Radio Broadcast Monday 01/28/2019

      Monday January 28 2019

Classic Christianity – Encourage By Grace P1 (01-28-19)

Bob George TeachingBob George shares from the Word of God to encourage believers by a message of grace. In part one of this three part series, Bob addresses the attitudes of faith. Let us begin now with the first four verses in Philippians 2.

By looking at just the first several verses, Bob explains what it means to be in fellowship with God. He further contrasts the Old Covenant under law with the New Covenant under grace, your new spiritual creation and identity in contrast to your inheritance in Adam, the ability to discern the things of God rather than leaning on your own understanding, and your freedom from death to life. Bob explains the root cause of sin, the consequences of sin, law contrasted with grace, and the grace of God resulting in a new freedom and attitude of thinking. He contrasts the attitudes of vain conceit and selfish ambition to the attitude of humility.

Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

You are first united with Christ at your spiritual new birth, where being in fellowship with the Spirit of God takes place. This fellowship with God is not something you bounce in and out of. There is no such teaching in scripture that even hints of that. You are called into fellowship with Jesus Christ. Two fellows in the same ship. Unless you believed in error, and were never saved to begin with. In that case, you were never in fellowship with God to begin with. There is no such thing as going back and forth between saved and lost. Either you are lost or saved. Either you have the Holy Spirit living in you, who has promised to never leave you or forsake, or you don’t. If you have the Holy Spirit living in you, then you are always in communication with Him, for He will always initiate with you in love and grace.

Ephesians 1:13
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So what is this fellowship we have in the Lord? First, what is it like in the world? What is the thinking of the world? Let us start with man and his world governed by laws of the land, and then we will see more clearly what God has given in contrast to the thinking of the world and its ways.

As long as we live in this world, we have to have standards to live by. Put two prisoner together or two people in the jungle together and they will establish some criteria in which to live, the law of the gang or the law of the jungle. Even children do that, establish their own criteria. That is also why we have situational ethics.

Now, God also initiated with man and chose a race of people, the Jews, who agreed to abide by the conditions set forth by God in an Old Covenant agreement. Now, all men are born in a lost condition in sin and so God’s Law was given to the lost and not the saved. And God’s laws are the perfect standard. If over here under the Law of God, as a lost person that is all you have as a standard of law to live by. Under that Law of God, you have that standard to determine right from wrong. But if you ignore that, then what do you lean on? But if you don’t have that, then what do you have? You are left to do what is right in your own eyes.

So that is the way natural man is. But under law, it does something to you. It convicts you of sin. Take even the speeding limit. When you disobey that law of a speeding limit set, you face a speeding ticket. You cannot separate law from the punishment of the law. The law must have punishment else it is a meaningless law. And to some of us, the law has little meaning even when there is a punishment associated to it. Nevertheless, God’s Law is holy, righteous and good and it convicts of sin. What then is the purpose of the Law? The law is to show you that you are a sinner. It is to show you your condition in sin. Romans 7:7 goes into much detail on this matter. But let’s look at this passage in Galatians.

Galatians 3:19-20
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

The law was given so man may recognize his condition in sin, that he is spiritually dead already, and is in need of life, and the only life available to him is God’s life, eternal life through the Holy Spirit he has given to those who believed the message.

So then, what about a believer? Is he under law? Certainly he is to obey the civil laws of the land. And certainly he should obey God’s laws. No one is advocating murder or adultery here, such commandments being under the 10 Commandments which God gave to Moses. As a lost person you are under the tutelage of the law until faith should be revealed. The law instructs the lost person of his need of a savior so he can live in a new and better way, not under law, but under grace.

The problem is with man, that he is dead to God, so he could only outwardly obey, and that only to avoid punishment as what he can understand in terms of civil law, but his heart is far from God. In reality, the more he tries to obey, the more he finds he sins all the more and is condemned by the law, and if he properly trained by the law, he will come to realize there is a deeper inner problem with him, an internal problem of sin, that he cannot solve. The Law cannot impart life to man. Only God can do that, and that has to come apart from the Law. So natural man is controlled in sin, and the law reveals to man that there is something wrong within him, his condition in sin, that he cannot carry out the demands of the law. That is why God gave the law so man may recognize he is a sinner and in need of new life that he might seek a savior in Jesus Christ!

