Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Law & Grace P48 (01-30-23)
It’s Not That We Love God, But God, Jesus First Loved Us!
~ The only thing that counts is Love. And His Love for us is the most important thing to remember.
~ “We Love because He first Loved Us!” 1 John 4:19
~ “Now first Corinthians 13. You want to know how I (Jesus) love you? God is always patient with you. God is always kind to you. God is never easily angered with you. God never keeps records of your wrongs. Now, isn’t that now, I wonder if God never keeps records of the wrongs only if you confess and ask him to forgive you. I wonder if that’s what that means. I don’t quite think so. If that’s the case, and God ignored the kind to me when I asked him and he’d only be patient with me when I asked him and he would only not be angered with me when I asked him and he had not keep records of my wrongs only if I cleared the deck. It seems like don’t you think after a while people want to catch this? Man I tell you so the letters I get back I scratch my head and said will you ever learn the finality of the cross? But that’s another subject. God will delight and he never delights in evil. God always rejoices in truth. God always protects you. God always trusts you. God always hopes the best for you that always perseveres with you. In other words, he’ll hang in there with you forever, and God’s love never fails. Now we are said, What did? What did the Word of God say to us? Well, the entire loss summed up in his single command, and that’s for you to love that way.”
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
Now, First Corinthians 13. You want to know how he loves you? God is always patient with you. God is always kind to you. God is never easily angered with you. God never keeps records of your wrongs. Now isn’t that, now I wonder if God never keeps records of the wrongs only if you confess and asking forgive you? I wonder if that’s what that means. I don’t quite think so if that’s the case, and got annoyed, be kind to me when I ask him. And he’d only be patient with me when I ask him. And he would only not be angered with me when I ask him and he had not keep records of my wrongs only if I cleared the deck. It seems like, don’t you think after a while people want to catch this? Man, I tell you so the letters I get back, I scratch my head and said, will you ever learn the finality of the cross? But that’s another subject. God will delight and he never delights in evil. God always rejoices in truth. God always protects you. God always trust you. God always hopes the best for you. God always perseveres with you. In other words, he’ll hang in there with you forever, and God’s love never fails.
Now we are said, What did? What did the Word of God say to us? Well, the entire law is summed up in his single command. And that’s feed love that way. So folks, let’s see how we’re doing. John 13 said, A new command I give you Love one another as I have loved you. We just just got through reading how he loved us. You must love one another. And By this all men will know that you’re my disciples if you love one another. So take a look, folks. And again, I look back at people who are so self absorbed, and are so hung up on the sin issue, instead of the life issue. I want to present to you and I want to ask you to be honest with yourself, if the only thing that matters and we’re told that all through the scriptures is faith, expressing itself through love. And there are only one command I leave with you to love one another. I want you to go along with me and I want to ask you how you are doing and how I’m doing? Love. I am always patient with everybody. I am always kind to everybody. I am never easily angered with anybody. I never keep records of anybody’s wrongs. I never delight in evil just makes me sick if I see any thing is even even might even hint of it. I always rejoice and truth. I always protect others. I protect them to my death. I always trust others. I will trust them to my death. I always hope the best in regard to others. I will not be subject to listening to an adverse rumor about somebody I always hope the best. I always persevere with people. I’ll hang in there with them forever. How’d you do folks? Well, I want to tell you, I don’t know who you are possibly in some of you I’m talking to I do know, but I know myself. I would have flunked on the first one. And I have a feeling you did too. You see when we’re looking at this quality of love this definition of love the only thing God left us with he didn’t left you. He didn’t leave you with church attendance and tithing records. He didn’t leave you with how dedicated you are to your first John when nines are dedicated you are to your confession booths or how dedicated you were to going back to the days of atonement. He didn’t leave you with that. He said there’s only one thing that is important and that’s love.
