hope that I have. It’s not a hope, a hope, a hope, type of deal. It’s that hope, of the total realization that one of these days, you and I are going to be absent from the body, and absolutely present with the Lord seeing him face to face as he is, and therefore becoming like him. Now, that’s a hope. Our future, in other words, is not them. Our future is not without destiny. If I don’t know where I’m going any away will get me there. But I know where I’m going, I am going to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, one of these days absent from this body. That creates a terrific conflict. But thank God for the conflict, because the conflict is what keeps you abiding in him and the need for abiding in him. And certainly, he knows us well enough to know that we need that in the need. But the fact of the matter is that we all long for this day of going home, where that conflict will be over where hopefully, we will be able to hear the words well done good and faithful servant, you completed the race. The race was not easy. It was hard, it was tedious, but you completed the race, and to be able to rest to totally rest for the rest of your eternity into the presence of Christ. So that’s a hope. So I have faith in him. While I’m living here, I have hope in where I’m going to be going someday I’m looking for that. And therefore I can walk in love.
Now I think Bob, one of the things that we have talked about before, that I think it’s so important for us to understand, you’ll see a lot in the New Testament about the word obedience. But we have to realize, folks, that obedience is a byproduct of something. It is a byproduct of, of abiding, you can have just like the law, you can have options there. You can have legalistic obedience, I don’t want to but I’ll do it anyway. Or you can have obedience flowing from a heart that has been changed whereby it is the most natural thing to do. It’s not that we loved God, but he loved us first. Now you say Be obedient to God and loving. So you sit there and say, Okay, I’m going to get it out. I’m going to love God. Well, that’s not love, folks. That’s a that’s a pitiful it’s a pitiful excuse for love. That’s all you can say for that. Love for him should be a byproduct of understanding his love for you. It isn’t something that I’m thinking I’m going to be obedient and love God, it’s it is the most natural thing to do. And it is a natural response when you understand his love for you, delight yourself of the Lord, and he’ll give you the desires of your heart. I don’t have to go try to get God’s desires. I can’t get God’s desires. I’m full of my own. When I have God’s desires is when I am delighting in him. And he’s teaching me his desires. He’s teaching me His will. And suddenly his will. As a response becomes mine. It isn’t getting out obedience vote. It is delighting and letting those things follow.
The measure of the vitality of every Christian life is not how much Christian activity he or she is engaged in. And that’s what we’ve done is substitute activity for love. But it’s how we’re progressing and learning to love one another. That’s the criteria. And Christ summed that up, did he not? When he gave us his words in Matthew 22:37 to 39, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Now, once again, you try to bring that about in the energy of your own flesh, and it is an impossibility. And it’s not that we love God but that He loved us first. So we’ve learned have we not that love was the or the grace of God is an expression of the unconditional love of God. And we’ve learned that that grace of God is what teaches you and me to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives. As it says, in Titus in this present generation, while we wait for the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we live by faith in His love for us, we live by hope and that glorious appearing. And as a result of that, we can love one another.
When we realize that this life is temporal, and Bob, when we think about the things that we gripe about, and get all concerned about, in a life that, in essence, is just a speck in all of eternity, we take ourselves far too seriously, don’t we. And mankind has a tendency to we’re so self centered, that we have this tendency to think that we are the center of the universe, and when anything goes wrong, it’s just the worst tragedy that could ever happen to anybody. And, and we do have sufferings, and we do have trials and tribulation. But the fact of the matter is that in light of eternity, it’s a very short lived thing. And so when we get our mind elevated, and we began to see life, from God’s vantage point, we realize that we are such blessed people, that he has done everything for us. He’s given us everything that we need for life and godliness. And that his grace that He has given to us is what’s going to teach us to say no, in other words, to see the difference between the things that are absolutely destructive to us, and the things that are absolutely a blessing to us. But we have to wait for him to change your desires on that, and to show us to give us his desire, so that I desire to do what is right for me, instead of desire to do what is wrong for me. Because basically, we’re going to follow our desires.
Now, in Galatians, 5:13, we’ll pick up on page 83, of our study on living by a higher law, our key verse, There is Galatians, 5:13 and 14, you my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather, to serve one another in love. And the entire law is summed up in a single command. Love your neighbor as yourself. So we look at the law and people will say today, well, is the law still in effect? And of course, we’ve been studying that for numerous weeks now, out of this study, that we are to be dead to the law so that we can be alive to Christ to be married to another and that’s Christ Jesus, whereby we live by a higher law, and that is the law of love. And so you and I were called to be free. But he says, But don’t use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Now, does that mean that we have the freedom to indulge the flesh? And the answer to that is absolutely. If we didn’t have the freedom to indulge our flesh, then he wouldn’t have had to have said Don’t Don’t use your freedom to indulge the flesh. You’ve got the freedom to do so. But use your freedom to serve one another in love.