So those who say that we, as Christians, who say we must have the law then also must say they are still under the punishment of the law. Ludicrous to say you are under a law and not under its punishment. Yet, Paul was able to say that there is now no punishment for the law of the Spirit of life has set you free. Paul does not separate law from the law of sin and death but he does speak of a different law that you are under that gives life, the law of the Spirit of life!

Romans 8:1-4
8 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.

Yet under the law of sin and death you read about this punishment of death.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Who can pay the punishment of death for sin that the law demands? Certainly no ordinary man can pay such a price! Praise be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So how does the natural man think until faith is revealed? Here is the Law and the wages of sin under such law is death. If you know you cannot obey the law, the standards being so high and impossible to comply, then there is no option but to lean on your own understanding, for you are devoid of the spiritual knowledge of God and the free gift in Christ Jesus. So what did the Jews do under an Old Covenant system, spiritually dead and blind? They added to the Law with man-made laws. The Pharisees, blinded to the things of God, even said that you cannot even spit on the ground because that would be work under the law. Under the law, you are forced to do that for you have no internal knowledge of the heart and ways of Go and do not know Him that He could give you His understanding. There is a standard out there and it is staring me in the face.

One of the natural laws that God established is the law of cause and effect. If there is death, then something caused it to happen. And one reads from scriptures that the cause of death is sin (Romans 6:23). The Law shows your sinfulness and the effect of that is death.

So then, God in His great love reached out to man to save man out of this prison of sin, with no way of escape, without God and without God in the world. He took away the sins of the world by dying on a cross in the place of sinful men so as to take away the cause of death, which is sin. He now offers a new covenant of grace, whereby he offers His very life, the Holy Spirit to live in you and through you, so that you can live in a new way, as a new creation with a new spiritual life, not of the written code or laws written on stone, but by a vibrant living relationship with the living God. When you believed this message and accepted this new life in Christ, you are spiritually born again. You are freed from death. You stepped out of death into life, from lost to saved, from out of an Old Covenant into a New Covenant or out of law into grace. You are made into a new creation who can discern the things of God.

So this begs the question? How did man get into this sinful state? Is it true that man is basically good? No! Is man made in the image of God? No, only Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and were made perfect, but also with free will.

Genesis 2:7
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

All other mankind was born through Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were created with the very Spirit of God living in them. They had freedom to make all kinds of choices except God warned them that the day they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they shall surely die. Sadly and heart-breaking, they ate of that tree and surely died. So what about the rest of mankind?

Genesis 5:3
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

So God created Adam but you and I and the rest of mankind were born in the sin of Adam. We were not created by God. You and I were born from mom and dad. God created Adam in the image of God but when Adam and Eve had Seth, Seth was born in the image of Adam. You and I were not born in the image of God, but born in the image of Adam, spiritually dead. So then man must be born again spiritually.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

New birth is a creation. You and I are born of God as a new creation, alive spiritually just as Adam was created alive spiritually. That could not occur unless done through the grace of God.

So then the lost and natural man under the law is left to lean on his own understanding but the new spiritual man under grace is now able to lean on God for His wisdom. Can you determine right from wrong? No. Is knowing right from wrong out of a relationship with a person? Yes, and not just any person. Only God can determine right from wrong! Enter a personal relationship with the living God.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

With this background information on law and grace, sinful man and the new spiritual man, as a spiritual man is there any encouragement being under God’s grace, a new covenant with men? Yes. If you lean on your own understanding, you are saying you do not believe God. Bob spoke of a Jewish rabbi, an intelligent man, quite a student of the scriptures and an eloquent speaker. Yet, being a lost Jew, he had rejected Christ as Lord, the very source of love.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

Can unregenerate man have scriptures revealed to him? Not without coming to faith in Christ and being regenerated. Without the Spirit of Christ, he has no ability to discern the meaning of scripture.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This Jewish rabbi, a phenomenal speaker and studied the scriptures, yet when Bob gave an account of the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, the man was totally unable to know what the scriptures mean. For this is the thinking and reasoning of the rabbi, “If he had not wanted them to eat then all he had to do is not put the tree there. Then the punishment to just kick him out of the garden for just eating a piece of fruit! That is severe punishment! That is not God. God to just kick you out for a piece of fruit. Whole essence of God is that he is loving and that is not God!” Where did he miss? He never went to where the tree is and what the fruit represents. It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was never mentioned. It is not a fruit or tree problem but the “pair” on the ground that is the problem.