And folks want to tell you something. The way that you think God loves and forgives us the same way you’re gonna pass it on to somebody else. If you think God’s keeping records of your wrongs until you turn around and ask him to forgive you. That’s how you’re going to treat others. Like I’ve got a right To be angered until somebody comes and begs for forgiveness, folks, that’s judging one another. That isn’t love there anything love connected with that. And the only thing he left us with His love and why do we not see more love in the Christian community? Because we’ve substituted everything for love. We said, Lord, let’s take this out of the Scripture, this deal, this command you gave me to love one another, which incidentally, is the only command he left us with. And the fact that all men are going to know you’re my disciples, if you love one another. Well, we said, well, I can’t love like that. So we come up with alternatives. A loving person would witness I witnessed, therefore I’m loving, a loving for person prays, and I pray, therefore I’m loving. A loving person goes to church, I go to church, therefore, I must be loving. we’ve substituted everything for what God said Love was. When I’m impatient for somebody, that’s not love. When I’m not kind to someone that’s not love. When I’m easily angered with someone, I’m not expressing God’s love to them. When I keep records of people’s wrongs, it’s not love. When I delight in evil, that’s not love. When I rejoice when I don’t rejoice in truth, in other words, what’s a little white lie gonna hurt, that’s not love. When I don’t protect a person. In other words, I want to expose them, I want to make them look bad, so that I look good. It’s not love. I want to trust people. In other words, I’m so anxious to hear any kind of juicy gossip on somebody that’s not love. When I don’t hope the best for them. In other words, they say, Man, I hope he gets his just due. That’s not love. You say, I give up on that person. I don’t ever see him again. That’s not love. They’re in a thing about God in any of those things. And yet, are they not qualities that each and every one of us have in our flesh? I have those things in mine. And I’ll guarantee it, you have them in yours. So folks, we’ve substituted everything for what God said is the true Christian life. And that is to walk in love. Jesus wasn’t down there trying to obey the 10 commandments, Jesus Christ walked in loves and that love and love was the fulfillment of all the law, not just the law written on stone, but the law of God. That was written on hearts. And so until we come to grips with the fact that here is a standard that I cannot live up to, that’s when God is going to, in essence, wipe his brow and say, you finally got it, I think you might have it, Bob. And now you know why said apart from me, you can do nothing. And he related that to the bearing of fruit, that apart from your abiding in my love for you branch, you will never bear fruit to others. And the best you can do is hang on your brand, some artificial plastic fruit that you better hope no one bites into because if they do, they’re gonna get a mouthful of plastic, something artificial, looks good. From a distance might not be able to tell the difference. You bite into it, and you’re going to find out it’s not the real thing.
I have had people and possibly I’ve done the same thing in my life. I’ve had people who literally cut off friendships with me or with Amy, because of a disagreement over a passage of scripture. And you look back on that and say, well, that’s real love. You can get angry at someone that says something to you and say I’m never gonna, I’m never gonna talk to them again. You say, Well, that’s real love. And and still walk along thinking I’m doing real good in my in my Christian experience, because I am theologically correct. And you know, I don’t think God is going to ask you when you get to heaven, how theologically correct you were because in essence, it said all of us are looking through a clouded glass. But I think he is going to say, Bob, thanks for letting me love through you on those occasions that you did. And I don’t think we’re going to talk very much about occasions when we didn’t. And when Bob that there’s not a more convicting message than the message of love because we cannot do it in the energy of her own flesh.
Now, that’s why Ephesians 5:18 And this is the verse it’s kind of like the First John one nine in the Lord’s prayer that that’s the only one people ever memorized and don’t memorize the hundreds of other scriptures dealing with the finality of the cross. And then will memorize Be not drunk with wine which leads to debauchery, but instead be filled with the Spirit. Memorize that out of context don’t have a clue what it means and therefore it means a thing you want it to mean. And one group group of people, being filled with the Spirit means that you start speaking in a language that you haven’t learned to another group of people might be rolling around on the floor, to be filled with the Spirit. Some people think that you’re filled with the Spirit when you’re up swinging and swaying and bouncing back and forth. Other people might think, no, you’re filled with Spirit when you’re very quiet, or when you’re singing just as I am, or whatever else it might be in all kinds of mindsets. So what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit where the fact of the matter is that the passage of scripture that precedes Ephesians five, which is Ephesians three, explains explicitly what it means to be filled with the Spirit.
To be filled means to be controlled by that’s the Greek word meaning to be continually being controlled by something. And so when you’re talking about being filled to the Spirit, it means to be controlled by the Spirit. In other words, to have something that controls your life. Well, the Spirit of God is supposed to control your life to be filled, controlled by the Spirit of God. Now, if you are being controlled by the Spirit of God, then you say, Well, what does that mean? What? How would that express itself? Well, it tells us explicitly in Ephesians, 3:16, and 19. And you might want to turn to your Bible and read that with me. It’s a Paul, it’s a prayer of the Apostle Paul’s. I pray that out of his glorious riches, not ours, but his his glorious riches, that he may strengthen you with power. Now, here’s this word power. And Bob, we’re going to look at that and just pause here in this verse for a moment, because, again, words generate visions in your mind, they generate images in your mind. So what do you think of when you think of power? Well, again, in the spiritual realm, some people think, man, I got the power to command this. And man, I got the power, and everything’s always powerful. I’m just I’m so powerful and hard to stand myself. And we think of power is something strong and big and mighty. And we name our football teams after powerful things. The Chicago Bears, that’s powerful. Detroit, lions, that’s powerful. Dallas Cowboys. Wow, that’s powerful. The Indians, you know, all of these, you know, we got all these of course, who in the world would ever named their football team, the Los Angeles lambs? Or the Seattle sheep? Right? Of course, we do have the ducks. We don’t need commenting on that anymore for all of our friends. But again, we named powerful teams after powerful images. So we always think of that. But isn’t it strange that the most powerful man that ever walked on the face of this earth was identified as what the bear of God, the Lion of God, no the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, gentle, loving Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God. So he wants to strengthen us with power not to be the bear, but to be a lamb. To be so powerful that you can walk in humility, and to be so powerful to have a power living in you that will enable you to walk in something that never fails. Love, that’s pretty powerful, something that never fails. Not bad. That’s pretty powerful.