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Bob George 13:36
So when Christ Jesus comes to invade your life, does he come to invade your life? To have taken away all of your sins never to see them again? bought you back from darkness into light. reconciled you justified you? Did he do all of those things so that we can continue doing in the energy of our flesh what we were doing before we are born again? In other words, did Christ come to live within you in order to lead you back into a life of lasciviousness?And that is absolutely idiotic. But Bob, that is what the average Christian believes today. And what I say the average Christian believes that is the objection that people have to our teaching. And quite frankly, it’s not our teaching, it’s right out of the Word of God. And that is the teaching of the finality of the cross. People are scared to death. They’re fearful of being aware of the fact that Christ Jesus has taken away my sin, that as a child of God, that I don’t get forgiven anymore. I am a forgiven person, by a God who that because of being in the light I will never be in darkness again. I couldn’t get in darkness again because I am in Christ and He is light and he is can’t get in darkness. And if he can’t get in it, neither can I. And people want to come up with all his hair brain theological gobbly gook. And that’s all I can call it about all of this positional type things, positional forgiveness and positional this and then you experiential down here. And all of this type of thing which is absolutely contrary to the Word of God. And if Jesus did not take away our sins once and for all, that is something that is done. Now, we can’t look at that as well. That’s what he did, and then put a billy goat but on that, but but we’ve got to ask, we got to ask for forgiveness. Well, you see, that’s double talk. But people the reason they fight that so much is say, boy, if you don’t ask for forgiveness, you’re gonna live a life of lasciviousness. Not if Jesus lives in you, you’re not. And and I want to tell you something, Bob can go in and confessing your sins. I haven’t noticed slowing down anybody’s sin. Because if it did, you wouldn’t have anybody in the confession booth anymore, they had already taken care of it or walk in the aisles, or your first John 1:9ing. If that kind of a mentality kept you clean as a pen, you’d never have to do it but once. So if it’s doing what you’re saying that us that it does, how come you’re having to keep confessing sins all the time? Seems to me like you ought to be cleaned up. So you see, Bob, all of these types of things that people come up with is because they do not know the power of God, that has come to take up residence inside of us. It’s a power that freed us from something we didn’t deserve to be freed. We didn’t deserve any of this. I didn’t deserve to have my sins taken away. I didn’t deserve to be reconciled to God. And for him to never to see my sins again, I didn’t deserve an answer that and I’ll show you I didn’t work for. I didn’t deserve for propitiation to take place where Jesus presented his blood to the Father. And He said, I’m satisfied. That’s it. There’s no more sacrifices, I didn’t deserve any of that. I didn’t deserve to be raised from the dead, to have Christ life to come to live within me. I don’t deserve eternal life. I don’t deserve to know that I’m going to go into the presence of God someday and live eternally in with him, not because of what I’ve done, but because of what he’s done. I don’t deserve any of those things. It’s all a gift of God. Now, does that gift make you say, oh, whoopee. Now just let’s just go back and just indulge in this flesh? Of course it doesn’t do that. The grace of God will teach you to say no to unrighteousness. But it is a lifelong project with us. And so we have to come to grips with that. So when he’s saying that we’ve got an option now, but use your freedom to serve one another in love, use your freedom to to be able to serve people. And you say, Well, what do you mean by that? Does that mean washing their feet? What is all of this talking about? serving one another in love.
Well, Bob, this is not in in, in, in the context necessarily of our of all of our lesson but But I look at this that if God has reconciled me unto himself not counting my sins against me, well, then then I should be reconciled to my brother. I was God’s enemy, and He reconciled me. So how should we feel toward enemies of ours? Well, I guess the same way we ought to be reconciled to with other words, there should be nothing between us and reconciliation, there should be no block, no blind, pull down, no fence decline between us, and being reconciled to an enemy. Therefore, Matthew say five says, if you’re offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that a brother has something against you leave your gift there in front of the altar, and first go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Why should we be reconciled to one another? Because God reconciled us unto himself. We are reconciled people. Am I reconcile because I’m reconciled with you? No, I should be reconciled with you because I already am reconciled. In other words, I don’t go do something to get something from God. It’s because I’ve already got something from God that I should go do something. Now that’s serving one another in love. How come that serving one another? It isn’t good for you or the other person to not be reconciled to each other. It’s eaten all of our lunches. And so there’s no benefit to anyone. There’s no benefit for you. You hold bitterness in your heart toward that person. And there’s no benefit for the other person. He’s holding bitterness in his heart as well. And so there’s no benefit there. So it says to forgive all people, those that have offended you, Peter, did he not ask even before forgive In this was executed, he was saying to Jesus, how many times should I forgive a brother when he sins against me up to seven times? Lord said no, I tell you, not seven times, but 70 times seven. In other words, seven was a number of completeness. So just multiply that out. And so what he’s saying is how many times a week to forgive one another, just like I forgave you. Now, that was not aware of that yet, because that had not fully occurred yet. It was in the experience between Jesus and his apostles. But all they were seeing was this physical forgiveness, but they hadn’t seen this total forgiveness, because that was not fully executed, until the cross.