You have someone leaning on his own understanding and missing the point. The tree is the knowledge of good and evil. In essence, Adam is saying to God, “I do not need you anymore to determine what is right and wrong. I am going to be God in regard to these things. I do not need you.” Only God can determine right from wrong and good from evil. He is the creator and Adam and Eve were created with free will, designed to live in vital union, in a loving and trusting relationship with their creator.

So, natural sinful man, leans on his own understanding, determining right from wrong and good from evil, which is the whole essence of sin, an independent and rebellious attitude toward God. Sin entered the world and man was left on his own by choice. As if God said, “if you want to play this game, then you will produce your own results. I do not need to mess your life up, you can do it yourself.” Man in essence is saying this “I do not need you to mess my life up, I am capable of doing it myself.”

To this Jewish rabbi, it was a minor thing. A minor thing to say to the creator, “I don’t need you! I will boss you, who created me, around!”” The root attitude of sin is saying, “I will do it my way”, and sadly the most popular song ever recorded, instead of acknowledging Him and letting Him direct your paths.

Is there any encouragement in being freed from death to life? Is that just words in your head? Have you thought through these things? There is an advantage to see a dead corpse, to see how dead really is. You will really see how dead someone is? That physical death is a picture of spiritual death. We are spiritually dead and in need of life. Have you realized what you are freed from? What killed us is the law and why would we still hang unto that, to stay under that when you are under the death penalty of that?Why will you hang on to what appears to be good? Do you say in your heart, “Forget about death. Well, this thing that caused death, I will drag that along and be lead by that and over here I can lead on my understanding.” What foolishness to remain under law when we can receive God’s grace! We have been freed from condemnation. Why? Is it because we have been so good? No.

Mark 10:17-19
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

We have been freed from condemnation because the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

No man is good and Jesus, as a man under law, was burying people under the law who sought to be made righteous by observing the law. Jesus is saying to them, if you ant to enter heaven then be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect. That is impossible with man and that is the point

Is there any encouragement and comfort from the love of God, who loves you perfectly. I do not have to sit and lean on my own understanding, rationalizing with a garden of Eden. God sent His son to tell us of the love of God. But the Jewish rabbi denied the source of love and just says he wants to allow in the result of it and not acknowledge the source of it.

Is there any encouragement in being one in spirit and of one mind? What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to come live in you and me. The Spirit will guide you into all truth.

John 16:13
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

So do not lean on your own understanding but allow God to lead you and then make truth known to others through you. That should be our attitude.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition? Selfish ambition is doing something in order to get something. This is the attitude of the world, “I be nice to you for I want you to do something for me. Be nice to you to get what I want and then dump you.” That is selfish ambition, the ambition to make me better even at the expense of others. Is that leaning on your own understanding? This is the attitude of selfish ambition, “If you aren’t going to look after me, then do unto others before they do unto you. He who has the gold rules.” That is the world’s mindset, to go get it before they do. So what should our work habit be, as those having the mind of Christ?

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Work unto Lord, whether the boss is watching or not. Work diligently and honestly, and not just give what you must but go beyond. The attitude of servitude. You do not do to get but to serve. The Christian should be the best worker on the face of the earth. Yet, Christians in the market place are sometimes the worst. That should not be! Do my job diligently . Why? That is what the Lord says and that is enough of an answer for me.

What is vain conceit? It is to think of yourself more highly than you ought. In humility, consider others better than yourself. How are you going to do that when you think all bosses are bad and all owners are rotten. They don’t deserve to have anything so I go get it. That is not the mindset of a child of God. That is not a poor self image but an attitude of servitude. Wives serve your husbands.

Colossians 3:18-20
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

How well is that message received. “God, forbid serve one another in love” is the attitude of the world, an attitude of vain conceit. “If you think I am going to serve him or her, you have got another thing coming” is the attitude of the world.

You did not get over here with Jesus with that attitude.

Ephesians 5:1-2
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

If Jesus had our attitude we would all still be lost. If you got what you deserved from God, you would go to hell.

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