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Bob George 13:56
So he says, I want you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being. So I’m going to strengthen you with power through his Spirit, in your inner being How come? so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. In other words, to be at home there, through what? through faith, the barrier has been split, the curtain has been split. You are in Christ, Christ is in you. Your sins have been taken away once and for all forever. Your indwelt for the living Christ now who’s going to teach you how to walk now no longer in the flesh, but to walk in the Spirit, to walk in a newness of life, not an old newness of life, a newness of life, oldness of life, walking into the law, walking into your formulas, walking into your principles, walking into your rules and regulations. Walking under your commitments and your promises. That’s all flesh stuff. Said now there’s a new way to walk. It’s how to walk in the Spirit being led by the desirers of the Spirit of God living in you producing his desires in you, so that your desires become conformed to His desires. So he says, I’m praying that this is going to happen to you. so that Christ may be totally at home, in your hearts through faith, in other words, so the Christ life can be expressed in and through you, with no reservations. And he goes here to say that I pray that you being rooted and established in love. Now, that’s what he wants us rooted in. He doesn’t want us rooted and established in an organization. He doesn’t want us rooted and established in people. He wants us rooted and established in his love. So that I’m established there. Now Bob, when you get established someplace, that means you’re at home, they’re here, an established person, you’re there, you’re at home, you got a purpose for being there. And he said, I want you to be established in his love. And he says, I pray, therefore, that you being rooted and established in this love, may have power. There’s the word again, together with all the saints power to do what? go out and do some big for God? No. The power to grasp something where? in your minds, folks, God gave us this head, not as a hat rack, he gave us a head to think with. It says, Don’t be conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind. He wants to renew your mind. He wants to teach you something. And so he’s saying that I’m praying that God by His power, will give you the ability to grasp something. What’s he want us to grasp? how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you, and to know this love. In other words, not know about it, folks know it.
There’s a world of difference between knowing about something and knowing something I know about President Reagan, but I don’t know President Reagan. I know about George Washington, but I don’t know George Washington. Not that old never met him. I know about Abraham Lincoln. I’ve never met Abraham Lincoln. So I don’t know him. I know about him. But I don’t know him. I don’t know about my dad. I know my dad. I don’t know about you, Bob, I know you. And in my Christian life for 36 years, I knew about Jesus the same way that I knew about Abe Lincoln and George Washington and, and, and anybody else out there. I knew about them. But I didn’t know him. I didn’t know I could know him. I looked at it like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, how am I going to know them? They’re dead. And that’s basically outside of the resurrection where all it ever came to me was the resurrection as he just went back to heaven. So what are you going to know about someone who’s died and gone? So he died? And then he left here? How did I in the world did I ever know that I could know him? But it never entered my mind. No one ever told me that he wanted to come to live in me to take up residence in my heart, so that I can know not know about him know him. So it says that I want you to know this love that surpasses knowledge, I want you not to know about his love, I want you to know it and experience it, I want you to know how high and deep and wide and long is the love of God. And he said there’s a there’s a byproduct to that it says that here’s the result of that that’s the equal sign that you may be filled. There’s that word again, filled, controlled to the major with all of the fullness of God.
Now, before we go on, folks, I want us to match these two scriptures together that we were just talking about, so that we take the confusion out of it Ephesians five, Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. What does it mean? Well it just told us. It means to be filled, same word to the major, in other words up, filled up of all of the fullness of God. How could you be filled to the major with all of the fullness of God and not be filled with a Spirit? Well, of course you couldn’t. Why? Well, because the Spirit and God are one of the same. So if I’m going to be filled to the major with all the fullness of God, it’s identically the same as being filled with the Spirit. Be not drunk with wine, don’t be, don’t let my mind be taken over by an outside substance but be controlled by the Spirit of God. So what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit controlled by the Spirit? What does it mean to be filled to the major with all the fullness of God? It just told us, it means to be rooted and established in his love. So that you know experientially, not just in your knowing about something, experientially, the width, the length, the height and the depth of the love of God that has been given to you in Christ Jesus your Lord, and to be controlled by that love. What does it mean to be filled? to be controlled by. What does God wants you to me to be controlled by? the love of God. What controlled Paul? the love of God, what control Jesus? the love of God wants to control you and me? the love of God.