And so in Colossians, 3:12 and 14. And Bob, it is amazing to me how I saw an article that was put out the other day taking exception to teaching on forgiveness, such as we teach, and in that it sided oh, just emphatically, Matthew, The Lord’s Prayer at Matthew, and then and then James, where it says, Forgive one another. And what does that have to do with asking God to forgive you? So in other words, there, again, is trying to substantiate this through misrepresentation of Scripture. And then in the Matthew passage, quoting the Lord’s Prayer, but not going on to say For if you do not forgive your brother here on Earth, your Father in heaven will not forgive you. And if that is true, then the cross, you may as well just forget about it, because there is no forgiveness at the cross. That was true prior to the cross. But it sure isn’t true after the cross after the cross, you’re going to have to go to Colossians 3:12 And Ephesians 4:31. And, again, folks, we’ve talked so much about this. And I guess maybe the only reason that you bring it up as a matter of review, or the in the event, that maybe somebody’s listening for the first time, but you’re never going to ever see the scriptures fall together. And if you don’t realize that the New Covenant did not go into effect until the day that Jesus died, and and Hebrews nine spells that out very clearly. And you should go back and read that, that as with any will, that if you have a will, that will will not go into effect until the day you die, and your death has to be proven before it does. And so Jesus taught under the Old Covenant. And the Old Covenant was there to bury us. It was there to show us that you can’t, because the one who could was heading to across he walked on this earth to show us what true love was all about what true righteousness was not in his outward activity that we were involved in, but the inward reality of walking in perfect love, which is the fulfillment of the law. And so Christ fulfilled the law himself. We couldn’t, he did. And they went to the cross to uphold the law by becoming death for us, and taking the penalty for all of our sins upon himself. So that having now fulfilled the law and upheld the law, he could now usher in a New Covenant. And that’s a covenant of grace. But that did not go into effect until the day that Christ died.
Now, that’s why the confusion sometimes comes. And it’s amazing how we all have memorized the Lord’s Prayer, what we call the Lord’s Prayer. But we don’t realize that he gave that prayer to the apostles and the people prior to the cross. And we stop before we should stop. And as I was mentioning earlier, that we forgive our sins as we for as we forgive others. And it goes ahead to say for if you do not forgive your your brother’s sins here on Earth, that you can see your father in heaven will not forgive you. Was that true? Under the law? Yes, it was. Was it true before the cross? Yes, it was. Is it true after the cross? No, it is not. And so after the cross, you’re going to see a totally different form of of our activities toward one another. Colossians three, therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another. Forgive, how? as the Lord forgave you. Now could Christ said, I’ve said that before the cross? No, because that forgiveness, No greater love has no man that he laid down his life for his sheep so that the ultimate in expression of love had not occurred yet until he laid down his life for us. And so forgive as the Lord forgave you, and over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together, in perfect unity. And so if we’re going to forgive as the Lord forgave you and me, how did the Lord forgive you and me? Totally, completely took it away and not to see it again. How are we to forgive one another, the same way quit keeping records of wrongs now, in other words, we keep concentrating on what we should or shouldn’t do, instead of concentrating on what love is all about. Now in the definition of love, and First Corinthians 13, it says, love keeps no records of wrongs. So if I’m not keeping records of your wrongs, or my wrongs, then how difficult is it going to be to forgive as the Lord forgave you? How do you forgive you? took them away. Well, then, if I’m not keeping records of your wrongs, I’ve taken away too, so we’re not going to bring them up anymore. Any more than the Lord is going to bring up your in my faults anymore, he isn’t going to bring them up. And so it says, quit bringing them up with one another.
In Ephesians, 4:32, to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other how? Just as in Christ, God forgave you. How did God forgive you? in Christ, you are a forgiven person. So he says, do the same with one another, become kind of compassionate to one another, forgive one another how? as Christ forgave you. It’s a very devastating thing sometimes to have somebody that has absolutely ripped you off, and to realize Jesus died for their sins. I dare he do that. And, but again, that’s what brings you back to the reality of, if Jesus loved that person enough to go to that cross for them, that person had just ripped me off just just made my life miserable for me. If God died for them, who am I not to forgive them? Who am I? Am I going to have higher standards than them? And so that’s what we do. We sit back and say, Yeah, I do. I have higher standards, and they do.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
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