As we have talked about what it means to be now filled with the Spirit, to be indwelt by the Spirit is to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, bringing Christ to our hearts, which is our only hope of glory. So folks, at the very moment of spiritual salvation, you and I are indwelt by the living Christ. And that’s what that means Christ now has come to take up residence in you. At that very moment, it says, The Spirit of God baptizes or places you into the body of Christ that you in Him, him in you, is Christ in you your hope of glory, you in him, that means you are in the body of Christ. In him, are you in him? If you’re saved, you’re in him. That means that the Spirit of God has come to take up residence in your heart, you’re indwelt by the Spirit, and has placed you into his body. Are you in his body? Are you his body? Yes, I am. Then you are in Him. And him It says you have redemption. That means that’s already yours, you are redeemed. It doesn’t mean that redemption is positional and experientially you’re still dangling around down here, on a yo yo someplace. it means that you’re redeemed you’ve been bought already. And him you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Does that mean that you get forgiven? No, that means that you have forgiveness, the same way that you have redemption. That verse is all in one. In Him you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, you have both of those, those are both your possessions. Neither one of those are positional. Those are truths. And when God says something, then that’s what he has done for us. He has initiated something to us. And we are the responder. How do you respond? Thank you. That’s what faith says.
It’s the same thing, Bob as God’s unconditional love. God is the initiator we love. We’re told in first John 4:19, because he loved us. Why do we love? because he loved us. He was the initiator. We’re the responder First John 4:10. This is Love Not that we love God, but that He loved us first, and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins. So we are responders, he is the initiator. He initiated His love toward us. He initiated his acceptance toward us. Galatians 5:22 tells us to the praise of the glory of His grace through which he has made us accepted in the Beloved. Do you realize folks that you are not only loved by God, but you are accepted in the beloved, that means he accepts you exactly where you are. He’s not finished with you and me yet, he will spend as long as we were on this earth, His Holy Spirit of God who was alive living in us will constantly being involved in lovingly leading us into an attitude of love. And that attitude of love fulfills everything that God wants fulfilled. We ignore it here, and substitute church attendance, tithing records, good deeds to people, and all kinds of things, which all of those are neat deals. But if we don’t have the kind of love that we were talking about in First Corinthians, patience, kindness, goodness toward people, not keeping records of their wrongs, sitting down, not being easily angered with people getting to a point in our lives where we desire, not to delight in evil, we desire to rejoice in the truth, we desire to protect people, not expose them. We desire to trust people. We have a desire to hope, the best toward people, we have a desire to persevere with people. And Bob, we have two things that we’re constantly battling the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit. We know what the desires of the Spirit are. The desire of the Spirit of God is to love people. It’s to accept people. It’s that he’s forgiven people who says forgive one another how? as Christ Jesus forgave you. How did he forgive you? Totally. How are we to forgive people? Totally. You know, Bob, some times I will have people come up to me on some instances and say, Bob, I did this and this will you please forgive me? And it’s almost a foreign sounding thing. To me, because there isn’t any forgiveness to be given, I’ve already forgiven you. The the forgiveness issue is not the issue. The issue is that we’ve been alienated for some reason. And so And the issue is that you want to be friends again. So what are you doing when a person comes back? Well, they’re saying, as far as you’re concerned, be at peace with all men. And we’re saying, Man, I want to be at peace with you, too. And so forgiveness has already occurred, is as far as I’m concerned. I’ve had people do unbelievable things to me. But I can honestly say there it’s not a case of forgiveness. It isn’t a case of saying, Do you forgive someone? That’s not the case? It’s the case and then in your heart, do you want to be at peace with them? And the answer that is yes, do they want to be at peace with you? Possibly not. But that’s their problem. Or if someone wants to be at peace with me, and I don’t want to be at peace with them. That’s my problem. It’s not theirs.
And it forces us to get back to dealing with the real issues of life. And that is, am I walking in love or aren’t I walking in love. And we cannot do that in the energy of our flesh, any more than we are talking about that branch can produce fruit in the energy of its branch hood, it has to bear fruit as a result of abiding in the one who can produce it, and that’s God and God alone. And until I am resting totally in that unconditional love of God toward me and acceptance toward me, there is no hope in the world of that kind of attitudes to be expressed toward one another, even your children that you’ve brought into this world, even to your mom and dad that brought you into this world, even to your wife that you loved dearly, or your husband that you love dearly. That kind of love cannot be produced or sustained in the energy of our flesh. And so we have to, we have to understand that that’s a result of abiding. But when we do abide, that’s when the Word of God is living in us.
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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